WPIAL football players among 30,000 cardboard cutouts in Super Bowl seats

Sunday, February 7, 2021 | 7:29 PM

WPIAL football fans might recognize some familiar faces in the Super Bowl crowd at Raymond James Stadium.

The NFL filled empty seats with cardboard cutouts Sunday night, and some featured football players who reached the WPIAL finals. Pine-Richland and Peters Township each tweeted to keep eyes open for cutouts of their players.

The Steelers invited select high school teams to submit photos of their seniors. In December, those schools received an email that said: “The Pittsburgh Steelers and the NFL would like to invite members of your football program to participate in a fun and unique opportunity for Super Bowl LV!”

The Steelers allowed teams to submit photos of seniors and head coaches. The deadline was Jan. 4.

“We wish there were enough places to honor your entire team, but each NFL Club is only allotted a certain amount of cutouts,” the Steelers wrote, “and we felt this would be the best way to recognize your championship team and senior class.”

According to the NFL, Super Bowl attendance was limited to 25,000 people and 30,000 cardboard cutouts for the matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

WPIAL fans also saw a few familiar faces on the field. Tampa Bay players Jordan Whitehead (Central Valley), Rob Gronkowski (Woodland Hills) and Justin Watson (South Fayette) and Kansas City’s Stefen Wisniewski (Central Catholic) all have WPIAL roots.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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