Hometown glory


Ymani Wince, Editor-in-chief

They came back home to relive their “glory days.”  Their played against one another, where status as an upperclassman or underclassman made no difference. Some even wore their senior sweats from 1991.

On Dec. 10th, North graduates came back to play in the Alumni Association’s basketball game, held in the main gym. This was the first year the Alumni Association gathered graduates for the event.

Among those in attendance was Class of 1990 graduate Barrett Brooks. Brooks was an all-around athlete at North, playing both football and basketball. He attended Kansas State University, and in 1995, Brooks was drafted into the NFL by the Philadelphia Eagles and went on to play 11 seasons in the NFL for teams such as the Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, New York Giant, and the Pittsburgh Steelers.  With the Steelers, Brooks earned himself a ring after winning Super Bowl XL.

Born and raised in Kinloch, a city in St. Louis County, Brooks said that he was one of the “Lucky ones,” growing up in an environment where kids his age were constantly getting into trouble.

“I’m blessed my teammates kept me in the gym,” he said.

Mario West, coordinator of the event, said that the game was “an event that would also raise money for the school [alumni] love, and also as a way for [alumni] to come together as a whole.”

West MC’d both the ladies and mens’ games, as well as played in the mens’ game. Players wore T-shirt jerseys with their year of graduation printed on the back.

During the game, players exchanged jokes, as well as memories from high school.

After retiring from the NFL in 2005, Brooks settled in Vorhees, New Jersey. For Brooks, coming back home was a relief.

“It’s therapeutic,” he said smiling, “These are the people I grew up with…they’re family.”

After the game, Brooks signed autographs, took photos, and even allowed a few people a glimpse of his Super Bowl ring. However, Brooks said that for a high school athlete, sports should not be the only priority.

“Put school first,” he said. “Education is the key.”