TURLOCK (CBS13) – We’re counting down to Super Bowl XLVII, and all eyes are on the 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
He’s a home town hero, and Kaepernick sure appreciates his support from Turlock.
John H. Pitman High School is where it all began. The football field is where Kaepernick gave his blood, sweat and tears; but just because he’s headed to the Super Bowl, it doesn’t mean he’s too busy to give back.
Sweet treats are Kaepernick’s way of saying thanks to people at Pitman High, like Anthony Harding, who’s now thrust into the spotlight as a celebrity by association.
“One person literally changed Turlock, changed the community, changed the valley,” said Harding.
Together, they took Pitman pride to two league championships.
“He brings the best out of everybody,” said Harding. “His drive spreads like wildfire.”
Kaepernick went off to Nevada in 2006. Now as a Niner, he’s refusing to let his friendships falter.
“He’ll never change. That’s who he is, strong, humble and family oriented,” said Harding.
Former Coach Brandon Harris is proud to have guided Kaepernick, who, Harris says, was competitive in everything.
“It was just in his heart, he goes with his passion,” said Harris.
It’s not just his athletic ability people were impressed with, Kaepernick ended up graduating with a more than 4.0 GPA.
“I don’t want to say he was a geek but he was real smart; and when he was on the field, he was an incredible athlete,” said Harris.
He’s a small town boy who’s catapulted almost overnight into national stardom.
“Be on such a huge stage, on covers of magazines, I turn on ESPN riding my bike and there’s Kap,” said former math teacher and coach Jon Derr said.
Derr is most impressed with Kaepernick’s drive.
“He’s bright and he had a plan. ‘What do you want to major in? Business. What kind? Big,’ said Derr of Kaepernick’s goals.
The star quarterback now has the country Kaepernicking.
Football fans seem to be in love with the idea of a kid with a dream, who actually made it.
When it comes to the Super Bowl, there’s a lot of superstition. The football coaches watched playoffs from separate homes. CBS13 asked if the two are getting together for the Super Bowl, and they said “No way, we don’t want to jinx him.”
Kaepernick played football, baseball, and basketball while maintaining that stellar GPA. He was being recruited to play college baseball, but chose Nevada because it was the only school to offer him a football scholarship.