The Mt. Carmel Area Red Tornadoes season is young, and so is this season’s team.  Friday night thirty-three boys walked onto Harold Bolig Memorial Field in Selinsgrove and demonstrated “True Grit”.  If you were one of the fans to observe this game you might even say that this team had a hint of the swagger of John Wayne in their play.  New head Coach John Darrah came to town looking for a gunfight and he gave the Selinsgrove team and fans everything they could handle.

The way Mt. Carmel team’s defense played was reminiscent of the old “Red Death” defense of those state championship teams of the mid-90’s and early 2000’s.  Make no mistake about it, Coach Darrah and his staff had these boys ready to play Friday night and they played with heart.  The Seals boasted a 50 man roster Friday against Mount Carmel Area’s roster of 33 but it was Mt. Carmel’s “True Grit” and determination that willed itself upon the Seals for three and half quarters of play.

The Tornadoes played the Seals to 0 – 0 halftime stalemate that had the Seals head coach Derek Hicks rethinking his game plans going into the locker rooms.  Coach Hicks even paid the Red Tornadoes a backhanded compliment on the Eagle 107.3 post game show by saying that, “It was this type of game that will pay dividends down the season when the Seals make their playoff run”!  Wow, Coach Hicks knew that his team was in a real dogfight last night and he was grateful to the football gods that his team walked off the field with a W.

The Red Tornadoes played together as a team down to every last man, and were well coached in all aspects from the beginning to the end.  These facts can be seen in the tale of the tapes with MCA having 289 yards to Selinsgrove 272 total yards in offense.  MCA had 12 first downs vs. 15 first downs for the Seals.  Penalties for MCA were 4-20 while the Seals had 4-21.  Time of possession was 23:50 for MCA and 24:10 for the Seals.  The final score on the newly dedicated scoreboard was Visitor 7 and Home 14.  What the scoreboard did not say was that this young 33 man roster played with a grit and determination of past Mt. Carmel champions.  And although Coach Darrah did not walk off the field with a W his boys held their heads high and showed the crowd how we play football here in the Coal Regions Check This Out.

The local sports prognosticators had Mt. Carmel picked as huge underdogs yesterday evening but this team certainly didn’t play like underdogs upholding the MCA tradition like no other in recent memory.  They never gave up or gave in and that only speaks of good things to come this season for this young team.  Like John Wayne in “True Grit” they road down their opponents to the very end.


Author: Steve Bartos

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