Bill Engelhardt's MUSTANGS GRIDIRON Corner

This site is currently dedicated to covering the fortunes of the South Western High School MUSTANGS football team in York County, Pennsylvania. SOUTH WESTERN MUSTANGS GRIDIRON columns will be posted for a preseason review and following each game during the season. And we will follow my Alma Mater, the CUTTERS of Fair Lawn High School in Bergen County, New Jersey, with THE GRIDIRON columns by my twin brother Dick, the stadium announcer "Voice of the CUTTERS."

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Location: Glenville, Pennsylvania, United States

Saturday, August 09, 2014

SOUTH WESTERN MUSTANGS GRIDIRON 2014-1


Preseason Review

By Bill Engelhardt
________


The Mustangs of South Western return to gridiron action Friday night, August 29, as they host the Warriors of Gettysburg to kick off the 2014 season.  The Warriors have left the Mid Pen Conference and joined the York Adams Interscholastic Athletic Association (YAIAA) this year, resulting in a realignment of the three YAIAA divisions.  The Warriors are in Division II so this is a non-league contest.  Division I, now an 8 team division, consists of Central York, Dallastown, New Oxford, Northeastern, Red Lion, South Western, Spring Grove, and William Penn, with New Oxford and Northeastern moving up from Division II.

The Mustangs begin their third year under coach Damian Poalucci and are looking forward to a successful season as they enter the 55th year of the football program.  They have a career 341-209-8 record with a .620 winning percentage and a .625 non-losing percentage.  They are 335-200-8 in regular season play.  This year the Mustangs have a good group of returning seniors, returning starters and lettermen, and some exciting new players to watch, and hope to resume the winning tradition, which includes 12 league titles since 1990 and 16 in the history of the school.

Seniors Matt Helwig, Tyler Jachelski, Ryan Krebs, Hunter Palmer, Brady Thayer, and Jonas Walter, and juniors Skylar Bowman, Brock Geiman, Robby Harbison, and Noah Staub are returning starters.  Seniors Like Baugher, Bret Hertzog, and Gustave Landis, and juniors Scott Dickmyer, Miles Francis, Tyler Fulmore, and Zach Hughes are also returning letterman.

 Seniors Marcus Jones, Mitch Muir, and T.J. Sneeringer, juniors Corbin Byers, Mike Farace, Jeffrey Green, Matt Smolko, Gage Thomas, and Josh Zeroth, and sophomores Kobe Carbaugh, Drew Hartlaub, Seth Janey, Evan Raubenstine, and Austin Ruesing are up and comers to watch this year.

The graduation of key players Logan Bowman, Camden Brown, Gunner Holtz, Ryan Lane, Jordan Markle, Brandon McMinn, Tyler Sterner, Payton Taylor, and Dillon Thomas still leaves the Mustangs with a cadre of seasoned players.  Senior Ryan Krebs and junior Brock Geiman have both seen significant playing time at the all important quarterback position and both are ready and excited to vie to be the starter, leaving the position in good hands regardless of which one is behind the center.

We look for Harbison, Fulmore and Walter to vie for the fullback position and lead the heralded rushing attack, and provide depth, and Francis, Green, Hertzog, Hartlaub, Hughes, and Thomas will round out the offensive backfield and continue the great running tradition of the Mustangs.  Departed Dillon Thomas led the rushing attack last year with 485-yards and 5 touchdowns, but Francis had 219-yards and a touchdown, Walter had 167-yards, and Harbison had 150-yards and a touchdown, so there is experience in the backfield.

We are looking for Staub (14 receptions for 251-yards and 4 touchdowns), Thayer (10 receptions for 228-yards and 2 touchdowns), Palmer (7 receptions for 98-yards) in 2013, and Byers, and Smolko,to form the nucleus of a solid receiving corps. Francis (3 receptions for 61-yards) and Hertzog (2 receptions for 28-yards) in 2013, have experience catching the ball out of the backfield.

