New events added to Hometown Teams exhibit at museum

WEIRTON – The Weirton Area Museum and Cultural Center has announced two new events as part of the Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibit “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America,” which will be on display at the museum Sunday through Sept. 27.

The two new events include “Title IX: A Victory for Girls in Sports” at 6 p.m. Sept. 2 and “History of Madonna Football, 1959 to Present” at 6 p.m. Sept. 9. Both presentations will take place at the museum.

Roberta DeFrancis, retired Hancock County Schools teacher, will be the guest speaker at “Title IX,” and former Madonna football players Jason Backel, 1984-1987, and Dan McCune, 1976-1980, will be the guest speaker at “History of Madonna Football.”

The museum also announced additional guests Victoria Gerst and Taylor Pannet for the exhibition’s opening day “kick-off” reception from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the museum. John Sorrenti, WEIR-FM sports announcer, will be the master of ceremonies during the reception, and the public is invited to attend.

West Virginia is a debut state for the exhibit.

“Hometown Teams” interweaves images and text with almost 70 artifacts, video, audio and other interactive elements to present perspectives on sports in popular culture and local sports traditions. It offers information about mascots, marching bands, cheerleaders, game day traditions, tailgating, player-coach relationships, sports equipment, stadiums, rivalries and athletes who broke racial, gender or physical barriers in sports. The growth of alternative and extreme sports also is explored.

The Weirton Area Museum will feature a variety of programs including speakers Doug Huff, Bob Barnett, Bob Kelley and David Javersak on topics such as the sports histories of Weir, Madonna and Brooke high schools, Weirton Steel sports and the desegregation of area teams. Also featured will be exhibits on Upper Ohio Valley championship teams, local sports heroes and the sports history of the area.

Call the museum at (304) 479-7266 or visit for the complete schedule of Hometown Teams programs and activities.

Hometown Teams is made possible through the Museum on Main Street program, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and state humanities councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by Congress.