The atmosphere inside the Salvation Army building in Gloster was full of good cheer Monday afternoon. Hundreds came to show their love and support for one of their own who recently accomplished a tremendous feat.
Gloster native and former Amite County Trojan Damien Wilson was honored after winning Super Bowl LIV as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs.
“First of all, I didn’t even know what to expect, to be honest with you,” Wilson said. “To see all of my people here, this is a greater turnout than I can even imagine. It is a Monday too, at 12 o’clock and I know that people have jobs and they have to work. I am extremely thankful to see this huge turnout for me.”
Wilson was all smiles as he walked into the room when he saw the number of people who showed up. Among the many in attendance were friends, family, former coaches and elected officials.
One of the elected officials was state Sen. Tammy Witherspoon of Magnolia. She presented Wilson with a proclamation for his achievement.
Wilson added that it was special to share a Super Bowl title with someone who he didn’t know he was related to, until Super Bowl week.
It was then when he found out that teammate and McComb native Charvarius Ward was a cousin.
“We went all season, and we had no clue, no idea,” he said. “It turns out that his grandfather and my grandmother on my father’s side are actually brother and sister. That is pretty amazing to me.”
And like Ward, Wilson — who is now in his fifth year in the NFL — began his career with the Dallas Cowboys prior to joining Kansas City.
Wilson adds that it was a great feeling winning the Lombardi Trophy.
“It was unbelievable to go into there and do what I set out to do, the first year that I got there, it was amazing,” he said. “I can’t even put into words, it is what we play the game for, it is the pinnacle of football. Better than any bowl game, better than any playoff game, it is the highest of the highest.”
Wilson admits that he missed the Super Bowl parade held the following Wednesday after the Chiefs defeated the 49ers in Miami. But the event held for him Monday helped fill the void.
“I didn’t go to the Super Bowl parade in Kansas City, so this is my Super Bowl parade,” he said.
His path to being a champion had several stops since he left Gloster, and Wilson said that he is proud to represent his hometown and his alma mater, Amite County.
“There is not much to be recruited out here so I am just trying to put us on the map and make us a recruiting hotbed,” he said.
“Between me, Gabe Jackson and Lee Robertson, we are trying to get people to come and look at us.”
But Wilson also hopes to inspire the next generation to work hard to succeed.
“I hope these kids have an easier route than what I had to take,” he said. “I hope they can go to Division I straight off the bat.”