Thursday, February 25, 2010

McKeesport, Butler and Carlyton Hire New Football Coaches

by Jeff Fisher
Pennsylvania High School Football Huddle

For the first time in 28-years, McKeesport will take the field with a new head coach.

Jim Ward has been hired to replace George Smith, who retired after 197 victories.

While Ward stepped aside last month, another coach with an impressive track record is back on the sidelines. Former North Allegheny head coach Jim Rankin has been hired by Butler after six years of retirement.

Rankin has a career record of 181-106-3.

Speaking of North Allegheny, former NA assistant John Vaughan is the new head coach at Carlynton.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Decline of Football at Allentown's City High Schools

by Jeff Fisher
Pennsylvania High School Football Huddle

Even though I live in Chicago now, there's not a day that goes by when I don't check-out Lehigh Valley newspapers to keep-up with the local sports scene. It truly shows that you can take the boy out of the Lehigh Valley, but not the Lehigh Valley out of the boy.

As a young boy, Allen and Dieruff high schools, the two public schools in the City of Allentown, were always producing great teams and great athletes. Andre Reed (Buffalo Bills & Washington Redskins), who will be in Pro Football's Hall of Fame one day, is a Dieruff alum, while the Allen Canaries produced NFLers Larry Seiple (Miami Dolphins) and Joe Wolf (Arizona Cardinals).

Unfortunately, over the past two decades, these once proud football programs have fallen on tough times. In the last five years, Allen has suffered through two winless seasons and an overall record of 6-44. The Huskies have faced three winless seasons and an overall mark of 3-47.

Allen Canaries
2009 (1-9)
2008 (0-10)
2007 (0-10)
2006 (1-9)
2005 (4-6)

Dieruff Huskies
2009 (0-10)
2008 (2-8)
2007 (1-9)
2006 (0-10)
2005 (0-10)

There are many reasons for the decline, not the least of which is poverty, which really has its grip on the city. The last time I drove around the city, on a visit back home, I was amazed at how the town has deteriorated.

Of course, that decay has caused an exodus to the suburbs, which has grown programs like Parkland and Emmaus.

Today, I was happy to read a story in The Morning Call that reports on adults on the east side, who are stepping-up to try to help the Dieruff program. Writer Steve Esack reports on the formation of The Dieruff Touchdown Club, which has a goal of raising $20,000 to help the program and second-year head coach John McDowell.

Even though, I'm in the process of launching High School Football America, which focuses on small town football across this country, here's hoping that people don't forget about our inner-city programs that created a great foundation for high school football across the Keystone State.

Friday, February 19, 2010

West Mifflin Turns to Former Coach Braszo

by Jeff Fisher
Pennsylvania High School Football Huddle

Ray Braszo is back as West Mifflin's head football coach.

The McKeesport Daily News reports that Braszo was hired Thursday.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Nanticoke Pins Football Hopes on Former Player

by Jeff Fisher
Pennsylvania High School Football Huddle

After one win in three years, Nanticoke has hired former player Ron Bruza as its new head coach.

The Times Leader reports that Bruza, who will be the team's fourth coach since 2001, will have to rebuild a program that has been outscored 1,186-175 over the last three seasons.

Here's a partial list of new Pennsylvania head football coaches that have been hired since the end of the '09 season...

CB East - John Donnelly
Central Dauphin East - Brian Bowman
Chambersburg - Mark Saunders
Lake Lehman - Jerry Gilsky
Mt. Carmel - Carm DeFrancesco
Nanticoke - Ron Bruza
New Brighton - Joe Greco
Norwin - Art Tragesser
Palisades - Jim Brady
Pius X - Phil Stambaugh
Quaker Valley - Rob McIntyre
Wilkes-Barre GAR - Paul Wiedlich, Jr.
Wilkes-Barre Meyers - Dwayne Downing

Wilkes-Barre GAR and Meyers Get New Football Coaches

by Jeff Fisher
Pennsylvania High School Football Huddle

Wilkes-Barre GAR has stayed within the program and hired Paul Wiedlich as its new head football coach.

