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NFL Defensive ROY Will Anderson Jr., Super Bowl Champion Trey Dean Celebrated at Dutchtown High School

HENRY COUNTY, GA – Dutchtown High School recently paid special tribute to National Football League Defensive Rookie of the Year Will Anderson Jr. and Super Bowl Champion Trey Dean in a ceremony prior to the school’s spring football game on May 17.

“We are honored these exceptional athletes have taken the time to return home to Henry County Schools,” said Board Chair Sophe Pope (Dist. 4). “Will and Trey have done an outstanding job representing Dutchtown High School and the district, and we couldn’t be prouder of all they have accomplished.”

The standout athletes and Dutchtown High School alumni were honored by their alma mater and had their No. 28 (Anderson) and No. 1 (Dean) jerseys retired by the school.

Local dignitaries, including State Rep. Demetrius Douglas, Henry County Commission Chair Carlotta Harrell, and Stockbridge Mayor Anthony Ford, joined Henry County Schools and DHS personnel in celebrating the NFL players with mementos, proclamations, and even a road sign installed by the county near the Mitchell Road entrance to the Dutchtown cluster touting their achievements.

“Honoring the greatest from Dutchtown High School has been one of my most memorable events as the principal of Dutchtown High School,” said Principal Nicole Shaw. “Will and Trey exemplify the epitome of ‘The Dutchtown Way’ as student-athletes. Both finished high school early and completed their college degrees while honoring their responsibilities as athletes.”

Anderson and Dean celebrated milestone moments this past NFL season with the Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs, respectively. Anderson’s impressive statistics, including 45 total tackles, seven sacks, and 10 tackles for loss over 15 games, culminated in the defensive end being crowned Defensive Rookie of the Year. On Jan. 17, 2024, Dean was signed to the Kansas City Chiefs’ practice squad. The safety contributed to preparations for Super Bowl LVIII, which saw the Chiefs triumph over the San Francisco 49ers.

“We appreciate Will and Trey joining us as we formally recognize their remarkable accomplishments,” said Interim Superintendent Dr. Carl Knowlton. “I hope this event motivates HCS student-athletes to follow their example and be determined and dedicated to strive for excellence, both in the classroom and on the playing field.”

Before shining on the professional stage, Anderson, a member of the Class of 2020, and Dean, a graduate from the Class of 2018, were members of the Bulldogs’ dominant defense. As teammates and leaders, they helped establish the Dutchtown football program as one of the most respected in the Georgia High School Association’s Class AAAAA.

At the collegiate level, Anderson distinguished himself as a key player for the University of Alabama from 2020-2022. His stellar performance helped propel the Crimson Tide to a national championship and earned him unanimous All-American honors. In a testament to his talent and dedication, the Texans selected Anderson third overall in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Dean played for the University of Florida from 2018-2022 before signing with the New York Jets as a free agent following the 2023 NFL Draft. His journey led him to the Kansas City Chiefs, where he joined the practice squad for the team’s remarkable postseason run.

“I am so proud of their accomplishments,” Principal Shaw added. “Making it to the NFL, being named Defensive Rookie of the Year, and becoming a Super Bowl Champion aren’t distinctions many athletes achieve.”

“Knowing former students have gone on to do great things is inspirational, but having Will and Trey return to their alma mater for an event like this is even more meaningful,” Dr. Knowlton added. “Students don’t have to imagine what success looks like after HCS. These outstanding young men are proof that greatness is not out of reach, that it can come from right here in our midst, and that our ambitious ‘Pursuit of Exceptional’ yields rewards.”

About Henry County Schools

Henry County Schools (HCS) is the eighth-largest school district in Georgia, consisting of 52 schools, including two academies, located about 20 minutes south of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Over the past 20 years, our community has grown in population from 113,000 residents to over 244,000 residents. Since 1999, student enrollment has grown from 21,000 to 43,000 students, and our number of employees has grown from 3,000 to 6,000.

HCS is “In Pursuit of Exceptional,” taking action to advance opportunities, access, and outcomes so that every student in our school district has Exceptional Support, Exceptional Access, and an Exceptional Future. In 2020, our Board of Education adopted our 2021-2026 Community-Inspired Strategic Plan and laid out a clear vision and mission for Henry County Schools. Our vision is to ensure a high-quality, world-class education for every student, and our mission is to empower all students with exceptional opportunities and access that lead to success in a global society.

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