The Big Picture 23 – Our Boys of Fall

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The BIG Picture

BY Paula G.
Ace Sports Reporter

Our boys of fall
November 7, 2010

Langhorne: Wow – another regular season in the books; another ten games packed away for all time. And just like that too, as it seems like it was just yesterday that we all drove up north a ways to watch the ‘Skins play Souderton as the 2010 campaign got underway. It just flew by, didn’t it? But no doubt it’s been a successful one so far as the boys posted a 9-1 record and snagged an SOL National Conference co-championship as well as the number four seed in the District One playoffs. Great job (I’m sure we all agree on that) and so from all of us fans to the players and staff: Congratulations on what you have accomplished to date and thank you for leaving it on the field all year long (it’s not over yet, though, and I′d be remiss if I didn’t remind everyone that the opportunity continues for more of those “accomplishments” as Round One of the playoffs starts this coming Friday night right at the Ridge against a tough Upper Dublin Cardinals club).

Now moving right along, you all might recall that I wrote short story just before the season that featured the Kenny Chesney song and video “The boys of fall”. It turned to be a big hit with the fans as our email box was filled to the brim with “thumbs up” (and if you missed it – here′s the the link but get back over here and to this story after you watched it a few times). You back? Okay, I’d suggest you all take a moment to wipe those misty eyes dry and then keep on reading.

Anyway, now that we’ve shot right through the ten week regular season (and reflecting on Mr. Chesney’s song and video), I thought maybe we should stop for a moment and take stock of just what this latest group of Redskins has given us, these boys of 2010 – our boys of fall. Well, to start with they’ve given us plenty of good times as we got to sit and watch them all season long (and amazingly those good times have already started to become good memories that we’ll all be enjoying for years to come). Plus we also got to know a whole bunch of new names and players; ‘Skins we hadn’t known before but are now as familiar with as an old friend. Guys like Sean Ulmer, Anthony Woodroffe, Justin Andrews, Bobby Marterella, Sean Sheridan, Denny Lord, John Bell, Nate Lasalvia, Tadas Karusevicius, Kiser Terry, Cole Creighton, Kyle George, Alex McCaulley, Alex McKenzie, Tyler Masterson, T.J. Magdelinskas, Dylan Donnelly, Devin Carmichael, Ron Smith, Adam Gillen, Mike Wunderlich, Chino Duru, Joe Bianchino, Devon Brown and on and on.

We also got to enjoy watching some players we’ve known a bit longer. Players like Corey Majors, Charlie Marterella, Marco Dapkey, Nick DiDonato, Shane Quinn, Chris Kutsobos, Dwight Williams, Bryan Reice, Ryan Katona, Tyler Stabilito, Keenan Skeels, Brandon Martynuik and the likes. Plus there were plenty of other guys who got out on the field for not so many plays but we’re sure we’ll be seeing plenty of them over the coming years. So thank you guys – thank you to all of you guys on the team so very, very much.

Another “thing” our boys gave us all was a chance to renew the spirit of our youth too. You have to admit, I’m sure, that it′s kind of contagious – their enthusiasm and energy and belief that they can do it; their belief in themselves and the future. And although I’m not trying to get philosophical about the whole thing there sure is something fun about getting away from some of the trials and chores of life on a Friday night and watching the latest edition of the ‘Skins as they make it happen on the gridiron. Yep, it sure takes you back, back to that time when we were their age and life was still, in large part, in front of each us and still filled with nothing but optimism, hope and wonder. So thank you for that too, guys, thank you for letting us enjoy that feeling if even for just a moment.

Now wrapping this little story up, and once again, it seemed like we waited forever for it to start (the season) and here it is all over (the regular season). It just goes way too fast. So the real point of this story, you see, is to make sure that this year′s team, this year’s Tribe, realizes just how much we love them and how much we loved — and love – watching them play; yeah, just how much we love the 2010 Redskins. So now I hope they’ll know how we feel; and I hope they won’t ever forget that this year, this season, they were our guys and that for all time they’ll always be “Our boys of fall”.

And now to you players; enjoy the remainder of your year. Get out there during this second season and give it 100% on every play. Don’t save a thing for tomorrow; make your legacy – this is your time to shine, right here and now. So grab hold and don’t let go.

