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Friday’s game honors Rolph, Presnell

Before two great teams meet in what should be a great game, two greats will be honored.

Thursday, September 27, 2001

Before two great teams meet in what should be a great game, two greats will be honored.

Glenn Presnell and Harold Rolph, the oldest former members of the Ironton Tanks and Portsmouth Spartans professional football teams, will be honored Friday prior to the Ironton Fighting Tigers game against the Portsmouth Trojans.

Presnell, 96, is the oldest living former NFL player. He played for the Ironton Tanks and later with the Spartans when the Tanks folded after the 1930 season.

The Spartans were later sold for $500 and moved to Detroit where they became the Lions. Presnell enjoyed an All-Pro season in 1935 and led the league in scoring as he helped quarterback the Lions to their last NFL championship.

Presnell, a former All-American at Nebraska, is a member of the Nebraska state sports hall of fame as well as the University of Nebraska and Eastern Kentucky hall of fames.

A former star at Xavier University, Rolph was a lineman for the Tanks from 1927-30. He later made his mark as a teacher, administrator, and athletic official.

He officiated college football as later was the Mid-American Conference officials evaluator.

Rolph, 94, was inducted into the Ohio High School Athletic Association Officials Hall of Fame in 1990.