WASHINGTON, Okla. (KFOR) - A former Oklahoma high school standout and OU walk-on has overcome the odds and the tragic loss of his father to make it to the biggest stage in all of football: the Super Bowl.
"It's awesome to watch a guy that's worked so hard and persevered through so much," said Washington High School head football coach, Brad Beller.
James Winchester will make it to the biggest game of the year as Kansas City beat Tennessee on Sunday in the AFC Championship game.
"A small community like this we don't ever get anything like this," said Beller, who was a high school teammate of Winchester's.
James Winchester was a star athlete at Washington High School.
He walked on at OU and became the long snapper.
Undrafted in 2013, he signed and was cut by Philadelphia.
Then finally caught on with the Chiefs in 2015 and has been a special team's star ever since.
"We are all real proud of him in our little neck of the woods for sure," said Monty Marcum. The long-time family friend of the Winchester's, says he knows it's a special time for the clan from Washington.
"The whole family got to go to the game the other day and it just doesn't get much better than that," said Marcum.
Well, actually it does...
"Within 24 hours, James gets to go to the Super Bowl, but more importantly he has a new baby born this morning. So just a real special time," said Marcum.
But the time maybe a little bittersweet for James.
"Everything that he has achieved, he has earned on his back and his father helped him along the way. Trying to get into the NFL, the tragic loss of his father, and to know that he overcame that and has not lost faith in himself, his family and his lord its awesome to see," said Beller.
Winchester and the Kansas City Chiefs face the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV on February 2 in Miami.