CLEARFIELD – Fall is the season for football for most athletes and fans, but it\’s a special time for dozens of former Clearfield Area High School baseball players, too.
For the last four years, upwards of 50 ex-Bisons have gathered at the Lawrence Township Recreation Park and the former Adventure Park on Carbon Mine Road for a weekend fund-raiser that\’s mostly about hardball, from batting practice one night to a pair of games the next day to socials both evenings for spinning tales of yesteryear, though some are said to be slightly exaggerated.
More than 50 players who wore the Red and Black have indicated they\’ll be on hand for the fifth annual Bison Baseball Alumni Weekend that gets under way Friday morning with a golf outing at the Clearfield-Curwensville Country Club.
A trio of championship teams and the seven members of the CAHS .500 Club, as researched by longtime Bison head coach Sid Lansberry (Class of 1964), will be honored during Saturday\’s double-header.
Bisons in that elite group of hitters are Bill Miller (.508 in 1940), Dave Woodring (19-for-36, .528 in 1965), Sam Wallace (29-for-47, .509 in 1974), Jeff Norris (30-for-60, .500 in 1976), Bob Sunderland (39-for-70, a CAHS record .557 in 1984), Kevin Billotte (389-for-74, .527 in 1992 and 33-for-65, .508 in 1993) and Scott Hugney (36-for-66, .545 in 2003).
Miller, a halfback, also was named to the first Associated Press All-State Football Team after the 1939 season.
Also being saluted between games will be members of three teams in their anniversary years.
Thirty years ago, the 1979 Bisons won the District 9 title and finished in a tie for third place in the PIAA Playoffs after losing to Chambersburg in the semi-finals for a 25-7 record.
Twenty-five years ago, the 1984 Bisons rolled through the Central Penn League undefeated (14-0) and posted a CAHS record 23-game winning streak before being upended in the districts to wind up 26-2.
Twenty years ago, the 1989 Bisons claimed the District 9 Class AAA crown and finished 13-8.
Players who desire to take a few swings should report to the LTRP Field Friday for BP starting at 5 p.m. A social will follow at 8 o\’clock at the former Adventure Park.
The Bison Alumni Weekend Committee asks all participants to report to the field at 10:30 a.m. Saturday to receive caps, shirts and team assignments.
First up will be the home run derby for the Old-Timers at 11. Pictures will be taken at 11:30 and the first pitch for the Old-Timers Alumni Game, which has a two-hour time limit, is set for 11:45.
Pictures for the Youngsters teams will be taken at 1:50 p.m., followed by the home run derby at 2 and the Youngsters Alumni Game at 2:30.
Most Valuable Player, Gold Glove and Rookie of the Year awards for both games will be announced at the conclusion of the Youngsters Game.
The post-game festivities, including dinner and music, will begin at approximately 5:30 p.m. at the former Adventure Park.
Any former Bisons interested in participating should call Lansberry at 765-5449, Donnie Shimmel at 857-7806, Brian Barr at 762-3278 or Clearfield Baseball Association secretary-treasurer Jeff Kavelak at 765-5088.