Wednesday, November 27, 2013

FOOTBALL: The Poopster's Week 14 picks

The Poopster would like to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving.

By Darryl Grumling
Twitter: @MercSmokinD

Thursday's Thanksgiving Day games signify the end of the area football season, and like Spring-Ford, Phoenixville, Owen J. Roberts and Pottstown, the Poopster would like to wrap things up in successful fashion. Here's his take on this week's action:


Spring-Ford (7-1, 9-3) at Phoenixville (4-4, 4-8)
The Rams' seniors are attempting to put the finishing touches on the winningest three-year span in program history, and the Poopster likes their chances ... Spring-Ford 47-13.

Owen J. Roberts (2-6, 2-9) at Pottstown (1-7, 1-10)
The Poopster has a feeling that Pottstown's Grigg Memorial Field might resemble more of a mosh pit with all of the rain over the past two days, which should be an advantage for Wyatt Scott and the Wildcats ... Owen J. Roberts 21-13.


District 1-AAAA championship

Neshaminy (12-1) vs. North Penn (10-3)
This is a tough one for the Poopster to wrap his paws around. While he thinks Redskins and star running back D'Andre Pollard may be the better squad, he feels the Knights will somehow find a way to come out on top, perhaps on a late Matt Ammendola field goal ... North Penn 24-21.

PIAA-AAA quarterfinal

Academy Park (10-2) vs. Archbishop Wood (11-2)
Two weeks ago, the Poopster would have bet a case of Fancy Feast that Pottsgrove would be taking on the District 12 champs in this game, but the Falcons were upended 27-26 by the Knights in a 1-AAA semi. As if Academy Park wasn't already facing enough of an uphill battle, QB Brian Ingram went down with a collarbone injury last week ... Archbishop Wood 42-14.

Last week's record: 2-1 (66.7 percent)
Overall record: 85-23 (78.7 percent)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

FOOTBALL: The Poopster's Week 13 picks

The Poopster fell on hard times last week, going 2-5.

By Darryl Grumling
Twitter: @MercSmokinD

The postseason can be quite unforgiving, as the Poopster found out firsthand last week. After hitting at a nearly 90 percent strike rate (63-8) over the previous eight weeks, the orange guy came to earth with a thud louder than the one he makes when he jumps off his owner's couch, going 2-5. Nonetheless, he's back and rarin' to go as the District 1 tourney gets down to the nitty gritty. Here's his take on this week's action.


Perkiomen Valley (10-2) at North Penn (9-3)

The Poopster always gets a little conflicted when his owner (yours truly) and his owner's boss (Mercury sports editor Austin Hertzog) land on different sides of the aisle with their picks, which they did for this game. North Penn seems invincible of late, reeling off nine straight wins since an 0-3 start against state powers La Salle, Archbishop Wood and St. Joe's Prep. But Rasaan Stewart, Mark Bonomo, Clay Domine, Dakota Clanagan and Co. made believers out of the Poopster last week when they laid waste to C.B. West in the quarters. If PV can avoid turnovers, get its defense off the field in key situations, and continue to make big plays, they'll have a shot to take down the perennial District 1-AAAA giant Knights. If not, they could be in trouble. But the Poopster is going to throw caution to the win and say upset special, baby ... Perkiomen Valley 22-21.

Abington (10-2) at Neshaminy (11-1)

The Redskins erased a 14-7 deficit to Spring-Ford last week by scoring 29 unanswered points en route to a  56-27 quarterfinal win. They feature the leading rusher in District 1 in D'Andre Pollard (2,355 yards, 32 TDs), and the Poopster feels they will stay on the warpath ... Neshaminy 35-20.


Academy Park (9-2) vs. Glen Mills (9-3)
The No. 2 seed Battlin' Bulls defeated the No. 4 seed Knights 20-13 when they squared off in the regular season, but the Poopster thinks it might be a different story this time for 2,000-yard rusher Jerry Lanier and Academy Park, which took down PAC-10 champ Pottsgrove 27-26 in the semis ... Academy Park 25-19.

Last week's record: 2-5 (29.6 pct.)
Overall record: 83-22 (79.0 pct.)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

FIELD HOCKEY: All PAC-10 teams


First Team

Liberty Division

Alexa Hoover, senior, Methacton, offense; Emma Christman, senior, Owen J. Roberts, offense; Gabby Major, senior, Spring-Ford, offense; Brittany Dickinson, junior, Methacton, midfield; Ashley Kucera, senior, Owen J. Roberts, midfield; Kelsey Giese, sophomore, Perkiomen Valley, midfield; Molly Carr, senior, Methacton, defense; Lauren Schweppe, senior, Owen J. Roberts, defense; Rachel Hamm, senior, Perkiomen Valley, defense; Samantha Steele, junior, Methacton, goalie; Savanna Malloy, senior, Spring-Ford, swing player.

Frontier Division

Bailey Quinn, junior, Phoenixville, offense; Jordan Kengor, senior, Pope John Paul II, offense, Casey Umstead, senior, Upper Perkiomen, offense; Katie McErlean, sophomore, Phoenixville, midfield; Madelyn Fox, senior, Upper Perkiomen, midfield; Natalie Ciuta, senior Upper Perkiomen, midfield; Allison Trafford, junior, Phoeniville, defense; Morgan Aldinger, senior, Upper Perkiomen, defense; Samantha Dingler, junior, Upper Perkiomen, defense; Tyisha Reddick, junior, Pottstown, goalie; Jessica Wayock, senior, Pope John Paul II, swing player.

Second Team

Haley Wentzel, senior, Boyertown, offense; Maddie Mullen, senior, Owen J. Roberts, offense; Annie Himsworth, junior, Perkiomen Valley, offense; Gabby Binando, junior, Boyertown, midfield; Maddie Alderfer, sophomore, Methacton, midfield; Alex Montes, senior, Owen J. Roberts, midfield; Maggie Morgan, senior, Boyertown, defense; Nettie Montes, sophomore, Owen J. Roberts, defense; Taylor Brennan, junior, Spring-Ford, defense; Lizzy Tamburro, senior, Owen J. Roberts, goalie; Madison Mackewicz, senior, Pottstown, swing player; Julie O’Connor, senior, Pope John Paul II, swing player.

Honorable Mention

Andrea Wysocki, senior, Boyertown, offense; Rose Moore, sophomore, Phoenixville, offense; Alyssa O’Neill, sophomore, Pottsgrove, offense; Hannah Costello, senior, Pottstown, offense; Laura Shelton, sophomore, Perkiomen Valley, midfield; Jen Rees, sophomore, Methacton, defense; Ally Mooney, senior, Owen J. Roberts, goalie; Rachel Everly, senior, Pope John Paul II, goalie; Dante Vagnoni, junior, Spring-Ford, goalie; Hannah Mack, junior, Upper Perkiomen, goalie.

