Bears' epic 66-game winning streak buoyed all of Clairton
From the City of Prayer, there came an answer: The Clairton Bears, the WPIAL's most dominant team in decades and a welcome distraction for a depressed steel town and a distressed school district.
During a 66-game stretch that ranked as the nation's longest high school football winning streak and broke Pennsylvania state records for consecutive victories, Clairton captured the fascination of fans everywhere.
With every win, every WPIAL and PIAA Class A title accumulated along the way, the Bears brought back pride, prominence and promise of better days ahead. For the tiny town of Clairton, every Friday night was a celebration — not just of the players, but everyone in black and orange: from the band and cheerleaders who marched up Miller Avenue to Neil C. Brown Stadium to the pee-wee players dreaming of being Bears one day.
The streak started in September 2009 and would last four years and nine days. During that span, Clairton won four district and four state titles, broke Braddock's 51-year-old WPIAL record and Central Bucks West's 12-year-old state mark for consecutive victories.
Then, last Friday, the streak ended at the hands of the same school against which it began. Monessen's Greyhounds took a 14-0 halftime lead and a 28-point advantage in the fourth quarter. It was a role reversal for Clairton, long accustomed to overpowering opponents.
Now, it was on the wrong end of a 42-24 final score. The streak was over, and the Bears were left in tears.
“This just goes to show how incredible our streak was,” Clairton coach Tom Nola said. “We played bad, and Monessen was great. But I'm proud of what we did and of what the team accomplished.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.