An amazing and phenomenal experience

You’re a student from Boise’s Hazel Lake Middle School, and you’re attending your first professional sporting event: The Seahawks’ game against the Carolina Panthers at Qwest Field last Sunday.

The experience is phenomenal, or amazing?

Make it both. That’s how Hailee Fogg and Evaline Amador described their close encounter with Seahawks football – from being on the sideline before the game, to watching it from 50-yard line seats, to being part of the crowd of 66,577 who witnessed the unveiling of Walter Jones’ retired number just before halftime, to the home team’s rapid-fire rally to open the second half of the 31-14 victory.

“It was phenomenal,” said Hailee, who is 12 and in the seventh grade. “It was my first NFL game, so I was really happy and excited about it. I’d seen Qwest Field, but I’d never been there.”

“It was amazing,” added Evaline, who is 14 and in the eighth grade. “It was great being on the field before the game and we had really good seats, too.”

The girls were selected to attend the game because of their fund-raising efforts in a jog-a-thon, which was part of their school’s Fuel Up to Play 60 kickoff event in September – sponsored by the Idaho Dairy Council, in addition to the National Football League.

The favorite parts of their special day?

Hailee liked the ceremony to unveil Jones’ No. 71 jersey in the rafters at Qwest. “That was really amazing,” she said. “It was really cool.”

Evaline opted for her encounter with Blitz, the team mascot. “When we were on the field for warm-ups, we got to see Blitz riding around on his scooter,” she said. “That was really fun, and so being so close to everything that was happening.”

The jog-a-thon raised money for their school’s athletic programs, and the Fuel Up to Play 60 program encourages kids to eat healthy and play at least 60 minutes a day.

But being selected to attend the Seahawks’ game made Hailee and Evaline feel like the ultimate winners.

“It was a great day,” Evaline said.

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