100 years of WPIAL football championships
Wilkinsburg is awarded the first football championship by the Syracuse University alumni association.
In the first WPIAL title decided on the field of play, Wilkinsburg defeats Pittsburgh Fifth Avenue, 12-7.
An influenza epidemic forces the WPIAL to cancel the football championships.
Rochester and Westinghouse played to a scoreless tie and were declared co-champs.
The final Syracuse Cup is awarded to Greensburg (10-0-0). Despite the WPIAL's third highest win total all-time, it's the school's only WPIAL title to date.
The WPIAL creates two classifications for football.
The WPIAL creates a third classification for football.
Jeannette, McKeesport and New Castle are tri-champs in Class AAA.
Dormont wins first of two straight co-championships, tying Hurst (in 1942) and Glassport, 13-13, (in 1943).
Aspinwall outscores opponents, 245-0, throughout the season and defeats Pitcairn, 24-0, in the title game.
Donora, considered one of the area's greatest teams, wins the WPIAL title after allowing just 13 points all season.
Bridgeville erupts for a 64-0 win over Trafford in the title game.
Aliquippa wins the first of a record 15 WPIAL titles with a 13-12 win over Washington.
Coach Chuck Klausing wins the last of his six WPIAL titles at Braddock.
Beaver Falls, led by QB Joe Namath, finishes 9-0 and is declared the WPIAL Class AA champion.
Sto-Rox (7-0-1) wins the WPIAL title in its first year of existence by acclimation since it was Class AA's only undefeated team.
For the first time, all undefeated teams are admitted to the playoffs and Kiski Area defeats Penn Hills and Thomas Jefferson for WPIAL honors.
Penn Hills and Butler play to a 7-7 tie and were declared co-champs in a game that lasts 25 hours due to a power failure at Mt. Lebanon Stadium.
Quigley is the first Catholic school to win a WPIAL title with a 14-8 victory over Western Beaver.
Penn Hills is forced to forfeit games for using an ineligible player, gets a court order to compete in the playoffs, wins the title but then loses a ruling and the WPIAL declared no champion.
Mt. Lebanon wins the first WPIAL Class AAAA title. The Blue Devils also win in 1981.
Spawned by executive director Charles “Ace” Heberling, the WPIAL holds all four title games at Three Rivers Stadium in one day. Nearly 34,500 attend, including 20,000 to see Gateway beat North Hills, 7-6, in a WPIAL classic.
North Hills, ranked No. 1 in the country by USA Today, finishes 13-0.
Upper St. Clair, which declined
to play in the
becomes first WPIAL team to go 15-0 and win a Class AAAA title, finishing No. 4 in the nation.
Burrell defeats Washington, 14-13, in the first WPIAL final to go into overtime.
Blackhawk wins its fourth WPIAL title in six years. The Cougars appeared in six title games in the '90s.
Heinz Field becomes the host site for the WPIAL championships and more than 38,000 attend.
Seton-La Salle's Bill Stull throws for 323 yards, the most in a title game, in a 42-35 win over Aliquippa.
Central Catholic beats Gateway, 35-34, even after the Gators scored 15 points in the final 1:02 to force OT.
Hopewell's Rushel Shell runs for 274 yards, most in a title game, in a 36-28 loss to West Allegheny.
Clairton, which won a state-record 66 straight games, beats Sto-Rox, 58-21, for WPIAL ‘A' title.
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@example.com or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.