Legendary NFL placekicker Adam Vinatieri hadn’t seen his high school football jersey since he graduated from Rapid City Central High School in South Dakota. That changed when the Colts visited the Texans in Houston in November.
As reported by the Rapid City Journal, South Dakota ABC affiliate KSFY and other outlets, Caney Creek football coach Steve Svendson has had Vinatieri’s jersey in his possession since it was almost accidentally unearthed during his time as Rapid City Central’s head coach between 1999-2007.
During that time Rapid City Central would hold a throwback week each year, and during one of those throwback weeks one of Svendson’s daughters asked to wear a jersey and happened to choose Vinatieri’s old No. 8. Svendson noticed the name across the back and held onto the shirt across the years, before coming to the conclusion that it needed to be handed back to Vinatieri.
The handover occurred on November 5 when the Colts visited the Texans, with Vinatieri accepting the jersey … but not before making sure that Svendson really did want to return it to him.
“Most of the time people want signatures for their stuff, but for him to give me a gift, a jersey of mine, was really cool for a number of reasons,” Vinatieri told the Rapid City Journal. “It brought me back my roots, where I came from. I mean, we’re talking 25 or 30 years ago that I had a Central Cobbler jersey on, so that was a special moment, and it was really cool that he did that and thought of me like that.
“That was a special time for me.”
Now Vinatieri has the ultimate memento of those times … and another piece of memorabilia for the ever-expanding trophy case.