Duquesne High School FOOTBALL

In October of 1980, GEO Magazine published an article about our hometown heros! I was unaware of this article until Rome Sikora (DHS 1953 – Seattle, WA/Mirage, CA) forwarded me a copy of the magazine a few weeks ago. I owe Rome an enormous debt of gratitude for sending this fantastic tribute to Duquesne High School Football. THANK YOU ROME!!!!


Click Here

Phil Magdic

To read the full article, click the link below. Again, THANK YOU ROME!

Duquesne High School Football Article in GEO

This entry was posted in Duquesne High School, Duquesne History, Duquesne Public Schools, Duquesne's Special Citizens, Life in General, Miscellaneous, Sports. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Duquesne High School FOOTBALL

  1. David Marks says:

    I still have this magazine (somewhere ). My father gave it to me thirty years ago. He was so proud of the team and told anyone who would listen.



  3. Joe Bordini says:

    I played for Mon Valley Catholic High and played against the Dukes in both the 1977 & 1978 seasons. At their field in “77” we took a shelacing 53-6. Pat Monroe ran all over us and Ozzie Sparks was a force. The following year we lost an 8-6 decision at our home field, Legion Field in Donora. I’m proud to say that I had 12 tackles for the Spartans from my inside linebacker position against the Dukes that game. It was a hard hitting, hard fought game. I still have the Duquense hand written scouting report on our team that one of the Duquense coaches wrote up. Somehow our coach ended up with it and gave it to me after the season was over. I also have the program from the 1978 game. Sept 23, 1978. Rick Mazza is listed in the program as the Dukes head coach then. I have great memories of these two games and great respect for the Dukes 1977 & 19
    78 teams. Joe Bordini, MVC Spartan #67!

    • Rocky says:

      Joe, so very long ago- yes we did get our butts kicked. I now referee high school football and run into Pat from time to time– He also remembers those games.. So many great memories.
      Rocky Moyer–also MVC Spartan #12

  4. ernie ferency says:

    Hi! I too played football at DHS. We went from the ridiculous, 1962 0-9-1 to the sublime with Kope 7-2-0 in 1965. The run was amazing and I played with some great, great players. I was pretty close to Kope and served as a pall bearer at his funeral. He was one-of-a-kind and a major influence on my life.

    Please hit me back with some memories. I’d love to converse!

    • Barry Vaniel says:

      Ernie – I have some interesting memories of Kope also. I graduated DHS in 1960. Kope was my Third Grade teacher in Crawford School. He had just gotten out of armed services (Korean War). In those days a male elementary teacher was unusual. Please email me directly as I don’t know how to post here. I am a “newbie”. Barry Vaniel email barryvaniel@gmail.com

  5. Larry Fewell says:

    Hi Darlene;
    Thank you for sharing your fond memories of our illustrious band director Eugene Schlagy and our band. I recall a concert in the High School auditorium which was recorded on a vinyl record. On the record was a rendition of “Trump, Trump” featuring a French and Baritone horn duet (circa 1951 or 1952). I played Sousaphone and recall practice sessions at both the old Liebengood School and the summer recreational field in front of Duquesne High.
    Larry Fewell

  6. Doug Kurtz says:

    I am from Ligonier but have a soft spot for Duquesne. My roommate our last year at the Naval Academy was Ted Wirginis, who played football (very well) at your school. Also, I remember a lot of rather edgy basketball games between Ligonier Valley and Duquesne when both were in the same WPIAL section in the mid 1970’s. You can probably guess the reason why the games got a little rambunctious at times. Lastly, I am almost certain that the movie, “All The Right Moves”, was based on that GEO article. The movie was set in the fictional town of Ampipe (a take off from Ambridge) but filmed in the Johnstown area and starred Tom Cruise. Ampipe wore Ferndale uniforms and their “rich” rival Walnut Heights wore Westmont Hilltop uniforms so the “W. H.” initials could stay the same. I love reading about local history, especially high school sports history in Western PA. Keep up the good work on your site!

