Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy 2009!!!!!!

Hank Baskett #84 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates the first touchdown against the New York Giants at Giants Stadium on December 7, 2008 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images North America)

©2007 Copyright 2007-2008 Kendra Wilkinson.

It is hard to say who or what will be the big winners of 2009, but I will go out on a limb. If Hank Baskett's wedding to Playboy model Kendra Wilkinson of the Girls Next Door is a go in June, I would say that Mr. Baskett will be a big winner in 2009.

As a wide receiver in the NFL, you only have a certain amount of time to make your mark. Wilkinson at only 23, looks to have plenty of shelf life left.
Baskett came to Shamokin to play in Philadelphia Eagles charity basketball game and was one of the crowd favorites with his athletic dunks. In conversation with this blogger who did public address that day, he was generally a down to earth guy.

Good Bye 2008!!!!

The calendar year 2008 come to an end tonight as we usher in 2009. In the last century plus 8 years, 2008 is being compared to 1931 and 1968 politically and financially. It is very hard to say what 2009 will bring, but for the most part we will have a new government take office on January 20th.

If our nation's standing on a world stage was damaged for the past 8 years, we will have the peaceful change of government at noon on January 20th.

I don't know if it was of bad timing, but I have said goodbye to so many friends and family over the course of 2008. I doubt if I could repeat the same in 2009.

If you remember back in 1968, Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy were assassinated, war raged in Vietnam, and racial strife was on the front burner. In December of 1968, three men orbited the moon in Apollo 8. Surprisingly, as all kind of hard rock filled the air, Johnny Maestro and the Brooklyn Bridge had the number one song in the country, "The Worse That Could Happen" the last week of December 1968. Enjoy the video above.

2009 shows promise.

Monday, December 29, 2008

How 'Bout Dem Cowboys!!!!!!!!!

The Eagle's 44-6 victory over Dallas on Sunday was like finding that extra Christmas present under the tree.

With Lourdes Regional's victory over Shamokin on Saturday night in the Knights of Columbus girls final, it prevented the possibility of both Shamokin boys and girls being undefeated heading into January. Although records aren't kept, I'm sure it would have been a first for the school.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Drexel's Bruiser Flynt shown the door at Sojka

This "fan" in light blue would never yawn at Sojka in the past?

Friday, December 26, 2008

"Twas the Night Before Christmas"

With the bad weather last night like in 2008, I hope Santa didn't end up like this. 

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

Here is what I discovered Christmas morn.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Len Eshmont Award Winner 2008

The winner of the 2008 Len Eshmont Award voted on by the San Francisco 49er players is Isaac Bruce.

Tragedy in Alaska!!!!

Locals make "A" All-State Football Team

First Team
Aaron Inch - Line Mountain - DL
Second Team
Chase Fraley - Southern Columbia - OL
Jon Fausey - Line Mountain - LB
Aaron Yoder - Southern Columbia - LB
Steve Roth - Southern Columbia - RB

Special kudos go out to Todd Maciejewski who made first team in AAAA as the punter for Red Land. Todd's father Steve and I were teammates at Lourdes Regional and members of the Class of 1984.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Brennan staying put at MCA

Chuck Souders from the News-Item breaks the story. Why would Brennan leave?


Rod Frisco writes
about the meeting of the PIAA football steering committe moving up the starting practice date to the second Monday in August for 2010. In 2009, the football season is scheduled to end the weekend of December 19th and 20th. Since logic and the PIAA usually don't go together in the same sentence, there is popular sentiment to move the season back to 15 weeks instead of 16.

According to Brad Cashman, the excutive director of the PIAA, "we're never going to solve this prroblem until someone's willing to sacrifice. Either the regular season has to be cut, the district games have to be cut or state games have to be cut.''

Nobody wants to sacrifice, according to Cashman.

The translation is the schools can't afford to lose a regular season game and no one wants to give up a district or state game. Schools lost a game over a decade ago when an 11-game season was dropped to 10. Why do districts need a fat payday?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tragedy on the front page

Today's front page of The News-Item, you can take a pick of which story exemplifies the human condition.

A young teen is killed in a car accident. Shamokin City employees try to find a happy medium while their employer is looking at bankruptcy. Although I never seen one before, but that looks like a soupline at a local food pantry. (Remember the line in "It's a Wonderful Life"? Ernie Bishop (cab driver) says to George Bailey, "George, I never seen one before, but that looks like a run on the bank."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Erika Rocks Roanoke!!!

Erika shares her story on WDBJ7 of Roanoke. Erika is 8-year survivor of colon cancer, a native of Snyder County, and of course, rocks!!!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Shamokin AD Suspended????

