Category: Sports Written by Genea Webb
SENIORS—The departing seniors with some of the coaches. (Photos by J. L. Martello)
Many members of the Clairton Bears team have been playing some form of football together since they were kids.
Those years of playing together mixed with the shear determination and desire to win led the team to accumulate some amazing statistics: 42 consecutive conference wins, 613 all-time wins, 335 shut outs in four years, four consecutive PIAA titles, nine WPIAL titles, and four PA state titles.
All of these accolades have given the Bears the best four-year record in the state and the number one all time wins in Allegheny County.
“The team chemistry is why we are so good," said Robert Boatright, a senior defensive end/fullback that has been on the team for three years. "Other teams have to recruit and we don't have to do that. We know everyone's personality and we're like brothers.”
“It's a real blessing to have such wonderful players. It's amazing what these guys have done. This couldn't have been done without the players," said Clairton Bears head coach Tom Nola. "All of the 17 seniors are going to college or joining the military upon graduation.”
The team was recently honored for its astonishing season through the annual PIAA/WPIAL championship banquet. There the players were honored with championships rings to commemorate it. Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was scheduled as the keynote speaker but was a no show.
“We work so hard each year and we don't want to lose the winning streak. Ever since we were young playing together we were told we were winners. I'll never play with these guys again and I love Clairton and will never forget where I am from," said senior Vincent Moody who held the team's running back position for three years.
Senior and defensive back Titus Howard, who'll be joining several of his teammates at the University of Pittsburgh next year, agrees with Moody.
“I enjoy all of this It's a great feeling to have four rings," Howard said, sweeping his arms around the Georgetown Centre ballroom during the banquet and flashing his newest ring. "But I want to show that there's something better coming out of Clairton than what people see. A lot of people don't see a lot of good coming out of Clairton. People should never give up and keep fighting. We have faced adversity but we kept fighting. “
Clairton was created at the turn of the 20th century when Crucible Steel Company purchased a large piece of land along the western side of the Monongahela River in the 1930's. Not long after, U.S. Steel erected one of the world's largest steel mill and coke production facilities there. In its heyday, Clairton had a strong and thriving business district and educational system. The City of Prayer peaked in the 1950's with a population of almost 25,000.
When the steel industry decreased in the 1980's, so did Clairton. Currently there are about 7,000 residents there. More than half are White while only two of the 40 bears football players are Caucasian.
“It's a lot going on in the streets of Clairton," said senior center/nose guard Damond Flowers. "People are fighting, but every Friday they came together as a big happy family. We bought everyone together through football.”
The underclassmen on the team plan on continuing the Bears winning streak next season.
“I don't feel any pressure," said first-year player junior Brandon Murphy. "I'm excited. Hard work and dedication is what’s needed. I think we can go all the way next year. We've stuck together and we don't talk down to each other.”
Like the team, assistant coach Remondo Williams, Sr. is ready for next year which will see three freshmen, two juniors and several sophomores returning to the Bears line up.
“You can never count Clairton kids out. I can see them all doing well academically, with sports and giving back to the community," Williams said.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 10:25
Category: Sports Written by Aubrey Bruce
H’mm, let me see. The last time that I checked the word par meant equal and the word value meant worth. Okay equal worth or as the French might say, equipoise or something similar. Now let’s take the case of the city of Pittsburgh sports franchises, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Now I know the rules, Pittsburgh like many of the “blue collar” Eurocentric cities across America was founded on the principles of hard work, ya know an equal day of blood sweat and tears for a mythical day of so-called equal pay. Now, now, now, that being said let’s get busy. The Steelers recently signed Steve McLendon D-lineman/Nose tackle to a three-year contract. The deal was reportedly worth $7.25 million with $1.67 million of that in a signing bonus. McLendon is truly a product of the Steelers “homegrown system” joining the team as a rookie in 2009. According to a report by Ed Bouchette, “McLendon, projected to replace Casey Hampton as their starting nose tackle, was a restricted free agent who [recently] paid a visit to the Green Bay Packers.”
