Although it’s unclear as to when the basketball program was introduced, Pine Township was a dominate force in Class B in Indiana County during the 1930s. In 1931 and 1932, Pine Township was runner-up in the County Championship and in 1933 captured the Class B Championship (see photo). The following year (1934), they repeated as the County Champions, advancing to the District VI Class B Championship, which they won. Not to be outdone, the 1935 team was the most successful boy’s basketball team in the school’s history with a record of 22 wins and only 3 losses. This team won the Indiana County Class B Championship, the District VI Class B Championship, and the Western Pennsylvania Class B Championship (see photo). In 1938, the Pine Township team was the runner-up to Marion Center in the Indiana County Championship, as Mike ‘Dizzy’ Guady took the scoring title for the Southern Section of the Indiana County Basketball League. Following the 1940 season, Faye ‘Fuzzy’ Croyle established a record for the school by being selected to the All-County Team for the third consecutive year. The Pine Township Basketball program returned as Indiana County Class C Champions in 1945 and followed that with repeat championships in 1946 and 1947 (see photo). In 1950, Pine Township was once again the runner-up in the Indiana County Tournament. In 1946, The Indiana Evening Gazette sports writers first coined the name that became the nickname for all Pine Township athletic teams – the Tigers (see logo).
In September 1940, a new sport was introduced to the boys in Pine Township High School – six-man football. Head Coach Joe Sutilla and his assistant Ray Lockard welcomed the following boys to their first practice (see photo): (front row/ left to right) James Donahue, Mike Ballas, Henry Bugay; (second row) George Bieda, Harry Adams, Howard Waltermire, Steve Bakale, Amerigo Lombardi, Miles Battista; (third row) Joe Sutila, Coach Ray Lockard, Coach William Rennie, Oscar Levis, Fred Waxler, William Sutila, Narcisco Gamberoni, Leo Harris, Fay Croyle, Principal Lisle Learn. The boy’s athletic equipment was obtained from the Athletic Department at Indiana State Teacher’s College in nearby Indiana, Pennsylvania, where Coach Sutilla had recently graduated following a distinguished athletic career.
After two weeks of practicing, the team played the first game of a six-game schedule on September 28 at Armagh. With halfback Fay Croyle scoring three touchdowns on runs of 60 yards, 40 yards, followed by another 40-yard run, along with Fred Waxler scoring on a safety, Pine Township won their first ever football game 20-0. On October 5, Blacklick Township defeated Pine Township in a close game 25-24. The following week on October 12, Hooversville soundly defeated Pine Township 38-12. Richland Township also defeated Pine Township on October 26. The final game on the schedule (November 8th) was a 26-15 victory over Hastings.
On October 18, 1941, Pine Township played Cherry Tree in its first-ever 11-man football game, which they lost by a score of 20-0. The Pine Township line-up was as follows: LE-Pampe; LT-Lombardi; LG-Malippa; C-Myers; RG-Bugay; RT-Waltermire; RE-Kuzemchak; Q-Pecaric; LH-Conerby; RH-Renni; FB-Vanish. In addition, the following players were substitutes during the contest: Adams; Rusnak; Corsini; Vehovic; Ballas; Fallsetti; Graham; Pino; Laverzari; Stupic. Saltsburg defeated the Pine Township team by a score of 20-0 the following week. The following week, Cowanshannock/Sagamore also took the measure of Pine Township by a score of 45-0. The final game of the season saw Pine Township lose to Armagh by a score of 25-6. Although Pine Township lost all four scheduled games in 11-man football, valuable experience was added for future seasons. Pine Township also participated in a five-game, six-man football schedule the same year, winning at Hastings by a score of 6-0 while losing the other four games (see photo).
Following the initial season of 11-man football, the football program only had two winning seasons until 1951. The 1947 team set a school record when they won five games, while only losing three – bettering the mark of the 1942 team at 4-2-1.
Joe Sutila, teacher and football coach, formed an athletic club in the inaugural 1940 season called the “H Club”. The club awarded an “H” to those members who participated in a school-sponsored sport, and an “H Club” jacket was given to seniors who were members of the club (see photo). In the early 1950s, the club’s name was changed to the “Varsity Club” and began awarding “PT” letters to sports participants and a “PT” jacket to the senior members of the club (see photo).
In 1935, the “mush ball”/softball team disbanded and a baseball team took its place. Pine Townships and Clymer split a two-game series. This is the first mention of a baseball program until 1947, when a Baseball Club was formed at the high school (see photo). The program continued throughout the 1940s and into the 1950s.
The most successful athletic teams from Pine Township were probably the Track and Field teams. As early as 1928, teams that represented Pine Township (while not always having many team members nor having the best of uniforms) distinguished themselves on the field. In 1930, the Pine Township Track team was victorious in winning the Indiana County Class B Championship (see photo). In 1944, the track team lost the County Track Meet by a mere half-point. The following year (1945), Pine Township began a seven-year reign as Indiana County Class B Track and Field Champions through 1951 – a feat that has never since been duplicated (see photos).
In 1939, an event was first staged in the assembly room of the high school that should be mentioned. Two students at Pine Township participated in the first-ever boxing match. ‘Penn Run Bound’ Vere Trinkley and ‘Slugging Senior Sensation’ John Sas exchanged jabs and hooks for three rounds. In the end, Vere Trinkley was the victor. Several years later (1941), three additional matches were held between Willy O’Brien and Arthur Adams; Piper Shultz and Larry Sterpka; and George Bieda and Tom Parfitt. The winners by the judges’ decisions were O’Brien, Shultz, and Bieda.
In a February 28, 1931 report from The Indiana Evening Gazette, the Pine Township High School girl’s basketball team lost a game to Vintondale. This is the only information that could be located concerning the sport of girls basketball (see photo).
The earliest mention of cheerleaders for the athletic teams at Pine Township High School was in 1934. The following girls were mentioned as cheerleaders: Lucille Donahue; Alice Dunlap; Helen Dinsmore; and Betty Joiner. Throughout the following years, both boys and girls participated as cheerleaders, providing a sense of spirit to the various athletic teams as well as the student body (see photos).