By Seth Coleman
It’s Super Bowl Weekend and in honor of the 50th anniversary of the big game, the National Football League has created an initiative in which any player who has ever participated in a Super Bowl can request a “golden football” to present to his former high school: the NFL Super Bowl Honor Roll.
Over the last half century, Atlanta Public Schools has been well represented in the Super Bowl. Sylvan High School alum William Judson played with the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowls XVII (1983) and XIX (1985). However, Sylvan no longer exists as a high school (it is now a middle school); therefore on Friday, he presented his NFL Golden Football to Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Meria J. Carstarphen. It will be placed in the district’s trophy case.
“The lessons I learned from my mother, a teacher in APS, and all of my teachers and coaches prepared me for success,” Judson said during his presentation in the Center for Learning and Leadership auditorium. “My high school is no longer there, so I wanted to present my Golden Football to the whole school district.”
During the presentation, Judson thanked and honored his former classmates and teammates, many of whom were in the audience, as well as his youth football coach, Charles Rambo, and his coach at Sylvan, Willie Hunter – a legendary coach and teacher who help desegregate intramural sports at Sylvan in the early 1970s.
Along with presenting the Golden Football to APS, Judson has submitted a grant to the NFL Super Bowl Honor Roll grant program, which gives $500 to $5,000 gifts to local high schools on behalf of former Super Bowl participants. Grant winners will be announced in the coming weeks.
Other APS Super Bowl alums acknowledged during the presentation include:
Richard Dent, Murphy High School (now Crim High School), Chicago Bears, Super Bowl XX (20)
Bucky Dilts, Dykes High School (now Sutton Middle School), Denver Broncos, Super Bowl XII (12)
Jamal Lewis, Douglass High School, Baltimore Ravens, Super Bowl XXXV (35)
Earthwind Moreland, Grady High School, New England Patriots, XXXIV (34)
Frank Pitts, Archer High School (now the Archer Transition Building), Kansas City Chiefs, Super Bowl I (1) and Super Bowl IV (4)
Reggie Wilkes, Southwest High School (now Jean Childs Young Middle School), Philadelphia Eagles, Super Bowl XV (15)
Carlton Williamson, Brown High School (now Brown Middle School), San Francisco 49ers, Super Bowl XVI (16) and Super Bowl XIX (19)
Sam Wyche, North Fulton High School (now North Atlanta High School), Washington Redskins (Player), Super Bowl VII (7); Cincinnati Bengals (Coach), Super Bowl XXIII (23)
“We are so grateful to William Judson for this special honor, and for his loyalty, devotion and love of Atlanta Public Schools,” APS Superintendent Dr. Meria J. Carstarphen said. “He and all of these men are fine representatives of Atlanta Public Schools, and provide great examples for our young men to follow.”