Blogs > The Best of Don Seeley's Columns

Former Mercury sports editor Don Seeley passed away in June 2013 from a heart attack. For more than a decade Seeley wrote about local sports. Featured here are his columns that were previously printed in The Mercury.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Area’s elite still have a lot of football left

This column was first published in the Sept. 30 edition of The Mercury

Daniel Boone, along with Owen J. Roberts and Pottsgrove, are in first place in their respective leagues. Daniel Boone currently shares the top spot in Section One of the Inter-County League with Conrad Weiser and Muhlenberg, while Owen J. Roberts and Pottsgrove are situated next to each other as the lone unbeatens in the Pioneer Athletic Conference.

But no one best be pointing that index finger skyward.

No, no, no…

Not yet.

You see, neither Daniel Boone, Owen J. Roberts nor Pottsgrove have reached the halfway mark of their respective league schedules. In other words, there is a lot of football to be played. Make that a whole heck of a lot of football to be played.

And even though there isn’t that strength-of-schedule argument in high school like there is in college, Daniel Boone and Owen J. Roberts have a considerably more challenging month ahead of them than Pottsgrove (and, no, we’re not overlooking the fact three other PAC-10 teams have just one loss right now, either).

First, Daniel Boone. The Blazers (2-0, 4-1) host Conrad Weiser (2-0, 4-1) this Saturday, travel to Governor Mifflin (1-1, 3-2) next week, then come back home to entertain Pottsville (2-1, 2-3), go off to visit Muhlenberg (2-0, 5-0), and close at home against Exeter (0-2, 0-5).

For head coach Dave Bodolus and the Blazers, that’s a grind … a big-time grind.

Weiser, in case you didn’t know, has won four in a row. Mifflin has done quite well with Vince Garipoli calling the signals since the highly touted Casey Hughes broke his arm in the preseason. Hughes, who had three interceptions on defense last week, may be ready to step back in under center at any time for the defending section champions. A very young Pottsville ran off back-to-back wins before last weekend’s narrow 25-20 setback to Weiser. Muhlenberg, thanks in part to quarterback Nate Daniels — whose numbers (61 percent completion rate, 999 yards, just one interception and 12 touchdowns) are almost as ridiculous as Jon Monteiro’s of the Blazers — hasn’t lost to anyone yet. And Exeter, on a 16-game losing streak, nevertheless is still the pesky rival who was winless a year ago when they came up one point shy of the heavily favored Blazers.

There’s just as much drama building in the PAC-10, too.

Owen J. Roberts travels to Pottsgrove on Friday night. It will be the first “big test” for the Wildcats, and the third straight “big game” for the Falcons. After next week’s game at home with St. Pius X, the Wildcats have a grind themselves — at Phoenixville, at home against Perkiomen Valley, and at Boyertown. Even though the Wildcats have dominated Pius (winning 17 of their last 20 meetings), they won’t overlook the Lions. Phoenixville has another quality team that gets better each week and slips under everyone’s radar while doing it. Perkiomen Valley has an offense capable of piling up big yards and putting up big points. And Boyertown, remember, came within six inches of putting Pottsgrove in a hole with less than two minutes left last weekend.

Wildcats head coach Tom Barr may want to give Bodolus a call to find out what prescription he gets to settle the stomach.

Pottsgrove, which also outlasted Perkiomen Valley two weeks ago, has a bit more of a football-friendly schedule (just don’t let head coach Rick Pennypacker hear that). The Falcons visit Upper Perkiomen, which has split its last six meetings with Pottsgrove; host Methacton, which found its offense last week to get into the win column and pick up some much-needed confidence; travel to Spring-Ford, which is going to break out, offensively and defensively, one of these weeks; and entertain Pottstown, which has the speed to go step-for-step with the Falcons.

And if the battle for an I-C League or PAC-10 title isn’t enough to motivate the troops, Daniel Boone, Owen J. Roberts, and Pottsgrove are all trying to keep pace in the playoff chase, too.

