And now it’s time to take a trip down memory lane with another edition of Beaver County Memories, presented by St. Barnabas Beaver Meadows. The subject in this segment involves the concept of awarding a trophy to memorialize, or commemorate the winner of a contest. Remember, winning memories are standard when you choose st. Barnabas beaver meadows.
Awarding a trophy at the end of an contest or season is nothing new. The are trophies that are passed out all the time for all kinds of reasons in all levels of competition, including sports, acting, dancing, academic achievements, even car shows, fishing derbys, animal judging at the fair and beauty contests, and many other things can include trophies being awarded to the victors at the conclusion. The bigger the trophy, the more prestigious. Along that line, one of the world’s biggest, if not the biggest trophy, used to be awarded every year in Beaver County. Prior to a 2009 merger that combined Monaca and Center school districts, One of the most anticipated high school football games every year was the rivalry game played between Rochester and Monaca. Typically, the game was played on the last weekend of the regular season. Along with bragging rights that would last all through the year until the next season’s game, came perhaps the largest trophy ever awarded to the winning team after a game. That being a steel structure nearly 800 feet long, otherwise known as a bridge spanning the Ohio River that connects Rhode Island Avenue in Rochester with 9th Street in Monaca.
In 1988, Rochester manager Ed Piroli and Monaca Borough Manager Thomas Stoner made a bet with each other on behalf of their towns that the winner of the annual Rochester – Monaca football game would get to be named first in the bridge title. Following a Monaca win, the span would be known as the Monaca-Rochester Bridge. After a Rochester victory, signs would be installed identifying the it as the Rochester-Monaca Bridge. In addition to being the first town named in the bridge title, the winning community also got the privilege of having signs created in their school colors. After a Rochester win, navy blue letters on a white background sign greeted motorists on the first truss as they started across the bridge. With an outcome favoring Monaca, red lettering on a white background was used.
After the merger of Monaca and Center districts, following the 2009 season, the teams no longer played each other, and the annual “bridge game” as it came to be known was no more, as Rocheter and the newly formed Central Valley School district compete in different classifications. Since then, a sign on the Rochester side of the bridge refers to it as the the “Rochester-Monaca Bridge” and on the western entrance in Monaca, the sign on that side reads “Monaca-Rochester Bridge”.
Tune in everyday for another Beaver County Memory presented by St. Barnabas Beaver Meadows. A complete transcript of this Beaver County Memory and archived editions of previous segments can be viewed at Beaver County Radio dot com.