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Gorman: Wilkinsburg stands strong

Kevin Gorman
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Sidney Davis | Trib Total Media
Wilkinsburg TE Dremar Everette with head coach Mike Fulmore pose for a photograph with the 1914 WPIAL football championship trophy along the borough's main artery, Penn Avenue, on Wednesday August 6, 2014.
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Sidney Davis | Trib Total Media
Wilkinsburg TE Dremar Everette with head coach Mike Fulmore pose for a photograph with the 1914 WPIAL football championship trophy along the borough's main artery, Penn Avenue, on Wednesday August 6, 2014.
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Sidney Davis | Trib Total Media
Wilkinsburg TE Dremar Everette catches a pass during a drill on Wednesday August 6, 2014.
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Wilkinsburg's head coach Michael Fulmore on Thursday August 16, 2012. Sidney Davis | Tribune-Review
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Sidney Davis | Trib Total Media
1914 WPIAL football championship trophy, the first, won by Wilkinsburg High School on Wednesday August 6, 2014.

Wilkinsburg’s season ended like it began, with a championship trophy.

Where Wilkinsburg started by celebrating the 100th anniversary of winning the first WPIAL football title, the Tigers ended it by visiting the Lombardi Trophy.

When NBC’s Sunday Night Football bus visited WPXI on Saturday, the station invited the Tigers to tour the bus and its studios.

Wilkinsburg players and coaches — the subject of a WPXI story, “Stand Tall, Be Strong,” inspired by the Trib’s football preview cover story — saw the Super Bowl trophy and a recorded video from Tony Dungy.

“I know there haven’t been a lot of victories on the scoreboard,” Dungy said, “but you’re learning how to win in life.”

The Tigers finished 1-8, but the important thing is that they overcame adversity and finished. They started with only 19 players, and four quit at halftime of an 86-0 loss to Clairton in Week 2.

“When we talk about life lessons, in order to believe that dream, you need to see it,” Wilkinsburg coach Michael Fulmore said. “This was very important, to physically see it. I hope it clarifies their dreams. We’re a 1-8 football team. We’re very careful not to measure our success by wins and losses.”

That WPXI wanted to tell Wilkinsburg’s story touched the Tigers, who are accustomed to media attention capturing the crimes in their community.

“I liked it because I always thought the news made our community look bad,” said Dremar Everette, a sophomore two-way end, “but that they did this story on us, I feel happy because it can uplift the community and uplift the people in our community.”

That’s a cause Wilkinsburg wants to champion, one it won’t need a trophy to celebrate.

Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at [email protected] or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.

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