Last week, all-time WPIAL great Myron Pottios – a Charleroi standout who went on to play for the Pittsburgh Steelers and in a Super Bowl with the Washington Redskins – was the first subject of Legends of the Fall.
This week, with Dave Bates leaving his successful post as Carmichaels baseball coach to become principal at Jefferson-Morgan High School, the time is right to look back at a legend from the eastern portion of Greene County.
In the early 1950, Larry Krutko was a dominating two-way player and electrifying runner at Cumberland Townhip High School, now known as Carmichaels.
From his tailback position, Krutko scored 127 points during the 1952 season, which ended with Cumberland Township defeating Wilmerding, 12-6, for the WPIAL Class B championship. Krutko graduated from Cumberland Township with 258 career points, which still ranks among the all-time leaders at the school. He also earned honorable mention All-America honors in 1953.
Krutko matriculated to West Virginia University, a popular stop for the top players from the Carmichaels area. From 1955-57, he was the Mountaineers' starting fullback and Krutko finished his collegiate career wit 1,407 rushing yards. He twice led WVU in rushing and scoring (1956, 1957).
His collegiate success caught the eye of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who made Krutko their second-round selection in 1958 and the 20th overall pick. In three years with the Steelers, Krutko rushed for 331 yards, had 18 yards receiving and scored four touchdowns.
A 1993 inductee into the Washington-Greene chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, Krutko still has ties to major college football. Luke Massa, his grandson, is a quarterback at the University of Cincinnati.