PIRATE FOR LIFE
TIANIA JUNIOR SEAU
1969 – 2012
On Friday October 24, 2014, Oceanside High School honored one of its most highly recognized athletes, Junior Seau. During the halftime show at the varsity football game vs. Carlsbad High School, his parents were presented with his retired #11 OHS Pirate jersey.
“This is something we wanted to do last year, but time got away from us,” said Oceanside football coach John Carroll to San Diego Union Tribune reporter John Maffei. “We want to honor the family, show them how much Junior meant to Oceanside and the high school.”
Seau attended Oceanside High School from 1984 – 1987. While at OHS, he lettered in football, basketball, and track & field. As a football player, Seau was a starter at linebacker and tight end, and as a senior, he was named the Avocado League offensive MVP and led the 18-member Oceanside Pirates team to the San Diego 2A championship. Parade selected Seau to its high school All-American team. Seau was also named to California’s all-academic team with a 3.6 grade-point average. After graduation, he earned a full ride football scholarship to the University of Southern California (USC) where he was a college All-American after only three years in school. Junior was the 5th round draft pick to his hometown San Diego Chargers where he played for 12 years and made All Pro 11 times.
To commemorate this event, the OHS football boosters sold “#11 Seau” T-shirts at the game. All proceeds will benefit the outstanding football program where it all began for Junior.
Oceanside High went on to defeat the Lancers 28-14. “To have a big game on the night they honored Junior is special. He used to hold beach workouts when I was younger. He was always so kind, so caring. He was my idol. He’ll always be No. 1 in this city,” said Pirate defensive lineman Amadeo West.
As told to San Diego 10 News “This will be no more,” said Junior’s sister Annette Seau, holding the jersey encased in glass. She called the honor overwhelming for her but especially for her parents – Junior’s Dad – who worked and did not often get to see his son’s high school games. “It was difficult for him. He got very emotional, he broke down,” she said.
Seau’s suicide in 2012 was painful and shocking for so many. But nearly 30 years after his game ended on an Oceanside field, Oceanside High remembered him as one of the best athletes the town has ever seen. “Very emotional, but bittersweet,” said Annette Seau.”
At Oceanside High School, Junior was passionate about sports and about his Pirate Pride. He always remembered his roots and held himself to a standard of excellence in everything he did. He is gone but will never be forgotten.
Read more about Junior Seau in his short biography on the OHS Foundation website in the Hall of Fame section, where Seau was inducted in 2010.
SD_UT: Junior Seau Inspiration