Youngstown Hardhats

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The Youngstown Hardhats were a semi-professional football team who played in the 1970s. The team was based in Youngstown, Ohio, and competed in the Middle Atlantic Football League.[1]

Organized in 1972, owned and ran by Ralph Erskine the Hardhats posted a 38-6 record over three seasons. Despite this strong record, the Hardhats' owners announced in March 1975 that they would not field a team for the upcoming season, because of declining attendance and reports that a team from the World Football League would locate in Akron, Ohio.[1]


The Hardhats' organization in the early 1970s signified a departure from the prevailing norm in Youngstown's sports community, where teams were generally sponsored by public and private educational institutions, including Youngstown State University.[2] The success of the team helped pave the way for increased business investment in organized sports in the Youngstown area.[2] Youngstown is currently home to the Mahoning Valley Thunder, an indoor football team that competes in the af2.[3]


  1. ^ a b "A Century of Sports: The Mahoning and Shenango Valleys". The Vindicator. November 14, 1999. p. 4. 
  2. ^ a b Bassetti, John; Kovach, John (March 31, 2007). "Area breeds toughness, tradition; From players, coaches, officials, the area has been well represented in the NFL". The Vindicator. p. 1. 
  3. ^ Bassetti, John (March 31, 2007). "Mike Schneider: Backup ready; the former Sharon and Youngstown State QB has quickly adapted to the indoor game". The Vindicator. p. C-1.