Guido: Moments to remember from '12 football
As the local high school football season appears in the rear-view mirror, it's time to take a look at the season that was with this year's awards.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Joe Holliday of Highlands and Regis Scheibel of Knoch have served as public address announcers at their respective football games for 55 years.
Scheibel has been the voice of Knoch Knights Stadium since the place opened in 1958. Holliday's tenure goes back to the Har-Brack era.
Most Memorable Moment
When Springdale's Sean Dugan became the third player in area history to reach 4,000 career rushing yards, he did it in style with a 58-yard touchdown run against Riverview on Oct. 26.
Play of the Year
Valley clinched a playoff spot when Chaz Cheatham hauled in Daniel Farinelli's 11-yard scoring pass with 41 seconds left in the game to defeat Kittanning, 20-17, on Oct. 19.
Fox Chapel. Foxes' opponents have a record of 48-35 going into this weekend's action.
1964 Philadelphia Phillies Award
Poor Northgate. The Flames were soaring with a 5-0 mark in the Eastern Conference on Oct. 5, needing just one more win to clinch a playoff berth. But they lost their last three games and ended up staying home for the postseason.
Factoid of the Year
The local football season ended on Nov. 2. That's the earliest such ending since 1910.
Defensive plays of the year
Just call them the Burrell Bataways. Twice when opposing players were headed for touchdowns, Burrell defenders batted away the ball from the runner. Both times the ball rolled through the end zone, and the Bucs were awarded a touchback.
Apollo-Ridge kicker Lonnie Wells booted a 19-yard field goal as time expired to give the Vikings a 20-19 win over Northgate on Oct. 12. Apollo-Ridge had recovered a fumble with under two minutes to play.
Upset of the year
At first glance, Valley's 9-8 win over Freeport on Sept. 21 was the biggest surprise. But as the season went on, Valley continued to do well — so was it that big of an upset? Instead, let's call it in favor of Knoch's 21-0 victory at Mars on Oct. 12. The Knights had lost their previous two games, while Mars was undefeated.
Allegheny Conference teams were swept in the opening night of the playoffs. That gives the conference a 3-16 playoff record the last four seasons. Ouch.
Aimless Fact of the Year
This is the 45th year of Highlands High School. Har-Brack High School was around only 44 years. Yet, many in the Natrona Heights area look more fondly upon the Har-Brack days than anything involving Highlands.
Outlook for 2013
Highlands and Apollo-Ridge are setting up for successful seasons next year, losing a minimum of starters through graduation. ... Shady Side Academy needs five wins to hit 500 in school history. ... Can Freeport coach John Gaillot extend his streak of five playoffs in five seasons as a head coach?
George Guido is a Valley News Dispatch scholastic sports correspondent. His column appears Wednesdays.