D.J. Reader(Grimsley HS) and his Bengals beat Mahomes at home and Cincinnati is heading to the Super Bowl

AFC Championship Game:
Cincinnati Bengals 27, Kansas City Chiefs 24 OT
D.J. Reader, from Grimsley High School, with 3 Total Tackles and 1 Solo Tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals…D.J. was in there putting pressure on K.C. QB Patrick Mahomes, and D.J. was also clogging up the middle and creating space so his Bengal teammates could make the key tackles…Germaine Pratt(High Point Central High School) with 8 Total Tackles and 5 Solo Tackles for the Bengals…Larry Ogunjobi, from Ragsdale High School, did not play for the Bengals due to injury….(From what I was hearing later, I think D.J. also had a forced fumble for the Bengals.)

NFC Championship Game:
LA Rams 20, San Francisco 49ers 17
Emmanuel Moseley, from Dudley High School, with 6 Total Tackles, and all six of Moseley’s tackles were Solo Tackles for the 49ers…

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A lot of people may not remember it, but D.J. Reader played football, basketball and baseball at Grimsley, and then he played both football and baseball at Clemson…D.J. would be at football practice at 6am at Clemson, and then at baseball practice in the afternoon…D.J. began to focus on football only, after his freshman year at Clemson, and it led to him being drafted by the Houston Texans, where he played until signing with Cincinnati two years ago…

I can still remember being over at Stoner-White Stadium, here in Greensboro, back when D.J. was playing in a PONY Baseball All-Star Tournament, and D.J.’s dad, David Reader Sr., asked Jake Simpson’s dad what Grimsley High School was like, and if he thought D.J. would like it at Grimsley….Jake Simpson was the starting Grimsley quarterback, and D.J. Reader was in eighth grade then, and a rising ninth-grader at Grimsley HS…Well, D.J. hit Grimsley for the next four years, and the rest is almost history…

But, there is still history to be made, as D.J. Reader and his Cincinnati Bengal mates are headed to LA on February 13, to face the LA Rams, in the Super Bowl…That will Super Bowl 56….

The turning point in D.J. Reader’s life may have come back while he was in college at Clemson…I believe it was around D.J.’s junior year at Clemson, and he was approaching his senior season with the Tigers…D.J.’s dad passed away, and with David Reader gone, that left a huge void in D.J.’s life…He struggled with this for a while and left the Clemson football program for a brief period of time…D.J. needed some time away, since with his dad now gone, the major male influence on his life for all of his developmental years, that influence was now missing/gone…

David Reader Sr. was a big man, and a big/huge influence on young D.J. Reader…David Reader came to Greensboro to attend N.C. A&T, and Mr. Reader came to the Gate City from Richmond County, where at one time, he was part of the Richmond County Raiders 4-A football program…

After losing his dad, D.J. struggled for some time, but due to the encouragement of his mother Felicia Ford Reader, and other people like Dabo Swinney, D.J. bounced back, but he brought one thing with him, that he could never let go of…D.J. Reader carried the heart and spirit of his dad, David Reader with him everywhere he went…To the Clemson football field, the NCAA College Football National Championship Game with the Clemson Tigers, and on to the NFL, first with the Houston Texans, and now with the Cincinnati Bengals, as they head to the Super Bowl….

The spirit of David Reader lives on in the life and football career of David Reader Jr./D.J. Reader…I met the man, and I knew the man, and have had a chance to speak with D.J.and his mom, Felicia Ford Reader, many times over the years, and one thing we all can always agree on, is that the spirit of David Reader lives, and he is going to Super Bowl, with his son David Reader Jr./D.J. Reader…

That spirit lives in D.J. Reader, and I am thankful that I got to know David Reader Sr. back when was still here with us in person, here in Greensboro…We spent many a time talking about sports and I remember one day we were talking about the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Mr. Reader told me who the next “Mean Joe” Greene was going to be….

The next “Mean Joe” Greene will be my son one day, D.J. Reader….Mr. David Reader said “Mean Joe” Greene was a star on and off the football field, and he said his son will be one too…”Joe served the community, he gave back, and my son D.J. will do that too”…D.J.’s dad was right, he has already been up for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, and D.J. constantly gives back to the Greensboro and Grimsley High School community, when he is home for the Summer…..

The spirit of David Reader Sr. lives, and the heart and soul of the Reader Family, David Reader Jr./D.J. Reader is living and loving to play professional football and he is headed to the Super Bowl, and his dad will be right there with him, and all of us in Guilford County are better for it…

Congrats to D.J. Reader on this accomplishment, and long live David Reader Sr…

Also congrats to all of the Guilford County kids/young men, that are headed to the Super Bowl…