Former NFL Star Returns Home to Proviso East
October 30, 2015 01:55 PM
Mr. Jerome Sally said that Proviso East High School is home.
"This is where it all began, out here on this field," he said on Saturday, October 17, at the Proviso East Homecoming football game.
Mr. Sally, a 1977 Proviso East graduate who went on to star at the University of Missouri and the National Football League, was in town as part of the NFL’s Super Bowl High School Honor Roll initiative that recognizes "schools and communities that contributed to Super Bowl history and positive impacted the game of football." The recognition is part of the lead-up to Super Bowl 50, which will be played in February 2016 in Santa Clara, California. Mr. Sally’s seven-year NFL career included playing on the 1986 New York Giants, who won Super Bowl XXI.
To recognize Proviso East’s role in his career, Mr. Sally presented a commemorative Wilson Golden Football to Dr. Patrick Hardy, principal at Proviso East, in a ceremony before the game. Nearly 3,000 players and head coaches and more than 2,000 high schools across the country will be recognized.
"We had a tradition back then of playing hard-nosed football," Mr. Sally said. "By my senior year, seven of us got major scholarships to Division I schools."
Dr. Hardy said that he appreciated the recognition.
"Proviso East High School has a tradition of excellence that goes back a century, and during that time we have had many students who have gone on to great things," Dr. Hardy said. "I thank Jerome Sally for returning home to Proviso East and recognizing the role that our school played in his life and career."
Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent of Proviso Township High Schools District 209, echoed those thoughts, saying that the recognition shows the quality of education in District 209 and the commitment of Proviso East alums.
"I thank Mr. Sally and the NFL for their recognition of the role that Proviso East has played in his life and the lives of other students," she said. "The recognition motivates us to work even harder to meet the social, emotional, and academic needs of all of our students, and to strive to continue Keep Proviso Rising! We are always happy when any of our alums return."
For more photos from the ceremony, please click here