1919 to 2009
by Ron Snyder

Ambridge is a small town located on the Ohio River in Beaver County, Pennsylvania, about 16 miles Northwest of Pittsburgh. Like the other communities that make up the Beaver Valley portion of Beaver County, Ambridge was once home to some of the region's most productive steel mills, which, in their prime, gave the people of Ambridge a good living. After working hard all week, many of the locals enjoyed going to watch the Ambridge High School football team -- the Bridgers -- play their Friday night home games

Western Pennsylvania has a rich high school football tradition. In addition to steel, the area has produced some exceptional teams and players. Many of these players went on to play in the NFL, but others remained local legends. In A History of Bridger Football, author Ron Snyder takes you on a year by year look at the Bridgers, from the team's first official season in 1919 to present day. Snyder, a graduate of the Ambridge High School Class of 1957, revisits the teams, players and individual face-offs that have made the Bridgers a source of great pride in Ambridge. Snyder delves into the influence of the Bridgers' coaches over the years, particularly Maurice "Moe" Rubenstein, who guided the team for 21 years and to nine county championships, and for whom the Ambridge football field in now named. Snyder also recounts which team at which point had the upper hand in the Bridgers' long-standing "bitter rivalry" with Aliquippa.

All football teams have their share of ups and downs, and the Bridgers are no exception. There have been highs and lows, winning streaks and dry spells, players and coaches that clicked just right and others that did not. But after everything, the foundation of the team is and always has been the unwavering support from the people of Ambridge. Snyder recalls that when he was a boy, "the young kids worshipped the players as heroes and the teams embodied the spirit of the community"

A History of Bridger Football is for the football enthusiast as well as for readers interested in events that have helped shape the image of Western Pennsylvania. It's not only a story of sportsmanship and teamwork, but also one that shows how the local successes are every bit as rewarding as national recognition.

Go Bridgers!

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