Is the Shamokin Athletic Director suspended? Here is the take in the News-Item. Do you hire a football coach while the AD is suspended? Will the AD have any input? It all remains to be seen if the AD is indeed suspended.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What ever happened to Otter?

Remember the movie Animal House from 1978? We all thought Eric Stratton went on to become a gynocologist in Beverly Hills.

I think he has resurfaced in Illinois.

Keystone State Gridiron Notes: PIAA championship facts

In keeping with the yearly "tradition," here are some PIAA championship game facts to impress your friends with this weekend and make you sound like a walking football encyclopedia:There really is no such thing as "home field" advantage when it comes to State Championship games.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Schuylkill Haven loss ends impressive streak!

With Schuylkill Haven losing to Steel-High this past Friday, a very impressive streak is coming to an end. Since the inception of the state championships in 1988, the finals featured a school from the WNEP-16 viewing area. The viewing area is made up of all of District 2, and most of Districts 4 and the northern part of District 11 (above I-78).

This Friday when the finals begin, this area will be shut out for the first time in 21 seasons. Most of the appearances were made by Berwick, Southern Columbia and Mount Carmel. Hanover, Dallas, South Williamsport, Pottsville, Riverside, Marian Catholic, Schuylkill Haven, and Valley View also made the finals.

The streak is impressive since the area never had a AAAA representative and hasn't went 8 seasons without a AAA representative (Berwick 1997 to Pottsville 2005).

UPDATE: I somehow forgot Dunmore who made it to the final last season.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Schuylkill Haven Steel-High Pictures

Young injured on the field

A brightspot on the Haven sideline after we both nearly ended up on the bottom of a pile

The Haven crowd an hour before kickoff

Barkett with pregame instensity

Barkett nears moment of truth

Steel-High Schuylkill Haven Video

Video of the Eastern Final

Friday, December 5, 2008

End of the Line for Coach Z.

Last night the Shamokin School Board reorganized to pick officers. A petition signed by 750 residents was presented to the board. A motion was brought up by Mark Anonia to reinstate Zielinskie was seconded by Tracey Witmer.

The motion was defeated on a 5-4 vote.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Former Northumberland County Commissioner in the news

State employee charged with DUI

Submitted from the Patriot-News

by MATTHEW KEMENY, Of The Patriot-News

A high-ranking state employee is accused of having a blood-alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit to drive in Pennsylvania when he slammed his state-owned Chevrolet Impala into a parked car last week in Lower Allen Twp., police said.

Allen J. Cwalina, 49, of the 1300 block of Sconsett Way, New Cumberland, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, failure to provide information in an accident and hit and run of an unattended vehicle.

Cwalina, the deputy secretary for administration for the state Department of Labor and Industry, has been removed of his driving privileges -- pending the outcome of the case -- but an agency spokesman wouldn't say whether he's been suspended or not.

"This is a personnel matter we take very seriously," spokesman Troy Thompson said.

Lower Allen police accuse Cwalina of crashing his Impala into a parked car Nov. 26 about 5:45 a.m. in the 1600 block of Lowell Lane in the Height at Beacon Hills housing development. They arrested him at his home shortly thereafter.

Cwalina was taken to Cumberland County Processing Center, where a breath test showed his blood-alcohol level at .199 percent, police said. The legal limit to drive in Pennsylvania is .08 percent.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

We're in a Recession?

Please tell these guys!!!!
• “We don’t believe we’re going to have a recession though.”
[Vice President Dick Cheney, 1/30/08]

• “I think the experts will tell you we’re not in a
recession.” [President Bush, 2/10/08]

• “The answer is, I don’t think we are in a recession right
now.” [Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Edward Lazear, 2/11/08]

• “First of all, we’re not in a recession.” [President Bush,

• “The data are pretty clear that we are not in a
recession.” [Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Edward Lazear, 5/7/08]

• “I don’t think we are” in a recession. [Director of the
National Economic Council Keith Hennesy, 6/3/08]

• “I think we have avoided a recession.” [White House Budget
Director Jim Nussle, 7/31/08]

• “I don’t think anybody could tell you right now if we’re
in a recession or not” [Dana Perino, 10/7/08]

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy 5th Anniversary, Colondar!!!!!

As October was being painted pink for breast cancer awareness the 5th anniversary issue of the Colondar was published. The Colondar and the Colon Club was started by Molly McMaster who was diagnosed with colon cancer on her 23rd birthday. The Colondar and Colon Club are used to bring awareness that anyone can be diagnosed with colon cancer and it is not an age related issue.

For the 5th straight year, Erika Kratzer of Snyder County in Pennsylvania graces the cover. Erika was diagnosed in 2000 at the age of 22. I got to meet Erika and her family through a local newspaper article about the Colondar. Being diagnosed myself at age 36 in 2002, I had a side effect from chemo that made my eyes water. November 29th, 2002 was the day I first had symptoms of this disease.

