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.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Halfway point isn’t too early to think playoffs

The high school football season — with the exception of those contingency or non-league games (whatever you’d like to call them) the second weekend of November and the Thanksgiving Day games — has reached the halfway mark.

Five up, five down.

Dare we say it’s time to talk playoffs?

Actually it isn’t a bad time, considering four area teams, which would be Daniel Boone up in District 3 and Owen J. Roberts, Pottsgrove and Upper Perkiomen in District 1, are all in position to make a strong run for postseason berths.

But coaches talking about the playoffs at this juncture is a no-no, and players thinking about playoffs – with five more games to be added, subtracted and divided on those confusing points standings’ configuration cards – is almost considered blasphemy.

Remember when Colts coach Jim Mora was asked about the playoffs after a loss to the 49ers that left his team 4-6? Remember his high-pitched response: “What’s that? Ah .. playoffs? Don’t talk about … playoffs? You kidding me? Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game … another game.”

Well, guess who sounded like Mora early Monday morning?

“Playoffs? All I’m concerned about right now is beating Spring-Ford,” Pottsgrove head coach Rick Pennypacker said of the unbeaten Falcons’ game this Friday. “My goodness, we have to get ready for our next game, and four more after that before we can even think about (playoffs).”

If asked about the playoffs, you can bet the house OJR’s Tom Barr and Upper Perkiomen’s Keith Leamer, as well as Daniel Boone’s Dave Bodolus, would have had pretty much uttered the same thing.

Nonetheless, Pottsgrove and Owen J. Roberts are No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, and Upper Perkiomen is No. 7 in the District 1-AAA points standings going into Week Six. There aren’t a whole heck of a lot of points separating No. 1 and No. 10, either. So a loss of any kind over the next five weeks could not only drop someone down the list but out of the top eight – the number of teams that will line up for the first round of the postseason Nov. 13-14.

And don’t think Daniel Boone has any easier trek to get into the District 3-AAA playoffs, either. The Blazers may be unbeaten, but they’re currently eighth – or right smack in the middle of the 16-team race – with not only seven very, very good teams ahead of them, but a slew of quality teams behind them capable of moving up and up in the coming weeks.

“I think any coach will tell you that you have to worry about your next game and only your next game, and that will take care of everything else,” Pennypacker explained. “No one can afford to look ahead. When you do that, bad things happen.

“Like I said, we’re working hard to get ready for Spring-Ford right now. And I’m sure coach Barr, coach Leamer and everyone else in our league will tell you they’re doing the same … preparing for (this weekend). Our first goal is to win the PAC-10 championship, that’s why we’re focused on Spring-Ford.”

The unbeaten Falcons (5-0) and Wildcats (5-0) have 690 and 630 points, respectively, in the first points standings released Monday by District 1 officials. Unbeaten Interboro is third (620), with Henderson and defending district champion Bayard Rustin — both unbeaten — tied for fourth (600). Academy Park (5-0), arguably one of the big surprises through the first half of the season, is sixth (590), one spot in front of Upper Perkiomen (530). Marple-Newtown (4-1), under former Boyertown and St. Pius X head coach Ray Gionta, is eighth (520).

Former District 1 and state power Strath Haven (4-1), which has lost only to unbeaten AAAA power Ridley, is ninth. The Panthers visit Marple-Newtown on Friday night.

* * *

Another area team — St. Pius X — is still mathematically in the Class A sub-region postseason race. The Lions (3-2) are tied for fourth with Del Val Charter and School of the Future, behind Bristol, Morrisville and No. 1 Calvary Christian. The Lions can ill-afford another loss or two, though, because only the points leaders from District 1 and 12 are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs, with the remaining two spots going to those with the highest points average to complete the four-team bracket.

* * *

The district’s 16-team AAAA field is currently topped by Pennsbury, with Abington, Downingtown West, defending champion North Penn and Ridley rounding out the top five. Perkiomen Valley (3-2) is at No. 18.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

All four of the aforementioned playoff contenders definitely can’t look beyond this week. Pottsgrove and OJR are 3-0 in the PAC-10, and Boyertown, Perkiomen Valley and Upper Perkiomen are all just a game back.

It’s a tight race, but one that should open up considerably over the next two laps, or weekends.

This Friday, Boyertown visits Perkiomen Valley, and Upper Perkiomen is at Owen J. Roberts. If the Wildcats win, and the Falcons succeed down in Royersford, they’ll both be 4-0 (6-0 overall) when they line up opposite one another next week at Pottsgrove.

And up in the Inter-County League, the Section One race is a good one with Daniel Boone, Governor Mifflin and Muhlenberg all 2-0. The Blazers – the lone unbeaten among the group – travels to Conrad Weiser (1-1, 3-2), which just punched Pottsville out of first place. After Friday, the Blazers have Governor Mifflin, Pottsville and Muhlenberg, a three-week grind they remember quite well from a year ago after losing to two of the three rivals.

IN A RUSH

OJR junior Ryan Brumfield has moved past Boyertown graduate Brian Roth and into sixth place on The Mercury’s career rushing chart with 3,965 yards. He needs 35 yards to become just the fifth area back to reach 4,000, and 92 yards to move past Pottsgrove standout and current Penn State running back Brent Carter (4,056).

Brumfield last Saturday topped the 200-yard mark for the fifth time in a Pioneer Athletic Conference game. He tied David Frame’s team record and moved into a tie for fifth place on the PAC-10 list alongside Spring-Ford’s Mike Bach and Joe Haley, and Upper Perkiomen’s Craig Austin. Two players – Carter and Lansdale Catholic’s R.C. Lagomarsino – ran for 200 or more yards in a PAC-10 game six times, while Pottsgrove’s Brent Steinmetz achieved the feat seven times.

St. Pius X graduate Zack Pierce owns the league record of eight games with 200 or more yards rushing.

BERKS BOMBERS

Daniel Boone senior Jon Monteiro is now fifth on The Mercury’s career passing chart with 3,980 yards. Barring a Homeland Security ban on air space Friday night at Conrad Weiser, Monteiro will become just the fifth quarterback to pass for more than 4,000 yards. He needs 182 yards to move into fourth place ahead of Upper Perkiomen graduate Jeff Moyer (4,161). … Teammate Kelly Saylor needs 28 receptions and 18 yards to become just the fourth area receiver to own more than 100 career catches and 1,000 career yards.

GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY

Hundreds of high school football players, past and present, got their start in the game with the NorChester Red Knights youth program, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this weekend at Connie Batdorf Park just below the intersection of Routes 100 and 23. A pep rally kicks off the festivities 6 p.m. Friday night, with games and homecoming festivities beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The organization is also holding an anniversary banquet Saturday, Dec. 5 at Kimberton Fire Hall. Tickets can be purchased throughout the weekend, or by visiting the Red Knights at www.norchesterredknights.com.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Rollie Ciffo said...

What ever happened to www.pac10football.net? They used to post rosters, stats and Mercury stories there. Now nothing gets posted there. What happened? Follow up question, will the same thing happen to PAC10Wrestling.net?

October 19, 2009 at 7:06 PM 
Blogger Talking Sports with Seeley said...

Those two Web sites are not related to The Mercury in any way,shape or form.

I was told by the men who run it that they did not have enough time nor could find anyone to run the site for football. They will attempt to pick it back up for wrestling.

Don Seeley

November 4, 2009 at 9:05 PM 

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