The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Harold Raker

September 28, 2012

Harold Raker's column on high school football: Reunion night in Valley


Drumheller is glad that the Tigers have continued to flourish under Roth. He recalled that as a freshman, the Tigers went winless; in his sophomore year, they didn't score a point until they won in Week 5 to end a 26-game losing streak.

"After that, things came around," he said, noting that some great athletes came through, including Greg Halladay, Bill Freeman and John Fulmer.

He said that what really turned around the program was Roth's implementation of weight training.

The Tigers went 4-5-1 his sophomore season, 9-3 the next and then won the EC title at 12-1 in 1983.

Not only was the future Tigers head coach the defensive coordinator (Roth became head coach in 1984), Drumheller recalled that, in the days before the advent of full-time athletic trainers, Roth also served in that capacity.

"He was taping and taking care of injuries; he spent a lot of time working on shoulders, bruises. I can remember being in various rooms and he'd be down there in a T-shirt taping everyone. He took care of the medical aspects. He did a good job of rehabbing kids, taking care of ankles for me. He kept my body good enough that I could play from week to week," Drumheller said.

Drumheller said the most important thing he learned from Roth that carries with him was his demand for mental toughness.

In a related side note, I pointed out in a recent column that, during its game with visiting Mount Carmel, Southern honored its 1983 EC championship team. In fact, it was the 1988 EC champs, the first and only EC title won by Roth as a head coach.

ANOTHER REUNION: In addition to the renewal of acquaintances in Elysburg, another reunion is set for Friday night at newly dedicated Glenn Ressler Field at Eagle Stadium. There, former Line Mountain lineman and head coach Todd Rothermel, the first-year head coach at Newport, will take on the Eagles, led by first-year head coach Rodney Knock. The latter was Rothermel's quarterback in his first season at the helm in Mandata, the fall of 2005.

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