The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

September 6, 2013

Harold Raker's column on high school football: Seals' milestone comes quietly


Daily Item

---- — There were no balloons.

No one baked a cake.

There was no parade.

No, there was no fanfare, no pomp and circumstance, but unbeknownst to most in attendance last Friday night at Harold L. Bolig Memorial Field, they had just witnessed something special.

The Selinsgrove Seals, with an opening-night win over Mifflinburg had posted the 500th win in Seals football program history.

According to coach Dave Hess, there was no attempt to hide the fact that such an achievement was nigh.

He said that someone from the Seals Booster Club had told the coaches during the summer that the 500th win was on the horizon, and someone else told them that, if they would win the opener against the Wildcats, No. 500 would be up for grabs in week two when the Seals traveled to Camp Hill to take on the Trinity Shamrocks.

Last week, as the opener approached, it was discovered that the program had won 499 before the game versus Mifflinburg.

"They had told us it was going to be against Trinity and honestly we forgot about it this past week, until one of our booster club members brought it to our attention that it was not Trinity, but it was the Mifflinburg game," Hess said.

Nevertheless, Hess said there was not going to be any focus on it, no matter which game it would possibly happen.

And, he added that, in hindsight, it might have been better that they did not find out in time for people to talk about it before the opener.

"It might have been better, I don't know. What do you think?" Hess asked Thursday in discussing the occasion.

He said, "It was not a real concern, our only concern was our 2013 performance against Mifflinburg. And if it would have been this week, once again our only focus would have been Trinity."

Having said that, Hess is thrilled that the program in which he played and has coached for 31 years, has attained such a mark.

"I was there when we were a long way from 500. I remember being on the staff the first time we went 1-10. 500 wins was the last thing on our minds. We were just trying to get two wins.

Two years ago when we went 1-9, who would not have thought this would occur. It kind of snuck up on us before we prepared or talked about it," he said.

"It's a commendable thing for our school and the history of our program. We didn't see it coming," he said.

"It is a great milestone for any school," he added.

Hess said no plans have been made to recognize the accomplishment, but he believes something will be done by the booster club at a home game.

"There have been a lot of young men who came before this group who have laid a foundation, and it started with (the late coach) Harold Bolig."

Bolig was the first coach and is the man behind the name Harold L. Bolig Memorial Field.

Another former coach, Bill Moll, who later coached at nearby Susquehanna University, won five Susquehanna Valley championships in his five years as the head coach.

And Hess' predecessor, Bill Scott, won 235 of those 500 games (303 overall in his career), including the 200th, 300th and 400th Selinsgrove victories. He also led the Seals to the first win over rival Shikellamy, in 1977.

He and all of his fellow coaches should be proud.

n Sports editor Harold Raker covers high school football for The Daily Item. Email comments to hraker@dailyitem.com.