“Whitehouse is all Kansas City, we love Patrick Mahomes, and we’re going to ride with him all the way to the end,” said Whitehouse Middle School football coach Jamal Kennedy.
The small town of Whitehouse, Texas, a suburb of Tyler, now proudly represents a football team that plays its home games 550 miles north, because of the quarterback who once led the Whitehouse Wildcats to one of the greatest seasons in school history.
“It didn’t matter what the score was,” former Whitehouse football coach Adam Cook said. “We’ve seen that for a long time out of him. You were never out of a game.”
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“A competitor,” Kennedy said. “When he’s playing, you know you have a good chance to win the game and you are going to win the game. You don’t have to worry about giving his all, because he’s going to go all out.”
And for Patrick Mahomes, that ranged from football, to basketball, to baseball. He was a three-sport athlete – who was not surprisingly voted “most athletic” by his peers his senior year – and who once pitched a baseball game against Major League Baseball first-round draft pick Michael Kopech. Mahomes won the game, throwing a complete game no-hitter with 16 strikeouts.
“It was very evident by the number of scouts we had two great players who were playing,” Cook said. “For Patrick to go toe-to-toe with him, it shows the potential of what he could have done had he chosen that route.”
The son of a former Major League Baseball player, Mahomes’ fastball could touch the mid-90s, but his first love was football. Despite leading Whitehouse to an undefeated, district championship season, with 65 total touchdowns his senior year, Mahomes was rated as just a 3-star football recruit, and had only three Division I college football offers: Rice, Houston and Texas Tech.
“How did they miss out on this guy?” Cook said. “He won this award, he won that award, he’s throwing for all these yards, he seems to be doing everything right off the field.”
“I don’t know how you miss talent like that,” Kennedy said. “Talent like that doesn’t just pop up out of nowhere. Great guy, great arm, one of the strongest arms I’ve ever seen, and man that guy could really play football.”
The oversight of most colleges was Texas Tech’s gain, as Mahomes went on to star for the Red Raiders, even though he faced challenges – and had some of his friends telling him he should leave – early in his time in Lubbock.
“You’ve got Baker Mayfield that’s there and you’ve got Davis Webb that’s a great quarterback as well,” Cook said. “Early on, he’s not the starter. We know how good he is and what he can do. There were some people saying he should transfer. His dad said, 'No, we don’t transfer, we compete.' That’s the mentality that’s translated over to and it’s something Patrick’s picked up on.”
His father’s mentality helped Mahomes become an NFL draft first-round pick and earn a reputation as one of the best quarterbacks in pressure moments in the NFL – even at just 24 years old. His success – now one win away from a Super Bowl – and overall “good guy” reputation in his small hometown in East Texas has the town of Whitehouse now all-in for the Kansas City Chiefs.
“We’ve got people here that were cheerleading when he was playing,” Cook said. “We have cheerleading parents that were here, our drill team and band, those people were there watching that week in and week out and seeing this. Now, to see it on another stage, it’s surreal.”