Friday, March 17, 2000
by James Arthur,

Ookie's Excellent Adventure, Part 1

This report is the first of a three-part series covering The City of Newport News' special salute to Michael Vick during the weekend of March 17th and 18th.

Newport News, VA -  Virginia Tech quarterback Michael Vick's former high school jersey number was officially retired in a special ceremony at Warwick High School this morning. 

The garnet and gold Warwick Raiders number "7" jersey worn by Vick throughout his high school career between 1995 and 1997, was inducted into the Warwick High School Sports Hall of Fame by Head Football Coach Tommy Reamon.

"On behalf of Warwick High School, and the football program, we are proud to retire Michael's number 7 jersey." Reamon said. "It represents everything he has accomplished here, as well as everything he represents at Virginia Tech."

During his Warwick career, Vick amassed 4846 yards passing, 43 touchdown passes, 1048 yards rushing and 18 touchdown runs.  Following his high school career as a three year starter at quarterback, Vick was named post-season All-American by SuperPrep, PrepStar, and the National Recruiting Advisor.  Additionally, Vick was listed as the No. 5 college quarterback prospect in the nation by SuperPrep, the No. 5 pass/run quarterback recruit prospect in the country by the National Recruiting Advisor, and was selected the No. 3 prospect in Virginia by The Roanoke Times.

The ceremony, which was held in the Warwick High School Auditorium in front of the entire student body, was emceed by Warwick Principal Gene Jones.  In attendance were members of the Newport News City Council, Newport News School Board, former principals and teachers of Vick, as well as noted Warwick High School alumni.

Newport News Mayor Joe Frank, School Board Chairperson Mary Oder, Head Football Coach Tommy Reamon, and two of Vick's former teachers were the honored guest speakers.

"Some people have said that it's too early to honor Michael." said Mayor Frank. "But in Newport News, we care about our young people, and we care about those who set an example, and who make a success of their lives. It's never too early to recognize accomplishment and achievement. Michael is a great person. He comes back to the community and he talks to young people about the importance of staying in school, working hard, and achieving. His life is devoted to hard work and meeting goals in everything that he does. We're very proud of that."

Following a 15 minute video highlight presentation of Vick's career to date, Warwick High School SCA President and former teammate, Adam Mangana, presented Vick with a special plaque in recognition of Vick's achievements. It read: "Michael Vick, thank you for the qualities you represent: dedication, determination, and diligence. Thank you for being an extraordinary alumnus of Warwick High School, and for being a positive role model. Most of all, thank you for inspiring others to reach for their dreams."

Vick was gracious and honored by the event. Speaking to, Vick said, "To have my Warwick jersey retired is something I never thought would happen to me. It's a great feeling. I'm very proud, and very thankful."

Coach Reamon also spoke briefly with "It's very exciting to see this, especially for Michael. He needs to understand and remember throughout all of these great things that are happening to him and Virginia Tech, where he comes from, and how he got to where he is. I think this is an event that was created for him in appreciation for the fact that he does that. I'm so very proud of Michael, and would like to thank all Hokie fans for all their support of him. That's what it's all about."


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