The GAR alum and assistant for 16-years, takes over for Tony Khalife, who resigned after 12-years as the head coach.

Wilkes-Barre Meyers has hired former Penn State player Dwayne Downing. Downing replaces Mike Namey, who after 16-years retired to become the school's athletic director.

The Times Leader reports that both men were approved by unanimous votes by the Wilkes-Barre School Board.
by Jeff Fisher
Pennsylvania High School Football Huddle

7-on-7 tournaments are spreading like wildfire across the nation, and today we learn that the inaugural Northeastern Elite 7-on-7 Showcase will be held several weeks before the start of fall camp.

The two-day tournament will be held July 23-24 at Susquehanna Township High School and is expected to attract teams throughout the Northeast and Atlantic States regions.

As of last week, 2009 AAA runner-up Manheim Central was confirmed as well as a team from Mechanicsburg and Susquehanna Township.

For more information, go can go to

Quaker Valley Hires Former Pittsburgh Central Catholic Assistant to be Its New Football Coach

by Jeff Fisher
Pennsylvania High School Football Huddle

Quaker Valley has chosen Rob McIntyre as it's new head football coach.

McIntyre, who was an assistant at Pittsburgh Central Catholic last year and has head coaching experience in Iowa, takes over a team that didn't win a game in 2009. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that McIntyre is excited about the challenge.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Former Star QB Takes Over Pius X Football Program

by Jeff Fisher
Pennsylvania High School Football Program

The guy that once led the Pius X Royals to success on the field, hopes to do the same from the sidelines.

Phil Stambaugh has been named as the school's new head football coach.

After a successful career with the Royals, Stambaugh went-on to a great career at Lehigh University.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New Brighton HS Gets New/Old Football Coach

by Jeff Fisher
Pennsylvania High School Football Huddle

New Brighton has rehired Joe Greco to be its new coach.

Greco coached the Lions from 1995-2006. His record 68-52.

Tragesser Names New Football Coach at Norwin

by Jeff Fisher
Pennsylvania High School Football Huddle

After a year away from the heading coach headset, Art Tragesser is back on the sidelines.

The former Penn-Trafford head coach is now the new head coach at Norwin. The Post-Gazette reports Tragesser has had a lot of success in his 24-years as a head coach.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Pennsylvania's Winningest Football Team Gets New Head Coach

by Jeff Fisher
Pennsylvania High School Football Huddle

With 800 all-time victories just 15 wins in the future, Mt. Carmel has decided to bring-in a former star to lead the Red Tornadoes to that historic mark.

Carm DeFrancesco, who played and coached under legendary Joe "Jazz" Diminick, is the school's new head football coach. DeFrancesco, who led Upper Dauphin to a 10-2 record, takes over for Bob Chesney, who was 7-5 in his one year on the job.

The Patriot-News reports that DeFrancesco is excited to return to coaching in the coal region.

Mount Carmel, which is Pennsylvania's all-time winningest program, brings a 785-290-59 all-time record (from Mt. Carmel team website) into the 2010 season.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Pennsylvania - 2010 National Signing Day

