Rex Burkhead, Joe Noteboom

Credit: USA Today Sports

A Super Bowl Championship For Plano Senior High School

January 31, 2019 - 8:18 am

PLANO (105.3 THE FAN) - No matter the outcome of Sunday’s game, Plano Senior High School can say they helped create a Super Bowl champion.

Patriots running back Rex Burkhead and Rams offensive lineman Joe Noteboom will face off wearing opposing colors. But once, both wore the Plano Wildcats maroon and white.

Their former head coach Jaydon McCullough couldn't be more proud.

“It’s great,” he says. “Both of them are so deserving.”

McCullough says both players stood out to him from their early days as Wildcats. Burkhead was starting on the senior high’s varsity team while he was still a freshman in 2005. The team had a perfect 10-0 regular season that year.

“What I remember about Rex is he would always sprint down the field 30, 40 yards every play,” McCullough says. “It’s just that mindset and work ethic.”

Burkhead graduated Plano Senior in 2009. Two years later, Noteboom arrived on campus. McCullough remembers the well-rounded player as a man of few words, but of big dreams.

“I’ll never forget when Joseph told me he had his sights on TCU,” he says. “I really started reaching out to all the coaching staff there to see if they were interested in him. And they were, they called me after only a few days. It was a dream come true, for him and for me.”

Noteboom graduated Plano Senior in 2013, finishing at TCU and entering the draft last year.

Despite the years separating Burkhead and Noteboom, McCullough says both players are more similar than they are different.

“They have those intangibles,” he says. “They’re positive, they’re hard workers. Both are incredibly versatile on the field. And they make the players around them better. They lead by example, and others follow.”

McCullough says he checks in with Burkhead and Noteboom occasionally. While both are no longer under his care, he says he always knows where he stands with them.

“I’ll always love and care about those guys, and I believe they’ll always love and care about me,” he says.

Not to mention, the success of Burkhead and Noteboom has given McCullough a few teaching points for the players who follow them.

“They’re examples of what can happen when you stay focused on your dream,” he says. “As an educator and a coach, it gives me a great platform to teach young men and women that being successful takes grit.”

McCullough has no predictions or expectations for the Super Bowl’s outcome, saying he doesn't want to play favorites, but he knows it will be an emotional day.

“I’ll be so happy for whoever wins,” he says. “To get to the Super Bowl, that doesn't happen for everyone. It’s a dream come true for these guys, and I think no matter what, they can be proud of what they’ve done.”