Thursday, December 31, 2009

End of the "Uh Oh's", Happy 2010!!!!!

It seems like someone tries to label a decade with a name. Looking back, I like columnist Leonard Pitts phrase, the "Uh Oh's". It seemed like every major event could have been explained with an "uh oh".

We lived through major events like 9/11 and Katrina. We continue to fight two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. We suffered (ing) through two recessions resulting from meltdowns of an internet and real estate bubble. Politics has become a bloodsport. Each event brings America to examine itself and it's role in the world.

Like or not some of the innovations of the decade include this one called blogging, Youtube and social media. The US elected an African-American as president despite our past. I think we will be better for it.

The decade started off with democracy being tested in the 2000 presidential election and ended with the media trying to tame a "Tiger".

Locally, manufacturing may have waved goodbye forever with the closings of Paper Magic and Fleetwood and Paxinos. The Big Three Auto industry and their local dealers are hanging by a thread.

What will the next decade bring? Hard to say. Locally, we may become more of an energy provider in one way or another. Joe Paterno will probably not be coaching PSU in 2019. Hopefully, the BCS will be gone. Dental problems will be abundant with many plans eliminating dental coverage all together. You could also say the same thing for vision plans.

One thing I would like to see is more neighboring municipalities merge. Often local elections are going unchallenged due to declining populations and apathy. Mergers only make sense and hopefully the state could provide some incentive.

In 2009, Harry Kalas, Walter Conkrite, Farah Fawcett and Michael Jackson all moved on and will all be missed in one way or another. I had the pleasure of meeting Kalas once. When he announced birthday's and anniversary's at the beginning of a broadcast it sounded like he lived next door or was your life long friend.

Say goodbye to the "Uh-Oh's" and 2009........these 3 things always seem to be the center of attention and whatever happened to Y2K?

Monday, December 28, 2009

MCA Football and the Constitution

In this past Sunday's News-Item, an online poll was conducted to see the MCA School Board was appropriate for firing Bob Chesney. Here are the results:

Yes: 2,905 votes ( 80.4%)
No: 641 votes (17.74%)
Not sure: 67 votes (1.85%)
Total: 3,613

Most of the comments had this theme:

Should have been fired after he forced them to attend Mass the
first time.

Appleton, Wis.
Why is religious freedom so misunderstood? No one has the "right" to force
anyone into unwanted indoctrinations. What if the coach was a Muslim and took
everyone to a mosque? Christians carp about their "freedoms," but are unwilling
to allow others to be free from them.

Nova Scotia, Canada
No football team should be compelled to attend
church simply for the sake of playing football, and any coach who makes such a
precondition is violating their fundamental right to freedom of belief.

Last week about 50 miles north in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County was sued by a King's College (Catholic) student for displaying a manger scene on county government property in front of the courthouse.

Citizens braved the weather to protest and finally the suit was withdrawn by the student.

One has to wonder what the reaction was if football players on the own, chose to go to a Friday service wearing their jerseys what the consequences would have been?

16-0 does erase alot of scrutiny.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Something is "Smellow with Mellow"

Ethics charges filed by two groups were dismissed against Senator Robert Mellow (D) of Peckville. The charges were dismissed "without prejudice" on December 16th the last day of session for the Senate.

Basically, they were dismissed on procedure and not content of the complaint and can be refiled. The complaints stem from the cozy relationship Mellow has for sitting on the Board of Directors at NEPA insurer. Mellow is currently minority leader in the PA Senate and was on the banking and insurance committee.

The ethic panel is not made up of an outside independent body but other senators. The committee is split 3-3 between Republicans and Democrats. The other members are Sens. Raphael Musto, D-14, Pittston; Jay Costa, D-43, Pittsburgh; Michael O'Pake, D-11, Reading; Charles McIlhinney, R-10, Doylestown, and Richard Alloway, R-33, Chambersburg.

Senator John Gordner R-27 chairs the committee.

The committee took 13 month to throw out the complaint on a technicality.

Carney Courted by the Darkside.

With Malcolm Derk of Union County being the first to throw his hat into the Republican Party, there are several questions to ask? Do the national Republicans have or want to throw any money into this campaign. In 2008, Dan Meuser and Chris Hackett were well funded and lost a district McCain won by 9 points.
Could they be strong arming Carney with a threat of big money? Stay tuned.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!!!!

The headline says it all!!! Enjoy the day!!!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Tom Kutza!!!!!

Shamokin's legendary "Morning Mayor" returns to the airwave tonight from 7 pm to midnight on Bill95FM. Tom Kutza was heard on the morings at the WISL 1480 AM now off the air. On the radio you could tune in at WBLJ - 95.3 Shamokin or WBLY 95.5 Saladaysburg. Click the highlighted link above to tune in online.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Festivus!!!!!

December 23rd marks the holiday of Festivus according to the Seinfeld calender.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Malcolm Derk Throws His Hat in 10th CD Race

Snyder County Commissioner Malcolm Derk announced his plans to run for the Republican nomination in the 10th Congressional District in a seat held by Chris Carney of Dimock, PA. Here are some of the places you can learn a little bit about Derk:

Malcolm Derk


Draft Derk for Congress

In today's Daily-Item, Derk contends that raising money will be difficult and Carney is well funded.

In 2006, Kathy Scott came within 12 points of incumbent Don Sherwood for the GOP nod while only spending $5000. Although a late night neck massage made the race closer.

Some quotes from the Daily-Item article:

“I feel passionately that it’s not government’s role to create jobs,” Derk said. “That is something that businesses and entrepreneurs do.

“They are the engines that fuel the economy, and they will ultimately get us out of the recession.”

Throwing money at a problem hasn’t helped, Derk said.

“We were promised unemployment wouldn’t hit more than 8 percent; we hit 10 percent last month. This proves the funding priority of Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats didn’t work. And as a county commissioner, I know that the jobs we were promised never came.”

Derk, at age 27, downplays his age and cites his experience on city council and as commissioner.

It seems from GOP central, if we forget the last decade maybe everyone else will. While Derk was only 18 and entering college. George W. Bush signed The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001. This was 1.35 trillion dollars out of the gate. When entering office the debt stood around 5 trillion which he doubled in 8 years.

