Memorial’s golden football ceremony postponed until Feb. 5

Published 3:32 pm Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Students at Port Arthur Memorial will have to wait just one week longer to help honor the school district’s Super Bowl heroes.

The NFL’s Super Bowl High School Honor Roll initiative is providing Memorial High with eight golden footballs, each one honoring a player or head coach that participated in the league’s world championship game in commemoration of the game’s 50th playing in less than two weeks. But the ceremony has been moved from Friday afternoon to Feb. 5 at 9 a.m. in a school ceremony, which will be closed to the public. The ceremony will take place two days before this year’s Super Bowl.

Eight participants who graduated from the Port Arthur Independent School District are being honored, including former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson (a Thomas Jefferson graduate), former Seattle Seahawks safety Jordan Babineaux and Memorial teacher Bobby Leopold (both Lincoln alumni). Babineaux, who like Johnson is an NFL studio analyst, is scheduled to make an appearance at the ceremony.

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While Memorial has not produced a Super Bowl participant, it is receiving more golden balls than any other high school in the nation. Jefferson, Lincoln and Stephen F. Austin high schools consolidated to form Memorial in 2002.

The other five Super Bowl participants who graduated from PAISD schools include Eric Alexander of Austin (Patriots, 2005), Aaron Brown of Lincoln (Chiefs, 1967 and 1970), Duriel Harris of Austin (Dolphins, 1983), Tim McKyer of Lincoln (49ers, 1989 and 1990) and Joe Washington of Lincoln (Redskins, 1983 and 1984).

Johnson led the Cowboys to Super Bowl wins in 1993 and 1994. Babineaux played in the 2006 game and Leopold won with the 49ers in 1982.

Port Neches-Groves graduate Wade Phillips is serving as defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos in this year’s Super Bowl against the Carolina Panthers in Santa Clara, California.




About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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