beaver-county-football

Football is an honest game. It’s true to life. It’s a game about sharing. Football is a team game. So is life.” – Joe Namath

As the NFL’s regular season draws closer (because pre-season is only good for pre-evaluating your fantasy draft picks and praying nobody gets hurt) I have been getting a little nostalgic with my love for the game.

I come from a family who spent their time out on the gridiron (Dad, Uncles, Cousin, Brother, Husband) and to be honest the only thing I didn’t like about growing up as a girl was the fact that I couldn’t play football.

Of course I smoked all of the neighborhood boys in our annual Turkey Bowls, made it rain TD’s in a few powder puff games, and my dad and I are still the best in backyard football running the only play we ever need to because it always works…the down-out-and-down. But it wasn’t quite the same!

We all know it’s a fact that Western Pennsylvania is one of the best places in the country for football talent. We’ve produced more Hall of Famer’s than anyone else.

But do you know how many of them are actually from Beaver County?

A lot more than you think!

When I started putting this together, even I was amazed at the talent that comes straight from our hometowns. It was even more fun reminiscing about watching some of these all-time greats play live in high school and college while I grew up.

With one of the best quarterbacks and running backs of all time, and arguably the best shut-down cornerback tandem you could ever put on the field… I’d say Beaver County is nothing short of a breeding ground for legendary football talent!

What I did was put together my “Starting Lineup.” Assuming that everyone played at the same time and that I have any kind of coaching experience to make these kinds of decisions… Everyone on this list is from Beaver County or RIGHT over the line to cover all positions.

The All-Beaver County Starting Offense

A number of these are from our very own Beaver Falls. Hall-of-Famer’s, Super Bowl Champions… you name it, we’ve got it!

Quarterback: Joe Namath, Beaver Falls

  • College: Alabama
  • Hall of Fame QB and MVP of Super Bowl #3, Pro-Bowler, Jet’s All-time leader in pretty much every QB category.

Tailback: Tony Dorsett, Hopewell

  • College: Pitt
  • Hall of Fame RB (#8 all-time), Super Bowl Champion, Pro-Bowler & Offensive Rookie of the Year (’77).

Fullback: John Karcis, Monaca

  • College: Carnegie Mellon (Carnegie Tech at the time)
  • Nicknamed the “Bull” he spent 12 seasons in the league, and also coached in Detroit. Beaver County Sports HOF Member.

Wide Receiver: Joe Walton, Beaver Falls

  • College: Pitt
  • All-American 2nd round draft pick by the Redskins, played 8 seasons. Head coach of the Jets for 7 seasons, and our own Offensive Coordinator under Chuck Noll.

Wide Receiver: Glenn Dennison, Beaver Falls

  • College: Miami
  • While he was technically a TE, we’re listing him as a receiver due to his versatility. 2nd round draft pick by the Jets, and started 9 games as a rookie!

Tight End: Jim Mutscheller, Beaver Falls

  • College: Notre Dame
  • 1949 National Championship with the Fighting Irish (he played both ways and was the team captain!) 9 seasons in the league, Pro-Bowler, and Beaver County Sports HOF Member.

Center: AQ Shipley, Coraopolis

  • College: Penn State
  • Now entering his 7th year in the league, he’s suiting up with the Cardinals! You can see him snapping the ball to Carson Palmer this season.

Guard: Forrest Douds, Rochester

  • College: Washington & Jefferson
  • 5 seasons in the league, and coached in Pittsburgh. 1930 All-Star. Beaver County Sports HOF Member.

Guard: Leo Nobile, Ambridge

  • College: Penn State
  • Went both ways playing Guard AND Linebacker for the Steelers. He was also a WWII veteran!

Tackle: Gerald Dannerlein, Ambridge

  • College: St. Mary’s College of California
  • 3rd Round Pick in the 1937 Draft, spent 4 seasons with the Giants.

Alternates

  • QB: Vito “Babe” Parilli, Rochester
  • RB: Doug Dressler, Beaver Falls
  • FB: Ron “Po” James, New Brighton

The All-Beaver County Starting Defense

While the offense had a solid showing from Beaver Falls, Aliquippa OWNS the defense with a helping hand from Ambridge. I also set it up as a 3-4, because that’s what the Steelers play so it’s obviously the best!

Nose Tackle: Bob Liggett, Aliquippa

  • College: Nebraska
  • Sugar Bowl and Sun Bowl as a Cornhusker. College All-Star. Unfortunately his NFL career was cut short due to injury.

Defensive End: Bill Koman, Hopewell

  • College: North Carolina
  • Also played linebacker. 12 seasons in the League, Pro-Bowler, 7 career interceptions.

Defensive End: Sean Gilbert, Aliquippa

  • College: Pitt
  • 3rd overall pick of the ’92 draft. “All-Rookie,” Pro-Bowler, almost 500 tackles in his 12-season career.

Linbeacker: Mike Lucci, Ambridge

  • College: Tennessee
  • Middle Linebacker, Pro-Bowler, 3x Lions MVP. 21 career interceptions with Detroit, 4 of which he returned for TD’s.

Linebacker: Paul Posluszny, Hopewell

  • College: Penn State
  • Currently entering his 9th season with the Jaguars, this 2nd round draft pick is also a Pro-Bowler, and has 11 career interceptions and 8 forced fumbles.

Linebacker: John Skorupan, Beaver

  • College: Penn State
  • 8 seasons in the league, with 2 INT’s and a forced Safety (not too many people have that on their resumes!)

Linebacker: Kris Griffin, Rochester

  • College: IUP
  • This undrafted free-agent spent a solid 4 seasons in the league, and was a champion in the United Football League.

Cornerback: Ty Law, Aliquippa

  • College: Michigan
  • 3x Super Bowl Champion, Pro-Bowler, almost 450 career tackles, 5 sacks and 53 interceptions. The original Beast Mode.

Cornerback: Darrelle Revis, Aliquippa

  • College: Pitt
  • Revis Island is entering its 9th season and is in his second stint with the Jets. He’s a Super Bowl Champion and a Pro-Bowler, and one of the best if not THE best corner in the league.

Safety: Anthony Dorsett, Aliquippa

  • College: Pitt
  • Son of the legendary Tony Dorsett, Anthony made his own mark on the defensive side of the ball. 7 Seasons in the NFL, with time in the Canadian and United Leagues as well.

Safety: Greg Best, Blackhawk

  • College: Kansas State
  • In 1983, Best had one of the longest fumble recoveries for a TD in history (94 yards.) Spent 2 years in the NFL, and also some time in the AFL.

Who were some of your favorites to watch? Who else would you like to see on the list? We’d love to hear from you!

Allie is a lifelong resident of Beaver County. She is a 2006 graduate of Blackhawk High School, and still resides in Patterson Heights with her husband Andy and their 3-year old son, Luke. She is a Regional Manager at PLS Logistics and a sports fanatic. You can find her on Facebook as Allie Dixon.