Penn Hills product Treyvon Hester revels in big moment with Eagles |
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Eagles defensive tackle Treyvon Hester (Penn Hills) sits on the bench against the Redskins on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Landover, Md.

Ever since Penn Hills’ Treyvon Hester entered the NFL, he has worked hard to earn every snap.

Hester also has made sure the Philadelphia Eagles fan base never will forget his name.

He forever will be known as the player who got his fingertips on Chicago Bears kicker Cody Parkey’s potential winning 43-yard field-goal attempt in this season’s NFC wild-card round. The deflection extended the Eagles’ season with a 16-15 win.

“It was a very big moment in my life. It was a stepping stone. It goes to show you, no matter how you start at the beginning the season, you just need a chance to come in and put that work in,” Hester said.

“You never know when your number is going to be called so you have to prepare yourself every day and every week that you want to be that person to make that play. I would really like to continue to contribute to this team.”

The Eagles’ season came to a close the following week with a loss to the New Orleans Saints, 20-14, in the divisional round.

“It was an up-and-down season. It didn’t end the way we wanted it. The city of Philadelphia is well respected. The fans care about the team, and they have our backs win, lose or draw. I’m forever grateful to play in the city of Philadelphia,” Hester said.

At the beginning of the season, the seventh-round draft pick out of Toledo in 2017 thought he was entering his second season with the Oakland Raiders. However, Hester got a quick taste of life in the NFL.

He was cut prior to the opening weekend to the 2018 season. Hester wasn’t unemployed long, though, as the Eagles signed him to the practice squad Sept. 8.

Less than a month later, Hester was promoted to the active roster. In Week 16, Hester earned his first NFL sack in a 32-30 win over the Houston Texans.

“It was a year of adversity for me from the beginning to the end. No matter how athletic you are, you still got to be ready and mentally prepared for what happens when your name gets called,” Hester said.

Hester, 6-foot-2 and 304 pounds, credits his relationship with his mother, Theresa Reynolds, for guiding him through the ups and downs of the NFL.

“She’s the backbone of this whole thing. She raised my brothers and sisters all by herself, six kids. I know it was a tough task for her. For me to go out there and play the game that I love and have fun and give back to my family is what I care about the most,” Hester said.

“I love her to death. She gives me all the energy in the world. She gives me all the confidence in the world. She gave all the courage in the world when I was growing up so I didn’t fear anything. She taught me to attack everything with my head down and give it your best even if you fail. She has continued to push me and allowed me to accomplish my goals.”

Even though the defensive tackle didn’t reach the Super Bowl in his second season, Hester will be rooting for Aaron Donald, another Penn Hills alum, as the Los Angeles Rams face the New England Patriots on Feb. 3 in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta.

“It’s nice to see hometown guy that I grew up with accomplish something like that by getting to the Super Bowl. Hopefully, I’ll be able to do the same thing down the line,” Hester said.

“AD is a great leader and great guy that I look up to. Once he comes home, we will start the workout process together and just keep grinding.”

Andrew John is a freelance writer.

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