Tuesday, February 08, 2011

St. Michael cheers on Steelers' Spaeth

By Frank Rajkowski

February 6, 2011
Ken Spaeth has done all this before.

But watching your son play in the Super Bowl never really gets old.

Spaeth is the father of former St. Michael-Albertville and University of Minnesota standout Matt Spaeth, now in his fourth season as a tight end with the Pittsburgh Steelers, who take on the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV at 5:30 p.m. (CST) today in Arlington, Texas.

And as he was two years ago, when the Steelers beat Arizona 27-23 in Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, Fla., Spaeth will be on hand today to cheer his son on.

“It’s a pretty cool feeling,” Spaeth said. “The Super Bowl is the game of the year and to have your son participating in it is pretty amazing.”

Spaeth, who himself played football at Nebraska and was drafted by the Buffalo Bills, left for Texas this past Thursday. But he didn’t expect to spend too much time with Matt before the game.

“You get to see them a little bit,” Spaeth said. “They’re all pretty busy getting ready for the game. But you’re able to go out for supper with him and do stuff like that.”

Spaeth graduated from St. Michael-Albertville in 2002 after a career that saw him earn All-Wright County Conference two times.

Knights coach Earl Bauman said he was the first football player in his now-31 seasons at the school to go on to play at the Division I level.

“A lot of high school kids, when they get hurt, will leave the game,” Bauman said. “But I remember he dislocated one of his fingers in a playoff game and he ran over to the medical people. They pushed his finger back in and taped it up. He then sprinted right back onto the field and lined up again.”

Bauman said Spaeth maintains strong ties to the St. Michael and Albertville areas.

“He’s made a donation to the weight room at our school, he runs a camp for little kids, he puts on a golf tournament that raises money,” Bauman said.

“He is just an unbelievably super human being. Just a great young man.”

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