The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


August 28, 2013

Sharon hosts Farrell Friday in 68th Steel Bowl

---- — The 68th annual Steel Bowl between Sharon and Farrell will kick off the 2013 scholastic football campaign, 7 p.m. Friday at Tiger Stadium.

Here is some interesting trivia — though by no means, trivial — from arguably the Shenango Valley’s best rivalry, as researched by Farrell High athletic director Matt Vannoy:

ä Jim Wildman, who returns as Tigers’ taskmaster following an 11-year hiatus, posted a 9-4-1 Steel Bowl won-lost record during his previous Sharon stint as head coach. He was 8-2-1 against Farrell foil Lou Falconi.

Wildman and Falconi forged their personal Steel Bowl rivalry decades earlier.

On Friday, Nov. 13, 1964 before a reported 5,000 spectators at Tiger Stadium, Wildman, on a fake punt in a 4th-and-19 situation, threw a 49-yard touchdown toss to Rube White, helping stake Sharon to a 14-6 success.

The game concluded the local coaching careers of Sharon’s Tony Razzano and Farrell’s Tony Paulekas. Sharon’s 4-6 slate in ’64 squared Razzano’s slate at 29-29-2 (2-2-2 in Steel Bowls), while Paulekas produced a 94-67-12 won-lost mark for Farrell. Unfortunately, the loss that particular night in Paulekas’ swan song was the culmination of 9 consecutive seetbacks en route to an 0-9-1 season.

Paulekas, however, had the best Steel Bowl coaching record (8-7-3) until he was surpassed decades later by — you guessed it — Wildman.

ä When Wildman concluded his 25-year Tigers’ tenure, announcing his retirement in February, 2002, he was Mercer County’s winningest scholastic football coach (208).

Approximately 3è calendar years later, Falconi — in a unique, season-ending Thursday night game at Tiger Stadium — surpassed Wildman with Farrell’s 20-6 win. Falconi, following the 2006 season, finished with 210 wins in 27 seasons as Steelers’ skipper. Specifically in the Steel Bowl, however, Falconi finished 3-9-1.

ä As with Wildman and Falconi, current Steelers’ skipper Jarrett Samuels played in the Steel Bowl. As a senior in 1989 playing for Falconi, Samuels and the Steelers played Sharon to one of the series’ 7 stalemates — 6-6 on Friday, Sept. 1 at Farrell.

Not unlike Wildman — though not nearly as lengthy — Samuels, following Farrell’s 4-year, 48-9 success that included a trio of Class A western regional championship game appearances — took a 1-year hiatus before returning to the Steelers’ sideline last season.

Farrell has forged 4 consecutive Steel Bowl victories (including 28-27 on Friday, Sept. 2, 2011 at Tiger Stadium, Tim Scarvel’s lone season at the helm), and Samuels, thus far, is 3-2 in his Steel Bowl coaching career.

ä In the annals of Farrell High football, there have been 7 coaches:

 William Ganaposki (1922-36, 42-58-1 won-lost record, including 1-8-1 in Steel Bowls); LeRoy “Hank” Day (1937-46, 41-36-7 and 4-2-1); Paulekas (1947-64); Bill Gargano (1965-79, 80-64-6 and 5-7-1); Falconi, Samuels and Scarvel.

Sharon’s storied history has included head coaches A.W. Dickerson (1918-24, 28-27-5, 2-0 in Steel Bowls); R.B. McCandless (1925-27, 15-12-1, 1-1); Dave Stewart (1928-47, 114-64-17, 7-4-3); Cy James (1948-50, 6-21, 0-3); Johnny Chickerneo (1951-58, 50-25-3, 5-3); Razzano (1959-64); Cliff Smith (1965-71, 41-27-1, 4-3); Web Forsythe (1972-76, 12-32-4, 2-0-1); Wildman, and Bob Fromm (2004-12, 55-45, 3-5).

A footnote: Farrell coaches Down (1918), McCullough (1920) and Howard Eddy (1921-22) did not coach a game against Sharon; D.M. Phipps (1906-08), Oscar Aubit (1909), John Heinrich (1910-11) Bill Mansell (1912), S.T. Perley (1913-15), Ted Buckley (1916), Leo McKay (1917), and Bo Reichart (2002-03) were Sharon coaches who did not face Farrell.

ä Marlin Jackson ... Michael Archie ... Randy Holloway ... Lorenzo Styles ... Randy Crowder ... Judson Flint ... and Connell ultimately played in the National Football League.

Steel Bowl Single-Game Records

˝ Most touchdowns (4) — Booth (Sharon, 1923); Jesse Rodgers (Sharon), 2011; Freddie Wells (Farrell, 1957). (3) — Dion Eilam (Farrell, 2009); Winfred Bournes (Farrell, 1983); Al Campman (Farrell, 1971); Nick Cannone (Farrell, 1969); Joe Bosco (Sharon, 1954); Bob Hoffman (Farrell, 1951); Hugh McKinnis (Farrell, 1938).

˝ Most yards rushing (211) — Hugh McKinnis (Farrell, 1938). Others: Micah Wiley (Farrell, 2005), 206; Wilfred Pryts (Sharon, 1929), 180.

˝ Longest run from scrimmage (87, TD) — Judson Flint (Farrell, 1972). Others: Tony Cerra (Farrell, 1961), 86 (TD); Walt Lockhart (Sharon, 1958, 75 (TD).

˝ Longest pass play (59, TD) — Herbie Williams to Joey DeLise, Farrell, 1949.

˝ Longest punt return (80, TD) — Kevin Brodie (Farrell, 2010).

˝ Longest interception return (100, TD) — Wayna Smith-Austin (Sharon, 2012..

˝ Longest fumble return (86, TD) — Ramone West (Farrell, 2007).

˝ Longest field goal (38) — Mike Connell (Sharon, 1972). Connell’s game-winner with 1:45 remaining secured Sharon’s 17-14 win at Tiger Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 1.

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