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Current Seattle Seahawk and Norwalk Alum Rashaad Penny and Brother Elijhaa’s Jerseys Retired

Elijhaa (left) and Rashaad Penny proudly display their retired Norwalk High uniforms. PHOTO BY ARMANDO VARGAS, Contributing photographer.

 

March 3, 2022

By Loren Kopff • @LorenKopff on Twitter

Neither rain nor blustery winds could stop a festive evening honoring two of Norwalk High’s finest as the school retired the jerseys worn by former stars Elijhaa and Rashaad Penny. And \it was only fitting that the event took place on Feb. 22, 2022 and the number that was retired was #22,

which was worn by Elijhaa Penny from 2008-2010 and Rashaad Penny from 2011-2013.

The event, held inside Norwalk’s new football stadium, was attended by members of the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District, former head coaches Jesse Ceniceros and Dean Gray, former assistant coach Eddie Moreno, current head coach Ruben Guerrero, family and friends, among others.

“When I found out that today’s date of Feb. 22, 2022 was going to be used to honor the Penny legacy at Norwalk High School, I thought to myself how did everything align itself for today,” said Ceniceros. “What a perfect date in history to honor Elijhaa and Rashaad, who wore the number 22 so well. It was always magical, and it was always something special to watch.”

During his time as a Lancer, Elijhaa Penny, who was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals out of the University of Idaho, rushed for close to 3,500 yards and scored 40 touchdowns while his younger brother, a product of San Diego State University who was drafted by and currently plays for the Seattle Seahawks, holds several school records. He rushed 496 times for 5,124 yards and scored 80 touchdowns. He also played in the 2012 CIF-Southern Section Championship game where Norwalk fell to La Serna High 41-38 in double overtime.

“I just wanted to thank the community of Norwalk, which accepted two kids from the inner city of Los Angeles and thank my parents for bringing us out here and making the right decisions as adults to bring their kids into a better environment,” said Elijhaa. “We got here in 2005; my [older] brother Robert started it off.”

His message to kids today was making school your first priority, even if it’s not your thing, and handling your business right after high school. Elijhaa also talked about committing to the University of Washington and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas but didn’t get to go because of grades. He talked about his journey being different that of Rashaad, but he appreciated every moment of it, and it motivated him to be the person he is today.

“This is a surreal feeling,” said Rashaad. “I appreciate everybody coming out here. The city really changed my family life and my life. I met so many great people here [and] I had the best teachers.”

Rashaad talked about growing up in Los Angeles in a house of around 20 members where he slept on the floor for about seven years. He continued by saying he’s thankful for where he is at right now and having everyone as part of his sports [world] is the best thing for him.

“I felt like I never left,” he said. “Every time I come back, I feel like it’s family here and that just means the world to me.”

WINTER SPORTS

Besides the Cerritos High girls basketball and La Mirada High boys basketball teams advancing to the CIF State Southern California Regionals, the Artesia High boys team earned a road trip to Atascadero High this past Tuesday in Division IV action. The Pioneers, seeded 11th, fell to the Greyhounds 63-49 in the first round, ending their season at 26-7.

The Artesia boys soccer team, which captured the CIF-Southern Section Division V championship for the program’s first soccer title, lost to Crawford High out of San Diego 3-2 in overtime this past Tuesday in the first round of the Division IV regionals. Artesia wraps up the season at 23-2-1.

 

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