EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Evansville has sent players to the NFL since the league started, but do you know which school has sent the most pros from the River City in the Super Bowl era? Harrison High School has had 4 players hit the field during an NFL game, including one of the top picks in the entire draft.
NFL football and Evansville in a conversation usually will end up on Bob Griese, but the Harrison Warriors should be included equally. One player comes to mind first.
Kevin Hardy starred at Harrison in the early 90’s both on the football field, and the basketball court. After an All-American career at Illinois he was drafted 2nd overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He one of only 4 players to wear both a Harrison and NFL jersey. The list goes on.
“Scott Studwell, Sean Bennett, Billy Strother. He was one of my high school teammates. He ended up playing for the Dolphins, played out at New Mexico State. He was the Defensive Player of the Year after going to JUCO for 2 years. He had a short stint with a couple teams in the NFL,” said athletic director Andre Thomas.
Starring in college, Harrison also boasts a former player with NFL front office experience.
“Then you got guys like Joey Elliott who played at Purdue. He holds several records at Purdue University. He did a short stint with the Colts in the front office,” recollected Thomas.
Back home at Romain Stadium today, the school is led by two former teammates.
“Andre Thomas was the quarterback. It’s always a standing joke that he was the cleanest guy on the bus after the game because he never got touched. He’d hand the ball off or play actions pass. He’d get rid of it and let everybody else do the work.”
Andre is the athletic director, and he’s convinced former standout fullback Moe Sutton to return to Harrison as head coach.
“With things going on in the world today like they are, and with some of the youth, things that are going on, it’s important to see guys that have walked in their shoes, and that are successful in the community,” said Coach Sutton.
As Harrison works to get back winning championships, its leaders know what’s like to win, and their hoping the NFL has more space for Harrison. After all those who’ve already been there, are welcome home to help show the way.
“We have an open door policy. All the alumni, if they’re riding by and they’re practicing and these guys come back and see what we’ve got going on here. That’s a good atmosphere. Our boys will say, coach who is that? I’m like, he played here. Guys showing interest in what the kids are doing out here goes a long way as well. Any time we’ve got the gates open we do have Harrison guys coming back,” said Sutton.