Bayside High School awarded honor roll by NFL

By Tom Momberg

Bayside High School is being recognized by the National Football League at this season’s end in honor of two former students who went on to play in Super Bowls during their professional athletic careers: Ronnie and Derrick Harmon.

In honor of the upcoming 50th Super Bowl, the NFL has singled out about 3,000 current and former players as well as the more than 2,000 high schools that helped to produce them, with its “Super Bowl High School Honor Roll.”

Bayside High School received two golden football trophies in recognition of the Harmon brothers. Current athletics department coaches at the school said those trophies give boys in its football program people to look up to.

“It’s going to turn a lot of heads in the football program—it’s something they can aspire to,” teacher and special teams coordinator Jason Levitt said. “A lot of these boys have dreams to play in the NFL, and so they know it’s possible from Bayside.”

The Harmon brothers attended Bayside High School in the ’70s and early ’80s, and both went on to have successful pro football careers.

Ronnie Harmon, 51, played for the University of Iowa in the Big Ten Conference before going on to 12 consecutive seasons as a running back in the NFL after being picked up by the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the 1986 NFL draft.

He played for the San Diego Chargers in their Super Bowl XXIX loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

Derrick Harmon, 52, went on to play college football at Cornell University, where he holds multiple records and was named his college’s first-ever Sophomore of the Year in 1981—an award later renamed “Rookie of the Year.” He was picked up as a running back for the San Francisco 49ers in the ninth round of the 1984 NFL draft.

Derrick Harmon ultimately spent three seasons with the 49ers and holds a Super Bowl champion ring for the team’s Super Bowl XIX win against the Miami Dolphins.

The Harmons’ other brother and BHS alumnus, Kevin Harmon, also played as running back at the University of Iowa and went on to play for the Seattle Seahawks.

Bayside High School has produced many noteworthy alumni, including astronaut Ellen Baker, ESPN announcer Mike Tirico and Olympic gold medalist Mae Faggs.

The trophies awarded to BHS by the NFL bearing the names of the Harmon Brothers are now on display in the main lobby, serving as a reminder of what is possible for all students.

“Not even just our football players, but our students, too—the Super Bowl is something almost everyone pays attention to. Now this is something they can point to and look and say, ‘Oh, wow these guys actually went to my school,’” teacher and assistant football coach Ken Dyckman said.

Reach reporter Tom Momberg by e-mail at tmomberg@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.