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Groveton Times - Local News

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Groveton alumnus Johnson headed to Super Bowl
Groveton Times

By Chris Edwards
cedwards@polkcounty publishing.com

File this one under "local boy done good": Groveton native Lane Johnson is headed to the Super Bowl. After a 38-7 wallop of the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, Johnson and his Philadelphia Eagles teammates are headed to the NFL's pinnacle contest on Sunday, Feb. 4, where they will face the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Johnson, who graduated from Groveton High School in 2008, had a banner year with the Eagles. Despite having to miss a game due to a concussion he suffered when the Eagles played the Arizona Cardinals, he finished the regular season as a starting player in 15 games. Not only was Johnson part of a team able to finish the regular season with a 13-3 record, but his impressive work as part of Philadelphia's offensive line earned him a spot on the Associated Press's All-Pro team in the right tackle spot. Johnson's teammate Brandon Brooks also received an All-Pro honor when the team was named on December 19, 2017. Along with the All-Pro honor, Johnson was ranked fifth amongst all offensive tackles by Pro Football Focus. For Johnson a Super Bowl appearance will be the cherry atop a career that has been forward motion for the most part. An avid athlete in his years at GHS, where he played football and ran track, Johnson earned All-State and All-District honors in football during his high school career. After a collegiate run where he played for both the Kilgore Rangers and the Oklahoma Sooners, he was signed to the Eagles organization in 2013 as a firstround draft pick, and fourth overall. According to a recent story published in the Groveton News pertaining to his All- Pro achievement, Johnson determined that the 2017 season would be his best and he delivered. "It's been by far my best season, my most consistent," Johnson said. "If you go down the list of the pass rushers I've had to go against this season, it's been multiple Pro Bowlers, high-caliber guys and it's been every week. There really hasn't been a week off. I knew that coming into the season that I would be challenged like no other season. If Johnson and his teammates pull off a win, it will be an historic event for the men in the midnight green jerseys. The Eagles have appeared in two winless Super Bowls, once in 1981 where they played the Oakland Raiders and again in 2004. Their last Super Bowl had them facing the Patriots. If they can break their 0-2 record in Super Bowl LII, the championship rings will represent a redemption for the loss handed them 14 years prior. Johnson has high hopes for a victory. Following Sunday's victory against the Vikings, he had a few choice words for the Patriots' QB Tom Brady. "Hey, Tom Brady. Pretty boy Tom Brady. He's the best quarterback of all time, so, nothing I'd like to do more than dethrone that guy." He added in his remarks that it would be justice for the narrow loss the Patriots dealt the Eagles in 2004. "For what they did to us in [the] 2004 [season], to get pay- By Jo Ann Anderson Beken GHS Class of 1971 I hope this new year finds you healthy and enjoying the prospects of another Spring. I trust that the ice storm did not affect you too negatively. Our weather in two thousand seventeen and the beginning of 2018 has certainly been one for the record books. Let us hope that the remainder of this year is much quieter! This year will be "Big Homecoming" at GHS. I will let you know the date of the homecoming game when that is established later this semester. Be thinking of those you would like to nominate for our Ex-Students Hall of Fame. We will announce later in the spring when we will be taking nominations. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of our Groveton graduates who have passed away in the past few months. I will be reviewing the Tomahawk of 1948 and highlighting the seniors who graduated 70 years ago. The country was continuing to recover from World War II with Harry S. Truman as our president. The governor of Texas was Beauford H. Jester. He was the 36th Governor of Texas, serving from 1947 until 1949, when he died of a heart attack aboard a train. He is the only Texas governor ever to have died in office. Famous people born in 1948 include Al Gore, Clarence Thomas, Ted Nugent, and Samuel L. Jackson. The annual staff of 1948 was composed of Editor-in-Chief, Tiny Gates, Assistant Editor, Betty Jo Anderson, Business Manager, Gene Taylor, Snapshot Editors, Mary Beth Daniel and Maydelle Collins, Art Directors, Zelma Nichols, Nellene Parker and Dorothy Dunaway, Make-Up Editors, Virginia Sanders and Bobbie Anderson, Sports Editors, Irene Collins, Martha Dial, and Johnny Williams, Advertising Editors, Martha Jo Davis and Carolyn Barton, Literary Editors, Teressa Martin and Margurette Dossey, Social Editors, Geraldine Dogen, Nina Faye Suggs, and Pictures, Gloria Dominey. Sponsors were Mrs.Berry, Miss Hinson, and Miss Sams. The 1948 Tomahawk was dedicated to Mrs. Jimmie Bradley. It read "Because of the inspiration, the boundless efforts, the service rendered in numerous capacities, and the sincere desire for the welfare of the student body, we honor Mrs. Jimmie Bradley, who is beloved by all." Frank E. White was the superintendent, E. S. Starkey was the principal of the high school, Gay Burrows was principal of the Junior High, and James O. Hardy was the principal of the grammar school. A. W. Midgley was the Business Manager and Doris Rushing was the secretary. Harry Uthoff was the coach, Melanie James was the band director and history teacher, and Blanche Hinson was the homemaking teacher. Jimmie Bradley taught mathematics, Thelma Rosser Terry taught business administration, Oran Standley was the Agriculture teacher, and Letisha Jones taught English. W. K. Compton taught English and Sybil Berry taught Science, and Birdie L. Payne was the 7th grade teacher as well as Jean Gordon. Billie Taylor taught 3rd grade, Ida Jones, 6th grade, Mary Rushing was the librarian and Velma Courtney was the secretary. back, there would be nothing sweeter than that," Johnson said. "I remember watching that game when I was 14 years old. I was hoping the Eagles would win. Just coming up short, you could feel the pain, and you could also feel the passion of what this city wants. And we're here, so it's right at our fingertips." To add to the fanfare for Eagles fans, Johnson was quoted in August from training camp that he would provide fans with beer if they won the Super Bowl. In response, Bud Light agreed to pony up free beer for everyone in Philadelphia. As to how much beer or how Philly fans/residents would obtain it, a Bud Light spokesperson told a CBS affiliate in the City of Brotherly Love "We will be sharing plans soon, but in the interest of not jinxing the team ahead of their upcoming games, we are not going to unveil any plans at this time."


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