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MESQUITE Seven-year-old Kloie Oguntodu received a rousing reception from her classmates at Shaw Elementary School in Mesquite on Tuesday.

That's because the second-grader was crowned a national champion in the NFL's Punt, Pass and Kick competition.

'Kloie is just a phenomenal little girl,' said Shaw Elementary principal Chassordee Willie. 'You saw her she's all smiles, and she is just so humble with this whole experience.'

On Sunday, Kloie was on the field in Denver at the playoff game between the Broncos and Chargers to accept her award and to be recognized as a national champion for six- and seven-year-olds.

While the spotlight was exciting, she said the greeting at the airport was even more special.

'My family coming and them surprising me,' was the most exciting part, Kloie said.

'This is our schools third national champion,' Shaw Elementary assistant phys ed coach Rick Grady said. 'It means the world to us getting her there. She pays attention; it's a hard thing to get a bunch of six- and seven-year-old kids to pay attention, but she pays attention.'

'I just kind of wish that she understood that how big this is, because it's like, 'Kloie, do you understand?'' her mother, Tiffany Smith, said. 'She's like, 'Mom, I know I won,' but I don't think she understands that she's number one in the nation.'

'It's taught all of us about dedication,' Principal Willie added. 'All of the students are seeing how hard work can pay off and you can be rewarded in the end. We're very proud of her.'

Kloie agreed the reception she received in the hallway at her school was exciting and cool... but perhaps not quite as cool as the cupcake that was her reward a little later.

E-mail griba@wfaa.com

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