Among the returning players, Helwig (7 tackles), Jones (5 tackles), Byers (4 tackles), Zeroth (4 tackles), Landis (3 tackles) Baugher (1 tackle), and Dickmyer (1 tackle) in 2013, have significant experience on either the offensive or defensive line and should figure prominently again this year, along with Carbaugh, Jachelski, Janey, Muir, Ruesing, and Sneeringer.  The trenches will certainly be a significant factor in the success of the Mustangs this year.

Jachelski (73 tackles), Walter (33 tackles), Bowman (16 tackles), Harbison (3 tackles), Thomas (3 tackles), Farace (1 tackle), Hertzog (1 tackle) in 2013, leave the Mustangs in great shape at the linebacker position.  All are seasoned veterans.  And, Fulmore, Raubenstine, and Smolko should fit in nicely here as well.

Palmer (33 tackles), Krebs (32 tackles), Geiman (6 tackles), Thayer (6 tackles), (Hughes (4 tackles), and Francis (2 tackles) in 2013, should all see plenty of action in the secondary, with help from Green, Hartlaub, and Staub.

Geiman, with 38 kickoffs and 39 punts (for 1,323-yards and a 33.92-yard average), 25 extra points, and 2 field goals, in 2013, leaves the kicking game in experienced hands.

Damian Poalucci is ready and eager to lead the Mustangs into a new season against the Warriors of Gettysburg.  In his preseason outlook he said, “The Mustang Corral should be filled with offensive excitement this season with many returning starters on the offensive side of the ball.  With the graduation of Dillon Thomas (who became the school’s leading rusher in Game # 3 last season) Jonas Walter, Robby Harbison, and Tyler Fulmore look to earn the starting position in summer camp.  The rest of the offensive backfield will be filled by returning lettermen Bret Hertzog, Zack Hughes, Miles Francis, Jeff Green, and newcomer Drew Hartlaub.

Brock Geiman and Ryan Krebs will have a shootout for the starting quarterback position with the departure of Lebannon Valley College recruit Tyler Sterner.  With a strong receiver corp consisting of returning lettermen Hunter Palmer, Brady Thayer, and Noah Staub the QB’s should have many options to get the ball downfield.

The old cliché’ that “it all starts with the line” has never been more applicable.  The fate of the Mustang Football Team clearly rests up front.  The offensive and defensive line will be anchored by seniors Matt Helwig, Gus Landis, Marcus Jones, and returning junior starter Skylar Bowman.  Newcomers to the offensive and defensive line Scotty Dickmyer, TJ Sneeringer, Josh Zeroth and Corbin Byers will play a vital role on both sides of the football.

We do return significant playing experience in the defensive side of the ball with Ryan Krebs and Hunter Palmer returning to their safety and cornerback positions.  Tyler Jachelski will return to his ILB position and be joined by Sklyar Bowman who is moving from DE.  The outside backer position returns letterman winners senior Bret Hertog,  and juniors Matt Smolko, and  Chris Ginevra.

NEVER AGAIN is 2014 mantra in the South Western Corral.  The off-season work ethic in the weight room, 7v7s, voluntary camps, and instructional sessions was excellent, actually the best in many years.  The up and coming sophomores (Drew Hartlaub, Tyler Bynaker, Kobe Carbaugh, Nate VanCampen, and Jake Warrington) worked tirelessly this summer and may contribute to the returning players and lettermen.

The absolute, number one, positive with this group has been the bond of classes and willingness to work together.  There has been outstanding senior/junior leadership from the starters, lettermen, and “players to watch” (noted elsewhere in this article) and these young men really want to continue the strong tradition of Mustang Football!

