Hardin County family cheering on family member playing in Super Bowl LV

Hardin County family cheering on family member playing in Super Bowl LV

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Super Bowl LV will decide the league champion for the 2020 NFL season, but it will also be a Super Bowl game that will make history. The Buccaneers will be the first team ever to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium.

It may be Tom Brady’s first season with the Buccaneers, but it will be his record-breaking 10th Super Bowl appearance.

Patrick Mahomes, who won the title of Super Bowl MVP in last year’s Super Bowl, is looking this year to be the youngest quarterback to ever win multiple Super Bowls. He won in 2019 at age 24 and is looking to do it again at 25.

Due to COVID-19 protocols, limiting stadium capacity this will the lowest-attended Super Bowl game ever.

For a local Hardin County family, they are excited about everything that comes with all the pomp and circumstance of the big game, but nothing is more important or exciting than seeing their family member take the field.

“I’m so excited,” Eleanor Guerrero gushed, “a happy grandmother.”

Guerrero moved from Belize to further her education in nursing and ended up in the United States. Her husband was in the military, which eventually landed the family in Hardin County.

”I’m a mother of five, and the five children are my pride and joy, and from those five children I have 13 grandchildren,” she proclaimed.

The entire family will gather for Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Florida to support one of those 13 grandchildren, Rakeem Nunez-Roches. “The Belizean Beast” wears number 56 as the defensive lineman for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

”[He’s the] Belizean Beast since he was born in Belize,” Guerrero said with a big smile. “He came up to the states when he was seven months old.”

When the family found their way to Radcliff, Rakeem Nunez-Roches found his love of sports.

“Ever since he was five years old, I remember his mom and I taking him to the football field,” Guerrero explained. “They did not believe he was five years old. So, his mother had to go back home and get his birth papers so they could see he was five years old.”

Nunez-Roches played youth football for the Hardin County Broncos and his freshman year of high school at Hardin County before moving to Phenix City, Alabama, later heading to University of Southern Mississippi.

”I ask for the good Lord to be on the field with him to cover him,” Guerrero said. “Don’t let him get hurt!”

Now 27 years old and standing at 6 foot 2 inches and 307 pounds, there are also probably players on the field praying that he doesn’t hurt them.

“I have gotten so many calls,” Guerrero said with pride. “Even from Belize, I’m getting calls.”

If you ask Guerrero what she knows about football she will tell you nothing, but she can tell you everything about her grandson’s journey to the NFL.

Guerrero laughed as she shares a story about sending him money while he attended the University of Southern Mississippi. She would tell him to make sure he didn’t cash the check until a certain date. She said he recently asked her why, and she explained being on a fixed income she wanted to make sure the money was in the bank. Now Nunez-Roches is taking care of his grandmother, his mother Nancy Nunez, and all his grandmother’s friends at her senior complex.

“He always sends Christmas gifts to the seniors in her complex,” Nunez-Roches’ aunt Nadine Johnson said with a laugh.

The family will not get to see Nunez-Roches until after the Super Bowl because both teams have been tested for COVID-19 and are on lockdown until the game. They will also not be in the stadium because Guerrero is 81 years old, and the family does not want to take the chance of her contracting the coronavirus.

The family plans to watch the game at Nunez-Roches’ home and celebrate with him when they say he will bring home the win.

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