The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

October 31, 2013

Harold Raker's high school football column: Everyone knows his name

School board meetings are not usually something we sportswriters pay much attention to, except when a new coach is about to be hired.

So one night in the spring of 2009, we were awaiting the word from a reporter on the hiring of Danville's new head football coach.

It was just a formality, or so we thought.

The name we had expected was well-known to all of us for having coached, successfully, at another school in the Valley.

Then came the name that had us all scratching our heads, as well as demonstrating how little we were tuned in to the workings of the Danville board.

Jim Keiser.

Who??????

Well, we did know him from having coached the Lewisburg High baseball team for a couple of seasons in the mid-1990s. And those close to Danville football knew he had coached in the T-Railers youth program, and had also been on the staffs that coached both eighth- and ninth-grade football.

It didn't take long for everyone in the Valley to know the name.

All Keiser's teams did was run rough-shod over the Heartland Athletic Conference Division I. He enters tonight's game at Selinsgrove with a record of 46-12, including three teams that ran the table in the HAC-I with the current one if the Ironmen beat Selinsgrove tonight.

Maybe few people knew about Jim Keiser, but Keiser knew talent. He saw plenty of it while coaching in the younger programs.

He has long been familiar with the likes of Weston Baylor, Sam Dressler, Isaiah Croll and many others. The last player he coached on the T-Railers, Cale Rice, graduated last year.

"We saw Dressler, Isaiah, we brought Sammy and Weston up as freshmen, and Eric Haney. We saw the potential they had, and in high school they just made a huge impact," Keiser said this week.

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