Winning his fifth championship ring is bittersweet for Clairton Bears defensive end Remondo Williams, 18.
“I feel blessed to be a part of this. The players are great and I have learned a lot from them like hard work and how to be a champion. It’s also sad for me because I’ll be graduating,” said Williams who served as manager for the Bears for three years in addition to playing on the field as a player. Upon graduating, Williams will be attending Tennessee State where he will study psychology and physical therapy.
THE CLAIRTON BEARS
Members of the Clairton Bears football team, city officials, family and friends gathered for a day geared toward celebrating the accomplishments of the Clairton Bears Football team.
The team has won four consecutive Class A WPIAL championships and three consecutive state championships.
“What these kids have accomplished is something that past generations haven’t done. This transcends color and race,” said Richard Livingston, president of the Clairton City School District Board of Directors
In addition, the team has won a whopping 47 games in a row, giving the bears the longest winning streak in the United States and giving Clairton City School District the first school to ever win three straight WPIAL championships.
“This team is special. We’re all so proud of them. It’s amazing what the kids have done for this school and this community,” said Tom Nola, head coach of the Clairton Bears Football team. “The winning streak makes this year very special.”
The team’s unprecedented accomplishments were celebrated with a parade, an assembly at the high school and a banquet.
During the banquet, keynote speaker Bobby Ingram who played 14 years as a receiver in the NFL from 1996 to 2010 with various football teams including the Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks and the Kansas City Chiefs and currently serves as wide receivers coach at the University of Pittsburgh, said accountability, determination and preparation are the keys to having long-lasting success in any career path.
“If you fail to prepare, then you prepare to fail. When you take the time to prepare, you give yourself a better chance of having and keeping success,” Ingram said. “This team showed a tremendous work ethic and that has contributed to the success you’ve had on the football field.”
Bears quarterback Capri Thompson, 18, who has earned four championship rings, soaked up the atmosphere of a night that commemorated an astronomical season.
“This is memorable. I feel ecstatic. This is something that has the potential to never be done again. We set the bar high. This is a lifelong achievement that we can talk about for years,” Thompson said.
Karvonn Thompson, an 18-year-old senior nose guard who has earned four championship rings during his time with the Clairton Bears, cites hard work and dedication as reasons for the team’s success. He is sure that by using the same formula, a five-pete will be in the Bear’s future.
“The returning players helped us out a lot this year and that is what’s needed for us to do it again next year,” Thompson said.
Although next year’s Clairton Bears roster will be a bit smaller—there are approximately 11 seniors graduating this year—the freshman football players are ready to step in and make the team shine.
“We know it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to get to the top. If we work hard enough, we’ll do fine,” said Vance Gibson, a 14-year-old freshman linebacker for the Bears.
“We have very few linemen, but that won’t stop us. We have learned how to be leaders and how to help out each other from the older players,” said Defensive Tackle Israel Melvin, 14. “We are determined to get past any obstacle.”