When the Philadelphia Eagles take the field in Super Bowl 52 there will be a unique connection to Western Washington. Ferndale’s Doug Pederson is now the head coach of the Eagles.

Pederson graduated in 1986 and played three sports in high school. The former Ferndale quarterback later became an NFL quarterback, before eventually working his way to the coaching world.

“Doug, he did it because he just kept going after it and after it and after it,” said Vic Randall, who was his head coach at Ferndale High School.

Donnie Finkbonner was Pederson’s football teammate. The two teamed up to make their squad one of the best in the state.

“I grew up playing with him, ever since the 5th grade,” Finkbonner said. “The player he was is indicative of what kind of person he was and is. I think he’s always had a passion for the game and I think when you work with somebody who has passion for what they do I think that kind of bleeds off.”

So what advice does his former coach have for Pederson?

“Coach like he coaches every other game, whether it’s the Super Bowl or anything else. Do it the same way, don’t do it any different,” Randall said.

As you can imagine, everyone in Whatcom County is happy for their hometown boy.

“I think he is a good guy. I think he‘s done it the right way. He’s put in all the work, he’s put in all the steps to get to where he’s at. He hasn’t bypassed, nothing’s been given to him, I think he’s earned every step and he’s almost at the top,” Finkbonner said. “Us as former teammates we’re grinning ear to ear, we’re happy for him. I texted him the other day and I said, that was a huge mountain to climb and you’re there. I told him you have one more step.”