All posts by follansbee

Nov. 16, 1955 – 30th Anniversary of Tent Farm Women’s Club

The history of the Tent Farm Women’s Club was delivered by Mrs. John Clark at the club’s 30th anniversary program on November 10, 1955. The club was first organized in November 1925 at the home of Mrs. Ressie Freshwater near the Tent Church. The members selected gold and blue as their colors and the Hollyhock as the club’s flower. The small community was scattered and no 4 H club was near. The local rural families identified with the near by Tent Church that needed their patronage. A constitution was drawn up with some of the following objectives in mind: promote sociability and good fellowship, help support in every way possible their only local institution, the Tent Church, and work together to solve home and community problems to the best of their ability.

The Tent Church Women’s Club enriched the lives of the people in their rural community. Meetings were held every second Friday of the month. The club donated to the Sunday school and other local causes, and established a bank account with $27 for every baby of a club member.

The list of club presidents form 1925 to 1955 included the following: Mrs. Wilbur Freshwater, Mrs. John Clark, Mrs. Willard Strain, Miss Marie Jackson, Mrs. Lillith Carter, Mrs. Wallace Mechling, Mrs. Adda Householder, Mrs. James Lusk, Mrs. Lysle McLaughlin, Mrs. John McAlpine, Mrs. Hugh Turk and Mrs. Teresa Blaskovich.

  • Follansbee Review, “Tent Farm Women’s Club History..,” Nov. 16, 1955, p. 2.

1955 Carlin Dodrill Field House

Constructed in 1955 at the location where Cyrus Ferguson’s (See Cyrus Ferguson on Timeline) home once stood, the Follansbee Field House was dedicated to Carlin F. Dodrill who served as a teacher and coach at Follansbee High School for 33 years.

Dodrill graduated in the FHS class of 1931.  He played on the 1929-1930 football teams.  Under coach George Roark, he played center position for the 1929 Follansbee team that was undefeated until the last game against Wellsburg.  Carlin Dodrill attended West Liberty State College where he participated in three sports, including the football squad. He graduated in 1935.  After briefly working at Weirton Steel, he returned to Follansbee High and began a career in teacher and coaching.  Except for the interruption of World War II, his tenure at FHS extended from 1936-1969.  He served as assistant Blue Wave football coach from 1946-1963, head basketball coach from 1946-1969 and assistant basketball coach from 1962-1969.  Carlin was also head baseball coach from 1950-1969.

In 1969 when Follansbee was consolidated with Wellsburg and Bethany high schools to create Brooke High School, he quit coaching to became the athletic director at the newly consolidated Brooke High.  He retired in 1972.

Dodrill served in the Army Air Corps during World War II.  He was a member of the Follansbee United Methodists Church. Carlin co-authored, “West Virginia Centennial Celebration,1863-1963 Brooke County,” published by the Follansbee Review Press. In 1982 he wrote the History of the Cedar Lodge (See “Cedar Lodge” on Timeline).  He was inducted into the West Liberty University Hall of Fame in 1987.  Carlin was born on 9-24-1912 and died at the age of 87 on 2-13-2000.  He is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, located in Follansbee.   For thousands of Follansbee High graduates, Carlin Dodrill is remembered with admiration and respect.

scan0050 Dodrill





Baseball Team




Carlin Dodrill’s 1956 FHS State Champs.




“Carlin Dodrill – West Liberty – Hall of Fame,” =

1955 – St. Anthony Begins High School Sports Program

St. Anthony Sports  Angelo Ciccolella became the first Athletic Director at St. Anthony’s High School. In April 1955, the school’s Booster Club met with Angelo Ciccolella, chairman, presiding. He reported that baseball uniforms and equipment had been purchased for the St. Anthony grade school that entered the Parochial League, composed of teams mostly from the vicinity around Steubenville, OH.

The baseball team was coached by Frank Marion and scheduled to begin the season against St. Anthony of Steubenville at the Follansbee American Legion north-end field. For away games, the school received help from many Boosters including the Nazionale and Taibi Beer Distributers, who provided transportation with their beer trucks. The Blue Goose Bus also transported kids to the Hooverson Heights St. Francis Center were they practiced on a nearby field.

Equipment for the volleyball and table tennis teams were also purchased for school students. Applications for a football and basketball coach were under consideration.

St. Anthony High School began a regular football schedule as an OVAC Single A Division team in 1957. The first head coach was Tony Paesano, who played his college ball at Duquesne University.  The assistant coach was George Taibi.  Anthony Anastasio was manager.  The majority of the players were of Italian descent from the lower end of town.  Their fathers were an earlier generation who played for the Follansbee Blue & White. As their mascot. St. Anthony chose to call themselves the “Steelmen,” an appropriate team symbol for a catholic school located in a town known for its steel mill . The major rivals for the “Steelmen” were Weirton Madonna and Avella High School in Pennsylvania. For home games, St. Anthony shared Cross Creek Memorial Stadium with the Follansbee High. Follansbee played their home games on Friday and St. Anthony on Saturday evenings.