Friday, November 15, 2013

FOOTBALL: The Poopster's Week 12 picks

The Poopster wishes Pottsgrove, Spring-Ford and Perkiomen Valley good luck in tonight's District 1 football playoffs.

By Darryl Grumling
Twitter: @MercSmokinD

Everyone knows you have to step it up come playoff time, and the Poopster certainly did that last week with an impressive 16-1 effort. That said, the going gets even tougher this week as the District 1-AAAA quarterfinals and District 1-AAA semis are at hand. Here's his take on the area and district action:


Spring-Ford (9-2) at Neshaminy (10-1)
This one features two of the top running backs in the district (and state) in the Rams' Jarred Jones and the Redskins' D'Andre Pollard (who passed the 2,000-yard mark for the season last week). The Poopster is going to have to grudgingly go with the home team ... Neshaminy 26-21.

Perkiomen Valley (9-2) at Central Bucks West (9-2)
In a battle of somewhat similar squads that run no-huddle offenses and have a lot of playmakers, the Poopster again is going to hang his head and go with the Suburban One League squad ... C.B. West 28-27.

Other quarterfinals
Garnet Valley 34, Abington 23
Pennsbury 22, North Penn 21


Academy Park (8-2) at Pottsgrove (11-0)
The No. 4 seed Knights could present some problems with star running back Jerry Lanier, but the Poopster feels Riley Michaels, Sene Polamalu, Jeff Adams, Tyrone Parker and the rest of the Falcons are on a mission after getting taken down in the semis last year ... Pottsgrove 35-20.

Other semifinal
Henderson 21, Glen Mills 19


Phoenixville (4-7) at Quakertown (6-4)
The Poopster senses a close one here, but is going to give the nod to the Panthers, who have won three straight since a 3-4 start. ... Quakertown 20-14.

Last week's record: 16-1 (94.1 pct.)
Overall record: 81-17 (82.7 pct.)

Friday, November 8, 2013

FOOTBALL: The Poopster's Week 11 picks

The Poopster says to bundle up if you are going to a football game tonight.

By Darryl Grumling
Twitter: @MercSmokinD

The area scholastic football postseason is finally upon us, and though it looks to be a cold one tonight, the Poopster is fired up for the District 1 playoffs. Here's his take on all of the area action, including some bonus district picks.


Phoenixville (4-6) at Pottsgrove (10-0)
The PAC-10 champ Falcons dispatched the Phantoms 52-14 three weeks ago and have significant advantages in size, speed and strength heading into the District 1-AAA quarterfinal rematch ... Pottsgrove 42-7.

Spring-Ford (8-2) at Downingtown West (8-2)
The Poopster sees this District 1-AAAA opener as being a lot more competitive than a 12th seed (the Rams) vs. a 5th seed (the Whippets). He thinks Mason Romano, Robby Varner, Jarred Jones and Co. can draw upon the experience of last year's memorable run to the district final and recreate some of that magic against the Ches-Mont National Division champs, with things perhaps coming down to a David Gulati field goal ... Spring-Ford 24-21.

Perkiomen Valley (8-2) at Bayard Rustin (10-0)
After wrongly picking the No. 15 seed Vikings in their two earlier showdown games vs. Spring-Ford and Pottsgrove, the Poopster is a little leery about doing it again. But he's going to throw caution to the wind and say upset special in this District 1-AAAA opener ... Perkiomen Valley 28-27.

Northampton (0-10) at Boyertown (6-4)
The Bears ran a staggering 88 plays last week against Pottsgrove, and the Poopster shudders to think how many points they might ring up on the Konkrete Kids, whose defense is allowing more than 40 points per game ... Boyertown 60-20.

Owen J. Roberts (2-8) at Upper Moreland (3-7)
This appears to be one of the more competitive matchups of the night (at least on paper), so the Poopster is going to give the nod to 1,000-yard rusher Wyatt Scott, lineman Steve Myers and the Wildcats ... Owen J. Roberts 27-21.

Pottstown (1-9) at Great Valley (6-4)
First-year Trojans coach Don Grinstead used to be an assistant at Great Valley, but the Poopster has a bad feeling the Patriots aren't going to take it easy on him in the reunion of sorts ... Great Valley 35-13.


Norristown (0-10) at Methacton (6-4)
The Warriors have won 5-of-6 since a 1-3 start, and the Poopster likes Conner Derrickson, Mike Cassidy, Nick Torcini, Dillon Alderfer, Kyle Lowery and the crew to stay hot as they go for their first seven-win season since 2000 ... Methacton 43-21.

Hill School (1-6) at Lawrenceville Academy (4-3)
The Poopster can't find any kind of status report on UMass-bound star Big Red QB Randall West, who went down with a knee injury last week. If he can't play, the Rams (coming off a 28-26 win over Mercersburg) have a puncher's chance. If he can, expect a shootout at the O.K. Corral between West and Hill gunslinger Matt Foltz .... Lawrenceville 44-32.


District 1-AAAA first-round

Garnet Valley 30, Council Rock North 21
Abington 28, Upper Dublin 27
Neshaminy 33, Unionville 17
C.B. West 27, Plymouth-Whitemarsh 20
Pennsbury 35, Upper Darby 19
North Penn 33, Coatesville 21

District 1-AAA quarterfinals

Academy Park 28, Interboro 14
Glen Mills 22, Springfield (Delco) 13
Henderson 35, Bishop Shanahan 14

Last week's record: 7-1 (87.5 pct.)
Overall record: 65-16 (80.2 pct)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Pioneer Athletic Conference
2013-2014 Cross-Country

Boys’ Cross-Country
Paul Power
Jeff Kirshenbaum
Dylan Eddinger
Derek Lopez
Tom Duffy
Dave Garton
Perkiomen Valley
Josh Toth
Jacob Keiper
Upper Perkiomen
Pat Hopkins
Jared Kline
Ray Friend
Perkiomen Valley
John Bennett
Jacob McCubbins
John Garges
Adam Yosua
Josh Tupper

Girls’ Cross-Country

Kara Steinke
Sammy Christman
Emily Schumaker
Gillian Kasitz
Jill Weston
Owen J. Roberts
Sarah Taylor
Owen J. Roberts
Andrea Shade
Owen J. Roberts
Megan Bernotas
Owen J. Roberts
Morgan Faust
Perkiomen Valley
Mallory Snyder
Perkiomen Valley
Allie Bonsall
Perkiomen Valley
Ellen Havard
Perkiomen Valley
Allison Brunton
Owen J. Roberts
Michele Daniels
Perkiomen Valley
Ryan DeOrio
Kelly Williamson
Pope John Paul II
Kerry McGee
Pope John Paul II
Abby Konkoly

