Thursday, September 29, 2011

Shamokin Preview for Loyalsock

Shamokin Area's defense nearly did it's job on Friday night against Selinsgrove.  The Indians gave up 182 yards on 3 plays and 40 yards the rest of the way.  Shamokin couldn't not get it's offense going.  Loyalsock has not scored in three weeks and has quarterback problems.  Hopefully, the Indians could get off the bus, don't give up the big one, and pitch a shout out. 

This was a wild one last year with Shamokin winning 35-33 in the final minute.

Southern at Lewisburg

This one will be a hard call.  Throw the scouting report from Mount Carmel away.  Back in Week 2, those two teams were knocked out of sync.  Lewisburg was still a little banged up from the preseason and Mount Carmel wore them down on both sides of the ball.  Southern has been improving defensively with new personal at new positions. This version of the Tigers seems very quick to put things in cruise control.  They can't allow this to happen on Friday.

Heartland Fab Five

The only change comes at the bottom with Mifflinburg with their win over Danville takes the #5 spot.  The top four remain the same with Southern and Lewisburg squaring off on Friday.  

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Remembering Southern Assistant Coach, Tim Snyder

Many years ago, I was a young broadcaster and part of my routine was to check out what was going on and talking to some of the coaches during pregame. While doing Southern Columbia games I would talk to Tim Snyder before the game.  Tim was four years ahead of me in school, but he was fierce competitor playing in the line with what today would be considered and undersized frame.  Tim was Shamokin grad and former Ron Raker Award winner and we were able to strike up a conversation.  Saying hello to Tim eventually became part of my routine when covering Southern Columbia.

Ten and half years ago, Tim suffered injuries in a car accident that left him having to be cared for by family members and loved ones.  This past Saturday, Tim passed away peacefully with his family by his side.  At the time of his accident,  I did not know his family before the accident. I met his wife Lynn who turned out to be wonderful caregiver and outstanding mother.  I watched Tim's daughter Brenna grow up into a loving wife and mother to her husband Nate and Tim's grandson, Landon.  Tim's son Colby grew up from an outstanding high school football player to a fine young man.

Over 10 years ago, the family had to say good-bye to their husband and father that they knew.   This week will be the final good-bye until they are all together again.  Tim may have passed for now and his pain is now healed, but his spirit truly lives on. 

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. -unknown author

Sunday, September 25, 2011

In a Loss, Shamokin Found Some "D"

As losses pile up, it gets harder and harder to get a team to play hard the following week.  In Friday's homecoming game against Selinsgrove, Shamokin had a brutal time moving the football against the Seals with under 100 total yards and no touchdowns.

Selinsgrove amassed 223 yards and two touchdowns for a 14-7 win.  Inside the number, 182 yards came on 3 plays.  The Seals managed only 41 yards the rest of the way.  In the second half, I did watch a defense that had the confidence to win the game by scoring another touchdown or forcing a turnover.

The Indians go on the road to Loyalsock and Milton in the next two weeks and are home against Montoursville.  These games are winnable before the final 3 games against Danville, Shik, and Mount Carmel.

In a loss, it is still nice to see someone play with pride and determination.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Shamokin's Week 4 Preivew

Not much has changed in the past year for Selinsgrove and Shamokin.  Selinsgrove is coming into Week 4 with back-to-back 0-3 starts while Shamokin is coming in after losing big to Southern Area.

What will the numbers bring?  Hard to say.  Shamokin has given up 32, 20 and 46 points in three games.  In the meantime Selinsgrove has played Mount Carmel and Manheim Central with also a loss to Danville.  Do the Indians have a chance?

Southern rushed for around 300 yards against the Indians and only complete one pass for 23 yards.  Southern had big rush plays of 80, 32 and 37 yards go for touchdowns.   This was about 60 percent of their total.

