District IV Holds Media Day
Written by: Dave Fegley on Tuesday, July 23rd, 2019
Teams ready to kick off the season
Whether the summer lovers are ready or not, football season is right around the corner. One sign of that is when the players put on their jerseys and travel with their coaches to all meet in one place. For District IV, it was their annual media day on Tuesday afternoon held at the Williamsport Country Club where the head coaches and a handful of their top players are in attendance to discuss what is in store for the upcoming high school season on the gridiron.
Nearly 20 schools were represented at the 4th Annual event. Last years District IV champions Muncy (1A), Southern Columbia (2A), Montoursville (3A), and Jersey Shore (4A) are each looking to defend their crown. “It is a new year and everyone is always trying knock off the champions so you need to go out and compete at the highest level each week,” said SCA’s coach Jim Roth. “This district is very competitive and has a lot of quality teams in it.”
One of the greatest benefits of this event is giving athletes the opportunity to practice speaking in front of the public, some of which have never had the opportunity to do so before. “This is a great event not just for the coaches to get to talk to the media, but also for the players that don’t have the opportunity to do this on a daily basis,” said Lewisburg coach Marc Persing. “Anytime the kids have the opportunity to practice for an interview later in life is a positive opportunity.”
Obviously the team in District IV that garnered the most attention, and has for the better part of the decade, is the nine-time State Champions from Southern Columbia. The Tigers enter 2019 riding a 32-game winning streak off of back-to-back state titles. “The football season is my favorite time of the year and this is the sign that it is right around the corner,” said Tiger running back and Michigan commit Gaige Garcia. With the media attention swarmed around the Tigers table, they know that it is just talk for now. “It doesn’t mean too much because we can’t look at it as who is getting the most attention. We need to focus on the results of the upcoming season,” SCA’s all-state linebacker Max Tillett said.
Jersey Shore’s coach Tim Gravish talked about the family feel of the district, but on Friday night’s that is put to the side. “We enjoy watching the other teams and players success on the film, but when it comes to game time it is all about how your own team performs against the opponent,” said Gravish. Some of the coaches were excited to see some of their close friends as well. “This is a really awesome event to see some of your good coaching friends and colleagues. I get to spend time with my high school coach and some other guys that you compete against on Friday nights,” Shamokin second year coach Henry Hynoski said.
Some of the coaches and players mark this as the start of the football season. “This is exciting because it’s the start to the season. The juices are flowing and the players are excited to go up and compete against the other people that are at this event around the district,” Bloomsburg‘s coach Kevin Seabrook stated. With the coaches ready to try and put together a winning season, they all know what the bottom line is. “This is more about the kids than anything else. Other districts have had this for years and our district’s coaches got together and Loyalsock’s Justin Van Fleet really got it to take off. The is great exposure for all the teams that are able to attend,” said North Penn-Mansfield’s veteran coach Tom Dickinson.
Now that the summer lifting and training is winding down, we are less than a month away from seeing the product of each team that is competing to win one of the four District IV Championships and then make a deep run into the state playoffs in 2019. “We are excited and ready to get the pads on and go out to compete for a state championship. That’s the ultimate goal,” said reigning Pennsylvania Player of the Year, and Ohio State commit, Julian Fleming from Southern Columbia.
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