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.
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. The success of the team helped pave the way for increased business investment in organized sports in the Youngstown area. Youngstown is currently home to the Mahoning Valley Thunder, an indoor football team that competes in the af2.
- "A Century of Sports: The Mahoning and Shenango Valleys". The Vindicator. November 14, 1999. p. 4.
- 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.
- 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.
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