Norco student gets chance of a lifetime
Serves as tee retriever for Saints, comes home with cornerback’s gloves
Norco’s Bobby Clement poses with Saints merchandise, including a pair of Tracy Porter’s gloves, that he received after winning a contest to serve as the team’s junior tee retriever.
“The person told me they were calling from the Saints, and I thought it was a family member playing a trick on me,” LeBourgeois said. “When I realized that it was real, I couldn’t believe it.”
The 8-year-old Clement was one of two 7-12 year-olds picked by Copeland’s restaurant from hundreds of applicants. Clement, a Norco native, couldn’t hide his excitement when his grandmother gave him the news.
“I was jumping around and I didn’t believe it,” Clement said. “I knew it was going to be fun.”
So while the Saints opening-season game against the Minnesota Vikings was the hottest ticket in town, Clement and his father, Jay, were on the sidelines to see it in person.
He also received four tickets that he gave to family members.
“All the players were right there and they slapped my hand when they ran on the field,” Clement said. “Even some former players, like Michael Lewis, came up and shook my hand.”
As part of his duties, Clement had to run on the field to retrieve the tee after the kickoff. Clement was nervous for one reason.
“I was worried that I wouldn’t make it back in time with the tee and I might get run over,” he said. “But I made it and it was the best part of the whole night.”
And that’s saying something.
Saints star cornerback Tracy Porter gave Clement a pair of his gloves, while Thomas Morstead and head coach Sean Payton signed the tee that he retrieved. Clement also received a hat that is given to players when they are drafted, a team program, three T-shirts, an Under Armour shirt, and decals.
During the game, the team’s mascot, Gumbo, also laid his head in Clement’s lap.
Clement, who brought the tee, gloves and other items to Norco Elementary for show and tell, said his friends were blown away.
“They thought it was awesome,” Clement said. “It was really fun and is something I will always remember.”
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