The Tom Linette era at Northwestern High School is officially underway.
After nearly 30 years and more than 300 games as an assistant coach, Linette led the Tigers onto the field as a head coach for the first time on Friday night.
Northwestern made sure that game one, season one of Linette's head coaching career is one he'll always remember as it rolled to a 30-0 victory over Salisbury.
But if you thought that all those seasons as a Tiger assistant made this just another Friday night for Linette, think again.
"I've coached in so many games I thought I had this down pat. This time it all seemed different," said Linette. "You think of so many more things instead of just your offensive line or you defensive line.
"There were just so many more things to worry about that I used to take for granted. If something would go wrong, I'd feel responsible."
Linette said even something as simple as where to be during the game was a new experience.
"I've been up in the [coaches] box for so many years I didn't know where to stand," he laughed.
While Linette did get most of the "first time" experiences out of his system at Salisbury, there is still a big one left for this week – first home game.
"Stepping on that field is going to be a thrill. I'm excited for Friday night," he said. "Northwestern is a special place. It means a lot to play in that stadium and I think it will mean a lot to [former] coach [Bob Mitchell] too when we come out wearing our black."
IT'S BAAAAAACK … Linette's head coaching debut with the Tigers was a great way for Overtime to make its 2010 season debut.
We're back for our fourth season of reviewing the previous week's highlights on the gridiron and giving some historical prospectus on the wins, the statistics, and the records that you might not have known about.
COACHING FIRSTS … After 28 years as an assistant coach under Bob Mitchell, Linette kicked off his head coaching career with a victory on Friday night. That's the exact same way that Mitchell began his coaching career back in 1981. Despite that victorious start, the Tigers went on to finish Mitchell's inaugural season with a 3-6-1 record.
Here's a look at how the other eight head coaches in the area did in their first games and first seasons at the helm:
Stan Dakosty, Marian (1977) - lost to Mt. Carmel, 50-12; record 6-5.
Mark Rosenberger, Jim Thorpe (1998) - beat Carson Long, 34-20; record 6-4.
Paul McArdle, Palmerton (2004) - lost to Notre Dame, 40-28; record 2-9.
Joe Tout, Northern Lehigh (2006) - beat Bangor, 41-0; record 7-4.
Frank Damian, Panther Valley (2007) - beat Mahanoy Area, 13-7; record 3-7.
Sam Bonner, Tamaqua (2007) - lost to Jm Thorpe, 27-6; record 3-7.
George Ebbert, Lehighton (2008) - lost to Marian, 28-14; record 3-7.
Jim Terwilliger, Pleasant Valley (2009) - lost to Nazareth, 49-18; record 5-5.
MAN OF MARIAN ... Paul Martin accomplished something on Friday night that no Marian running back has done in nearly a decade.
Martin rushed for 205 yards against Lehighton to become the first Marian player to surpass the 200-yard mark since Al Donadi did it on Dec. 1, 2000. Donadi rolled up 224 yards on 28 carries in playoff game against Mt. Carmel.
GOING, GOING, GONE ... Northern Lehigh's Cody Remaley had touchdown runs of 90, 26 and 49 yards against Notre Dame on the opening night of the season. Long touchdown runs are nothing new for Remaley. He now has 54 career rushing touchdowns and 36 of them are 10 yards or longer. The 90-yard run was the longest of his career and also was his 10th touchdown that covered 50 or more yards.
Remaley's big-play ability might be best exemplified by the fact that his 54 career rushing TDs have covered 1,424 yards for an incredible average of 26.4 yards per touchdown.
AIR INDIAN ... With its switch to a spread offense this season, Lehighton figures to be a team that could put up big numbers passing the football. The Indians did exactly that in their loss to Marian.
In the game, quarterback Josh Agosto threw for 256 yards. It was only the third time since 1988 a span of 244 games that a Lehighton quarterback has thrown for at least 250 yards in a game.
Ironically, the only other Indian quarterbacks to accomplish the feat also did it against Marian. Kyle Hunter threw for 296 yards on Sept. 4, 2009 while Brandon Williams threw for 273 yards on Aug. 31, 2007.
DOUBLE TROUBLE ... Northwestern running backs Ty Cunningham (9-166) and Payton Bachman (8-120) both went over the 100-yard mark on Friday night.
The last time two Tiger backs accomplished that in the same game was Sept. 21, 2007 when Jake Bennett (9-139) and Ben Clymer (17-127) run wild against Bangor.
TREND BUSTER ... The Jim Thorpe football team has enjoyed a good deal of success on the football field in the past 20 years. Since 1989, the Olympians have an overall record of 130-95. A lot of that success can be attributed to a high-scoring offense. During that span, when Thorpe has struggled to score, it has struggled to win.
Heading into this season, Jim Thorpe's record had been just 7-69 when it had scored less than 20 points in a game. The Olympians broke that trend with an 18-13 victory over Tamaqua on Friday.