Family and football define area Queens

It’s not often that I write a column about Homecomings and Homecoming Queens. As a matter of fact, in over 40 years of penning columns for newspapers I have never written a column about Homecomings or Homecoming Queens.

Well, I’m breaking my streak.

It was a few years ago (and I’m not going to say a long time ago because you don’t mention women and age in the same reference), three sisters were crowned as Homecoming Queens the same school over a span of about six or seven years. I’m sure it happens on rare occasions, but it makes for a good story.

This weekend, two cousins were crowned as Homecoming Queens on the same night here in the valley. Just a couple years early, the cousin of those Queens was also the lucky holder of a Homecoming crown.

What’s the significance? Those three girls picked as Queens years back were the top vote getters and so they were selected as Homecoming Queens. The later three, voting totals notwithstanding, had to be lucky enough to select the proper colored rose from a group of boxes setting on a table with the odd chance that one of the other candidates would be select the “right” rose first.

During Buckeye Local’s halftime ceremonies, Marlee Piergallini, with parents Todd and Tina, at her side, selected the odd colored rose and thus became the 2012 Buckeye Local Homecoming Queen.

Just north, Indian Creek High School was conducting its own ceremonies during halftime. There, Brooke Piergallini gave the Piergallini family another Queen. Brooke, the daughter of Lewis and Lori, grabbed the right rose and the rest in history.

Incidentally, Bianca Piergallini who is Brooke’s sister, was Martins Ferry’s Homecoming Queen in 2002 and Nina Piergallini, their cousin and daughter of Tim and Linda, pulled the lucky rose and became Buckeye Local’s Queen in 2006.

Of course, these girls had it in their blood. Grandma, Lucille Piergallini who just passed away on September 7, was the Homecoming Queen at Smithfield High School a few years back.

This column is starting to get boring right? Well, wait there is more.

St. Clairsville’s football team has been running roughshod over opponents all season. Friday night was no different. As a matter of fact, just like s much of the Red Devil offense that appears perfect, placekicker Haylee Skukan was a perfect three-for-three on PATs in their win over Bellaire. No bad for a girl that had all kinds of interruptions at halftime.

Haylee was also a part of the homecoming court. So, at halftime, dressed in proper homecoming attire (football uniform, pads and spikes) Haley was on the field standing between her parents, Jeff and Kim, unwrapped the white rose and became the St. Clairsville’s Homecoming Queen.

Still not sure if that tiara fit under her helmet, but …

Luck plays a big part in sports. Being in the right spot at the right time. Being one step closer or one step farther away. Fumbles bouncing right back or toward an opponent.

Luck plays a big part in Homecomings as well. All of the girls are deserving, but only one can pick the odd-colored rose. Now, if I can only get Marlee, Brooke or Haylee to pick some lottery numbers for me.


BEFORE YOU START battering the Battlin’ Bucs, this team will be back and better. It’s a long road that these young Pirates have been traveling over the past few years. Especially this season, with its early successes and lofty numbers, the Buccos showed vast improvement.

This is a still young team that is building and headed in the right direction. The late season slump is something Pirate fans have become accustomed to may have had a new ingredient this year – success.

Those young Bucs had been playing so well and had enjoyed so much success that they just pushed too much and ran out of gas. Wanting to win is an incentive, but knowing how to win under pressure is something that takes experience and time to learn. They are getting there. They have the talent. They have youth and they do have players that play hard.

Maybe 2012 wasn’t the year, but 2013 may very well be. Think of this, 20 straight non-winning seasons. There is only one 21 in Pittsburgh.


Recently, I had an interesting conversation about the number of state champions that have come out of southern Jefferson County over the years. The first to come to mind is the Yorkville basketball team of the 40s and there was the two Warren Consolidated state baseball champions; one in the 30s and another in the 40s.

As that discussion went on it was clear that throughout Eastern Ohio, the number of state champions in any sport are few. There are very good athletes, coaches and teams here in the Ohio Valley now and in years past. What was then, is now and always be the fact that winning a state title in any take a lot of hard work, discipline, determination and that luck factor.