Wallaceburg’s Shaun Suisham, a former NFL kicker, has traded his cleats for skates.
The WDSS graduate, who played in the Super Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2011, has been competing with the Pittsburgh Penguins Alumni and Friends team.
Suisham suited up with the squad last month to take on the Israel National Selects at the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex. All proceeds from the event were going toward the Hillel Jewish University Center of Pittsburgh in memory of the Tree of Life Victims.
The Penguins alumni team, includes: Suisham, former Penguins winger Tyler Kennedy, former Penguins goaltender J.S. Aubin, plus former Steeler Brett Keisel and former Pittsburgh Pirate Neil Walker as coaches.
“I quit playing football so I could start my hockey career,” Suisham joked in a Pittsburgh Hockey Digest article from April last year.
“I grew in Canada and grew up playing hockey. I played hockey until the day I went to college to play football. I love hockey but I took a lot of years off because of football.”
Suisham, who still lives in Pittsburgh with his family, played 12 seasons in the National Football League.
Suisham joined the Steelers in 2010 and converted 124-of-141 field goal attempts and each of his 173 extra point attempts through the 2014 season.
He spent the 2015 season on the team’s reserve/injured list, after tearing his ACL in their pre-season opener that season. He was cut by the team the following year.
Suisham enjoyed a career year for the Steelers in his final season in 2014. He finished the regular season 29 for 32 on field goal attempts, good for a 90.6 per cent clip. This number placed him 6th in the NFL for the best field goal percentage. His 29 field goals placed him tied for 8th in the league.
Suisham played his collegiate career with the Bowling Green Falcons.
Back in his high school days, Suisham led the Wallaceburg Tartans to a 6-5 win over the UCC Lancers to capture the 1999 Kent Championship.