No matter the stage, Patrick Mahomes never forgets his roots.
Mahomes, the NFL superstar with the humble and magnetic personality, is always about his faith, family and friends.
Once again Mahomes, the Whitehouse native, will be on the biggest stage on Sunday at Super Bowl LV.
Along with his fiancée, mom and dad, brother and sister, his best buddies, many who he met in elementary school, will be there cheering on Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium.
Mahomes and his friends have been tight for years. Back in 2013, the Whitehouse High School stars appeared in the Tyler Morning Telegraph‘s Pigskin Preview. For the cover story, the quintet was in “The Situation Room” planning for the coming season. Not only were they best friends, but Mahomes, of course, was the quarterback, with his top receivers — Ryan Cheatham, Jaylon Dews, Coleman Patterson and Jake Parker.
After graduation, Patterson and Parker went on to join Mahomes on the Texas Tech football team, while Dews played at Southern Arkansas and Cheatham chose the baseball path where he helped Tyler Junior College and UT Tyler to national championships.
Parker gave up football for awhile but is now playing for Howard Payne University. In fact, his Yellowjackets opened their season on Saturday, falling 39-38 to Texas Lutheran in Brownwood.
The friends all played Little League, Little Dribblers and select baseball together and in high school it was all about Wildcat football, basketball and baseball.
They all played in Rose Capital West Little League. The all-stars earned a berth in the Junior League World Series in Taylor, Michigan. The squad won the United States championship before falling to Chinese Taipei.
Patterson, son of UT Tyler athletic director Dr. Howard Patterson, feels that he, Mahomes and their friends are “thankful” to be raised in this area.
“We always credit growing up in East Texas, having great role models and believing in team, not individualism,” Patterson said. “That’s what Patrick is all about. Patrick has always been the same guy from the beginning. He is the same person as he achieves this level of success.
“You look at athletes in Tyler and Whitehouse, they are never ‘me, me, me,’ it is always ‘team, team, team.”
Parker, who was unable to attend the AFC Championship game against the Buffalo Bills, will be in Florida for Super Sunday.
He will fly to Tampa on Sunday morning to join his friends and cheer on Mahomes and the Chiefs. The others arrived Saturday.
Along with Patterson, Cheatham and Parker, Jake’s younger brother Zach will be in attendance as well as Brennan McDaniel, Tayyab Mohammed and Cody Campsey. Former Texas Tech teammate Summitt Hogue will be at the big game, too.
They celebrated in Miami last year with Mahomes pointing to his buddies in the stands after the win over San Francisco — just as he has at the last three AFC title games and any other game they attend.
Now, it’s time for Super Bowl LV, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Sunday in Tampa, Florida, and the Whitehouse buddies hope for NFL championship No. 2 for their friend.
“We are super excited to get to support Patrick and hopefully bring back home a second ring,” Patterson said.