Feb. 5, 2024-- Jaelyne Matthews, star offensive lineman for the back-to-back state-title-winning High School North Mariners, is heading to Las Vegas in the runup to Super Bowl LVIII.
The invite is from none other than the New York Giants and Nike. Jaelyne will represent the team and New Jersey as one of only 33 high school players invited to take part in festivities leading up to the big game, to meet NFL coaches, players, and representatives, and soak in the electric atmosphere.
Today, New York Giants Director of Community Relations and Youth Football Ethan Medley visited the school to formally present the invite to Jaelyne.
"Congratulations, Jaelyne, on being one of just 33 players to receive this invite to Vegas," said Medley, as he provided Jaelyn a Giants jersey with "Matthews" stitched on the back, and a matted plaque to memorialize the invitation.
After handshakes, High School North cheerleaders performed to the sound of the school's band.
Listed at 6' 5" and 290 lbs., Matthews, a junior, is one of the nation's best high school players-- a highly-sought-after recruit among the most touted college programs in the country-- and this Vegas invite further cements his elite status. The offensive tackle has been a key part of the Mariners' remarkable recent success, at a position now getting its due as one of, if not the most important on the football field.
The Vegas event is described as similar to the NFL's Pro Bowl, which took place this past weekend, but for top high school players. Nike is running the event, and flag football, skills competitions, and other games are expected to showcase the next generation of gridiron stars.
Principal Ed Keller, Assistant Principals Chris Blessing and Dave Fazzini, coach Dave Oizerowitz, Athletic Coordinator Keith Stryker, Athletic Director Ted Gillen, and Superintendent Mike Citta joined Matthews, Medley, and others on stage to chat after photos.
Before leaving, Medley shook Matthews hand once more and wished him luck.
"We're proud to have you representing the Giants and our local area," he said.