Scenes of North Central College’s Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium are included in a new video for country star Kenny Chesney’s song “The Boys of Fall” about high school football.
In the eight-minute, extended version of the video Naperville native Sean Payton—head coach of the Super Bowl XLV champion New Orleans Saints—gives a pep talk to Naperville Central High School players before their Sept. 4, 2009, game versus Neuqua Valley High School at North Central.
Scenes from the video include Payton walking with Naperville Central players into North Central’s Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium and the NFL coach watching the game from the sidelines.
Payton’s friend Chesney broke his own record for the biggest number of opening-week MP3 downloads by a male country artist when the Nashville star sold 82,000 copies of “The Boys of Fall” during its first week of release in early August. The song is No. 11 on the Billboard country chart this week, its highest chart position to date.
The video, which has been viewed more than 700,000 times on YouTube since its release, opens with Payton telling players at his high school alma mater, “27 years ago I sat in this locker room just like you guys, on a knee, getting ready to play a game.” Neuqua was up 17-0 at the half but Central rallied with a dramatic comeback and won 21-17.
North Central’s 5,500-seat Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium is home to the Wes Spencer Crosstown Classic, an annual showdown between Naperville North and Naperville Central high schools. North Central’s stadium also hosts an annual match between Naperville’s Neuqua Valley and Waubonsie Valley high schools and numerous other high-profile events, including the Illinois high school boys and girls soccer state finals. The stadium also served as the temporary home of the Chicago Fire professional soccer team for two seasons.