Did we get any valuable returns out of the 12 billion a month(still counting) we are spending in Iraq and Afghanistan???

Here are some staggering investment numbers from the Wall Street Journal.

For those of you who like charts, here is a good one to compare income, net worth and job growth.

I have some ideas for Mr. Derk. Run against Chris not Nancy. Have some creative ideas for job growth and taxes. Don't take the daily GOP fax (Fox) marching orders. Stand up to the heathcare cartel.

In the end, I wish Mr. Derk well. As a young man of 27, he is a great example to get involved and not be apathetic about the country's plight.

I Kid You Not!!!!!

In reading Harold Raker's column in the Daily-Item, due to cuts the AP may not name an All-State squad in football.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Villanova #1 in FSC

Villanova University won it's first FCS Championship on Friday 25 years after reinstating the program in 1984. For 25 years they have been led by Andy Talley who was chosen to resurrect the program that was once coach by "Four Horseman" Quarterback Harry Strudheler, produced future Hall of Famer Howie Long, and current NFL star Brian Westbrook.

A future star in the making is junior Matt Szczur. Szczur rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. He also caught four passes for 68 yards and returned two kickoffs for 43 yards. He is also expected to be drafted in Major League baseball draft.

Read this story by Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News. Too bad FCS wasn't BcS, the story should be front page news.

Here is Villanova Band against Delaware:

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Left No Doubt!!!!

"You win a championship game with championship people," said Pennsylvania's all-time winning coach George Curry after a playoff victory over Shamokin in the early 1990's. That quote was oh so true as the Selinsgrove Seals claimed their first PIAA crown and the first for District IV above the AA level ever.

With starting backfield Kyle Reinard and Matt Wenrich out with injuries in the second half and quarterback Cory Briggs suffering from illness, the Seals supporting cast dug deep and mined PIAA gold for the Seals. Stepping in for the backfield was Cameron Benner and Seth Lauver. Spencer Myers and Kyle Schuck switched in order to get helmet on Manheim Central's Dakota Royer.

What can you say about Ryan Keiser? Keiser didn't have a big stat night, but what a second half he had. Keiser recovered a fumble when it looked like Central would increase their lead in the 3rd quarter. He had a the key interception to set up the state championship drive and made a third down reception to keep the drive alive.

Bryant Troutman nearly in double-digit tackles and key sack late in the game.

Standing on the sideline on Friday night there are a few observations with the ebb and flow of the game. Despite scoring over 40 points in 10 of 15 games, there wasn't a sense of pressing by the Selinsgrove players or staff. That seemed evident when the Seals opted for the 21-yard field goal by Spencer Hotaling instead of trying to go for it in a fourth-and-three situation. Down at that point 7-3 with a whole quarter left, most of the Seals thought they would see the redzone at least one more time.

Most revealing moment for me was early in the first half, Manheim Central QB Justin Gorman rolled right toward his bench and looked to have plenty of running room evident by the sudden roar of the Baron fans. Out of nowhere, Cameron Benner came up stopped Gorman in his tracks for a minimal gain. The Baron faithful had to think they were in a long night.

Was it the 3-5 defense giving the Baron's fits? In an observation made by Dylan Elliot quoted by Harold Raker in the Daily-Item,

“The quarterback usually gave away what he was going to do. He peaked around at his receivers when he was going to throw, he did have that flaw.

He also crouched a little lower when he was going to run. You have to pick up on things like that when you have a good defense like Selinsgrove,” he said.

The other thing for everyone was the noise!!! Hersheypark Stadium was rocking. Hard to believe there were only 8155 there, but more on that later.

Sowing the seeds.

When you look at the official program of the PIAA finals, the past 21 years are filled with teams of great traditions making appearances in eastern or western finals, state finals and state championships. With the Seals you will only see the 2008 appearance in eastern final, but the seeds for this championship were sown in 1996 when the Seal added Mount Carmel to the schedule who picked up AA state titles in '96, '98 and 2000.

Although early success against the Red Tornadoes was minimal, the Seals now lead the series 9-5. In 1999, put the District IV on a notice with OT loss opening day to eventual district champion Danville and a shootout loss to a very good Blue Mountain team. 2000 and '01 were marked by state playoff losses to Manheim Central. 2005 and 2006 featured losses to Franklin Regional and Thomas Jefferson, as the Seals were shoved to the Western bracket while Pottsville represented the East. Although there were upset at the time, the Seals knew they would still have to improve. In 2008, the Seals broke through and made it to the Eastern Final which set the stage for this season.

One of the great thing about high school sports is watching players over the years mold and mesh together for a common goal. For the most part, the are no free agent signings and young men try their best to represent their school and community. This team recognized early on that they could be special only if they worked hard. You could see that commitment in other sports like in Spencer Myers or in the classroom with Corey Briggs.

The 2009 season for the Seals reminds me of quote from the late Philadelphia Flyer coach Fred Shero wrote on the blackboard for Game 6 of the 1974 Stanley Cup clincher, "Win together today, and we walk together forever." The 2009 Selinsgrove Seals will be together forever.

PIAA Attendance

The announced attendance for Friday's game was 8155. Hersheypark Stadium has 33 seats in a row and 30 rows per sections. There are 8 sections on each side and both sides I had a solid 6 sections full. Central and Selinsgrove both had fans spill over in the final two sections. If you look at 990 people for each of the 12 sections were full and subtract about 100 from each section for clothing your still looking at over 10000 with spill over into four other sections.

Mount Carmel Board Problems

Chuck Souders once again points out the "Constititutional Crisis" in today's News-Item. We could only hope Mr. Belfanti doesn't seek higher office.

Friday, December 18, 2009

District IV rooting for Seals

If you look at the long road leading to the state finals in AAA, it has been said for years that District IV doesn't have chance. Geographically, there are not too many left in the district and area that would give strength of the schedule high marks. With state playoff losses to Manheim Central and Thomas Jefferson over the past decade, the Seals got a taste of the resume it needs to compete in Chocalatetown USA.

For all the problems District IV has geographically, District III has not done much better. This will only be the 4th team District III has place in the championship of AAA.

These will be the two best going at it tonight. I like Selinsgrove in a low scoring game.

