Remember a real butt-kicking fullback/nose guard from the Shady Side Academy football team in the late 1990s named James Ruggiero?
Well, my brother, also a Shady Side Academy alum, alerted me that Ruggiero was going to be on the television show American Gladiators....and he was last night. Ruggiero wasn't just on, he was also victorious and is still alive in his quest to win the title.
Ruggiero, who also played football at Kent State now lives in Yucca Valley, Calif. and you can read his 'official' bio from American Gladiators here.
You can see Ruggiero again on the tube when the last semifinal and final round air Aug. 4 in a two-hour special. Replays of all episodes can be seen at NBC.com.
Ruggiero was part of the Post-Gazette's 1998 Fabulous 22 team.
Here is the entire list:
Rod Rutherford, Perry, QB; Trent Wissner, Blackhawk, RB-DB; William Ferguson, Woodland Hills, RB-DB; Chris Siegle, Shaler, QB-DB; Adaryl Akins, New Castle, LB; Ian Alexander, Shady Side Academy, RB-DB; Robb Butler, Perry, RB-WR-DB; Pat Cain, New Castle, TE-LB; Dave Campbell, Franklin Regional, RB; Jesse Cramer, Belle Vernon, RB-DB; Brian Eyerman, North Allegheny, QB; Nick Fisher, Mars, OT-DT; Chuck Griffy, Perry, RB; Brian Guzek, South Park, RB-LB; Dan LaCarte, Charleroi, TE-LB; Rick LaVelle, North Allegheny, TE-DL; Nick Marmo, New Castle, OG-DT; Maurio Medley, Shady Side Academy, WR-LB; Matt Morgan, Plum, OT-DT; Mike Patitucci, Brownsville, QB-DB; Darryl Robinson, Schenley, RB-LB; James Ruggiero, Shady Side Academy, FB-NG.