Ambassadors came from all over Central Indiana. Here they talk about their experiences four years ago. Photos are from 2008.
Levi Beasley, 17, is a senior at Decatur Central High School. Next year he plans to attend Ivy Tech Community College.
Four years ago, he was attending Cripus Attucks when he was selected to be ambassador to the Green Bay Packers. Though motocross is by far his favorite sport, he was well-acquainted with the Packers.
“I was a big fan of Brett Favre, and then they got Aaron Rodgers, so I was really excited to go,” he said.
He wasn’t quite prepared for the sights he saw upon arriving at Green Bay, however.
“You could tell that the people who lived near the stadium had a lot of spirit,” he said. “I mean, they had all their houses and garages decorated with Green Bay stuff. I mean, it felt really alive. It felt really good.”
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Darian White, 17, is a senior at Ben Davis High School. She wants to major in musical theater next year, either at the University of Cincinnati or Indiana University.
Singing has always been a big part of Darian’s life. She recalled that though she was honored to be chosen as a Super Bowl ambassador, there was a bit of a conflict: Her trip to Atlanta to deliver her pitch was scheduled at the same time as her school’s choir competition in St. Louis.
She had a heart-to-heart with her parents.
“I was just like, ‘It’s choir, like this is my first love. You’re going to make me choose?’ And they’re like, ‘Yeah Darian, you have to choose … this is a one-time opportunity, and choir is always going to be there. I know how much you love it, but we support you either way.’”
It only took her a minute to make up her mind: “I’m doing this.”
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Alaina Finkelmeier, 18, is a senior at Carmel High School. She is the yearbook editor and also plays and teaches tennis. Next year, she plans to attend Indiana University in Bloomington.
As a eighth-grader at Creekside Middle School, Alaina said she was excited to be selected as an ambassador, but she was even more excited for the opportunity to travel to New York City to deliver her bid to the New York Jets. “I had been to New York once before,” she explained. “I didn’t know a ton about the Jets, but I definitely had seen them play and then before I went, I learned a lot more about them.”
Her trip got off to rocky start, though. Her flight was delayed, and she and Barbara Underwood, then superintendent of Carmel Clay schools, had to rush to get to the Jets office.
But she said they had a great conversation with Jets owner Robert “Woody” Johnson and then had a little time to spare. “We had lunch in Central Park, and then we were back on the airplane home. So it was short but sweet.”
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Joey Coachys, 17, is a senior at Greenwood High School. A former wrestler, he is weighing whether to go to college or join the Indiana National Guard first.
As an eighth-grader, Joey recalled, he was a little worried when he was asked to report to the principal. “I got a pass to go down to the office. I thought I was in trouble, but my principal told me about it, that they were selecting one person from a bunch of different schools and that I got picked.”
Besides the thrill of traveling to Kansas City to deliver his bid to the Chiefs, Joey said he appreciated getting to know his chaperone, Greenwood schools superintendent David Edds.
“That was pretty cool ’cause his son was kind of a football legend at our school, so I got to talk to him a lot about that.”