With the 2016 season less than a week away, it’s a good time to check in on upcoming milestones teams across the state can reach this season. All of the current statistics come from the Wins List published on this site, which is based primarily on the research of Dr. Roger Saylor and can be found here. Because 2016 will feature a 15-game season, all teams that fall within 15 games of each milestone are included below.
*Numbers in parentheses indicate statistics entering the 2016 season.
Central [Philadelphia] (692)
North Penn [Lansdale] (594)
Central Bucks West (594)
Erie Cathedral Prep (586)
Roman Catholic (499)
Cumberland Valley (496)
Wilkes-Barre Meyers (494)
Lancaster Catholic (492)
Pen Argyl (489)
Camp Hill (487)
Erie McDowell (485)
South Philadelphia (397)
Mercersburg Academy (393)
Cameron County (393)
Karns City (393)
Ligonier Valley (392)
Riverside [Taylor] (392)
Union [Rimersburg] (392)
Conemaugh Township (392)
Allentown Central Catholic (387)
North Allegheny (387)
North Schuylkill (299)
Exeter Township (297)
Conrad Weiser (297)
Warrior Run (296)
Southern Huntingdon (295)
Central Columbia (294)
Archbishop Carroll (291)
Archbishop Ryan (290)
Upper Perkiomen (289)
Kiski Area (289)
Belle Vernon (289)
Bishop Canevin (285)
East Allegheny (285)
Cambria Heights (199)
Martin Luther King (198)
Academy Park (196)
Perkiomen Valley (193)
Serra Catholic (187)
York County Tech (94)
West Chester Rustin (89)
Bishop Shanahan (86)
GAMES PLAYED, min. 1000
List includes week and opponent when team would reach milestone. The week refers to the team’s game number; the PIAA is referring to games on August 26th as “Week Zero,” but those games will be shown here as “Week 1.” If a team plays two scrimmages, its “Week 1” may be a week later than the “Week 1” of a team who plays one scrimmage. All schedules via Western PA Football and Eastern PA Football.
Easton (1199) – Week 1 vs. Stroudsburg
Steelton-Highspire (1198) – Week 2 vs. North Schuylkill
Connellsville (1095) – Week 5 at Kiski Area
Pottstown (1094) – Week 6 vs. Pottsgrove
William Penn Charter (1092) – Week 8 at Chestnut Hill Academy
Beaver Falls (1087) – Week 13, playoffs
Greensburg Salem (1086) – Week 14, playoffs
Titusville (998) – Week 2 at Fairview
Carlisle (995) – Week 5 vs. State College
Curwensville (995) – Week 5 vs. Kane
Ellwood City (995) – Week 5 vs. Valley
Oil City (995) – Week 5 vs. Grove City
Hollidaysburg (993) – Week 7 at Tyrone
Hanover Area (990) – Week 10 at Nanticoke
Sharpsville (989) – Week 11, playoffs
Latrobe (987) – Week 13, playoffs
West Catholic [Philadelphia] (985) – Week 15, playoffs
Through the end of the 2015 NFL season, Pennsylvania ranks 4th in the number of players produced by any state. There have been 1,396 players from the Keystone State play professional football since 1920, and that number will grow this season as recent draft picks and undrafted signees appear in games during the 2016 season.
Of those nearly 1,400 players, at least 778 have been drafted into the NFL. Another 67 were drafted into the AFL; many AFL draftees were also picked by NFL teams, meaning there are several players who were picked twice. All of this data comes from Pro Football Reference, an incredible resource for a variety of statistics, including listings of the high schools attended by players throughout history. I went through the pages of each of the listed Pennsylvania high schools and created a spreadsheet of players drafted into both the NFL and AFL. You can view the lists of drafted players from Pennsylvania high schools here:
Note: Each player’s name links to his PFR page, if available.
Here’s where you come in:
While PFR is one of (if not the) best websites for historical football data anywhere, its listings of player high schools is far from perfect. The most time-consuming part of this project was finding and correcting the high schools each player attended. Most commonly, the error was a typo or misspelling of a school name (here’s the full list of high schools). For example, East Pennsboro is listed twice – once for Mickey Shuler and once for Mickey Shuler, Jr. – because one entry lists the high school location as Enola and one has the location as East Pennsboro. Both are referring to the same school, of course. High schools themselves contained errors, too: former linebacker Micheal Barrow’s profile shows that he attended Homestead High School, which he did…except he graduated from the one outside of Miami, not the now-closed Homestead High School outside of Pittsburgh.
I’ve corrected these errors as completely as possible, but there are two issues that I’ll need your help addressing:
Further corrections of high schools attended by draftees or any other incorrect information about that player
Finding drafted players who do not have a PFR page
Point 2 is the biggest hurdle in making these lists 100% complete. Players only show up for a high school if they have a PFR page, and a player only has a PFR page if he appeared in at least one NFL game. There are surely countless Pennsylvania high school graduates who were drafted and did not appear in an NFL game and therefore do not have a PFR page. These are the players who are missing from the lists I’ve compiled. Many of these players are late-round picks or were chosen in the early days of the draft when it wasn’t uncommon for a player to be selected and choose not to pursue professional football (even if he was a high-round pick). Here’s the page for the 1945 NFL Draft; all of the players without a linked name do not have a PFR page and therefore do not have a high school shown on the website. Undoubtedly, at least a few of these players are Pennsylvania natives who need to be included in the NFL and AFL Draftee lists.
So, what can you do to help?
If you’re aware of a player from a high school who was drafted but isn’t included on one of the lists I’ve put together, send me his name, the approximate year he was drafted and any other vital information that may help find him. You can comment on this post, tweet at me (@pa_fb_history) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. After using all of the info provided by PFR, a community-based research effort is the best way to make these lists as complete as possible.
