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Historical society focuses on Bridgeville High School classes of 1946, 1947

| Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, 12:57 a.m.
An image of the old Bridgeville High School.
An image of the old Bridgeville High School.

The Bridgeville Area Historical Society series of Second Tuesday workshops continued in February with a focus on the graduating classes of 1946 and 1947. The facilitator began with an overview of the social and cultural environment of the time. The war had finally ended and its survivors were euphorically looking forward to a future of peace and prosperity.

High School Principal William Liggett had returned after four years in the Quartermaster Corps. Colonel Eddie Croft's Junior Commandos still were going strong, with no indication of when they would receive their honorable discharges and return to civilian life.

The 1945 high school football season was a “mixed bag” — four wins and a tie in a nine-game schedule. Fortunately, the final win was a 7-0 victory over South Fayette with “Nimmie” Kreiger scoring the only touchdown. The basketball team also had a lackluster season despite the presence of three of my neighbors — Bill Hopper, Bob “Slugger” Bailey and Bob “Rum” Rothermund.

Historical society founder and President Mary Weise was a prominent member of the 1946 class, especially in things associated with music, drama and journalism. Almo Pruner was their president; Louis “Skip” Colussy, vice president. Virginia Kuten was May Queen, with Dorothy “Dot” Degrosky as maid of honor.

The 1946 football season began with a 19-6 loss to Carnegie, with Curtis Copeland scoring our only touchdown, and ended with the locals being shut out 6-0 by South Fayette. Worse was the fact that the other seven games were all losses.

The monthly BHS periodical, “The Bridger,” reported occasional problems as well as the positive accomplishments of the students.

Bridgeville businessmen had donated $1,200 for the purchase of 50 band uniforms — 16 of them had disappeared already!

In addition, a baritone horn was missing. And then, there was the “Disgrace of the Library!” The round reference tables had been defaced by certain students' selfish desire to have their initials in the school.

The 1947 basketball season was a reversal of the preceding disastrous football season. In addition to George Maioli and Villani, this team included Bill Hopper, the Batch twins and Richard Deep. They ended the season tied with Snowden for the section championship, then lost a heartbreaking playoff game, 24-22.

The 1947 yearbook was the first to be named “The Lincoln Log.” It began on a sobering note with a listing of the 15 BHS graduates who died during World War II.

Dr. Colton and Mr. Liggett were firmly in control of things in those days, aided and abetted by a staff of faculty including Trula Holman, Gloria Lutz, Jane Patton, “Pop” Ferree, Frances Krenz and a handful of others we remember fondly.

Ed Woodall was class president in 1947; George Maioli, vice president. George's recent passing reminded all of us of his lifelong commitment to service to his community. Dolores DeBlander was May Queen; Betty Jean Miele, Maid of Honor.

Our next workshop is scheduled for 7 p.m. March 13 at the Bridgeville Area Historical Society, 441 Station St. It will discuss the classes of 1948 and 1949.

John Oyler is a Tribune-Review contributing writer. Reach him at 412-343-1652 or Read more from him at

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