GOLF: All-Pioneer Athletic Conference teams

Pioneer Athletic Conference
All-League Golf Selections
1st Team - Boys
Brandon Vance        12 Methacton
Kyle Vance 9 Methacton
John Foley 11 Spring-Ford
Andrew Kriebel 11 Upper Perkiomen
Matt Keim 11 Spring-Ford
Dan Rieger 9 Methacton
Jared Faust 12 Owen J Roberts
Lamar Saxon 12 Boyertown
2nd Team
Connor Green 12 Perkiomen Valley
Brandon Caiola          12 Pope John Paul
Mike Foley 12 Methacton
Kevin Knapp 12 Perkiomen Valley
Carlo Barrasse 12 Boyertown
Liam Bonner 11 Phoenixville
Bennett Detweiler 12 Spring-Ford
Honorable Mention
Phil Huber 11 Boyertown
Nate Guerrinni         10 Perkiomen Valley
Eric Faust         11 Owen J Roberts
Elijah Landes 11 Perkiomen Valley
Zach Feaster 10 Methacton
Corey Betham 12 Methacton

1st Team – Girls
Emily Gilbert 11 Boyertown
Maddie Sager 10 Owen J Roberts
Laura Hackman 12 Owen J Roberts
Carly Dorminy 10 Perkiomen Valley
Katie Brophy 12 Great Valley
Olivia Steinmetz 10 Boyertown
Anna Kowalcyzk 12 Downingtown East
Rachel Cowgill 12 Great Valley
Sarah West 11 Great Valley

Thursday, October 31, 2013

FOOTBALL: The Poopster's Week 10 picks

The Poopster is hoping to finish up strong in Week 10.

By Darryl Grumling
Twitter: @MercSmokinD

Heading into Week 10, a lot of area high school football players are banged up, and the Poopster feels their pain. He's got some hitch in his giddy-up as well. Nonetheless, he is hoping to close out the regular season strong. Here's his take on this week's action:


Boyertown (6-3) at Pottsgrove (9-0)
In a battle of perhaps the PAC-10's two top offensive lines, the Poopster is going to side with coach Rick Pennypacker's crew as they try to run the league slate in back-to-back seasons ... Pottsgrove 35-14.

Perkiomen Valley (7-2) at Upper Perkiomen (1-8)
The Vikings took it on the chin in last week's 23-12 loss to Pottsgrove and will likely come out as fired up as the Poopster's owner on those occasions when the litter box is not properly utilized ... Perkiomen Valley 50-6.

Pottstown (1-8) at Spring-Ford (7-2)
It's Senior Night in RoFo, and the Poopster expects Jarred Jones to run wild in leading an attack that has outscored the opposition 171-10 over the past four games ... Spring-Ford 55-13.

Daniel Boone (4-5) at Exeter (7-2)
The Poopster is still smarting for not being able pulling the trigger on the Blazers against Muhlenberg last week. He foresees Boone giving the Eagles all they can handle, but the Pig Iron Trophy staying in Reiffton ... Exeter 17-16.

St. Andrew's (2-5) at Perkiomen School (3-4)
Though the Poopster doesn't know the difference between St. Andrew's and Erin Andrews, he's going to side with the squad from Middletown, Del ... St. Andrew's 20-12.


Phoenixville (4-5) at Methacton (5-4)
The Warriors have won 4-of-5 since a 1-3 start, while the Phantoms snapped a three-game slide with last week's 21-0 win over Upper Perkiomen. The Poopster senses it will be a physical affair ... Methacton 21-13.

Owen J. Roberts (1-8) at Pope John Paul II (1-8)
The Poopster is genuinely perplexed by this one: should he go with Wyatt Scott and the Wildcats, or the Golden Panthers attack fueled by Nick Howarth, Johnnie Bildstein and Kirk Cherneskie? ... Owen J. Roberts 22-21.

Mercersburg Academy (2-4) at Hill School (0-6)
In a battle of squads are seeking their first Mid-Atlantic Prep League victory, the Poopster says its time for the Rams' seven-game losing streak dating back to last year to end ... Hill School 41-37.

Last week's record: 5-2 (71.4 pct.)
Overall season record: 58-15 (79.5 pct.)

Friday, October 25, 2013

FOOTBALL: The Poopster's Week 9 picks

The Poopster is champing at the bit for the 'Grove-PV showdown.

By Darryl Grumling
Twitter: @MercSmokinD

Though the Poopster saw his bid for a third straight perfect week thwarted by his inability to foresee Pottstown's 28-14 victory at Upper Perkiomen, he's still racked up an impressive 35-4 mark over the past five weeks. Here's his take on Week 9 of the area scholastic football scene:


Pottsgrove (8-0) at Perkiomen Valley (7-1)
The defending league champ Falcons can clinch a share of the PAC-10 crown with a win, while a Vikings victory would set the stage for a three-way title tie between PV, the 'Grove and Spring-Ford. After much contemplation over many cans of Fancy Feast, the Poopster is going to say ... Perkiomen Valley 15-14.

Spring-Ford (6-2) at Owen J. Roberts (1-7)
While the Rams will be rooting for a PV win, the Poopster expects them to take care of business down in Bucktown and likely get big efforts from RB Jarred Jones and WR Gary Hopkins ... Spring-Ford 42-7.

Methacton (4-4) at Pottstown (1-7)
The Warriors appear to be in good position to produce their third straight winning campaign, with FB Mike Cassidy dragging defenders along for the ride ... Methacton 42-13.

Pope John Paul II (1-7) at Boyertown (5-3)
The Bears had a three-game winning streak stopped by Perkiomen Valley last week, but the Poopster thinks they'll start a new one as area leading rusher Cody Richmond and QB Griffin Pasik seem primed for big nights ... Boyertown 50-20.

Upper Perkiomen (1-7) at Phoenixville (3-5)
The Poopster senses that this one could go either way, but he's going to land on the side of the home squad, which is trying to snap a three-game losing streak ... Phoenixville 32-27.

Daniel Boone (3-5) at Muhlenberg (6-2)
The Poopster considered making this his upset special, but after thinking long and hard he feels the Muhls have a few too many weapons for the Blazers, whose defense should nonetheless keep them in this one ... Muhlenberg 21-14.


Blair Academy (3-2) at Hill School (0-5)
While Rams WR Grant Smith is on the verge of breaking Hill's single-season receptions mark, Hill has struggled to put a complete game together and will need a flawless effort to top the Bucs ... Blair Academy 33-21.

Last week's record: 7-1 (87.5 pct.)
Season to date: 53-13 (80.3 pct.)

Friday, October 18, 2013

FOOTBALL: The Poopster's Week 8 picks

The Poopster hopes to continue his hot streak in Week 8.

By Darryl Grumling
Twitter: @MercSmokinD

The Poopster has been tearing through the area football picks like they're Tidy Cats litter, putting together a perfect slate for two straight weeks. Can he keep up the torrid pace in Week 8? Here's his take on this weekend's action:


Perkiomen Valley (6-1) at Boyertown (5-2)
It's a battle of the Vikings' vaunted defense (allowing 4.0 ppg) and the Bears' high-octane offense (ranked first in the area in rushing, passing and total yards), but the Poopster can't fathom how Boyertown's 'D' can slow down the PV attack ... Perkiomen Valley 47-21.

