Dedric Ward: Superbowl Champion


Photo Courtesy of The Gazette

Ddedric Ward from his playing days with the New York Jets.

Tyler McGuire, Staff Reporter

Imagine, walking out of the dark tunnel to thousands of paying fans yelling your name, wearing your jersey, and ready to watch you play in the Super Bowl.

It’s a dream that most boys have at some point in their life. There are few people who actually go on to live that dream, and even fewer that are from Iowa. One of those people is a staff member right here with us at Washington High School.

Dedric Ward was born in Cedar Rapids and grew up playing football. In high school, Ward was a running back and a receiver, but he liked playing as a receiver more. “That mix of wanting the ball but not wanting to get hit every play kind of led me to be more of a receiver,” Ward said.

Ward went on to play receiver at the University of Northern Iowa for four years. “The smaller school and the winning mentality that came with it made it fit my style as opposed to a bigger school.” Said Ward.

While at UNI, Ward amassed over 4,000 receiving yards as well as 50 touchdowns.

After putting up impressive numbers at UNI, Ward entered the 1997 NFL Draft. He was drafted in the third round and was the 88th overall pick by the New York Jets and played with them until 2000.

After a little bit of moving around between teams, Ward found himself on the Dallas Cowboys in 2003, the year of Super Bowl XXXVIII (38).

“There was so much stuff surrounding the game in the weeks leading up to it was so overwhelming. Almost to the point of it being bigger than the game itself. There’s so much media and fan attention, but it was an exciting experience. It’s something that every player wants to achieve,” Ward said.

Today, Ward chooses to take what he learned in the NFL and apply it his everyday life. “It’s so amazing how many things I found are parallel between life and the NFL. As a coach, as a mentor, and as a friend,” Ward said.

Ward loves to use his life experiences to be a better person. The lessons he learned helped him shape the life he has today and gave him the ability to guide and help others.