OHS named to Super Bowl High School Honor Roll; gets golden football

OKEECHOBEE — Okeechobee High School received a golden football from the NFL this month to commemorate the 50th year of the Super Bowl.

OHS alum Jimmie Jones played in two Super Bowls, XXVII and XXVIII, and that qualified the school for the Super Bowl High School Honor Roll.

The golden football, awarded to OHS in 2016 to commemorate the 50th Super Bowl.

The golden football, awarded to OHS in 2016 to commemorate the 50th Super Bowl.

Jones said he was glad the school was honored for his accomplishments in the NFL.

“This is the Super Bowl’s 50th year and every high school gets a golden football for players who competed in one of the games,” he said.

Jones plans to return to OHS this summer and see the football in the school’s trophy case.

Jones was involved in several well-known plays during his career for the Dallas Cowboys. He recovered two fumbles in Super Bowl XXVII, and scored a touchdown when teammate Charley Haley forced a fumble by Buffalo quarterback Jim Kelly. The Cowboys went on to win the game, 52-17.

The play was also named by USA Today as one of the top 50 plays in Super Bowl history.

“It was a game changer because the game was close at that time,” Jones recalled. “I actually had three fumble recoveries but I gave one to Kenny Gant at the bottom of the pile. I handed the ball to him, and he went to clowning big time.”

Jones also was involved in another famous play in that game when Don Beebe knocked the ball out of Leon Lett’s hands as he was rumbling to what appeared to be a sure touchdown.

“Leon keeps saying, ‘Jimmy you turned your back, you should have blocked him, and you could have crushed him.’ I was headed to the sideline for extra point protection. I really could have clocked him if I had known. In football things happen quickly. In my mind it was an easy score. Leon picked up the ball and said he had it, so I said okay you got it.”

Jones and Lett are connected in another famous play from Thanksgiving Day, 1993. Jones blocked a field goal attempt by the Dolphins and Lett famously kicked it making it a live ball. The Dolphins would kick another field goal a few plays later to win the game.

Jones has long since retired from the NFL after eight seasons with the Cowboys, St. Louis Rams and Philadelphia Eagles. He ended up with 32 career sacks. He was also a member of the NFL All-rookie team and was nominated for the NFL Man of the Year Award for his work in St. Louis with underprivileged children and neighborhoods.

He had a marine and boat shop in Texas until last year. Now he relaxes, likes to fish and enjoys spending time with his children.

Jones was a member of the Brahmans best high school football team, the 8-1-1 team in 1984. Ironically Jones was more of a basketball player than a football player while at OHS.

“I only played four games in my junior year. I only played the one year of organized football,” he noted. Jones still was second on the team in tackles and led the team in sacks in those four games.

He didn’t play as a senior because he had to work over the summer and the coaches rules of mandatory two per day summer practices kept him and NFL alum Reggie Rembert from playing that year.

Jones said his mother wouldn’t let him play football so he had to be sneaky to get the chance at the gridiron.

“I was always a skinny kid growing up and she was afraid I’d break some bones,” he explained. “I didn’t realize you had to take a physical so I told her I needed a form signed to go on a field trip and she signed it. (It was actually a sports participation form.) Later I got a trophy and the photo went in the newspaper and my grandmother told her I was playing football. She got onto me when I got home and I told her, well you signed the paper,” he laughed.

Jones earned the attention of the Miami Hurricanes when he played a game against Fort Pierce Westwood. Recruiters were actually there to look at a Panther offensive linemen but Jones stole the show. He had seven sacks in the game.

“Those coaches were saying, ‘Who is that #60 and how he is destroying that offensive line?’ After the game, all the scouts came from the Westwood sideline to our sideline and wanted to send me letters and stuff.”

Jones remembers his days with the Hurricanes very fondly, as the team only lost three regular season games and two bowl games. He played with NFL greats like Vinnie Testaverde, Cortez Kennedy and Russell Maryland.

The Canes won national championships in 1987 and 1989.

Jones said he always appreciated the support he received from Okeechobee. In fact, after the victory in Super Bowl XXVII he chose to be in Okeechobee for a parade rather than the team’s parade in Dallas.

“I’m a country boy and they were having a parade for me in my hometown and that is the one I chose. I always enjoyed and salute my hometown,” he added.

Super Bowl 50 will be played Sunday and Jones said he thinks it’ll be a defensive battle and a low scoring game. “Denver has a championship defense and Carolina has an offense that wins games. It’ll be a dogfight. I give a slight edge to Carolina.”

Jimmeria Jones presents the football.

Jimmeria Jones presents the football.

OHS principal Dylan Tedders was presented the football by Jimmie’s daughter, Jimmeria, on Thursday.

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