After Mahomes, Shaw’s former classmate at Whitehouse High outside Tyler, Tex., quarterbacked the Kansas City Chiefs to their first Super Bowl title in 50 years with a stirring fourth-quarter comeback against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Shaw took a virtual bow on Facebook and Twitter.
“When you predicted @PatrickMahomes would win the Super Bowl all the way back when y’all were in high school,” he posted, along with the photo evidence. As of Monday night, it had been retweeted more than 9,000 times.
“He was just one of those special athletes,” Shaw, who played on the Whitehouse basketball team with Mahomes for four years, said in a telephone interview. “You knew he was going to succeed in whatever he did because he had that ‘it’ factor and a drive to work hard. If he was leaning more toward playing baseball after high school, I might’ve said that I was looking forward to seeing his World Series ring. He was that kind of special talent.”
Mahomes, who pitched and played shortstop in high school, turned down a signing bonus after the Detroit Tigers selected him in the 37th round of the 2014 MLB draft to play football at Texas Tech. The Chiefs drafted Mahomes 10th overall in 2017, and after winning MVP honors last season, the 24-year-old added a championship and Super Bowl MVP award to his impressive list of accomplishments Sunday.
Shaw, who studied ministry and played basketball at Oklahoma Christian, watched the Super Bowl at a party for young families at Tuttle Church of Christ, where he has been a full-time preacher the past two years. Shaw said he and Mahomes, who passed for 286 yards and accounted for three touchdowns against the 49ers, “ran in slightly different circles but were still pretty good friends” in high school. They haven’t talked in about a year.
Shaw figures the first reunion for Whitehouse’s Class of 2014 will be in 2024. By then, Mahomes might have multiple Super Bowl rings to show off.
“Watching Pat win was just exciting,” Shaw said. “I’m glad for him. He’s just a great guy, and I’m really happy he was able to pull it out because he definitely deserves all of this.”
Several of Mahomes’s less famous former classmates have reached out to Shaw since Sunday night. Some people in the replies to his viral tweet wondered what happened to another Whitehouse alum mentioned on the same yearbook page. When asked what she was looking forward to about her class reunion, Ali Connor replied, “Seeing what Jack [Terrell] does with his life.”
“Jack was our valedictorian,” Shaw said of Terrell, who graduated from Rice and is now working as a biomedical engineer. “He’s probably the smartest guy I’ve ever met.”