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Behind-the-scenes action before golf begins at John Deere Classic in Silvis

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SILVIS, Illinois - Long before magic happens at the John Deere Classic, there's an awful lot of elbow grease setting up.

"You've got to make sure you get it nice and clean," said B.J. Mendez, Edwards Creative Services, on Friday, July 6.

Mendez is unveiling life-size decals of past champions, one smile at a time.

"I like it," he said.  "It's fun to be part of something like this and watch everything come together."

Not far away, Naomi Batista is guiding volunteers from Pleasant Valley High.  The teens are setting up the media room.  It's support that makes the Classic a reality each year.

"There's a whole bunch of different vendors setting up for different things at the same time," Batista said.  "We're all sort of crawling over each other, but everyone's getting it done."

There's more hands-on work as teens return with chairs.  Dozens of reporters will be working there soon.  And for many of these young performers, it's also a lesson about teamwork.

"It's hard, and it's a lot of work," said Kennedy Brady, 13.  "But it's really fun because I get to see everything and how it's put together."

With crews already at work for weeks at TPC at Deere Run, there are still last minute touches.  It will make the popular event even more inviting for golf fans.

News Eight will be back with special coverage all week long at the Classic.

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