Phil’s Blog: Game 4 – Blue Mountain
Have you been feeling the earth shaking and quaking? Many area residents are concerned and looking for answers. Relax. It’s just a Tim Kowalski-led Spartan D lowering the BOOM! on opponents and the accompanying aftershock. The Spartans are leading Berks in total defense while surrendering an average of only 48 rushing yards per contest. That will be tested this Friday at Blue Mountain but more on that later.
The Spartans rolled up 434 yards in a 48-3 pasting of Trinity last Saturday. The first team offense scored on every possession and senior signal caller Ben Terefenko had a 9 for 10, 153 yards, two touchdown performance. Senior Alyas Branford-Williams had the two receiving touchdowns, added a third on the ground, and Kowalski scored twice while producing 115 yards rushing. And that defense featured three sacks and ten tackles for loss. Kowalski, Evan Niedrowski, and Jimmy Grabowski were especially effective and disrupted the Shamrocks offense.
The Spartans gave up three fourth and long conversions during Trinity’s first drive that led to a field goal. If the team’s biggest hurdle is defending the fake punt, then I think things will be okay.
Ya gotta feel for Nolan Babb. The Spartan co-captain is in a walking boot and expected to be out a few weeks. I will get an update this weekend and post in next week’s blog. Anyway, he is a four-year starter, two-year captain, and the leader of the defense. He’s battled injuries a couple seasons and it’s just unfortunate. He’ll be back, though, as he is a hard-working, bright, and positive kid. Heal quickly, Nolan.
Lineup Redux: with Babb out, Branford-Williams returned to inside linebacker alongside a healthy Evan Niedrowski. Soph Jack Feightner started at Alyas’ outside linebacker spot. Darren Brunner saw time at tight end last week. JT Gaza was in the defensive secondary (had an interception) as well as at split end where he caught a couple passes.
Because you are all concerned, the chain gang remains intact with Scott Jones, Danny Auman, Jason Brunner, Brent Auge, and Steve Grabowski. They did, however, get new “uniforms” and some are now preening like a bunch of divas. My press box group remains the same. We do not have new unis – and that’s okay – as we remain the best in the business and spartan in our approach.
Blue Mountain is undefeated and has not given up a point this season. Along the way, they’ve dispatched Muhlenberg 42-0, Midd-West 35-0, and Hamburg 49-0. Don’t bother, fans, I looked up Midd-West as I was unfamiliar too. They are in Middleburg which is west of Selinsgrove. I started to read more but got a little disinterested with their children left behind stats and moved on. I did see, however, that they are looking for bus drivers which may or may not have something to do with the children left behind. Anyway, back to Blue Mountain. That’s Friday night in Schuylkill Haven. Be there to support the Spartans and, Student Army, be LOUD!
This whole earthquake thing is no joke and those of us in Wyomissing Hills have been dealing with tremors for the better part of the summer. The magnitude and frequency seem to be increasing. It’s a little disconcerting to residents (and pets) of this sinkhole-sensitive ‘burb. On a positive note, social media has played an important role in collecting data and allowing residents to share their experiences. But, of course, this lends itself to the not-intended-to-be-humorous-but-is-to-me side of social media. My favorite is that the quakes are President Trump’s fault. Apparently, the military is digging tunnels beneath Wyomissing Hills. Here is your PSA – and remember you read it here first – when the terrorists or Russians attack, meet at the Wyo Hills pool and go into the snack bar. Behind the freezer is a concealed door. Open the freezer and remove the top box of Chief Crunchies as it will reveal the secret door. Follow the staircase down to the tunnel which will lead to Trump Taj MaBunker in South Dakota. There is a two-drink minimum. You’re welcome.
Thank you, Jeremy Griesemer!
Saturday, we honored Army E-4 Jeremy Griesemer for his service. Jeremy spent eight years in the Army and saw combat duty in Iraq. He is a familiar face and name to Spartan fans. Jeremy is a 2004 graduate of Wyomissing Area and was a member of the 2001 I-C & District 3 champs and was a senior halfback and linebacker on the 2003 squad that recorded an undefeated regular season and finished 11-1 with the only misstep in the district final. He played on three district qualifying teams, scored the only TD (against Trinity, no less) in the 2002 district loss, and his teams finished with a combined 31-5 record.
