Springdale sports quartet of WPIAL titles
Springdale will try to become the first local school to win five WPIAL championships Friday when the Dynamos take on Serra Catholic at Heinz Field. Kickoff is slated for 10:37 a.m.
Burrell has four WPIAL titles, the last coming in 1995.
If Springdale wins, it will also mark the 28th consecutive season that a school from either the Eastern Conference or the Beaver County Big 7 has won the Class A title.
As a Thanksgiving eve special, let’s take a look at the school’s other four WPIAL title runs:
In the preseason, Johnny Delchrone’s decision to give up boxing and return as Springdale’s quarterback gave a huge boost to the team’s fortunes.
Coach Herb Ripper’s team had an 8-1 record in 1931, and though the team’s only loss was to Class A Arnold, Mt Pleasant Hurst had more Gardner Points and was declared WPIAL Class B champion.
Springdale was determined to win it all in 1932; the only blemish on the 8-0-1 record was a tie against Etna.
With Delchrone at the controls, future pro Boyd “Quack” Brumbaugh in the offensive backfield and Henry Lellis leading the defensive backfield, the team avenged the Arnold loss and rolled through the schedule, cluminating with a 12-6 victory over East Pittsburgh before an overflow crowd at Mellon Field, located where lower James Street now sits. The WPIAL declared Glassport and Springdale co-champs without a playoff taking place.
While Veterans Memorial Field was undergoing renovation, Springdale had to play all 11 games on the road, including home games at Tarentum’s Dreshar Stadium. All the road games didn’t matter, as Springdale had outstanding fans following its games.
The season started with a 14-6 loss to East Deer-Frazer, the eventual WPIAL Class B champs, but Springdale never looked back, rolling through its Class A schedule.
A 26-0 victory Nov. 9 over Swissvale at Dreshar put the team in the WPIAL title game against favored Dormont at Clairton Stadium. On Nov. 16, Hank Kozma had as good a title game performance as anyone in WPIAL history by scoring 20 of his team’s 21 points.
With placekicker Bob Murdock hurt, Springdale had to try for the conversion run, and Kozma rolled behind tackle John Olerachick to pull out a 21-20 victory.
The Dynamos didn’t have any home games, thanks to renovation at “The ‘Vets.” Springdale played its “home” games at Tarentum’s Dreshar Stadium and lost the season’s opener to Richland (sound familiar?) But the Dynamos were the first to take advantage of a new WPIAL rule where conference champions were admitted to the playoffs.
The big game of the season was a 35-6 shocker Oct. 27 over Freeport before one of Dreshar’s largest crowds. In the playoff opener, Springdale beat Burgettstown, 22-12, in Kittanning in Arctic-like conditions.
In the finals at Thomas Jefferson, the Dynamos took a 20-0 lead over Union Area, and Sam Sack’s interception with three minutes remaining stopped a Scotties’ drive and prserved the 20-14 victory.
Springdale’s 6-0 loss to Riverview to end the regular season didn’t dampen a 21-0 victory over South Side Beaver to open the playoffs at Veterans Memorial Field. In the semifinals at Highlands High School, quarterback Jon Molnar willed the Dynamos to a 24-23, triple-overtime victory with three touchdowns and a number of keepers in short-yardage situations to set up a date with Sto-Rox at Heinz Field.
In the finals, Mike Landers picked off two pases from WPIAL all-time passing leader Adam DiMichele, and Molnar and Wayne Mundekis scored two touchdowns each, as the Dynamos brought home a 30-13 victory.
Evan Neergard and Mike Kutchko stopped the vaunted Vikings’ offense with nine tackles each to set up a victory parade through the Lower Valley.