The remarkable Blakely Bears

  • My playing years for the Bears were highlighted by winning two championship games beating West Hazelton 7-6 and beating Ashland 19-6. I was fortunate to score all 19 points in the Ashland game. I had plenty of help, however, from my fellow teammates such as Mike and John Feduchak, Francis Stella, George Semkew, Davey Phillips, Henry Davidson, Nick Balog, Billy Harrison, Jimmy Jenkins, Eddie Reese, Ted Hemlock, Billy Wrightson, Len Silvestri, Bobby McLean, Joe Merli, Frank Harchut and John Pirhalla.

    We were led by Coach Henzes who pushed and worked us to become the very best we could be. He forever yelled at me to run, run, run. His famous words were, “Pete, all I want to see are the backs of your heals!” All the hard work and outstanding coaching paid off. I was voted All-State two years in a row but, to be honest, it couldn’t have been accomplished without Coach and all the players that surrounded me.

    I shall always be greatful and thankful for the wonderful years I had at Blakely. We have a lasting tradition — the remarkable Blakely Bears.

    Pete Shopa, Class of 1950


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