Chesney Support

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

No Heartbreak for the Seals

The Seal's Band performed their version of "Heartbreak Hotel", but this Friday night Selinsgrove will need more of a running game. Selinsgrove rushed for only 57 and although Ryan Keiser and the defense was spectacular, this effort may not be enough against the Barons.

Forget past games against the Barons, this Selinsgrove team knows what it takes from the 3 losses to Thomas Jefferson and are ready for the challenge.

Keiser may hold the key to the Seal's fortunes both offensively and defensively. I am predicting a Selinsgrove win in a low scoring close game.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Constitutional Crisis at Mount Carmel??????

On Friday the Mount Carmel School Board voted 6-2 to open up the head football coaching job at Mount Carmel. Chesney waived his right to an executive session with the board and chose to "air the grievances" in public.

When Chesney was hired after the departure of Mike Brennan, the choice came down to different factions that supported Carmen DeFrancesco and supported Chesney. (Why would anyone want the job?).

If you read the full context of the News-Item coverage by Chuck Souders, it makes you scratch your head. Having attended Supper Club (Boosters) in the past, the coach did give an injury update. If anyone who attends an MCA game and sees a player carted off the field, the coach could probably tell the audience the day before if said player will see action.

From the article:

Belfanti questioned the constitutionality of Chesney making players attend church, specifically Mass for Catholic players.

"Mount Carmel players have been going to Mass since the 1930s," Chesney countered. "I'm trying to bring back some of the traditions we've had here. People in this community demand success with this program. We're trying to do the things that have always made Mount Carmel win. If that includes hard work and dedication, the kids know what to expect."

I have known Bob Chesney for 25 years as a coach and also for one season as my colorman on BILL 95 FM. If I could sum up Bob in three words, they would be "No Short Cuts." If you gave him 100%, Bob would return 150%. Trust me, if your a slacker and want to play for Coach Chesney, I would suggest to anyone to evaluate your decision.

When board members accuse the head coach of HIPPA violations and violating the Constitution, reading between the lines, it means the board has nothing and caved in to whining factions.

What is the board saying to any future applicant when they stage "Friday Follies" and say it is OK for him to stay on as an assistant?

Every year around the coal regions, I hear the same thing. Our program needs discipline. This goes to prove some want to talk the talk, but in the end it is business as usual.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Grinch comes early to Northumberland County workers

To offset a 1.2 million dollar increase in the county insurance premiums, 115 employees will see their monthly share increase to up to $100 per pay reported by the Daily-Item.

This is while the county is cutting projecting cutting taxes. Workers have gone a few years without a raise and now this will be a big negative in the take home.

Neither the Daily-Item nor the News-Item reported by what percentage did the premium increase.

Once again you have the viscious cycle of insurance carries raising premiums because they can. The cost being passed on the worker. No one does a damn thing to change the system.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Snow Bowl.....Pictures from the Loyalsock Game

A Good Idea???

Northumberland County plans to reduce taxes in 2010 according to their proposed budget. I am all in favor of reducing taxes, but is this a prudent decision at this time? The tax office itself is in disarray.

In this environment it is hard to predict shortfalls and state reimbursements in this climate. It will be harder calling for a tax increase after a tax cut if one is needed.

Dave Shinskie off to Emerald Bowl

Just a year ago, Dave Shinskie was trying to mimic Lancaster Catholic's Kyle Smith for Mount Carmel's playoff game with the Crusaders last season. On December 26th, Shinskie will lead the Boston College Eagles against USC in the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco.

Henry Hynoski will suit up against the Tar Heals at the same time in the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Top Dawgs!!!!

Anyone going to this past Friday's game between Southern and Tri-Valley were probably expecting some excitement, some athleticism, but in the end Southern rolling to another playoff victory.

The script for Southern playoff football for the last 15 years has been watch teams take some gambles, try some trickery, and maybe survive the Tiger's size and depth. Usually when most high school football teams run 40 offensive plays Southern averages 60 or so with 80 percent being on the ground on good night.

So why is Southern's season over?

Anyone who was there on Friday that I ran into either Friday night or Saturday night will all say the same thing, Tri-Valley is very good football team. Covering high school football over the air or in print for over 21 years, there are not many times I am surprised by the outcome of a game especially in the playoffs. A game I could think of is North Schuylkill's win over Allentown Central Catholic in the 1995 District XI AAA title game. ACC had three players go to Penn State and one went on to the professional ranks.

If you look at the game within a game many will say Wyatt Straub was the difference. Straub is probably the best back I have seen since Jon Veach hitting a hole. Although none of this shows up on any box score, it was Tri-Valley winning on first down both offensively and defensively. Southern just could not get any consistency on first down while on offense and could not stop anything defensively. Credit the Dawgs gameplan in the second half. They broke the huddle in one formation, shifted to another (many times unbalanced) and then Tigers had to read option. It is difficult to make adjustments to this at the half let alone on the fly. The Dawgs offensive and defensive fronts were able to hold up for four quarters.

How about the bad call????

Southern got called for an assisting the runner penalty on an apparent touchdown. At the time it would have put the Tigers up 14-7 near the half. Southern had to eventually settle for a field goal with to lead 10-7 at the half. The Tigers scored on their fist possession of the second half to make it 17-7 and a ten point lead.

From our vantage point in the booth it looked like a full second or two ran off from when the side judge signaled toughdown to when the referee (white hat) threw the flag. It also looked like the side judge tried to get the flag picked up. The penalty stood. Would the play calling of Tri-Valley changed if they were down 21-7? Attitude? We will never know. Give credit to Zach Artz of Tri-Valley for saving the TD two plays earlier with a diving tackle of Jake Morton.

Give credit to Southern fighting until the last tick of the clock answering two Dawg TD's with touchdowns of the their own 46 and 40 seconds.

The Dawgs travel to State College to take on Bishop McCort. Good luck to Mike Kogut and the rest of the Tri-Valley squad, you earned the trip.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I'm Back in Town

Monday, November 30, 2009

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Night Lights and I am Out of State!!!

Let's hope everyone could keep up the high energy without me!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Off to Disney!!!!

