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“NEW BEGINNINGS” by Mel Thomas Jr.

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This past weekend I had the privilege of attending a Friday night football game for the first time in quite a while. The game did not disappoint. It was the Whitehall Head Coach Andy Marino’s first game in a head-to-head match with the William Allen first year head coach Joel Rupp Jr’s first game. 

To my surprise the atmosphere was absolutely electric in Whitehall. I noticed their fans and the student body really provided a lot of energy and presented an exciting start to the season.

At kick-off it was noticeable also that both of these new high school head coaches seemed anxious as they would kick-off their new programs. The game started fast as Allen kicked off to Whitehall. The initial play resulted in an offside penalty by Allen. Perhaps it was just the first game jitters. Allen had to re-kick the opening play and just like that, Whitehall was able to capitalize and scored their first touchdown of the year on their opening kick-off, down the right sideline. This would be an indication of how the game would progress for the rest of the night. Whitehall had control of the game from the first whistle to the last. Their defense only allowed one first down the entire first half, while their offense was able to take advantage of an Allen defense that had young players in some key spots.

I think it’s important to talk about what happened that night by shining a light on these twocoaches. I saw a Whitehall football team that seemed disciplined and well coached. I observed a coaching staff that engaged the kids with intensity and passion. I saw a team that had the ability to really do good things this season under the leadership of Coach Marino.

On the other hand, I observed from William Allen a team that had a tremendous amount of fight but lacked the experience of the Friday Night Lights. I observed a coaching staff that hustled to keep their athletes engaged and focused. I was proud mostly of Coach Joel Rupp, whom I observed coaching and teaching from the first whistle to the last. He was consistent despite the 53-0 outcome. There appears to be some growth happening at William Allen.

Whitehall High School thank you for an amazing experience last Friday night. Coach Marino keep up the good work and keep grinding. Coach Rupp, the sky’s the limit and I am looking forward to your program growing and your athletes having success.

Ok folks, this is my first attempt at blogging.  I look forward to your feedback. Until next time…

Football is Life!



Check back to the “SportsTalk Shop” throughout the high school fall football season for more commentary and observations from Mel Thomas Jr and feel free to post a comment or greeting below.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Astound Broadband or any other agency, organization, employer or company.