Boy, take a day off, and you miss the world.

Recently, I’ve made it a habit to attend the PIAA’s sports steering committees (that’s where the seed is planted for changes in PIAA championships), and had every intention to attend last week’s football steering committee, but some other business intervened and I skipped it. Wish I hadn’t.

At that meeting, the football steering committee voted 11-0 with two members absent to propose move up the first date of football practice starting with the 2012-2013 school year.

In short, there has been much cursing and gnashing of teeth about the 16-week football season in Pennsylvania: Too long, runs deep into December, affects boys’ basketball and wrestling. All true, IMO. But the 16-week season has also allowed all PIAA districts to conduct their respective football championships as they wish (with just a few exceptions) and especially allows the WPIAL to retain its one-day, four-game championship day at Heinz Field.

As District 3 football chairman John Ziegler said at Tuesday’s meeting, “There’s no putting the 16-week genie back in the bottle.” Actually, it was something even a little more folksy, but I forgot to write it down.

As a result, the football steering committee is making a pitch to move up the start of football practice by a week statewide. As the 11-0 vote shows, the issue, which has been raised before and mumbled (rather than shouted) down, now has some serious support. In 2012, that would change the starting practice date from Aug. 13 to Aug. 6 and the first playing date from Aug. 31 to Aug. 24.

Ergo, the question: What’s worse, football on Aug. 4 or football on Dec. 11? And the other question: What’s worse, affecting 8 football teams and hundreds or basketball and wrestling teams or all of the state’s football teams?

District 3 knows where it stands on the issue: Heck, no.

District 3 will vote against the matter when it it raised at Thursday’s PIAA Board of Directors meeting in Hershey. And remember, there are 8 PIAA Board members who either represent, are associated with or live in District 3.

District 3 committee member Don Seidenstricker, the head football coach and AD at South Western High School in Hanover, summed up District 3’s basic position with the following: “This is insanity.”

He’s right, of course. The entire football season should be 15 weeks max (I prefer 14 weeks by shortening the regular season to nine games and expanding classes to six or seven, which these days is a bigger pipe dream than scoring the Mega Millions jackpot).

But the reality is this: Until some folks on the PIAA Board are willing to say “no” to their own, 16 weeks is the present and the future for Pennsylvania football. And an early start to the season, distatseful as it might be to many, the early start is the only solution to this mid-blowingly political problem.


Folks, I have to apologize for not updating the site on Tuesday, but for once I have a good reason and not a lame-o excuse like my nutty pups.

I spent the day refining and then actually giving a presentation to the District 3 Committee for a position with the district as its webmaster and director of corporate sponsorships.

I’m pleased to announce that the district, after some healthy discussion on the matter, has approved the job. I thank the committee, and especially chairman Sam Elias of Hershey and vice-chairman Ron Kennedy of Donegal, with deep gratitude.

In brief, I have been charged with upgrading the District 3 site and providing the site with daily content as well as establishing permanent features. In addition, District 3, much like District 7, is actively seeking corporate sponsorships for its championship events. I am thrilled to be the point man for this initiative. The district will be seeking everything from major sponsors (a la District 7) to low-cost sponsorships for specific sports.

I will have details soon on the new District 3 website, which I hope to have up by Christmas. In the meantime, if you are interested in sponsoring District 3 championships at any level or know of an individual or business that is interested in the same, please feel free to contact me at or call me at 717-919-5144. I will be happy to explain District 3’s different levels of sponsorship that are designed to work with any budget.

Now, what does this mean for Is this the end of the site? Hardly.

What will happen with is a shift in philosophy, but not in content. I’ll be less of a reporter / blogger (because of time), but still very heavy on daily information. I will have to streamline my time and some of the information. I’ll have shorter, to-the-point blog posts and more links directly to the information.

I still intend to cover PIAA championships andpost everything I can related to PIAA news. For example, I’ll cover Friday morning’s PIAA Board of Directors meeting as well as all four football championship games this weekend.

But are some things that will necessarily change. For instance, I know some readers are looking for District 3 wrestling rankings on the site, but unfortunately, I cannot so them for two reasons. Now that I am actively working for District 3, I do not believe it is ethical for me to post district rankings, which are an opinion. It could be construed as the official position of District 3, and that cannot ever be the case. In addition, I am doing the team wrestling power ratings, which will formally qualify and seed the District 3 team Championships. I cannot be in the position of putting up my own rankings while working the official ratings; it’s a conflict of interest, and neither District 3 nor I can be in that position.

So I have to back away from my own rankings, but I’ll be happy to post the rankings of others. As such, things will change a little, but not in a way that’s detrimental to the readers of, readers for which I am extremely grateful.

Thanks to all who have chosen since the site launched in February. The site isn’t going away. In fact, it will have a sharper focus as a result of my work with District 3.

Keep checking. There will be plenty of items on the site in the coming days, weeks and months.



I receive a lot of comments via e-mail, and today I was most pleased to receive this pleasant and appreciated comment from reader Bill:

From bill on Contact us #

Rod, Wonderful effort—-a grand display by you to keeping good things going. Can we send a donation or tribute? …

Well, first of all, many thanks to the otherwise anonymous Bill. Comments like that help keep my enthusiasm level high.

But Bill did bring up that rather sensitive subject of money. This gives me an opportunity to make a little pre-emptive announcement.

As a dot com, I cannot accept donations toward the site. I run a (very) small business, subject to the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and those fine folks at the Internal Revenue Service. So any income I derive through the website must come in the form of either sales or sponsorships.

I am on the cusp of seeking both. Soon – very soon – I will have some gear available for sale. No, you won’t have a slick, four-color brochure to peruse. I will have just one product to start: Simple, white T-shirts with the red-and-black logo across the front.

I will make those shirts available for sale via the website in a week or so; I still have to set up my PayPal account and install it on my site.

If you like the site, please consider purchasing one as a way of supporting the site. They will be sold a small profit, the monies of which will be used to support the site.

I do not plan on making a subscription site … ever. That’s not a great business decision, to be honest, but I have always believed that the information on the site should not be for sale. I just want readers throughout the state and beyond to have a vault of information that they can access 24/7 without the annoyance of logging in or even paying a small fee for the privilege.

The simple fact is I love covering and commenting on Pennsylvania high school sports and have since I wandered into The Progress of Clearfield 37 years ago looking for a job answering phones (thanks, Fred Kavelak!). It’s a passion, and passion doesn’t have a price.

The T-shirts will, though. But it will be a reasonable one. Look for the announcement soon.

And thanks to all who have viewed the site (just about 400,000 and growing since February).

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