Indianapolis Colts kicker reunited with high school jersey
RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — Indianapolis Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri was recently reunited with his jersey from his high school playing days in South Dakota, thanks to a high school coach in Texas and a bit of luck.
High school football coach Steve Svendson first came across Vinatieri’s Rapid City Central jersey many years ago, the Rapid City Journal reported. Svendson coached the Cobblers, Rapid City Central’s football team, from 1999 to 2007. He now coaches at Caney Creek High School in Conroe, Texas, about 40 miles north of Houston.
Svendson recalled “throwback nights” from his time in Rapid City, in which Central students would wear old jerseys for big games. One year, Svendson’s daughters asked to borrow old jerseys from the pile collected after students graduate. Another coach pointed out that one of Svendson’s daughters was wearing Vinatieri’s old jersey.
“I held on to it for a few years and thought I could maybe sell it, but I thought, ‘Well, that’s probably not the right thing to do,’” said Svendson. “So I decided one day I was going to give it back to him.”
Svendson decided to seize the opportunity to return the jersey to the Rapid City native when the Colts played the Houston Texans on Nov. 5,
“When I first gave it to him, he was laughing right away and he goes, ‘Are you sure you want to give that back to me?’” said Svendson.
Vinatieri said the gesture meant a lot to him.
“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,” said Vinatieri. “That was a special time for me.”
Information from: Rapid City Journal, http://www.rapidcityjournal.com