56 Photo - St. Anthony Yearbook Parade in Follansbee

First Football team of St. Anthony, the photo also references their early schedule.




St. Anthony won the Class A, W.Va. Catholic High School Basketball Tournament in 1961.






St. Anthony Pep Rally






1958 OVAC Class A champions



Football in Action 2




Martin Gaudio and team mates  in 33-0 victory over Bishop Donahue in 1961.






Mike Ciccollella was on the SA 1961 OVAC championship team. He was inducted into the University of Dayton Sports Hall of Fame and drafted by the New York Giants as a linebacker.







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St. Anthonys Football Team




David %22Bull%22 Casinelli



























David Anthony “Bull” Casinelli, (St. Anthony 1958) David began his career as a tackle under coach Tony Paesano at St. Anthony.  Highly recruited by Memphis State, he was moved to the fullback position and led the Tigers to a 1963 undefeated season. He ranked first nationally as a leader in rushing yardage and was tied for points scored.  During his college career (1960-63), he established school records with 2,796 total yards from scrimmage and 36 career touchdowns.  David’s number 30 was retired at Memphis State.  He was inducted into the Memphis State “M Club Hall of Fame.”  In January 1964, he signed with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League.

1957 Steelmen





St. Anthony Sports  











1957 OVAC Class A Champs





Steelmen Are 1957 OVAC Class A Champs.

1954 – T.J. Hill – Legendary Follansbee Track Coach

Thomas Jackson Hill, or T.J. as he was known, coached track at Follansbee for 17 years before retiring in 1954.  His Follansbee track teams won 52 and lost only nine dual meets.  His teams won the Follansbee Invitational, which he founded, five times in seven attempts, and also captured the Brooke County Relays.

T.J. Hill 1954

T.J. Hill never had the depth at Follansbee to produce a state champion track team.  However, he had six individual state champions – Joe Yauch in the low hurdles, Ralph Freshwater and Joe Marose in the mile, Robert Balch in the 440, Jim Carey in the high jump, and George Taibi in the 100-yd dash.  Joe Yauch was killed during World War II. During T.J. Hill’s career at Follansbee, his teams scored in every state championship event.

Coach Hill started Glenn “Jeep” Davis on the road that led to Olympic greatness.  Hill coached Davis as a junior high and freshman athlete. When tragedy took the lives of Davis’ parents, Glenn moved in with relatives at Barberton, Ohio.  Hill kept up a close relationship with his star pupil and traveled to see him compete first at Ohio State, and later at the Olympic games at Melbourne in 1956 and at Rome in 1960.  Hill’s former star won the 400-meter hurdles and set a record in both Olympic occasions.  Davis also established an Olympic record for the quarter mile. (See 1956 – Glenn “Jeep” Davis on Timeline)

T.J. Hill took pride in his own early years as an athlete.  He graduated from Ripon College (Wisconsin), where he stared in track, baseball, and was quarterback for the football team.  He recalled playing football at a time when shoulder pads were sewed on the outside of jerseys.  He claimed that today’s pressurized athletics cause the real purpose of athletics, “recreation, fun, and exercise,” to be lost.

After coaching high school sports in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa, he served in a field artillery unit during World War I.  Following the war, he made his first appearance in the Ohio Valley as all-sports coach at Triadelphia.  He later coached at Wellsburg  before coming to Follansbee.  Hill became a legendary track coach in the valley.  With his Triadelphia and Follansbee track teams, he attended every state high school meet from 1923 until his final coaching year.

It is estimated that T.J. Hill coached more than 2,000 youngsters over a 44-year career.   After retiring from Follansbee, Hill was recruited by Bethany College where he coached track for four more seasons.  At Follansbee, football coach Doug Stone assumed Hill’s track duties.

In 1954, the Northern Panhandle Coaches Association presented T.J. Hill with a life pass to all OVAC athletic events.  Hill was honored in 1967 at the state high school meet at Charleston, where his picture was featured in the program.  In 1981, he was posthumously selected for membership in the Ohio Valley Dapper Dan Club’s Hall of Fame.  T.J. Hill was born in Strathaven, Scotland in 1889 and died in 1974.

  • Follansbee Review, “… T.J. Hill Given Life Pass..,” September 15, 1954,  front page.
  • Steubenville Herald Star, “Dapper Dans Honor Hill,” February 1, 1981.
  • The Wheeling Intelligencer, “Cliff McWilliams’ Sports” (tribute to T. J. Hill), Wednesday, May 19, 1965.

