Terry Glunt’s cell phone rang last Sunday afternoon while he was on his way to pay a debt he had promised to settle.
The balance due amounted to some 3 dollars and change, he said, but you got the sense he didn’t want to be a delinquent debtor. He’s got enough on his mind now as it is.
Earlier this month, Glunt’s hiring to succeed Darin Hazel as the boys’ varsity basketball coach at Penns Valley was approved, launching his second term as Rams head coach. He spent the last five winters as Hazel’s junior varsity coach, top assistant and general counsel. Glunt’s first coaching stint lasted from 1990-95, a span during which he also coached Hazel.
His reasons for taking the top job again were simple and understandable.
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“I realized the school district didn’t have the time to do a nationwide search,” he said. “I was there, I felt comfortable with the boys and I think they felt comfortable with me. I realize it’s not the same situation. Jumping into this Mountain League is an incredible challenge.”
The start of Glunt’s second term will coincide with Penns Valley’s joining the Mountain High League, which will dramatically increase the level of competition the Rams see on a nightly basis. The Williamsburgs and Mount Unions of the world have been replaced by the Lewistowns and Huntingdons.
“I’m glad I have a veteran team and I’m glad I’ve been there with the group of boys for the last five years with Darin,” Glunt said. “I don’t want to reinvent the wheel because it’s been running pretty smoothly. It (was) a pretty smooth first week.”
Glunt has no drastic remodeling plans for the program. He’ll run the same offensive and defensive systems as Hazel did. The only difference will be he’s no longer the advice-giver. “There’s been a transition,” Glunt said. “I’m just trying to be myself, though. The tough part about it now are those decisions, those tough decisions that I would give Darin counsel on. It’s a lot easier to give somebody counsel than actually make those decisions. That’s the tough part. I’ve done it before but (the decisions) just come and slap you in the face like when you have to make cuts or someone asks what time do you want the pre-game meal. It’s not earth-shattering but it’s stuff you have to think about.”
Glunt will be 49 in March and while he’s remained involved in coaching basketball, those decisions and the way a varsity coach carries himself has evolved since he was last a head coach.
“Every decision has that much more impact. Times have changed,” Glunt said. “There’s no yelling and screaming and getting upset over every little thing. As a young coach, that happens but as you get older, you pick and choose what you want to get fired up about. I’m a calmer version of what I used to be. If I didn’t learn anything in the past 15 years since I coached before, then shame on me.
“It’s a position much more suited for a younger man but I still feel pretty good physically with the amount of running I do. Teaching fourth graders keeps me upbeat. It’s not like I feel like an old man. People who are just getting into it have a lot more energy than I do right now.”
Numbers are in
The new PIAA enrollment figures have been posted on the PIAA Web site and there have been some significant shifts within District 6.
The lists that are posted reflect enrollment in grades 9-11 for the 2008-09 and 2009-2010 school years. For boys’ sports, the number of boys enrolled is listed and likewise for girls.
In football, Lewistown and Somerset saw their enrollments drop to the Class AA level, leaving Hollidaysburg, Indian Valley, Bellefonte and Johnstown as the lone Class AAA schools. Huntingdon, a double-A school that has opted to play up at the Class AAA level for years, saw its enrollment drop by 23 boys and could remain in the Class AA ranks.
Bald Eagle Area’s enrollment dropped 14 males to 262 while Philipsburg-Osceola’s climbed 19 to 250. Penns Valley lost one to 221 and will be the second-smallest school in Class AA.
State College saw a sharp decline of 236 males but at 1,028 it still remains the largest Class AAAA school in District 6.
Schools have until Dec. 14 to opt whether to voluntarily compete in a higher classification.
The standard high school football game lasts 48 minutes.
Throw in all the pomp, circumstance and hatred of a rivalry game and you’ve got a week, sometimes a year, worth of buildup on top of the game.
That said, Versus, best known for being the cable home of the NHL, has put together quite a compelling series on high school football rivalries this fall. If you’re curious what happens in truly football-mad towns before the big game, this show should pique your interest.
So far, four hour-long episodes have aired documenting some of the best rivalries in the nation, including Jenks vs. Tulsa Union in Oklahoma and Canton McKinley vs. Massillon in Ohio, considered the best-known rivalry of them all.
The shows, produced by NFL Films, also take us to Michigan (Rockford vs. Muskegon) and to Texas (Plano vs. Plano East), highlighting each team’s preparation through behind-the-scenes footage from practice and inside the pregame locker rooms.
The best part is that the shows are centered around this season’s games. The newest episode, scheduled to air at 9 p.m. Saturday on Comcast digital cable channel 269, will feature the rivalry between Florida schools Pahokee and Glades Central.
It figures to be an hour well spent.
Two former State College football standouts pulled down all-conference honors this week.
Josh Eden, a sophomore defensive end at Bucknell, was named to the All-Patriot League First Team after starting all 11 games for the Bison — he’s started all 22 games of his career — and recording 53 tackles. He was fourth in the league with 4 1/2 sacks and fifth with 11 tackles for loss. Bucknell finished 3-8.
Brady Hart, a junior linebacker at Yale, was a voted to the All-Ivy League Second Team, one of 16 Bulldogs to be earn all-league recognition. Hart finished second on the team with 67 tackles and also had 5 1/2 tackles for loss, three sacks, five pass breakups, two interceptions and a fumble recovery. Yale (9-1) had its bid for a perfect season ruined by a 37-6 loss to rival Harvard last Saturday.
Todd Ceisner is a sports writer for the Centre Daily Times. He can be reached at 231-4629 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.