Thursday, November 8, 2012


By Don Seeley

Years ago, Roger Maris and Hank Aaron (the steroid-free sultans of swat) erased the immortal Babe Ruth’s single-season and career home run records that were thought to be untouchable. Eric Dickerson ran up and past O.J. Simpson’s single-season rushing record that, for the 11 years it stood, was deemed beyond anyone’s reach. And just the other week, Drew Brees bettered the legendary Johnny Unitas’ consecutive games with at least one touchdown pass record that remained intact for 52 years.
But all records were not made to be broken.
Like Pele’s 1,281 career goals in soccer; like Wilt “The Stilt” Chamberlain’s 100-point burst in an NBA game at Hershey; like Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak; or like Georgia Tech’s college football comedy, a 220-0 laugher, over Cumberland back in 1916.
And when it comes to high school football – at least in this area – it’s hard to imagine anyone will ever again go unbeaten and unscored upon in a season … not since playoffs have been added to the schedules.
Going back to 1887, when The Hill School kicked off the area’s first official or sanctioned season, only five teams have achieved the feat. The Hill was the first, going 6-0 and outscoring its opponents 157-0 in 1900. The last to do it was the former Spring City High School, going 6-0 and outscoring its opponents 79-0 in 1940.
Hill actually did it again in 1909, but was 6-0-1 that season, and got the hat trick with its third perfect season in 1922. However, other than Spring City, the only other public schools to win everything with zeroes behind them were Phoenixville (8-0, 133-0) and the former Pennsburg High School (5-0, 107-0) in 1932.
There have been 29 unbeaten and untied teams in the history of area football, with Hill School owning 18 of them. Another 27 teams have gone unbeaten along with a tie or two in a season.
The closest anyone has come since those pre-playoff days was Pottstown, just 10 years ago. The Trojans blanked Daniel Boone in their opener, shut out eight of their nine Pioneer Athletic Conference rivals and allowed just a field goal to Spring-Ford. But they were overpowered by Strath Haven, 35-7, in the first round of the District 1-AAA playoffs.
Since 2000, Pottsgrove had four undefeated regular seasons before finishing with one loss. The Falcons, who posted their fifth unblemished regular season run this fall (10-0), open the District 1-AAA playoffs tonight against visiting Strath Haven.
Bottom line, to go unbeaten, untied and unscored upon in one football season will never ever happen again.

Methacton needs a win over Norristown on Saturday for its second straight winning season, something the program hasn’t produced since 1997-98. … Perkiomen Valley, which already clinched its second straight winning season for the first time since stringing together three in a row from 1997 through 1999, needs a win over Saucon Valley tonight for its eighth, or most since 2007 (9-2). … Pottstown needs a win tonight against Great Valley and another on Thanksgiving against Owen J. Roberts to close at .500, which would be the Trojans first non-losing season since 2003 (5-5). … Spring-Ford needs two more wins for its first back-to-back, 10-win seasons since 1994-95 and to tie the school’s single-season record of 11 wins (1992, 1994).

Pottsgrove’s Tory Hudgins needs 62 yards rushing to become just the third area quarterback to run for 3,000 or more career yards. With any kind of postseason run, Hudgins could end scooting by Daniel Boone’s Tommy Bodolus (3,001) and former Falcon teammate Terrell Chestnut (3,178) as the all-time leader in yards rushing by a quarterback. … Next year, Perkiomen Valley’s Rasaan Stewart could join that short list. A junior, Stewart has run for 1,614 yards going into tonight’s season finale at Saucon Valley. … Speaking of quarterbacks, Spring-Ford’s Hank Coyne has thrown for 4,993 yards in his career – fourth-best in area history. With at least two games remaining, the senior is within reach of former Daniel Boone standouts Jon Monteiro (5,098) and Chris Boskosky (5,297) to finish No. 2 all-time. Coyne is third in completions (346), fourth in attempts (626) and fifth in touchdowns (56). He’ll need 29 completions and 51 attempts to finish first all-time in those categories. … Perkiomen Valley junior Clay Domine last week became just the ninth player to go over 1,000 career receiving yards, and needs 37 more catches to become just the seventh to have 100 career receptions. … Pope John Paul’s Jamal Stinson came close to both milestones, finishing his career last week with 80 catches for 951 yards.

While mentioning all the football families divided by fathers coaching at one school and their sons playing at another, there is one particular family that lines up together at Pope John Paul II - the Bildsteins.
Jim is an assistant coach, his wife Christine is a tireless volunteer and unwavering fan of all sports), and their two sons – senior Josh Bildstein and junior John Bildstein – are part of the Golden Panthers’ program.
Last Saturday, Josh’s efforts on the offensive line helped PJP run the ball a school-record 56 times for a school-record 403 yards in the season-ending win over Upper Perkiomen. John, who carried once for four yards in the game, caught 21 passes for 254 yards and two touchdowns this season. Both also contributed defensively on the line and in the secondary, respectively.
Don Seeley is the sports editor of The Mercury. His high school football column appears Tuesdays and Fridays through Thanksgiving or the end of the PIAA playoffs. He can be reach at

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