This is wishing Southern Columbia well in their upcoming playoff game against Northwest. I am off to Disney and should be returning in time for the December 4th game.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mount Carmel Makes a Tough Choice

This past Friday, Mount Carmel Area played without their star senior running back for the Eastern Conference Championship. Whether you like the head coach or not, a decision was made regarding the violation of team rules.

I am on record to say that I don't know the nuts and bolts of the incident. I do know a star player was not in uniform, but wasn't a problem to the coaching staff all season.

To the underclassmen returning next year, take a look around you. If you see that 70 year old man up in the stands, he probably got away with some thing back in 1959. Keep in mind back in 1959 there wasn't the following:

Cell phones

Cable TV was in it's infancy and cars were a luxury and usually there was only one in the family. The days of something getting swept under the rug are pretty much over. There are just too many grey areas and the laws are much more strict for the people in the know as well as the violaters.

Do yourself a favor, after a big win or tough loss grab a bite to eat with your friends and family and head home to bed.

The End of Jon and Kate

With their divorce coming before the end of the year. The show Jon and Kate is coming to a close (thank God).

In the end, they say money can't buy love. It this case it couldn't buy hate either.

Weekend Wrap Up

After Southern Columbia returned to the state playoffs, I took off early on Saturday to watch the highest ranked football team in Pennsylvania. The Villanova Wildcats and alma mater are #3 in the FCS poll. Villanova will host Holy Cross in the first round of the FCS playoffs.

Here is wishing luck to Southern, Tri-Valley, North Schuylkill and Upper Dauphin in this weekends playoff games.

Great job by Mount Carmel in winning the Eastern Conference. The Red Tornadoes battled heavy graduation, illness and suspensions and finished 7-5. Mount Carmel defeated Loyalsock and lost a close game to Lewisburg on a Monday night. Those two teams are battling for the D-4 title Saturday afternoon.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Applause for Twin Valley Conference

With Tri-Valley, Millersburg and Upper Dauphin still alive going into Week 13, at least one of the three will see Week 14. Upper Dauphin and Millersburg will square off in an "All-Valley" District 3-A final on Friday at Hersheypark Stadium.

If Tri-Valley (District 11 Champ) and the District 3 champ keep winning, there could be an all-TVC Eastern Final. This would be the first ever. Tri-Valley would have to win this week and get past a possible match up with Southern Columbia in Week 14.


Several coaches have found some success after leaving the coal region. Carm DeFrancesco is at the helm of Upper Dauphin, Mike Kogut is leading the Bulldogs of Tri-Valley and Ron Miller is at West York. All three are graduates of Mount Carmel Area.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Will Sarah Ruin My Vacation???

The Going Rogue tour coincides with my vacation to Disney. I am flying there on 11/24. Guess who will be in Orlando on the 24th? Sarah Palin is wrapping up the first part of her tour in Orlando on 11/24?

Is a Disney Vacation in the works???? Mother, daughter and two infant children in the brood. What a better place to vacation.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I Hope Santa Shops at Lowe's

With Black Friday shopping only a week away, I hope Santa has some great ideas for Christmas. If you could look at what happened last year:

Trade in the reindeer????

Read about the accident from last year.

Jim Roth Previews the District 4-A Championship

Southern Area turned in an outstanding performance against Bloomsburg last weekend. Big drives, clock control and great defense in the face of a team flu and a player suspension.

I like the Tigers winning a close one depending on the status of the Line Mountain quarterback Marty Beninsky.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The New Republican Party

Can We Survive???????

Solace for the Red Tornadoes

Five wins and five losses in a season don't mean much for a high school with 5 state titles in the trophy case.

Of the five teams Mount Carmel lost to during the regular season. All five had convincing wins in the first round of the playoffs. None more surprising or convincing than Lewisburg's 21-10 victory over Montoursville completely dominating both sides of the ball in the second half.

The Drive of the Ages for Southern

18, 90, 10 sounds like meaningless numbers until you put them into context. For a football team trying to avenge an earlier defeat, fighting the flu, a player suspension those numbers come to mean so much more for Southern Columbia's football team.

Bloomsburg's Blake Rankin electrified the home crowd with a 38-yard scramble for a touchdown as time expired in the 3rd quarter pulling the Panthers within 21-6 and a possible possession or two left in the game.

To add to Southern's frustration, a knuckle ball kick bounce over the Tiger return man and he eventually was tackled at the 10. The start was first and ten at the 10-yard line. A quick three and out would have gave Rankin a chance to rally, momentum was on Bloomsburg's side.

The next time Bloomsburg would touch the ball there would be 1:49 left in the game and the Panthers would be staring at a 28-6 deficit and dashed district title hopes.

Southern went on an 18-play, 90-yard drive that would eat up the first 10:11 of the first quarter. High school teams would have a hard time with two 9-play drives or three, 6-play drives. College and professional teams would be envious.

From the News-Item, "It's one of the more impressive wins we've had, considering a good amount of our starters didn't practice all week," Roth said. "To come out and play this way is a tribute to their toughness and their courage to come out here and gut it out against a good team and turn around their fortunes from the first time.

Onward to Line Mountain.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Jim Roth Previews the Bloomsburg Panthers

Going into Friday's playoff game with long time rival Bloomsburg, Southern looks to avenge and earlier season loss to the Panthers. In the Roth era at Southern, this may be the first time the Tigers are looking to return the favor.

Veteran's Day 2010

Saluting all those who served and have served. Special shout out to my uncle (Air Force (ret)) who is rehab from a fall earlier this month in Texas.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Smoke Under the Teepee

Shamokin Area concluded their first season under Dan Foor with a 3-7 mark on the season with a 35-13 loss to Loyalsock where the Indians rushed for over 240 yards, but turned over the ball 6 times.

Here is a look at some of the numbers. Shamokin was outscored by the opposition in the 1st and 3rd quarters by 71 to 35 and 69 to 24. The Indians were break even in the 2nd and 4th quarter.

Shamokin was a -4 on the turnover ratio losing the ball 27 times on 20 fumbles and 7 interceptions. Most area teams were around 16 turnovers for the season. Lewisburg only lost the ball 9 times all season. Shamokin's average is close to three a game.