1954 – Follansbee Blue Wave Win State Championship

Blue Wave-png


The Blue Wave won the 1954 State Football Crown by beating Barboursville, 7-6.   After defeating Wellsburg in the final regular season’s game, 19-7, Co-Captains Mike Falbo and Rich Wilinski presented “the silver saw” representing the Brooke County Champs to Principal W. C. Hood.

Full text Write up
Click link 1954 football for read text of game summary.

IMG_1466 Courtesy of Steubenville Herald Star.









Follansbee’s greatest football victory in school history.

IMG_20131224_0004 Rich Wilinski, Coach Doug Stone, Mike Falbo - 1954 Champs







1954 Blue Wave Win

1951- Follansbee’s Homecoming Queens

The celebration of homecoming queens who resigned at Follansbee High began in 1951 and continued until 1968 when the school was consolidated.   The Follansbee Blue Wave homecoming Queens are as follows:

1951- Juanita Johnston, 1952 – Marilyn Allen, 1953 – Kit Taylor, 1954 – Ann Coker,  1955 – Mary Lou Helmick,  1956 – Sally Sue Thornburg,  1957 – Polly Ann Townsed, 1958 – Isabelle Fages,  1959 – Becky Riggle, 1960 – Judy Vickers, 1961- Judy LeMasters, 1962- Patricia Basil, 1963- Betty Skunda, 1964- Judy Skunda, 1965- Vicki Moninger, 1966- Kathleen Cline, 1967- Mary Margaret Casale, and 1968- Lynette Koper.

*Judy Skunda represented West Virginia in the 1966 Miss America Pageant, in Atlantic City.

*Vicki Moninger was State Forest Festival Queen in 1966.



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Aug. 19, 1946 – World War II Homecoming Celebration

Spectators lined Main Street on Saturday morning and watched the Homecoming Parade to welcome home 1,800 World War II servicemen and women.   Not since 1919, did the city and Cross Creek District experience a historic occasion of equal joy and splendor.  Current mayor George Hubbs and Charles Berry, who was mayor of Follansbee at the close of the first war in 1919, were the honorary parade marshalls. 

Plans for the Homecoming began a year earlier in September 1945.  “Seventy-five representatives from 26 organizations attended the planning sessions.”  Mayor George Hubbs presided over the various task groups.  “The following officers were elected to serve as task masters: Gorge Hubbs, general chairman; Mayor Samuel Wright of Holiday Cove, co-chairman; Maurice T. Bunlope, treasure; F.H. Barnhart, secretary; executive board, Lloyd D. Keller, Porter Martin, Herbert Traubert, Mrs. Frank Basil, and Raymond Grace. “

“The day-long homecoming celebration started in the morning with an extensive parade that took half an hour to pass in review before Brig. Gen. Robert W. Grow of Fort Knox, KY.  The procession included over 400 soldiers, sailors and Marines of World War II and 100 of the First World War.  Nine colorful floats, six musical corps, eight fire units and numerous marching delegations comprised the parade, which proceeded over a one mile rout before a crowed estimated by police at over 8,040.”

The guest speakers program was given in the municipal park. The keynote speaker Gen. Grove declared that America emerged triumphant because “the American soldiers are the greatest fighters in the world and because these factories and mills along the river were turning out the finest tools of war that the world has ever seen.”  Gen. Grow singled out Sgt. Louis Basel as typical of the soldiers sent out of the Cross Creek District into the world battlefields.

In praise, Gen. Grow said that Sgt. Basel was manning the radio of an armored car while entering the French town of Autun and met a similar car driven by a French soldier.  It was Louis who first communicated by radio with the French Army of Gen. Devers that landed near Marseille and came up from the south, and the Army of Gen. Eisenhower that fought to achieve a landing on the Normandy beach.

Bands that marched were from Wintersville, Follansbee and Wellsburg High Schools.  The Steubenville Navy Bells, Mingo Fireman’s corps and 50-piece Duke drum corps of Pittsburgh also participated.  Fire departments represented were from Stratton, Holidays Cove, Weirton, Wellsburg, Mingo, Follansbee, Beach Bottom and Hooverson Heights.  Marching units included the Legion, Spanish American War veterans, Garibaldi society, Boy Scouts, Louise community, Follansbee Foreman’s club, Toronto Foreman’s club, Sheet Metal Specialty, Four-H members, and Eagles. Over 50 horses from the district also were in Line.

The floats expressed the Welcome Home Theme. The Follansbee Steel entry depicted a cottage with a father greeting his returned son.  The Sheet Metal Specialty float featured a tranquil garden scene with running water from a fountain.  Miss liberty and Uncle Sam were the themes of the Boy Scout float. The American Legion, Grange, Louise women, and Lions Club sponsored other floats.

