By Alexandria Hoff
PHIlADELPHIA (CBS) — On the eve of their Homecoming game, Pemberton Township High School celebrated with a pep rally in their gym.
For one former student though, this was a different kind of homecoming.
“They saw the big watch he was wearing and the big ring and they wanted to know if he was rich. I mean, that’s the first thing they asked,” said Pemberton Township Head Football Coach, John Rosnick with a laugh.
The man everyone on campus is talking about is former NFL Tight End, Ed Smith, who earned the Superbowl ring that he wears on his left hand while playing for the Atlanta Falcons during the 1999 Superbowl.
Before that he played for the Eagles.
Before that he spent nine years playing pro baseball.
And before that he was voted ‘Most Athletic’ and ‘Most likely to Succeed’ in Pemberton Township’s Class of 1987.
“I consider my time here at Pemberton to be some of the best moments of my life,” said Smith, “Sometimes kids looks too far ahead but soak it in while you are here.”
At the rally Smith did what many of his Superbowl Alum colleagues around the country are currently doing, and presented his high school with a Superbowl 50 Golden Football.
“I think one of the best things about Ed coming here is that he is showing students that he remembers his high school. It’s all about where you came from,” said school principal, Ida Smith.
“Anything gold will open your eyes I’ll probably go by it take a few pictures of it go on Snap Chat, Instagram, Twitter,” said Antoine Wilson, a senior football player who said that having Ed on the sidelines during their homecoming game will help they “play their hearts out.”
Smith, who’s brother also graduated from Pemberton and went on to the NFL, adds that the Golden Football symbolizes more than just success on the field.
“Anybody who is looking at this ball, you can bring something back too. It might not be a Golden Football but work hard and something of yours could be sitting next to it.”
With the Golden Ball on their side, Pemberton will go on to face Deptford Township Saturday at 11am.