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Young fan inspires Packers win

November 19, 2009
By BILL HARRIS Journal Sports Writer

ISHPEMING - Westwood High School freshman Molly McGlone apparently has a knack for bringing luck to football teams.

Whether it's the Westwood Patriots, who with Molly cheering them on made it to the second round of the 2009 Michigan High School Athletic Association playoffs this fall, or the Green Bay Packers, Molly seems to have a way to help with the win.

As the water girl for the Westwood football team - a job she's had for three years - Molly is faced with a number of different challenges. The biggest is a disease she copes with every day.

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Westwood High School freshman Molly McGlone is greeted by Green Bay’s Greg Jennings during Larry McCarren’s “Locker Room” TV show in Green Bay this week. (Photo courtesy of McGlone family)

Molly has spinal muscular atrophy, a disease that affects the spinal cord and brain stem. Molly needs to use an electric wheelchair, but said she has learned to deal with the disease.

"I try the best that I can to do everything I can," Molly said. "As water girl, we hook up the bottles to my chair, and it's really cool."

Molly and her family had the chance to meet and get to know Gordon "Red"Batty, the equipment manager for the Green Bay Packers. After a while, Batty suggested that a few of the players get in contact with Molly, and last week she received a call from Packers Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Kampman.

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The players wanted to talk to Molly, as well as get a little luck before their game against the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday.

"They just wanted to talk to me," Molly said. "They asked me what year in school I was, about me being the water girl, and about the football team.

"Then they said they wanted to win the game for me."

And they did just that, beating the Cowboys 17-7.

For a diehard Packers fan like Molly, talking to the players was one thing. But getting to meet them - as Molly did during Larry McCarren's "Locker Room" TV show in Green Bay this week - was "a dream come true," she said.

Molly and her family watched the show live, and were in for a surprise when wide receiver Jennings recognized her and approached her during a commercial break.

"Jennings was sitting up on the stage, he saw me and did the phone sign by his ear and mouthed, 'Did I call you?' I said yes, and he came off the stage, gave me a hug and we talked," Molly said. "Then he ran back up on stage, and came with a Sharpie and signed my jersey."

It's not the first time Molly has gotten a souvenir from a Packers player.

"A couple of years ago, Donald Driver sent me a game-worn jersey," Molly said. "I've talked to Donald in the past, but this time I got to talk to more players."

Molly added she's hoping her interaction with the Packers isn't over.

She said her family is planning to go to Sunday's game and they might meet up with some of the players she talked to on the phone.

If she meets them or not, one thing is for sure: With Molly in the Lambeau Field stands, the Packers will have a true fan wishing them all the luck they need.



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