The Pride of Clairton
The Clairton Bears raise their WPIAL Class A championship trophy after their 58-21 win over Sto-Rox Friday at Heinz Field secured their 60th consecutive victory and a new state record.
The Bears take the field to the cheers of adoring fans before their game against Imani Christian Academy.
Senior Vinny Moody, 18, center, hypes up his Bears teammates before a home game Oct. 26 against Imani Christian Academy. Moody and other members of the team wrote a rap about their predicted defeat of the Saints. Players listened to the song for hours before kickoff.
From left, Tyler Boyd, Devonte Harvey and Titus Howard walk through downtown Clairton on their way to the barber shop before Senior Night on Oct. 26.
Cheerleaders Tori James, 17, left, and Coreiona Wright, 14, laugh while the football players are acknowledged during a pep rally on Nov. 8.
Quarterback Armani Ford, 17, gets his hair cut by Stuart Price, owner of Hot Towels and Sharp Razors, before Clairton's last regular-season home game. "It's a lot of pressure [to be the quarterback]. You need the team on your side, plus the city is watching over you," Ford said.
Defensive coach Wayne Wade, 40, goes over strategy with the Bears in the team's weight room in November. Wade, who is from Clairton, was the team's quarterback in 1989 when the Bears won the WPIAL Class A championship.
Titus Howard, center, a junior wide receiver and cornerback who has made a verbal commitment to play football at the University of Pittsburgh, and his Bears teammates listen to defensive coach Wayne Wade during a recent strategy session in the team's weight room.
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A special four-part series on the role the Clairton Bears play in football and in the hearts of their community.
Part 1: The doors to the Clairton Bears' locker room are closed. A space usually pumped full of booming bass from hip-hop music is silent, except for the young man in the corner wearing a black No. 9 jersey. Sitting on a bench, he bows his head and cries...
Part 2: Clairton's success on the football field doesn't begin or end with the varsity team. It starts with a dedicated group of volunteer youth coaches who use their own experiences to steer the boys in the right direction.
Part 3: The Clairton Bears lost the first game they played after the 2009 death of assistant coach Demonje Rosser. But the next week, the team began a winning streak that has yet to be broken.
Part 4: The Bears have been WPIAL champions and holders of the state record winning streak of 60 for just an hour, and they're already moving on. But even as the Bears make varsity football history, they are confronted by harsh realities and challenges of living in their community.
First Published November 21, 2012 1:50 pm