Phoenixville (3-4) at Pottsgrove (7-0)
The Phantoms have surrendered 62 points in each of their past two games, while the Falcons are gearing up for a Week 9 showdown with Perkiomen Valley ... Pottsgrove 49-7.

Pottstown (0-7) at Upper Perkiomen (1-6)
The Poopster would really like to see rookie Trojans coach Don Grinstead pick up his first victory, and there's a good chance that could happen, but he's going to lean towards the Tribe in what appears to be a shootout ... Upper Perkiomen 40-36.

Reading High (2-5) at Daniel Boone (2-5)
Daniel Boone has been playing deceptively well over the past three weeks, so the Poopster thinks his owner is going to see a Blazers victory when he heads to Birdsboro tonight to see all his old friends ... Daniel Boone 20-14.


Owen J. Roberts (1-6) at Methacton (3-4)
The Wildcats beat Upper Perkiomen last week for their first victory, but the Poopster has a hard time believing they will make it two in a row against Mike Cassidy, Kyle Lowery and the Warriors ... Methacton 40-13.

Spring-Ford (5-2) at Pope John Paul II (1-6)
The Rams forced eight turnovers in last week's win over Methacton, while the Golden Panthers have had trouble in that department throughout the year. In the battle of RoFo, the Poopster is going to side with the South Siders ... Spring-Ford 48-7.

Hill School (0-4) at Hun School (0-4)
Someone is going to pick up their first win in this MAPL encounter. Though the Poopster hopes it will be coach Grey Simpson's Rams, he's going to have to go with the home squad ... Hun School 22-20.

Perkiomen School (2-4) at MATHS Charter (1-3)
The Poopster knows absolutely nothing about MATHS Charter, other than it is located in Baltimore. He's going to take a flyer that the Panthers come away with a win when they travel to the old neighborhood of Stringer Bell, Prop Joe, Slim Charles, Omar and Bunk ... Perkiomen School 14-12.

Last week's record: 8-0 (100 pct.)
Season to date: 46-12 (79.3 pct.)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

FOOTBALL: Blast from the past

Perkiomen Valley takes on Boyertown in a Week 8 PAC-10 football matchup Friday. Here's a look back at a wild ending from 2011, when Clay Domine hit Ezra Ranco for the game-winning two-point conversion pass with 1:06 left in regulation to give the Vikings a 22-21 victory over the Bears.

Click here for game story and video

Friday, October 11, 2013

FOOTBALL: The Poopster's Week 7 picks

The Poopster wants everyone to try and stay dry this weekend.

By Darryl Grumling
Twitter: @MercSmokinD

It's Homecoming weekend for a lot of the area schools, and the Poopster is in a festive mood after running the table last week. Here's his take on the Week 7 Mercury-area gridiron action:


Pottsgrove (6-0) at Pottstown (0-6)
The last time the Trojans beat the Falcons (who have won 10 straight in the series), the Poopster was a lot younger cat. He sees the soggy conditions as a big advantage for coach Rick Pennypacker's crew ... Pottsgrove 41-13.

Upper Perkiomen (1-5) at Owen J. Roberts (0-6)
This is a battle of two of the area's top workhorse backs, the Indians' Aidan Schaffer and the Wildcats' Wyatt Scott. The Poopster is expecting a lot of ground-and-pound, and when the smoke clears he has a feeling his brethren in the Cat Pack will finally have something to cheer about ... Owen J. Roberts 34-33.

Pope John Paul II (1-5) at Perkiomen Valley (5-1)
The Vikings pass defense hasn't allowed a reception over the past two weeks, while their offense is averaging 50.7 points over the last three games ... Perkiomen Valley 48-7.

Daniel Boone (2-4) at Pottsville (3-3)
The Poopster thinks the Blazers have a real shot to make it two straight wins after dispatching Twin Valley 40-14 last week, but he also knows strange things happen to local squads once they travel north of the Berks County border ... Pottsville 27-21.


Methacton (3-3) at Spring-Ford (4-2)
The Poopster likes what he's seen out of the Warriors the past two weeks and gives them a puncher's chance. That said, he envisions a big effort from the Rams defense ... Spring-Ford 22-7.

Boyertown (4-2) at Phoenixville (3-3)
This one presents a real head-scratcher for the Poopster: the Bears' high-octane offense against the Phantoms' gritty 'D.' He's going to give the nod to Griffin Pasik, Cody Richmond and Co. ... Boyertown 34-29.

Peddie School (2-2) at Hill School (0-3)
In the MAPL opener for both squads, the Poopster is going to lean towards the ground-oriented attack of the Falcons (coached by former Hill coach Frank deLaurentis) against the air assault of the Rams ... Peddie School 26-16.

Academy of the New Church (2-3) at Perkiomen School (2-3)
The Poopster senses a battle in the trenches and heavy dose of the running game for each squad. The Lions have won two straight, while the Panthers have dropped two in a row ... ANC 25-20.

Last week's record: 7-0 (100 pct.)
Season to date: 38-12 (76.0 pct.)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

FOOTBALL: Mercury staff Week 6 picks

FOOTBALL: The Poopster's Week 6 picks

The Poopster is currently on probation for a litter box violation.

By Darryl Grumling
Twitter: @MercSmokinD

With the area football season at the midway point, the Poopster knows he has to improve on last week's rather pedestrian 6-2 mark and get some serious momentum going for the stretch run. Here's his take on this week's action.


Owen J. Roberts (0-3, 0-5) at Pottsgrove (4-0, 5-0)
Jeff Adams, Tyrone Parker and the Falcons defense have been as tough on the opposition as the Poopster's feline friends - Whitey and the outside cats - have been on the local rodent population around his owner's house ... Pottsgrove 42-7.

Phoenixville (3-0, 3-2) at Perkiomen Valley (3-1, 4-1)
The Phantoms have won three straight since an 0-2 start, but the Poopster feels the Rasaan Stewart-led Vikings simply have too many weapons ... Perkiomen Valley 38-19.

Spring-Ford (2-1, 3-2) at Upper Perkiomen (1-3, 1-4)
The Poopster envisions the Rams getting their passing game on track in this one, though the Tribe has been pretty entertaining the past couple of weeks with Aidan Schaffer running out of the Wildcat ... Spring-Ford 49-21.

Twin Valley (0-2, 0-5) at Daniel Boone (0-2, 1-4)
Though the Blazers have been battling a rash of injuries, they still get the nod against the alma mater of the Poopster's owner, which has lost 16 straight ... Daniel Boone 34-13.

Pottstown (0-3, 0-5) at Boyertown (2-2, 3-2)
There were 98 points scored in this game last year, and the Poopster wouldn't be surprised if the Trojans and Bears light up the scoreboard again ... Boyertown 50-30.

Perkiomen School (2-2) at Pennington School (1-3)
The Poopster doesn't have much insight into this one, so he's going to go with the Red Raiders at home ... Pennington School 28-22.


