Visit Mt. Lebanon High School’s football field and there’s no mistaking where you are. A sign spelling out “LEBO” looms large as a symbol of neighborhood pride.
It’s been there for every band event and every soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey game for the past 26 years. Football players have rallied around it at practice and games, yelling “Lebo pride!” But have you ever wondered how the sign got there in the first place?
Attorney Matt Dolfi played running back and corner for the Blue Devils in the mid-90s. “I was a junior when Mt. Lebanon hired Chris Haering in 1995. We had a great season that year, but it was a rebuilding year. The following summer, I was going into my senior year. The entire team was excited about the fresh start and Coach Haering’s enthusiasm was contagious,” Dolfi said.
Over the summer of ’96, a group of players and their parents got together in the Dolfi family’s driveway on Summer Place to assemble the Lebo sign from 4-by-4-foot wood beams.
The group built the pieces in the driveway before disassembling and transporting them to the stadium, where the players and parents bolted them into place in the exact location where they stand to this day.
The sign has been painted and repainted over the years, but still brings pride and honor to everyone who sees it. “Seeing the sign always gives me a sense of pride to know that I was part of creating it and setting it in place. But it also gives me a sense of nostalgia for my high school years and our ‘96-’97 football season. I’m always a bit surprised to see it’s still in place and still looking great for all to see and rally behind,” Dolfi said.
He didn’t imagine it would last one season, let alone 26 years. It’s still a lasting reminder of the hard work the Blue Devils put in as a team that summer. “Coach Haering is long gone and the season has long been forgotten, but the sign remains,” Dolfi said.
Dolfi and his family live on Summer Place, but not in the house he grew up in, so he sees the LEBO sign while he’s out and about.
“I hope that when my kids (10 and 12 years old now) graduate from Mt. Lebanon High School, the sign will still be there to remind them where they came from.”