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Spirit video earns mother, son tickets to Army-Navy game

With help from friends and family, Vicky Vandiver and her 9-year-old son, Vincent, created a nearly 3-minute video that earned them seats at Saturday’s Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia.

“We were kind of shocked that we won,” Vandiver said Tuesday, a day after the results of the Army-Navy Spirit video contest on Facebook were announced.

“We did it as a labor of love to our midshipman.”

Vincent, a third-grader at Ferson Creek Elementary School, asked whether he could make a video for his brother, Nicholas, a St. Charles North High School graduate who is a freshman at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., Vandiver said.

They developed an idea based on the Naval Academy’s Gangnam Style spirit video, she said. They filmed the 2-minute, 45-second video on a Sunday afternoon at her Campton Hills martial arts studio, LaFox Martial Arts, she said, noting they also filmed a portion on the bike bridge over Burlington Road.

To their surprise, Vandiver said, their video was selected as a finalist. Facebook users last weekend voted for the winning Army and Navy videos. The family monitored the votes and got official word Monday that they had won.

“The whole thing just felt great,” she said.

As winners, Vandiver and Vincent received two tickets to Saturday’s Army-Navy Game and two pre-game on-field passes. Their winning video will be played on the video board at Lincoln Financial Field, according to the contest’s rules.

Vandiver and Vincent plan to leave for Philadelphia today so they can tour the city, she said. On Friday, they plan to see the Patriot Games, a competition between the two academies.

The football game is set for 2 p.m. Saturday and will be televised on CBS.

“We’re very excited to attend the game, and maybe we’ll even get to see Nicholas for a few minutes,” Vandiver said.

Nicholas was inducted into the academy in June, she said. She said the family has since seen him in August for parents’ weekend and at Thanksgiving.

“In June, I said goodbye to my boy,” Vandiver said. “In August, I said hello to a really fine young man.”

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