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May 23, 2018 06:15 PM

Washington High Gets 'Super' Football Honoring Gerry

Washington is welcoming a new addition to it's trophy case and it's "super." The Sioux Falls high school just received a special football from the NFL. 

Many football fans watching this year's Super Bowl featuring the Eagles and Patriots were rooting for Sioux Falls-native Nate Gerry. Washington senior Seth Benson was a ball boy for the Warriors football team back when Gerry used to suit up in the Orange and Black more than five years ago. 

"That's crazy. Having someone that went to your high school win a Super Bowl. Especially in his rookie season, that's awesome," WHS student Seth Benson said. 

Benson, who will play football at Iowa next year, is currently a senior. This week, he and the rest of Washington got a surprise gift in the mail. 

"Open it up and it was a football commemorating Nate Gerry playing in the Super Bowl. Pretty neat when you open that. That doesn't happen every day," WHS AD Nate Malchow said. 

The package from the NFL is inspiring to future South Dakota State tight end Zach Heins. 

"Just reminds me that anyone from here can do anything. It just is about hard work and dedication to what you want to do," Heins said. 

While both students have NFL aspirations like Gerry once did, they like that the Washington alum remembers his roots. 

"It says Washington High School on there. He still has his school spirit, as you see on his Twitter sometimes," Benson said. 

Gerry, who's busy training for the upcoming season, has learned about the football recently turned over to his former school. He even responded on social media. 

Gerry says, "Once a warrior always a warrior!!" 

"Brings a sense of pride to the school when you have one of your own that's been in the biggest sporting event in the world. To have that recognition is pretty special as a school," Malchow said. 

The school is hoping Gerry will come and sign the football. It will then be placed in the trophy case where it will be proudly displayed for years to come. The Philadelphia Eagles open the regular season against the Atlanta Falcons on September 6.

The football is part of the NFL Foundation’s Super Bowl High School Honor Roll, which is an initiative developed by the NFL to recognize 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, 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, have been recognized.

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