Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bears and such


Where does the time go? It has been six weeks since I’ve posted. Several readers even emailed me to ask if I was all right. Well, that’s debatable, but all my parts seem to still be working (ok, MOST of them). Each morning I’ve sat in front of my computer with the thought that I need to post. Then I start with the email, do personal business, do business business, and before I know it my computer time (about seven hours each day) has elapsed. I have made so many acquaintances via the Clairton blog that I will make a more concerted effort to write on a more regular basis.

Our Bears continue to growl: For those who have not kept up on the latest edition of the Clairton Bears football team, they have won the state championship for the past two years and currently have the second longest win record in the nation. Their victory over Sto-Rox cemented them as WPIAL champs for the fifth time in the past six years. The game against Sto-Rox (both teams came into the game 12-0 this season) was touted by a Post-Gazette writer as Clairton’s last game as he predicted a Clairton loss in a close game. Our Bears forced five turnovers and annihilated their opponents 42-6. It could easily have been worse.

Most of the team members are also scholar athletes. The quarterback could graduate as the class valedictorian. He has received looks from Ivy League schools as well as the Naval Academy. The star running back has received letters of interest from every major university in the country and he is just a junior! Most of the players are also honor roll students. This is such a special group.

This weekend the Bears will play in the quarter-finals game for the state championship. If they win they will move on to the semi-finals and a victory will send them to Hershey to play for their third consecutive state championship. A victory in that game would also break a record for consecutive wins. But every game this team wins breaks some kind of record.

Hunting Bears: With the long run of success a topic for debate has been how Clairton would fare in Class AAAA or AAA. Coaches Nola would like the team to open next season against a Class AAAA or AAA opponent, but no higher classification team is interested. It might have something to do with the fact that CHS has won 43 consecutive games.
Ok, how about a scrimmage against a Class AAAA or AAA team? Sorry, no takers for that either.

Some random stats: CHS currently has a 43-game win streak, the second longest in WPIAL history. The Bears are three away from the longest WPIAL winning streak (46 by Braddock from 1955-60). The Bears would have to win this week, next, and State in Hershey for the PIAA titles in order to break the record.

CHS has a 41-game conference winning streak while Thomas Jefferson's conference winning streak is at 38. Many forget that the Bears spawned TJ in 1959.

Nothing brings a community together like a winning sports team. I’ve seen what the 1960 Pirates did for the city when they won the World Series. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a Final Four, a Super Bowl, and several college bowl games. In every case, the pride that the community had in itself as the result of the success of their team has been phenomenal. Can the successful Bears do the same for Clairton? It already has.

Terrence Fort, a 1976 CHS alum has begun a mentoring program for Clairton students. He has enlisted the help of several other grads including Dr. Pauline Long. Dr. Long was a high-risk kid who became a single mother at age 16. Her focus and determination got her into Pitt where she earned a bachelor’s degree then an MBA and a Doctorate in Science from Robert Morris. There are so many stories of successful CHS grads such as Dr. William King who was bused to CHS and went on to become a noted professor and author. In fact, no less a celebrity than Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted part of one of Dr. King’s books to be included in his (Putin’s) dissertation.

Terrence Fort is looking for other mentors who would be willing to work with CHS students. If you have the time and an interest to help young people become future leaders, drop me an email and I’ll forward it to Terrence.

On the political front: Two candidates won Democratic contests in Clairton and netted enough Republican write-ins to have both party nods for council. They are former fire chief John A. Lattanzi and chamber of commerce president Kathy Grisnik Tachoir. Tachoir survived a primary race with Councilman Lamont Andre Lewis and former councilman Domenic J. Curinga.
For Clairton City school board, Tachoir's husband Roger was unopposed both for an at-large seat. He's on both party ballots as is incumbent Robert A. Harrigan. Also unopposed were Democrats Sue A. Wessel, an incumbent and Jennifer Linnen-Williams.

Life is fleeting: We must note the passing of Flossie Carter last month. She was born in Alabama but moved to the area when her son got a job in the Clairton Works. Flossie loved in Homewood with her daughter until recently when she moved to Heritage Place in Squirrel Hill. She passed last month at age 111.

A little blogging music Maestro… how about the Clairton High School fight song.

Dr. Forgot
email: drforgot@cox.net

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