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, February 16, 2010

Critics of committee step over the line

This column originally was published in the Jan. 26, 2010 edition of The Mercury.

The District 1 Wrestling Committee released its seedings for the team duals tournament on Sunday afternoon. Then, like clockwork, the District 1 wrestling community began hooting and hollering over them on Sunday night.

But a day later, Monday morning to be specific, the bickering took an ugly, ugly turn when a head coach – at least according to his screen name and signature in the Web site’s informative (and always entertaining) forum – bashed the committee.

Actually bashed may not really lend any credence to the criticism. Not when considering the coach called the committee members “idiots” running a “Mickey Mouse Parade.” Not when considering the coach said others who don’t see problems with the seedings are “blind or retarded.”

The committee, or individuals who actually vote on the seedings, is made up of head coaches representing the Bicentennial, Central, Ches-Mont, Del Val, Pioneer Athletic Conference and Suburban One leagues. The Bicentennial and Del Val leagues each have one representative; the Central and PAC-10 each have two; the Ches-Mont, with its two divisions, has four overall; and the Suburban One Conference, with its three divisions,
has six overall.

That all adds up to a committee of 16, who ahead of time are given the list of teams from their respective leagues who applied for the duals, who are asked to do their homework as to who’s who among them, and who are responsible for presenting a case for each of them prior to the voting (which, in this case, was Sunday afternoon at Spring-Ford High School).

They’re all coaches, remember, all supporting teams in their own leagues.

A coach calling out another coach in public – regardless of the sport – shows absolutely no respect for the profession, a profession that, incidentally, is losing more and more quality individuals at the interscholastic level because of wave after wave of criticism of every move they make. A coach calling another coach or group of coaches “idiots” in public is unjustifiable, perhaps even inexcusable, if only because of the message it sends to their own as well as other young and still impressionable student-athletes.

And tagging everyone who doesn’t jump on the bandwagon of disagreement as “blind” or “one chromosome shy of you know what” is quite appalling. Everyone has an opinion, and well they should. But suggesting anyone with a different opinion as “retarded” – that’s mentally or physically handicapped – is absolutely pathetic.

What set off this head coach’s tirade is that his team’s opening-round duals match-up on Thursday is identical to his team’s regular-season league match-up from the night before. That’s a good enough reason to get a little upset, mind you, but not to go into a public rant.

Yes, the back-to-back or twice-in-a-week match-ups have occurred in the past, and likely will happen in the future. The District 1 Wrestling Committee’s system isn’t a perfect one. But representatives from his own league, actually his own division, were supposed to be aware of his schedule – not coaches from the other leagues, not anyone from the district’s steering committee (none of whom vote, incidentally). And when the voting had concluded and the seeds were revealed, it was his own league representatives who should’ve noticed the “back-to-back” dilemma and motioned for an adjustment or tweak of the bracket.

It’s obvious they didn’t.

An oversight perhaps, and one the head coach obviously could’ve addressed to his league representatives who attended Sunday’s meeting. And whether he did or didn’t the get the answers he was looking for, it would still be okay to express his displeasure.

But nothing, absolutely nothing, can justify his public tirade, calling a group of respected coaches “idiots” and everyone else who agreed with them “blind or retarded.”


There’s no question Boyertown has established itself as the best in the Pioneer Athletic Conference with its season-opening romp over Owen J. Roberts (53-14) and last week’s back-to-back routs of Upper Perkiomen (47-15) and Spring-Ford (46-13). The Bears still have four challengers remaining – Methacton, Pottstown, Phoenixville and St. Pius X – and will take each and every one of them quite seriously. But it will take a mat miracle, perhaps beyond any divine intervention, too, for the Bears to lose any of the four and be denied their fourth straight PAC-10 title.

But there is still some issues to be decided. Like second place, which isn’t too bad of a finish considering how strong Boyertown has been this season. Owen J. Roberts is 4-1 heading into Wednesday night’s visit to Spring-Ford, which is 5-1 and still has Upper Perkiomen (4-2) to deal with next week. And Methacton (2-2) could also get into the mix considering Boyertown and Owen J. Roberts are up next on the Warriors’ card.


Eddie Lockowitz became just the second wrestler at Daniel Boone to reach 100 career wins last Saturday. A senior, Lockowitz accepted a forfeit during the Blazers’ lopsided win over Conrad Weiser. Former teammate Tyler Swartz, who graduated two years ago, is the program’s leader with 115 career wins.


Boyertown’s Alex Pellicciotti is now ninth on The Mercury area’s career win chart with 150 victories, and could finish up as high as fifth. … Teammate Matt Malfaro is tied for 26th with 130. … Both Boyertown’s Jeremy Minich (90), Owen J. Roberts’ Scott Syrek (90) and Pottsgrove’s Zach Robinson (86) are all within reach of the 100-win mark this season, and Methacton’s Brandan Clark (79) still has a mathematical chance to join them, too.


Unofficially, District 1 has just three unbeaten wrestlers (with 20 wins or more) remaining. They are Wissahickon’s Andre Watkins (29-0 at 160); Academy Park’s Chris Matusik (21-0 at 112); and William Tennent’s Kevin Flack (20-0 at 112).


Wrestling USA Magazine’s national rankings released last week featured Pellicciotti at No. 14 in the 135-pound bracket. The only other area or District 1 wrestlers to appear in the rankings were Council Rock South’s Josh Dziewa, No. 3 at 140 pounds; and Council Rock North’s Jamie Callender, Springfield-Delco’s Andre Petroski and Oxford’s Nick Ruggear at No. 8, No. 17 and No. 25, respectively, at 189 pounds. Council Rock South’s Bobby Lavelle was listed in the special mention group at 189.



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