Good Wednesday to everyone!
Here’s to hoping these brief blog posts give many of you the break you need from the calamity that is the real world out there. That’s what we are here for, just a little distraction, trying to make your days brighter.
Here is my daily reminder to go to the newsstands and grab a copy of The Times-Tribune. Listen, these posts and online content is great, but you too can become Al Bundy, like I am, and bring out the old scrapbook when your kids or grandkids get older. So make sure you get the paper!
OK, Wednesday is it.
The final day of my tour Around the Camps. Thursday I will be on the road for me weekly feature story that will be on the cover of GameFace for Week 1. That’s tomorrow, Wednesday, I hit the road for my last two stops with a morning visit to Montrose and an afternoon trip to Carbondale Area.
Now before I go off on another rant, I need to find the person responsible for coordinating the road construction and the oil and chips projects. Not to yell at the person, but to meet them, because they must be following my tour and assigning every roadway on my trips. On Wednesday, things were great along Interstate 81, but then, amazingly, I got behind three VERY large 18-wheelers delivering some heavy material and traveling very slowly. I still managed to arrive at Montrose on time, however, I chose to take an alternate route home to avoid and unnecessary delays. Lo and behold, three of the streets I took had oil and chip work being done. Glad I didn’t wash the KIA Rio for the trip!
OK, back to football.
I also promised E.J. Weston, former Valley View linebacker legend who teamed with Rick Bray, Ken Kunchak and Rigo Vangarelli to make my junior year visit to John Henzes/Veterans Memorial Stadium very painful, a favor. You know for how poorly he treated me in that 1986 game, you would think I would hold a grudge, but E.J. is a good guy and I will say this, an amazing softball coach. More importantly, you will be hard pressed to find a more devoted or loyal Cougar. So, doing this favor is my honor.
CELEBRATING THE COUGARS
A ceremony honoring former Valley View head coach and Hall of Famer Frank Pazzaglia and the late Tom Krempasky, his longtime assistant, will be held Friday, Sept. 1 before the Cougars host Delaware Valley.
Former players are being asked to arrive at the field house no later than 6:30 p.m. to present plaques at midfield.
There will also be a community salute to coach Pazzaglia on Sept. 2 at the Archbald AC Field at 3 p.m.
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased by contacting Scott Mackinder at 570-406-3385 or E.J. Weston at 570-575-5043.
For additional information, visit the “Frank Pazzaglia Tribute Celebration” page on Facebook.
Pazzaglia was the first head coach at Valley View in 1969 after the jointure of Blakely, Jessup and Archbald High Schools. In his career at Valley View, his teams won 12 Big 11 championships, five Eastern Conference championships and the 1992 PIAA Class 2A championship. He had a record of 317-108-8, including undefeated teams in 1971 and 1992.
Proceeds will be used to establish a scholarship in the names of Pazzaglia and coach Krempasky.
It was a glorious day. The ringing in my ear is still annoying the heck out of me, but we plug forward.
It’s kind of a weird feeling, two weeks ago I had no idea how or if I would make it through another year visiting the camps. All that anxiety and in the blink of an eye, I am done.
After eight years, I really appreciate the coaches of the LFC. There is nothing more disrupting to a practice, than a 235-pound, balding man with a bad limp, holding an iPhone as if he knows what he is doing, and walking (more like stumbling) around through a practice. I know, I coached. So, thank you, again for all the cooperation.
VISIT No. 1
I headed out to Montrose, but not before getting up at 6 a.m. to finish the PIAA football preview story that I had forgotten about the past two weeks. So I researched the top teams in the state for the season and threw something together as a potpourri like Scotty Walsh does dinner. Then, it was off to Montrose. The Meteors are a team building and were very gracious on my visit. Hats off to the Parents’ Club which put together a fantastic lunch for the players. There is great support at the school. Again, the Meteors have a new head coach in Steven Miller. He is eager and excited to get back to the fundamentals.
Visit No. 2
Of course my dear friends at Carbondale Area always think I push them back and push them back in this tour. Come on guys, I am just saving the best for last. And this season, fans better look out for the Chargers. This is a group of players that has been together for three and four years with a lot of starting experience. If they can stay healthy, a revival of the 2013 season could be at hand. There are a lot of good weapons and some, big and experienced linemen.
HERE’S A RECAP OF THE TOUR
2017 MONTROSE METEORS
Steve Miller will be the fifth head coach the program has had since Tom Lucenti resigned following the 2005 season. The kids remain enthusiastic about the program and are eager to get things turned around after a 1-9 season in 2016. There are a lot of starters returning and if they can stay healthy, the Meteors could be a competitive team this season.
Did you know?
It is the 10-year anniversary of the New York Giants win in Super Bowl XLI that ended the New England Patriots perfect season. Former Montrose all-state lineman Chris Snee started all 16 games and the playoffs for the Giants and it catapulted him to an All-Pro career and a spot on the New York Giants Ring of Honor.
PUTTING THE TIME IN
Tyler Dovin is ready to lead the team in 2017. He will be used more as a running back this season and he will be counted on to help the defense where he started last season at outside linebacker.
2017 CARBONDALE AREA CHARGERS
There is a buzz in Carbondale so loud it keeps Chris Imperiale up all day (because you know, that’s when he sleeps). The Chargers have more returning starters than any team in the LFC Division III and some of them are four-year starters. This is as experienced a group as coach Larry Gabriel III or LG3 has had in his career. There will be no sneaking up on anybody for the Chargers in 2017.
CHARGERS POSTSEASON APPEARANCES
- CLASS 2A: 1992, 1996, 2007, 2013
- CLASS 1A: 2000, 2001
Senior quarterback Jordan Tolerico begins his fourth season as the starter. He has thrown for almost 2,000 yards in his career and led the team to nine wins in three seasons.
HITTING THE FINISH LINE
That’s a wrap on the 8th annual tour Around the Camps. It’s always nice to get to see the new faces and the returning players. It gives me a better idea of how the teams will do, but really nobody knows anything until after Week 1.
Here is the scrimmage schedule for Saturday:
North Pocono at Old Forge, 10 a.m.
Mid Valley, West Scranton at Pittston Area, 10 a.m.
Coughlin at Scranton, 10 a.m.
Wyalusing at Montrose, 10 a.m.
Scranton Prep at Crestwood, 10 a.m.
Lackawanna Trail, Abington Heights, Wallenpaupack at Western Wayne, 10 a.m.
Dallas at Dunmore, 10 a.m.
Meyers at Carbondale Area, 10 a.m.
Valley View at Riverside, 10 a.m.
Honesdale at Hanover Area, 10 a.m.
Athens at Susquehanna, 10 a.m.
Wyoming Area at Lakeland, 10 a.m.
Bethlehem Liberty at Delaware Valley, 11 a.m.
Nanticoke at Holy Cross, 6 p.m.
Which reminds me. … GAMEFACE 2017 arrives in The Sunday Times.
Make sure you get a copy. Why? Because I am asking you too. I know most people think I just sit at my desk and watch Forensic Files all summer, but the preseason football insert is always on my mind. Plus, that Conor Foley, he is a demanding copy editor/designer.
Hey, I got a look at it. … Conor and Chris did an amazing job once again. Jason Farmer created wonderful visuals with the photos. Herb Smith did all the hard work. Come to think of it, I really don’t do much in the summer!
Still, make sure you pick up a copy!
Keep looking for my Blog posts, especially on Thursday’s.
Have a great weekend!