It was way back in September 1946 when a new football coach, Pete Dimperio, was assigned to take over at Westinghouse High School. It was not an easy transition for him as the players in wait were upset when their former coach, “Pro” Burton, resigned to go elsewhere after he was quite successful, having been at Westinghouse since it opened. Burton left behind a number of Bulldogs lettermen waiting to carry on a winning tradition.
It took a lot of patience for the new coach to adjust and persuade his new team of players to follow his lead and they responded, winning the Pittsburgh City League championship that year and the following three years (1947, 1948 and 1949). They were a special group of young men for Pete Dimperio, and thus a brotherhood was formed between him and his players that lasted long after his passing. Memories of Dimperio were priceless to us because we realized how much we learned from him. One of his quotes, “Coaching football and life are quite similar,” was one that I remember well.
Today, many years later, this brotherhood continues to meet twice a year for dinner and special time together. We thank committee members Len Gallo, Frank Guadagnino, Joe Nicoletti and Eugene Massaro for organizing and planning. They have stayed in touch with many of their former teammates, who today are in their early 80s with me being the youngest at 77. I am sharing this story with your readers because it means a lot for us to be able to see the guys long after leaving our alma mater, and I am thankful that we are still able to come together year after year.
On Nov. 6 of this year, we met at D’Imperio’s Restaurant in Monroeville and enjoyed a seven-course, family-style Italian dinner fit for a king. We raised a toast for good health so we can meet again. As I looked across our dinner table, my memories were priceless. Thank you, Westinghouse High School, for preparing us well to face the outside world. From our brotherhood to your house, we wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.