In 2005, when Helix graduate Alex Smith was the first pick in the NFL draft, a group of teachers and staff celebrated by taking a group shot of themselves with Alex—wearing shirts of the San Francisco 49ers, his new team.
Sharon Church, secretary to Helix Charter High School executive director Rani Goyal, said the photo was resurrected for a good-luck card Friday—on the eve of the National Football Conference title game Sunday. Quarterback Smith will lead the Niners (14-3) against the New York Giants (11-7) at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park.
More than 50 Helix staff members penned personal notes to Smith on the poster in Church’s office. Smith’s parents, Douglas and Pam, later picked up the “Alex Smith Fan Club” poster for the trip north. Alex’s father was executive director at Helix until 2010.
“I'm excited,” Alex Smith told U-T San Diego after the April draft nearly seven years ago. “You know people talk about the legacy and the pressure associated with it—I think it’s the other way around. I think I’m honored to follow in their footsteps. It’s only going to provide motivation and hopefully I can carry on the legacy.”
He’ll get that chance Sunday—with a shot at joining Highlanders teammate Reggie Bush as a Super Bowl champion.