PHS Receives Golden Football

Jaxon Owens, Website Editor

As the Denver Broncos are celebrating their victory in the 50th Super Bowl, the NFL was busy handing out golden footballs to all the high schools that had an alumni in any Super Bowl.

This hits close to home because PHS alumnus Damon Huard is one of those people and PHS gained its golden football at the Winter Sports assembly.

PHS is lucky enough to be one of those high schools receiving a golden football. Huard was a participant and winner in Super Bowl XXXVI, in 2001 and Super Bowl XXXIX, in 2004.

Varsity head football coach of the Gary Jeffers reflects on when he found out about the football.

“About a week before the [Winter Sports] assembly I found out that PHS was getting a golden football representing that PHS had an alumnus in the Super Bowl,” Jeffers said.

Athletic Director Jim Meyerhoff had to work to get PHS the golden football.

“When we played Rogers, in football, Chad Eaton received his and gave it to the school. That was when I started inquiring. I looked into Dane Looker and he got to the St. Louis Rams just after their Super Bowl run,” Meyerhoff said. “Then I started getting in contact with Damon Huard’s dad, Mike Huard. I have worked with him, he is one of our clock operators for football. After that we started the process and by that time the football season was over. So we tried to find a time to present it. The Winter Sports assembly worked out really well and [Huard] was free.”

Jeffers tells what the football represents.

“I was at PHS when it was presented to Damon Huard. The ceremony was nice, it was good to see [Huard] get recognized. The football represents the 50th Super Bowl. Each NFL player who has played in a Super Bowl had a Golden, 50th anniversary football presented to them at their respective high schools,” Jeffers said.

Meyerhoff sets the scene when the football was given to Huard.

“I was there when the golden football was delivered to the school. I took a picture for Twitter. Plus, the picture is also on the New England Patriots website as well. They made a whole section about all their players getting the football. So they asked for a picture of [Huard],” Meyerhoff said.

Jeffers tells his impression of Huard as a person.

“I have met [Huard]. He is a great guy and he has a real passion for Puyallup High School Athletics. He is one of hundreds great alumni that this school has,” Jeffers said.

Jeffers describes the significance of the football and what it means about Huard as a player.

“I think being given a football that represents the National Football League’s 50th Super Bowl is significant in the fact that someone from PHS played in a Super Bowl, which is pretty cool. Less than five percent of NFL players win a Super Bowl ring, so to have an alumnus who has won two, is pretty cool,” Jeffers said.

Meyerhoff’s connection to Damon Huard goes back a long ways.

“I knew him before when I went here, he was four years before me but I knew his brother and a couple of other people close to him. I did not talk to him much until we started talking about the golden football, [which was] in late December early January,” Meyerhoff said. “In the short time that I have known him, he has been a very nice guy and he is very personable and helpful in trying to get this process going. He even got ahold of and talked to the NFL because they were not responding quickly enough. He had the contacts to make that happen.  His family is really nice and it is nice to have that kind of family around PHS.”

Meyerhoff speaks to the tradition that lives within all of the alumni of PHS.

“One of the reasons I came to PHS is because I graduated here. I want to carry on that tradition and I have been involved in some clubs that have some championships and other things here. PHS is just full of tradition, we still get people who just stop in here and want to know when the next game is or talk about the past,” Meyerhoff said. “My parents went here, my dad was an athlete here. He has stories of what the school was like in the 1960s and even farther back because he grew up watching the teams in the ‘50s. I got a whole perspective of the tradition that lives here at the school so it is nice to comeback and add to that tradition and be back and be a part of it.”

Meyerhoff sees the presentation of the footballs as just a promotion.

“This is just the NFL trying to promote their 50th anniversary. It is a cool thing they did handing out the footballs but it just bringing exposure to them,” Meyerhoff said. “It is giving the students and alumni something to look back on but most of the students do not even know who Huard is. Being able to set it up so he could come back and [present the football] was cool for him.”

Meyerhoff says that this shows how far some alumni have gone.

“It shows that we have had athletes that can go on to play at a higher level. The significance is that the NFL is trying to promote there fiftieth year. We had someone that went here and made it to that level. He won a couple Super Bowls, which is cool, as far does it change anything, not really, it may inspire others to try to get to that higher level,” Meyerhoff said.