The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Harold Raker

November 30, 2012

Harold Raker's column on high school football: Showing their respect


O'Brien and Brandt, along with their competition, ESPN 92.3 FM and 1240 AM, from Selinsgrove, will bring the action back to the Valley from Fred Banko Stadium in Bethlehem.

O'Brien recalled how the duo have worked through the good times and bad, and how it all started.

"Ryan and I have seen a lot in the four years -- and 51 straight games. Roger Haddon, Kevin Herr and his staff at Sunbury Broadcasting Co. had an idea that would include covering the successful Selinsgrove Seals football program. In the summer of 2009, the station asked me to come aboard and cover the Seals and I jumped at the chance," he said.

His next step was to find a partner and he brought along Brandt. He admits that the two of them "live and die Selinsgrove football."

He noted that they covered the celebration of a state championship, including a team party outside the stadium, a midnight ride through Selinsgrove and a parade the next day. They also took part in the tougher days of Seals football as the team battled through the 1-9 season.

O'Brien said the current Seals, with a solid group of upperclassmen in combination with freshmen and sophomores, are creating their own legacy within the Seals' tradition of great teams.

"The one thing that has not changed is the loyalty of the coaches, parents and the fans, he said.

He noted that coach Dave Hess always calls the Seals fans "the best in the world," and those fans have stood by the team through it all.

Seals fans hope the broadcasts continue a few more weeks.

n Assistant sports editor Harold Raker covers high school football for The Daily Item. Email comments to

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