Bears return to Clairton with 4th football title
By Michael DiVittorio
Published: Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, 12:21 a.m.
Nearly half of Clairton's population awaited their football team's arrival on Friday night outside Neil C. Brown Stadium.
Coaches and players arrived in the City of Prayer with medals around their necks, smiles on their faces, and a trophy held high after winning their fourth straight PIAA championship at Hersheypark Stadium.
“We're elated,” coach Tom Nola said as he walked through the crowd of 400-500 fans. “This is the most we've ever had up here. This is the best one. (The ride) to (Hershey) was the same (as previous years). (The trip) back home was a little bit more fun.”
Nola's Bears defeated the Dunmore Bucks 20-0, extending their winning streak to 63 straight games.
The team arrived at the stadium via a parade led by Clairton police and firefighters. Excitement began building within the stadium area at 8 p.m. and crescendoed around 10 o'clock with the Bears' arrival.
Louise Florenz, a 1998 Clairton graduate, made the trek to and from Hershey with her son, daughter, aunt and nephew. All had on their state champion T-shirts.
“It's very good for them,” Florenz said. “It's what everybody makes of it ... I've not missed a game since we've gone to states five years ago. The first year we lost, the last four years we've won. It's something for the kids to look up to. They were there with the history.”
Ta'Vaugh Moody, 8, is the younger brother of senior player Vincent Moody.
Ta'Vaugh, a running back for one of Clairton's midget football teams, said his brother plays perfectly, and he plans on being a future football star.
“Next year (I want to) be the king,” Ta'Vaugh said. “I'm faster than everybody.”
Resident Carla Owens, 43, said she has not missed a game in the past 11 years.
Owens, whose three children are Clairton grads, grew up in Clairton, as well.
“This is home,” she said. “I'm ecstatic. If I could I'd do a back flip and a split, but right now that ain't happening.”
Owens said the city comes together not just for the football team, but for its neighbors.
“Even though we might argue and fight, we stand behind each other and we got each other's back,” Owens said. “That's what makes it worth coming back home to. There's no place like home.”
Signs saying “Congratulations State Champions Clairton Bears” and a “Bear Country” poster signed by various alumni decorated both sides of Miller Avenue.
Renee Radlien, a 1981 graduate, was one of the people who signed the poster.
“We've always had pretty thorough football and basketball teams,” Radlien said. “This streak here is awesome. I am so proud of these young boys. They've come a long way with their attitude and their grades. I think it's just an awesome thing to see such a positive thing for the city, and see them excel so well.”
“These kids here brought us to new heights,” Mayor Rich Lattanzi said. “As of right now everybody's concentrating on good, what they did, winning and how professional they are. I don't expect any problems. I just look at all the unity here, black and white. Everyone's enjoying what they did, and that's a big part of the city.”
Nola said he plans to have the team make a return to Hershey next year for a fifth state championship.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic sees a little of itself in Old Forge
- Central Catholic looks for knock out against District 3 champion in PIAA semifinals
- Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic dominates Clarion in PIAA semifinals
- Running game carries South Fayette past Hickory and into PIAA title game
- Central Catholic delivers crushing defensive performance to qualify for PIAA championship
- Friday’s PIAA semifinal football games postponed