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Grid proposal gets second vote

Published October 06. 2011 05:01PM

The talk first surfaced back in July, when the PIAA Board of Directors unanimously passed at its first reading a proposal to cut the PIAA football season from 16 weeks to 15 weeks..

The final decision should come by the time the Board concludes its two-day meeting tomorrow.

At that same meeting back in July, Jack Wabby, District 11 chairman, made a motion to allow districts to play a nine-game regular season with two scrimmages or drop the second scrimmage and use that date as a regular season date. This would allow District 11 teams to keep its 10-game schedule and also keep most of its district playoff qualifiers.

Why do the local schools want to keep a 10-game schedule?

For the most part, it will guarantee that schools can keep five home games because it is no secret the revenue it makes on those games bring in the most to help the athletic budget.

Coaches, on the other hand, have leaned toward keeping that second week of pre-season practice for preparation time unless the length of pre-season camp and practice can officially start earlier.

It's no secret now that football has become almost a 12-month a year sport when you include the weight room, spring practice with helmets and shoulder pads but no contact, etc. So coaches that we've talked to off the record would like to see what they can do in the off-season increased.

If the proposal by Wabby passes to allow schools to swap the second scrimmage for a game, District 11 would most likely be able to keep its current playoff format intact. Class AAA, AA and A would still have two automatic qualifiers and AAAA would have one guaranteed qualifier with as much as two. The 4A playoff would go from an eight-team subregional to a four-team subregional between teams from District 2, 4 and 11.

The 15-week proposal is sure to pass in some form. If it passes the second reading, it will still need to pass a final reading in December.

The Colonial League, which has 12 members, has a 10-team all-league schedule. Each year schools don't play against one member and that changes every other year. If it has to go to a 9-game schedule, things get even more difficult.

"Right now we're on hold," said Colonial League President and Northern Lehigh AD Brian Geist. "Our league is recommending that we still want to play a 10-game regular season schedule, even if it means only having one scrimmage. Then we would like to add a couple of days to pre-season practice so it doesn't cut down on preparation time.

"From what we understand, 90 percent of the delegates are going to vote to go from a 16-week season to a 15-week season.

"We hope they'll let us use the second scrimmage as a playing date or else we may have to do what the WPIAL does and go to a nine-game schedule. We also don't want to see us have to go to a two-team playoff in three of the four district classes."

The District 11 championships and subregionals must be over by the 11th week in a 15-week schedule so the winners could head to the state playoffs in Week 12.

It'll definitely be interesting to see how the 2012 football season pans out.


INDIVIDUAL EFFORTS … This week's OVERTIME features several outstanding individual performances. Among the highlights you'll find in our fifth OVERTIME column of the season are impressive performances by a Northern Lehigh quarterback, a Pleasant Valley running back, and a Lehighton receiver.


TURNING 21 … Palmerton defeated Palisades 7-6 on Friday night.

The last time the Blue Bombers won a game in which they scored seven points or less was 21 years ago this month. It happened on Oct. 19, 1990 when Palmerton defeated Pleasant Valley 7-0.


DYLAN DID IT … Northern Lehigh's Dylan Hofmann had an exceptional day throwing the ball last Friday, completing 11-of-15 passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns.

The last time a Bulldog player threw 11 completions in a game was Nov. 20, 1998 (151 games ago) when Ryan Van Norman also completed 11 against Marian in the District 11 Class AA championship game.


PICK SIX ... Marian's Phil Schron returned an interecption 46 yards for a touchdown against North Schuylkill last Friday.

The pick-for-six was the first by a Colt player since Oct. 20, 2007 when Scott Farber brought one back 50 yards for a score against Shenandoah Valley.


BIG PLAY BEAR … Pleasant Valley's Rob Getz returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown against Tamaqua last week.

This marked the third time this season that Getz took a kickoff to the house. The senior also did it in Weeks 1 (against Nazareth) and 3 (against Wyoming Valley West).

Over the past 15 years, Getz is the only TN player to have three kickoff returns for TDs in a single season.

Getz also had a kickoff return for a score in his sophomore year (Week 2 against Honesdale), giving him four for his career. That number puts him one behind Lehighton's Robbie Frey, who had five, and ties him with Northern Lehigh's Cody Remaley and Northwestern's Nick Friday for the most in a career since 1995.

Getz also has three punt returns for TDs, including one against Lehighton in Week 3 in the Bears 7-6 win. That gives Getz seven special teams touchdowns in his career. The last TN player to have seven special teams TD in a career was Northern Lehigh's Matt Sutjak (two kickoffs, five punts) from 2004-05.


STREAKING … Northern Lehigh ran its regular season win streak to 16 with a 41-0 victory over Salisbury on Friday night.

The Bulldogs won their last regular season game of 2009, all 10 of their 2010 regular season games and the first five this season.

The last TN team with a streak that long was Jim Thorpe. The Olympians won the last four of 2003, all 10 in 2004, and the first four of 2005 for a total of 18.

Northern did have a streak of 24 in 2002-04. The Bulldogs won the last eight of 2002, all 10 of 2003 and the first six of 2004.


RALLY BEARS ... Pleasant Valley recovered from a 14-7 deficit last Friday to gain a win against Tamaqua.

The Bears have now posted wins in four of the last 13 occasions they trailed after two quarters.

Since 1987, PV's record when trailing at the intermission is 20-131, a winning percentage of .132.


CATCHING ON ... Lehighton's Jacen Nalesnik had 11 catches for 191 yards against Pocono Mountain East last Friday.

Both those numbers put Nalesnik among the best in the area in recent history.

Since 1995, the 11 catches tie two other players for the most in a single game. Lehighton's Shane McEvoy had 11 catches twice during the 2007 season while Jim Thorpe's Josh Hontz also had 11 receptions in a game during that '07 campaign.

As for the 191 receiving yards, that figure ranks as the seventh most in the TN area since the 1988 season. The top six include Panther Valley's Fenton Black (252 on 11/14/92), Jim Thorpe's Don Evans (250 on 9/23/00), Lehighton's Chris Green (245 on 11/23/91), Panther Valley's Tom Rosahac (237 on 9/8/89), Jim Thorpe's Kysheem Lynch (195 on 10/3/08) and Thorpe's Michael Cody (194 on 10/28/00).

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