Phil’s Blog: Schuylkill Valley
8-0, Senior Day, the Backyard Brawl and playoffs ahead…why, it must be a Spartan October.
We have much to cover today. I’ll start with thoughts on the WFA HOF, recognize our most recent veteran with a lot of Spartan championship hardware, provide the latest district playoff update, introduce the Century Club, talk oldster/youngster, enrapture you with more girls volleyball stuff, and toss out a tough Spartan trivia question. So pay attention.
Hall of Fame
Homecoming 2019 was another success as was the WFA’s 2019 Hall of Fame Induction. To refresh memories, former Spartan players Mike Mitchell, Pat Tierney, and Andrew Althouse joined Youth Football President Scott Jones and former West Reading Cowboy standout Ron Cardinal as this year’s inductees. I took a few moments last weekend to reflect on the HOF inductees. And when searching for the most common thread, I settled upon this uncompromising trait each possesses in abundance: passion.
For life, for competition, for their school, their family, their friends, their team.
My HOF Passing Thoughts
I heard the passion so plainly in Jonesy’s voice when he and I spoke later that night. He was humbled and proud. And his passion for all things Spartan was so evident. I felt so genuinely elated for Jonesy and being recognized for his contributions.
Ron Cardinal is one of the few HOF inductees I did not have the pleasure of meeting. His resume between the high school accolades and being a life-long educator and coach speaks to that passion. I felt a highlight on Saturday was Ron’s daughter wearing his original West Reading Cowboy jersey #44 to the induction ceremony.
My thoughts around Andrew Althouse are two-fold. One, I am a fan of that underrated 2003 team. If an undefeated regular season team can be underrated, I think they are. That squad provided some great moments from the last-minute win over Boyertown to the gut-check victory in the district playoffs over Littlestown. The second is of the Althouse family. Andrew, brother Dan, and parents Kurt and Allison are fantastic people. Positive, complimentary, insightful, and passionate about Spartan athletics. It is my pleasure to call them friends.
I thought about how full circle Saturday must have been to Pat Tierney. From a kid growing up across from the A Field to being inducted into the Hall of Fame, wow, that must have been almost surreal. For my readers who did not have the opportunity to watch Pat Tierney play football, you missed someone special. He was such a relentless linebacker with a true feel for the game. Pat couldn’t have played at more than, what?, 145 or 150 and yet he was as difficult a guy for the opponents to block as has worn a Spartan uniform. Double digit tackle games were commonplace, and he was simply one of the best linebackers this program has seen.
And then there is Mitch. He is as passionate, competitive, and as loyal a guy as you will find. Me, I also like his scathing sense of humor. Here’s how I can simply and succinctly describe Mike Mitchell, Jr: if they put a Spartan All Star team together, they’d sew a “C” on his jersey.
Congratulations, again, to this very passionate and deserving crew of HOF inductees.
Spartan Home District Playoff Update
Here are the portable lights at their staging area off Tuckerton Road. Actually, this is just a third of them. Four will line each side of the field with two each in the end zones. Reminiscent of the Colts leaving Baltimore, the lights are to be transported at night. If all goes well, the twelve stadium light stanchions should be ready for testing around 2 am. In order to ensure enough power is available, there will be a simultaneous test of the sound system. Not long. Maybe just twenty minutes or so of college fight songs.
Incidentally, the next school board meeting is November 4th and the last name is pronounced “shade-ler”.
Thank you, Jason Eberhart
On Homecoming, we honored Army Specialist Jason Eberhart as our distinguished veteran. Jason is a 1991 Wyomissing Area graduate and three sport athlete – football, basketball, and baseball. He was a part of two I-C football championships (1989 and 1990) and two District 3 championships (football in 1990 and baseball in 1991). Wife Michele is also a Wyo Area grad as is son Derrick while daughter Kennedy is a freshman. In a wonderful Spartan family moment, Jason was presented the flag by his son, senior linebacker #25, Brayden and fellow senior Evan Busack.
Jason, on behalf of the Spartan community, I say to you, very humbly, “thank you for your service”.
The Eberharts – Brayden, Derrick, veteran honoree Jason, and Michele with Evan Busack.
District 3 Class AAA Playoff Picture
We’ve already established that Wyomissing Area and Middletown will have the top two spots and earn bye weeks. Lancaster Catholic is also in.
Here are the standings:
A-C has ELCO this week and closes with Lebanon. ELCO is 5-3 in AAAA and fighting for a playoff spot. Lebanon is also 5-3 and, while not a playoff team, is a big school (6A). A-C could lose both and still make it.
Bermudian Springs and Littlestown play Friday. If you are going – and of course you are – pass four chip companies and a strip club and the stadium is on your right. Leave at around 2:30. It takes almost as long to get there as to navigate Perkiomen Avenue.
Schuylkill Valley finishes at Hamburg. Susquenita has 5-3 Class AA Newport this weekend and Tri Valley out of District 11 on the final weekend. I’m too lazy to look up Tri Valley’s record. And I’m not talking about James Buchanon.
Earlier this season, senior Max Hurleman surpassed 100 career points and earned a spot in the cleverly named Century Club. Max becomes the thirty-ninth Spartan to join the Century Club. Teammates Jevin Tranquillo with 74 points and Evan Niedrowski with 66 points are next in line.
The Century Club
As most good stories begin, I was bored one summer…
So I researched career points scored by Spartan players. I used 100 as the criteria and am calling it the Century Club.
Here are the Spartans who accumulated 100 points in their careers. (Take notes, I will ask questions next week)
Century Club Member Jon Hart
There were no guesses for last week’s Oldster/Youngster piece which just goes to show how little people pay attention to linemen. Embrace a lineman. Reach out and touch a lineman. After all, they are people, aren’t they? Stand up. Pat them on the back. Reach out. Shake hands with any one of them. Hug a lineman! Yeah, go ahead. I said it. Yeah!
Anyway, Mike Zervanos (the oldster – sorry, Mike) and Marc Hunsberger were two tremendous All Berks centers. Mike was named in 1988 and Marc in 2003. Thanks Marc, by the way, for the kind note.
Okay, I’ll go easy on you this week.
Girls Volleyball Update
As I mentioned last week, the Spartan girls volleyball team qualified for both the Berks County and District 3 playoffs. They finished the regular season at 12-6. This is the first Wyomissing Area girls volleyball team to qualify for the Berks County playoffs. Ever. Unfortunately, the girls lost to Wilson in the Berks quarterfinals.
The girls open district play Saturday, October 26th likely at Garden Spot. It will be in the afternoon. You have nothing else to do and you know where it is since football played there in 2017. Humor me and go support the girls. After all, I’ve been talking and writing about you and your kids for a long time, so go support mine.
This one is for bleed blue Spartan trivia buffs.
Name the three brothers to play on three separate Spartan District championship football teams.
Curmudgeonly ole me had an unexpected nice moment Thursday afternoon while following Mike Drago’s Berks High School Football on-line chat.
Thanks, Mike. It’s nice to be recognized.
Finally, please do not call Superintendent Scoboria, Principal Jones, or Athletic Director Ferrandino about the portable lights. We covered this last week.
Talk at ya Saturday for Senior Day. This is the day we recognize the senior football players, band members, cheerleaders, and trainers who then leave their turn signals on all day.
Make it a great day to be a Spartan!
The Voice of Spartan Football