Some 18 former Observer-area high school football players, including 11 from Mecklenburg County, are being honored as part of the NFL’s Super Bowl High School Honor program.
The high schools will be or have been given a Wilson Golden football for every player or head coach who graduated from the school and was on an active Super Bowl roster. More than 2,000 high schools and nearly 3,000 players and coaches will be recognized.
The NFL Foundation, which gave $1 million for the campaign, will also provide schools with the opportunity to apply for grants of up to $5,000 to support their football programs, along with a new character education curriculum.
▪ West Charlotte will hold a special assembly 9 a.m. Friday to honor its honorees (Mo Collins, Pettis Norman, Ramondo North). Garinger will hold an assembly at 8:30 a.m. in its auditorium. Dwight Clark will be in attendance. East Meck will honor former kicker Jeff Reed in a special assembly 11 a.m. Wednesday in the school auditorium.
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▪ Here are Observer-area honorees:
A.L. Brown: Mike Morton (Super Bowl XXXIV, Rams)
Central Cabarrus: Natrone Means (Super Bowl XXIX, Chargers)
Charlotte Country Day: Mike Cofer (Super Bowls XXIII, XXIV, 49ers)
Charlotte Latin: Chris Canty (Super Bowl XLVI, Giants)
East Mecklenburg: Jeff Reed (Super Bowls XL, XLIII, Steelers)
Garinger: Dwight Clark (Super Bowls XVI, XIX, 49ers); Jim Richards (Super Bowl III, Jets)
Independence: Hakeem Nicks (Super Bowl XLVI, Giants); Marrio Grier (Super Bowl XXXI, Patriots)
Mooresville: J.R. Sweezy (Super Bowl XLVII, XLIX, Seahawks)
Olympic: Thabiti Davis (Super Bowl XXXV, Giants)
Rock Hill Northwestern: Benjamin Watson (Super Bowl XLII, Patriots)
Rock Hill: Chris Hope (Super Bowl XL, Steelers)
South Mecklenburg: Roman Phifer (Super Bowls XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX, Patriots)
Statesville: Vinson Smith (Super Bowl XXVII, Cowboys)
West Charlotte: Mo Collins (Super Bowl XXXVII, Raiders); Pettis Norman (Super Bowl V, Cowboys); Ramondo North (Super Bowl XXXVII, Buccaneers)
West Iredell: Jerome Henderson (Super Bowl XXVIII, Bills; Super Bowl XXXI, Patriots)
After 26 years, Bill Finneyfrock has resigned as boys soccer coach at Providence Day. Finneyfrock leaves with a record of 312-173-47. His teams won four N.C. Independent Schools state championships and nine CISAA conference titles.
In 2012, Finneyfrock was inducted into the N.C. Soccer Hall of Fame. In 2015, he was inducted into the Providence Day hall of fame. He will continue to teach physical education at the southeast Charlotte private school.
Girls soccer coach Dan Dudley will now also coach boys. Dudley, a four-year assistant at High Point University, has coached Providence Day’s girls since 2013. His teams have won two state titles and been a state runner-up.
▪ The MaxPreps National Tour of Champions will honor South Meck’s state championship team Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. during a school assembly in the gym.