Philadelphia, PA -- In the trophy case at the William Penn Charter School in East Falls, a fading Matt Ryan signature on a championship game ball is getting some extra attention this week.
Ryan is the current quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons NFL team – who will be playing in Super Bowl LI this Sunday.
“Did we know he was going to be possibly the MVP of the NFL…no!” said Edward Foley who is the Associate Athletic Director and Penn Charter.
Edward Foley and Brian McCloskey both coached Ryan when he was young. Foley coached Ryan’s Little Quakers team in 1998 and 1998. McCloskey coached him in high school at Penn Charter from 1999 to 2002.
“It's emotional, proud, it's every feeling you would have if one of your students or one of your children has found success at the highest level,” explained McCloskey.
McCloskey told PHL17 this past summer, “He came back and spent 2 1/2 hours, it was impromptu and he came here and spent time with the kids, threw the ball, and talked to them a little bit about the importance of enjoying their high school career."
And now Penn Charter’s campus is buzzing with excitement this week, as students and staff anxiously wait to watch their big time alum play on the biggest stage in sports.
McCloskey said, “I expect that as the week progresses, it's going to get a little more exciting as everybody's anticipating the game.”
McCloskey has watched Ryan’s career closely and says he’ll be flying to Houston this weekend to watch his former captain take on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
“I'm a nervous wreck here!” said McCloskey.
Foley told PHL17, “We're all keeping our fingers crossed on Sunday for a good outcome.”