Getting to a Super Bowl is the ultimate achievement during a player's NFL days. The groundwork is laid years before, often during high school.
Deion Sanders and Jevon Kearse played in a combined four Super Bowls with Sanders winning championship rings in consecutive years (XXIX and XXX) with San Francisco and Dallas. Both credit their time at North Fort Myers High School in Fort Myers, Florida, with helping them develop as both players and young men.
Both recently attended a school assembly and addressed students on what high school football meant to them, the life lessons they learned, what it meant to play in a Super Bowl and how proud they are to be North Fort Myers alumni.
To cap off the visit, part of the NFL's Super Bowl High School Football Honor Roll program, Kearse presented a Wilson Golden Football to his high school guidance counselor, and Sanders presented a Wilson Golden Football to his high school football coach, Ron Hoover.
"Just pulling up to the school brought back so many old memories, especially being close to the football field like this where it started," Sanders said.
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.
North Fort Myers High School is one of 141 high schools in Florida being honored in this program. Florida will receive 218 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).