Historic win No. 700 long time coming for Greensburg Salem

Saturday, September 19, 2020 | 8:38 PM

They started playing football at Greensburg High School in 1894.

That first game didn’t go so well. Greensburg lost 12-4 to Mt. Pleasant Institute.

The team went by Underwood High in honor of the late Morrison Underwood, a local attorney-philanthropist who made a substantial donation to the school.

Greensburg recorded its first victory when it defeated East Liberty Academy, 16-0, in 1901.

The wins kept coming as Greensburg, now known as Greensburg Salem, earned historic win No. 700 on Friday when it rallied to defeat Knoch, 13-12.

It was a long time coming.

When Greensburg Salem reached win No. 600 on Sept. 3, 1999, it was the second WPIAL school to reach the milestone. New Castle was the first.

Since then Westmoreland County neighbor, Jeannette, not only has surpassed Greensburg Salem, the Jayhawks vaulted to the top of the charts.

Jeannette has 757 victories, New Castle 746, Aliquippa 735, Washington 710 and Greensburg Salem 700.

After its exciting victory, the team ran over to the sign to change the number.

“I was watching the game on Facebook, and, after the game ended, you could see how excited the players were,” said former Greensburg Salem coach George Kemerer, who was coach when the Golden Lions won No. 600 at Indiana. “It was a memorable night for my team, and I’m sure these players will remember this night.”

One member of the Greensburg Salem family to miss the game was longtime historian and former Tribune-Review sports editor Howard “Huddie” Kaufman, who is ill and was not able to attend.

Greensburg Salem football coach Dave Keefer, 20 members of the team, some of the coaching staff and school officials visited Kaufman at home and presented him the game ball.

“It was something we had to do because Huddie means so much to the program,” Keefer said. “It was nice to get the milestone for not only him, but for the community, all the former players and the school.

“It was great to get our first win of the season. Now, opponents don’t have any extra motivation to prepare for us and be the team that was part of the milestone. It was a really good game for both teams.”

Keefer said he was pleased how well his young team performed after Greensburg Salem lost its opener to Plum.

“There was vast improvement from Week 1 to Week 2,” Keefer said. “We still have things to shore up. We dropped a couple touchdown passes, and Hayden (Teska) played well even though his stats didn’t show it.

“The defense really took over the game in the second half. It was a good win for our young team.”

Keefer said he’s relieved they finally reached the milestone. He knew it would happen, but now his team can concentrate on getting better.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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