Super Bowl winning Highlander returns for Homecoming Week at Shorecrest

Monday, October 23, 2017

Shorecrest graduate Mark McGrath, center
with Shorecrest players
Photo by Rob Oxford

By Rob Oxford

He hadn't been back in 41 years and not surprisingly, things had changed just a little. 1976 Shorecrest Graduate Mark McGrath visited his old high school this week and the team for whom he wore #7 as an outstanding WR. Mark was guest speaker at the weekly Team Dinner on Thursday afternoon, hosted by the Highlander Football Gridiron Group. 

Vice President of a successful software company based in Colorado Springs, Mark spoke of being "undersized" in high school, but having the desire and determination that provided him with opportunities few will experience.

After graduation from High School, Mark received a four year scholarship to Montana State University where a division title was won his Freshman year. He signed his first professional contract with the Seattle Seahawks, then went on to play for the Washington Redskins, winning the 1983 Super Bowl catching passes from the great Joe Theisman.

Mark McGrath during his pro career
On one of those such passes, his first and only score as a Pro, Mark remembers spiking the ball in the end zone and immediately wishing he hadn't. Why? Because it was his first touchdown as a professional.

When asked post game by reporters why he didn't keep the ball for his trophy case, Mark said he "didn't want the scouts who may be watching to know it was his first professional touchdown".

Sadly, it would turn out to be his only touchdown as a Wide Receiver in the NFL. If anyone reading this knows where that ball is today, they can contact Mark through the Shoreline Area News. Lol!

The former Scot also discussed some of the qualities that employers today look for in potential job applicants. Specifically addressing the fact that in hiring, many companies desire athletes and members of the military for their abilities to work in team environments.

Although he still loves the game of football and currently has a young son playing WR in high school, Mark was very direct in addressing the seriousness of TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy). He encouraged parents to be active and involved in the decsions regarding sports injuries and applauded the steps being taken by coaches and trainers to keep our athletes healthy.

Mark is a fine example of the type of student, athlete, and citizen Shorecrest High School can be proud of graduating. It was a true honor to have him once again grace our halls and sincerely thank him for "giving back".


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