ONTARIO (CBSLA.com) — A high school in the Inland Empire will have the pride of seeing two alumni play each other on Superbowl Sunday.
Safety Omar Bolden of the Denver Broncos and linebacker Bobby Wagner of the Seattle Seahawks both attended Colony High School in Ontario, and played together on the football team.
Those skills have taken them a long way, helping them find their way to the sport’s biggest stage.
“Both of them were tremendous athletes,” coach Jerry DeFabiis said of the players. “They’ve obviously had a lot more success in football, but Bobby was all CIF in basketball as well.”
According to those close to the players from their high school days, however, success has not gone to the athletes’ heads. Moreover, they’ve set an example for current student athletes.
“They set the tone for a lot of kids here,” coach Anthony Rice said. “After they left, a lot of other kids had the opportunity to go to college as well.”
Bolden and Wagner graduated one year away from each other, in 2007 and 2008, respectively, and played together to help lead Colony High School to claiming the CIF Championship in 2006.
“I knew they had something special,” coach Tamoi Hicks said. “Omar, in his first championship, put [the game] on his shoulders, and he said ‘coach, give me the ball, I’m going to score the winning touchdown’, and that’s what he did.”
Teachers remembered both athletes as successful and helpful students in the classroom, in addition to their grit on the field.
“They were great in the classroom,” teacher Laurie Cavin said. “Omar was my [teacher’s assistant]. He was my student for two years. I had Bobby for one year. They never hesitated when it came to school work.
While Colony High teachers and coaches say they are not picking sides for the Superbowl, they are hoping both men will have the opportunity to pause and enjoy the moment.
“They are both fine young men,” teacher Jim Miller said. “So I’m just happy they are able to experience this.”