The experience of a lifetime for the Meadowcreek football program got even better for head coach Jason Carrera at Monday’s Super Bowl LIII Opening Night.
Thanks to the NFL and the Atlanta Falcons, Carrera was one of four high school and youth coaches presented with two tickets to Sunday’s big game during media night festivities for the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots.
“It’s really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Carrera said. “It’s a big deal. Even though it’s in your town, not many people get the opportunity to go.”
Carrera was surprised with the tickets Monday night, when he was a special guest of the Falcons at the event, hosted at State Farm Arena. Even when he was called on stage to be recognized with the other coaches, the 52-year-old had no idea it involved game tickets.
“I was really just amazed,” Carrera said.
Meadowcreek already was selected a few weeks ago for a unique opportunity that takes place Friday. The Mustang players are the centerpiece of CBS’ broadcast run-through at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
They will simulate Rams and Patriots players through pre-game festivities, and then run certain plays to prep the CBS staff for Sunday’s showcase.
“The NFL is providing a charter bus, we get down there at 11:30 (a.m.) or so (on Friday), and we’ll be there until almost until 5,” Carrera said. “They feed the kids, it’s a really big deal. Everyone from the NFL and the Falcons have told us how neat and how big of a deal it is to get that opportunity and to get in (the decorated stadium) before anybody else. They’ll do player introductions, coin toss. They simulate everything. They’ll have us run certain plays so we can simulate both teams. Hopefully, it will be something they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.”
Meadowcreek is the only football team participating in Friday’s CBS event, a reward for the work Carrera, his coaches and players have put in during his tenure. The Mustangs, who struggled for decades with winless and one-win seasons as the norm, have garnered attention for rapid improvement under Carrera, who is 17-24 in four seasons at the school.
They are 13-8 the past two seasons with back-to-back winning seasons, including a 2017 season that featured the program’s first winning record since 1989 and its first playoff appearance since 1988. The Falcons have worked in the past with Meadowcreek, and the two sides have helped each other out on projects in recent years.
That led to the upcoming Friday experience for the players.
“We have a great relationships with the Falcons,” Carrera said. “They’ve always been really good to us. We try to do everything we possibly can to help them when we can. And they understand our situation. They understand our kids. They understand some of the battles they go through and we go through. And they always appreciate us being there when we can.”
Two days after Meadowcreek’s CBS performance, Carrera and his wife have two tickets to the marquee event Sunday. It will be his second Super Bowl — he also went in 2005 when the Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in Jacksonville, Fla.