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2018 Class 2A Coach of the Year, Jim Roth, Southern Columbia (4)

Written by: on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019. Follow Dave Fegley on Twitter.


Jim Roth’s Southern Columbia Tigers simply cruised through their regular season, moving their regular season winning streak to 71 games, and then went on another dominant playoff run that was capped off with another state championship and finishing 16-0. During the playoffs, the Tigers won five of their six games via the Mercy Rule including the PIAA Class 2A State Championship. For this reason, Roth has been selected as the 2018 EasternPAFootball.Com’s Coach of the Year. This is the fourth straight year that the veteran SCA coach has been selected for this award.

Roth calls the offense for Southern and this year’s team tied a state record for the most points scored by a state champion. They scored 860 points, which was also done by Jeanette over a decade ago, and did so with their starters playing only half the season. “I think for how good are players stats were, they can be misleading. It is hard to believe some of those numbers that they were able to produce while just playing a half in the majority of our games,” said the 35-year head coach.

The Tigers defense was equally as impressive. The starters averaged to give up less than five points per game which is another stat that doesn’t show up. “Our defense played outstanding all year. They started off stronger than our offense until we got our offensive line situation figured out. The starters hardly gave up any big plays,” Roth said. Most of the scoring from the opposition came with their starters taking on Southern’s reserves in the third and fourth quarter. 

The state championship game was a perfect example of how Roth, who has 428 career wins, and his staff made a huge impact on the players. “We didn’t really say anything different than usual at halftime. There wasn’t any yelling really. I know the coaches all felt that if the guys executed we would be fine so it was more of just reiterating that to the players,” said Roth. 

At the half against Wilmington, the score was 14-14 with the underdogs showing a lot of energy and momentum heading to the break against the defending state champions. In the second half, it was all Tigers as the nine-time state champions shut down the Greyhounds with Southern Columbia winning 49-14. The championship was the third in the past four years for the Tigers. SCA was also picked as High School Football America’s Small School National Champion for 2018

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