STRUTHERS, Ohio (WYTV) – It was a golden anniversary in Struthers Friday night as the Wild Cats football team celebrated its 100th year.
To mark the milestone, there was a pre-game tailgate and ceremony before Friday night’s game against Toledo Scott.
Former players were brought onto the field by the decade they played in. They paused for a picture, one of the largest groups being the men who played in the 1980s.
“This is the MVP trophy from the 1930 undefeated team,” said alumnus Don Sicafuse.
That piece of Struthers memorabilia belonged to the late Woody Sicafuse who, at the party before the game, was represented by his twin sons, Ron and Don Sicafuse.
Also at the party was former Struthers Superintendent Laddie Fedor. He’s 92, making him the oldest living Struthers football alumnus, from the class of 1940.
“How good was the ’40s team? We didn’t win a game, we did not win a game! And that wasn’t repeated until 1995,” Fedor said.
The Struthers football field is actually named in Fedor’s honor. He said he has fond memories of his time as a Wild Cat tackle.
“It’s a big deal! I haven’t missed too many of the games, that’s for sure, even when I was done. And it’s a wonderful thing to come every Friday night, here and on the road,” Fedor said.
Among those who signed the football that was passed around was Pete Pirone. He coached at Struthers for 34 years, eight as head coach.
“Oh they were great years. I had great players. It’s good to see a lot of them here,” Pirone said.
Also working his way through the crowd was Struthers Mayor Terry Stocker, an inside linebacker from the class of 1967. Four generations of Stockers played football at Strurthes, including Stocker’s father, son and grandsons.
“This is kind of a big deal, isn’t it? It is, it is, it really is for the city. All those people who played here all those years. It’s amazing. All of the coaches are here, I see a lot of the coaches who are here. Just anybody that donned the red and black, it’s just a wonderful feeling to see everybody come together tonight,” Stocker said.
Struthers started playing football in 1916, so last year should have been the 100th season. But in 1995, with money running short, Struthers had to drop football for one year. A levy was passed though, and football was brought back.
The team’s first winning season was in the ’40s.