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Henry DePaul

Football ∙ Beaver Falls

 

 

 

 

When Henry DePaul played tackle for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1945, he had to play both offense and defense for the princely sum of $225 per game. There were only 25 to 30 players on most professional football teams in those days and many of them played without contracts. Henry recalled that memorable season nearly 30 years later in an interview with Joe Tronzo, sports editor of the Beaver Falls News-Tribune: “We would play Sunday, have Monday off, and then go through full scrimmages in pads on Tuesday and Wednesday." Henry revealed that, “It was a rough league and rules went out the window. You played football because you loved the game. There was no stock market speculating to take your mind off the game, and no endorsements or any other distractions. There was a love of the game and, during the season, football was the only thing.” Henry graduated from Beaver Falls High in 1936 and from Duquesne University in 1940. After his brief fling at pro football, he was a distributor for Rolling Rock beer. Henry’s career as a star tackle at Beaver Falls High climaxed in 1935 when he scored five touchdowns on recovered fumbles and blocked kicks – a rare achievement for a lineman. At Duquesne in 1936 he helped his team upset powerful Pitt, 7-0, on a 70 yard touchdown run by George Matsik of Ambridge. Ironically, the Dukes were upset by West Virginia Wesleyan the next week. But Pitt bounced back to whip Notre Dame, 26-0, and then blanked Washington in the Rose Bowl, 21-0. Henry helped the Dukes finish their fine season with a 13-12 win over Mississippi State in an Orange Bowl thriller. Henry, a lifelong resident of the Beaver Falls area, died in 1985 at age 68.