CINCINNATI – Thirty Super Bowl players from Greater Cincinnati – and their high schools - are being honored with "Golden Footballs" as part of the NFL's Super Bowl 50 celebration.
The NFL is presenting a Wilson Golden Football to the high school of every player or head coach who graduated there and was on an active Super Bowl roster. The player's name, high school and Super Bowl history are inscribed on one side of the ball.
Twenty-two area schools are included, and some are planning celebrations with their Super Bowl alums.
The local list is headed by five-time Super Bowl quarterback Roger Staubach (Purcell High School) and includes five others who played on multiple Super Bowl teams: 4 - Mark Pike (Dixie Heights); 3 - Dixon Edwards (Aiken), Dave Stalls (Hamilton Taft), Steve Sylvester (Moeller) and Jack "Hacksaw" Reynolds (Western Hills).
SEE the complete list of local players below.
Hall of Famer Staubach was the MVP of Super Bowl VI, throwing two TD passes in a 24-3 win over the Miami Dolphins. Staubach had a 2-2 record as a Super Bowl starter, beating the Broncos and losing twice to the Steelers. He watched Craig Morton quarterback the Cowboys in Super Bowl V.
Jim O'Brien, the Baltimore Colts kicker from Aiken High School and UC, could have been the MVP of Super Bowl V after kicking a 32-yard field goal with five seconds left to beat the Cowboys, 16-13. But in a rarity, MVP voters gave the award to a player on the losing team, Dallas LB Chuck Howley.
Pike, a LB and special teams player, got to play in four straight Super Bowls with the Bills but never won a ring.
Boone County's Shaun Alexander, the NFL MVP in 2005, rushed for 95 yards in Super Bowl XL, but his Seahawks lost to the Steelers, 21-10.
Two more local high school grads - St. Xavier's Luke Kuechly and Anderson's Andrew Norwell, both of the Carolina Panthers - will play in Super Bowl 50.
More than 2,000 high schools and roughly 3,000 Super Bowl players and coaches are being recognized with golden footballs. Players and coaches will have chance to deliver them personally to their schools.
Weekly presentations started during the first week of the 2015 season. Sycamore High School is honoring Michael Matthews on Friday at halftime of the boys basketball game vs. Hamilton.
The Bengals' two Super Bowl rosters did not include any Greater Cincinnati high school players or coaches, according to the NFL.
Ohio, long recognized as a football hotbed, ranks fourth in golden footballs with 155 behind California (432) Texas (326) and Florida (218). Fifth is Pennsylvania (148).
Memorial High School in Port Arthur, Texas, has the most golden footballs with eight.
The NFL said it started the Super Bowl High School Honor Roll program to honor schools and communities that "contributed to Super Bowl history and positively impacted the game of football."
In addition to the golden footballs, the NFL Foundation will provide the schools with a new character education curriculum and the opportunity to apply for grants of up to $5,000 to help support and grow their football programs. The NFL Foundation has invested $1 million towards the campaign.
Local high grads on active Super Bowl rosters
Dixon Edwards (3), Dallas Cowboys, XXVII, XXVIII, XXX
Jim O'Brien, Baltimore Colts, V
Boone County HS
Shaun Alexander, Seattle Seahawks, XL
Irv Goode, Miami Dolphins, VIII
Dixie Heights HS
Mark Pike (4), Buffalo Bills, XXV, XXVI, XXVII, XXVIII
Hamilton (Taft) HS
Dave Stalls (3), Dallas Cowboys, XII, XIII; Oakland Raiders, XVIII
Marty Moore, New England Patriots, XXXI
Andre Frazier, Pittsburgh Steelers, XLIII
Garrett Celek, San Francisco 49ers, XLVII
Don Hasselbeck, Oakland Raiders XVIII
Troy Evans, New Orleans Saints, XLIV
Josh Kline, New England Patriots, XVIL
John Holland, Minnesota Vikings, IX
Zach Strief, New Orleans Saints, XLIV
Greg Jones, New York Giants, XLVI
Steve Sylvester (3), Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, XI, XV, XVIII
Mount Healthy HS
Diyral Briggs, Green Bay Packers, XLV
New Richmond HS
Dwayne Woodruff, Pittsburgh Steelers, XIV
Marc Edwards, New England Patriots, XXXVI
Roger Staubach (5), Dallas Cowboys, V, VI, X, XII, XIII
Purcell Marian HS
Terry Killens, Tennessee Titans, XXXIV
St. Xavier HS
Rocky Boiman, Indianapolis Colts, XLI
Pat Rose, Arizona Cardinals, XLIII
Jake Ballard, New York Giants, XLVI
Brad Lamb, Buffalo Bills, XXVII
Michael Matthews, New York Giants, XLII
Dana Stubblefield, San Francisco 49ers, XXIX
Western Hills HS
Jack "Hacksaw" Reynolds (3), LA Rams, XIV; San Francisco 49ers, XVI, XIX
John Jackson, Pittsburgh Steelers, XXX
Ike Reese, Seattle Seahawks, XXXIX