INDIANAPOLIS | Sam Beishuizen walked out of Lucas Oil Stadium on Tuesday afternoon with a white towel slung over his shoulder.
"Where did you get that?" his teacher, Julie Elston, asked.
Beishuizen, a junior at Crown Point High School, and Beatriz Costa-Lima, a senior at Munster High School, attended Super Bowl Media Day after being selected to report on the event through the Indiana High School Press Association. The two high school students walked the field with professional media, interviewing athletes and writing stories that will be published in players' hometown newspapers.
"The odds of it happening to me as a high schooler are just remarkable," Beishuizen said. "It's something you're always going to remember because of what it is."
Beishuizen is the sports editor at Crown Point High's student newspaper, The Inkling. Costa-Lima is the editor-in-chief at Munster's paper, The Crier, and a section editor at the Paragon yearbook. They each applied in December for two of the eight press passes allocated for Indiana high school students. They each submitted three work samples, and after being selected, went through an early morning orientation process before heading to the stadium.
"When the Super Bowl's in your backyard, it was great to have our students in the state of Indiana able to be a part of it," said Elston, The Inkling's adviser.
Beishuizen posed questions for Patriots coach Bill Belichick, quarterback Tom Brady and wide receiver Wes Welker. He then conducted an interview with Giants center Jim Cordle and wrote a story to run in Cordle's hometown newspaper.
"It hit me when I was talking to one of the New York Giants, and I'm sitting there face to face with him, and on my right is the guy from Sky1, on my left is the guy from NBC Sports, and I'm the one directing the interview," Costa-Lima said.
For Beishuizen, the highlight of the day came later, as he was part of a group interviewing Giants quarterback Eli Manning. Manning wore a towel across his shoulder, and tossed it to Beishuizen before the interview wrapped.
"I got really fortunate that my junior year I was the sports editor of the paper and was able to come to the Super Bowl," Beishuizen said.