Penalties were a big part of the 2009 season. Shamokin had 80 for 673 yards. An 8/game average. Most area teams averaged half of that with the exception of Selinsgrove. We touch upon the subject of penalties later.


The offensive line was a strong suit for the Indians this season and shook off a bad start and played fine as a unit. It was more impressive showing the Indians lack of a passing attack. Strong nucleus returns next season.


Ran tough but fumbled alot. Forbes is a senior and will be missed. The unit has lacked a burner for a few years.


The Indians shared duties with Haddock and Supsic. Haddock was the better runner, but Supsic didn't do a bad job running the team. With Forbes gone and Haddock's speed will he move to tailback next season?

Passing accuracy was at a premium all season.


Hard to pinpoint if it was youth at quarterback or at these positions. They were never a threat receiving but did a good job blocking up front for the running game.


The front seven played very all season and never quit to their credit. Forbes will be gone but a strong unit returns.


Could use a lot of work. Only adequate on run support, got burned consistently in obvious passing situations. The unit will have the same questions in 2010.


The punt return team was woeful. Never a threat for a return, this unit lost major field position over the course of the season by not catching the ball. Catching the ball in 2010 would be a huge improvement. The rest of the special teams played well including the field goal unit.


All things considered, Coach Foor came into a tough situation as the third head coach in three years. He had to open with the Indians two big rivalries back-to-back. He installed a new offense.

If one had to pinpoint two turning points of the season, it would have been Supsic's interception into interference to an eventual TD for Mount Carmel. In week 2, who knows how the rest of the game would have went.

The next one came in week 5 against Danville. Shamokin played a terrible first half but managed to tie it at 10 late in the half. The Indians came out uninspired in the second half. Danville went on to win that night and have not lost since.


Going into 2010 if there is anything you can find with a 35-13 to Loyalsock, Shamokin fell behind 14-0 and turned the ball over 3 times in the first period. They could have started the buses but the Indians pulled within 1 and eventually trailed at the half 21-13. The kids should be commended.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Party of "No" Comes Through Again!!!!

In a historic vote, the House passed Affordable Health Care for America Act by a 220-215 vote. Locally, "Blue Dog" Tim Holden voted against it.

Just to keep score of the years, here is where Republicans have stood:

MEDICARE 307-116.

According to Lulac,
in each instance, the House of Representatives under control by the Democratic party enacted legislation that made the lives of Americans better. The Republicans voted against women, (up until the SS Act was passed, women were not allowed to collect a pension), people of color, old people's medical needs and the right of every American to have good clean water. It is no wonder that health care is on their hit list. The party of NO is not for America.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Terelle Pryor Comes Home to PA

It has been two years since Terrelle Pryor walked off the hardwoods and gridiron and State College and Hershey a PIAA Champion. Today Pryor and the Buckeyes return to Happy Valley as 3.5 point underdogs and Pryor guilty of 9 interceptions on the season.

Take the Lions today who will make less mistakes than the Buckeyes. The Ohio State defense will keep them in it, but the Lions have been very stingy giving up less than 10 points a game.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Shamokin Set to Close Out the Season at Loyalsock

Shamokin is set to close out their 2009 football campaign at Loyalsock on Friday night. Going into the game at 3-6, the Indians are nursing some injuries but look to end '09 on a 3-game winning streak.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Take time out of your busy day and find time to vote!!!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's been 30 years!!!!!

Do the Phils have what it takes to come back from down 3-1 and eventually win on the road? The last time this feat was done was in 1979 by the "We Are Family" Pittsburgh Pirates. Jim Rooker was the Game 5 starter for the Pirates, I believe Cliff Lee is a little better. The bats or Rollins, Victorino, Howard and Ibanez are now hitting a collective .190.

Let's get a win tonight with Cliff at home first and go from there.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Computer Problems

The Voice was silent this week with some computer problems. Hopefully this issue has been resolved.

Always remember the "NY" on the Yankee caps stands for "Next Year."

I'm sure my friends Doyle and Mike will appreciate it.

A Dry Friday?

This Friday promises to be interesting in the fact that it may be dry for the first time since Week 4.

Shamokin will be playing Mifflinburg at home. For the seniors, this will be their last home game. This game probably won't be as historic as last season, but the Wildcats have a shot at making the AAA playoff field.

This Shamokin group of seniors will have played under three different head coaches in four years.

I like Shamokin in a close one tonight.

Fighting for Playoff Lives

When a 4-4 Southern travels to 5-4 MCA, both teams a battling for their playoff lives. A win against Mount Carmel is always special. Monday's win for Lewisburg over Mount Carmel may be a program changer when you look back a few years from now.
Southern with their veteran offensive may have fixed some of their early season problems and are on roll. The Red Tornadoes have struggled passing the ball all season and the Tigers are pretty good against the run.

Southern in a close one here.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Shamokin wins in Mudbowl 2009

Shamokin Area picked up their second win of the season with a 39-20 win over Warrior Run played in the mud at Defender Stadium. The Turbotville area was drenched with a driving rainstorm during warm ups from about 5:30 to 6:45 pm.

On a night mistake-free football was at a premium, Shamokin got a kickoff return, an interception return, and held a plus three turnover ratio turning the ball over 3 times to the Defender's 6.

Brent Forbes rushed for over 100 yards in the first half and scored two touchdowns. Shamokin held a 20-0 lead early in the third quarter as Tim Boussan returned the second half kickoff for the score. Warrior Run run ceased momentum almost as fast with a scoring strike to Ian Adams on fourth down and the Defender had the ball deep in Shamokin territory after an Indian turnover.

Shamokin then capitalized on some Defender mistakes increased their lead to 33-7 and cruised for the victory.

It was the fourth straight week the area teams saw significant rain during a game on Friday. It was the third time this season a Shamokin Area football game lasted longer than 2 hours and 45 minutes.

District IV AA

Montoursville fell from the ranks of the unbeatens last night as Cody Haupt who was injured in the first half against Shamokin last week did not return for the second half. Haupt was around 1500 yards rushing for the season when the injury occurred and clearly a majority of the Warrior offense.

Who is the best team in AA? Hughesville, Danville, Mountoursville, Mount Carmel or Towanda. Each team has seen their highs and lows on the season but injuries are playing for the first four teams mentioned. One this is for sure who ever is healthy entering week number 11 will clearly be a favorite.

