I didn’t know what to write this week, so as fan of the old school Larry King columns that used to run on Mondays in the USA Today, I figured I would put together some random thoughts from this football season.
I also just read that line back to myself, and realized that I bet if you’re younger than I am, that sentence didn’t make a whole lot of sense.
Good luck to Marc Persing, who resigned this week at Lewisburg. He’s a good guy, and hopefully he gets a chance to be a head coach when his kids get a little older. I can barely handle one five-year-old, let alone two in that age range. It’s one of the mysteries of life why the Lewisburg School District decided not to get its football coach into the school district to teach.
One of the things that — almost to a man — I’ve heard over my 28 years is how important it is for the football coach to be around his players all day in school.
K.J. Riley has been outstanding all season for the Ironmen. I keep jokingly asking Riley and sophomore wide receiver Carson Persing how Persing ends up so wide open so often.
Don’t get me wrong, Riley and Persing have hooked up in some tight windows — the final touchdown in the district championship game is a perfect example of that. Riley and Persing were both amazed by the other’s play — Riley that Persing was able to find room in the back of the end zone to catch his bullet, and Persing for how Riley was able to be so accurate on the move to make a pass where only Carson could catch it.
I’ve watched Danville four times this year, and Persing gets — not just 2 or 3 yards behind the defense — 8, 10, 15 yards behind the defense. Both credit the amount of time they put into route running, and things of that sort, but it’s sometimes an amazing sight.
It’s been bugging me because Carson has reminded of me of somebody on the football field, and it’s taken a couple of guys, but seeing him on the sideline last week, it finally popped into my head.
Carson Persing really reminds of Ryan Shuck when he played at Selinsgrove. He’s not quite as big as Ryan — who grew to be 6 foot, and 200 pounds — but as a route runner, and just how open he gets, I think it’s a fairly accurate comparison.
I wrote some about Mifflinburg for Tuesday’s paper. I want to lump in Shikellamy and Line Mountain for this statement as well. I’m not sure we should have played, and I’ve been vocal about it — as I wrote this on Thursday, Upper Moreland announced it forfeited its Class 5A state semifinal game to Erie Cathedral Prep — but one of the positives about playing came from those three schools.
For both Mifflinburg and Shikellamy, they battled through injuries and poor starts to have pretty good football seasons. Both teams were forced to move players around to different positions.
When I look back at this season, one of the things I will remember is the guys who sacrificed their stats for the good of the team.
For Line Mountain, it’s a bit of a different story. I’ve always had a soft spot for the Eagles. Since I started in the 1992 season, I would always end up covering the Upper Dauphin or the Line Mountain game. It’s really some underrated football. If you look back through the years, the Eagles have had some of the most consistent success of anyone over the last 28 years.
The Eagles fell into a rough patch, and came into this season on a seven-game losing streak. They were the last team to play, and when I visited a practice during the week of their opener, you could see it was a different Line Mountain team.
It was nice to see Line Mountain have the kind of success that they did, and hopefully, they can continue it in 2021.