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Johnson brothers get opportunity to play football Down Under

Raising money for one player to go overseas is tough and raising funds for two is even more difficult, but that’s what the Johnson family is trying to do.

This summer, Gramm and Mitch Johnson will play football Down Under. The brothers will travel to Australia to participate in the Down Under Sports football tournament.

“I think it will be a great opportunity and a once in a lifetime experience,” Mitch said. “I hope to have some experiences there and better myself for my senior year.”

Both Mitch, a junior, and Gramm, a senior, played on the Kernel football team in the fall. Mitch, who was the Kernels’ top rusher, had 136 carries for 520 yards and four touchdowns. Gramm, a wide receiver/defensive back for the Kernels, caught one pass and had five tackles and was also Mitchell’s top kick returner. He returned 11 kickoffs for 221 yards.

The pair will travel to Australia, where they will spend nine days playing football and competing in the Down Under Bowl. The event runs from June 28-July 6. Mitch and Gramm will represent team USA as they face off against an Australian team.

“I am pretty excited to be going to Australia,” Gramm said. “It is a big country and playing with kids all over the country is quite the opportunity. I also think it will be good to be going with my brother.”

Neither Mitch nor Gramm has ever left the country but they are excited to be headed to Australia. The cost of the trip is $5,000 per player, an amount Mary and Russ Johnson hope to raise for each of their sons.

“We have been doing a lot of fundraising,” Mary Johnson said. “Fundraising has been going pretty good, we are halfway there and we still have some fun stuff to do.”

The Johnsons have done a couple of nights at Pizza Hut, where customers could contribute 20 percent of their bill to the Johnsons’ fundraising efforts. Schwan’s Cares has also set up a page, where you can donate money for the trip. The Johnsons have also had a garage sale, and Scott Morgan, manager of Blarney’s, has contributed to the fundraising effort as well.