Pidgeon name looms large in Norwich defeat

Patrick Newell

The Pidgeon name, long ago a integral force in Oneonta victories over Norwich football, surfaced again last Friday. No surprise, the link is a familial one.
Tim Pidgeon, a fearsome running back and linebacker for the Yellowjackets in the early 1980s, had a big hand in a two-touchdown victory on a mud-raked Oneonta home field in 1982.
It was a matchup between two top-notch STAC teams, and each club had his own star. Pidgeon for the Yellowjackets, and Barry Benjamin of Norwich. Benjamin, who rushed for back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, was hampered by a slick field that dulled his sharp cuts, and a pursuing defense that keyed on his every turn.
Pidgeon, meanwhile, with a straight-ahead running style, churned away at the Norwich defense with tough inside running.
Fast forward to 2008. Pidgeon’s son, Brendan, while not a spitting image of his father, looks quite similar once the pads and helmet are on. He was relentless on defense in tracking down NHS runners, and on offense, he gained all of the tough yards, while also showing breakaway speed with two TDs of over 50 yards.
When the clock ran out, Pidgeon’s final game on Oneonta’s home field, he had an elusive victory. “I’ve never beaten Norwich on the varsity level,” he said. “And it feels great.”