Methacton (2-2, 2-3) at Pope John Paul II (1-3, 1-4)
The Warriors appear to be rounding into form on both sides of the ball, which doesn't appear to be good news for the Golden Panthers ... Methacton 28-14.

Last week's record 6-2 (75.0 percent)
Season to date: 31-12 (72.1 percent)

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Mercury staff Pigskin Pick'em: Week 5

FOOTBALL: The Poopster's Week 5 Picks

The Poopster foresees a defensive struggle in the Spring-Ford/Pottsgrove showdown.

By Darryl Grumling
Twitter: @MercSmokinD

The Poopster started knocking off wins like they were cans of Fancy Feast last week, failing only to correctly predict Upper Perkiomen's 37-14 upset victory over Pope John Paul II that snapped a 14-game losing streak dating back to the 2011 season. He will try to carry that momentum over to this week's action:


Pottsgrove (3-0, 4-0) at Spring-Ford (2-0, 3-1)
In what looks to be a showdown dictated by strong defense, the Poopster is at odds with his owner, who believes the Falcons (who've won 17 straight PAC-10 regular season games) get the benefit of the doubt until someone knocks them off. But the Poopster is going to go with the home squad at what should be a packed house at Coach McNelly Stadium ... Spring-Ford 14-13.

Boyertown (1-2, 2-2) at Owen J. Roberts (0-2, 0-4)
The Poopster feels this could be a game in which workhorse OJR running back Wyatt Scott finally sees some daylight. Problem is, the Wildcats will be hard-pressed to stop a Bears infantry led by Cody Richmond ... Boyertown 38-21.

Perkiomen Valley (2-1, 3-1) at Pottstown (0-2, 0-4)
This is a battle of two of the PAC-10's most entertaining quarterbacks, PV's Rasaan Stewart and the Trojans' Gary Wise, but the Poopster feels the Vikings are too strong in all three phases of the game ... Perkiomen Valley 42-12.

Pope John Paul II (1-2, 1-3) at Phoenixville (2-0, 2-2)
The Poopster has an inkling PJP will come out fired up after last week's stinging loss to Upper Perkiomen, but it might not be enough against the Phantoms, who have won two straight in dramatic fashion ... Phoenixville 26-21.

Daniel Boone (0-1, 1-3) at Conrad Weiser (0-1, 3-1)
After scoring 35 points in a Week 2 victory over Owen J. Roberts, the Blazers have been shut out in back-to-back weeks. The Scouts, coached by the Poopster's owner's old Lebanon Valley League baseball teammate Alan Moyer, are smarting after a 17-16 loss to Exeter ... Conrad Weiser 35-14.

Perkiomen School (2-1) at Pottsville Nativity (1-3)
The Panthers' improving line has keyed a strong ground attack, and the Poopster believes as long as nothing shady happens up in the Coal Region, they should bring home a victory ... Perkiomen School 25-14.


Upper Perkiomen (1-2, 1-3) at Methacton (1-2, 1-3)
The Indians got a phenomenal 392-yard, six-TD  performance from RB Aidan Schaffer last week in snapping a 14-game losing streak, but the Poopster doesn't think Mike Cassidy, Lucas Hepp and the Warriors defense will be so generous this week ... Methacton 28-13.

Springside Chestnut Hill (3-1) at Hill School (0-2)
Rams QB Matt Foltz and WR Grant Smith have been making like Montana-to-Rice over the first two weeks, but the Hill needs to be more consistent defensively and improve in the ground game to get in the victory column ... Springside Chestnut Hill 30-20.

Last week's record 7-1 (87.5 percent)
Season record: 25-10 (71.4 percent)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

FOOTBALL: The Poopster's Week 4 picks

Like several PAC-10 teams, the Poopster is looking to bounce back in Week 4.

By Darryl Grumling
Twitter: @MercSmokinD

Coming off a shameful 4-4 showing last week, the Poopster is looking to redeem himself in a big way this week. Here's his take on the Week 4 area high school football action:


Spring-Ford (1-0, 2-1) at Boyertown (1-1, 2-1)
The Rams served noticed they are a legit league title contender by taking down Perkiomen Valley last week, though the Poopster wonders if this could be a trap game. After a 2-0 start, Boyertown suffered a surprising 48-10 loss to Methacton ... Spring-Ford 31-20.

Methacton (1-1, 1-2) at  Pottsgrove (2-0, 3-0)
The Poopster is ready to put on his camo and fatigues and get in the spirit for Military Appreciation Night at the 'Grove. Methacton took a huge step forward in last week's win over Boyertown and has played the Falcons tough in the past ... Pottsgrove 35-13.

Pottstown (0-1, 0-3) at Phoenixville (1-0, 1-2)
It will be the speed and big-play ability of the Trojans against the physicality and blue-collar mentality of the Phantoms. The Poopster says ... Phoenixville 18-13.

Owen J. Roberts  (0-1, 0-3) at Perkiomen Valley (1-1, 2-1)
The Poopster would really like to see his friends in the Cat Pack be able to cheer on a Wildcats victory, but he doesn't see it happening this week against a Vikings squad smarting from last week's loss at Spring-Ford ... Perkiomen Valley 42-14.

Governor Mifflin (0-0, 1-2) at Daniel Boone (0-0, 1-2)
The Mustangs have won 18 straight Berks League Section 1 games and will likely be in a foul mood after suffering non-league beatdowns to Wilson and Cocalico in the first three weeks ... Governor Mifflin 35-17.

Hill School (0-1) at Episcopal Academy (3-0)
The Rams suffered a couple of key injuries on defense in last week's season-opening 43-14 loss to Germantown Academy, which is bad news against the Churchmen, who have won 13 straight dating back to the 2011 season ... Episcopal Academy 42-7.

George School (0-2) vs. Perkiomen School (1-1), at Upper Perkiomen
The Poopster expects the Panthers will shine under the Friday Night Lights against a Cougars squad that is just 19-64 over the past 11 seasons ... Perkiomen School 28-13.


Upper Perkiomen (0-2, 0-3) at Pope John Paul II (1-1, 1-2)
The Golden Panthers have some spring in their steps thanks to a renewed effort on defense and a running game led by Nick Howarth, Johnnie Bildstein and Kirk Cherneskie that spearheaded a 24-0 win over Pottstown last week. The Poopster thinks they'll make it two in a row against the Indians, who have allowed 60-plus points in each of the past two games ... Pope John Paul II 30-12.

Last week: 4-4 (50.0 pct.)
Season record: 18-9 (66.7 pct.)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

FOOTBALL: The Poopster's Week 3 picks

The Poopster is looking forward to the big Perkiomen Valley/Spring-Ford game in Week 3.

By Darryl Grumling
Twitter: @MercSmokinD

Friday night's Perkiomen Valley at Spring-Ford PAC-10 showdown highlights the area's Week 3 slate. Here's what The Poopster thinks will happen:


Hill School (0-0) at Germantown Academy (0-1)
Coach Grey Simpson and the Rams have suffered a couple of tough beats to GA over the past two years (23-20 in 2011 and 7-6 last year). The Poopster has an inkling that might change this time around ... Hill School 14-13.

