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

On the Rebound

This column originally ran in the Nov. 2 edition of The Mercury.

Daniel Boone, The Hill School, Methacton, Pottstown and Spring-Ford all won football games last Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Considering what they did the week before, or weeks before, the wins were rather impressive.

In other words, none of the five had much to shout about the previous week. They lost and, to borrow a comment from one coach, “looked bad” in the process.

But coaches preach to their teams about bouncing back. Good teams recoup and regroup… learn from the mistakes made, tuck them away in the past, and move on. Good teams perk up, and pick it up.

All five sure did this past weekend.

None perhaps better than Daniel Boone.

Two weeks ago, unbeaten and entering a game most felt they would win, the Blazers were embarrassed 42-0 up at Governor Mifflin. It was their worst loss since a 50-0 setback to Great Valley eight years ago, their worst Inter-County League loss since a 51-6 shellacking by Muhlenberg nine years ago. Both of those were before Dave Bodolus took over the program.

Don’t think Bodolus didn’t take it personally. In his eight seasons with the Blazers, he had never lost a game by 42 points. In his eight seasons with the Blazers, he had never been shut out. As a matter of fact, you’d have to go back a few years, back to his fourth of seven seasons as the head coach at St. Pius X – when his Lions lost to Pottsgrove, 21-0, on Thanksgiving in 1999 – to find the last time one of his teams were blanked on the scoreboard. For the record, that’s a string of 126 straight games before the Mustang mauling.

But last week, coming off that stinging loss and entering a game most fans beyond the Birdsboro borders felt they would lose, the Blazers battled throughout a 27-20 overtime win over visiting Conrad Weiser. It not only kept them in the I-C Section One title chase, but guaranteed them no worse than a tie for the championship if they win again this Friday night against Exeter.

Yes, that was impressive.

The Hill School was on a little roll of its own with three straight wins – including a pair against Mid-Atlantic Prep League rivals Peddie and Mercersburg – before heading up to New York two weeks ago. It wasn’t only a long bus ride to Brooklyn, but an even longer trip back following their 33-0 loss to Poly Prep.

Like Bodolus, Marty Vollmuth hadn’t been accustomed to getting shut out. But his Rams recouped and regrouped, in a hurry, too, because they were back on the road to Blair Academy in northern New Jersey last weekend. They responded with a 41-21 romp that, should they stay the course this week over at the Hun School, will clinch no worse than a tie for a second straight MAPL championship.

That was impressive.

Methacton and Pottstown were both reeling heading into the weekend. Methacton, which showed so much promise in a 3-1 start, had lost four straight and gave up 181 points in that stretch. Pottstown, which opened with a big win over Pius X, had slid into a seven-game skid that hurt even worse seeing that three of the losses were by a combined 11 points. But the Warriors and Trojans, with the threat of their seasons getting away from them, bounced back and gained some respectability with wins last Saturday afternoon.

That was impressive.

Spring-Ford was in the Pioneer Athletic Conference chase and among the Top 16 teams in the District 1-AAAA playoff points standings for the very first time two weeks ago, and could’ve gotten a hand on a share of the PAC-10 lead and cemented a berth in the postseason when it visited unbeaten Boyertown. The Rams instead lost the game – 20-0 – and perhaps the drive to finish as strong as they started. But they recovered, reorganized and reshaped their run for the final month of the season with a 28-0 shutout of their own against Perkiomen Valley, arguably their biggest and most challenging rival the past decade or so.

That was impressive.

And it would be foolish not to admit what Owen J. Roberts and Pottsgrove did last weekend wasn’t impressive, too.

The Wildcats, who for the first three weeks of the season didn’t look at all like or play like the PAC-10 contender it was supposed to be, rang up its sixth straight win – and ended Boyertown’s unbeaten season – with a no-doubt-about-it, 55-14 romp of the Bears. Yes, Ryan Brumfield and the offense is lighting up the board, but the first-team defense isn’t exactly getting overshadowed by that glare, not with the team owning a share of the PAC-10 lead and within a win of clinching a third straight postseason berth.

And over at Pottsgrove, where a noticeable group of fans have jumped the proverbial bandwagon, the Falcons are getting healthy … and suddenly have the look of the previous two teams that swept through the PAC-10 and won last year’s District 1-AAA title. They’ve rebounded from two losses – the last one a humbling 49-20 setback to OJR three weeks ago – by putting up 118 points the last two times out, and with one more test this Friday night against visiting Phoenixville, could be more than just the “expected” playoff qualifier by the time the postseason kicks off next week.

* * *

The Hill School can clinch no worse than a tie for its second straight MAPL title with a win at The Hun School this week. The Rams are 3-0 and Hun is 3-1. The only other contender is Lawrenceville (3-1), and the Larries visit Hill for that traditional season-ending brawl Nov. 13.

* * *

Pottsgrove’s 69-19 offensive at Upper Perkiomen erased a few records. The 69 points are both a school record and PAC-10 record – breaking the mark set by Phoenixville (against Upper Perkiomen) in a 63-33 rout back in 1988. It was also the second-highest number of points allowed by Upper Perkiomen, coming up short of the Indians’ 71-0 loss to C.B. West back in 1960. … Owen J. Roberts has scored 50 or more points nine times in the history of its program, and eight of those games – including five the last two seasons – have come under head coach Tom Barr. The Wildcats are within 21 points of breaking the school record for points scored in a season (385), which was set last year. … For Boyertown, the victim of OJR’s offensive last week, it was the most points a Bears team has allowed in a PAC-10 game and only the second time in the last 14 seasons any Boyertown team has surrendered 50 or more points in a game.

* * *

Brumfield is now fourth all-time in Pennsylvania history for career rushing yards. The OJR senior has 8,023 yards with a minimum of two games remaining. He could conceivably run by Schuylkill Haven graduate Zach Barket (8,325), and possibly even East Stroudsburg graduate James Mungro (8,432), while a couple of postseason games or more may be needed to run down Steelton-Highspire’s Jeremiah Young and his record 9,027 yards. … Brumfield ran 126 times for 903 yards and 13 touchdowns in four games against Boyertown. The next two teams (who’ll like when he graduates) he has fared well against are Methacton (699 yards, 8 TDs in there games) and Upper Perkiomen (698 yards, 10 TDs) – despite one carry for minus-two yards lining up against the Indians as a freshman. … Pottsgrove’s Maika Polamalu (4,087 yards rushing), currently No. 6 on The Mercury Area’s career rushing list, will likely finish second on the Falcons’ chart behind Brent Steinmetz (4,752).

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