Virtual Competitions Kick Off a Different Football Season
At Mercersburg and at so many schools across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic has blown the whistle on traditional athletic competitions. In response (and to keep the competitive spirit burning), Mercersburg head football coach Andy Brown and the head coaches of the three other teams in the Keystone State Football League created a series of virtual challenges that measure players’ performances in a number of different combine-style events.
Teams receive points based on the finishes of their top-performing athletes in the season-long competition, which began the week of September 25 on the four KSFL campuses: Mercersburg, Delaware County Christian School, The Perkiomen School, and Valley Forge Military Academy. At the end of the six-week period, one team will earn bragging rights.
"Being able to compete is extremely important, and it is great that the league has come together to create these virtual competitions for our players," Brown says. "For us, it has become a highlight of each week. I am so proud of our players and how they have handled the season so far. We have a great group of kids."
Coaches for each team measure their players' performances and report the results for tabulation. Players are divided into two categories: skill players (backs and receivers) and bigs (linemen). Teams can count their top three skill players and two bigs in each competition, with the first-place finisher in each category earning one point for their team, second place earning two points, and so on. The top 12 skill players and top eight bigs across the league count in the standings (and the lowest score is the best).
Following the first week of competition, Mercersburg leads after tallying 35 points in the vertical jump and standing broad jump events. Valley Forge is second (53 points), with Delco Christian at 62 points and Perkiomen at 72.
Mercersburg’s Dongwoo Shin ’23 and Adam Rappaport ’21 swept the top two places among bigs in the vertical jump (both jumped 24 inches), and Rappaport was also second among bigs in the standing broad jump (7 feet, 10 inches). Blue Storm skill players took three of the top four places in the vertical jump: Stephen Rice ’21 (26 inches), Danny Adusei-Poku ’23 (25 inches), and Evan Howley ’22 (24 inches) placed second, third, and fourth, respectively.
Others scoring points for the Storm included Caleb Newcomer ’23 (8 feet, 8 inches/3rd), Christian Jetter ’22 (7 feet, 11 inches/6th), and Jackson Schermerhorn ’21 (7 feet, 8 inches/8th) in the skills’ broad jump, and Holden Walker ’23 (7 feet, 4 inches/4th) in the bigs’ broad jump.
In the second week of competition, athletes competed in push-ups (most push-ups recorded in 60 seconds) and the kneeling 10-pound medicine-ball throw. Overall results for all four teams are being tabulated and will be announced soon.