Phoenixville (0-2) at Owen J. Roberts (0-2)
This is a tough one for the Poopster to figure out, though someone is going to pick up a much-needed win. He's going to flip the coin and say ... Phoenixville 20-14.


Tower Hill (Del.) Academy (1-0) at Perkiomen School (1-0)
The Panthers opened their season in successful fashion with a 40-8 thumping of Carson Long (The Poopster had 41-7 in that game, btw). This one will be a lot tougher ... Tower Hill 27-21.

Perkiomen Valley (2-0) at Spring-Ford (1-1)
The Rasaan Stewart-led Vikings have been unstoppable on offense and downright stingy on defense, while the Rams righted the ship last week with a 34-0 win over Southern (Philadelphia). The Poopster thinks the S-F DL duo of Robby Varner and Mason Romano will cause some mayhem, but PV still has too many weapons ... Perkiomen Valley 34-21.

Pope John Paul II (0-2) at Pottstown (0-2)
In another battle of teams searching for a much-needed win, the Poopster expects the scoreboard at Grigg Memorial Field to get a workout. ... Pottstown 40-35.

Pottsgrove (2-0) at Upper Perkiomen (0-2)
The Falcons' first-team defense hasn't given up a point, while RB Marquis Barefield leads a potent group of skill players against a Tribe defense that has struggled thus far ... Pottsgrove 42-6.

Manheim Central (2-0) at Daniel Boone (1-1)
The Barons have won all three previous meetings with the Blazers, who opened some eyes with a 35-7 win over Owen J. Roberts last week ... Manheim Central 35-14.


Boyertown (2-0) at Methacton (0-2)
Through two weeks, the Bears are putting up the kinds of offensive numbers that would make even Chip Kelly do a double take. The Poopster expects that trend to continue ... Boyertown 41-13.

Last week's record: 6-2 (75.0 percent)
Season: record: 14-5 (73.7 percent)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mercury staff Pigskin Pick'em: Week 2

FOOTBALL: The Poopster's Week 2 picks

Poppy, aka The Poopster, is ready for Week 2 of high school football.

By Darryl Grumling

Twitter: @MercSmokinD

The Poopster had an OK start to the picking season, though he couldn't quite pull the trigger on one PAC-10 team (Boyertown) team and got a couple of other road squads wrong (Spring-Ford, Pottstown). Here's his take on the Week 2 area action:


Southern Philadelphia (0-1) at Spring-Ford (0-1)
Spring-Ford coach Chad Brubaker was likely as angry after the Rams were down 28 points right out of the chute in last week's 37-21 loss at Whitehall as the Poopster gets when his owner feeds the outside cats first. He says S-F will right the ship tonight. ... Spring-Ford 38-18.


Daniel Boone (0-1) at Owen J. Roberts (0-1)
The Blazers and Wildcats hunger for a win like the Poopster hungers for a can of Fancy Feast. Boone has lost four straight; OJR has dropped seven in a row ... Owen J. Roberts 23-14.

Hatboro-Horsham (1-0) at Pottstown (0-1)
The Hatters equaled last year's victory total in last week's 21-14 win over Norristown. The Poopster expects some offensive fireworks in this one, and is going to give the nod to Gary Wise, Dayon Mohler and the Trojans to give first-year coach Don Grinstead his first win ... Pottstown 35-28.

Methacton (0-1) at Perkiomen Valley (1-0)
Even the Poopster was impressed with the Vikings' Week 1 effort in all three phases of the game as they hammered P-W 33-0. He thinks the Warriors will be up against it in the Battle for the Battle Ax ... Perkiomen Valley 35-13.

Perkiomen School (0-0) at Carson Long (0-1)
Carson Long has lost 45 straight games dating back to 2008 and the Poopster doesn't see the streak ending against coach Tom Calvario's squad, led by QB turned RB Isaiah Smith ... Perkiomen School 41-7.

Phoenixville (0-1) at Exeter (1-0)
Tough one for the Poopster, especially after the way the Phantoms handled the Eagles 28-20 last year. He senses a tight one either way ... Exeter 17-16.

Upper Perkiomen (0-1) at Boyertown (1-0)
The Poopster has a feeling the Bears will be a handful in the PAC-10 if they can shore up their defense a bit. The offense put up 46 points last week, and he envisions more of the same ... Boyertown 42-6.


Pottsgrove (1-0) at Pope John Paul II (0-1)
The Falcons gave up a TD to Souderton on the opening kickoff last week, then answered with 41 straight points. The Poopster is expecting some ground-and-pound against the Golden Panthers, who showed better balance in their opener ... Pottsgrove 40-14.

Last week's record: 8-3 (73 percent).
Season record: 8-3 (73 percent).

Friday, August 30, 2013

FOOTBALL: The Poopster's Week 1 picks

Poppy (aka The Poopster) is looking forward to the PAC-10 football season.

By Darryl Grumling

The Poopster felt somewhat left out when he didn't see his pug-like mug on the Mercury Sports Pigskin Pick 'Em board, so he wanted to put his two cents in about all the Week 1 area football action. Here's his take:


Boyertown at C.B. East
The Poopster knows the Bears are huge on both lines and feels they will make a good showing in their trip to Doylestown, but is still going to lean towards the Patriots ... C.B. East 31-23.

Cocalico at Daniel Boone
The Blazers are trying to bounce back from a 2-8 campaign and should be an improved squad, but the Poopster doesn't like their chances against the Lancaster-Lebanon Section 2 power Eagles ... Cocalico 35-13.

Owen J. Roberts at Conestoga
The Poopster feels that if the Wildcats can reverse their minus-17 turnover differential from last season, they will turn things around in a big way. Still, he's going to lean towards the Pioneers in this one ... Conestoga 21-17.

Perkiomen Valley at Plymouth-Whitemarsh
A marquee battle of squads with District 1-AAAA tourney designs pits the Vikings' slew of skill people led by QB Rasaan Stewart against a big and physical group of Colonials. The Poopster will give the edge to PV. ... Perkiomen Valley 34-30.

Pope John Paul II at Berks Catholic
The Poopster hopes that the Golden Panthers can stay healthy this fall, but even a full squad is going to be up against it vs. the Saints, coached by the Poopster's owner's old buddy (and St. Pius X grad) Rick Keeley ... Berks Catholic 27-17.

Pottstown at Schuylkill Valley
New Trojans coach Don Grinstead debuts against the Panthers, coached by St. Pius X grad Jeff Chillot, an old golfing buddy of the Poopster's owner. With Schuylkill Valley having to replace its entire offense, the Poopster is going to say upset special ... Pottstown 28-27.