Why in the hell do the Pittsburgh Steelers seem to have a problem or some sort of macabre fetish in regards to signing players that they know are vital to their continued success. Pittsburgh knew that two years ago Casey “Big Snack” Hampton was on his way out. They should have then “snuck” in the back door and signed McLendon to a five or six year a few seasons ago. The deal should have been back loaded with performance and health clauses along with a signing bonus that could have stipulated that the “dough” be distributed in such a way that it would have little or no effect on the “cap.” It seems to me that the Steelers management rolls into the negotiating table like a bull in a china shop armed with a few cans of Vienna sausage, along with a couple pieces of Swiss cheese with a few soda crackers on the side. Hey whatever happened to the filet mignon, caviar, champagne and a bit of schmoozing? Nowadays the allure of placing a few more zeroes in the coffers of Bank of America holds a little more juice for the Pittsburgh Steelers players than strolling past six Lombardi trophies on their way to work. Why in the hell do other teams have to put bonfires under the asses of the Steelers management by riding into the Steel City on white horses armed with fat checkbooks and ink pens dripping with promise in courting the Steelers players who only have a desire to play for the Black and Gold and only wish to call the city of Steel home. I don’t understand why the management team of the Black and Gold seem to almost always get caught with their pants down or more often than not experience the “ostrich syndrome.” Oh, you say that you don’t know what the “ostrich syndrome” is? Well it means putting your head in the sand before figuring out that you cannot inhale earth, fire or water and continue to inhabit the earth; well, only with the exception of becoming part of the landscape.
Pittsburgh knew about the promise of departed wide receiver Mike Wallace. They knew that the “slew-footed” wide receiver could out run the nearest “speeding” bullet and a ten yard gain could be a reasonable yards per reception stat being as though most defensive backs played at least ten yards off of the line of scrimmage when they were faced with single coverage of Monsieur Wallace. Did Mike Wallace “dog it” and preserve himself for unrestricted free agency so that he could get paid? He most possibly could have. Did the Steelers “dog it” by calling his number less, and having him involved less and less attempting to dilute his value all the while making it appear that his less than productive year was based on his lack of effort. They most possibly could have. Wallace is just one of the latest examples of the Steelers planting the seed and nurturing the tree only to have another franchise have sweet nectar running down their chin. Now back to the desert. The Steelers allowing ex-first round running back Rashard Mendenhall to depart for the less humid desert oasis of the Arizona Cardinals after Mr. Mendenhall experienced a “less than stellar” 2012 campaign including a short term lease in the doghouse and another holiday weekend or two in the outhouse of one Mike Tomlin. What were the violations of Rashard? Well from what I can see and the snippets of conversations that I have been privy to; he was just Rashard, being Rashard, selfish, questionable work ethic, semi hands of stone. When Mendenhall was drafted along with reciever Limas “please don’t send me across the middle Boss” Sweed, I could not figure out why the Dallas Cowboys and the Chicago Bears (who were in the same market where Mendenhall played his college ball) passed on Rashard. See folks unless your name is Roethlisberger or Polomalu your chance at getting some serious dough in Pittsburgh is slim and none.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 09:35
Category: Sports Written by Associated Press
GAME CHANGER--In this image provided by author Michael Lenehan, the cover of his book "Ramblers" is shown. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Michael Lenehan)
by Jim Litke
AP Sports Columnist
ATLANTA (AP) — If you tuned into the start of the 1963 NCAA championship between little Loyola of Chicago and mighty Cincinnati, it looked like few, if any, of the college basketball games you'd ever watched before.
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 April 2013 10:27
Category: Sports Written by Associated Press
BIG THREE--In this April 17 photo, from left, Phoenix Mercury's Brittney Griner, Chicago Sky's Elena Delle Donne and Tulsa Shock's Skylar Diggins pose together following an interview with The Associated Press in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
by Doug Feinberg
AP Basketball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Before they were college basketball stars and the future of the WNBA, Brittney Griner, Skylar Diggins and Elena Delle Donne had something else in common: They were all bullied when they were kids.
Last Updated on Monday, 22 April 2013 07:41
Category: Sports Written by Bill Neal
:10 I know most of you…oh, who am I kidding .…none of you ever do what I ask you to do. But this time, I need you to do what I tell ya. I want you to run, do not walk, I want you to run…un like it’s 1945 and you’re a Black man in America and your very life depends on it…cause that’s how it was for Mr. Jackie Robinson. The single most important name in sports history! Run and see “42” the movie about the late great Jackie Robinson. See how he endured the enormous responsibility of being the first Black man to play baseball. That’s it. That’s all. You know the rest of the story. Now go see the movie and please take your children so they can learn the importance of this man and the sacrifices he made. How bout this, you’re gonna love this. I give it five stars *****. That’s unheard of. The most I’ve ever given is 3½. Now get going!
