South’s Grunow headed Down Under

I’m jealous of a teenager.

Ezekial Grunow to be exact.

While I may be lucky enough to hang out at a Sheboygan beach or two this summer, the South senior gets to spend 10 days in Australia and play football in the Down Under Bowl.

“It’s been really like baffling,” he said. “I never really thought this could’ve happened. It’s really cool and I’m really excited to go, have some fun and play with some really good players across all of America, New Zealand and Australia.”

Grunow, who also wrestled and played baseball at South, made all-Fox River Classic Conference honorable mention as an outside linebacker this past fall.

He admitted he’s not some superstar who made all-state, so the last thing he was expecting was what happened in early April.

That’s when Grunow was told a letter for him was in the activities’ office at South.

“I really had no idea what it was,” he said. “I didn’t think it was going to be a letter saying I could go to Australia.”

At once, excitement and skepticism surrounded him like he had just recovered a game-winning fumble.

“I thought it was really cool,” Grunow said. “I didn’t know if it was like junk mail at first or anything. Because you know, a lot of companies send stuff to your house and stuff like that. I looked into it and there have been NFL players that have gone to it, so it seemed legitimate.

“It turned out it was and I was real excited they invited me, some kid from Sheboygan, to go.”

Grunow, who told his girlfriend first and then his father, had to pay for the trip with the help of his family and through his own fundraising.

He leaves June 30 and arrives July 2.

In addition to two football games and practices, Grunow will visit places like kangaroo fields and the great barrier reef before returning home July 9.

Grunow says the flight one way is 23 hours or so, but he already has a survival plan for the plane.

“My phone, hopefully,” he said. “Some snacks.”

Typical response from a teenager, one who says the farthest he’s been to was Florida – and that was as a youngster.

“I don’t spend a lot of time out of Wisconsin; Sheboygan, really,” Grunow said.

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