Denbigh High School to honor Antoine Bethea with football jersey ceremony

Posted: October 25, 2023

Denbigh High School will celebrate the achievements of alumnus and retired National Football League standout Antoine Bethea with a jersey ceremony at halftime of the Patriots' game against Menchville High on Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. at Todd Stadium.

School officials will present Bethea with a commemorative replica of his No. 4 Denbigh football jersey. There are no plans to retire his jersey number, so players will continue to wear No. 4.

Bethea graduated from Denbigh in 2002, where he was a three-year letter winner in football and lettered in basketball. He earned all-Peninsula District and Daily Press All-Stars honors his senior football season.

Bethea played college football at Howard University, where he majored in administration of justice and was a three-time all-Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference selection, three-time Black College All-American and two-time All-American pick. He was chosen in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts to start his 14-year NFL career.

Bethea played safety for the Colts for eight seasons including the Super Bowl XLI championship team, followed by seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants. He was a three-time NFL Pro Bowl selection, two-time Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year and earned the 2012 Ed Block Courage Award.

While playing in the NFL and since, Bethea has been an exemplary member of the community off the field by starting the Safe Coverage Foundation providing access and resources for students to learn about accessing higher education. He partnered with the City of Newport News to install an outdoor basketball court with lights at the Denbigh Community Center, founded the Bethea Family Foundation Scholarship providing scholarships to two NNPS seniors, mentors young people and touches lives with his speaking engagements.

Bethea, a member of the MEAC Hall of Fame, continues to contribute to his community as a creator and author of the AB41 Speaker's Series, "Bet on Yourself," partnering with several schools and nonprofit organizations to teach life skills to young people. His book, "Bet on Yourself," is a narrative on how to make it to the highest level of competition by overcoming odds, working hard, preparing and believing in yourself. Additionally, Bethea has teamed with nine-year NFL veteran Darius Butler to co-host the podcast "Man to Man."