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100 Years of Football in the Berea City School District


The Pioneer Conference was formed in 1977 with these teams: Brecksville, Brunswick, Cloverleaf, North Royalton, Strongsville, and Wadsworth. Two years later, Midpark and Berea were added to make it an eight-team league. This alignment made a lot of sense geographically and the Meteors and Braves stayed for 26 years, matching their previous GCC term for continuous seasons in the same conference.

In 1984, Wadsworth left the PC, to be replaced by Medina in 1986. And in 1997, North Ridgeville took over Cloverleaf’s spot. Those were the only lineup modifications until 2003.

The Pioneer Conference years featured the longest period of sustained football excellence in school district history. Over the 12-season stretch between 1981 and 1992, the Meteors and Braves combined for 10 championships! Midpark title winners in that era were coached by Tom Standring (1981-’86) and Ray Hradek (1988-’99). Legendary skipper Tom Madzy was at the helm for Berea High from 1968 until he retired after the Braves’ 1992 championship season.

It took until 1980 for Brunswick to win a football title in any league. But the Blue Devils, along with the Strongsville Mustangs, took over PC gridiron dominance following the impressive run by Berea and Midpark. Beginning in 1993, either Brunswick or Strongsville won a championship in every season except for one, up until the Berea district teams left the conference following the 2004-05 school year. The lone exception was in 1997 when Brecksville earned a trophy for the second time, the other win coming in their state championship season of 1983.

In 2003, the Pioneer Conference absorbed four additional teams—Elyria, Normandy, Parma, and Valley Forge—and the league split into two divisions: “Frontier” for the larger six schools, and “Heritage” for the smaller six. The Berea High squad coached by Bob Cistolo in ‘03 captured the PC-Heritage title, the final championship for a BCSD team in the Pioneer Conference era.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Larry

    June 16, 2021 at 2:13 pm

    I Played in that game for Zaneville. triple ot game in cold sleet wind and snow ! I would like to talk to anyone that saw that game !

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