South Fort Myers HS proud of alumnus, Super Bowl champion Sammy Watkins

Southwest Florida is bleeding red and gold this week. It’s all thanks to a catch by Kansas City Chief’s Sammy Watkins, a South Fort Myers High School alumnus, and it would set up the touchdown to help the Chiefs win Super Bowl 54 Sunday.

The South Fort Myers High School Twitter account is all about Watkins Monday, as the school has quickly become Chief’s country.

“I have to be honest with you, I wore my Bills Sammy jersey because I’m a bills fan, but I was still rooting for Sammy,” said Staci Dinehart-Mackay, a 9th-grade English teacher at the high school.

Watkins has become an overnight sensation with 10 or more years in the making.

The Fort Myers native caught five passes for 100 yards, helping his Kansas City Chiefs win the super bowl.

“I was watching the last quarter especially where he excelled,” track coach Robyn Strange said. “And it showed again that you can start a little bit of an underdog and succeed in his endeavors.”

But, if you ask Strange or any of his fellow South Fort Myers High teachers, they’ll tell you Watkins’ road to the NFL was a humbling one.

“Academically, he struggled a bit, but he always found resources,” Dinehart-Mackay said.

As his freshman English teacher, Dinehart-Mackay had a front-row seat to Watkins’ journey

“He worked twice as hard as somebody to get the same grades and he never let a little bit of failure bring him down.

Tarshae Gaither, a track and basketball coach at the high school, remembers Watkins from his days on the Wolfpack track team.

“Everything he’s accomplished is from hard work,” Gaither said.

During his senior year, Watkins won the 200-meter state title.

Watkins’ former teachers told us Watkins still visits occasionally to take in a football practice or watch a game.

“The smiles is what you remember most about Sammy,” Strange said.

Reporter:Janae Muchmore
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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