It has been decades since Boomer Esiason was on the campus of East Islip High School, but the memories immediately flowed back as he returned to his alma mater.
Esiason returned to his high school for the first time in 37 years and participated in a pep rally. He addressed students on what high school football meant to him, the life lessons he learned, what it meant to play in a Super Bowl and how proud he is to be an East Islip alumnus.
"It is so great to be back here at East Islip," Esiason said. "Football brings a lot of people together, it brings families together."
To cap off the visit, Esiason presented a Wilson Golden Football to his high school football coach, Sal Ciampi Sr. "He basically became a second dad to me, like most high school coaches do for their kids," said Esiason.
Esiason showed up at East Islip as part of the NFL's Super Bowl High School Honor Roll program. As part of the nationwide Super Bowl 50 celebration, the NFL launched the Super Bowl High School Honor Roll initiative recognizing schools and communities that contributed to Super Bowl history and positively impacted the game of football.
High schools across the nation, and around the world, will receive a commemorative Wilson Golden Football for every player or head coach who graduated from their school and was on an active Super Bowl roster. Nearly 3,000 players and head coaches, and more than 2,000 high schools, will be recognized. Players and coaches will also have the opportunity to personally deliver golden footballs.
East Islip High School is one of 65 high schools in New York being honored in this program. New York will receive 75 golden footballs. The state receiving the most golden footballs is California. Top five states include: California (432); Texas (326); Florida (218); Ohio (155); and Pennsylvania (148).