Though official standings aren’t expected to be released until later this week, Daniel Boone is among the leaders in the District 3-AAA bracket. But another 3-2 run down the stretch like last year’s finish against the same five opponents could conceivably keep the Blazers out of the postseason. OJR and Pottsgrove are among the leaders in the District 1-AAA bracket, but a loss here and there could sack their playoff hopes as well.


Player of the Week honors … more on that in a moment.

Coach of the Week honors go to Methacton’s Bob McNally, who guided the Warriors to their first Pioneer Athletic Conference win, 36-13, at Upper Perkiomen last Friday night.

Now, Player of the Week? Forget it. Time to pluralize.

In other words, take your pick from the following fellas who just went bonkers in the mud and rain last Friday night:

Boyertown quarterback David Crognale, who ran for 249 yards — a PAC-10 record for yards rushing in a game by a quarterback — and two touchdowns; Daniel Boone quarterback Jon Monteiro, who threw for 475 yards — which shattered the Mercury area’s all-time record — and four touchdowns; Daniel Boone receiver Zach Keeley, who had 13 receptions for 184 yards and two touchdowns; Methacton quarterback Jim McHugh, who threw for 271 yards and four touchdowns; Owen J. Roberts’ Ryan Brumfield, who ran for 250 yards, had 317 yards of total offense, and scored three times; Perkiomen School quarterback Abdul Smith, who ran and threw for a combined 275 yards and four touchdowns; Perkiomen Valley quarterback Zach Zulli, who threw for a school-record 307 yards and two scores; Perkiomen Valley running back Lynwood Snowden, who scored four times himself; Perkiomen Valley receiver Sean Conners, who caught eight passes for 150 yards and a touchdown; and Pottsgrove quarterback Terrell Chesnut, who carried just 13 times for 245 yards (a PAC-10 record until Crognale passed him on the Bears’ final drive) and three touchdowns.


The Hill School opens its Mid-Atlantic Prep League schedule this Friday (3:30 p.m.) at the Peddie School. The Rams, 1-2 after three non-league games, and host Falcons will be meeting for the 69th time.

In three games, Perkiomen School’s Abdul Smith has had his hand in 99 offensive plays (51 carries, 48 passes), which have led to 842 yards and nine touchdowns. In other words, Smith is averaging 8.5 yards every time he touches the ball, and one out of every 11 touches results in a touchdown. He’s also returned a kickoff for a touchdown, too.


Keeley became the third Daniel Boone receiver to go over the 1,000-yard career mark two weeks ago and is now second (1,239 yards) on the short list. He passed Dexter Russell (1,197) last Friday night and could pass Mark Justice (1,578) by season’s end. St. Pius X graduate Mike Todd is the Mercury area’s all-time leading receiver with 1,919 career yards.

Zulli’s two touchdown passes against St. Pius X were the 49th and 50th of his career. The Viking senior lifted his career passing yardage to 4,505 and needs 792 more yards to equal the Mercury area record held by Daniel Boone graduate Chris Bokosky. … Crognale’s 277 yards (rushing and passing) last Friday night pushed his career total offense to 5,083. He is just the fifth area player to go over the 5,000-yard mark. Next up on the list are Pottsgrove’s Brent Steinmetz (5,277) and Bokosky (5,297). Zulli (4,853) could join the select list this weekend. … Monteiro’s effort against Blue Mountain — which, incidentally, had been allowing opponents just 43 yards passing a game — broke the area record of 394 yards set by Phoenixville’s Steve Rife in 1984. The PAC-10 record is also held by a former Phoenixville quarterback, Steve Ferko, who threw for 387 yards as a freshman against Great Valley in 1996.


Thirty years ago, or 1978 to be exact, the area scoring leader at the end of the season was Owen J. Roberts tailback Tom Barr — yep, the same Tom Barr who is now the Wildcats’ head coach.

Twenty years ago, or 1988 to be exact, Phoenixville and Upper Perkiomen put on quite an offensive show with the Phantoms winning, 63-35. The game set an area record for the most points scored in a game, breaking the mark of 96 set way back in 1914 when Reading ripped Pottstown, 96-0. The Reading-Pottstown mismatch dropped to the No. 3 spot on the list two years ago after Upper Perkiomen and Lansdale Catholic combined for 97 points (the Indians won, 55-42).

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