Hampton Roads proud of ties to Super Bowl players

April Woodard with Russel Wilson and family

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY/AP) — Several players with ties to Hampton Roads were in the Super Bowl spotlight Sunday night, and 10 On Your Side talked with people who know them well.

The Seattle Seahawks won their first Super Bowl title Sunday night in overpowering fashion, punishing Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos 43-8. That relentless defense, the NFL’s stingiest, never let the five-time MVP get going, disarming the highest-scoring offense in league history.

Seattle’s Percy Harvin, who graduated from Landstown High School in Virginia Beach, opened the second half of the game with a sensational 87-yard kickoff runback.home ties to super bowl

Manning’s third-down pass to Julius Thomas sailed way too high and directly to safety Kam Chancellor, giving the Seahawks the ball at Denver’s 37. And hometown pride for Chancellor is now more evident than on the marquee of James Monroe Elementary: “Our own Super Bowl champ, Kam Chancellor.”

“He comes back every year and he donates bikes to the students who excel in fifth grade, and so we keep in touch with him, he keeps in touch with us,” said Celeste Jones, principal at James Monroe Elementary. “So this is really exciting. I even posted on his Facebook page last night. I looked it up and told him we were proud of him.”

So too is Chancellor’s former coach Jack Baker, who recalled the football star’s days at Maury High School.

“Did what he was supposed to do,” Baker said. “Was on time the whole time. Just worked extremely hard, helped the young kids on our basketball team. He was just a leader.”

When Chancellor picked off Manning on the third drive, giving the Seahawks a great field position, another of Chancellor’s former coaches, Cornel Parker, was there.

“It was awesome,” Parker said. “The atmosphere in the stadium, you even could tell the Broncos fans were shocked how well [the Seahawks] played.

Russell Wilson, who has an NFL-record 28 wins in his first two pro seasons, including playoffs, had a 23-yard TD pass to Jermaine Kearse late in the third quarter to make it 36-0.

April Woodard with Russel Wilson
April Woodard with Russel Wilson

Wilson also hit Doug Baldwin for a 10-yard score in the final period in what had become one of the most lopsided Super Bowls.

“We been relentless all season,” Wilson said. “Having that mentality of having a championship day every day. At the end of the day, you want to play your best football, and that is what we did today.”

Wilson’s aunt, Hampton University journalism professor April Wilson Woodard, was not surprised at Wilson’s performance in the game.

“His dad, Harry B., said to Russell, ‘Why not you?’ as he was growing up. ‘Why not you? So what if you’re 5’11. Why not you?’ And so Russell took that statement and began to make it a mantra for the Seahawks: “Why not us?” Woodard said.

Denver’s offensive lineman Vincent Painter also has ties to Hampton Roads. He also attended Maury High School.

Nine alumni from Norfolk Public Schools have participated in Super Bowls over the years, and five of them were champions.

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