Sunday, August 22, 2010

High School Football America Wraps-up for Week with Pius X Royals

by Jeff Fisher
Pennsylvania High School Football Huddle

It's funny how quickly a week can go by when you're having fun.

This week flew by after spending the first part of it in Roseto with the Pius X Royals for the start of the 2010 high school football season.

Camp Royal kept me busy shooting video to start High School Football America's inside look at this season.

Below you'll find several different videos that look at everything how the Royals elected their co-captains to how the "Loyal Royals" volunteers fed the kids, plus a podcast interview with first year head coach Phil Stambaugh, who recaps the first week.

For more on the 2010 Pius X HS Story, go to

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Camp Royal at Pius X High School

by Jeff Fisher
Pennsylvania High School Football Huddle

Due to a technical snafu at Blogger, the Pennsylvania High School Football Huddle was down for three days, but we're back and boy do we have tons of stuff to tell you about.

As I told you last week, I took the High School Football America cameras to Roseto for an inside look at the "tiny school on the hill"...the Pius X Royals.

We spent three days embedded in the program with first-year head coach Phil Stambaugh to learn what makes this Class A football program with an enrolled of 260 students between the 7th and 12th grades tick.

Having grown-up in the Lehigh Valley in nearby Wilson Borough, I knew this was a special community, but boy, it's more than just close.

While the make-up of the community of 1,600 has changed been changing recently, at its core, it is still basically made-up of Italian-Americans.  Within that core is another core...those that bleed blue-and-white for Pius X High School.

The Loyal Royals, as they're known, may be the most welcoming group of people I've ever met!  They look forward to cheering for the same names they've cheered for for decades.  Names like Cinelli, Casciano and name a few.

Family STILL matters here!  And High School Football America is proud to introduce you to the Pius X Royals Family over the next several months.

Like the line in the song from the TV series Cheers...everyone knows your name...but, in the case of Roseto, I'd add they're PROUD to know your name.

Above is a 90-second sights-and-sounds video from Day 1 of Camp Royal.  For all of our videos and stories, please go to High School Football America.

Monday, August 16, 2010

High School Football America at Pius X High School as 2010 Season Begins

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

It's 4:52 A.M. Eastern Time and my adrenaline is flowing as I'm up early to catch the first day of high school football practice in Pennsylvania.

When I'm finished with this post, I'm out-the-door of the Hampton Inn in Bethlehem to travel to Pius X High School for the first of the Royals three practices today.  As I've been mentioning since last Wednesday, I will be profiling Pius throughout the season, and it all starts today when the sun rises on the new season.

Camp Royal officially opens at 6:45 A.M. EST when the players, who are spending the first week staying at the school all-day and sleeping in the wrestling room, get there wake-up call.  I'll be there with camera in-hand as the players awake with blurry eyes that will then begin focusing on the 2010 season.

You'll be able to check-out tons of video from the first three days of camp at High School Football America throughout the week.  I should be able to have a quick snippet posted by sometime after lunch...just click on the 2010 Pius X HS Story tab.

Everybody on's go!

I needed to do that to wake-up my brain!

It's going to be a long day that will last until the players eat dinner on-campus around 8.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Prepares for First Season of High School Football

by Jeff Fisher
Pennsylvania High School Football Huddle

With Pennsylvania preseason high school football camps opening Monday, there's lots of excitement at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School in western PA.

This is the first-year of football at the 77-year old school.  Tri-State Sports & News Service reporter Nicholas Tolomeo takes a look at how things are going for the new program.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pius X Finds a Home

by Jeff Fisher
Pennsylvania High School Football Huddle

As I told you on Wednesday, I will be going inside the Pius X football program this year with in-depth look at Phil Stambaugh's first-year as head coach of his alma mater.

One of the big stories at the start of the season is that the Royals, for the first time since 1999, have a league to call their own.  After playing a decade as an independent, which carries all kinds of scheduling problems, Pius X is now part of the six-team All-America League that includes Bucktail, Carson Long Military Academy, Columbia Montour Vo-Tech, East Juniata and Lourdes.

In the late 90's, the Royals were part of the Mid-Penn League, and won three straight championships from 1997 through 1999.  For years Pius has tried to join the Colonial League, which includes Slate Belt neighbors Bangor and Pen Argyl, but the Royals have been rejected every time.

Earlier this week, Pocono Record sports reporter Joe Miegoc spoke with Stambaugh about what being part of a league means to his program.

2010 Pius X Royals Schedule

9/4 - Pottstown
9/11 - St. Joseph-by-the-Sea (NY)
9/17 - @ Schuylkill Valley
9/24 - @ Marian Catholic
10/2 - vs. Bucktail
10/9 - Lourdes Regional
10/16 - @ Columbia Mountain Vo-Tech
10/23 - Susquenita
10/30 - @ Carson Long
11/6 - East Juniata

Every day, we'll have new stories on the upcoming season.  Then beginning Monday, August 16th High School Football America have video reports as the Royals opening training camp in Roseto.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

High School Football America to give its readers the "Royal" treatment

by Jeff Fisher

As I contemplated what I could do special for the 2010 high school football season, one thought came to mind...think SMALL!

Yes, I said SMALL.

You see, as I’ve been telling my readers for the past year, High School Football America is all about covering good stories.  It’s almost like we’re miners looking for those hidden gems of high school football stories that are buried deep beneath national rankings and recruiting stories.

So with that in mind, I wracked my brain for something small that could be turned into something big. 

It didn’t take me long to come-up with the answer.

I wanted to chronicle a small town football team for an entire year to give fans a feel for how the line between a community and its football team blurs, and the team becomes part of the fabric of the community.

But the question was which team?

Once again, it didn’t take long to come-up with the answer.

I just had to look a little north of my hometown of Easton, Pennsylvania to the tiny borough of Roseto…home to the Pius X Royals, a small catholic school with an enrollment of approximately 260 students in 7-12 grades.  The Royals play in Pennsylvania’s smallest classification (Class A). 

That definitely qualifies as small, but what the school and the football program have accomplished through the years in sports is big, including an NFL quarterback in Phil Stambaugh…and that’s where the story begins.

Stambaugh, who just celebrated his 32nd birthday on Tuesday, is preparing to open his first camp as a head coach at his alma mater on Monday, August 16th…and High School Football America will be there with him.

Even after spending time as a quarterback in the NFL and NFL Europe, Stambaugh is your typical Pius X alum…once a Royal, always a Royal.

What seems to make this story feel right is Stambaugh and I have a history that includes me covering him while I worked at WFMZ-TV while he was leading his team to a 1995 District 11 Class A championship, plus his brilliant career at Lehigh University where he spent his four years re-writing school and Patriot League record books.

What appeals the most to me about Pius is how it truly is a family affair for the approximately 1,600 people that reside in the community. 

Like Stambaugh, eight of his eleven assistant coaches attended the “old school” brick school building on 3rd Avenue.  Heck...Stambaugh’s mom Connie currently is the athletic director at the school.  His dad, Mike, coached football, volleyball, girls’ softball and wrestling at Pius.

Roseto is a little bit like the imaginary TV show bar Cheers…everyone knows your name.

Hopefully, between now and the end of the season, America will know the Pius X Royals.

Editor’s note: Beginning Monday, August 16thHigh School Football AmericaThe High School Football Huddle and the Pennsylvania High School Football Huddle will have daily stories on the Royals.

To learn more about the upcoming season, go to the Pius X Royals football website