They used to be lucky to win a few games each season. However, Penn Manor football has changed it’s identity and has set much higher goals-like becoming section champions.
The Comets have posted a record of 7-2 so far this season with a loss to Wilson High School last Friday night to bring down their seed for District playoffs, but the team isn’t thinking about the after-season just yet, according to head coach, Todd Mealy.
This is Mealy’s third year of coaching and by all accounts, he has made a huge impact on the program and is establishing a definite tradition of winning.
“Coach Mealy has brought energy and enthusiasm along with a sense of pride in our football program,” said Penn Manor athletic director, Jeff Roth.
Last year Mealy led the team to playoffs, but they did not have the results he was looking for. He is hoping this year will be different.
He feels like the team has enough wins to be safe, but are not there yet. The Comets have two losses from the Reading Red Raiders and the Wilson Bulldogs.
“We aren’t there yet and you have to take it one step at a time,” said Mealy on his concerns for the post season.
“Every team is a different kind of team and has different personalities,” he said. “This (’09) team competes like champions.”
Everyone wants to know who will get the ball in the clutch or who will be the player showing leadership out on the field, but the talent is so broad there isn’t one specific player that leads the Comets every game.
According to Mealy, there are dozens of leaders on the team. The Comets voted for five senior captains that will help manage the pressure the team will face during the postseason.
The team has been expecting pressure situations all season.
“During practices and off-season workouts, we put ourselves into these circumstances,” Mealy said.
“Pressure is feeling unprepared,” he said.
The players couldn’t possibly put a season like this together without the help of a intelligent coaching staff, Mealy said, giving credit to Scott Lackey, Chris Maiorino, Gordon Eck, Barry Hawkins, Kevin Kirchner, Darryl Daniel, and Bill Beck. Each coach is in charge of a different group of players.
“The coaching staff is a collective identity not just one single coach, the coaching has showed commitment in the off season and passion for the sport,” he insisted.
By: Connor Rowe