If Shamokin could stay away from the big, their game becomes much more manageable.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Week 3 Wrap Up in the Heartland Conference

Broadcasting the Southern at Shamokin game, you can tell how far the programs have pulled away from each other.  When the series first started in 2005, Shamokin had enough athletes to compete with two D-1 recruits and one who would go on the NFL and pull off a 19-16 win in overtime.  Much has changed in the last six years.  Shamokin quickly found themselves down 18-0 and trailed 25-7 after the first quarter. 

For a brief moment, the Indians were within 25-14 with the football and 3 minutes to go in the first half deep in their own territory.  The punter botched an easy snap inside the 10 and Southern scored getting the opening kick of the second half. In a few minutes of game clock it was 40-14 over!!!! Southern started to insert the JV's with 5 minutes left in the 3rd.  This is with Southern's defense struggling at times.

Say what you want, the Indians problems don't start on the high school level.  But once they arrive, they tend to grow.  One thing really missing from the Indians program is not program coaches but programs kids.  Although Brad Fegley is a first year senior starter, he guided the Tiger offense overcoming 3 years worth of injuries and set backs.  Matt Moore another senior is seeing his first action on offense and making big contributions to the Southern running game.

Call it a case of Tiger pride.

Favorites around the Heartland are beginning to show in week 3.  Mount Carmel and Southern still remain as the the top two teams.  Lewisburg is still number 3.  Bloomsburg remains at number 4.  Danville is the new team in at number 5 replacing Selinsgrove.  Milffinburg (3-0) remains a team to watch.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Shamokin vs. Southern Columbia

Shamokin Area hosts Southern Columbia this Saturday night at Kemp Memorial Stadium.  Right now Southern is hot from scoring 84 points in their first two games.  Shamokin picked up a road win the in the slop surviving 4 turnovers. 

The key to this game is if Shamokin could move the football while hanging on to it.  Southern know they can do both.  

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Remembering September 11th, 2001

Jeff Dingle - Villanova University

September 11th, 2001 started out as one of those crisp late summer, pre-autumn days.  It was sunny and crisp with little humidity in the air.  The day was almost perfect until a little after 9 am in New York City.  I was working at my regular gig calling on former owner of WISL 1480/95.3 Mick Haggerty about the upcoming Mount Carmel-Southern Columbia game.  Haggerty informed me that plans flew into the both towers of the World Trade Center.  Not being near a television or radio, I did not comprehend that these were jet liners.  Life as we know in the US, did change forever.  

Note:  The games did go on Friday, September 14th.

After the days and weeks settled down, I found at that anyone I had a friendship with from Villanova University who worked in NYC did survive.    Months later I did get to read the story of Villanova football player Jeff Dingle.  In my years at Villanova (1984-1988),  Villanova was trying to resurrect a football program that went through 3-year hiatus in the early 80's.  Jeff Dingle was running with exceptional ability and contagious smile that you would see around campus.  I was later to find out the Jeff basically became the stay-at-home dad while his wife was completing her studies to be a practicing pediatrician.  

On that Tuesday, September 11th, Dingle was reentering the workforce at a new job and was at a company breakfast at the Windows of the World Restaurant.  I found this online about Jeff while at Villanova, he had a great day on September 10th, 1988.

The story of Jeff Dingle has taught me try not to take things for granted and try to get the most out of life that we can. 

Since 9/11 our nation has held great regard for all of military which had taken a back seat since the end of the Vietnam War.  We still have men and women who may have been under 10 years old on 9/11 still volunteering to serve.  Hopefully, this will be a positive as our nation goes forward.

On the other hand, our political leadership on both sides of the aisle have adopted a "scorched earth" policy of the other side bordering on childish.  

Like the ordinary citizens who stepped out of September 10th and became heroes on September 11th, 2001, we are seeing that same spirit displayed as the worse flood in nearly 40 years comes to visit this September.