:9 And speaking of that, and I was, add this to your list of things to google—John Preston “Pete” Hill, the great, great, great relative of your boy and mine Ron Hill. Ron just returned to Pittsburgh with great news about this legend Pete Hill who played in the pre-Negro League from 1899-1919 and in the Negro Leagues from 1920-1921 and 1923-1925 and was the catalyst and captain of the great Chicago American Giants clubs of the 1910’s. Mr. Hill was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006. Hey Ron Hill, that’s a lot to be proud of. Congratulations. (Ron, call me so we can do more with this. I don’t have your new number. 412-628-4856.
:8 How’s this for the law. I just got the Pittsburgh’s Best Lawyers 2013 Edition handed to me and guess what? Not a Black face to be found…yea, I know. Shocking huh? Now I am going to go out on a limb here and I want to be careful because I can’t tell by reading the names…and of course that in and of itself would be racist…but I can tell you this…there’s not a Black face in the 20 page booklet. Now that should be against the law! (Of course, if I’m wrong, I stand corrected.) Not one Black person… c’mon man!!!
:7 Watch out you so-called sports illustrated writers, Mr. Keith Platt Jr. is about to emerge on the scene and he’s got serious game. In fact, he’s way better than me. Here’s his Top 10 names the Steelers should look at in the upcoming NFL draft, and they should really listen since they can’t seem to get it right on their own . . . I’m just saying!
No. 1—Jarvis Jones - 6’2” - 245 lbs - OLB - Georgia
No. 2—Robert Woods - 6’1” - 190 lbs - WR – USC
No. 3—Kenny Vaccaro – 6’1” – 212 lbs – DB – Texas
No. 4—Alec Ogletree – 6’3” – 234 lbs – ILB – Georgia
No. 5—Eddie Lacy – 5’10” – 220 lbs – RB – Alabama
No. 6—Landry Jones – 6’4” – 220 lbs – QB – Oklahoma
No. 7—A.J. Klein – 6’1” – 244 lbs – ILB – Iowa State
No. 8—Cardarrelle Patterson – 6’3” – 204 lbs – WR – Tennessee
No. 9—David Amerson – 6’2” – 195 lbs – CB – N.C. State
No. 10—Montori Hughes – 6’4” – 328 lbs – DT – UT-Martin
To his credit, Platt sent me his top 10 mock draft and players to keep an eye on. I got no room for all that, but I’ll tell you this, keep your eye on young Mr. Platt. He’s about to be in somebody’s top 10…much like his dad, he’s got skills. Keith, you’re not only in the locker room, your locker is next to mine!
:6 Video tape review will reveal that someone in the audience shot Kobe Bryant in the heel with an African blow gun. For you haters, the only way you could stop him.
:5 Team rosters are now being accepted for the 2013 Connie Hawkins Youth Summer Basketball League for 14 and under boys. Call the Champions at 412-628-4856 for more information.
:4 Steelers, let Emmanuel Saunders go and take the 3rd round draft pick. Are you kidding me. He’s hurt all the time!
:3 “Tiger” You know that whole half Black and half Asian thing you roll with? Welcome to the Black half of the world. They’ll get ya if they can! Finished 5 under, tied for 4th. Hey Kevin Cameron, give me a call mmmaaannn. When you’re wrong, you’re wrong!
:2 FYI – Five Starr Corporation and Champion Enterprises are looking for volunteers, interns, executive staff and sales reps. For more info, call 412-628-4856.
:1 “Harlem Nights” coming at ya again every last Friday…Set for Friday April 26, 3 Lakes Golf Club, 6700 Saltzburg Rd. in Penn Hills. You must be dressed up, no exceptions…“Go deep in the closet” – free parking – cash bar – cash kitchen until 11 p.m. – 50/50 – cash prize for best dressed. This is the best old school over 30 par-tay in town. Special guest DJ the legend Sly Jock.
~ GAME OVER ~
Last Updated on Thursday, 18 April 2013 10:24
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