Hurricane storms through East

Dara Weinraub (‘09)/ Eastside Editor-In-Chief

While some teachers at Cherry Hill East may be looking for hardware to fix the noisy air conditioners in their classrooms, Mr. Jason Hicks has hardware of his very own.

Hicks, a special education teacher at Cherry Hill East, was a member of the University of Miami’s football team when they were the National Champions in 1988 and again in 1990. He began his football career at Pennsauken High School in 1982, where he played until 1985 as the quarterback and defensive back.

“I was watching University of Miami against Boston College when I saw Doug Flutie throw a 60-yard hail mary into the end zone to score a touchdown. I said to myself, I want to go [to the University of Miami] because they need some defensive backs,” said Hicks about his top college preference.

During Hicks’ tenure at the University of Miami, he played alongside Vinny Testaverde, the first pick of the 1987 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Michael Irvin, a five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys.
“Before the pros, they were very talented. I had to battle Michael Irvin every day and try and pick off some of Vinny’s passes,” said Hicks, who still keeps in contact with Irvin and other teammates from the University of Miami.

Hicks has fond memories of his years at the University of Miami. The 90,000 screaming fans and the millions watching the games at home encouraged Hicks to perform to the best of his abilities. During one of the National Championship games, Hicks made a few tackles and had his name announced to the roaring fans.

“It was an incredible feeling. It was a rush, and you couldn’t let [the fans] down,” Hicks said.

Hicks is currently the quarterback coach for the East football team. With years of experience under his belt, Hicks knows how to motivate the team.

“His winning attitude is very contagious. He is instilling a lot of his philosophies in us,” said Sean Gold (‘09), varsity quarterback.

Those wishing to see Hicks’ hardware may be a little disappointed, however. Due to outlandish circumstances, Hicks no longer displays his two rings everyday. While eating dinner at Red Lobster one night, he left his ring on the table, and when he came back it was nowhere to be found. The waiter claimed innocence, of course.

Fortunately, Hicks was able to order a new ring. However, he has learned that he can show himself as a champion in other ways.