It’s just one of those things that could only happen once in a blue moon. The odds are a million to one. But it happened.
Flashback to the 2008-2009 high school football seasons. At quarterback for Moody High is Joshua Owen. His starting left tackle on the offensive line is Chad Slade.
Fast-forward to Jan. 6, 2014. The BCS National Title Game is being played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. between Auburn and Florida State. Slade is now a junior offensive lineman for the Auburn Tigers about to play the most important game of his college career.
On the sideline – Josh Owen. But he is not pulling for Slade.
Owen is an FSU cheerleader rooting on the Seminoles.
"I am happy for Chad," Owen said. "I knew he had the size to play Division I football, and I am so glad he’s had this opportunity. We text a lot and keep up with each other on Facebook."
Slade said he and Owen found each other after the BCS championship game.
"We gave each other a hug and he told me he was proud of me, and I told him the same," Slade said Monday by telephone. "Joshua is just a great person, and it was great seeing him after blocking for him at Moody for four years. He is happy and successful and still one of my best friends. I’m sure we will always be best of friends."
Owen, 22, graduated from Moody in 2010. While football was not in the cards for him at the next level, Owen used cheering to help with his scholarship at FSU.
"I still do cheering as a hobby," Owen said. "I will graduate from FSU in May with three degrees – accounting, real estate and finance. I have a full time job waiting in Tampa, Fla., and I start in the fall."
While in Tallahassee, Owen has made a few appearances with legendary football coach Bobby Bowden.
"He is such a great guy," Owen said. "It was good seeing him at the national championship game."
Speaking of the BCS title game, Owen said it was pretty crazy and the atmosphere was awesome.
"I loved the entire game," Owen said. "It was surreal. It was the best game I have ever witnessed."