Through bringing the Colossal Colon to the Susquehanna Valley in 2005, Erika's mother Janet Bilger and I co-chair the Central Susquehanna Valley Colon Cancer Task Force. In 2008, our task force's efforts were realized by signing HB1155 (Colon Cancer Screening) into law in Pennsylvania.

Here is a toast to the Colon Club and the Colondar. May Erika grace the cover for another 10 years.

Here is a picture of Erika's mother with Governor Edward Rendell at the signing of HB1155.

Berwick Beware!!!

Selinsgrove is Coming!!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving, Remembering TPR

Mayor John D. W. Reiley addresses the crowd gathered
for the final brush stroke of the mural on North Centre Street. His son
Terry's likeness is on the mural (off his left shoulder).
Andy Matsko/REPUBLICAN & Herald
Today is Thanksgiving and although 2008 has been a rough year by most standards, there is always something for which we can give thanks. Pottsville unvieled a new mural painting. John's son Terry graduated from Villanova with me in 1988 and was a very good friend. He passed away way too early in 2000 due to leukemia. Terry was mayor of Pottsville at the time of his passing.
If you have a chance to reflect, there is always someone that has a bigger hill to climb or with problems bigger than your own. Take time out and think of those people.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mount Carmel prepares for the Crusaders

Video and pictures of Mount Carmel's practice at Shamokin

Mount Carmel practiced at Shamokin Area on the turf on Tuesday evening. Despite cold temperatures and snow squalls, the Red Tornado practice looked very crisp.

Hard to believe we are 35 years removed from the annual Mount Carmel-Shamokin game for the Coal Bucket played on Thanksgiving Day. Does anyone have any fun stories from the blizzard in 1971? The snow fell on Wednesday and the game was cancelled until Saturday.

Godspeed Governor

Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll is scheduled to be laid to rest today in Pittsburgh. I had the privilege of meeting the Lieutenant Governor three years ago for the American Cancer Society's Daffodil Days.

"Take those visitors tags off" said the governor. "You are my guests today." She made time to talk to our group and let us know how important our work was as citizens. Recently, a member of the Central Susquehanna Valley Colon Cancer Task Force sent her a get-well wish and it was answered in a hand written note.

From David's Blog
, here is a quote of Knoll on her life:

“The leaves of my life keep falling one at a time. When you rake them into
a pile of memories a couple of lessons become evident. One is that if we get
wrapped up in ourself, we’ll become a very small package. The other is that
making a living involves what we GET – building a life involves what we GIVE.
Now more than ever we should recognize that life is precious – that it is a
once-in-a-lifetime experience – and it is your job and mine to encourage all of
our citizens not to undervalue what they are.”

Remembering James P. Kelley

Last week former Northumberland County Commissioner, James P. Kelley, was laid to rest. Probably the best tribute to him was this letter to the editor as Kelley was taking office for his first term in 1971.

Mr. Kelley's style and compassion for the office will greatly be missed.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Coal Region Voice Makes Sound-Off!

Well it has taken a long time, almost 20 years to be exact, but I have made Sound-Off. In lieu of writing a letter to the editor, people could call and leave comments anonymously to the News-Item.

Lunch box, press box?

With regard to Ed Washuta’s letter to the editor about food in the press
box, I have a question: Does he not get paid for his duties? When I worked
construction, I took a lunch box and thermos with me or we purchased food from a
neighboring restaurant. In any case, we provided our own food. I think he should
do the same.

Get a hoagie

I was just reading Ed Washuta’s letter to the editor about the press box
being catered. Doesn’t he know that on the way to the stadium, Mac’s is right on
Arch Street? He can stop there and get a hoagie instead of depending on the
school district to feed him.

Here is my letter to the editor

To the editor: As a resident of the Shamokin Area School District and member of the electronic media, I would like to thank the athletic department and school administration for providing food and refreshments for the press box this past football season.

On any typical game day, I arrive at Kemp Memorial, unload and set up radio equipment and try to interview the visiting coach before he goes into the team pregame routine. Having refreshments in the box gives me the opportunity to get these things done. Once I am “on the air” at 6:40, I am not off air until 10 minutes after the game, whenever that may be. Time spent at the stadium is usually from 4:30 until 10 p.m. It is worse for the print media who, after the game, must conduct interviews and file a story before their deadlines.

This season, a Heartland Conference member did deny access to the press box to the school television station and myself. This is our chance to be noted for “good will” rather than bomb scares.

With articles in your paper on Nov.12 and letter to the editor on Nov. 14 from a school director, I feel, as a taxpayer, time could be better spent trying to solve the lack of student space in the district.

