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The Founders of PFN, Tom Elling and Rich Vetock

The Founders of PFN, Tom Elling and Rich Vetock

The year was 1997. Two men that loved high school sports met to discuss the possibility of developing a high school football newspaper that would, in essence, cover the entire state of Pennsylvania.

The two men, Tom Elling and Rich Vetock, counted on their knowledge and involvement with high school sports to get the newspaper off the ground. While they lacked expertise in putting a paper together, they forged on, learning as they went. Tom and Rich have met many outstanding people throughout their endeavors and will always be beholden to the contributors, coaches, fans and student-athletes for the cooperation that they provided over the years.

It was in the same year that the Pennsylvania Football News newspaper was developed and while in the infancy stages, it was very well-received by the coaches across the state and the fans that followed high school football. It was the first high school football newspaper to be published in the Keystone State! The late Dr. Roger Saylor called the PFN collaboration as ‘THE unification of the entire state of Pennsylvania high school football.’

The hard copy newspaper (which was adopted by the PSFCA as their OFFICIAL newspaper) continued for 7 years before the age of computers warranted a move from the hard copy to internet publishing. This continued through 2013. It was then the the two men decided that after 17 years they were ready to hand the site off. Josh Funk took the site for a year, but he was unable to continue. They then turned the reins over to Chris Kucharski. Chris kept the site going but with his new venture in Northeastern PA gaining traction, the last few years of PFN under his tutelage  weren’t up to his normally high standards. In June of 2018, while trying to juggle two websites, he decided he “just didn’t have time to dedicate to keep growing PFN.”

It was then that Billy Splain took the site over. For 18 years, Billy ran and grew, alongside partner site Easternpafootball, into a Western PA football internet giant. Being from Berwick, his passion for football is apparent and the founding fathers were very excited about their websites new owner.

“I believe I have the passion for high school football and the drive to build on what everyone before me created. I’ve built relationships with nearly every program in the state over the years, so it was just a natural fit that I folded WPA and took over PFN. I’m excited to see what the future holds and how large PFN can become.”

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