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.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Expect The Unexpected

It didn’t unfold as many anticipated, and surely didn’t end as most expected. Yes, the Pioneer Athletic Conference’s silver anniversary football season will be one to remember … but not as much for its weekend irregularities as for a highly regarded group of seniors who elevated the level of play for this as well as past seasons and set a standard of distinction for those who follow them in future seasons.

It’ll likely be some time before anyone forgets how just two weeks into the PAC-10 season, that neither of the favorites – two-time defending champion Pottsgrove and two-time runner-up Owen J. Roberts – was in first place. Pottsgrove, which got a week’s head start on everyone, went up to Boyertown for its second game and lost 34-28, which some of its faithful are still putting an asterisk next to because of the second-half injury to quarterback-safety Terrell Chestnut. But neither head coach Rick Pennypacker nor the Falcons ever offered any excuses for the setback. And neither OJR head coach Tom Barr nor the Wildcats ever offered any excuses after they opened with a stunning 20-7 loss at Spring-Ford.

As the schedule rolled into October, Boyertown looked every bit the team to beat. Head coach Mark Scisly and the Bears, who kicked off what was supposed to be a promising but not necessarily perfect season with a pair of non-league wins, owned a spotless 7-0 overall mark before turning away playoff hopeful Spring-Ford for the first 8-0 start in the history of their program.

Then it was on to Owen J. Roberts. The Wildcats had quietly changed their ways since getting roughed up by the Rams. They strung together three lopsided wins, dealt Pottsgrove its worst loss in nearly three full seasons, and pounced on an overmatched Pope John Paul II. But no one thought they would barrel over Boyertown as they did.

The Bears and Wildcats suddenly were alongside one another atop the PAC-10 standings, and they would share first place for the next 26 days.

And nothing would change … not even on Thanksgiving. Boyertown needed a half to put away Upper Perkiomen and Owen J. Roberts needed three quarters to put away Pottstown … co-champions.

Co-champions isn’t what many anticipated.

Co-champions, without Pottsgrove among the group, isn’t what most expected.

A great season.


The co-championship was certainly as big a surprise as any in the PAC-10. But maybe not as surprising as what Daniel Boone did in Section One of the Inter-County League and, along with Pottsgrove, in the postseason.

Despite losing a slew of starters to graduation, head coach Dave Bodolus guided the Blazers to a share of the section title and, in their first venture into the AAAA postseason, a pair of District 3 playoff victories – including a second-round thriller over Harrisburg that was arguably one of the biggest upsets in this area’s football history. And if that wasn’t enough, the Blazers finished with their eighth straight winning season, all under Bodolus, and a school-record 11 wins overall.

Pottsgrove, which could’ve easily packed it in after the loss to OJR, instead regrouped and humbled five straight opponents – including very respectable Academy Park and Interboro – to get back to the District 1-Class AAA final last Friday night. Four very big second-half plays were costly, ending the Falcons’ chance to defend their title as well as their season. But in the end, even another disheartening loss to Strath Haven couldn’t overshadow Pottsgrove’s fourth straight season of 10 wins or more – a run no area program has ever achieved in this region’s 124 years of football.


Individual leaders for the recently completed PAC-10 season were:

Owen J. Roberts’ Ryan Brumfield led in rushing (2,338 yards), total net yards (2,336 yards) and scoring (192 points); teammate John Pennell led in kick scoring (45 points); Boyertown’s Dylan Pasik set the pace in passing efficiency (league-record 183.7 rating); and Perkiomen Valley’s Ben Carbutt led in receptions (41), while Upper Perkiomen’s Ron Gillespie outdid everyone in receiving yards (755). … On the defensive side of the ball, Pottstown’s Chaz Mitchell and Spring-Ford’s Max Ullman each finished with a league-high seven sacks, just ahead of Phoenixville’s Dennis Kelly-Ukata (6.5). Spring-Ford’s Andrew Keys led the league with six interceptions.

Owen J. Roberts dominated the team leaderboard. The Wildcats’ offense led the PAC-10 in rushing yards, total yards and points scored, and their defense led in fewest yards allowed rushing and passing, total yards, and fewest points allowed. … Perkiomen Valley and Pottstown each had a league-high 19 sacks, while Spring-Ford was first in interceptions with 16, and OJR topped the takeaways chart at plus-eight.


A look at some of the other numbers from the 2010 PAC-10 season…

Brumfield set single-season records for yards rushing (2,338), touchdowns rushing (30), and total touchdowns (32). The senior tailback also set league career records for carries (908), yards rushing (6,625), most games rushing for 100 yards or more (27), most games rushing for 200 yards or more (17), touchdowns rushing (76), total touchdowns (84), and total points (512).

Pennell set a single-season record for placements (45). And Pope John Paul II quarterback Dave Cotellese set the single-game record for yards passing (428).

There were also some individual performances this season that earned spots in the Top Five of their respective categories. Perkiomen Valley quarterback Alex Miller’s 118 completions is the third-best, single-season mark in the history of the PAC-10, while his 227 attempts rank second all-time. Gillespie’s 755 yards receiving rank third all-time. And in total offense, Brumfield’s 2,336 yards rank second and Upper Perkiomen quarterback Casey Perlstein’s 1,958 yards rank fifth.

Four new PAC-10 team records were penciled into the books, too. They were established by Owen J. Roberts for yards rushing (3,424) and total yards (3,758) in a season; and by Boyertown for penalties called in a game (15) and for penalty yards in a season (527).


It would difficult to end this season without one final glimpse at the overall numbers Brumfield and Pottsgrove teammates Maika Polamalu and Terrell Chestnut produced in their respective four-year careers.

Brumfield will graduate with area career records for rushing attempts (1,183), games rushing for 100 yards or more (33), and yards rushing (8,483), which is second in the history of Pennsylvania high school football behind Steelton-Highspire’s Jeremiah Young (9,027). He’ll also graduate first in total offense (9,350 yards), rushing touchdowns (101), total touchdowns (111), and points scored (674).

Polamalu ran for 4,388 yards, which puts him No. 6 all-time in area rushing, and Chestnut ran for 3,178 yards – the first area quarterback to reach the 3,000-yard plateau. Together, Polamalu and Chestnut ran 981 times for 7,566 yards and 109 touchdowns, scored 728 points overall, and accounted for 9,542 yards of total offense – averaging 8.1 yards every time they touched the football – to run, throw or catch it.

Put all three together (for your own little high school football fantasy league backfield) … How about 16,049 yards rushing, 18,892 yards of total offense, 220 touchdowns, and 1,402 points scored?

One word for all that — wow.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home