Stone leaves most-winning legacy at Greenville
One could say, without a doubt, that Greenville High School's highly impressive football program has been both literally and figuratively "etched in Stone."
For 29 seasons, Bob Stone has been the head man of the Trojans' grid programs.
"Stoney" stepped down recently following a career that earned him the distinction of being the most-winning coach in Mercer County gridiron history. That folks is a most highly and worthy honor. His overall record: 222 victories, 75 losses and six ties.
I first met Stone when he was an assistant under another coaching legend at Greenville High -- Ed Snyder. If my memory serves me correctly, the Trojans were then members of the Northwest Conference. And year in and year out, they usually were labeled as the team to beat.
Greenville under Snyder racked up a highly-impressive record of 152-64-10 in 26 seasons.
What impressed everyone so much is the fact that Greenville High football had but two coaches when Snyder led the program.
Today, there are usually just about as many coaches on the sidelines as there are players on the field. Just kidding.
Two coaches were enough
"Yup," Snyder replied when asked about his two-man coaching staff. "There's just Bob and I."
They really didn't need any more coaches, not the way the Trojans operated for Ed and Bob.
Stone was a gentleman on and off the field. His teams were not only well-coached but they played very hard with respect and dignity for their opposition.
Good sportsmanship was a key word in Stone's teachings. He would have it no other way. Bob learned a lot from his buddy, Snyder: How to treat kids, respect people in general plus all the other great things that stem from the game of football.
While the amount of wins speak for themselves, Stone's real pride stemmed from the impact he was able to make on youngsters both as a football coach and as an educator.
He's been a teacher for 40 years, 45 as a coach. He has helped hundreds of his students with their college aspirations and hopes of the future.
Stone's role as a head coach at Greenville is over, however, he could wind up on the sidelines as a Trojans assistant coach. That scenario will unfold in the weeks and months ahead. It certainly would be great to see Bob back on he sidelines, especially at Greenville High.
One thing is for certain, Stone's career was one to behold and it's one Mercer County football fans will not forget.
Thanks, Bob, for the great ride and good luck with all of your future endeavors.
West Middlesex nearly perfect
It was a tremendous season for Coach Brian Hoffman and his West Middlesex High School Big Reds football team. Running up a record of 15-0, the Big Reds finally met their match in the Class A state title game in Hershey at the hands of another unbeaten powerhouse in Southern Columbia.
For his tremendous coaching ability this season, Hoffman has been named as the Associated Press Class A Coach of the Year, an honor he highly deserved.
Two of his top-notch players, quarterback Kolten Hoffman and Steve Andrusky were awarded first-team honors. In addition, Kennedy Catholic's hard-running back, Lee Plotts, who played for Kennedy Coach Mike Donato, was accorded second team honors.
Hofffman, the quarterback, was nothing less than spectacular all season. Time and again he would come up with key plays that would lift the Big Reds into victory lane. Andrusky was the big play man for the Reds and he would step up and take control when the situation called for it.
Hoffman set a new Mercer County passing record when he turned in a career total of 5,052 yards.
As for Plotts, he rushed for 2,074 yards and scored 164 points this season. He and teammate Ross Gargano became the first teammates in Pennsylvania history to ever go over the 4,000-career yard mark in the same season.