PIEDMONT - Piedmont High School built a solid reputation as a small-school basketball power throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. The Lions captured state basketball championships in 1966 with a win over Williamson Liberty, and again in 1974 with a win over Marsh Fork. In addition, Piedmont finished as state runner-up in 1954, 1956, 1963, 1969, 1975 and 1976.

By Chapin Jewell
Tribune Correspondent
PIEDMONT - Piedmont High School built a solid reputation as a small-school basketball power throughout the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.  The Lions captured state basketball championships in 1966 with a win over Williamson Liberty, and again in 1974 with a win over Marsh Fork. In addition, Piedmont finished as state runner-up in 1954, 1956, 1963, 1969, 1975 and 1976.
To say Piedmont excelled in basketball, therefore, just might be an understatement. What is traditionally absent from talk of Piedmont sports history, however, is what the Lions accomplished with a pigskin, and for good reason.
While Piedmont did in fact field 15 separate football teams over a 33-year period, that 33-year span began in 1911 and ended in 1943. In those years, teams were fielded sporadically.
 For instance, the inaugural teams were fielded in 1911 and 1912, then there was a two-year absence before teams were fielded again in 1915, 1916 and 1917.
Then there was a significant 16-year absence before play on the gridiron resumed for Piedmont in 1933. Play commenced in 1933 and ran continuously through 1941. There was not football for the Lions in 1942, but in 1943 play again resumed but it would be for the final season.
In a grand total of 15 seasons of play, Piedmont accumulated an overall record of 22-58-4, for a winning percentage just shy of 29%.  Those 22 wins came against Hyndman (four times), Romney and Petersburg (three times each), Lonaconing Central and Keyser (two times each), and one win each against Midland, Allegany County, Terra Alta, West Virginia Deaf, Ridgeley, St. Mary’s, Moorefield and Thomas.
Play began in 1911 for Piedmont with a slate of four games played against three separate opponents. Piedmont opened their inaugural season with a 10-0 victory over Lonaconing’s Central High School in a game played in Westernport. Game two saw a 17-0 defeat at the hands of Terra Alta, and game three a 10-0 defeat to Mount Savage, with both games on the road. Wrapping up their first season, Piedmont fell to Lonaconing Central with a baseball score of 10-5, this after defeating Central in their first matchup.
In 15 seasons, Piedmont only had one winning record, a 5-3 campaign in 1937 under coach Bill Hahn. Hahn coached at Piedmont for three seasons, 1935, 1936 and 1937, compiling an overall record of 8-13-1.
As a side note, Hahn would go on to coach at Fort Hill High School in Cumberland where in 14 seasons he accumulated a record 110-13-7, for an 87% winning percentage, the second highest behind recently resigned Todd Appel at 90%.
In Piedmont’s successful 1937 season, the Blue and Gold opened with a tough 7-0 loss to West Virginia Deaf, and then another close, 14-12 loss to Ridgeley in game two.  Piedmont then ran off four straight victories over Hyndman (25-0), Petersburg (12-7), Moorefield (6-0) and Thomas (7-0).  Then came a tough 68-0 loss to Keyser, but Piedmont finished strong with a 13-0 victory over Romney.
An article in the Friday, Nov. 12, edition of the Mineral Daily News and Keyser Tribune explains how Keyser High students celebrated after that 68-0 victory over Piedmont, “Keyser High School students celebrated their thumping 68-0 victory over their cross county rivals Piedmont High School by not attending classes this afternoon. The entire student body paraded through Keyser carrying Piedmont in a coffin and with several bandaged swathed students representing the Piedmont players.”
Two and three years after that resounding 68-0 loss to Keyser, Piedmont got their paybacks by defeating Keyser 20-7 in 1939 and 6-0 in 1940, their only two victories over their Mineral County rivals in 14 tries.
An article in the Thursday, Nov. 19, edition of the Piedmont Herald details Piedmont’s victory as follows, “Sparked by the sensational running of Blackburn and Poland, who shared the scoring role, Coach John Casey’s Piedmont High School gridmen defeated the Keyser High School eleven by 20-7 in the game played at Memorial Park, Westernport, Friday afternoon.”
Additionally, the article states, “Piedmont’s touchdowns came in the first, second and last quarters. Blackburn carried the ball across the goal line for the three six-pointers while Poland plunged the line for the two extra points after touchdowns. Keyser scored its one touchdown in the second stanza. Piedmont registered sixteen first downs and gained 275 yards from scrimmage.  Keyser made eight first downs and made 115 yards from scrimmage.”
An article in the Tuesday, Nov. 12, edition of the Mineral Daily News Tribune describes Piedmont’s 1940 victory over Keyser with the headline “Tornado nosed out by Piedmont 6-0.”  The article states, “Keyser met their lifelong rival Piedmont yesterday and successfully held them from their goal until in the last quarter when Niland went over and made the first and only touchdown of the game, the final score being 6-0.”
Additionally, the article states, “During the game Coach John Casey of Piedmont used only 15 players and Coach John Shelton used only 15.”
It is interesting to note that in the entirety of their football program, which encompassed 15 seasons within the years 1911-1943, Piedmont never played their home games in Piedmont, but rather across the river in Westernport, largely at fields named Memorial Park and Potomac Park.  
In 1912, however, Piedmont played a home game against Midland, Maryland, in Keyser.  Also, in 1937, on Nov. 1 and Nov. 24, Piedmont played home games against Thomas and Romney at Stayman Field in Keyser as a result of flooding, presumably in Westernport.
It’s interesting in assessing the list of coaches for Piedmont football throughout the years, a few names in particular stick out, first and foremost, that of Dana “Horse” Lough, legendary Potomac State football coach.
An article in the Wednesday, July 19, 1933 edition of the Moorfield Examiner announced the appointment, “Dana “Horse” Lough, regular guard on Mountaineer football teams a few years ago, has been appointed coach of all sports at Piedmont High School, succeeding George T. Knode, who headed athletics there for several years. For three years, “Horse has been on the faculty of Chesepeake O High, across the river from Huntington.”
Also on the list of Piedmont High School football coaches is the familiar name William “Huck” Miers. “Huck” spent 28 years as Piedmont’s basketball coach, winning 412, and losing 191 games, not to mention winning the 1966 state basketball championship and finishing second a total of four times. Miers was the last coach of Piedmont football in the year 1943.
Piedmont football most certainly does not have the celebrated history of Piedmont basketball and for obvious reasons. There were no state championships, no runner-up trophies, in fact, in 15 seasons, only one of them saw more wins and losses. Nonetheless, the story of Piedmont football, dating back over 100 years ago, is a story worth telling full of notable names, particularly at the coaching level.