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Jonah Purlee enjoys pro, college and rec football

Jonah Purlee is such a football fan that his family's fish are named after quarterbacks Peyton, Eli and Russell. CONTRIBUTED
Jonah Purlee is such a football fan that his family’s fish are named after quarterbacks Peyton, Eli and Russell. CONTRIBUTED
MADISON – Jonah Purlee’s favorite sport is the one that he just finished playing.
At least, that’s what his parents say. “I have to say they’re right because I really love them all,” Jonah said.
With Upward Flag Football, he plays wide receiver, quarterback and running back. In Madison baseball, Jonah has covered second and third bases, along with pitching, for the Angels, Tigers, Pirates and Phillies. He has played soccer with AYSO and YMCA as striker and goalie (keeper).
At three years old, Jonah renamed himself ‘Tackle’ and watched entire football games. In one game, reporters called a touchdown, but Jonah told his father that it wasn’t a TD and insisted the ball had gone out of bounds. Sure enough, a few minutes later the play was reversed.
Jonah is a second-grader at West Madison Elementary School. “I really like my school and my teacher,” he said. In 2016, Jonah received West Madison’s first school-wide PE award for good sportsmanship and positive attitude.
“My dad’s name is Eric. He works for Jacobs Engineering and helps people go to the moon,” Jonah said. “My mom’s name is Shari. She works at the Y and helps kids learn to swim.”
Jonah’s siblings are Jadon, West Madison fifth-grader; Jonathan, Bob Jones High School freshman; Josiah, Auburn University freshman; and Moriah, Calhoun Community College student and assistant manager at Marco’s Pizza.
Q & A
Q: When you go out to eat, what restaurants do you like?
A: Zaxby’s.
Q: What’s your favorite food?
A: Pizza.
Q: What are your favorite sports teams?
A: Cowboys, Broncos and Auburn football. Favorite players are Zeke Elliott, Dak Prescott, Demaryius Thomas, Odell Beckham and Jason Whitten (‘Tough Cat’) and Peyton and Eli Manning, who taught Jonah many lessons.
Q: What is your favorite sports memory?
A: “We were in the playoffs in baseball. I hit a homerun to the fence, got two players in and made the winning run,” Jonah said.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: “Play ‘Madden’ on Xbox and football with neighborhood kids, skate, swim and jump on the trampoline.”
“At Jonah’s birthday party last year, he received six footballs each from different friends. Guess you could say they all know him very well,” Shari Purlee said.

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