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Still perfect

Published October 09. 2009 05:00PM

Tonight, weather permitting, a battle of two undefeated teams is scheduled to take place on the Stadium Hill gridiron.

The North Schuylkill at Tamaqua match-up turns out to be the lone pairing of unbeatens in the Eastern Conference.

Halfway through the season, there are just 15 unblemished teams in the conference. Among the spotless squads at 5-0:

District 2 - Abington Heights (Class AAA), Dallas (AAA), Dunmore (AA), Old Forge (A)

District 3 - Daniel Boone (AAA), Upper Dauphin (A)

District 4 - Selinsgrove (AAA), Hughesville (AA), Montoursville (AA), Towanda (AA), Line Mountain (A)

District 11 - Allentown Central Catholic (AAA), Wilson (AAA), North Schuylkill (AA), Tamaqua (AA).

The Blue Raiders' opening winning streak has been well documented. The last time it happened in Raider Country was in 1956.

With Homecoming in Tamaqua this week, the school extended its festivities from the Hill to the downtown with a parade last night and a tailgate picnic at the stadium. The TAHS cheerleaders helped decorate Broad Street in Blue and White.

The grand marshal of the parade was Dick Jones, who was the head coach of that Tamaqua '56 team, as well as school's lone EC championship club of 1962

Jones recalled that the '56 team got off to a 7-0 start before losing to Shenandoah and Hazleton, then beating West Hazleton to finish at 8-2.

The visit from the Spartans kicks off a three-week stretch of Anthracite League contenders for Sam Bonner's Raiders, who travel to Schuylkill Haven next week and rival Panther Valley the following week.


Football isn't the only Tamaqua team off to an unbeaten start.

Last night the Lady Raiders girls soccer team, coached by Clem McCarroll, improved to a sparkling 14-0 with a victory over Upper Dauphin. The Lady Tams are the defending District 11 Fall Class AA champions.

The girls cross country team suffered its first loss of the season to North Schuylkill Wednesday to finish dual meet competition at 10-1, but sophomore Amber Carroll, the defending Schuylkill League champion and a PIAA State medalist last year, continued her winning streak in Schuylkill competition.

Other varsity sports enjoying winning seasons on the Hill: boys cross country (9-2) and girls tennis (9-5). The Raider girls volleyball team is 6-6 overall, while boys soccer is 5-8-1, and the golf team concluded at 4-10.


The Schuylkill League has moved its cross country championships to Blue Mountain High School.

The league's division run-off will take place next Wednesday, Oct.14. The girls meet will be 3:30 p.m. and pit Division I winner North Schuylkill, the defending team champion, against Division II winner Schuylkill Haven. At 4:30 p.m., D-1 champ and returning overall winner Blue Mountain will get a rematch with D-II kingpin Marian.

The following week, on Wednesday, Oct. 21, the All-League meet will be held at the Eagles' Nest in Orwigsburg after having been run at Tuscarora State Park in Barnesville since the early 1990's.

John Brennan, athletics director at Shenandoah Valley and Schuylkill cross country chairman, notified the cross country coaches that the league's ADs decided to move the meet to Blue Mountain due to safety concerns for the runners.

Reportedly, there was a disagreement between league and park officials about policing the race that wasn't resolved.

Nothing against Blue Mountain, which has first rate sports facilities, but Tuscarora State Park was a great location for a cross country race, with its natural trails. With fall foliage in full flame, it was a pleasure for spectators as well.


Now that the calendar has turned to October, the Schuylkill League's other fall sports are winding down.

Golf has already been completed, with perennial power Blue Mountain once again taking the crown among the boys and the Marian Fillies winning the girls team title.

In boys soccer, three-time defending champion Tamaqua is rebuilding this season under new coach Greg Stewart and is at 6-5-1 in Division I, trailing Schuylkill Haven (12-0) and Blue Mountain (9-3). In Division II, Nativity (11-0-1) and Millersburg (10-2) lead the pack.

In girls soccer, Tamaqua is atop D-II at 10-0, two games ahead of Halifax, while Millersburg (9-0-1), Minersville (7-2-1) and Tri-Valley (7-3-1) are battling it out in D-II.

In volleyball, Blue Mountain is 8-0 in Division I, while Panther Valley and Pine Grove are fighting it out in D-II. Tri-Valley (7-1) and Lourdes Regional (7-2) are leading D-III, and Nativity has a one-game lead over Marian in D-IV, with the Fillies' lone loss coming against the Golden Girls.

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