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Ohio Valley Has Rich Super Bowl History

February 5, 2011
By DOUG HUFF, Sports Columnist


The Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers will face off Sunday for the National Football League championship.

While there's no Ohio Valley connections on the playing roster of either team, the OV has been well represented during the years for two of the oldest franchises.

With the exception of the quarterback position, one could select an all-time team of OV products who have worn Steelers or Packers uniforms.

Here's some who fit into that category and might jog the memory banks of long-time die-hard fans of either team:

CLARKE HINKLE (Toronto) - One has to start with this Pro and College Football Hall of Famer who's a charter Legends honoree by the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference. He was a Packers fullback-linebacker from 1932-41.

JOHN REGER (Linsly) - He was raised in the Goose Town section of East Wheeling and played linebacker and some offensive guard from 1955-63 with the Steelers. He's an OVAC Hall of Famer.

BOB JETER (Weir) - He started his athletic career at old Dunbar High and finished it, after integration, for the Red Riders. After setting a Rose Bowl rushing record for Iowa and a brief Canandian Football League career, he started at cornerback for the Packers in the first two Super Bowls and played in Green Bay from 1963-70.

CHARLIE SEABRIGHT (Benwood Union) - He was a Steelers single wing blocking back-linebacker from 1946-50 after a three-sport career at West Virginia. He's also a Legends honoree by the OVAC.

MIKE BASRAK (Bellaire) - He was a first-round draft choice of the Steelers after earning All-America honors at center for Duquesne. The College Football Hall of Famer played only two NFL seasons (1937-38) at both center and linebacker. He's an OVAC Legends selection.

JIM BRADSHAW (St. Clairsville) - He played at Tennessee-Chattanooga before becoming a regular defensive back for the Steelers from 1963-67. He led the team in pass interceptions for two seasons.

BEN TAYLOR (Bellaire) - The last OV player to compete for either team, he was a 2006 member of the Packers. The linebakcer, who played at Virginia Tech, had four seasons in Cleveland before the move to Green Bay.

RUSS CRAFT (Wellsburg) - After a stellar career from 1946-53 with the Philadelphia Eagles - he's an all-time defensive back - the two-way back ended his NFL tenure in 1954 as a player-coach with the Steelers. He's an OVAC Legends selection.

DON SUTHERIN (Toronto) - The OVAC and Canadian Football League Hall of Famer is best noted for his long, productive tenure as a CFL defensive back-kicker. But he played two seasons (1959-60) with the Steelers.

FRED BRUNEY (Martins Ferry) - Like Sutherin an Ohio State defensive back product, he competed for two seasons (1956-57) with the Steelers. He's an OVAC Hall of Fame honoree.

JIM KEANE (Linsly) - The Bellaire native, and University of Iowa luminary, is best known as leading the NFL in pass receptions for the Chicago Bears but played one year (1952) with the Packers. He's an OVAC Legends selection.

SHAWN VINCENT (St. Clairsville) - An option quarterback-defensive back in high school, he left Akron University to play one season (1991) with the Steelers as a defensive back-kick returner.

NICK SKORICH (Bellaire) - Before he became head coach of the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles, the OVAC Legends honoree played three seasons as a guard-linebacker with the Steelers (1946-48).

DICK MATESIC (Benwood Union) - The two-way back left the University of Pittsburgh to compete one year (1936) with the Steelers.

ALAN HUFF (Oak Glen) - After playing at Marshall, the nose tackle donned the Steelers uniform for the 1987 season.

GEORGE KAKASICK (Mingo) - After a career at Duquesne, he played guard for the Steelers from 1936-39.

ART STRUTT (Mingo) - Another ex-Mingo High and Duquesne product who vied for the Steelers. He was in the backfield in 1935-36.


(1) The Packers have two Ohio Valley products on their staff. Defensive coordinator DOM CAPERS, who earlier had the same job with the Steelers, is a Meadowbrook High product. Ex-Martins Ferry and Ohio University running back CHAD BRINKER is in the scouting department.

(2) Will JOHN BEILEIN become the second ex-West Virginia coach to be dropped by the University of Michigan? We don't know. We're just asking. But the fourth-year Wolverines mentor is only 59-63 and Michigan hasn't been on the Big Ten or national radar much of the last 15 years.

(3) The leading boys' basketball scorer in W.Va. this season is a Wake Forest recruit. CHASE FISCHER of Ripley sports a 37.8-point average.

(4) The Summers County girls team from Hinton is riding an 82-game winning streak, just six shy of the state record held by Parkersburg Catholic.

(5) Wheeling Park's BUBBY GOODWIN was an East Region boys' basketball player of the week selection by ESPN

(6) If you're planning on attending Saturday's Wheeling Jesuit at West Liberty men's-women's basketball doubleheader, leave early. A sellout crowd is expected.

(7) Enjoy the weekend.

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