  7. vgedman says:

    Thanks for posting my parents were Bernie and Marylou Gedman.. I was very young when they interviewed my mom but I can say they captured and published her stories perfectly. . So proud 😉

  8. Paul Duffy says:

    Please allow me to lengthen the historical mosaic of Dukes football:

    With deep sadness and respect, I must report that Mo Scarry, one of our Duquesne brethren recently passed.


    Beyond the details in the obit, I can fill out a bit more of the richness of a remarkable man, since I played for Mo at Waynesburg. Not noted in the obit, you’ll be interested to know that Mo was a graduate of Holy Name High School, while also playing both football and basketball at DHS (as it was done, BITD).

    Also omitted from the obit is the abiding impact he had on his players and teams. Mo was as old-school as ever has been seen, not in any sense mean but as tough as iron. It’s not noticeable in the portrait accompanying the obit, but he had a huge broad scar across that Irish nose. Mo could fuss and fume and bluster with the best of them. A common experience for many of us was to have Mo stick his face with that vicious scar and which was as vast as Galway Bay into our face masks, and in highest dudgeon and his characteristic faint lisp, proclaim “Shon, I want you to go chlean that guy’s clockh!”.

    The obit notes that Mo was drafted during WWII. Like most of those vets, he didn’t talk about it much, but over time we managed to learn a bit more about his service. He landed with Patton in North Africa, was captured in combat, and while being shipped back to Italy, his POW boat was torpedoed and sunk; somehow Mo survived but regrettably I don’t know much more of that tale.

    At one of our occasional team reunions some years ago, Mo was circling around his former payers and body-slamming and clip blocking us; he was about 80 at the time. Later at the bar, I happened to ask Mo what it was like to serve under Patton. As usual, that launched Mo immediately into his characteristic high bluster, saying “Why that shon of a ….”, and he paused, then adding “but you know what, that guy knew how to WIN!” Classic Mo.

    The obit only implies it, but it’s worth noting that perhaps the highlight of his coaching career was coaching the defensive line of the legendary No-Name Defense of the 1972 undefeated Super Bowl champion Dolphins. (http://www.miamidolphins.com/news/article-1/Former-Dolphins-Coach-Mo-Scarry-Dies/11824e4d-be3b-40b9-bbf3-dfeba6682004) Vern Den Herder, one of his defensive tackles on that team, later named one of horses Mo in honor of the coach. Shortly after Mo had moved on to the NFL, we won the NAIA national championship at Waynesburg, and of course, we invited Mo as guest of honor to our celebration dinner. As we gathered around him, we asked him, “Coach, what’s the biggest difference coaching in the NFL?”. His curt and obviously snide response was simply, “Agents”.

    May God grant him eternal peace.

    • Jim says:

      Paul, thank you so much for your wonderful comment. As you will see, I have just dedicated and posted an article about “Mo,” thanks to your contribution.

  9. Larry Fewell says:

    One cannot adequately do justice to Duquesne H.S. football without makiing mention of the Duquesne HS marching band under the direction of Eugene Schlagy. As a former member of that elite marching band (Sousaphone), I fondly remember with pride our half-time shows and especially those games with our arch rivals McKessport in which we often times feared for our very lives. My brother Robert (trumphet) and I would take a change of clothes when we played in McKeesport, so we could change from our uniforms and get the hell out of McKeesport immediately after the halftime show.
    I now live in San Jose, CA and the uniforms of the San Francisco 49′ ers are reminders of the glory days of the Duquene High School football.

  10. Forgot to sign my name the the last comment about Judy and Stevie Adams

  11. danddseese says:

    I too remember the magazine well being that Judy Adams was my sister and Stevie is my nephew. The family was so excited about them being interviewed and in the magazine. I remember it being a lot of fun for all of us. Can’t remember if they chose the Adams family because they lived in the Gedman house. Gedman’s being a dynasty of football players in Duquesne.

  12. earble says:

    I had that magazine! I loaned it to my brother Shawn about 30 years ago. He never gave it back!