Trying to draw a link between students not having enough to eat during the day and providing food to the press box after the school week is over is very weak at best.

Edward Washuta

I'm glad that readers are concerned that I may getting something for free. Mac's would be great, but I avoid Arch Street on game night. Stopping means being delayed once again getting to field. I did mention I set up equipment. The closest I could park is near the visitor's lockeroom. Two trips from the car to the box with setup and checks and all of a sudden the visitor's are ready for pregame.

I'm sure if I worked construction, I would patronize the neighboring restaurant. I would also pack a lunch and a thermos. Being that major construction has not on in Shamokin since the new wing at SACH and SCI-Coal Township, I would be looking at 16 hour day with work and travel.

My problem lies with logistics. Once I go "on the air", I don't leave the box for 4 hours. Try talking for fours straight without drinking something.

More Support for Coach Zielinskie

A few people have written letters in support of Coach Z. Read this one from a Shamokin grad and this one from parents of a current Shamokin player. As a parent, if you have faith in the coach that is where the support should be measured.

Here is something from his college roommate. A guy named Jim from Florida comments:

I was Coach Z's room-mate at Lock Haven (At that time State College) from 1977-80. Z played a lot, I practiced a lot. He actually was responsible for winning a couple of games with key interceptions and tackles from his Safety spot. I live in Tallahassee Florida now. I'm not sure what happened to high school football in the past 25 years, but things are getting a bit insane. Where I live, there is a school called North Florida Christian. One of their players actually went on to Florida State, and then the Tampa Bay Buccaneer's, as a pretty decent QB. His name is Casey Weldon. He was hired as Head Football Coach at his alma mater a couple of years ago, in three seasons he was fired. His record? 25-3. Hang in there Zeebo!!!!!!
November 20, 2008 8:39 AM

Running up the score?

I was a little surprised on Friday with Riverside choosing to air it out against Southern leading 18-7 and under 3 minutes left in the game. Up until the Southern game, that was the first time I seen Riverside play so I will hold my judgement. I do question Harry Armstrong sending in Joe Klebon to kick the extra point. Why risk injury to a money player???

Dan Burda writes
about it in the News-Item.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Irish Eyes Are Not Smiling

Problems Under the Dome

Notre Dame suffered one it's worst defeats yesterday dropping a 24-23 game to Syracuse at home on Senior Day. The Irish were 19 1/2 point favorites.

Charlie Weis has been on the hot seat for a few weeks now. Weis has 7 years left on a 10-year contract. A coaching change after the season will be painful and expensive.

Even though the Philadelphia Eagles are in Baltimore this weekend, a few of their fans showed up for the game.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

JFK Rembered


November 22nd, 1963 is a day never forgotten in American history. 45 years ago, 3 shots rang out in Dallas and America was forever changed. I wasn't born when this even took place in our history, put I can never stop listening to stories of where people were on that day. The presidency took a terrible turn in the next decade. The country was saddled with a war in Vietnam and Watergate led to Richard M. Nixon's resignation in August of 1974.

I still remember the story of the First Lady having Caroline's birthday party within the days after the tragedy.

David recounts the day and what followed.

Gort relates what may have happened in today's world.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Volunteers are needed!!!!!

Due to 5 inches of snow falling in the Mount Carmel area, AD Greg Sacavage is asking for volunteers to help remove snow from the Silver Bowl. Sacavage is asking for volunteers to report to the stadium around 9 am to Mr. Wojcik.

Due to the field being grass, people are asked to come with shovels and wheelbarrows. Mount Carmel needs a similar type effort of snow removal like in 1997 before the South Williamsport game.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

MCA, Southern and Riverside in the News

Harold Raker previews of the MCA-Montoursville game in the Daily-Item.

Raker also adds this piece about Zach Lutz.

Dan Burda features Southern LB Tony Drain for the News-Item.

Raker previews the Southern-Riverside game.

Raker also features lineman Chase Fraley of Southern.

Joby Fawcett of the Scranton Times features Matt Talerico of Riverside.


Colin Klebon signs with Bucknell.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Special Comment On Coach Zielinskie

The first talk with Coach Z. at last year preseason picnic.

My last interview with Coach Z.

The more things change the more they stay the same. As autumn give way to winter, once again Shamokin Area is looking for a head football coach. Dave Zielinskie was fired yesterday by a 5-4 vote of the school board. The board voted, 5-4, with directors Charles Carpenter, Ed Griffiths, Todd Hockenbroch, Barry Rebuck and Daniel Venn voting yes, and directors LaRue Beck, Robert Getchey, Tracy Witmer and Mark Anonia voting no. Over 15 years ago, when Zielinskie was let go, too many penalties was the excuse.

