D7 Celebrates Super Bowl Champions!
On Friday, February 5, the District received NFL Super Bowl Honor Roll Wilson Golden footballs from great players and men - Howard Williams, Oakland Raiders, Super Bowl II in 1968; Steve Fuller, Chicago Bears, Super Bowl XX in 1985; Stephen Davis, Carolina Panthers, Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004; and Landon Cohen, Seattle Seahawks, Super Bowl XLVIII in 2015. They all came home to Spartanburg to celebrate.
Honoring these alumni who’ve contributed so much to our community and so much to the game of football, was a great way to show our students that they too can fulfill big dreams.
In partnership with the National Football League and to commemorate Super Bowl 50, the NFL started the Super Bowl High School Honor Roll program to acknowledge schools and communities that have directly influenced Super Bowl history and impacted the game for the better. As part of this golden anniversary, high schools across the country and around the globe were given a Wilson Golden Football for every player or head coach who graduated from the school and was on an active Super Bowl roster. Worldwide, more than 2,000 high schools and 3,000 players and coaches will be recognized.
Howard Williams, Oakland Raiders, Super Bowl II in 1968
Mr. Howard Williams is the senior member of our Super Bowl Honor Roll. He is a 1953 alumna of Carver High School.
Howard (Howie) William’s start in football is one of those classic tales of fate. As a somewhat smaller guy in high school Mr. Williams said he went out for football on a dare, in an effort to get back at a few bullies who didn’t think he had the prowess to play football. After taking the field at Carver for the very first time in his senior year - and making quite an impression on everyone – Howard Williams went on to have a nine year career in the pros – winning the NFL Championship in 1962 as a rookie with the Green Bay Packers. After a stint with the San Francisco 49’ers, Howard Williams went on to the Oakland Raiders and then to Super Bowl II in 1968 when the Raiders played the Green Bay Packers.
Our first Golden Football Honoree and member of the NFL High School Honor Roll is Mr. Howard Williams.
Accepting the golden football from Mr. Williams on behalf of Spartanburg High School was Miss Kionna Jeter –South Carolina 4A Player of the Year in Basketball, Gatorade’s South Carolina Player of the Year, and the Region 2 4A Female Athlete of the Year.
Steve Fuller, Chicago Bears, Super Bowl XX in 1985
Steve Fuller is talked about as one of the most versatile athletes to come out of Spartanburg High School – and an accomplished student athlete as well. Graduating as the Valedictorian of his senior class in 1975, Steve Fuller went on to make a national name for himself as the Clemson quarterback with the 2nd pass interception avoidance percentage (3.33%) in NCAA history. Between 1985 and 1994, Steve Fuller was inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame, the South Carolina Hall of Fame and selected as a member of the Clemson Ring of Honor, the highest honor a Clemson student-athlete can receive. When his #4 jersey was retired, he was only the second athlete in Clemson’s history to be honored in this manner.
After Clemson, Steve played in the NFL for 7 years, with notable teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, the LA Rams, and the Chicago Bears. It was 1985 when Steve Fuller and the Bears won Super Bowl XX under the leadership of Coach Mike Ditka. That same year, he was named by Sports Illustrated as one of the top 15 backup quarterbacks of all time for that season and his fancy footwork also earned him lasting fame for the unforgettable Super Bowl Shuffle.
Our second Golden Football Honoree and member of the NFL High School Honor Roll is Mr. Steve Fuller.
Accepting the golden football from Mr. Fuller on behalf of Spartanburg High School was Vikings quarterback Austin Scott, the Gatorade South Carolina Football Player of the Year, Upper state 4A “Back of the Year”, and Region 2, 4A Male Athlete of the Year.
Stephen Davis, Carolina Panthers, Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004
In 2011, Max Preps asked their most experienced writers to name the best high school football player they’d ever seen. To contribute a story - the reporters had to have at least 20 years on the job and they had to have seen the athlete play in person. This is what reporter Paul Bowker wrote – “In the early 1990’s, playing in a big school conference in a state known for producing blue chippers – Stephen Davis was the real deal. Davis was so dominant that he was done by halftime in some of his high school games. With blazing speed, if he got just 1 foot on a defender, it was over.”
Regarded as the No. 1 recruit in the nation in 1992, Stephen Davis was Named USA Today Offensive High School Football Player of the Year and also earned the prestigious title of South Carolina Mr. Football. From Spartanburg High School he went on to lead the National Football Conference in rushing in 1999 with the Washington Redskins – a year in which another reporter wrote – “Stephen Davis was just a monster in 1999 with 1,407 yards (second in the league) and 17 touchdowns – more than any other player in the league that season. In 2003, Davis signed with the Carolina Panthers and was a catalyst in leading the team to Super Bowl XXXVIII in 2004 – the same year in which he rushed for a career high (1,444 yards) and eight touchdowns and finished in the top three for the NFL MVP voting.
Our third honoree to receive the Wilson golden football as a member of the NFL High School Honor Roll is Mr. Stephen Davis.
Accepting the football from Stephen Davis on behalf of Spartanburg High School was running back Tavien Feaster, the Gatorade Track Player of the Year, a top pick for the Shrine Bowl, the US Army All American Bowl, and only the second player in the history of Spartanburg High School to win the prestigious recognition of SC’s Mr. Football – the first was Stephen Davis.
Landon Cohen, Seattle Seahawks, Super Bowl XLVIII in 2015
In addition to his contributions to the game of football – our final NFL honoree has also made a name for himself as a result of his many contributions to the Spartanburg community. Landon Cohen is a 2004 graduate of Spartanburg High School and one of those most recognized faces in town. Landon Cohen has a fan base in District 7 like nobody’s business.
Recruited to play for Ohio University, after college Landon was drafted by the Detroit Lions, as well as the Jacksonville Jaguars, the New England Patriots, and later the Chicago Bears and the Buffalo Bills. The real excitement for those following his career was the news last year he’d signed to play (Jan. 5, 2015) with the Seattle Seahawks just a little more than a month before the Super Bowl, which would be played against the New England Patriots on Feb. 1, 2015.
When Landon Cohen is not on the playing field with the NFL, he is either volunteering in classrooms across District 7 as a tutor and positive role model or he’s working on behalf of the free summer camp he started called PROJECT TEDD. This growing program encourages children to Train, Eat Healthy, Have Discipline and Determination – all of the same character habits that took Landon Cohen from the football fields of Spartanburg High School to the NFL.
Our youngest member of the Super Bowl Honor Roll – Mr. Landon Cohen.
Accepting the Golden Football from Mr. Cohen on behalf of Spartanburg High School was student body President Joseph Delaney. Joe is also a member of the Vikings football team and participated in both the state championship and region championship and in case you’re wondering, he’s a member of the same Delaney family that have been contributing to District 7 for decades.