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|01-20-2009, 10:21 AM||#1|
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All's Wells with Super Bowl XLIII
All's Wells with Super Bowl XLIII
By Dave Mackall, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Most guys will go the extra mile for their kids.
Take Reggie Wells Sr., the South Park High School girls basketball coach. He's been motoring around the country, following his namesake, Arizona Cardinals guard Reggie Wells, on the "Road to the Super Bowl."
The Wells' witnessed Sunday the Cardinals' NFC Championship Game victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Glendale, Ariz., and they reveled with their son in the aftermath.
"We went back to his (Chandler, Ariz.) house and watched the Steelers. We're still Steelers fans, too," Reggie Wells Sr. said Monday night, just hours after he and wife Diane arrived home and prior to the start of South Park's WPIAL Class AAA home game against Keystone Oaks.
Arizona will face the Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII on Feb. 1 in Tampa. Pittsburgh beat the Baltimore Ravens for the third time this season in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday at Heinz Field.
The Wells' already were making plans to juggle their schedule, as they've done many times.
"It keeps hitting us," Wells Sr. said. "We look at each other and say, 'We're going to the Super Bowl!'"
Wells Sr., a state trooper based at the Gibsonia barracks, is proud of his son. Having shuffled among working, coaching and watching football, Wells Sr. appreciates Wells Jr.'s work ethic as an unsung NFL lineman.
"He really worked his tail off during the offseason," Wells Sr. said, adding that his son "hustles back here when he can to see us play.
"He does a lot of scouting for me in the playoffs."
Last season, Wells Sr. led South Park to an unexpected WPIAL Class AA championship with a victory over Our Lady of Sacred Heart in the title game. The Eagles, who made the jump to Class AAA this season, entered the tournament as a 13th seed.
The Eagles were 12-3 and ranked No. 5 in Class AAA by the Tribune-Review. Their victories include an upset of then-No. 1 West Mifflin on Jan. 12.
Wells Sr. has made an effort to attend all the Cardinals' playoff games leading up to their first Super Bowl appearance, but he wasn't able to make it to their NFC semifinals victory over Carolina in Charlotte, N.C., on Jan. 11 because of South Park's scheduled game that night against Chartiers Valley.
Turns out the game was postponed because of snow.
"There was no way I was able to arrange it," Wells Sr. said. "I've done what I can to get there. My supervisor has been fantastic. Everybody has been very supportive."
As their son's Super Bowl date approaches, the Wells' are making plans to juggle their schedule some more. The South Park girls team is scheduled to play Jan. 29 against West Allegheny and Feb. 2 against Montour. In between, there's the planned trip to Tampa.
While Wells Sr. has been approached about providing tickets, he said, "They don't understand. I'm not the guy to see. I'm not sure I even have one."
Meanwhile, another former WPIAL player, wide receiver/kick returner Steve Breaston, also is headed to Tampa with the Cardinals. Breaston led Woodland Hills High School over Central Catholic for the 2001 WPIAL Class AAAA championship before the Wolverines lost to Neshaminy in the PIAA title game.
Wells Jr. has made all 17 starts at left guard for Arizona. He has started every Arizona game in four of the past five seasons. In 2005, he missed seven games with a broken ankle.
In May 2008, the Wells' celebrated the graduation of both men from Clarion University during a triumphant ceremony at the NCAA Division II school, where Wells Jr. was a two-time All-American.
"I really don't like to travel so much," Wells Sr. said, "but this has been worth it."
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