Riki Ellison will be the third former football standout from Southern Arizona to present an NFL Golden Football to his alma mater this year as part of the NFL Foundation’s Super Bowl 50 celebration.
Ellison will present the football during a ceremony on Friday at Amphitheater. Former Panther and Arizona QB Jim Krohn is expected to be in attendance as well as the family of former head coach Vern Friedli.
So far, about 2,000 players who participated in a Super Bowl have returned to their high schools to present one of the Golden Balls.
Former Benson and University of Arizona punter Mitch Hoopes presented one to Benson during the regular season due to his position with Dallas in the 1976 Super Bowl and former Salpointe and Arizona lineman John Fina did the same with his former high school. Fina played in two Super Bowls with the Buffalo Bills.
No word on if former Cholla, Arizona and Denver Bronco standout Vance Johnson will participate or if former Sahuaro and Carolina Panthers QB Rodney Peete will either.
Ellison was a two-time Super Bowl Champion with the 49ers and he played his final three seasons in the NFL with the Raiders. He won a National Championship with the USC Trojans in 1978 and was part of Amphitheater’s State Championship team in 1975.
Portion from new release.
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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here, on AZPreps365.com and on the pages of the Vail Voice and the Tanque Verde Voice. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com