Rashee Rice’s Super Bowl journey carries deep ties to North Richland Hills


NORTH RICHLAND HILLS — This Super Bowl Sunday is extra special for the community of North Richland Hills.

“For the last few years, all I cared about was the commercials,” says Ged Kates.

“Now I’m ready to watch the game and watch number 4 do his thing.”

When Kates says number four, he’s referring to former Richland High player and current Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver, Rashee Rice.

While the community of North Richland Hills is proud of the player Rice has become on the field, it’s the personal connection he’s kept with his community that they respect the most.

Kates says, “When it comes to how athletics can be a huge part of a young man turning into a mature man that cares about his family and cares about people and wants to do right, I’ve seen it happen now the last decade. He’s a guy I consider a part of our extended family.”

“I haven’t seen a buzz like Rashee’s put on,” says Coach Kerry Barrett.

“Like, come on, we got a Richland High player going to the Super Bowl; how about that?”

The community’s connection to Rice is why the city will be keeping a close eye on the game this Super Bowl Sunday.

However, no connection is stronger than the one Rice has shared with Coach Barrett and his wife, Melanie Barrett.

“Kids gravitate to us…special she is to him.”

It was so special that on Rice’s senior night in 2018, it was Melanie who walked him out onto the field.

“Anytime a student asks you to do something like that on a special night that you really meant something, you’ve done something right,” says Barrett.

In June 2022, Melanie Barrett passed away at 44 years old due to stage 4 colon cancer. Rice served as an honorary pallbearer at the funeral and continues to keep in touch with Barrett.

Barrett says, “There’s not a time I talk to him that he doesn’t bring up Miss B and how it’s going, and so many things out in the world remind him of her.”

Reminders, like the sendoff Rice received from his neighbors in Kansas City before heading off to Las Vegas,