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Friday, Feb. 7, 2014 | 2 a.m.
Jordan Gallegos got to play football this week on a field most players only dream of.
Gallegos, a 14-year-old defensive back from Henderson, is part of the U.S. Under-15 National Football Team, which takes on Team Canada at 1 p.m. today in the International Bowl at the University of Texas at Arlington.
That’s not the field Gallegos practiced on earlier this week that surely makes him the envy of other youth players.
One of the national team practices was at Cowboys’ Stadium, the $1.3 billion home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and arguably the best football stadium in the world.
Cowboys Stadium was as good, and intimidating, as advertised.
“It’s way different on the inside than it looks from the outside,” Gallegos said. “It actually felt like you were getting to play a game there.”
That was just one highlight of the weeklong experience.
The 5-foot-6, 140 pound Gallegos, who is an eighth-grader at Lake Mead Christian Academy, is one of about 50 players on the Under-15 team. His position coach is former NFLer Fabian Bownes.
The best part of the experience is simple: “It is an honor to represent your country and wear the USA colors,” he said.
There are other benefits.
Today’s game will be webcast on ESPN3, there’s been plenty of banquets and meals, and he’s practicing against some of the nation’s best players in his age group.
“There is a lot of good talent out there. I learned I have to keep improving,” Gallegos said.
The International Bowl is six games in different age groups, including an Under-19 game featuring some of the nation’s top high school seniors. During Wednesday’s national signing day, some of those players made their college announcements during a ceremony, with Gallegos soaking in all of the pageantry.
Gallegos will attend Basic High next year. His parents are each longtime coaches at the school.