Now get out there and show us what you got. Go get ’em Redskins, go get ’em!

The quest for accuracy!

A few weeks back it seems the whole world was all in a tizzy as the ‘Skins were apparently one game away from 500 wins (as they are right now with the win over Pennsbury putting them at 499). But just when the champagne was put on ice in preparation for the party, the gang at Neshaminy Football dot com put the brakes on the celebration as it seems there was a math error (and that there were but 497 wins and not 499). Well, we caught a little good natured ribbing about that so I thought I better do “some splainin” (I believe that’s what Ricky used to “request” of Lucy when she had caused another mess).

Anyway, the error was as simple as it gets – the decade totals for the ′30s and ′40s were each off by one win (in other words, we had added the wins for each decade and made a schoolboy 101 math error and that’s not meaning an extra win was included somewhere in the official year-over-year results on the site but rather, the total that was arrived at by adding up the wins was off by one extra for each decade). We found out when we were tightening things up for the final count during the season (during the preseason we had relied on the count reached by referencing those figures I just discussed). As it was, we caught the error when we were matching up total combined wins of the head coaches and contrasting that figure with the decade totals. Our apologies for delaying the shindig (but if we celebrate number 500 this coming Friday, I’m sure it will be just as much fun). By the way, if you’re confused by all of this you can imagine how we felt (kinda like when you’re balancing your checkbook and it’s off by a dollar but you can’t find the problem). But it’s fixed so now we can move on.

On another note, someone asked how the records were assembled in the first place. Well, six years ago when Bob was putting the site together there was no single source available (with the team’s records). In fact, the sources that were ultimately utilized consisted of “Index Cards” provided by the school’s athletic office (filled out for pretty much every year back to the beginning – but not quite all the way); newspaper articles from The Courier Times, Delaware Valley Advance, Newtown Enterprise and The Philadelphia Inquirer; year books; game programs; scrapbooks; Don Black’s ePA Sports football histories of Pennsylvania teams; and, compendiums produced by the great Dr. Roger B. Saylor (author of the Saylor Ratings for so many, many years) including Pennsylvania Scholastic Football Teams Record Book (1887-1997) and Scholastic Football in Southeastern Pennsylvania (1887 – 1979).

Now you’d think that with that much in the way of documentation the task would have been a cakewalk – it wasn’t, especially for the early years of the late twenties and into the thirties (the 1940s to the present were not quite as difficult). And by difficult what we mean is that there was conflicting information! In that case, we chose to use the most reliable information (newspaper articles) backed up by a secondary source (a yearbook or something along those lines including game programs or newspaper article recaps of the history of a series which was very popular back in the day). After spending a year on that project, we reached a point where we were confident that our record was as accurate as could be.

Now you might ask how could there be a conflict in what took place? Well, just ask any “historian” who has taken on the task of detailing early high school football games (it’s not as easy as you think). In fact, being revealed for the first time here are what we call the “lost games” of 1921, 1926 and three games from 1928. That’s right, although not verified in any two sources we found undocumented mention of a single game in 1921 against Jenkintown and another against Bristol in 1926. Curiously, Langhorne-Middletown School District actually came into being in 1924 so the 1921 game would have had to have been just Langhorne High which had barely enough students to field a team if everyone played (while one wonders why a single game would have been scheduled with Bristol in 1926 which would have been the equivalent of a “single A” school deciding to take on a powerhouse 4A club just for fun). By the way, both the games are indicated as losses.

Then for 1928 there are references to three other games having been played instead of just the one (including one which resulted in a win over Morrisville). Since this information could not be verified by reliable secondary sources it was disregarded during the compilation process.

So as it stands, the site believes its records are as accurate as can exist with regard to Neshaminy’s win-loss record going into this Friday’s playoff game with Upper Dublin (and which is currently 499-297-34). So with that said, let’s get the champagne back on ice and should the ‘Skins prevail in game one of the District playoffs then we say: “Let the corks pop and the bubbly flow!” But first things first, of course, which is that there is a game to be played – so let’s concentrate on that and only that. For as one of Neshaminy’s greatest head coaches, Jack Schwartz, once said to his charges: “Stay on the game, that’s what it’s all about; and then play with pride and respectability. The wins will take care of themselves.”

Go ‘Skins!