Monday, September 8, 2008
Town of Champions, Part VI
Time for the sixth installment of the Varsity Letters' Town of Champions, which highlights the rich sports traditions of area communities.
Today, we look at the many communities that make up Ringgold High School.
The largest school in the mid-Mon Valley loves its football and the Ringgold area certainly has produced its share of legends.
None are bigger than Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana (pictured), who led Ringgold to the 1973 WPIAL Class AAA basketball championship. The area also produced legend Arnold Galiffa, who quarterbacked Donora to WPIAL football titles in 1944 and 1945. Galiffa is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. "Deacon" Dan Towler also played for those teams. The 1945 Donora team was inducted into the WPIAL Hall of Fame this past year and is considered to be one of the greatest teams in Western Pennsylvania history.
Donora also won the 1953 football championship, while Ringgold won WPIAL titles in 1982, 1987 and 1993. Former Rams standout Anthony Peterson is the last Washington County native to play in a NFL game.
In addition to Montana, Galiffa, Towler and Peterson, former NFL kicker Fred Cox – a Pitt standout – is part of the inaugural Ringgold Hall of Fame. Cox helped create Nerf football.
Baseball also owns a strong tradition in the area, with Donora producing Hall of Famer Stan Musial in addition to Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr.
Monongahela High won the first two WPIAL boys soccer titles in 1957 and 1958.
Until 2004, the 1995 Ringgold Rams were the only WPIAL boys basketball team to win a PIAA Class AAAA title. Ringgold also played in the 1990 title game, losing by two points to Glen Mills. The 1945 Donora team lost by two points to Allentown in the state final.
Ringgold won WPIAL basketball titles in 1973 and 1990, while Donora took the 1945 championship.