Upper Dauphin Falls

Upper Dauphin fell from the ranks of the unbeatens with a 26-6 loss to Millersburg last night. The loss now leaves Upper Dauphin one game ahead in the race for the TVC with games against Newport and Tri-Valley left. The Trojans were limited to one first down and 10 plays in the first half.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

12 Thousand vs 30 Million in Northumberland County

Last week a former department was charged with corruption in Northumberland County. The PA AG office did the investigation after being referred the case by the District Attorney through the Controller's Office.

All this to uncover 12K.

I wonder where 30 million went?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Upper Dauphin and Carmie Out to 7-0 Start

At the end of the 2006 high school season, Shamokin Area decided to severe ties with Carmen DeFrancesco. In 2007, after stops at Cardinal Brennan, Danville, and Shamokin all of sudden Coach Carm wasn't in high demand.

A few applications not many takers and Defrancesco found himself in high school football purgatory......Upper Dauphin. The Trojans would win a few games here and there and churn out a class of good athletes, but nothing of the like you would see playing about an hour north. There are no Southern's, Mount Carmel's, Selinsgrove's on the schedule and over a 1000 in attendance is a good night at the gate.

Starting out with a win over Pequa Valley in Week 1 in 2007, Upper Dauphin would lose the next 10 in a row, score only 18 more points and be shut out in 8 out of those 10 losses. Earlier in that 2007, I ran into DeFrancesco scouting Line Mountain against Juniata. He asked me to take a guess on who was the fastest person on his team? He later replied, "the head coach."

Three seasons later Tyler Koppenhaver, Ty Grosser, and Ty Rubenstine are at or near the top in passing, rushing and receiving in the Twin Valley League. When DeFrancesco commented about team speed he said I have a good sophomore class with a good work ethic. He also said the team isn't bad defensively. That was 2007.

You never know what the rest of the 2009 will bring, but this restoration job could prove to be DeFrancesco's finest.

Friday, October 16, 2009

What is This?????

Snow in October????

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Shamokin After Second Win Against Montoursville

Shamokin Area are searching for the second win of the season. Montoursville comes into Kemp Memorial at 6-0. Since the win against Central in Week 3, a near miss against Shik, lackluster against Danville, and good for a quarter and half against Selinsgrove, there is one common denominator. Physically the Indians will be in every game. Against the Warriors, this shouldn't change.

The things the Shamokin needs to improve on are penalties and turnovers. This weekends game will be a test with late November conditions arriving early. A blow to the Indians running game has been the loss of Ty DiRienzo for the season with a knee injury.

Indians will keep this one close, but I don't think they have the offensive firepower going right now to win this one.


Kind of mystery team has been Southern Columbia. Southern at 3-3 hosts #2 AAA team in the state in Selinsgrove. Last week Bloomsburg's passing attack picked apart Southern and came up with a close win. The last time Southern had four losses this late in the season was 1986. With a week number 9 game with Mount Carmel does a potential 5-5 Southern make the playoffs?

Mount Carmel

Mount Carmel surprised me last week with there 20-0 shut out of Loyalsock. I got to see the Lancers against Southern and thought they had the defense to shut down the Red Tornadoes. Couple that with the lack of success with the pass all season. Hat's off to the Big Red. Mount Carmel cannot get caught looking ahead to Lewisburg and Southern Area.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Phillies, Two in a Row????

Could the Phillies win two World Series in a row? I will worry about that if and when they could get by the Dodgers. One of the interesting thing will be the 4 pm EST start for Game 2 in Los Angeles. The 1 pm PST start may be the middle of the night for some Dodger faithful.

Game 3 of the 1977 NLCS has scarred me for life as a Philadelphia fan. Never celebrate until the 5th bottle of champaigne is popped. Here is a brief description of what happened that faithful Friday from Wikipedia:

Game 3 went down in Philadelphia baseball annals as "Black Friday." The Dodgers opened the scoring in the second off Larry Christenson when Dusty Baker doubled home Steve Garvey from first on a close play at the plate. The Phillies tried to claim Garvey never touched home plate, but to no avail. Steve Yeager followed with a single to score Baker to make it 2–0.

In the bottom of the second, with two outs and Richie Hebner on second and Bob Boone on first, Dodger starter Burt Hooton began to dispute ball/strike calls issued by home plate umpire Bob Engel. Hooton's attitude and delay of the game aroused the displeasure of Philadelphia's infamous "boobird" fans, who took out their wrath upon their team's opponent. As the volume of the boos escalated to a deafening level, Hooton uncharacteristically lost control of both his pitches and his composure, issuing walks to Ted Sizemore, Christenson (forcing in Hebner), Bake McBride (forcing in Boone), and Larry Bowa (forcing in Sizemore), thus giving the Phillies a 3–2 lead. Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda then pulled Hooton in favor of Rick Rhoden, who induced Mike Schmidt into popping up to end the threat.

While Rhoden and Doug Rau were busy shutting down the Phils, the Dodgers tied the game in the fourth on an RBI single by Baker. The score stayed tied at 3–3 until the bottom of the eighth, setting up a wild finish.

Hebner led off the eighth with a double. Garry Maddox singled home Hebner and went all the way to third as Reggie Smith's throw home to try to nail Hebner went wild. Maddox then scored when Bob Boone grounded to Ron Cey at third and Cey threw wildly at home in an attempt to throw out Maddox. With a 5–3 lead entering the ninth and ace reliever Gene Garber on the mound, the Phillies looked to be sitting pretty.

Garber retired the first two hitters, but then pinch-hitter Vic Davalillo shocked the Phillies infield by laying down an 0–2 drag bunt and beating it out. Lasorda then sent another pinch hitter, Manny Mota, to hit for pitcher Lance Rautzhan. Mota sent a deep drive to left that Greg Luzinski trapped against the wall. Ted Sizemore then mishandled Luzinski's peg attempt at second to try to nail Mota, scoring Davalillo and sending Mota to third. Phillie manager Danny Ozark came under fire later from the media for not having Jerry Martin, a faster outfielder, in left field at that point. Martin, many felt, would have reached Mota's liner easier than the bigger, slower Luzinski.