                                                                                                Go Mustangs!!!!
                                                                                                            Damian Poalucci”

From here it looks like the South Western Mustangs are ready and eager to provide all the thrills and excitement their faithful fans have come to expect in their 55th season.  I think the Mustangs are up to the challenge of resuming their winning ways.  I can’t wait for the start of the 2014 season.  GO MUSTANGS GO.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

FAIR LAWN HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL RECORD 1943 – PRESENT

By Dick Engelhardt 

Leagues:  B-PIL Bergen-Passaic Interscholastic League, 1945 - 55
NBIL The B-PIL was renamed in 1956 as the Northern Bergen Interscholastic League, 1956 – 1958 and 1984 - 2008
                 NNJIL Northern New Jersey Interscholastic League, 1959 – 83
                 North Jersey Tri-County Conference (NJTCC) 2009           
                 Big North Conference (BNC) Liberty Division 2010-             
             
The 1940s
1943               4 - 1 - 1 (.800) Independent Schedule                                                
1944                5 - 3 - 1 (.625) Independent Schedule                                                            
1945                4 - 3 - 2 (.571) B-PIL Champs!
1946               6 - 3       (.667) B-PIL Co - Champs with Bogota
1947               8 - 1       (.889) B-PIL Co – Champs with Lyndhurst
1948               4 - 3 - 1 (.571)
1949               7 - 1       (.875)                                                                 PF                   PA      
TOTALS:       38-15-5 (.717)                                                                  843                 458

A great start for the new “CUTTERS Of Fair Lawn High” under coaches Marty Fischbein 1943 – 44 and Frank Bennett starting in 1945. Bennett’s CUTTERS joined the B-PIL his first year and won championships in 1945, 46 and 47.

The 1950s

1950                1 - 7       (.125)
1951                3 - 5       (.375)
1952                6 - 2 – 1 (.750)
1953                7 - 1        (.875) B-PIL Champs & Co-State Group III Champs with
                                                       Hackensack
1954                2 - 6       (.250)
1955                7 - 1        (.875) B-PIL Champs
1956                5 - 3        (.625)
1957                3 - 3 - 1  (.500)
1958                2 - 5 - 1  (.286)
1959                6 - 2        (.750)                                                           PF                   PA      
TOTALS:       42-35-3  (.545)                                                            1,358               1,174
1943-59:          80-50-8  (.625)                                                           2,201               1,632

The 1950s saw Bennett’s CUTTERS take 2 more B-PIL titles just missing in 1952. The
League changed its name in ’56 when Hawthorne, the only Passaic County school,
dropped out. Fair Lawn and Ridgewood moved up to the NNJIL in 1959 and the
CUTTERS nearly took the title finishing a half game behind Hackensack though the
CUTTERS had beaten the COMETS 27-6.

The 1960s

1960                0-9       (.000)
1961                3-5       (.375)
1962                5-4       (.556)
1963                5-4       (.556)
1964                6-2-1   (.750)
1965                8-0-1   (1.000) NNJIL Champs
1966                8-1       (.889)   NNJIL Champs
1967                3-6       (.333)
1968                5-4       (.556)
1969                6-3       (.667)                                                              PF                   PA      
TOTALS:      49-38-2 (.563)                                                              1,476               1,188
1943-69:    129-88-10 (.594)                                                              3,677               2,820

Wow, what a decade! Legendary Coach Frank Bennett retired from coaching after the
1960 season, Fair Lawn’s first ever-winless season. His 16 years at the helm were the
longest of any coach. Mike Albergue’s 1988-2001 tenure was next longest followed
by Pete Natale’s 1978-87 reign. Coach Ed Sheehy was diagnosed with Cancer after the
1964 season and died before the 1965 season. After losing their first two games in ’64,
Sheehy’s CUTTERS began the wonderful 24 game non-losing streak that ended with
that shocking 40 – 34 upset by the MAROONS of Ridgewood on Thanksgiving Day of
1966 before some 13,000 fans at what is now SASSO FIELD. Coach Frank Devens led
our CUTTERS to NNJIL championships in 1965 and 1966. His 1965 team remains the
only undefeated team in FLHS history.

