Friday, December 28, 2012

What a season!

From the New York Times: Finding Hope in Football, and Providing It
By Jeré Longman
Kickoff for the Pennsylvania state championship game was minutes away. Music and a taped inspirational speech filled the Clairton High School locker room. But Terrish Webb sat outside on a set of concrete steps. He wiped tears from his eyes.
“I miss my dad,” Webb, 17, told his close friend and teammate Robby Boatwright, who gave him a hug.
“I got your back,” Boatwright said. “I love you.”
Six years earlier, almost to the day, Webb’s father had been shot to death as he drove his car in the late afternoon near the football field in Clairton, a frayed steel mill town south of Pittsburgh. Webb was 11 at the time. The case has never been solved.
“When you have tragedy like that in your immediate family, some kids tend to go the wrong way,” said Wayne Wade, a former star quarterback at Clairton who is now the team’s defensive coordinator. “They can’t handle it. They start to question themselves. Why me? They look into different avenues to go, which are negative. Terrish found a positive one in football with a lot of his friends. They vowed a long time ago that they wanted to win state championships and they did all the right things to do it.”
Clairton fell on hard times when the steel industry collapsed in the 1980s. Much of its downtown is abandoned, boarded up. But football has provided a glimmer of hope amid the civic gloominess. Webb caught a 21-yard touchdown pass in a 20-0 victory in the Class A title game on Dec. 14 at Hersheypark Stadium, helping Clairton to a fourth consecutive state championship and its 63rd consecutive win, the nation’s longest current winning streak.
A 6-foot-1 receiver and cornerback, Webb caught 16 touchdown passes, rushed for 4 touchdowns and intercepted 8 passes this season. He is also the senior class president and ranks second in his class with a 3.8 grade-point average. He is considering playing college football at Kent State, Pittsburgh or Toledo.
“That’s a special person who can come back from such adversity,” Tom Nola, Clairton’s coach, said of Webb. “He’s the best student on the team. He’s going to college. He’s going to make something of his life. My hat’s off to him.”
Nola credited Webb’s mother, Tinisha Webb, who works as an administrative assistant at a hospital in suburban Pittsburgh, with keeping Terrish from despair and stressing the importance of education. His friends, too, vowed that they would not succumb to the temptations and violence of a city where nearly a quarter of the 6,796 residents live below the poverty level.
“People think this is just football,” Webb said. “This is more than football to us. This is the way out from where we come from.”

Now What?
The Bears have just finished an amazing four seasons. Now they will be given the accolades they've earned. This comes in the form of an awards banquet and awarding of rings, announcement of other awards, etc. and takes place in March. In the past the banquet has been held in the Ascension Hall in Clairton. This year, ion celebration of their fourth consecutive state title they hope to hold the banquet in a more formal setting. Also, the school district is unable to pay for all the rings. Thus we are asking that you make a donation to help. Last year donations ranged from $1.00 to $500.00. The rings (about $200 each) were paid for and enough money was left over for the purchase of capes for the players to fend off the winter weather as they stand on the sidelines.

I'm sending an email blast to alumni that reads as follows:

"HAPPY NEW YEAR CHS ALUMNI, FRIENDS & FAMILY, once again I am asking for your help. Our Fabulous Clairton Bears won their 5th WPIAL championship and their 4th consecutive PIAA Championship. I have one New Year's Wish from all my blog readers, FB friends, family, & CHS Alumni. My one New Year Wish is that each one of you send at least $1.00 to help out the non-profit organization that has been set up by members of the CHS School Board to help purchase the Championship Rings for our fabulous Clairton Bears. Your donation is tax deductible as a non-profit donation. Please send your donations to the following address:

Clairton Athletic Champions Club, c/o William Bradford, P.O. Box 303, Clairton, Pa 15025

Thank you CHS Alumni, friends & family!"

A little blogging music Maestro... "We Are the Champions," by Queen.

Dr. Forgot

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