  13. Rome Sikora says:

    Jim, as I have communicated to you before, one of the things I find uniquely “Duquesne” is the nick names. The GEO article devotes significant space to the Gedman family. Taking that family as an example, here are their given/nicknames:
    Gene/ Paddy
    Wayne/Turd or in more polite circles, Tarzan
    Janet/Janet (Don’t mess with the Gedmans)

    I was delighted to learn that DHS had, by 1980, established an award called the Wayne Gedman Award for best senior athlete. Not only was he in fact a superior athlete, but he also was a great human being. We both graduated DHS in 1953. He went to Arizona State on an athletic scholarship and I went to Pitt on a street car. After our first year of college we spent the summer break of 1954 working side by side for the Duquesne school district cleaning and otherwise preparing the Oliver Grade School on Second Street for the coming fall school season. That summer I took a class at Pitt night school. Whenever I had a midterm or final exam, Wayne would insist I go find a quiet spot to study and he would cover for me by washing enough walls to convince anyone that 2 people had worked that entire day. God bless him. I suppose the Wayne Gedman Award went the way of the entire school. So sad!

  14. Guy Achtzehn #61.... says:

    That was a special time for DHS football. Everyone who ever wore the helmet up to that time, took pride in its being written. I can remember several days through out the season, with reporters, photographers etc. One cold Oct. day, as practice was ending, we lined up for sprints. I recall us running and the photographer trying to get a “shot”…..Because of the light, he kept taking them, and with the coaches help, we continued to run until this guy could get a winning pic. As fate would have it, that pic didnt even make the magazine!! One player…who will remain nameless, was photographed putting his helmet in his duffle bag to take home. The magazine came out, the helmet had to be returned,…..lol…..Have quite a few more. Great times…..Go Dukes!

  15. Rich Ivory says:

    It is strange that the story ( I have the GEO Mag) never mentions the sister Janet who was after Ronnie ( Ronks) and Dennis ( Tank). She was a beautiful girl and very popular in DHS. The three of them were just about a year apart. Maybe Ronks was 2 years ahead. The people in the earlier years I knew well. Kop lived across from my grandmother..He was an excellent person.
    Rich Ivory

    • Ken Denne says:

      I dated Janet Gedman and was a real gentleman..so afraid that I if I misbehaved her brothers would annihilate me…

  16. Cheryl Ryan says:

    What a great time to be apart of a great program! I remember the night the photographer got the shot of me screaming!

  17. Diann Topley Torrey (Class of 71) says:

    It was wonderful to refresh my memories about high school football growing up in Duquesne. I am now living in a tiny town in West Texas (population 3,000 more or less) that has the same passion, spirit, and grit for football that Duquesne did. The choices here are are just as bleak: work in the oilfields after graduation or try to get a football scholarship to college. The town of Duquesne that I grew up in may not exist anymore, but the spirit lives on all across America. Go Dukes!

  18. Ron Kurimsky says:

    I remember this magazine article well. I believe it was entitled Pigskin & Steel in Pennsylvania and it had a picture of Stevie Adams on the front cover. He had on his red Duquense helmet with many Skull & Cross Bones awards pasted on it. Unfortunately, I lent the magazine to a guy and he managed to lose it – still not happy about that. Thanks so much for the opportunity to read this excellent article once again.

    • Jim says:

      Ron, you are absolutely correct about the cover. In fact, I neglected to put the cover in my post and have since updated it. Spot on memory!

      • Bob Chermonitz says:

        Jim, I remember this article very well. Somewhere I have the actual magazine that I got while coaching in Ohio. After the movie the “Deer Hunter” came out in 1978 I became the source of information on our Mon Valley. Because of that the librarian at our high school recognized the Duquesne reference and sent a student to the teacher’s lounge to give me the magazine. At the time I was blown away that Duquesne was “on the map” again. I recall sending a letter to Coach Fran Janusek to congratulate him on the article. I recall the Gedmans, also. Wayne was my Jr High coach when we went undefeated while I was in 9th grade (we played Jr High in 9th grade then-today 9th plays Sr High) and a year later, as the article says, he died on the sidelines of Edison Jr High in West Mifflin. My cousin Terry Kuchma was on that team and I recently discovered that team photo from the Daily News and gave it to him. Phil Magdic, my godfather’s son, was our ball-boy back then and always hung around the locker rooms with the team. As the article states he went on to be a great player. Last I talked to him he was still a coach down south. Now, where did I put that Gene Gedman Detroit Lions bubble gum card? 🙂

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