This time the firing was a little bit more elaborate. Athletic Director Nick Celinscak gave an "evaluation"of Mr. Zielinskie and a substandard performance only to be rebutted by Zielinskie himself.

Celinscak was only a "patsie" for the board. Someone had to make a motion, second it and vote.

Covering Shamokin and Dave Zielinskie

When Zielinskie took over for Carmen Defrancesco, I asked to video our pregame interview that would be played back on radio on game night. Coach Zielinskie obliged and it was pretty much a staple. As far as handling players and coaches, I thought he great support.

One thing that is very hard to do in life is notice change while it is occurring. Kemp Memorial is still the same, except for the turf and new booster stand, but many things have changed. Not many kids are motivated to play football anymore. On average Shamokin has dressed the below 40 the last few seasons.

With the schedule and personnel, how much better were Shamokin than 5-15 in two years. Zielinskie lost his number one running back to illness, most of his secondary to injury and insubordination, but he never offered any excuses. With a full squad of players that were with him in the preseason would Shamokin have beaten Southern, Mount Carmel, Selinsgrove, and Montoursville?


If you look back at the Indians over the last 20 years was it the coaching or the players? If you point out to the winning season's Shamokin has had since 1988, their success centered on having a 1000-yard rusher (Tim Krebs, Richie Shick, Jamie Wis., etc) or a strong one-two punch like Kirk Stehman and Gary Anascavage.

One of the by-products of the head coaching merry-go-round is the developing talent. The senior class of 2010 would have played for 3 different head coaches. Most of the success of Mount Carmel and Southern Area is delveloping football players and plugging them in the right holes. The other thing is coaching stability. MCA has had three head men since 1961. The core of Southern's staff have been together for 25 years plus they still have many mile left.

X's and O's

I am firm believer in taking what the Lord has provided. Last season the Indians ran what I would call an offense of the week. There was a different offense for like six straight weeks. This season Shamokin ran a different offense the first two weeks and went smash-mouth the final 8 games. Offense is about consistency and repetition. The points will follow.

What's Next?

It should be an interesting sideshow until Christmas. With a $6000 bill staring the Board in the eyes, will they go cheap? Dave Zielinskie did all that was asked of him by the board and some more. He didn't stand for insubordination and got rid of players that violated team rules. This was done in 2007 and 2008 knowing full well he was short at those positions. As far as ejections this season, I believe there were two. One against Southern and one against Selinsgrove.

Coach Z. still has alot of coaching left in him, sad to say with his second stint over at Shamokin it will not be as a head coach.

Shamokin Board Sacks Coach Z.

Chuck Souder's article printed in the News-Item covers the meeting.

Sidebar by Souder's cover's Coach Z.'s statement.

The Coal Region Voice will have special comments later this evening.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Jim Roth discusses upcoming game with Riverside

Jim Roth talks about upcoming playoff game with the Riverside Vikings.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Turning on a dime!

High school football games unlike the college and pro ranks usually are void of last second drama, two minute drills and last minute scoring. Often you could look back at a series or a couple of plays and can say that was where the game was won or lost.

This past weekend with Southern and Line Mountain all tied at 14, a series of plays at the end of the half went a long way determining the winner. Line Mountain was driving toward a go-ahead TD with under a minute left. Aaron Inch dropped a potential go ahead TD pass and Line Mountain fumbled the ball away on the next play. Southern took over on their own 13. Steve Roth ripped off a 60-yard run and face mask penalty put the ball on the Eagles' 14. Two runs, two timeouts and Steve Roth scored from 2 yards out with 12 seconds left in the half.

In a tale of what-ifs, how would Southern have played being down to start the half? Would Line Mountain have had more enthusiasm? One thing I do know is that it was an exciting first half no matter what side of the ball you were on.

The Daily Item describes the same situation in the Mount Carmel-Lewisburg game. In a casual conversation with a MCA assistant, Lewisburg were done after the Moroz interception.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Jim Roth inches his way to 300

Jim Roth is closing in on win number 300 in his career with win 297 over Line Mountain on Friday night. The News-Item documents some of the impressive winning streaks Roth has had over his 25 seasons. A trip to the state finals may never be sweeter, but the hardest and toughest football is ahead.

The one thing about Roth is his relative youth when you look at other coaches either approaching 300 or his 25 seasons as a head coach. He still has plenty of coaching of sometime in his gas tank.

The Heartland Conference released a copy of their football all-star teams this past week. Where is Shamokin Area? The Indians (4-5) deserved some consideration for players like Brent Forbes with over 1000 yards and force at defensive end and Tyler Scicchitano who was a tackling machine and later made big contributions at running back and kicker on special teams.

