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NFL: Philip Rivers gets first win as high school coach

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Philip Rivers is 1-0 in his new career.

The longtime NFL quarterback, who retired after the 2020 season, got his first win as a high school football coach on Thursday, leading St. Michael Catholic to a 49-0 win over McIntosh in Fairhope, Ala.

“It was a good win,” Rivers, 39, said after the game. “We did some things that were a little sloppy that I’m probably glad they happened now. We can clean them up and the boys can see, ‘Hey, that’s not going to cut it in region play.’ But all in all, we had a lot of different guys touch the ball. All the wideouts touched the ball. We ran it well. It’s a good start, but we have a long way to go.”

It had to have been an equally thrilling evening for the players at St. Michael Catholic, taking the field for the first time behind a coach who played 17 seasons in the NFL and retired at No. 5 on the all-time passing list with 63,440 yards, behind Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Brett Favre, and fifth in career TD passes with 421 behind the same quartet of legendary quarterbacks.

And for Rivers’ large extended family.

“Tonight was special,” said Rivers, a father of nine. “I’m looking over and Dad is standing on the track. Mom is in the stands. My boys are spotting the ball. My brother is here coaching. I have nephews and daughters and nieces running around. It was that kind of night, just thinking, ‘Wow, what has happened in 25 years.’ Then it was really all about the boys. I told them I was excited to watch them play, and I really was.”

Rivers, who played 16 seasons with the Chargers franchise and one with the Colts, said the competition will get tougher with two teams in the top 10 of the 4A division on the schedule. But he recalled his days as the quarterback in Decatur, Ala., and wants his players to remember their high school games as fondly as he remembers his.

“After playing 50 something college games and 250 something NFL games — those Thursday and Friday nights in high school, being around it at Decatur High growing up and playing, they are some of my favorite memories,” he said. “They are in the top 10. I can think of a handful right now. It’s awesome. I’m trying to remind these kids of that because most of them aren’t going to play beyond high school football. We have a handful that can play at the next level and want to, and I want them to want to. But I also want them to appreciate experiences like this. You won a football game. Be excited. It’s awesome, and I’m enjoying the heck out of it.”

–Field Level Media

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