 *Follansbee Review, “Second Homecoming Plan.”Aug. 22, 1945, p.1.

*Steubenville Herald Star, “Record Parade Staged..” Aug. 19, 1946. p.1.

Fire Truck Honorary Parade Marshalls Parade-former sailors close-up Parade-former sailors Bixby Bill Cox Speakers-Key Men

1945 – Oscar Hagberg Coaches In Army-Navy Game Before 102,000 People

IMG_1408 Oscar Hagberg’s Navy football team played Army at a jammed packed Philadelphia’s Municipal Stadium in 1945.  Coach Hagberg’s Midshipmen were up against America’s wonder team.   Army defeated Navy 32-14 and finished a second undefeated and untied season.  President Truman was in the stands.   The Army team was led by two Heismen trophy winners, Doc Blanchard (1945) and Gleen Davis (1946).  The two superstars exploded for 5 touchdowns.  Red Barber announced the game over radio to millions.

Oscar Emil “Swede” Hagberg grew up in Follansbee and played football for the Blue Wave high school team. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy where he was on the Lacrosse team (1929-1931) and the Navy football team during (1929-1930). Oscar was the 25th head football coach for Navy.   He held the position for two seasons, 1944-1945.   His coaching record was 13 wins, 4 losses, and 1 tie.  During the World War II, he commanded submarines.   Beginning in 1943, his craft, the USS Albacore, made torpedo attacks against Japanese transports.  His sub sank the Japanese gunboat Heijo Maru near the Caroline Islands. In November 1943, his USS Albacore torpedoed and sunk the Japanese transport Kenzan Maru north-east of Manus.

1943 – Follansbee & the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference

The OVAC was established in 1943 with Follansbee among its first members.  At that time there were two divisions, class A and AA, with Follansbee classified as a smaller school in the A division.

57 Follansbee's Joe Chorba and Mario Lombardi played in the first WV-Ohio All Star game in 1940. The 1940 game occurred before the current OVAC was established in 1943. Photo Courtesy of Steubenville Herald Star.






First Ohio Valley All Star Football Game Program.





Three past presidents of the OVAC were directly connected to Follansbee.   Follansbee’s Coach Mac Bowles served as president during 1949-1950.  Homer Bodley, who was a principal at FHS, was OVAC president during 1968-1969.  George Kohelis, who graduated from Follansbee High in 1961, served as president during 1999-2000 while at Weirton High School.
Four Follansbee coaches are celebrated for winning the OVAC class A football championships. Representing FHS, Mac Bowles’ Blue Wave teams were champs in 1947, 1948 and 1949.  Gus Winter won in 1950.
 Gus Winters 1950 10-0 Team.
Representing St. Anthony, Tony Paesano led the Follansbee St. Anthony Steelmen to the class A championship in 1958, and Ron Pawlowski won again for the Steelmen in 1960.

Multiple Follansbee High Coaches have led the West Virginia team in the Ohio-West Virginia All Star Game.  They are the following:

  •  1950 – Mac Bowles – Ohio 14 WV 0                                        
  • 1951 – Argue E. “Gus” Winter – Ohio 13 WV 6                       
  • 1954 – Doug Stone – WV 13 Ohio 0                                         
  •  1955 – Doug Stone – Ohio 31 WV 20                                       
  • 1956 – Doug Stone – Ohio 27 WV 0
  • 1967 –  Denny Williams  – Ohio 6 WvV 0



  • Ciccarelli, Ralph 59)
  • Anastasia, Anthony (61)
  • Ciccolella, Mike (61)
  • Julio, John (61)
  • Martino, Enzo (62)
  • Dudash, Rich (64)


  • Chorba, Joseph (40)
  • Lumbardi, Mutt (40)
  • D’Aurora, Edo (47)
  • Giannini, John (48)
  • Hedmond, Bob (48)
  • Hissom, Jim (49)
  • Lewis, Sydney (49)
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  • Jones, William (50)
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  • Barezinsky, Stanley (52)
  • Schenerlein, Wilber (53)
  • Sissini, Ross (53)
  • Anastasia, Ralph (54)
  • Ciccolella, John (54)  
  • Gawrych, Ron (54)  
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  • Perna, Steve (54)  
  • Stift, Ralph (55)  
  • Bowen, Leon (55)
  • Falbo, Mike (55)  
  • Floyd, Okie (55)
  • Freshwater, Tom (55)
  • Wilinski, Richard (55)
  • Clarke, Melvin (56)
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  • Basil, Pete (68)
  • Fleming, Alan (68)
  • Hood, Larry (69)  
  • Barnhart, Charles (69)


Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Championships 1943 – 2009

“All Star Football Game History“