Former Mount Carmel Area and Susquehanna University graduate Ron Miller has guided the West York Bulldogs into the District 3 Semifinals. Check out their performance in the quarters against Conrad Weiser. Good luck to Ron and the rest of West York against Garden Spot.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Southern Columbia Tradition

With Southern reclaiming the District IV A crown last night, why the picture of the sampling of fare in the Tiger press box? With a controversy brewing of supplying food at the Shamokin Area press-box, this Southern tradition has been going for 15 years according to AD Terry Sharrow, "It started off as something to provide our pressbox workers who were just volunteers and has grown....maybe a little too much." Adding with a smile, "my wife and I donate the items."

If you look at the picture, there are two crocks of sausage and ham, a meat and cheese tray, seven pies, chips, and iced tea. Stadium workers stop in for a quick bite before they man their stations before the big game. For most of the people that visited the press-box, Shamokin Area was the laughing-stock of the area. To the Sharrows, I would like to thank them for their generosity over the years. To Mrs. Sharrow, can I place an order for peanut butter pie?


Now for the game. With Southern's 37-14 win over Line Mountain last night, the Tigers reclaim the district title, their 17th in the last 18 years. In what may have been a team record BJ Snyder kicked 3 field goals in one of half of 35, 29, and 35 yards and Joe Admire added a 51-yard punt return. Count them, four scores on special teams. The defense came up just as big pitching a shutout in the second half and limiting the Eagles to under 60 yards of total offense.

Line Mountain will be back. The Eagles graduate 8 seniors. With only 5 juniors on the roster, the rest of the Line Mountain squad is made up of 18 sophomores and 19 freshman. The Eagles may have more talent in 2009 and be younger than 2008. Stay tuned.

Early indications are the Southern-Riverside clash will be played at Valley View in Peckville. No date or time has been selected. By the way, the roster of each team will have a common denominatior. Each team has a player named Joe Klebon.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Press Box at Shamokin Area, Part II

Director Witmer Responds

Shamokin Area School Director Tracey Witmer submits Letter to the Editor in November 14th issue of the News-Item in response to the article published on November 12th.

Lourdes Regional
Tonight Lourdes Regional and Tri-Valley will battle for the Eastern Conference Class A Championship tonight at Leo A. Mulhall Stadium in Shamokin. This will be Lourdes first trip to the finals since 1996 losing 48-26 to Lakeland.
Back in 1974, Lourdes Regional tied West Scranton 14-14 for a share of the EC big school championship with Mike Klembara at the helm. During a three-game stretch in that magic season, Lourdes defeated Pottsville, Berwick and Shamokin.
It has been 25 years since I donned on the Cerise and White for Lourdes Regional. We went 9-1 in the regular season and were edged out of the playoffs by a Southern Columbia team who went on to defeat Mahanoy Area 10-0 to win there first EC title back in 1983. As fate would have it, I will be broadcasting the Southern-Line Mountain game on Bill95.
To the 24 players of Lourdes Regional who practice and sweat it out like any other team, savor the moment playing for a championship. One last, win, team...rah!!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shamokin Area, Problems in the Pressbox

School board argues over press-box catering
With overcrowding at the annex the big ticket item, the press-box catering issue grabbed the headline.
Director Tracey Witmer said having the district’s food service provider serve the food was taking funds away from the band and football booster concession stands.
Witmer said she called more than a dozen area schools and said none of those schools provide food in the press box during football games.
As a contract employee of a local radio station, I would suggest that Ms. Witmer call both Southern Columbia and Mount Carmel Area. Southern Columbia's pressbox has been catered for at least a decade while Mount Carmel has been providing catering through a private sponsor for a few years.
As a working member of the electronic media, I would say most of us are coming from other duties and do not have the time to wait in line at the concession stand before the game or at halftime. Once the game starts, I am confined to the box for the remainder of the game. I only get a two minute commercial break.
I would like to thank Shamokin AD Nick Celinscak for the improvement to a great press-box this season.
In the article, Food Service Director Diane Daubilis says a $480 profit was realized.

Coal Miner Mentality!

This was published in the Times-Leader, Pittston Dispatch by Pittston chiropractor Joe Leonardi.

“Coal Miner Mentality” is a phrase that is boorishly bandied about to describe many here in Greater Pittston and to a larger extent all of us who reside in Northeast Pennsylvania.

Along with hard scrabble and coal cracker, this terminology is not meant to compliment, congratulate or commend.

It is most often intended to demean, deride or dismiss the good people of, as Steve Corbett extols, “Hard Coal Country.” How little those outside of the anthracite arena know the offspring of the miners whose labor fueled the industrial revolution.

My grandfather was an owner/operator of a few mines here in the valley.

