Friday, September 27, 2013

Shamokin vs. Lewisburg 2013 Preview

Although hopes seemed high for Shamokin Area coming into 2013, the Indians find themselves at 0-4. A 3-1 Lewisburg team comes into town looking for the 4th win and being in the mix of the AA playoffs.  The Indians have been competitive against Pottsville and Danville, while lackluster against Jersey Shore and especially Selinsgrove.

For Lewisburg, the scribes are calling this a possible trap game with Montoursville on the schedule for next week.  The Green Dragons may not be as big and strong as the 2012 (subtract PSU run on Brandon Smith), but they will be in the thick of the AA playoff race.  With a lone loss to Mount Carmel and a close game with Shikellamy, it is hard to gauge the overall strength of the Green Dragons.

Shamokin at time could play with anyone.  The problem has been consistency.  Their offensive has left their defense on the field for huge chunks of time throughout the season.  That is not a good formula.

In talking to Coach Cove this week, the staff feels once the ball gets rolling in the right direction things will really take off and snowball from there.  Let's hope that happens very soon.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Shamokin Area Week 4 Preview Against Selinsgrove

Going into Week 4, the Shamokin Area Indians are winless and face an uphill battle this week against Selinsgrove. It is not that the Seals have a team expected to make a deep run in the playoffs, but the fact that Shamokin hasn't won in Selinsgrove since 2003.

Last season, the Indians gave the Seals all they could handle at Kemp Memorial, but mistakes cost Shamokin the victory.  When they faced off in Week 11 at Harold Bolig Memorial Field, it seemed like the Indians couldn't wait to get the winter sports season started. 

Last week Shamokin couldn't capitalize on an early turnover and were down 21-0 to a good Danville squad with 11:25 left in the 2nd quarter.  From that point on the Indian played great defense and didn't allow an Ironman touchdown until 5 minutes left in the game.  Offensively, Shamokin was able to put together a 14-play drive for a touchdown and had another touchdown called back.

What Shamokin team will show up?  Will it be the one that went toe to toe with one of the better teams in the Heartland or will Selinsgrove's 3-5 defense prove itself again at home against the Indians?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Shamokin vs. Danville Preview 2013

First of all I would like to say congratulations to Coach Yisreal and his wife Jill on the birth of their first child this week.  No excuse to miss practice though......just kidding!!!

In preparing for this weeks preview with Danville Ironmen, I noticed head coach Jim Keiser is heading into his 5th season.  In four seasons and 2 games into the 2013 campaign, the Ironmen have a 40-11 mark while Shamokin is at 16-32.

Back in the 5th game of the 2009 season when Keiser and Shamokin coach Dan Foor were in their first season, the game between these two teams was considered a toss up.  Danville was a week removed for a 62-6 drubbing by eventual AAA state champion Selinsgrove. The Indians and Ironmen went into the locker tied at the half, 10-10. 

As the 2nd half approached, a steady rain came.  While Shamokin wilted, Danville grew up.  The Ironmen ended up winning the game 24-10. The victory marked the first of six in a row to close out the regular season and the Ironmen have gone 38-9 since. Having players like Andew Shoop, Andrew Andreychik, Michael Owens-Wright, Sam Dressler and Croll doesn't hurt either.

Shamokin's fortunes have not been great. Going 16-32 in the last 4 seasons and 23-55 since 2005, the Indians are searching for any spark to jump start their season and program.

The Indians come into the game being outrushed by a 3-to-1 margin, a 2-to-1 disadvantage in first downs and a -3 turnover ratio.  Something good has to happen. 

With new Yisreal in the fold, here is a toast to new beginnings. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Shamokin Area Hosts Jersey Shore In Must Win

Shamokin Area finds itself in a familiar spot after week #1 at 0-1. The Indians haven't won their opening game since an overtime win against Southern Columbia in 2005. Jersey Shore comes into this game with a 13-game losing streak.

When you look at the schedules of both team, this game figures to be a toss up. Both team look at it as the opportunity for a win. For the team with a new coaching staff, this game is so very important. With Shamokin Area looking at an away game with a highly rated Danville in Week 3, this is a make or break game. The Indians could look at this as improvement and win with motivation to get ready for the Danville or this is the same old team and attitude and nothing is improving.

Last week the Indians showed signs of improvement with a better rushing attack and some cleaning of penalties. The Achilles heel over the years have been pass defense and last Friday was no different. Travis Blankenhorn had close to half of Pottsville's yards from scrimmage with only 4 receptions. Shamokin Area will have to shut down the Bulldog rushing game and opportunistic passing game in order to put a "w" on the board this week. Will the Indians improve on last weeks effort? We will find out on Friday night.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Nobody Asked, But...........................

Last week the Times-Shamrock Company the parent company of the News-Item, decided to put the paper up for sale.  Included in the sale is the Citizen-Standard of Valley View.  Not included in the sale is The Republican based in Pottsville.

When the News-Item and Pottsville Republican were merged under the umbrella in 1997, editorial, management, and sales staff were shared and merged.  What is bad for the News-Item as this goes forward, the paper isn't printed locally anymore and putting some management back in place maybe cost prohibitive going forward.  Had the Republican been part of the sale, I would be more at ease of the paper's survival.

Like it or not, our community needs it's newspaper now and for the future in order to inform and promote the local area.  In the long run, our area is better served by having it's own local paper.  Shamokin and it's surrounding area have had a local presence for over a century.

Shamokin Area High School experienced some growing pains on the past Tuesday when it took close to an hour and half to get the students inside the high school and start classes. Depending where you are on the side of school security, it was a new experience to the staff and students.  Most of the schools in the immediate area have not gone to such measures.  The closest noted one was Hazelton Area where members of the administration and school board traveled in the wake of Sandy Hook in Connecticut.
It seems that no policy was in place regarding the use of metal detectors in the school. The school opted to go from an all student to a random student check.  Do the teacher and administration have a policy to clear themselves?  I am aware that board and administration have the utmost regard for the safety of our students and children in mind. 
I do have to question why people are not asked to clear security at the local football games.  Will fans have to clear metal detectors at the high school basketball games?   If they are eventually searched, will they still come?
It looks like the good old USA is looking for support for an air strike against Syria.  With never ending issues in Iraq and Afghanistan the nation is really sick of wars to nowhere.  I find it interesting how those who have beat the drum for Iraq and Afghanistan are doing an about face.  Is it worse to see Boehner an ally of Obama or the US of the Taliban?