Clairton's swagger could play role in title-game rematch with Sto-Rox
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Over the last five years, Clairton has taken the field with a swagger few can match.
Quite a few have tried. But the Bears have been able to back up their bravado with a brand of football that has taken both the WPIAL — and the nation — by storm.
It's hard not to be impressed with what Clairton (12-0) has accomplished. Not only have the Bears reeled off a state-record-tying and nation's best 59-game winning streak, they have become the first team since the current four-classification format came into being in 1980 to win four consecutive WPIAL championships and are the only WPIAL school to three-peat at the state level.
Even with all those accomplishments, however, there will be a bit of tension for Clairton at 11 a.m. Friday when it steps onto the grass at Heinz Field for the fifth consecutive season. Not only will the Bears be on the verge of stepping past Central Bucks West (1997-2000) to move into first place in state history with a possible 60th consecutive victory, they could tie Class AA Braddock (1955-59) as the only teams to win five consecutive outright WPIAL titles.
With all that on the line, even a group that has done it all knows that there is a bit more riding on the game against Sto-Rox (11-1) than just a rematch of the 2011 championship.
“I do think there's more pressure because we don't want to let the city down,” Clairton senior Terrish Webb said. “We're always reminded of how we're going to break the records, so we don't want to lose or anything and there is more pressure.”
Clairton certainly doesn't want to parallel the team it caught up to with its 37-7 victory over Neshannock in last week's semifinals. When Central Bucks West won 59 consecutive games, it defeated Erie Cathedral Prep in the 1999 state championship game, then turned around and lost to the Ramblers in the rematch in the Class AAAA title game at Hersheypark Stadium the following year.
And Sto-Rox would like nothing more than to take on the Ramblers' spoiler mantle.
“We looked at the whole season as, every week, we just wanted to be 1-0 and, though this game is probably a little bit bigger, that's our goal this week,” Sto-Rox coach Dan Bradley said. “For us, it's a WPIAL championship and for them it's 60 in a row, but even for them it's one game and we're just looking to be 1-0.”
Last season, Clairton rolled over the Vikings, 42-6, to win its fourth consecutive title and fifth in six years.
Keith Barnes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-664-9161, ext. 1977.
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.
- Lopsided loss to Eagles shows Steelers have issues aplenty
- Steelers notebook: Keisel always hoped to return
- Harrison’s 5 RBIs help Pirates pound Brewers
- Woman in stable condition after Hill District shooting that killed daughter
- Hero Franklin Regional security guard out of work
- Rossi: Time with Penguins taught Bylsma importance of stability
- Sandusky cover-up case unusually shrouded
- Unusually cold winter, spring reduces population of Western Pa. stink bugs
- Pirates notebook: Prospect Sanchez makes 1st start at first base with Indy
- Traffic for eastbound Squirrel Hill Tunnel getting congested
- Records: Steelers RB Bell admitted smoking pot before traffic stop but denied being high