WARREN, NJ -As the country goes wild in anticipation of Super Bowl LI (51) on Sunday, in Houston, Texas, Watchung Hills Regional High School (WHRHS) has reason to be proud of its own piece of the hoopla: A new display recognizing WHRHS as “Left Guard High,” and a shiny new Super Bowl Showcase.
Last year, the National Football League (NFL) commemorated that fact that last year’s game was the 50th Super Bowl. Among many other recognitions and remembrances, the NFL recognized every football player who had played in one or more of the Super Bowls by honoring their respective high schools.
Watchung Hills Regional High School (WHRHS) was honored twice by that recognition program. Thomas Glassic, WHRHS Class of 1972, played for the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XII, on Sunday, Jan. 15, 1978. Bill Ard, WHRHS Class of 1977, played for the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXI, on Sunday, Jan. 26, 1987.
At the time of that recognition, WHRHS Principal George Alexis said that the school intended to set up a showcase to display the commemorative “Golden Footballs” that commemorated each player’s accomplishment.
Now such a showcase stands in the lobby outside Gym 5/6 at WHRHS.
Ard, who grew up in Watchung, has been active at WHRHS and in the community as a volunteer. For four years, he was coach of the Watchung Hills’ freshman team. His children attended Watchung Hills, and his son, Brendan, won a state championship in Wrestling for Watchung Hills.
A 2008 inductee into the WHRHS Hall of Fame, Ard also earned All American honors in football at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C. He was drafted by the Giants in the 8th round of the NFL draft, and earned All-Pro Honors while in the NFL. He completed his career playing for the Green Bay Packers.
Glassic played his college ball at the University of Virginia, Charlottsville, Va. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos and played for eight seasons. He was inducted into the WHRHS Hall of Fame in 2009.
Next to the Super Bowl Showcase are framed, mounted jerseys of three WHRHS graduates, Glassic and Ard, as well as Keith Sims, of the WHRHS Class of 1985, who played in the NFL for the Miami Dolphins. The three jerseys, Glassic’s #62 Broncos jersey, Ard’s #67 Giants jersey, and Sims’ #69 Dolphins jersey are lined up, and above the three jerseys is the title, “Left Guard High,” because coincidentally all three graduates played the same position, left guard. Sims was also inducted into the WHRHS Hall of Fame in 2009.