Mount Carmel - Lewisburg Round 1

In a week where the Susquehanna Valley was revisiting June of 1972, there was one football game played in Central Pennsylvania.  Lewisburg hosted Mount Carmel at Christy Mathewson Stadium at Bucknell University.  The Red Tornadoes scored 27 unanswered points for a 27-16 win over last years District IV AA Champions.  The Green Dragons were attempting to beat Mount Carmel 3 games in a row.

You can read the coverage of the game here and here.

Some observations from the sidelines:

Merle Moscarello is the best player in the Heartland Conference.  Runs like Ricco Rosini alum of Southern Columbia.  Moscarello has that rare combination of power and speed.

Mount Carmel although highly touted at this time still has a long way to improve.  Right now, too many fumbles and turnovers on offense very sloppy tackling on defense for a Red Tornado team.

The Mount Carmel O-line was very good in pass protection and very good in the second half.

Lewisburg is very quick on turf and maybe more athletic in week 2 than Mount Carmel.

Mount Carmel should scrap the old option play with Varano trying to read the defensive end.

In team spirit, it was great to see the team rally around Zach Wasilewski especially without Shustack and Lamb in the backfield.

This is a rematch worth seeing sometime in November.

As far as the decision to play football last night.  It was totally up to Lewisburg.  They have to look in the mirror today and wonder if it was worth playing with university students being evacuated and part of the town being flooded a few blocks away.

For the players, it was still hard to gauge, how the weather affected each squad.  I guess we will have to hold judgement until November.


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Shamokin Preview for Jersey Shore

With Tropical Storm Lee affecting most of Eastern PA this week, this week's preview will be brief.  Both squads were so out of their routine for week 2.  It will be the team and staff that could pick up the fastest and get their respective teams ready to play Monday night.  As of now Jersey Shore has had the least disruption.

Shamokin also has to clean up the turnovers and score touchdowns.  Maybe with the disruptions this might be easier said than done.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

GOP Contenders 2012

Two years ago this man talked about seceding from the Union.  For the love of country, where is my $2.00 a gallon gas. I guess corn dogs go well with tea.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day

Yesterday was Labor Day.  The chance to celebrate the economic and social contribution that the labor force is making to this country.  There are somewhere between 14 and 25 million Americans sitting on the sideline(unemployed) this Labor Day.

Read these post  by Gort42 and Walt here and here.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Week 1 Wrap Around the Heartland Conference

Although the stats don't jump out of a newspaper and on to your lap, Brad Fegley (7-46, 1TD on the ground and 4-8, 48 yards through the air) had a great game on Friday night against Line Mountain.  Fegley making his first start at quarterback as a senior, led an all-rookie backfield to 6 touchdowns and 460 yards of offense against a very good Eagle team in a convincing 42-25 win on Friday night. 

The story on Friday night was not so much about the Friday performance but more about perseverance.  Fegley often injured since his freshman year not only directed the Southern "O", but played outside linebacker on a very stellar Tiger "D".  Hopefully, Fegley will be rewarded for his hard work with a solid senior year.  If Friday's performance is any indication, the Tiger's will be in good hands.


In Hughesville's OT victory over Warrior Run on Friday, the Spartans kicked a 24-yard field goal.  The attempt was a little more than a chipshot for most high school players.   But when you look at the name of the kicker, Greta Newhart, is a first-year female kicker for the Spartans.  Great job by Greta.


Shamokin Area came into Friday's game with Mifflinburg knowing they would have to rely on their defense.  With the score tied at 3 with under 7 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, the Wildcats scored 29 unanswered points as the Indians committed 4 turnovers.


Mount Carmel used a few big plays to beat Selinsgrove on Friday night at the Silver Bowl.  Which leads me not make any changes in my Heartland Fab 5.  Two years removed from the AAA state title, the Seals will be a good football team.  The win by the Red Tornadoes sets up a showdown at Chrisy Mathewson stadium at Bucknell University which will be the biggest crowd their this season. 


