Shaler Area grad who played in Super Bowl looks to inspire
Steve Sciullo can remember looking at the trophy case in Shaler Area High School growing up, admiring the sports memorabilia of past Shaler athletes.
Now the former NFL lineman and 1998 Shaler Area High School graduate will have a piece to add to the case to inspire future generations.
Sciullo presented the school district with a commemorative Golden Football through the NFL's Super Bowl High School Honor Roll program during halftime at the boys varsity basketball game on Jan. 26.
“It was neat to really bring that ball home to Shaler and put it in the trophy case,” Sciullo said. “I remember growing up and seeing that trophy case…it was always an inspiration.”
In honor of the 50th Super Bowl scheduled for Feb. 7, the NFL is recognizing players and coaches of past Super Bowls and their high schools through the honor roll program. Sciullo, of Shaler, was an offensive lineman with the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005.
“This is a great honor for Shaler Area School District … many high schools in the Pittsburgh area cannot boast an athlete having participated in an NFL Super Bowl,” said Clint Rauscher, Shaler Area athletic director. “Many Shaler Area athletes have excelled in our athletic programs and represented our district with distinction, and we are proud to welcome Steve Sciullo as one of the most accomplished athletes in Shaler Area history.”
Sciullo received a full scholarship to Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va., and started 52 consecutive games, said district communications specialist Bethany Baker.
He was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2003 NFL Draft and started 13 games as a rookie. The Colts went to the AFC Championship game in Sciullo's first season but lost to the New England Patriots.
The next season he was picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles and went all the way to the Super Bowl in 2005. Although his team lost to the Patriots, Sciullo said the experience was unlike any other.
“Until you're a part of it and know what really goes on, you can't appreciate it. It's awe-inspiring,” Sciullo said. “It's amazing they can put such a large event together in such a short amount of time.”
Sciullo is now a paraprofessional at Hampton Township School District and lives in Shaler with his wife, Jessica. He just finished his second season as head coach of the Deer Lakes High School varsity football team, where he led the team to the playoffs for the second time in school history.
“It was a tremendous experience for everyone,” Sciullo said. “We lost but… we want to become a playoff program, not just a playoff team.”
He uses his experience playing football at all levels in coaching his high school athletes. He tries to teach his players how to be men and hopes to instill skills with them that will last a lifetime, on or off the playing field.
“You hope they take something from you and implement it into their life, whether it's one small thing you said on the football field or in the weight room or in the hallways,” Sciullo said.
Rachel Farkas is a freelance writer for the Tribune-Review.