Akron Natives Continue Friendship and Appreciation for Purple Raider Football

April 01, 2010

Sixteen Akron-area residents hold season tickets for home Mount Union College football games. This fact is not out of the ordinary, considering the team's fan-base and success, but what makes this particular group unique is that they are not alumni of the College or parents of students, and they share a collective history spanning nearly seven decades.


Most of the group's 16 members grew up in the Akron area, where tradition was held in high regard. For 30 years, many of the members met at the corner of Princeton and W. South streets to talk about their days at the now-razed Akron South High School, discussing what was described in an "Akron Beacon Journal" article as a place where they "recalled the old times? [and] extolled the great athletes of the time."

They continue the tradition of meeting frequently in section J of the Mount Union Stadium, something Howard Spicer, 74, considers a "vehicle for keeping us together."

"Most of us grew up when times weren't that good," Spicer says, a Cuyahoga Falls resident. Russ Olinger, 74, says their hardships brought them together and tradition has kept them that way.

As the team reminisces over past seasons ("I couldn't talk for a week after that," Paul Triffon, 75, says of the 1999 triple-overtime John Carroll game) and their childhood (playing poker with bottle caps and building bikes through trading parts), the history this group shares will continue.

The group of Al Collier, Ron Dalessio, Rudy DiDonato, Nolan Douglas, Cliff Drumm, George Kurzen, Olinger, Roger Plaster, Herb Roy, Spicer, Howard Spicer, Jr., Robert Spicer, Triffon and Sharon Triffon along with others attending on occasion to use up the two extra season tickets, promise they would still come to football games regardless of the Purple Raiders' success.

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