Phil’s Blog: Week Zero – Twin Valley

Well, I’m back.

This is year number twenty-nine behind the microphone and ten-ish for Phil’s Blog. Frankly, I’m running out of things to say. Anyway, I am keeping some of the more popular features, tweaking one, and kicking around some other ideas. All so you, kind reader, can have forty seconds of enjoyment during your Friday constitutional. Realizing that the hours of effort I spend weekly are recognized while you are on the shitter warms my heart.

That said, let’s get started.

Your first question, I’m sure, is “how good are the Spartans this year?”

I think the Spartans have a chance to be very good. There is depth, size, skill, leadership, and work ethic. There is also youth and inexperience. And a tough schedule.

Let’s talk schedule. It’s foolish to look past a bigger school (Twin Valley) the first game but, for the purpose of this exercise, let’s do just that. Pottsville pushed the Spartans around last year and have been identified as a “team to watch” in the preseason state rankings. Following the Crimson Tide are the North Schuylkill Spartans, an 11-2 District champion last season. They are preseason #7 in AAA. It is not a stretch to consider our Spartans as underdogs in both the Pottsville and North Schuylkill games. The latter marks a three-game home stand in September. Blue Mountain follows on the 14th and then West York, a Quad-A school, makes their first trip to the A Field on the 21st. League play commences Saturday night September 28th at much improved Fleetwood. October brings a road tip to Hamburg and their dueling concessions stands. October 12th is Homecoming and the WFA HOF induction ceremony. That is Kutztown and let’s hope their roster survives until October. The 19th is Senior Day with Schuylkill Valley and then the final (for now, at least) Backyard Brawl is October 25th at Berks Catholic. The Saints are also a preseason state ranked team.

District Playoff Home Cookin’?
If you haven’t heard, the PIAA is granting the higher seeded team home field advantage throughout the district playoffs. Which means the D3 title game will not be held at Hersheypark Stadium. That decision should save you about four layers of skin off the roof of your mouth from the hot chocolate.

Who Am I?
The Who Am I? feature has been well received so this season I’ve added a tweak. (This is the corporate thinking part of me. Y’know, things are going well so let’s dick with it.) Each blog post will feature two photos: one an “oldster” and one a “youngster”. So, how did I determine who is an oldster and who qualifies as a youngster? If your photo is in black and white, you are an oldster. Bang. Sorry.

I am calling this the highly original Oldster and Youngster. (Sorry, not unlike the Reading Eagle, my headline writer was let go.)

For Week Zero, I am making the initial offering easy. It’s kind of like a heat acclimation week for my Blog readers.

Here we go…
Oldster and Youngster
Hands-on buzzers. Name these two Spartan greats.

Back by no demand whatsoever…
What The Football? Picks

Spartans at Twin Valley
A dozen or so years ago, my youth football magnet was stolen from my car at Twin Valley. I’m still pissed about it. Spartans avenge my magnet.

Cocalico at Conrad Weiser
Weiser had the best concession stand french fries. Emphasis on had. That fumble, and a state ranked Eagle program, gives Cocalico the win.

Exeter at Berks Catholic
It’s not possible to have a “must win” game Week Zero, is it?
With Central Dauphin, Malvern Prep, and the McDonogh School within the first five weeks, BC needs the points a win over the Eagles will bring.

Cedar Cliff at Governor Mifflin
Cedar Cliff sounds like a protein bar. Or deodorant.
Mifflin in a squeaker.

Blue Mountain at Muhlenberg
The Eagles lost their final eight games of the season last year and the combined record of the teams that beat them was 67-30. What does that have to do with this game? Nuthin’. Absolutely nuthin’.

Reading at Kutztown
This just looks weird, doesn’t it? Reading, while on hard football times, still has a student body about the size of Schenectady. Fourth period shop class has more kids in it than the Cougars have on their roster.
Red Knights

Lehighton at Fleetwood
Apparently about half of the Fleetwood team is from Oley Valley. That confirms it, the school is officially changing their nickname to the Roundabouts.
I like the Roundabouts in this one.

Garden Spot at Daniel Boone
Garden Spot has a student-run television station, KGSH. Now you know.
Regardless, Boone wins Friday night.

Hamburg at Halifax
Hawks get the award for longest travel by scheduling a game in Nova Scotia.
Tired from the trip, Hamburg falls to the Wildcats.

Schuylkill Valley at Upper Dauphin
For those curious, upper Dauphin is the 1200 block…

Central Dauphin at Wilson
…while central Dauphin is around the 1500 block.

And, yes, lower Dauphin is the 1700 block.
(based on elevation**)

Football-wise, I’ll go with Wilson in an epic battle and UD in a less-than-epic battle.

For what it’s worth, the Lower Dauphin Falcons host Middletown Saturday night. It’s a rivalry game for the Iron Spike trophy. A trophy for winning Week Zero? That is reason #657 for discontinuing the moniker Week Zero.

Week Zero Sugar High
Hooray! You won Week Zero! Have a candy bar!

Uh, no thanks.

Mount Rossmore
How many caught the great work Ross Tucker did on the Eagles preseason telecasts? He was fantastic. Great job Ross. Loved the Spartan shout out during the Jags game.


**Dauphin Explained
The Dauphin schtick explained to non-Wyo peeps: This was just a play on words. Dauphin Avenue is between Penn Avenue and the “A” Field from the 1200 to the 1700 block. Some past or present Spartans who called Dauphin Avenue home include Scott Jones, Frank and Rocky Ferrandino, Mickey Morrissey, Scott Petro, Nolan and Evan McCready, Sam Weaver, Alex Papademetriou, Scott McAvoy, Dan Houseman, Logan Jones, Ben and Jack Wertz, Bill Houck, Sam, Charlie and Scott Tonneslan, a young Paul DeSanctis, and, very briefly, the 2012 State Championship trophy. Technically, the trophy was just visiting for a night.

“Bronco” Billy Houck

Catch you at Twin Valley. Let’s hope their lights manage to stay on this year.
Spartan students, it’s a Hawaiian themed night.
Certain Spartan fans, you’ll be just fine.

Make it a great day to be a Spartan.

Phil Schadler
The Voice of Spartan Football
29th Season
Recent Qualifier of Senior Rates on Local Golf Courses

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7 comments on “Phil’s Blog: Week Zero – Twin Valley
  1. O’Neil says:

    Nolan and Alex

  2. Kurt Althouse says:

    If Nolan qualifies as an old-timer, I am definitely old.

  3. Joanne McCready says:

    Well Kurt, then imagine how Jerry and I feel 😆
    Good job Phil. Best wishes to all for a great season! Go Wyo!,

  4. Bob Spangler says:

    Thanks for the Dauphin Avenue shoutout. Brad Scovill lived there too in the 1300 block. I remember that to be in his college years. He lived on Reading Boulevard during the high school years.

    I was a hearty Spartan football fan in the 1200 block.

  5. Bob McCool says:

    Roundabouts is genius Phil!
    And why have a TV station at Garden Spot when most neighbors don’t have TV? Just wondering.

  6. Bob Spangler says:

    Phil, you got me thinking about the Dauphin Ave guys. Don’t forget the Jepsen Brothers Jesse and Andy.

  7. Bob Spangler says:

    Phil, you’ve got me thinking about the Dauphin Avenue boys. Don’t forget the Jepsen Brothers Jesse and Andy.

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