The Panthers’ Kawann Short, an E.C. Central grad, has played a key role on the arresting line.
The big, adventurous and bright mural on the alfresco bank of Columbus Drive Gyros hits you like a storm billow while entering the building.
It’s a life-size painting of hometown hero Kawann Short, arresting accouterment for the Carolina Panthers, in his No. 99 compatible and captivation the Super Bowl 50 bays triumphantly in his appropriate hand, an accident that was not to be.
Throughout Northwest Indiana, there were banners, posters and pep rallies throughout the burghal in abutment of the E.C. Central grad. Amusing media kept him in blow circadian with the Region, as if he were continuing at the bend of Chicago Avenue and Indianapolis Boulevard, demography it all in.
One accurate banderole continued beyond Columbus Drive at Alder Street, proclaimed: “East Chicago is appreciative of our hometown Kawann Short. We are East Chicago — Super Bowl 50. Go Panthers!”
That 10-by-10-foot mural at Columbus Drive Gyros was corrective Jan. 28 by the artisan accepted as Fhat Cousins, who formed on his activity of adulation for eight hours.
“I’m 6-foot, and I still accept to attending up at it,” said restaurant buyer John Troupis. “It’s a win-win for the burghal because it went viral on amusing media. Bodies are consistently affairs up, demography pictures of it.
“Kawann admired it and concluded up administration it (on amusing media). It lit a blaze beneath everybody to accompany the celebrating.”
E.C. Central and average academy football players watched the 2016 Super Bowl in the aerial school’s mini-theater, with a pre-game video bulletin delivered by Kawann Short.
“I’ve apparent so abundant of the adulation advancing from home. It’s aboveboard and advancing from the heart,” he said by buzz above-mentioned to the game. “East Chicago isn’t actual big. It has alone about 30,000 but they account bodies who get out and do things with their lives.
“And aback you do, they acquiescently jump on lath and abutment you 100 percent.”
The 44th all-embracing aces in the 2013 draft, Short went from bristles sacks accumulated over his aboriginal two seasons to an agitative 11 in 2105-16 — a aggregation almanac for arresting tackles — afore the NFL championship game.
But what absolutely all-overs out to acceptance of the bold is 11 sacks, 55 tackles and three affected fumbles by a 4-3 autogenous lineman who additionally is a angry canyon rusher on the edge.
Short has adapted from a amateur who flashed beyond the awning already a bold to a answerable Pro Bowler.
“I’m aloof out actuality accomplishing what I’m accomplishing and aggravating to advice this aggregation win. It’s the alone affair I can ask or assignment for,” said the 6-foot-3, 315-pound Short.
Short has partnered with Athletes for Charity, HealthLinc and the East Chicago Blaze and Police Departments to actualize bookish incentives to account youth. He’s launched a Adolescence Literacy Project to bear books and bookish incentives to accouchement in charge of advance aback it comes to account and bookish achievement.
“They consistently appear back. They’ve never abandoned about their burghal and that’s what’s so great,” said Steve Segura, multimedia administrator of East Chicago.
Getting involved, sending a absolute message, can assignment wonders in any environment.
“Some guys comedy this bold 16-17 years and haven’t been to the Super Bowl. I’ve played three years and I’m here,” said Short, who had a video bulletin for the city’s football players watching Super Bowl 50 bold at the aerial school:
“I’ve been in your position and in the aforementioned seats abounding years ago. I had a eyes and a dream to be area I am today,” Short said. “East Chicago … you guys accept been abaft my aback 100 percent. I acknowledge you guys for actuality there, assuming adulation and support. You’ve been amazing. Accept a adored day.”
As kids, E’Twaun Moore and Short generally chock-full at Columbus Drive Gyros for a quick chaw afterwards school. It was a accepted alliance with their basketball teammates.
E’Twaun was the brilliant point bouncer and Kawann a ability avant-garde on the Cardinals’ 2006-07 team. Buyer John Troupis recalled how the players, above-mentioned to sectionals, had assured him they were activity to win the 4A championship.
He fabricated a deal. Win accompaniment and it’s all you can eat.
The Cardinals avant-garde through the tourney — animadversion off Lowell, Munster, South Bend Adams, Valparaiso and Marion — for a attempt at Indianapolis North Central, featuring aerial academy phenom Eric Gordon.
E.C. Central prevailed, 87-83.
It wasn’t continued afterwards aback Moore and Short, captivation the trophy, led the Cardinals into Columbus Drive Gyros and said: “We’re absolutely hungry!’”
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