On behalf of the Spartan football family, we say, thank you, Jeremy, for your service. And, of course, welcome home #28!
Spartan Veteran Honoree Jeremy Griesemer
Speaking of Welcome Back…
Before the Trinity game, we honored the 1993 Spartan District champs on their 25th anniversary.
The 1993 version of Spartan football was one to behold. They had an 11-1 record, were the I-C League co-champs, and the District 3 Class A champions. The ’93 team won the Spartans’ third District 3 title in four years and raced through their schedule winning by an average of 27 points. They averaged over 300 yards of total offense and scored what was, at the time, a school record 420 points. That’s an average of 35 points per game. And that was just the offense.
The defense surrendered just 95 points in twelve games leading the county in turnover differential, pass defense and overall defense while, most importantly, also leading in fewest points allowed.
As prolific as the regular season was, the district playoffs were even better. Denied a chance to participate in the state playoffs due to some archaic PIAA rules, the team rolled through districts. In the semifinals, the Spartans shut out Millersburg 21-0 holding the Indians to just 100 yards total offense. In the final, the Spartans manhandled York Catholic 49-12 in what was, at the time, the largest margin of victory in any District 3 final.
Despite being denied an opportunity to participate in the state tournament, the 1993 team finished ranked 7th statewide.
(L-R) Scott Ziegler (RET), Mike Levandowski, Brad Kauffman, Chad Eisenhower, Chris Flowers, Troy Hassler, Lenin Serrano, Casey Tharpe, Todd Lofgren, Matt Lytle, “Bronco” Billy Houck
I missed introducing Mike Levandowski on Saturday. My apologies, Mike.
Who Am I?
Last week’s Who Am I? was none other than Coach Kevin Miller (#21) whose engagement I mentioned toward the end of the blog. Kudos to John Lloyd and mother-in-law-to-be Jen Auman for correctly identifying Kevin and his blocker Evan McCready. And best wishes to Kevin and Sara.
Okay, for this week’s Who Am I? I am making one rule: if you are in this picture, you cannot answer the question. This should be an easy one for anyone paying attention.
And we go…
Who Are We?
(I need ‘em all)
What The Football? Picks
Spartans @ Blue Mountain
Wilson @ Manheim Central
Did you know the Manheim Auto Auction is the world’s largest? Do you care? Barons.
Berks Catholic @ Boyertown
Boyertown is named for its founders Henry & Daniel Boyer. Neither played football. Holy Name had a really good player back in the day named Mike Boyer. With that rationale, I’m going with the Saints.
Exeter @ Spring-Ford
Big tester for the Eagles. Feeling the Rams in this one.
Governor Mifflin @ Muhlenberg
‘stangs pick up first W of the season. Question is: will the Muhls score?
Daniel Boone @ Conrad Weiser
I’m taking Davy Crockett.
Reading High @ Twin Valley
Best game played in Berks County this weekend? Certainly the best game almost being played in Chester County.
Minersville @ Hamburg
Ever wonder what the nurse’s office looks like at a school with the nickname The Battlin’ Miners?
Jim Thorpe @ Kutztown
Thorpe rises from the grave and beats the Cougars single-handedly.
Schuylkill Valley @ Pope John Paul II
Panthers versus the Golden Panthers. I guess we’ll find out which is the true Panther, now won’t we?
Upper Perk @ Fleetwood
Game moved to Fleetwood due to mold in Upper Perk High School. Tiger players cover themselves in vinegar and win the game.
Thanks to those who participated thus far and we have three good ones to start the list:
“Highway” Harry Smith
Sean “Hank” Hill
“Bronco” Billy Houck
C’mon fans – I want at least two dozen. Don’t be shy.
Catch you at Blue Mountain
The Voice of Spartan Football