SHAWNEE, Okla. (KFOR) – Only a few days before Super Bowl LVII and you’d have thought everyone at the Grove School had seats on the 50-yard line.

Students, teachers, staff, everyone hurried to put the finishing touches on signs their favorite player might never see.

“Extra large,” smiles former school superintendent Mickey Mainard.

“So hard working,” recalls former high school teacher Tracy Brzozowski.

“A gentle giant,” says family friend Melanie Greenwood.

But hometown hero Creed Humphrey’s footprints have certainly left an impression on everyone in Shawnee, right from the very beginning.

Back in 1999, family friend and retired school administrator Sheril Payne thought for a minute he might be born at her house.

She recalls, “His mother went into labor, the night before he was born, on my back patio.”

Creed Humphrey, now in his 2nd year as starting center for the Kansas City Chiefs was just a big kid from kindergarten through the 6th grade at Grove School, an independent district in Shawnee.

“Great kid.”
“He was a fabulous student,” echo the people knew him growing up.

His teachers remember him as quiet but smart. They say he liked basketball and wrestling.

“He was a state qualifier in wrestling,” says Shawnee High Athletic Director Dax Leone.

But football was where he shined. Creed started for the Shawnee High varsity team as a freshman. Teammates and friends still talk about his level of preparation.

“When you work harder than anybody, there’s only one place to be, and that’s at the top,” insists former high school teammate Logan Harper.

You won’t find a town in Oklahoma, from the high school Wolves, to the young pups, to family friends, who point to one home grown player with more pride and less surprise that Creed was met with success wherever he went, high school, college as an OU Sooner, or the pros.

Leone adds, “What he does on the football field is just a bonus to the kind of person he is.”

The lid finally came off mid-morning back at the Grove School. Students had finished their posters as fast as they could. The hall was standing room only, no one in their seats.

Screaming fans from Shawnee sent their love to one player from a thousand miles away, strong enough to make even the most casual observer feel it at the center.

He represents a whole town’s ‘Creed’ wishing all the best to one of its own.

The Super Bowl kicks off late Sunday afternoon.

In Shawnee, several watch parties have been organized, one at the local Firelake Casino, another at the local Buffalo Wild Wings.