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Written by: Pat Weider on Monday, August 30th, 2021
J.P. McCaskey breaks through with a win after losing 26 straight games. A 27-20 win over ReadingOn Saturday interim head coach Ben Thompson started his career with a win. Starting 1-0 is a great feeling for those players, coaches, and for interim head coach Ben Thompson. I sat down with Thompson for a few minutes to talk about the win and the upcoming game this Friday against long-time rival York High.
1)After you won the game what was the 1st thing you thought of? Whether we were standing at the hash or shaking hands after the game. So you are always thinking about the next thing as a coach.
2) How good do you feel for the players to win the game? It was very emotional for a lot of the guys. My 1st year coaching these 12th grades were 10th graders and it was their 1st varsity win for them. Very excited at that moment. A lot of tears and joy.
3) What individual players stood out in victory? The offense as a whole did really good things. We believe in the team mentality. We will never rely on one guy to get the job done. We really want to spread the ball out. For us, we don’t like to do much explaining. It never really changes between each player.
4) Any nerves being the head coach for the 1st time? That morning by about 12. It was more so about making sure everything is prepared. Making sure everything was printed and everything was in place. Making sure that everything was taken care of.
5) Describe the excitement for the 1st home game against York? It should be a great atmosphere on Friday. I am sure we are expecting a good group of fans after we won this week. Our job as coaches and players is to continue to execute the game plan and do our jobs. That’s all we can focus on.
Player of the Week– Nicholas Singleton of Governor Mifflin. The Penn State commit put on a show Saturday night at York High. 281 yards rushing and 5 TDs. Impressive showing.
Team of the week- Manheim Central. Manheim Central had their 1st losing season since 1974 last year. Well, all looks good in week 1 of this year when Manheim took care of Mid-Penn power Cumberland Valley Friday night 35-7. Impressive win. Next week Hempfield travels to Manheim. I will be there to cover the game.
Coach of the week– John Brubaker of Penn Manor. Penn Manor has been down the last few years, but coach Brubaker has been building a program at Penn Manor. On Friday they showed true grit with a big win against Conestoga Valley 16-12 on Friday.
Play of the week– I went to Red Lion vs. Cedar Cliff on Friday. As a former head coach, I love looking at the plays and breaking down the xs and os of football. Anyways Red Lion ran counter criss-cross an old Wing-T play for a touchdown. They ran it from a spread look, but very similar to the old Wing-T play designed below. In this play, a player takes the ball on a jet sweep and hands it off to a player coming in the other direction. It works great against teams looking for a jet sweep. Awesome to see.
Football has 4 downs, so here are 4 thoughts from what I saw, watched, and heard this week:
1) Governor Mifflin is legit. I think Mifflin will have a chance to make a playoff run this year after coming up short against Pine-Richland in last year’s playoff. They have a dynamic player in Nicholas Singleton, a good offensive line, and a ball-control offense. This week they get Wilson. Should be a good one.
2) Columbia had an impressive week 1 win against Eastern York. 46-25. QB Robert Footman put on a show with over 300 yards passing and 5 TDs. Great start to the year.
3) Section 1 of Lancaster Lebanon should be very interesting. Wilson, Manheim Township, Hempfield, Cedar Crest, McCaskey, and Penn Manor all got victories Friday. Should be a wide-open section 1.
4) The biggest jump a team can make is from week 1 to week 2. I fully expect big improvements from many teams who struggled in week 1.
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