By Don Seeley
FAST FIVE: My final thoughts on the 2012 high school football season...
1. When in God's name is the PIAA going to go with separate playoff brackets for the public and private schools? It is done in other states, so why not Pennsylvania? Whatever happened to the level playing field? That's quite a challenge when very good to exceptional student-athletes (Division I-A prospects, in other words) pop up in certain lineups year after year after year, some from neighboring states no less... And whatever the PIAA may or may not do, PLEASE come up with some sort of solution to get rid of the bye week for those District 12 teams. Who ever heard of a bye week in the postseason, let alone a bye week heading into the state quarterfinals?
2. It's been a while since the PAC-10 had so many good quarterbacks ... and all in their own ways that benefited their respective teams. If you had a fantasy league, though, you'd have to go with Perkiomen Valley junior Rasaan Stewart - who put up big numbers running and throwing the football. If given space to run and time to throw next year, he'll likely better this year's total offense, which ranks No. 3 all-time in the Pioneer Athletic Conference.
3. Most improved team from beginning to end was Spring-Ford. A year ago, Spring-Ford dealt Pottsgrove its lone league loss en route to the title, but it seemed Pottsgrove was by far the better team at the end of the season after winning the District 1-AAA title for the second time in three years. This year, Pottsgrove dealt Spring-Ford its lone league loss (prior to the non-varsity starters setback to Phoenixville on Thanksgiving eve, of course), but it seemed Spring-Ford was by far the better team at the end of the season after not only becoming the PAC-10's first AAAA team to win a postseason game but to play its way to the District 1 final. Either way you look at it, both the Falcons and Rams separated themselves from the rest of the league this year.
4. I have to wonder how many passing yards Pope John Paul II quarterback James Bleming would have had if he hadn't gotten injured in Week Four and missed the rest of the season (but what a great job Matt Mesaros did in his absence)? ... And I have to wonder how many rushing yards Spring-Ford running back Jarred Jones would have had if he hadn't missed seven games to an injury and one other because of the use non-varsity starters (despite the pick-me-up efforts of Yousef Lundi and Tate Carter)?
5. And my final thought(s) that I'm sure will create a resounding roar of displeasure from some ... I'm old (which most know), and an old-fashioned football fan who loves the high school football environment on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons. What I don't like, and don't always understand, though, is why some schools must have their own version of the National Anthem (sing it the way it was written); why others are changing their alma mater (play it the way it was written); why there are no bands at some of the games; and, last but not least, why do some of the fellas up in the booth with the mic think they're on ESPN announcing the games?
Merry Christmas everyone!