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

District hopes hinge on Wildcats-Phantoms game

All eyes, or at least most area football fans’ eyes, will be on two games this evening — Pottsville at Daniel Boone in an Inter-County League Division One feature and, of course, Methacton’s first meeting with Pottsgrove in a Pioneer Athletic Conference showdown.

Not to get the lids blinking, but tonight’s Owen J. Roberts and Phoenixville affair at Washington Field may be the game to keep one eye (or both) on.

There’s no title on the line, mind you. However, both the Wildcats and Phantoms are 4-1 (as well as 5-2 overall) and, realistically, the only two teams capable of catching or catching up to Pottsgrove in the event the Falcons stumble down the stretch.

What is on the line this evening, at least for the Wildcats and Phantoms, is the opportunity to keep those District 1-Class AAA playoff hopes alive.

Owen J. Roberts is currently eighth in the district’s points standings (610 points and power rating of 87.143), while Phoenixville is ninth (530, 75.714).

Tonight’s winner will pick up 150 points — 100 for the win, 10 points each for their opponent’s five previous wins — the loser gets zero.

Remember now, only eight teams qualify for the postseason.

The three teams ahead of them — No. 7 Strath Haven, No. 6 Upper Merion, and No. 5 Rustin — are all heavily favored to win this weekend, so there won’t be much (if any) room to move up. Of more concern, though, is that the three teams below them — No. 10 Interboro, No. 11 Academy Park, and No. 12 Bishop Shanahan — are also heavily favored to win this weekend, and with two of them going against AAAA rivals, the bonus points could conceivably push both past OJR and Phoenixville, regardless of who wins, out of the Top Eight.

Pottsgrove and Upper Moreland (6-1) lead the District 1-AAA points standings. But the Falcons, with a win over AAAA Methacton tonight, will break that tie with the idle Golden Bears. … Former PAC-10 member Great Valley and Henderson are tied for the third spot. … Out in District 3-AAA, Daniel Boone is eighth.


Phoenixville’s Bill Furlong, Spring-Ford’s Gary Rhodenbaugh, and Upper Perkiomen’s Keith Leamer all coached their 50th Pioneer Athletic Conference games last week.

Lansdale Catholic’s Jim Algeo holds the PAC-10 record (129). Pottsgrove’s Rick Pennypacker, who is second, lines up for his 115th league game tonight.


Pottstown and St. Pius X will both play their 200th Pioneer Athletic Conference games on Saturday. The Trojans and Lions are the only teams that avoided the two teachers’ strikes at Spring-Ford (1988) and Phoenixville (1989) and have played all their scheduled league games.

Perkiomen Valley, Pottsgrove, and Upper Perkiomen will hit the 200-game mark next weekend.


There shouldn’t be any big surprises, although the Ches-Mont League has a pair of headliners. One is in Downingtown, where East (4-3) meets West (6-1), while the other features Coatesville (5-2) at Henderson (5-2). … Unbeaten North Penn (7-0), No. 1 in the district and No. 2 in the state, visits Souderton (4-3) on Saturday. … Chester, which is still in the AAAA playoff hunt, last week blanked Penn Wood, 44-0, for the 500th win in the history of its program.


At least four teams in Pennsylvania will be losing their first game this weekend … and likely leaving the Top 10 rankings in their respective brackets. In Class AA, No. 6 Mount Carmel (7-0) hosts Lewisburg (7-0) in a District 4 feature, and No. 7 Karns City (7-0) hosts Moniteau (7-0) in a District 9 showdown. In a cross-bracket and cross-district brawl, District 6-A Portage (7-0), ranked No. 9 in the state, travels to District 5-AA defending champion North Star (7-0), which is unranked. … Out in District 7, unranked Keystone Oaks (7-0) visits unranked Sto-Rox (7-0) in a WPIAL feature between Class AA rivals. … Beaver Falls (7-0), on top in Class AA, has a test at Center (6-1), while Steelton-Highspire (7-0), on top in Class A, should get a test as well at Trinity (6-1).


York’s William Penn (56.6) and Portage (51.0) are the only two teams in the state averaging more than 50 points a game. … Perkiomen Valley is No. 1 in District 1 and No. 47 in the state (35.4). The Vikings (3-4) are the only team with a losing record among the state’s 113 schools averaging more than 30 points.

Ten teams, led by Rochester (2.4) and Clairton (2.9), are allowing less than a touchdown a game. Neshaminy is ninth in defense, permitting just 5.9 points a game.


While Perkiomen Valley senior Zach Zulli and Daniel Boone junior Jon Monteiro are threatening to erase most of the area’s passing records before they’re through their careers, Brockway’s Derek Buganza is doing the same out in District 9. Just a sophomore, Buganza unofficially leads the state with 1,999 yards going into this weekend. The next closest passer happens to be another District 9 quarterback, Richland Township junior Giovanni Ramires, who has thrown for 1,917 yards.


Defending Maryland 2A champ River Hill, led by Wake Forest-bound running back Mike Campanaro, has defeated opponents by a combined 319-22 this fall and an amazing 870-43 combined margin during its 20-game winning streak the last two seasons. … Down in Kentucky, two state records fell last Friday night. Manchester senior quarterback Zach Lewis broke the state’s career passing yardage record previously held by former NFL No. 1 draft pick Tim Couch. Lewis threw for 391 yards to push his career total to 12,490 yards. Russell senior placekicker Jason Dolly booted his state-record 75th consecutive extra point in a blowout of Vanceburg. … Further south in Florida, Sheridan Hills’ Frainy Alfrena took 15 handoffs for 405 yards (27 yards per carry) and five touchdowns in last week’s 41-13 win over Highlands Christian. … In Minnesota, Elliott Mathieu hit on 26 of 41 passes for 452 yards and eight touchdowns, breaking the state record that was shared by six others, among them Minnesota Twins all-star catcher Joe Mauer. … And out in Wyoming, a major snowstorm couldn’t slow down Natrona County’s Tom Early, who ran for 327 yards and four first-half touchdowns — all 30 or more yards — in a rout of Riverton.


Two readers’ emails asked if last weekend’s high-scoring fiascos across the nation set any records. Well, not really. The National High School Sports Record Book lists scoring records as follows: Most points in a quarter — 66, by Prescott (Ariz.) against Kingman in 1925; Most points in a half — 86, by Lincoln Prep (Mo.) against Northeast in 1985; Most points in a game — 256, by Haven (Kans.) against Sylvia in 1927; and Most points in a season — 903, by Albermarle (N.C.) over 16 games in 2001.

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