A special ceremony to dedicate Rocky Bleier Field on the Knights of Columbus Sports Complex at Xavier High School in Appleton, WI was held Friday evening, October 12, 2007.  It previously was the Knights of Columbus Athletic Field.

     The gate to the facility was manufactured by Metalist Laserfab of Oshkosh as a gift to Xavier High School.  They created the specially-designed entrance with 23 spindles at the bottom of the heavy gates, the same number as Rocky's jersey for the Hawks when he played football for the late Gene 'Torchy' Clark.  The "23"  also was first uniform to ever be retired in school history, and, it hangs in a special display case, with other Rocky photos and highlights, in the State Street hallway near the Torchy Clark Gym at Xavier.

     The special pre-game ceremony included Rocky & family, hundreds of alumni who returned for the Dedication Weekend, the Fox Valley Vietnam Veterans Honor Guard presenting the colors, and the Knights of Columbus Honor Guard as escorts to Rocky and dignitaries on hand for the special event.

     A 1964 graduate of Xavier, Rocky went on to play at the University of Notre Dame and then for 12 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.  After winning a national championship at Notre Dame and being a captain for the Irish football team, Bleier recovered from severe injuries in the Viet Nam war to earn a spot on the first team to win four Super Bowls -- which the Steelers accomplished during a 6-year span... 1975, '76, '79 and '80.  Rocky lives near Pittsburgh, and he is a motivitational speaker who speaks all around the country.

     Bleier wrote a book of his struggle to recover from his war wounds called Fighting Back: The Rocky Bleier Story, and it was made into a television movie in 1980.
  

   BELOW LEFT  - Rocky stands by the gate on the Field Dedication night.

   BELOW CENTER - Aerial view of the field.

   FAR RIGHT - Rocky standing by the display case at Xavier.

       MORE ROCKY PHOTOS on XavierHawksSports.com

 

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