Quakertown at Upper Perkiomen
The Poopster would really like to see coach Steve Moyer and the Tribe get off the duck and snap their 11-game losing streak. Though it's a definite possibility against the Panthers (who have lost 10 straight), he's going to say ... Quakertown 30-20.

Souderton at Pottsgrove
While it likely won't be an easy opener for the defending PAC-10 champ Falcons, the Poopster feels veteran coach Rick Pennypacker will have his troops ready to go, especially on defense, where they return nine starters. ... Pottsgrove 24-14.

Spring-Ford at Whitehall
The Poopster was very disheartened to see his cynical owner was the only Mercury staffer to pick against the Rams, feeling they might get jobbed on the road. But the Poopster has faith in coach Chad Brubaker's crew. He rode the Rams train all the way to the PIAA-AAAA championship in girls basketball in March, and isn't about to get off now ... Spring-Ford 27-23.


Editor's note: The Poopster is not real thrilled about games on Saturday, since it appears they will severely impact his feeding schedule. That said . . .

Bayard Rustin at Methacton
The Golden Knights play some serious caveman football and will be a handful for the Warriors. The Poopster says ... Rustin 30-16.

Phoenixville at Great Valley
The Poopster expects a hard-hitting effort from the scrappy Phantoms in the traditional Route 29 rivalry, but it might not be enough against the Patriots ... Great Valley 23-14.

GAMEDAY: Football, other fall sports kick off today

By Mercury Staff

The big day is finally here. We know you're ready -- and so are we.

In addition to 11 high school football games this weekend (our picks available above), there's a full slate of soccer, field hockey and other fall sports is on the schedule for today.

At The Mercury, we're ready to go (as you can see by a 9 a.m. post). Join us tonight at for a live football scoreboard, video and complete coverage of not only the action on the gridiron but also the full rundown on today's other local events.

Follow us on Twitter @PottsMercSports and @GametimePA_SE as we get you amped up all day long. And be sure to follow our sports staff on Twitter:

You can see all of Darryl's football previews in Friday's Mercury by visiting
Join us on Twitter all day today and get amped up for your favorite team. Tweet us @PottsMercSports & @GametimePA_SE and tell us which game you're going to and who you think will win. Let's see which team has the best support!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

High School Football Pigskin Pick 'Em: Week 1

The time has come. Football picks are back in The Mercury!

Each week, our picks will appear in the Friday edition of The Mercury, as we choose a winner in all of the weekend's high school games, as well as a few college and/or pro games (Ursinus, Penn State, Mercury Sports Live.
Eagles, etc.). You'll get an early look on Thursday nights at

Early in the week, we will post poll questions down the left side of the homepage at Mercury Sports Live asking for your vote. The consensus pick for each game will be YOUR pick for the week.

Do you agree with what you see below? Disagree? Would you rather us pick against your team? Let your voice be heard on Twitter, just tweet @PottsMercSports with the hashtag #MercFBPicks.

Without further ado ... it's time for Week 1!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Football season is nearly upon us.
You'll see a few changes around here, including the exciting move to for all of our local sports coverage.

But first: High School Football Picks are BACK! And we want YOU to see if you can beat us.

The Mercury Sports staff will be picking every high school game each week, as well as a few others (Ursinus, Penn State, Eagles, etc.) to round the number out to 15 picks each week.

Each Monday, you'll find polls down the left side of Mercury Sports Live asking for your picks for the week. Then, when the picks appear here on Mercury Sports Live - and in Friday editions of The Mercury - you'll not only see picks from Mercury staff, but also the consensus of YOU, the readers and fans.

So, look to your left, and GET VOTING! You have a short week to get your picks in, so do it now and tell your friends and fellow fans to do the same.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

MSL Bracket Challenge Winners!

By Mercury Staff

Louisville beat Michigan in an NCAA Championship game for the ages on Monday night. It also marked the end of our inaugural Mercury Sports Live Bracket Challenge.

The top six finishers all picked Louisville to win it all, but it was Steve (not sports staffer Steve Moore) who finished on top with 123 points.

Finishing second was "Kurthi's Fantastic Bracket" (114 points) and third was "Jeffrey's Notable Bracket" (112 points).

All three of those readers will win $20 American Express Gift Cards from The Mercury.

If you are any of those three, please email Steve Moore at with your name, address and phone number.

Thanks for playing!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Spring-Ford pitcher Tyler Eckman (Kevin Hoffman/The Mercury)

Spring-Ford's David O'Such wins the 100 meters Wednesday.  
Wednesday featured a full slate of local sports including coverage of rematches of last season's Pioneer Athletic Conference championship between Spring-Ford and Boyertown in baseball and Spring-Ford and Owen J. Roberts in boys lacrosse. Also Wednesday, the Mercury covered the track and field double dual meet between Boyertown, Spring-Ford and Upper Perkiomen and girls lacrosse action between Methacton and Perkiomen Valley.

BOYS LACROSSE: Owen J. Roberts rallies past Spring-Ford

 TRACK AND FIELD: Spring-Ford boys and girls sweep Boyertown, Upper Perkiomen

Inside pitch: Owen J. Roberts' Shannon Clemens

Darryl Grumling gets the inside pitch on Owen J. Roberts senior Shannon Clemens.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mercury Sports: Saturday Recap

Mercury file photo Sue Benfield stepped down before this season after 41 years in charge of the Boyertown softball program.

Pick up Sunday's Mercury, which includes a profile of longtime Boyertown softball coach Sue Benfield, coverage of Perkiomen Valley/Methacton boys lacrosse, and our 2013 softball previews.

SOFTBALL: Benfield leaves quite a legacy at Boyertown

BOYS LACROSSE: Perkiomen Valley beats Methacton in "Rivalry Day" showdown

SOFTBALL: 2013 Season Preview Capsules

LOCAL ROUNDUP: Spring-Ford, Methacton combine for 5 firsts in track and field classic

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Mercury Sports: Thursday recap

Perkiomen School's Jose Marce (5) advances to third after tagging up on a fly ball in the bottom of the second inning Thursday. Upper Perkiomen third baseman Ryan Harris tries to apply the late tag. (John Strickler/The Mercury)

Pick up Friday's edition of The Mercury, which includes coverage of Perkiomen School/Upper Perkiomen and Perkiomen Valley/Phoenixville baseball and Perkiomen Valley/Phoenixville softball.

