Wolfe is a former OVAC standout from Beaver Local High School (Lisbon, Ohio, Class of 2008), who was also an accomplished high school wrestler, winning an OVAC championship in 2008. He went on to play his college football at the University of Cincinnati, where he was a teammate of former Steubenville record-setting quarterback Zach Collaros. As a defensive lineman, Wolfe was named Co-Big East Defensive Player of the Year as a senior.
Wolfe was selected 36th overall (second round) by the Broncos in the 2012 NFL Draft. He was a member of the Broncos’ 2014 team that lost Super Bowl XLVIII to the Seahawks, but was on injured reserve and did not participate. His first NFL game was against the Pittsburgh Steelers, when he sacked Ben Roethlisberger and had three tackles.
Wolfe (6-5, 275), a defensive end, has been a stalwart of the NFL’s top-defense all season defending the opposition’s running game, while providing occasional pressure on the quarterbacks. He totaled five-and-a-half sacks this season and has 17 in his career.
He’s one of several from the OVAC to play in a Super Bowl.
The late Bob Jeter, a star at Weir High in 1955, went on to play for the dynasty Green Bay Packers in Super Bowls I and II. He was a cornerback playing for the legendary Vince Lombardi.
Another Weirton product, Eugene “Big Gene” Trosch, also played in a Super Bowl. The Madonna grad (1963) went on to play at the University of Miami (Fla.), before becoming a first-round draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs (24th overall). The Chiefs went on to win Super Bowl IV, defeating the Vikings 23-7, playing at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans on Jan. 11, 1970. Madonna retired his number 62 in a ceremony attended by Trosch, before he passed away in 2010.
Bob Vogel spent two years at Ohio Valley high schools and played in two Super Bowls. Vogel, an offensive tackle with the Baltimore Colts (drafted fifth overall in 1963), protected the blind side of Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas, and played in Super Bowls III and V. Vogel spent his college years playing for the legendary Woody Hayes at Ohio State in the late 50s and early 60s. Vogel spent his sophomore year at Brilliant High School (’56), but transferred to Toronto High School the following year, and finished high school at Ohio powerhouse Massillon in 1958 where he earned First-Team, All-Ohio honors.
Warwood High School’s Chuck Howley, like Wolfe, a defensive lineman, also played in a pair of Super Bowls. He famously was the game MVP on the losing Dallas Cowboys’ team in 1971, but just one year later, became a world champion as the Cowboys won Super Bowl VI over the Dolphins 24-3.
Willie Clay was one of the best three-sport athletes to come out of the Linsly School in Wheeling. He spent time in the 90’s playing defensive back during eight seasons in the NFL, following his playing days at Georgia Tech. The Pittsburgh native was a member of the New England Patriots (pre-Tom Brady) in the 1997 Super Bowl (XXXI) won by Brett Favre and the Packers 35-21.
And now Wolfe will represent the Ohio Valley in the big game this Sunday as the Broncos battle the favored Carolina Panthers. No matter which team you’re rooting for this Sunday, maybe you can cheer a little harder for Wolfe, who isn’t a flashy player, but a big man on the defensive line who could become the first OVAC player in nearly 45 years to win a Super Bowl championship.