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Villanova Athletes Visit The White House

The Villanova Football team and Women's Cross-Country team were invited to The White House on Monday afternoon for a meet-and-greet with President Barrack Obama. They were a part of a 33-team audience from all across the country who won NCAA titles last year.

Both the Villanova athletes and coaches gushed about the experience, calling it a once-in-a-lifetime moment. Although for Coach Andy Talley, it was actually the 2nd President that's he's had the privelidge of meeting, as he met President George H.W. Bush after he was named Coach of the Year in 1997.

"Not too bad for an old coach like me," Talley said. "Any time you get a chance to touch royalty, it's pretty awesome. You get here and all of a sudden you realize, 'Wow.' There's 33 national champions here. It's the best of the best, across the board. And you're one of them. It just doesn't get much better."
The President even gave Villanova star Matt Szczur a special shout-out, although not by name.

"One young man even donated bone marrow to a little girl he never met," President Obama said. "As he said, saving someone’s life is more important than a football game."

More quotes from Villanova's memorable day after The Jump...

Matt Szczur:

"It was unbelievable," the Most Outstanding Player of last December's Football Championship Subdivision national-title game said, gushing. "Just crazy. So many people know about it. He quoted me, too. The most powerful man in the world . . . Anyone can win a national championship, or whatever. Saving a life is something different. That he didn't mention me by name doesn't matter. For him to do that . . .

"It doesn't matter if anyone knows who I am or not. Inside, it was pretty cool."

"It's a great experience. Getting to shake [Obama's] hand made it a better experience. Not many people get to do this in a lifetime. We were in the front row."

Women's Cross-Country Coach Gina Procaccio:

"I love it for my girls," said Procaccio, who couldn't stop admiring the photos she took with her digital camera. "I really do. They're the ones who did it, all the hard work they put in. I love that they got a chance to have this kind of experience. It was even great meeting the other teams. We had our picture taken with the Oklahoma State team that won the men's title. They really enjoyed that. Just to be here and see all of it . . .

"We knew they had done this in the past. So we kind of joked about it all year."

To see some videos from the day, check out The Delco Times!