Super Bowl winner Justin Reid shared a long hug with his high school coach Benny Saia on Saturday after attending a parade honoring the Dutchtown High graduate.
The parade consisted of a line of Ascension Community fire trucks carrying Reid, his father, Eric Reid Jr., and football players from Dutchtown High. la 73 was lined with fans who braved the rain and 47 degree temperatures to see their hometown hero.
Amanda Higgins and her daughter Khloe, 7, parked in front of Dutchtown Middle School hoping to catch a glimpse of Reid, who went to high school with Higgins.
“I’ve followed him throughout his career and couldn’t pass up this opportunity to see him,” Higgins said.
She wasn’t the only fan who attended the homecoming parade and ceremony held at Griffin Football Stadium.
Angel Aycock and her son Martin, known as the football team’s #1 fan, waited in line to have their picture taken with Reid.
A Kansas City native, Deondra Johnson and her son Regionald live in the same neighborhood as Reid’s family. Johnson said her son wanted an autograph and he got one.
Several of Reid’s family members came from across the state, Texas and Maryland to show their support. In the crowd were his mother Sharon and brothers Eric Reid Jr. and Ryan Reid.
Former Dutchtown High School coach Benny Saia said Reid needed to be persuaded to sign up for football instead of soccer.
“I almost didn’t understand him,” Saia said, adding that Reid had a tendency to play high school football.
Reid is the school’s first player to win a Super Bowl.
Several of Reid’s former teachers and administrators waited in line to say hello.
“I had to come to say hello,” said retired educator and assistant principal Marsha Moses.
Eric Reid Sr. said he was glad so many from the area came out to support his son.
“That’s what Ascension Parish and Dutchtown are all about… to support their own,” said Eric Reid Sr.
Reid thanked fans for showing the cold rain to honor him. He said Dutchtown has grown over the years since he’s played soccer, adding that the soccer team now plays on artificial turf.