It’s hard to believe that a traditional power such as Mount Carmel could have its season end the way it did on Tuesday, but don’t take this as sympathy for the actions of the Red Tornadoes that participated in the hazing incident.

No, my sympathy goes to the victims of the said hazing, and I hope this doesn’t affect their standing in the community.

I’ve been around the Mount Carmel football program probably since the Brett Veach days, and the town of Mount Carmel takes its high school football seriously. A lot of stories could be told from some of those games in the 1990s at the Silver Bowl, when the bluff behind the visiting stands was still open. Let’s just say there is a reason why that bluff was closed.

It can get a little crazy, so I hope the season being shut down doesn’t get taken out on the younger players in the Mount Carmel program. I applaud them for being brave enough to come forward when something happened.

I can only imagine the bravery that took, knowing what the possible consequences of such things would be.

In this strange year of 2020, Mount Carmel’s season seemed more cursed than most, between their own shutdown, trying to play all of its games in a month, and then getting down to 22 players even before the hazing scandal hit.

In addition to the real-world effect, it’s going to be interesting to see how this shakes out in relation to the District 4 playoffs. The Red Tornadoes release earlier this week said that the season was canceled, but they weren’t forfeiting the games. That decision would be at the discretion of District 4.

That raises a whole bunch of questions, which will affect both the Class 3A and Class 2A races. The Red Tornadoes have three scheduled games left. District 4 still hasn’t made a decision — or at least an announced one — on the Southern Columbia game, plus tonight’s contest with Central Columbia and next week’s game with Danville.

It also leaves Central and Danville without a game, and the Ironmen are battling for a home playoff seed in Class 3A. Meanwhile, the Red Tornadoes were the current No. 4 seed in Class 2A, but a jumble of teams are battling for two spots with Central Columbia currently holding the third spot. Obviously if — and how — those games count in the power rankings could be vitally important.

The other issue comes with the Coal Bucket. That game was set for Oct. 30, but with Shamokin in the Class 4A playoffs — even if Mount Carmel played the rest of the season — the game would have to be postponed until some point in November. Do they just decide not to play the Coal Bucket? Or does that become a forfeit, and a 25-year losing streak comes to an end?

I really hope it’s the first one, and to be honest, I think Shamokin would as well. With the way the Indians are playing, I bet they felt they had a good chance to end the streak this season.

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