By appearance alone, the group of high school basketball parents and school administrators didn’t stand a chance against Harrison Phillips’ massive biceps.
But the Buffalo Bills defensive tackle faced some worthy opponents Friday night during a halftime pushup contest at the Millard West High School girls basketball game against Benson.
Phillips, a Millard West graduate who recently finished his first season with the Bills, was back home for a visit during the NFL offseason. He stopped by the school to catch up with former mentors, support the girls basketball team and compete in the halftime challenge.
“It’s really nice to come around, let them know how appreciative I am of them,” he said of former coaches and teachers.
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The pushup contestants — including basketball parents, Principal Greg Tiemann and Lance Smith, the school’s athletic director — were tasked to do as many pushups as possible in 30 seconds. Phillips logged 54, surpassing his goal of 50, but Quinn Osborne, whose daughter Katelyn is on the team, took home the $100 prize with 56 pushups.
Afterward, Phillips, who can bench 475 pounds, joked that he wanted a review of the tape.
“I got a lot more weight to push up and down,” he said. “I still don’t know — we’re going to have to check the videos.”
Tiemann said Phillips has always been a great representative of the Wildcat family.
“It’s always an honor to have him,” Tiemann said. “He’ll do anything for his old high school.”
Phillips has maintained many connections with Millard West. He has a cousin at the school. He goes back to help coach the wrestling team. And he sometimes stops in to use the weight room.
“I obviously want to help Millard West any way I can,” he said.
Phillips graduated from Millard West in 2013 and went on to play college ball at Stanford. He was selected by the Bills in the third round of the 2018 draft.