Most fans know by now that Mifflinburg has one of the top, if not the best, defenses in District 4. The Wildcats proved it again last Friday night by shutting down a high-powered spread offense in Towanda for a 14-7 win.
Yet, perhaps there was another reason the Black Knights had so much trouble: They were distracted by all that pink.
Seriously, Mifflinburg became the first of what will be many Valley teams to support the cause of October for Breast Cancer Awareness by wearing lots of pink, including wristbands, socks and towels. The coaches wore pink shirts and even many of the home fans participated, wearing pink apparel and carrying pink balloons.
According to Sharon Stroh, wife of Shikellamy coach Sam Stroh, her employer, Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, persuaded 16 Central Pennsylvania schools to hold a pink out game during October. Mifflinburg was the first to hold one, with Selinsgrove set to do it tonight versus Milton and the others all set for Friday, Oct. 28.
Sharon, a breast cancer survivor herself, said the goal was to get the entire Heartland Athletic Conference involved, but they ran out of time to get all of the pink items ordered and delivered by the first scheduled pink game.
She noted that the phrase being used for the campaign is "Get your pink on."
The other schools planning to hold a pink game on Oct. 28 are Berwick, Bloomsburg, Central Columbia, Danville, Hughesville, Lewisburg, Loyalsock, Mifflinburg, Milton, Mount Carmel, Muncy, Shamokin, Shikellamy, Southern Columbia and Warrior Run.
Incidentally, for the Shamokin-Shikellamy game, in addition to the pink, Geisinger arranged for the Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders to take part in the event that night.
The coaches will wear pink hats, pink footballs will be thrown into the crowd and the players will also wear pink wristbands, tape and eye black (pink) along with having pink towels and pink decals on their helmets.
IT'S ALL RELATIVE: We received word this week after the publication Monday of the best-of-the-week performances that three of the players included and whose photos appeared with the feature are cousins, perhaps a first for this weekly feature. They were Shikellamy's Tyler Pratt, Warrior Run's Austin Oberdorf and Milton's Brady Chappell. It is pretty neat that all three cousins are playing football and doing well for three different schools, but it really defies the odds that all three made it into the "best" on the same night.
Congratulations to all.
COMING HOME AGAIN: Fans at Southern Columbia's home game with Loyalsock next Friday (Oct. 21) will get to meet one of the National Football League's exciting rookies, New York Giants fullback Henry Hynoski. The former Tiger and University of Pittsburgh star is scheduled to be on hand (the Giants have their bye that weekend) to see his No. 27 retired at Tiger Stadium. The only other Southern player to have had his number retired was Jerry Marks, whose school rushing records Hynoski broke.
Hynoski's Tigers won four consecutive Class A state championships and he finished as the school's rushing leader with 7,165 yards and 112 touchdowns.
GOING AFTER A MILESTONE: The elder Henry Hynoski, father of the aforementioned New York Giants fullback, had a role in a milestone that the current Mount Carmel Red Tornadoes are seeking in their game tonight at home against fellow unbeaten North Schuylkill. Hynoski starred for the Red Tornadoes and later played for the Cleveland Browns.
If the Red Tornadoes win, it will be the 800th win in program history. A brief ceremony will take place at the end of the game.
The Red Tornadoes are currently ranked fifth nationally and No. 1 in the state for wins.
Parking for the expected large crowd will be limited, but the district is planning to run shuttle buses from the high school to the Silver Bowl, about a one-quarter mile distance.
n Assistant sports editor Harold Raker covers high school football. E-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.