Unfortunately for my bank account he was not a coal baron. However, fortunately for my character he was a coal man.

We, all of us, are the heirs to the throne of king coal – we are the ones responsible to maintain the legacy of those who took from the ground the hard black carbon.

Yet, inexplicably, many look down upon us and our ancestors.

How is it anything less than an honor to be descended from those who sacrificed so much, but were recognized by so few?

How can we not revere those that left the sunlight behind and ventured below the earth’s surface to bring forth the precious anthracite?

How can those whose lives, by comparison are easy and risk free – not swell with pride when we recall the men who risked not solely simply injury, but often instant death or worse the slow, suffocating strangulation of black lung to provide a home and life for their families.

The coal miner was not formally schooled, he was educated by the cold realities of a harsh dark world.

The coal miner was not selfish, he did without, so his children would not need to inhale cancer causing coal dust.

The coal miner was not weak, through the strength of his spine he provided food for his family.

When I think of a coal miner, I see a strong hardworking individual. One who came to this area looking to improve not his life, but the lives of his children. I see individuals of deep faith, honesty and integrity.

When I teach a class and look upon the faces of my students, I see the realization of the dreams of those miners who so long ago shortened their own lives so my generation and the following ones, would not have to.

There is a movement afoot to prod the U.S. Postal Service to issue a commemorative stamp honoring the coal miner. This effort has gone on for many years with zero success.

This is an initiative that yearns for our support.

I say we wear with pride the badge of honor our coal miner roots inspire. We must look to the terms coal miner mentality, coal cracker and hard scrabble and take them back.

We must, with pride – own them.

I demand we proclaim; “We are the children of coal!”

Sunday, November 9, 2008

MCA Video Highlights Against Troy.

Can the Big Red get to 781?

Marcus throws the first of 3 TDS.

The only highlight for Troy winning the coin toss.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Barack Obama Makes History

Barack Obama was projected President-Elect around 11 pm Eastern time on Tuesday evening November 4th, 2008. John McCain gracious in his defeat may have given one of his best speeches in concession. (Where was that John McCain the entire campaign.)

Gort provides a great view why conservatives should have voted for Obama.

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich outlines the challenges ahead when the real contest begins.

My polls on the left indicate the trend of the evening. Carney defeated Hackett by a comfortable margin and Obama was a winner. Paul Kanjorski survived a close count in the PA 11th CD.
Obama has his work cut out for him. Debt with no bottom, two wars and heath care out of control just to start. One thing I will say for sure, I don't think there will be any Mike "Heckuva Job Brownie" Brown appointments.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Problem with county voting machines

SUNBURY - The Northumberland County Board of Elections has announced a programming error will prevent voters today from voting a straight ticket for one party.Mary Thew, director of the Northumberland County Board of Elections, told The News-Item that a problem was discovered early in the vote process.

read more | digg story

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Carney in 2008!!!

Video of Carney in Lewisburg on November 1st.

In 2006, I supported Chris Carney wrestle the 10th Congressional seat away from Don Sherwood. In 2008, is effort to lead the fight for the Central Susquehanna Valley Thruway Project and his twice voting no to the 700 billion dollar bailout has earned my vote.

The Thruway Project regardless of Carney though is facing a difficult time due the financial crisis. The Bailout deserved a no vote due to first too much power to Henry Paulson and then too much pork from the Republican side of the Senate aisle. "Sweeping the House", friend Greg Maresca informs fellow readers the original bill went from 3 pages to 425 pages filled of pork. In that 3 pages were 32 words that were very dangerous:

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

With the current track record of our executive branch a no-vote was a no-brainer.

Other are still upset by the VA Clinic being located in Snyder County and not Northumberland. Check out this Letter to editor. Do you think Don Sherwood would have addressed this issue at all?

In the 11/2 print edition of the Daily-Item, Chris Hackett says the Paxinos manufacturer Fleetwood Motor Homes moved to Indiana because it is cheaper because of Indiana's state tax situation. No Chris, Fleetwood moved because they make a big-ticket item that no one is buying due to price of gas. They don't need two plants open at this time. By the way, Fleetwood's stock (FLE) was trading around 70 cents when the decision to close Paxinos was made. As of 10/31/2008, the stock closed at 45 cents and gained 9 cents on Friday to do it.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Chase Utley's "F" Bomb in a week of "F" Bombs

Chase Utley drops the "F" Bomb

and is wildly cheered.
Last week, I dropped the "F" Bomb to one person and was kicked out of Mifflinburg High School. I guess my undergraduate degree at Villanova got the best of me. Utley was overwhelmed by close to 2 million people showing up for a parade thinking Chase is special.
Back in the 80's, I would have been overwhelmed if 2 coeds from Sheehan Hall thought I was special.
Shout Out
A special shout out goes to Coach Carmen Defrancesco of Upper Dauphin who recorded his 100th win as a head coach. The win propels the Trojans into the District III A playoffs as the seventh seed.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Regular season comes to a close!!!!

