Park Dedicated In Honor Of Century’s Super Bowl Son

July 17, 2011

Two-time Super Bowl champion Anthony Pleasant returned home to Century Saturday night as the town dedicated a sports complex bearing his name.

Pleasant was honored at the dedication of the Anthony Pleasant Park by three of his former coaches – former Century High School Blackcat football coach Joe Cardwell, former Century basketball and football coach Lorenzo Jones, and his former Midget football coach Bobby Johnson.

For a photo gallery, click here. For a video, click here.

“Those men really played an important part in my life and caused me to be the person that I am today,” Pleasant said of his former Century coaches. “Character, discipline, hard work…all of that was instilled in me as a young boy.”

The NFL great reminisced about his days in Century – some of which would certainly have keep him out of professional football.

Quit the Century High Blackcats? There was no way, Pleasant said, that would be a good idea.

“Coach Cardwell had that little green Pinto and would come to the community center and pick guys up. If you quit, he would come by your house, kick his shoes off and make himself at home,” he said. “He would talk to your mom.”

Football was not Pleasant’s dream at one point during his high school career. He preferred to be on the basketball court under the leadership of Coach Jones. His mind was made up to shoot hoops, not play on the gridiron.

“Coach said I was better at playing football that I was basketball. My heart was sold out on basketball,” he said. “Think about that and if I hadn’t listened…what it comes down is people see things in you that you don’t see in yourself.”

“By listening to him, because he saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself, I ended up being drafted in the third round by the Cleveland Browns.”

Pleasant, who is entering his second season as the defensive line coach for the Kansas City Chiefs, told the youth of Century that the adults and mentors in their lives are not out to hurt them; they are just trying to help.

“Because of his character, because of the person he was able to accomplish a great deal for Century, for himself and for his family,” Jones said.

Cardwell attributed Pleasant’s “great character” to his late mother Betty.

Johnson, who was coaching a Midget team with Pleasant at 12 and 14 years old, remembers a boy that pushed the weight limits and pushed himself to do his very best.

“I’ve never coached anyone like him,” he said. “He knew what he was doing, and he taught me a few things.”

But being outstanding on the youth league field did not earn a lot of a glory for Pleasant.

“I treated him like all the rest – like dogs. He was good sport about it,” Johnson said. “I’m so proud that he went as far his he did.”

“It means a lot to me that Century named something after me,” Pleasant said. “It was a great thing.”

The 22-acre Anthony Pleasant Park on East Highway 4 in Century includes a full-size  football field with bleachers and press box and a playground. .

Pleasant was selected in the third round of the 1990 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns.  During his 14 year NFL career, Pleasant played for the Browns, the Baltimore Ravens, the Atlanta Falcons, the New York Jets, the San Francisco 49ers and the New England Patriots. He played a total of 202 NFL games and racked up 58 sacks.

The 1986 Century High School graduate earned two Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots.

For a photo gallery, click here. For a video, click here.

Pictured top: Century Mayor Freddie McCall (right) congratulates two-time Super Bowl champ Anthony Pleasant Saturday evening in Century. Pictured top inset:  Pleasant’s former Midget team coach Bobby Johnson (left) and former Century High School Coach Joe Cardwell (right) look at a plaque in Pleasant’s honor. Pictured bottom inset: Pleasant’s former Century High School basketball and football coach Lorezno Jones. photos, click to enlarge.


10 Responses to “Park Dedicated In Honor Of Century’s Super Bowl Son”

  1. lawrence huddleston on March 26th, 2019 5:18 pm

    great job tsu man.

  2. Danny Edwards on July 5th, 2015 5:32 am

    I played football for Coach Cardwell at Jefferson High School in Georgia, he is a good man. I have been trying to get in touch with him, to see how he is doing. If any one can help me, or get my email address to him that would be nice and THANK YOU DANNY EDWARDS

  3. Kay on July 18th, 2011 5:21 pm

    Ok , Century you have a new park named after a hometown hero. Lets see how long it takes for this park to be vandalized , trashed , and destroyed. If you want a nice neighborhood park , it starts with you. Teach your children to respect the public park and to take care of it , not to go out there and destroy it. And if they see other people vandalizing it call the law. Take pride in your neighborhood!!! As for Mr. Pleasant congrats to you , they couldn’t of chosen a better role model.

  4. David Huie Green on July 18th, 2011 5:08 pm

    ” I’m not a person who likes to stir things up. But —”

    And yet, this is similar to stirring.

    Everything I’ve heard of Anthony was good. All his relatives I’ve met were likeable.

    I wish him and his family well in the future.

    David for good people

  5. Beth on July 18th, 2011 8:34 am

    This comment has no judgment of Mr. Plesant. He has made many accomplishments. He and the city of Century deserve this. So please don’t rant on about “how I must not Know him.” But, I hope the town of Century pays more respect to the event of a “dedication” this time. The last “dedication” of a football field in Century has been long forgotten. The orginal Black and Gold – Blackcats Field was left to be over grown and vandalized. It was a shame when I heard talks of taking equipment from one field to purnish another. To me, this was heartbreaking. This city dedicated the original field to an amazing man with an amazing voice. He was the Black Cats Voice for over 40 years. I’m not a person who likes to stir things up. But this is something dear to my heart. I think we should keep in mind the last dedication and try to keep this from happening again. . .

  6. Great News on July 18th, 2011 6:13 am

    I’m not judging,
    i just wish there was more positive influence for the youth of century.I know he has been here,and it’s great.It just seems like we need to do so much more.It is good for the kids to see that no matter where or how you grow up,you can still make it .Mr.Pleasant is a fine example,and also all the people who helped him along the way.I am glad he gave them credit ,i hope one day some other young men will stand in Century and say that because of him,they made it.
    Again congrats to him,i was in no way trying to discredit his efforts.

  7. a harsh judge on July 17th, 2011 6:42 pm

    Great news:

    Anthony has done that several times over the years and he’s always been very gracious as he’s dealing with the youngsters, both black and white. Anthony Pleasant is certainly one of the best people to come out of Century.

  8. Great News on July 17th, 2011 5:09 pm

    It’s nice to see something positive going on in Century.Now Mr.Pleasant,since you have the park named after you,can we hope to see you do something for the youth?I looked at the pictures of the little guys and their eyes are full of wonder.Maybe you can help sponsor some of the kids who would love to play but can’t afford it.Or come down in your off season and speak to the youth,let them know there is more out there then what they see every day.They need to hear that as pften as possible,not just now and then.Again congrats on the naming of the park,but please don’t let it stop there.

  9. Michael Sutton on July 17th, 2011 12:05 pm

    Proud to see century finally getting noticed and Anthony pleasant is a great man to honor with a new stadium in century…me also being a Century Blackcat, I think it’s a great thing that they done especially with someone who has such a great image on the sport of football as a pro and as a part of the great Century Blackcat tradition! Black and Gold runs deep!!!

  10. Nancy on July 17th, 2011 8:55 am

    Mr. Plesant, Congratulations on all of your accomplishments and for being such a positive role model for my home town of Century. Even though Century sometimes gets such negative attention, we all know that it was a great place to grow up. Thanks Again

    A 1971 Century High School Graduate……. “Black Cats”