DANVILLE (KPIX) — The Philadelphia Eagles and their fans are celebrating their Super Bowl triumph over the New England Patriots.
But here in the Bay Area, the spotlight is on the man with Bay Area roots who dove into the end zone for the winning touchdown.
Zach Ertz is his name and he played football at Monte Vista High, in Danville.
The school is now buzzing about the graduate who excelled on football’s biggest stage.
On the Monte Vista message board Monday morning, right along with the birthday announcements, there was another shoutout for winning, like, the biggest game in the world.
Dane Taylor plays on the team now.
“It’s kinda every little boy’s dream to, to go that route and get the game winning touchdown in the Super Bowl,” said Taylor. “So, it’s neat.”
When Ertz caught the game-winning touchdown pass he instantly became his former high school’s biggest celebrity even though he told CBS This Morning he wasn’t quite sure it even counted.
“I thought it was it was pretty clear, um, but when they were reviewing for that long, I mean… that’s when doubt seeps in just a little bit,” he said.
In the school’s weight room, Zach’s jerseys from both Stanford and the Eagles hang from the ceiling. It’s a lesson about the rewards of hard work, something his former head coach, Craig Bergman, says he never shied away from. There are no shortcuts.
“We hopefully helped him understand that… that there’s no short cuts and you can’t take everything for granted,” he said.
Coach Bergman said the fact Ertz also played basketball made him more agile on his feet, perhaps preparing him for that dive into the end zone.
With his on-field heroics, Ertz easily sealed Danville’s affection for a most unlikely team.
Grant Sanders admits he never rooted for the Eagles before this game.
“Uh, no, I’ve not.”
“I looked at my mom and her eyes started to tear up and I was, like, ‘don’t cry!'” said Elsie Harrison.
On second thought, go ahead and cry because virtually everyone at Monte Vista who knows Zach says he is an even better person than he is a football player.
“You know, it’s like, good guys CAN win because here’s one,” said Rachel Johnson, his former English teacher. “He just won the Super Bowl and he’s a really good guy.”
At 27, Ertz still has a strong connection to the school. His brother Jackson plays football there as a Senior, and their parents are active in the Monte Vista High School community.