BASEBALL: Phoenixville outlasts Perkiomen Valley in 8 innings

BASEBALL: Perkiomen School doubles up Upper Perkiomen

SOFTBALL: Minnick seizes chance, leads Perkiomen Valley past Phoenixville

Also in Friday's Mercury: A special commemorative section on the Spring-Ford girls basketball state championship

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

BASEBALL: Boyertown rallies past Perkiomen Valley to win PAC-10 opener

Perkiomen Valley’s Chase Ott, right, steals second base as Boyertown’s Tony Casper awaits the throw in the top of the second during Wednesday’s PAC-10 baseball game at Bear Stadium. (John Strickler/The Mercury)

By Dennis Weller

BOYERTOWN — The challenge for the Boyertown baseball team this year will be to score some runs to go along with what will undoubtedly be a strong pitching staff. And though it took the Bear batters a while to get on the board in Wednesday afternoon’s season and Pioneer Athletic Conference opener at Bear Stadium, three runs in the fifth inning turned out to be enough to supplement the pitching of A.J. Bogucki, Dan Woodley, and Tyler Bauman in a 3-2 win over Perkiomen Valley.
Bogucki struck out eight through four innings and also knocked in the Bears’ first run with a line single to center, Woodley picked up the win after allowing only an unearned run in the fifth, and Bauman earned a save with two scoreless frames. Jay Jabs pitched well in a losing effort for the Vikings (0-1, 1-1).

(For complete story, click here ...)

BOYS LACROSSE: Perkiomen Valley handles Phoenixville in PAC-10 opener

Phoenixville's Rob Miller attempts to run around the defense of Perkiomen Valley's Ben Minardi during Wednesday's PAC-10 boys lacrosse game. (Photo by Barry Taglieber)
By Barry Sankey

PHOENIXVILLE — It is early in the spring sports season, and coaches are still hunting for the right combination of players along with the search for hard work and improvement with each practice session and game.
Perkiomen Valley first-year coach Bryan Churchey also sought a complete game from his players during Wednesday afternoon’s Pioneer Athletic Conference contest against Phoenixville.
The Vikings found both their offense and defense clicking that led to an 11-2 victory over the Phantoms at their new multi-purpose turf field.

(For complete story, click here ... )

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

BOYS TENNIS: Doubles teams key as Perkiomen Valley tops Owen J. Roberts

John Strickler/The Mercury Perkiomen Valley’s Vash Singh follows through during Tuesday’s No. 1 singles match against Owen J. Roberts’ Utkarsh Pandey. Singh won, 6-2, 6-4.

By Dennis Weller

GRATERFORD — Some good young players have jumped into the Perkiomen Valley singles spots, leaving the veterans at doubles. And that has been a winning combination for the Vikings so far in the early stages of the Pioneer Athletic Conference boys tennis schedule. The Vikings won their second straight match Tuesday afternoon, 5-2, over visiting Owen J. Roberts.
Yash Singh won at No. 1 singles for PV (2-0, 2-0) and Evan Newbill was victorious in the No. 3 spot. The second, third and fourth doubles teams also came out on top for Perk Valley, just as they had in a surprising 4-3 win over defending champion Phoenixville last week. Ethan Gelting won at second singles and Drew Brown and Tim Craybill at No. 2 doubles for the Wildcats (1-1, 1-2).

(For complete story, click here ... )

Friday, March 22, 2013


Game highlights, including post-game medal ceremony (video by Darryl Grumling/edited by Frank Otto)

By Mercury Staff

Spring-Ford's girls basketball team is golden.

The Rams beat Cumberland Valley, Friday night, 60-45, for the PIAA Class AAAA championship.

It was the first basketball title for an area school since the Pottstown boys in 1993. It was the Rams' first ever trip to the title game.

For complete coverage by Don Seeley, Austin Hertzog and Darryl Grumling, click on the below links:

Spring-Ford wins first state championship

Dynamic defense lifts Rams to PIAA crown

Superb, selfless seniors carry Spring-Ford to PIAA title

Future looks bright for Rams

There is plenty of video here and on our YouTube page at

Don't miss Saturday's print edition of The Mercury, which includes a full photo page as part of five full pages of coverage.

Spring-Ford players receive their gold medals (video by Darryl Grumling)

Spring-Ford wins the PIAA Class AAAA Championship (Video by Darryl Grumling)

* * *

Below is video from tonight's game as it happened, courtesy of Darryl Grumling (@MercSmokinD), Austin Hertzog (@AustinHertzog) and Don Seeley (@DonSeeley1). Some clips are posted here, and all are available on our YouTube page at

After the jump you can find even more video.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Spring-Ford faces Cumberland Valley for PIAA-AAAA crown

Spring-Ford takes on Cumberland Valley in the PIAA-AAAA girls basketball championship game Friday night at 6 p.m. at Hershey's Giant Center.

By Darryl Grumling

From the time a lot of them first met on the basketball court, as fifth-graders, they formed a bond that through the years would become tensile-strong.
Their sorority was based on success brought about by hard work, determination and drive.
Friday night, that magical journey that began way back at their school’s 7th Grade Center has reached its final destination for the five seniors on Spring-Ford’s girls basketball team.
The Pioneer Athletic Conference and District 1 champion Rams (31-2) square off against District 3 No. 5 seed Cumberland Valley (26-6) at 6 p.m. at Hershey’s Giant Center with the PIAA Class AAAA championship on the line.
Spring-Ford, which has won 23 straight games and is ranked 22nd in the nation by USA Today, is attempting to bring home its first state crown in a team sport in its 48-year history.

(For complete story, click here ... )

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Spring-Ford vs. Cumberland Valley breakdown

Brittany Moore (10), Sarah Payonk (54), Shelby Mueller (5), Courtney Hinnant (14) and the Spring-Ford girls basketball team overcame one of their toughest tests of the season Tuesday in a semifinal win over Cardinal O’Hara and are set to face District 3’s Cumberland Valley in the state championship game Friday night at Giant Center in Hershey. (John Strickler/The Mercury)

By Darryl Grumling

If you’re looking for someone to break down Friday’s PIAA Class AAAA girls basketball championship matchup between District 1 champion Spring-Ford and District 3 No. 5 seed Cumberland Valley, there’s likely no one more qualified than Mount St. Joseph Academy coach John Miller.
First off, Miller is one of the most successful and highly respected coaches in the state.
Perhaps more importantly, Miller’s squad lost just four times in 30 games this season. Two of those defeats were to Spring-Ford. The other two were to Cumberland Valley.
One thing that won’t be hard to predict is that the game will feature a battle of contrasting styles.

(For complete story, click here ... )

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Spring-Ford’s Stipa a star generations in the making

Spring-Ford's Sammy Stipa celebrates Tuesday's PIAA-AAAA semifinal win over Cardinal O'Hara. Stipa, Brittany Moore (10) and the Rams take on Cumberland Valley for the state championship Friday at 6 at Hershey's Giant Center.

By Don Seeley

ROYERSFORD – Bob Stipa made quite a name for himself as a three-sport standout at the former Spring City High School. Mark Stipa was a pretty darn good two-sport athlete at Spring-Ford. And the late Jerry Hefelfinger was indeed revered as an outstanding three-sport athlete at the former Collegeville-Trappe High School.
But the older fellas yield to the youngest, and only female among them … Sammy Stipa.
Sammy Stipa, of course, is the 5-foot-5 dynamo who has filled many roles and filled them superbly in the rambunctious Rams’ drive to Friday night’s PIAA-Class AAAA final against Cumberland Valley at the Giant Center in Hershey.

(For complete story, click here ... )