A wind brushed through Newport Harbor High Wednesday just before noon. A small group of students and teachers huddled near a table where senior JB Salem sincerely thanked them for their support.
Salem, a 6-foot-4, 265-pound defensive tackle, then signed his National Letter of Intent to play football at Stanford. Salem's family watched with great joy. His father, Jesse Salem, choked up a bit when he talked about watching his son's special moment that took place in front of his friends, teammates and high school coaches.
"It's the proudest day of my life," Jesse Salem said, reflecting on the quaint ceremony for his son.
It wasn't so much about the event, it was more about the entire process. That includes his son, James Bernard, growing up.
JB will grow up some more. In a few months he'll be playing for a national championship contender. Newport Harbor has a good football program, but it will still be very different playing on the next level. However, JB is no stranger to transition. That will help.