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John Berdell

Coaching ∙ Beaver

 

 

 

 

Most trivia experts know that Coach John Berdellís win streak of 25 straight games at Beaver Area High School from 1961 to 1963 is the longest in Beaver County football history. But did you know that he played inside linebacker and defensive end at Slippery Rock State College? Before coming to Beaver in 1954, John coached football, basketball, and track at McDonald Junior and Senior High Schools. Johnís Beaver grid teams were known for strong defense and a basic powerhouse offense that enabled them to pile up a 60-9-4 record from 1957 to 1964. Ironically, Beaverís two best football records during the Berdell regime were the perfect 9-0 slates compiled by the 1961 and 1962 teams, when Beaver was lost in the limbo of a WPIAL reclassification snafu and was ineligible for the annual playoffs. The Bobcats were the Midwestern Athletic Conference champions in 1960 and co-champs in 1964 and were WPIAL Class A runners-up in 1960, losing to Sewickley Township High in a 13-7 thriller.  He ended his coaching career at Beaver in 1964 to devote full time to administrative duties: he served as assistant principal and then as high school principal from 1971 to 1978, administrative assistant from 1978 to 1981, and as coordinator of secondary services. Another item of Berdell trivia is the fact that the sport to which he devoted the most years was not football but basketball: he was PIAA cage official for 23 seasons from 1949 to 1972.