Davey Lopes followed by hitting a blistering grounder to third that took a wicked hop and struck Mike Schmidt in the left knee. Larry Bowa retrieved the carom out of the air, fired to first, and appeared to have retired Lopes, but Lopes was called safe. TV replays showed that Bowa's throw beat Lopes. Meanwhile, Mota scored to tie the game at 5–5.

Garber, in an attempt to pick off Lopes at first, threw wildly past Hebner, sending Lopes to second. Bill Russell then singled to center to score Lopes with the go-ahead run. Mike Garman retired the side in the ninth for the Dodgers, who narrowly escaped defeat.

Still as kid growing up in the 70's it is still strange to see Larry Bowa in Dodger Blue and Davey Lopes in a Phillies uniform. Last year, the papers tried to revisit that Game 3 ninth inning from 1977.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Weekend Wrap Up

Just hold on to your hats. Were not done yet. When the game ends at 2 am and all the other series are wrapped up, why the hell are we playing at 6 pm??? Major League Baseball did one thing right on Saturday in cancelling the game. Our course MLB caves into NFL pressure to compete with ratings against playoff baseball.

Umpiring? How could a third base umpire miss the foul/fair call on Friday in the Yankees-Twins game? The play wasn't even close. Tennis appeals anyone?

From the Gridiron

Dave Shinskie (Mount Carmel) may have played against the nation's number one defense on Saturday. Going into Saturday's game, Shinskie had 5 TD passes vs. 1 INT. In Saturday's first half, Shinskie was 0-9 with 2 INT's finishing 1-12-2. Observers said it was Tech's best performance in decades.

In covering football for over 2o years, Friday's Shamokin-Selinsgrove game ended with 2:31 left when the lights went out. I believe that is the first time that happened in recent memory. Back in 1972, Lourdes and Mount Carmel had a light problem but I don't know if the game was pushed to Monday from Friday.

After six weeks of high school in Northeastern Pennsylvania, you can see that Selinsgrove has the most dominant team. Playing without 3 starters, most notably Matt Weinrich, the Seals overcame seven 15-yard penalties enroute to the easy victory. Shamokin did play very well in the first quarter and half. The Indians scored the first points against the Seals first team "D". Hat's off to the Shamokin staff for coming to play.


Going on the road in the first two years of the Heartland Conference has been at times very difficult. Last season there was the history making night at Mifflinburg.

So far in 2009, there have been road trips to Loyalsock, Danville, and Selinsgrove. I didn't meet the athletic director at Loyalsock until game time, Danville didn't return emails but were great once we got there. At Selinsgrove, there were 4 radio stations and one TV station trying to broadcast the game. Leaving Selinsgrove, I didn't know the name of either the athletic director and game manager.

Which brings us to arrogance part. The Seals were whistled for multiple "chop block" penalties which you have to ask yourself why do they need that tactic??? The tactic is some you do when you know you could get away with it. I compare it to spitting on your opponent.

Upon arrival in the Selinsgrove pressbox, my colorman and public address announcer knew each other from golfing in the area and coaching. Of course, he has to say I won't be using "yoos guys" tonight. "Yoos guys" or the uses of double plurals and double negatives brought over from Eastern Europeans who worked in the mines. Often formal education was over by the sixth grade so kids could support their family in the mines. Deep coal mining hasn't been in a major industry in the anthracite area since the 1940's.

For some reason, people "across the river" feel the need to use that slur. Selinsgrove is a great football team in 2009. Up until and including 2008, there are no state, eastern regional or Eastern Conference championship hardware sitting in the trophy case. There is no reason to be arrogant as you go about your football business in 2009. This includes from the arrogance in the pressbox to the "chop blocking" on the field.

If you feel the need to use the "yoos guys" for satisfaction. Keep in mind how I real feel which is simply, "eff ewe"!!!!!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Indians on the Ropes!!!!

Before we start the Shamokin preview, we would like to congratulate Southern head coach Jim Roth on his 300th coaching victory.....C-O-L-T-S!!!!

With back to back losses to Shikellamy and Danville, Shamokin dropped to 1-4 on the season. What does Shamokin get for it's problems? This week they get Pennsylvania's second ranked AAA team in Selinsgrove and the state's third ranked team at AA in Montoursville next week.

Will the Shamokin team that cruised against Central and played Shikellamy tough show up? Or will we the one that was at Danville for the 1st and 3rd periods last week? Right now the Indians are staring at Everest in hopes of getting back to contention. Friday's game may be more about respectability.

Shamokin hasn't beaten the Seal since they did the trick twice in the 2003 season. By the way they were Selinsgrove's only losses of the season. Shamokin has proved they could move the ball at times, but penalties and turnovers have been their downfall. Based on recent performance of the Seal's "D" against Berwick and Shamokin's lack of passion against Danville, this game will make headlines if it goes the distance.

Selinsgrove 48-0 is the pick. Yes, their defense is that good!!!


Two other games of interest Friday night are Southern Columbia at Bloomsburg and Loyalsock at Mount Carmel.

At one time the Southern-Bloom match was the marquee game of the year for both school. Bloom has regained some of the luster picking up a win in 2007 ending a huge drought against the Tigers. Bloom has a nice air attack but it was grounded in the elements last week against Loyalsock. The Panther QB's threw five interceptions. Showers are in the forecast for the game.

I like the Tigers to play solid and win 21-7.

Mount Carmel has a tough task ahead of itself. At 3-2, the Red Tornadoes can't afford to lose against Loyalsock with upcoming games against Southern, Lewisburg and North Schulykill. Loyalsock is coming into week six at 4-1. The Lancers have 9 interceptions in the last two games against Southern and Bloomsburg.

The Red Tornadoes haven't put the ball in the air successfully all season. If the Lancers could keep the Mount Carmel running game in check. It could be a low scoring game. As good as the Lancers are on defense, they don't have much speed on offense.

Loyalsock have to great runstoppers in the brothers named Kinney. The last time the Silver Bowl seen brothers as physical on defense their names were Sinkovich.

On a dry track I like Mount Carmel. In showers, I will go with Loyalsock. The Lancers don't do anything fancy, they don't beat themselves and they are a mudder in the weather.

