Clairton Bears gearing up drive for 5
TribLIVE Sports Videos
It might be nearly a month before WPIAL football teams can officially practice in pads and 46 days before the regular season begins, but four-time defending Class A champion Clairton already believes it's ready for opening night.
“We've already been doing a lot of practicing ourselves, 7-on-7 and things like that,” Clairton senior receiver Titus Howard said. “I think we're ready for the season right now, especially with the way we played down in Texas.”
That would be at the Red Bull Game Breakers 7-on-7 tournament, played Thursday and Friday in Dallas. Clairton was the lone WPIAL participant and made it out of the opening round-robin portion before losing to Arlington (Texas) in the quarterfinals.
Clairton had a nice bonding trip just to get to the event. The Bears had to travel to Cleveland on Wednesday to catch their flight to Dallas.
Though the finish was a bit of a disappointment — the Bears made it into the 2011 championship before they lost to Arlington Martin — the experience of playing against some of the best teams from around the country will help as they prepare to become only the second team to win five consecutive WPIAL titles.
“It was way different from last year's experience ... because we were able to do a little bit of bragging, but it is what it is,” Clairton senior running back Tyler Boyd said.
Clairton will step onto the field for its 2012 season opener against Chartiers-Houston on Aug. 31 carrying a nation's best and WPIAL-record 47-game winning streak. If the Bears remain undefeated and win their fifth consecutive WPIAL Class A championship, they will tie Braddock's record of consecutive outright titles set from 1955-59 and break the all-time state record of 59 straight victories set by Central Bucks West from 1997-2000.
This also will be a team in transition, especially at quarterback, where senior Armani Ford will get the starting nod. Ford was the backup to Capri Thompson in 2011 but saw extensive playing time in mop-up duty.
Clairton won 10 of its 16 games last season with a 35-point mercy rule running clock in effect in the second half and posted nine shutouts. But, Boyd said, defense could be a concern heading into training camp.
“Our offense is really clicking, but our defense is the shaky part,” Boyd said. “The offense was doing great and ... I just think playing down there is really going to help us show our athletic talent because we're playing against better players.”
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.
- Rossi: Blount brings back Steelers’ swagger
- Steelers re-sign Keisel to bolster depth on defensive line
- Retired McKeesport police officer to pay fine for involvement in gambling ring
- Run game not primary focal point for Steelers
- HSFB preview by position: Size isn’t the only measure of LBs’ talent
- Former Elizabeth Forward custodian’s attorney denies allegations
- New Stanton to craft comprehensive plan to prove borough ‘more than’ turnpike exit
- Icy water, donations to fight ALS flow with social media’s help
- CF McCutchen returns to lineup, but Braves blast fast-fading Pirates
- Steelers are hoping to mirror Eagles’ full-bore, no-huddle offense
- Fugitive captured in Washington Township after eluding police overnight