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Super Bowl
Posted in , on February 5, 2024

Super Bowl is this Sunday

The Super Bowl this Sunday can only mean one thing – it’s time to shine the spotlight on the Arlington ISD.

And just like the last couple of years, the district will once again be represented Sunday in Super Bowl LVIII when San Francisco plays Kansas City.

The good news is the district must only pull for one team this year – the 49ers.

That’s because rookie tight end Brayden Willis and assistant defensive backs coach Andrew Hayes-Stoker are both Arlington ISD alumni.           

Willis graduated from Martin High School in 2018 before playing collegiately at the University of Oklahoma. He’s played in nine games for the 49ers this year. Hayes-Stoker graduated from Lamar High School in 1997. He was a running back at Lamar before going to TCU. This is his third year on the coaching staff with the 49ers and his first in this role.

Arlington ISD products playing in the Super Bowl is nothing new. Two years ago, the district had players on both the Los Angeles Rams (Bobby Brown, Justin Hollins). Both Brown, who graduated from Lamar, and Martin graduate Hollins got Super Bowl rings.

 Last year, the district couldn’t lose as Lamar graduate Shane Buechele was a backup quarterback for the Chiefs and another Lamar grad Kyron Johnson played for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Lamar football coach Billy Skinner joked last year that there must be something in the Lamar football water. With the Vikings being repped in the Super Bowl for a third straight year, he must be onto something.

“Year one, ‘wow, this is awesome!,’” Skinner said. “Year two, ‘this is unbelievable!’ Year three, ‘no way this just happened again!’ I was in complete shock. If the Niners win, that’ll not only be three years of participation, but it will also be three years of having a champion Viking. It’s special.”

Willis was a star at Martin, where he was one of the top runners and receivers for the Warriors. He caught 75 passes in his five years at Oklahoma and scored 13 touchdowns.

“It’s exciting when we have anyone from our program reach the NFL level,” said Martin football coach Chad Rives, who was the offensive coordinator at Martin when Willis played there. “But when you have someone reach the pinnacle of the sport, it’s that much more special because it creates extra excitement and buzz for everyone in our program. It’s even better when it happens to someone of his character.”