Category: Phil’s Blog


It Was A Great Day to Be a Spartan!

Saturday’s championship was exciting and satisfying. Wow, what a win.
This is the Spartans – and Coach Wolfrum’s – eighth district championship. That, friends, is tops in Berks County football.

5 Takeaways

The Vibe: It just felt like a big game. Discussions I had in the press box with media from across eastern and central PA expressed the same sentiment – the game had a state championship feel. There was palpable tension and the pads were cracking. It was a great scene and feel. If you were not there, one question, fans…why not?!?

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Ok, here we go Spartan fans. Saturday afternoon at 1 pm. Middletown. District 3 Championship. How much more do I need to say?

As I pointed out the week prior to the Backyard Brawl, this game will have special meaning to so many. You decide what it means and on what level. Just know there are numerous Spartan fans who share your passion and sentiment.

Annville-Cleona – 5 Takeaways

Nine possessions, nine touchdowns. 573 total yards. 508 yards on the ground with 56 carries. Jordan Auman was 4-5 passing. Blocking at the point of attack as well as downfield was tremendous. (The hole on Jason Gartner’s touchdown run on the inside reverse was big enough to stage about fourteen portable light stanchions.) No turnovers. It was all but flawless. The 62 points are the most a Spartan team has posted in a playoff game.

The 28 points surrendered are somewhat misleading, really. The focus coming in was to stop the Dutchmen’s potent veer. Remember, this is a team that featured a 1600 yard back in Trevor Porche. That’s a kid averaging in excess of 145 yards a game. Saturday, the Dutchmen had 103 rushing yards total and many of those were after the Spartan starters were resting. Ok, sure, A-C was successful with several trick plays. That they had to resort to those plays is a testament to being taken out of their offense. To the Dutchmen’s credit, those plays were spot on in their execution. But I am confident that is the only time I will witness a halfback go 3 for 3 passing for 152 yards and a 636 quarterback rating. Oh, and the punter threw the best pass of the day for A-C.

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Bye-bye, Bye

The Bye Week was a nice time to recharge, reinvigorate, and reintroduce yourself to the rest of your family. And now to the “second season”. The District 3 AAA Playoffs return to the “A” Field with Annville Cleona as the guest. Saturday will mark the first football meeting between the Spartans and Dutchmen. More on that in just a bit.

I hope everyone enjoyed last week’s nostalgic visit to past undefeated regular season teams. Interestingly, of the Spartans seven district champions, only three (2001, 2006, 2012) were unbeaten. Looking at this year’s edition, here are a few things I’ve noticed.

Five Regular Season Takeaways

  • Defense. This is a really, really good defensive unit. They are quick, fast, smart, and disruptive. This group went through the season without surrendering a first quarter touchdown. Chew on that a bit.
  • Athleticism. The defensive squad’s athleticism has, perhaps, been overlooked by those outside the friendly confines of the “A” Field complex. And they are very sure tacklers. The line is stout against the run and extremely disruptive. They are tough to block and their motors keep running. The same can be said for the linebacking corp. Their ability to keep fast backs like BC’s Abdul MacFoy and Nolan Larkin contained while also being strong in pass defense is impressive. The Spartans lead Berks in interceptions. And that’s with two sophomores on the corners. Finally, safeties Max Hurleman and Jevin Tranquillo are as a good a combo as this program has seen. A long run in the playoffs will be driven by the defense.

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When the Spartans Come Marchin’ In…

The Spartans finished an impressive unbeaten regular season with an equally impressive 23-0 win over Berks Catholic Friday night. It was a packed house and the Spartan student section was as large and vocal as I’ve witnessed. Keep it up, students!

Here They Are…
The Undefeated Wyomissing Area Football Spartans!!

Historical Perspective
This is the 8th Spartan team to finish the regular season undefeated. Going back to football’s inception in 1944, this is just the 12th team (including West Reading High and Wyomissing High) to run the regular season table. Here is a look at each of those squads and the games that clinched undefeated regular seasons.

Boys, meet your older brothers…

1952 West Reading Cowboys
West Reading’s only undefeated football squad would finish 7-0-1. In their final game, the Battle of Boroughs saw the Cowboys defeat Wyomissing 44-13. Dan Ciervo paced the Cowboys with three touchdowns rushing and threw a TD to end Ed Kohl. Dan Capozello and Carl Engle would also post touchdowns for the victorious Cowboys. Coach Ray Linn’s high scoring Cowboys ran behind an excellent line featuring Bob Bright, Ted Gabriel, and Stan Stout. Ciervo would finish the year with 18 touchdowns.

Dan Ciervo (53) on a long gain versus Wyomissing in 1952

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