The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


September 21, 2012

Harold Raker's column on high school football: One school makes right move

In the past I have had no success in convincing anyone who matters at Shikellamy High School to consider naming either the football stadium or, at least, the press box, for the late Daily Item sports editor Bill Toland.

I vowed several years ago to not give up, but the longer it goes, the less chance anything will ever come of it.

No one was ever a bigger supporter of his adopted Braves (Bill was a Danville graduate). In his days of picking the games in his Sports Sputterings column in this newspaper, he would pick Shikellamy no matter who it was playing. The running joke around the community was that Bill would pick them to beat Notre Dame. The closest thing to that today is the Shikellamy teacher who will remain nameless (but it rhymes with Still Wiggler; sorry BZ, I couldn't resist).

Saturday night, the folks at neighboring Line Mountain, are going to do something along that same line that is way overdue: the school will dedicate the football field at Eagle Stadium to its only alumnus to play in the National Football League, Dornsife's Glenn Ressler. The latter played for Mahanoy Joint, which later merged with Trevorton to form Line Mountain.

Incidentally, Ressler is one of two Twin Valley Conference (now Tri-Valley League) players to not only play in the NFL, but to excel at that level. Just three years ahead of Ressler was Gary Collins, who starred at Williamstown (now part of Williams Valley, Line Mountain's opponent on Saturday night. He was a two-time All-Pro wide receiver (and punter) for the Cleveland Browns out of the University of Maryland. Ironically, both now live in the greater Harrisburg area, Ressler near Mechanicsburg and Collins in the Palmyra area.

The idea to rename the field for Ressler was a great one and it is always nice when legends are so honored while they are living.

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