HYDE — It might not have happened the way they wanted it to, but the Clearfield football program joined the 600-win Friday by virtue of its forfeit victory over Philipsburg-Osceola.
The Mounties cancelled the rest of their season Monday citing low varsity player numbers due to a rash of injuries.
“We can only work on things we can control,” Bison head coach Tim Janocko said. “This is not a situation we could control. We have to worry about our program and where we’re going as we move forward.”
According to WesternPAFootball.com, there were 39 teams across the state that had reached 600 wins by the end of 2017. Since then, Bellwood-Antis, Shamokin, Greenville, Montoursville and Farrell have all hit the mark, making the Bison just the 45th known program to hit the win total.
“It’s something we are extremely proud of,” Janocko said. “It’s an outstanding achievement for our program. “What we have been able to accomplish over the last thirty-some years has definitely turned the program around. We are in elite company and we are very, very proud of that.”
Janocko took over the program in 1985 and the Bison went 5-6 that season. In 1986, Clearfield improved to 7-4 before dropping to 2-8-1 the following year.
The Bison put up their first 10-win season under Janocko in 1989 and have had a total of 11 in his 35 seasons at the helm. Clearfield is currently on a streak of 24 consecutive winning seasons and Janocko has become the all-time winningest coach in District 9 history along the way.
He claimed his record 205th victory in a 29-23 decision over Johnstown in the District 5-6-9 playoffs in 2011 and has since piled up 77 more, giving him 282, meaning he has been the head coach for nearly half the program’s wins.
“There have been so many great people, so many great players and so many great memories that have gone into those years,” Janocko said. “We are so proud of what we have been able to accomplish for our program and our town and for everyone involved. Like I said, it’s elite company that we are in.”
Clearfield started the football program in 1904 and lost its only two games that season.
It was 1-1 in 1905, scoring a 50-0 victory over Houtzdale for its first-ever victory.
Clearfield expanded its schedule to 10 games in 1913 and put together an 8-2 mark under head coach John Kase. It played at least eight games in every year since except 1918 when it did not field a team due to World War II, and 1920 when it played just seven.
Clearfield’s first unbeaten season came in 1955 when it went 10-0 under head coach Marty Koons. It then suffered through a drought from 1957 through 1975 where it had just two winning seasons.
Janocko has led the Bison to seven unbeaten regular seasons in his tenure and his 282 wins are tied for 23rd most in Pennsylvania high school football history according to EasternPAFootball.com. Only 18 coaches have won 300.
“We have just had a lot of good people in our program,” Janocko said. “There is no substitute for that. We have been blessed by God for some of the people that have come to Clearfield and were already in Clearfield.
“And there were so many great players. We all worked together for a common goal and that’s been the key to our success.”
Clearfield (7-2) is scheduled to get back on the gridiron Oct. 18 at Bishop Carroll.