Dominant High School Sports Team in Ellwood City

If you stop for a second and ask yourself what was the most dominant high school sports team in Ellwood City history, what comes to mind? Perhaps it was the 1925 football team considered by many as the best football team to come from the area. Or perhaps you thought of one of the other teams from Ellwood to win the WPIAL in their sport including the 2005 Boys Cross Country team, the 1942 Football team, the 2000 Girls Track and Field team, the 2008 Girls Softball team, or a number of Baseball teams including the 1945, 1962, 1968, and the 2001 teams.
The 2003 Baseball team won the WPIAL & the State PIAA Championship as did the 1930 Track and Field team. However, when you hear dominant, you think not just one great year, but a number of years like the Girls Cross Country teams that won the 1992 and 1993 Class AA WPIAL and PIAA Champions.
Though they never won the PIAA State Championship, one Lincoln High School sports team dominated the WPIAL year after year after year. The Boys Gymnastics team coached by the legendary Mr. Ansell produced nine consecutive W.P.I.A.L. championships, eight consecutive A.A.U. championships and despite not winning the state championship, his teams had two third place finishes at the P.I.A.A. meets and in 1951 they came in second place at the P.I.A.A. State Finals.

Having won so many WPIAL championships in a row like they did is a testimony to how good the TEAM was and their success was not the result of any one or two particular players. However, these teams did produce some phenomenal athletes. I got these pictures from various Ellwood City Yearbooks. The pictures include Joe Barbati in the middle of a flip during his thrilling floor routine, a perfect lever exhibition by F. DeNome, a giant roll on the parallel bars by F. Wallace, hand stand by Mark Jamison, a hand stand on the rings by team captain Roland Stone, and State champion rope climber Leo Minotti displaying his perfect form that he used to pull himself up the 20 foot rope in 4.0 seconds to repeat as State Champion.
These men were just a small handful of the spectacular student athletes that competed for Coach Ansell. We would all enjoy hearing from any of those that competed on one of these championship teams or just remembers these teams. Please share your memories of Mr. Ansell or the Ellwood City Gymnastics Team by leaving your memories in the comments section below or email us at

2 thoughts on “Dominant High School Sports Team in Ellwood City”

    1. Would you have a picture of the old stadium by any chance? My son is working on his Eagle Project and would like a picture of Lincoln Field

Leave a Reply