First and 10 - From Mater Dei Catholic High School to the NFL

Phillip Brents

Thu October 27, 2016 5:07pm

It seems a somewhat rare occurrence that four individuals — three players and one coach hailing from Chula Vista are currently involved in the National Football League, this country’s marquee sporting and entertainment enterprise.
In fact, two of them — Mater Dei Catholic High School alumnus Jason Myers (Jacksonville Jaguars) and Eastlake High School graduate Tony Jefferson (Arizona Cardinals) — attended east side Chula Vista schools.
Myers and Jefferson join Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith (Bonita Vista Middle School) and Chicago head coach John Fox (Castle Park High School/Southwestern College) as local pro football royalty.
This is Myers’ second year with the Jaguars. A 2009 MDCHS graduate and 2015 graduate of Marist College in New York, he flew under everyone’s radar last season as a rookie.
The Chula Vista native follows in the footsteps of two former Crusaders — 2002 alum Stanley Daniels (St. Louis Rams, New York Jets, Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos) and 2003 grad Mickey Pimentel (Carolina Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons) — to advance as far as the NFL.
Myers has performed well so far.
He made 34 of 40 field goal attempts (85 percent) his rookie season while appearing in all 16 games. His longest field goal traveled 58 yards. He also made 43 of 50 extra-point attempts (86 percent).
In the opening five games this season, he made eight of 10 field goal attempts (80 percent), with a longest of 50 yards, while successfully converting all 11 extra-point attempts.
An all-league kicker while at MDCHS, Myers played four years at Marist College as its field goal kicker, PAT and kickoff specialist. After graduating from college, Myers played Arena Football with the San Jose Saber Cats and the Arizona Rattlers.  It was during his latest stint with the Rattlers that he received an invitation to attend training camp with the Jaguars.
Myers competed against and beat out veteran Jacksonville kicker Josh Skobee during the Jag’s 2015 camp.
“Jason is an inspiration to his alma mater in that he embodies that ‘never say die attitude’ — something that is instilled in all of the athletes at MDCHS,” Principal George Milke explained. “He worked very hard, never gave up and paid the price in attaining his goal — playing in the NFL.”
Milke noted that Myers will join Daniels and Pimentel in the Crusader Hall of Fame. Myers’ older sister Nikki, an All-CIF and all-league four-year varsity soccer player, will be inducted into the Crusader Hall of Fame this fall. 
Nikki Myers later went on to play at Long Beach State.
The 2016 season has proven to be an adventure for the younger Myers. On Oct. 2 the Jaguars played the Indianapolis Colts in London’s iconic Wembley Stadium (a 30-27 win). He subsequently survived Hurricane Matthew’s rampage through Florida and even was honored with a bobble-head doll by Marist College at a game this season.
Myers remains loyal to his roots. Even though he now lives on the East Coast, he continues to follow Mater Dei Catholic’s football team through the Internet and social media.
“Jason was such an amazing young man during his time here at Mater Dei,” Crusader head football coach John Joyner said. “He was a star football player along with being a captain on the 2008-09 Southern California regional state championship soccer team. We are so proud of all that Jason has accomplished and watching him in the NFL puts a smile on our whole community.”