We often think of all-state teams as being meticulously thought-out and analyzed, but from Scott’s own admission, this wasn’t the case for the inaugural edition in 1939. Scott’s recollection depicts him being told – during the season’s final game – that he should pick his own team for the AP. Following discussions with football people at that Clearfield vs. Blythe Township game, Scott published a team that he acknowledges missed on one player: Pittston’s Charlie Trippi. Give Scott credit for selecting players from across the commonwealth, though; virtually all corners of the state are represented. Of course, Scott’s greatest accomplishment was beginning the AP All-State team in the first place. The team was selected every year through 2008.
As an aside: Blythe Township won the game 12-0. The school fielded a team until the end of the 1958 season and its high school students now attend Pottsville.
One more thing – the birthplace of the AP All-State team still stands, but it hasn’t hosted a high school football game since the mid-1970s. It now serves as the grandstand for the Clearfield County Fair:
Fans across the state have had plenty to say about Pennsylvania’s move to six classifications for football ever since the decision was made earlier this school year. Instead of rehashing all of the debate that has occurred since then, I wanted to take a look at the new arrangement from a geographical perspective. State playoffs in football (and many other PIAA sports) are based around an East vs. West arrangement. In the past, this strict division hasn’t always been possible; for the past few seasons, the AAA winner of the Pittsburgh City League advanced into a subregional that played through the eastern bracket. In 2009, Clairton beat Bishop McCort for the Class A state championship, meaning no team in the final hailed from farther east than Johnstown.
There are, of course, other examples of the geographic breakdown of the state football playoffs not quite matching common sense. But these irregularities are based in the unequal populations of eastern and western Pennsylvania as a whole. This map of each football program in the state bears that out. Make the map full-screen and then check the boxes next to each classification to show or hide each school playing at that level over the next two seasons. This map groups teams by the classification they have chosen to play for if they decided to play up, so Aliquippa is grouped with 3A instead of 1A, the classification in which its enrollment initially placed it. All school enrollment information comes from this PIAA document, so please let me know if there are any errors that may need to be corrected.
As expected, the East – and District 1 in particular – dominates the large school classifications. In the new 6A class, the East-West alignment is as clear-cut as it could possibly be. The class is comprised of a bunch of schools from the Philadelphia-to-Allentown corridor, a number of Pittsburgh-area schools, and then a light smattering from across the rest of the state. Adding in the 5A schools does virtually nothing to change this distinct geographic separation of schools.
Classes 4A and 3A are more evenly spread across the state, with the exception of the sparsely inhabited north-central part of Pennsylvania. The Pittsburgh area maintains a large number of schools in these classes, while the large-school dominance of suburban Philadelphia gives way to more schools in the south-central part of the state.
Down at 2A, the tables have completely turned from the larger classes, as a large number of schools from the far western part of the state make up a significant chunk of the class. The stretch from Washington to New Castle has a number of 2A schools, as does – to a lesser extent – the Coal Region.
The smallest class, 1A, has a fairly even spread geographically with the exception of southeastern Pennsylvania. In fact, only 7 teams in 1A are located east of Interstate 81.
What do you think? Share any observations or discussion points in the comments.
The Wins List has now been updated for all teams through the end of the 2015 season – you can check it out here. All 1,178 programs to record at least 1 game played by the Dr. Roger Saylor Football Records are included in the list. Before you look at the list, though, be sure to quiz yourself on naming all 113 programs with 500+ wins. Note that one of those programs is now defunct.
After you take the quiz, check out some observations of the list (SPOILER WARNING IF YOU’RE PLANNING ON TAKING THE QUIZ). Have anything to add or find anything cool/interesting/strange in the list? Let us know in the comments. And, as always, please let us know if there are any errors or corrections.
Individual rushing statistics have been added to the “Individual Statistics –> Rushing” tab on the menu. All rushing statistics shown here were collected from archived copies of the Pennsylvania Football News’ Keystone Clubs and are current through the end of the 2015 season.
A few observations:
There have been 2,547 seasons in which a Pennsylvania high school football player has rushed for at least 1,000 yards. A number of these instances involve the same player rushing for 1,000+ yards more than once in his career.
The only players to lead the state in rushing yards twice are LeSean McCoy (2003 & 2004), Ryan Brumfield (2009 & 2010) and Dominick Bragalone (2013 & 2014).
The lowest total to lead the state since 2000 was 2,272 by Robbie Frey of Lehighton in 2005. That ranks 75th in single-season history.
The highest total not to lead the state was 2,974. Lakeview’s Blake Reddick rushed for the 6th-highest total of this century, but finished 2nd in 2013. Reddick finished 294 yards behind South Williamsport’s Bragalone.
Through 2015, only two players have rushed for 4,000+ yards (Bragalone and Zach Barket). Five have eclipsed 3,000 yards and 177 have hit 2,000 or more.
The list shown here is as accurate as possible, but there may still be errors or omissions. Additionally, any information pointing toward players who rushed for more than 1,000 yards before 2000 would be greatly appreciated. This is a growing document and any assistance in including as many players from past years is helpful.
USA Today released its All-USA Pennsylvania Football Team today, naming two offensive and two defensive teams. The full team can be seen here. Imhotep Charter’s Albie Crosby was named state coach of the year, while Council Rock North’s Brandon McIlwain and Pittsburgh Central Catholic’s Damar Hamlin earned Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively. PCC led all teams with 6 players honored, while Imhotep landed 5 players on the list.
The USA Today All-America teams were also announced, with Imhotep’s Naseir Upshur the only honoree from Pennsylvania; he was named a second-team tight end. Those teams can be found here: