Do you remember Ron 'Po' James?

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You won't see James' name on the WPIAL's all-time leading rushers, but he is still considered one of the best running backs in league history.

James played at a time when running backs didn't have eye-opening statistics, but he still had an unforgettable senior season in 1967. He rushed for more than 1,400 yards and set what was believed to be a WPIAL record for regular-season points with 200. He played running back and defensive end, and also was the team's punter, kicker and kick-returner.

He helped New Brighton to an 8-2 record and had a memorable game against Belle Vernon in a 34-33 win. James outscored Belle Vernon by himself. He had five touchdowns and four conversion runs (back then the runs were worth only one point).

Sports Illustrated recognized James for his terrific season. He went on to play at New Mexico State, where he piled up 3,885 yards during his college career the ended in 1971. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth round of the 1972 draft and played four seasons with the Eagles. James was inducted into the WPIAL Hall of Fame in 2008.



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