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‘Chub’ Dillen was Bellwood legend

By Lynn Grove

Albert “Chub” Dillen died earlier this year at the age of 85.

A service to remember him will be held at the Logan Valley Baptist Church on Saturday, May 28 at 11:00 a.m.

For Bellwood-Antis football fans who are up in years, there is a lot to remember.

Dillen carried the ball on the very first play against rival Tyrone in 1951 — as a freshman — and earned a letter playing mostly on defense.

As a sophomore in 1952, he scored two rushing touchdowns and threw for another in a win over Tyrone. He ended the season with 110 points — 18 touchdowns and two extra points to lead all of Blair County in scoring, the first of three straight seasons he would do so.

The 1952 season, by Bellwood standards, was not good as the Blue Devils finished 8-2.

B-A fashioned unbeaten regular seasons in 1950, 1951, 1953 and 1954 and lost just three times in 60 regular-season games during that period.

In 1953, Chub scored on touchdowns of 60-plus yards six times and racked up 100 points in the Blue Devils’ first six games en route to a season total of 159.

He started off the 1954 season with a bang, scoring four touchdowns against Tyrone as a springboard to a third-straight county scoring title with 173 points. The runnerup scored 61.

In those days, Bellwood’s opponents included the likes of Tyrone, Moshannon Joint, Osceola Mills, Huntingdon, Saxton-Liberty, Captain Jack, Portage Joint and Northern Cambria.

In three years, Dillen grew from a 147-pound ninth grader to what newspapers described as a “husky” 170-pound senior.

In addition to Blair County scoring championships, Dillen graduated B-A with a total of 454 points scored. That stood as a school record for 52 years until Josh Kleinfelter broke it in 2006.

Dillen was tabbed an honorable mention all-state pick in 1953 as a junior and earned first-team all-state honors as a senior. He was just the second Blue Devil (Mike Hoffer in 1950 was the first) to earn first-team status and the first ever to be selected twice.

In an interview with The Tyrone Herald, Chub expressed his delight in gaining the honor, but was quick to point out the blocking he received throughout his high school career.

Bellwood-Antis head coach Elwood Petchel called Chub “a wonderful kid on and off the field. He should go far. He’s the best boy I have ever coached and probably the best I’ll ever coach.”

Dillen was crowned king of football in 1954 in a special ceremony at the school with June Cherry as his queen.

Following graduation, Dillen was recruited by Penn State by Joe Paterno and did attend a short time before becoming injured and going home to marry June.

In a short time, the couple became Mr. and Mrs. Albert Dillen.

Harold “Lynn” Grove

Hollidaysburg

(Material for this letter was also compiled by Bob Miller, retired sports writer at The Tyrone Herald, and Jon Russin.)

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