The 1970s

                        1970                3-6       (.333)
                        1971                6-3       (.667)
                        1972                3-5-1   (.375)
                        1973                2-7       (.222)
                        1974                2-6-1   (.250)
                        1975                4-5       (.444)
                        1976                0-9       (.000)
                        1977                2-7       (.222)
                        1978                6-3       (.667)
                        1979                7-2-1   (.778) Made The State Playoffs; lost to Clifton 30 – 0                    
                        TOTALS:      35-53-3 (.398)                                                  PF 1,233         PA 1,643
                        1943-79        164-141-13 (.538)                                             PF 4,910         PA 4,463

                        Not a good decade but 1978 did bring Pete Natale as head coach and athletic director after Al Reinoso (1972-74) and Rich Szura (1975-77) couldn’t make our CUTTERS winners. The ‘70s finished strong leading into the successful 80s.

The 1980s

                        1980                9-2       (.818) NNJIL Tri-Champs with Clifton and Passaic Valley
                                                                        and Beat Passaic in States at GIANTS STADIUM
                                                                        before losing 20- 0 to Passaic Valley in finals.
                        1981                2-7       (.222)
                        1982                0-9       (.000)
                        1983                2-7       (.222)
                        1984                7-2       (.778) Returned to NBIL & won Division 1 title
                        1985                9-1       (.900) Took NBIL Division 1 title & lost 36-26 to
                                                                        Passaic in States.
                        1986                7-2       (.778)
                        1987                9-1       (.900) Took NBIL Division 1 title & lost 12-6 to
                                                                        Bayonne in States.
                        1988                6-4       (.600)  Lost 20-6 to JFK of Paterson in States.
                        1989                8-3       (.727) Took NBIL Division 1 title & lost 19-14
                                                                        to Hoboken in States after beating North Bergen 14-7.            
                        TOTALS:     59-38     (.608)                                                  PF 1,607         PA 1,306
                        1943-89:  223-179-13 (.555)                                                  PF 6,517         PA 5,769

                        The 1980s were a great decade. 1980 saw our CUTTERS win 9 games for the first
                        time ever. They were Tri-NNJIL Champs with Clifton and Passaic Valley and, in
                        one of the most exciting games in FLHS history they trailed the INDIANS of
                        Passaic 7-0, 12-0, 12-7 and 18-7 before roaring back to win 27-18 in the States at
GIANTS STADIUM. 1984 saw a return to the NBIL, which Fair Lawn had left in
1959 and our CUTTERS took the Division 1 title in 1984, 85, 87 and 89 and made the State
playoffs in 1980, 85, 87 and 89.

The 1990s

1990                4-5       (.444)
1991                4-4-1   (.500)
1992                2-7       (.222)
1993                1-8       (.111)             
1994                5-4       (.556)
1995                7-2       (.778)
1996                6-3       (.667)
1967                5-4       (.556)
1998                4-6       (.400)
1999                5-5       (.500)                                                                                                 
TOTALS:   43-48-1    (.473)                                                  PF 1,446         PA 1,428

1943-99: 266-227-14  (.540)                                                  PF 8,240         PA 7,331

The 1990s were not a great decade for our CUTTERS. 1994-96 were their only winning seasons and the ’95 CUTTERS beat Ramapo and the GREEN RAIDERS’ freshman QB
Chris Simms (son of Phil, the great GIANTS QB). The CUTTERS of Fair Lawn High would finish out the 20th century with an overall winning record!

The 2000s

2000                7-3       (.700) Made States losing great 14-6 battle with Hackensack!
2001                7-3       (.700)
2002                4-6       (.400)
2003                5-5       (.500)
2004                2-8       (.200)                                                                                     
2005                2-8       (.200)
2006                1-9       (.100)
2007                4-6       (.400)                                                                         
2008                6-4       (.600)
2009                7-4       (.636) Made states beating Passaic 39-38 & losing to Roxbury 42-7
TOTALS:      48-63    (.446)                                                   PF    1,960      PA 2,327

1943-2009:  311-283-14         (.524)                                       PF    10,200    PA 9,658

The 2010s

2010                3-7       (.300)                                                              149                  281
2011                1-8       (.111)                                                                72                  345
2012                2-8       (.200)                                                              128                  302
2013                0-9       (.000)                                                                80                  347     
TOTALS        6-32     (.158)                                                    PF       429       PA   1,275

1943-2013       317-315-14     (.502)                                       PF  10,629       PA 10,933