Thursday, October 17, 2013

Southern vs. Shamokin Preview 2013

It's funny how rivalry's develop and change over the years.  Some get white hot due to close games and down to the wire outcomes.  Others due to close proximity to one another. While others will stay the course due to longevity with one another. 

From 1974 through 1985, the eighth week of the season for the Shamokin Area Indians was devoted to their annual backyard brawl with Lourdes Regional High School.  During those years, Lourdes Regional were co-champions of the Eastern Conference in 1974 with a tie against West Scranton while the Indians won the title outright against Dunmore. Lourdes Regional won that first meeting with Shamokin, 24-19 then lost the next 8 in a row.  In 1983, Lourdes Regional won again by a 20-8 to 8 score as the Indian finished 0-11 under first year head coach, Jack Murdock. The Red Raiders won the following season with the famous hitch-and-pitch from Chris Reiprish to Vic Olear back to Joe Witt for immortality.  Shamokin Area won the final contest between the two schools.

What does Lourdes Regional have to do with all of this?

On Friday night, Southern Area will start two running backs who's parents were from the OLOL Class of 1982, A starting linebacker's parent graduated from OLOL in 1983 while a starting offensive lineman's mother graduated from OLOL in 1984. My guess is that there are probably more on the Southern roster along with a mix of Shamokin alumni. 

Shamokin Area will be underdogs to heavy underdogs in their final 3 games of the seasons.  30 years ago was the last time the Indians ended a season winless under new head coach.  Many OLOL alumni were there 30 years ago in the stands in week 8 and that should hold true for this Friday night. It has taken Shamokin 30 years to come full circle. Out of the ashes of 1983 came a state semifinal appearance in 1991.  Is the bottom at hand?

My hope for tomorrow night is not only a competitive game, but to have Journey sing the national anthem followed up with a halftime performance of "Don't Stop Believin!"

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