Former Southern Columbia running back is officially a New York Giant making the 53-man roster.  Depending on offensive sets, the rookie fullback should see plenty of playing time in the season opener.  Good luck and congratulations to Henry and his family.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Afternoon Pep Rally!!!

Listen to the Southern Columbia vs. Line Mountain Game here.

If you can't get excited for tonight, listen to this!!!!  Are you afraid of the Thunder???

Southern vs. Line Mountain Preview

Southern Columbia hosts a very talented athletic Line Mountain squad in a non-conference opener for both squads.  For the Tigers, the Eagles will be their only "A" team on the schedule until November.  Big losses for Southern from graduation include Jake Townsend and Jake Morton.  Morton was a big horse in the playoffs the last two years for the Tigers.  The Tigers also lost Tyrell Thomas in the opening minutes of the first preseason practice.

Any coach worried about replacing their entire backfield would be worried, but over the years Southern has been able to plug in athletes.  The Tigers have lost Henry Hynoski, Ted Heitzman, and Tom Schetroma all to injury at key times of the season.  The coaching staff knows how to get through the loss of Thomas.  It does help if you have 6-2, 200 lb. senior Matt Moore.  Moore has been a special teams terror and great defender, now it is his time to shine on offense.

For Line Mountain, the Eagles will fly on how far Marty Beninsky's wings or shoulders will take them.  The Line Mountain quarterback did not play in a playoff loss to Southern his sophomore year. Opening day last season saw Beninsky leave the game after putting his team up 20 - 0 with 200 total yards in the first quarter.

How good are the Eagles?  Coach Mike Carson thinks this year's group of receiver are ahead of last year's at this point in time.  To beat Southern, you have to be good up front.  Can Line Mountain be up to the task?  If scrimmages are any indication, the Eagles did very well against a highly touted Lewisburg Green Dragon squad.

I still like Southern by 2 touchdowns at home.

In other games around the region.  I like Mount Carmel over Selinsgrove.  Mount Carmel has been waiting for a team like this since 2002.  Shamokin over Mifflinburg.  Last year, Mifflinburg scored their only TD in the waning moments against the Indians.  The Indian "D" is tough. If they get some "O", this game could be won easily. My alma mater, Lourdes Regional, will be idle this week.  Salute to the OLOL Class of 1981, they will be celebrating their 30th reunion over the weekend.

Here is Coach Roth's take on tonight's game, turn up your volume.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Heartland Fab 5

For the second year, I have decided to have my Heartland Fab 5 football poll.  Here they are with no scientific reason other than what teams I will believe will be the last ones standing in the playoffs:

  1. Mount Carmel
  2. Southern Columbia
  3. Lewisburg
  4. Bloomsburg
  5. Selinsgrove

For the first time since 2008, Mount Carmel will have the same person at the helm that they had the previous year.  In Tornadoland, this is hard to believe.  The Big Red has 16 starters returning from last season.  The team improved as the season went along.  Should be a favorite for the District IV title game.

Southern Columbia lost their only returning running back when Tyrell Thomas went down 10 minutes into two-a-days.  This team however is loaded with athletes plus the line has more experience than in recent years. Sure Jake Morton will be missed, but out of central casting comes Matt Moore to pick up slack.  How quick the Tigers 8 new position starters transition on defense will go a long way.  Tiger pride was hurt in the playoff loss last year not being in the game at all.

Many have Lewisburg at the top of the heap, but their are some nagging and off the field injuries starting to pile up.  Merle Moscarello may be the best player in the conference, but will surely miss Nate Brown who was a tackling machine on defense and provided solid leadership.  Moscarello will have to play more defense and will his supporting cast be as good as 2010.  Hats off to the Green Dragons for believing in Coach Tilford.

With Bloomsburg, how much of a supporting cast do they have around Blake Rankin, a Rutgers recruit.  Selinsgrove were state champs in 2009, they need to be here somewhere.

Teams to watch if they catch a break will be Mifflinsburg, Jersey Shore, Shamokin and Danville.