Guido: Nicknames more than just school rally point
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Monday's opening-round WPIAL Class A baseball game between Springdale and Carmichaels was one of the few high school games these days in which industries in the school districts' regions led to the teams' nicknames.
There was a time when many schools in and around the WPIAL drew nicknames from industries that made their respective towns famous.
Springdale, of course, is called the Dynamos because of the town's long association with the power industry. A dynamo is a shortened form of the term dynamoelectric machine.
Springdale is only one of three high schools in the nation that use the moniker Dynamos.
Lou Zott, a former coach and athlete at Springdale who died recently, was said to have helped bring about the nickname in the late 1940s.
Carmichaels, located in the heart of bituminous coal country in Greene County, long has been called the Mikes. A mike is a motorized car from the early days of the coal industry that brought coal-filled wagons out of the mines.
Farrell still is called the Steelers even though the massive steel mill there long has been idled.
Ambridge is called the Bridgers even though the American Bridge Co. left town about 30 years ago.
Until the mid-1960s, Ford City was known as the Glassers because that community was the birthplace of the American plate glass industry in 1892.
Franklin Township, the forerunner of Franklin Regional High School, was called the Longhorns because farming was common there until the Murrysville residential building boom got underway.
Bessemer High, part of the Mohawk School District in Lawrence County, was called the Cementers.
One school still with a nod toward industry is Erie County's Northeast High, home of vast vineyards along Lake Erie. Northeast is called the Grapepickers.
Wonder how long it will be until a high school will take its name from the Marcellus shale natural gas industry.
High school honorees
Nine local high school student-athletes will be recognized Saturday night at the 45th annual Alle-Kiski Valley Sports Hall of Fame banquet at Clarion Hotel in New Kensington.
Honored will be:
• Jesse Zelonka, Apollo-Ridge, Valley News Dispatch football Offensive Player of the Year
• Allan Cratsenberg, Highlands, VND football Defensive Player of the Year
• Tom Spagnolo, Burrell, VND male soccer Player of the Year
• Aaliyah Odom, Plum, VND female soccer Player of the Year
• Brian Papich, Fox Chapel, Cager Classic boys East MVP
• Zane Clowser, West Shamokin, Cager Classic boys West MVP
• Krista Pietropola, Plum, Cager Classic girls East MVP
• Mallory Heinle, St. Joseph, Cager Classic girls West MVP
• Matt Wolfe, Freeport, Courage Award
Tim Basilone of the Hall of Fame Committee wanted to connect the current generation of high schoolers with the hall's inductees.
George Guido is a Valley News Dispatch scholastic sports correspondent. His column appears Wednesdays.
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.
- Founder of Z&M Cycle Sales in Hempfield killed in Florida motorcycle crash
- Starkey: Tomlin lived in his fears
- Increasing player salaries pinch financial flexibility of Pirates
- Slain St. Clair officer walked into ‘worst nightmare’ for police
- Steelers receiver Wheaton takes advantage of opportunity in breakout game
- Penguins’ reshuffled top line of Crosby, Dupuis, Kunitz looks familiar
- No. 11 Purdue presents tall order for Pitt
- Film session: Long shots dotted Steelers’ passing game
- 2,200 union employees of ATI lose coverage
- Pa. Supreme Court: Highmark Medicare Advantage members to retain access to UPMC
- 7 percent in Allegheny County able to carry concealed gun