Arron Achey (ELCO) QB - Maine
Olaniyi Adewole (Upper Darby) LB - Temple
Taj Alexander (Downingtown East) DL - Rutgers
Chris Anderson (West Chster East) OL - Lafayette
Kyle Baublitz (Central York) DL - Penn St.
Sam Bergen (East Stroudsburg South) LB - Rutgers
Seth Betancourt (St. Joseph's Prep) OL - Boston College
Orne Bey (Gateway) RB/DB -Miami, Ohio
Shane Brady (LaSalle College) S - Lafayette
Carlows Brown (McKeesport) DL - Kent St.
Corey Brown (Cardinal O'Hara) WR - Ohio St.
Ty-Meer Brown (McKeesport) DB - Connecticut
Derrick Burns (Wilmington Area) DB - Pitt
Giles Campbell (Liberty) - California (PA)
Ibraheim Campbell (Chestnut Hill Academy) DB - Northwestern
Taray Carey (Whitehall) - Temple
Drew Carswell (Sto-Rox) WR - Pitt
Cullen Christian (Penn Hills) CB - Michigan
Mike Coccia (Bethlehem Freedom) - New Hampshire
Paul Coleman (Central Dauphin) CB - Lafayette
Sal Conaboy (Abington Heights) OL - Maryland
Myles Davis (Penn Hills) LB - Syracuse
Jack DeBoef (State College) OL - Purdue
Trevor Demko (Mt. Carmel) - West Virginia
Leighton Dennis (Conestoga) DB - Conestoga
Miles Dieffenbach (Fox Chapel) - Penn St.
Arthur Doakes (Lebanon) OL - Pitt
Aaron Donald (Penn Hills) DL - Pitt
Brendon Felder (Gateway) WR/DB - North Carolina
Sean Ferguson (Hun School) DT - Minnesota
Manasseh Garner (Brashear) WR/DB - Wisconsin
Anthony Gonzalez (Liberty) QB - Pitt
Luke Graham (Penn-Trafford) - Penn St.
Richard Gray (Woodland Hills) DE - Kent St.
Adam Gristick (Parkland) - Eastern Illinois
Chad Hagan (Canon-McMillan) DB - Ohio St.
Ross Hall (Lancaster Catholic) OL - Villanova
Matthew Haugh (Parkland) - Lafayette
Cody Haupt (Montoursville) RB - Lehigh
Matt Heilig (Central Dauphin) DL - Massachusetts
Sean Hickey (Franklin Regional) OL - Syracuse
Mike Hull (Canon-McMillan) LB - Penn St.
Trent Hurley (Greensburg Central Catholic) QB - Bowling Green
Brandon Ifill (Penn Hills) DB - Pitt
Marcellus Irving (Garnet Valley) RB - Lafayette
Tim Johnson (West Allegheny) OL/DL - New Hampshire
Paul Jones (Sto-Rox) QB - Penn St.
Alex Kenny (State College) - Penn St.
Greg Kessel (East Stroudsburg South) RB - Lafayette
Ryan Kuntz (Bishop McDevitt) DL - Lehigh
Lee Kurfis (Bayard Rustin) WR - Lehigh
Charles Kyeremeh, Jr. (Cedar Crest) RB - Maine
Mike Lee (Woodland Hills) TE/LB - Purdue
Matt Lippincott (Wilson) T - Lehigh
Jonathan Louis (Wyoming Seminary) DE - Connecticut
Vladimir Marchena (Liberty) - California (PA)
B.J. McBryde (Beaver Falls) OL/DL - Connecticut
Jake McTighe (Knoch) FB - Lafayette
David Miller (Greensburg CC) RB - Seton Hill
ShelDon Miller (Monessan) DB - Akron
Dayonne Nunley (Gateway) WR/DB - Miami, Ohio
Alex Park (Upper St. Clair) QB/DB - New Hampshire
Jordan Paskorz (Hampton) DE - Michigan
Danton Ponzol (Palisades) - Lafayette
Shyquawn Pullium (Erie Cathedral Prep) CB - Penn St.
Cody Raup (Lewisburg) LB - Lehigh
Corey Rekasie (Chartiers Valley) OL/DL - New Hampshire
Tom Ricketts (North Allegheny) OL - Penn St.
Chris Rodrigues (Wilson) K - Lafayette
Mark Ross (Hopewell) WR - Lafayette
Dakota Royer (Manheim Central) DE/LB - Penn St.
Shane Rugg (Bishop McCort) OL - Lehigh
Joe Semanchik (Hazleton) OL - Colgate
Tyler Smith (Wilson) QB - Maryland
Bryan Thomas (Washington) TE - Bowling Green
Khaynin Mosley-Smith (Woodland Hills) DL - Pitt
Kevin Weatherspoon (Clairton) WR - Pitt
Cody Webster (Central Dauphin East) P - Purdue
Jarrod West (Liberty) - Stanford
Ken Wilkins (Trinity) DE - Michigan
Andre Williams (Parkland) RB - Boston College
Eric Williams (Pennsbury) LB - Pitt
Salath Williams (Bishop McDevitt) WR - Pitt