Loyalsock 14-7.

College Front

Last week several former area athletes had great games on the college front. Dave Shinskie threw two TD passes in Boston College's win over Florida State.

Henry Hynoski scored a touchdown and had many punishing blocks against Louisville.

Boston College Bus

For anyone who want to go see Dave Shinskie play, there is a bus leaving the Kulpmont Area for the game against North Carolina State on October 17th. The cost of the bus is $150. The price is based on 30 people and includes ticket, transportation and hotel for Saturday night.

Contact: Tony at

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Phils Win!!! Take it Away Harry!!!!!!!

I miss you, Dad.

Dan Foor Talks About Danville, Week 5 is Here!!

Week 5 in high school football is upon us. Shamokin is at Danville. Southern hosts Warrior Run and Mount Carmel hosts Central Columbia. What is the big surprise???? It is probably the first time in about 20 to 25 years at least one of the above, Shamokin, Southern or Mount Carmel aren't dominating.

The way is looks now, Shamokin should have a shot to be competitive in the rest of their games other than Selinsgrove who may be the team to beat in the East this season in AAA.

Both Mount Carmel and Southern have their problems. Southern's line is a little banged up coupled with the fact that the Tigers may be short on big play makers this season. As of now, no one really showed big play capability. This isn't a knock against the current crop of players. We only went through four games and there are plenty of weeks to play. I guess when you see Marks, Romanoskie, Rosini, and Hyno over the years throw in Latorre and couple of receivers you see what I mean.

The Red Tornadoes on the other have struggled offensively against better teams. The offensive line will have to improve going into the second half if Mount Carmel will have a shot at the playoffs.

Shamokin are a few plays away from being 2-2 and probably wish they could replay the Southern and Mount Carmel games. The Indians should get to 2-3 on the season then have a back-to-back with Selinsgrove and Montoursville. If the Indians get out of Selinsgrove intact, they can still win the rest but it won't be easy. I do like the offensive improvements from week 1 to 4, but defense has to stop giving up the big play.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Going Home

On Saturday night, I had to chance to get to see my alma mater, Lourdes Regional, take on Freedom Village for homecoming. Lourdes won the game 28-0 in a driving rain. Former vice-principal, Leo A. Mulhall was honored for 31 years of service to the school with plaque that will be on display in the school lobby.

For lack of numbers, I was impressed with the Red Raiders enthusiasm. When they take the field, they play hard despite the numbers. John Vanaskie threw his first touchdown pass of his career after playing a soccer game earlier in the day.


It's what's on the scoreboard that counts. Southern Columbia, Shamokin and Marist on the collegiate ranks dominated on the offensive side of the line with their respective games this weekend, but none of the three had a win at the end to show for it.


Long days are turning into longer nights. On Friday, the Southern-Loyalsock game lasted nearly two hours and 45 minutes. This is the second game I have been involved in that went this long. Both neither had senior night or homecoming activities scheduled. Also, the game was ready was ready to start, but someone forgot to turn on the lights???

I don't know if it has to do with penalties, but the officials take a long time to spot the ball and reset play.


Two former area players led their respective teams to wins over the weekend. Dave Shinskie threw 3 TD passes for Boston College in an OT win again Wake Forest. Ken Schetroma led the Susquehanna Crusaders in tackles in a victory over Hobart.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Week #4 in Heartland Conference Is Here

Not to be overly analytical in Week#4 so here it goes:

Mount Carmel over Warrior Run
Just what the doctor ordered for a banged up Red Tornado squad...mostly at the QB position.

Southern over Loyalsock
Southern has a some more speed, but the longer Loyalsock could hang around the better chance the Lancer will have. Jim Roth gets his 300th win in a tight one.

Shikellamy over Shamokin
This could be Shik's first win over the Indians in a long time. Shamokin gained some confidence last week with four players touching the ball for great yardage. In Shamokin's two losses, they gave many short field scores to the opposition. If they create a long field for the Braves this one could be very close.

Shik could suffer a letdown on the short road trip. One thing I like about the Braves was their ability to keep Mount Carmel's offense and speed off the scoreboard. With Mount Carmel's running game in check and under 10 passes completed, how good is the Red Tornado offensive line? I like Shik in this one but the game will be close.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Southern's Jim Roth Goes For Number 300

Southern Columbia head coach Jim Roth goes for win number 300 on Friday at Loyalsock.

Being a busy week, I asked Roth 5 questions about the last 30 years as an assistant and head coach all at Southern Columbia and this is what Roth had to say.

Starting out with Andy Ulicny, did you every think you would be at this milestone?

No, it is impossible to envision something that far down the road and I have always put my focus and energy into the now or near future.

When do you think was the turning point of the program? Was it as an assistant or head coach?

As assistant – 4 years: 0-10, 5-6-1, 9-3, 12-1 (E.C. Title)

You have been around high school kids for nearly 30 years. Have the kids changed?

Yes, not as many come to you with strong character/work ethic.

What was the most satisfying win? Disappointing loss?

Satisfying - 02 state title, son on team and broke the string of runners-up.
Disappointing – 2000 and 2001 state title game losses. We had outstanding teams with great kids. Lost to very good Rochester teams.

Any advice for someone getting a head coaching job in 2009?

Maintain high standards for player discipline, work ethic, and behavior and don’t compromise. Be fair and consistent when dealing with players. Be their coach not their friend. Be more concerned about physical training (year-round) and character development than X’s and O’s.


Hard to believe where the last nearly 30 years have gone, but with a win on Friday, Jim Roth will become the 8th member of the 300-win club. Coming out of college and being part of former head coach Andy Ulicny's staff, Southern at the time was concerned with a win (singular).

The school was mired in a 17-game losing streak and would see it grow to 27 until it came to an end.

There have been all the league, conference, district and state championships. One glaring statistic that jumps out at me is the average....yes average of 11.5 wins a year. Even when the regular season consisted of 11 games this is still a major accomplishment.

Off camera, we talked about teams around the Heartland Conference, playoff scenarios and the health and improvement of his own squad. Roth's energy and enthusiasm never dies. After the interview, I couldn't help wonder if I was talking to a man in his first year of coaching or one on the doorstep of Pennsylvania high school football immortality.