A trip to remember

A+trip+to+remember

Hannah Melick, Managing editor

Bright lights shine throughout the stadium, screams coming from every corner. A sea of red and white jerseys carry the faces of a thousand unidentifiable fans. An experience that some might only see through a television screen. But for Coach Carol Happ, it became a reality. 

On Dec. 2, Happ was surprised with tickets for an all-expenses paid trip to the Super Bowl, awarded by Colts wide receiver Zach Pascal on behalf of an anonymous nominator. Happ was extremely grateful for the surprise but the reality of it didn’t hit her until finally reaching the stadium.

“It probably hit me when we actually sat down in the stadium. And then you think of the millions and millions of people that are watching it at home… I think when we sat down and we’re looking around and going like ‘Okay, we’re here at the Super Bowl,’” Happ said.

On Jan. 31, Happ flew out to Miami for the Super Bowl. For her extra ticket, she brought along her sister and appreciates the time spent with her family.

“I think my favorite part was actually the Super Bowl, being there at the game, seeing the halftime show. I think the highlight was actually there and then the bonus was experiencing Miami, having authentic Cuban food, going to the Everglades, being with family, being in this beautiful hotel- [the Colts] were wonderful,” Happ said. 

Throughout the months leading up, the Colts have been close in communication with Happ to ensure she feels comfortable with the process, striving to make it as easy as possible.

“They were very generous and along the way, they made sure that everything was filled out and that I knew what was coming or what I needed to do to prepare. So it was easy to ask questions if I had questions. I thought they made it very easy. They were very good, very generous about the whole thing,” Happ said.

As part of a campaign, NFL staff were given the opportunity to nominate someone for a free trip to the Super Bowl. Former LN student Jaci John, now working for NFL Films, jumped on the opportunity and Happ was the first person to come to mind. 

“If I remember correctly, the only real requirements were they had to be involved in football in some way. So I was thinking about it, and I was like ‘Oh, someone who really inspired and helped me when I was in high school, and I know all the football players at Lawrence North, was Coach Happ,” John said.

John had taken weight training classes and had Happ as a weights training coach during her athletic seasons. During John’s time in the weight room, Happ had a significant impact on her and her time in high school.

“I just always felt like she was there, not only to help you physically, but also mentally. She uplifted everyone and she’s a total rockstar. I mean, to be battling cancer and still come to school every day and make everybody feel strong, again not only physically but also mentally. That’s why I nominated her,” John said.

Happ has left an impressionable influence on John and continues to touch and inspire her students to this day. 

“I think Coach Happ deserved it the most out of a lot of people, considering what she’s done for the school and just like, anyone she touches, it brightens up their day,” junior Brooklynn Bauerle said.

Happ was extremely grateful for the experience and was thankful for the opportunity.

“You just realize how lucky and fortunate I was because there were so many people that would have loved this opportunity. It’s crazy. I guess because I’ve never been a ‘I want to go to the Super Bowl’ kind of a person, but when you talk to people and you tell them you’re going? That’s amazing. You realize that my tickets were like gold. And people would’ve paid a lot of money for my tickets. And I just appreciate the experience and you just realize what a privilege I had to experience it,” Happ said.