The regular season of high school football come to a close tonight. I will be broadcasting the Southern-Milton game.

Listen Here.

The door opened for some teams in District IV AA with Central's loss to Bloomsburg as time expired last night.

Shamokin to be anywhere near the hunt needs to win against Loyalsock, have Danville lose to Jersey Shore and Troy to lose to Canton. Even with that Danville may outpoint them due to their win over Athens.

Mount Carmel should safely be at home during the Districts with a win against North Schuylkill tonight. Montoursville has a chance to improve their seeding with a win over Selinsgrove.

In discussing chances of area teams this season back in August. I thought here is where some area teams may end up:
Shamokin - on a high note 6-4 and on a low note 4-6. Central Columbia was their big swing game.
Mount Carmel - 10-0 on the high note and 8-2 on the low note. There is no substitute for senior leadership in high school football.
Southern Area - 9-1 on the high note and 7-3 on the low end. Southern had a very a pretty tough schedule and beat a good Montoursville team in Week 2.
As for playoffs, Southern if they win the District will have Riverside, Schuylkill Haven and Steel-High as possibly match ups before they even get to Chocolatetown.
Games of WEEK #10
Selinsgrove vs. Montoursville
Dunmore vs. Riverside.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Parade in Shamokin, PA!!!!



Courtesy of the AP
As Joe Carter left the building, Mitch Williams summed it up best with quote from former Flyers head coach Fred Shero,
"Win today and we walk together forever."

As soon as the game ended, I reflected on my father and thought about an end to a quarter of a century of Philadelphia frustration. Since the 1983 Sixers, here is some of the frustration:
Sixers - one NBA final
Phillies - two World Series
Eagles - three NFC Championships and two Super Bowls.
Flyers - three Stanley Cup finals.
Savor this one, I hope I'm not 67 when the next one rolls around!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Poem for Election Day

Thanks to my friends at the CSCC
Halloween Blues
by Terri Peterson
'Twas Halloween night and the ghosts were abundant
Though their moaning and wailing seemed somewhat redundant.
Four years of W. rendered the nation
Unable to counter our crushing inflation.
The ghouls couldn't figure what could be more scary
Than a neocon-appointed judiciary.
Witches grimly realized they would never be no
More publicly hateful than Dana Perino.
Dick Cheney steals hope from each heart as he passes,
Mike Chertoff is happy to spy on the masses,
Torture's accepted for interrogation;
Karl Rove spins a tight web of misinformation.
Dubya's last months as commander in chief
Offer anything but what can be termed relief.
Hubris and recklessness mixed with pure greed
Left common dreams strewn in the mean streets to bleed.
Our houses are gone!
And our banks are all failing!
700 billion dollar bailouts are bailing.
Emergency management plans are mismanaged.
Health care reform? It seems hopelessly damaged.
But the Bush years are ending, election day's nearing
For months we've heard nothing but conventioneering.
And who has the GOP picked to replace
Dubya and Cheney in this presidential race?
John McCain is the GOP's nominee stooge,
A sellout whose temper is said to be huge,
Nicknamed "McNasty", he flies off the handle
When asked of his role in the Keating Five scandal.
As for Sarah Palin, who's been chosen for VEEP,
The thought of her makes children cry in their sleep.
For deep in the bulb of her power she-mullet,
Lies the knife kept close by to stab moose in the gullet.
McNasty and the V-PILF are deep in cahoots
With CEOs buffing their gold parachutes.
Global suffering from New Orleans to Darfur?
Not important. Most of those people are poor.
The Halloween world demanded reclamation
Of Halloween business and horrification.
Paranoia and fear was their job to foment,
And not generated by one's government.
They looked to the right, who thought none could be tougher,
Than an ex-POW and his wolf-hunting fluffer,
To maintain terror-quo.
Our good ghouls were bereft.
Their hearts filled with despair; then they looked to the left.
Look! Barack Obama! Energized by compassion,
Who views social justice as not just a fashion,
Can discuss real concerns without tripping alarms,
Plus, his wife's pretty fierce. Have you checked out her arms?
Joe Biden, an expert in foreign affairs
Has been tapped for V.P.; as a statesman he dares
To put people's needs first before corporate lust.
Both aim, as leaders, to rebuild public trust.
So the ghosts and the witches all hope that you're certain,
When you go to the voting booth and draw the curtain,
To pick the team that inspires hope and not fright,
And vote Obama-Biden on election night.