40 teams in 40 days – Day 6: Easton Area (11)
Easton Area’s 780 wins are ranked second in Pennsylvania and ninth highest in the nation. Since the state playoffs have started in 1988 they have won seven District 11 4A championships from 1990, 1991, 1993, 2003, 2004, 2009 and 2010.
The Easton-Phillipsburg annual turkey day game is the longest running Thanksgiving Day game in the nation.
The 1st overall meeting was in 1894. This was an informal game. The 1st official game between the two teams was in 1905. The 1st Thanksgiving Day meeting was in 1916 and the teams have met annually ever since.
The winner of the game earns the “Forks of the Delaware” Trophy and beginning in 2006, the winner is also presented the “Battle for the Hill” Trophy.
Annually the game is held at Lafayette’s Fisher Stadium and draws over 13,000 fans. It has eclipsed the 20,000 spectator mark numerous times.
This year will mark the 106th meeting between the two teams.
The Red Rovers finished the 2011 season with an 11-3 record. They had big wins against Bethlehem Freedom and Scranton in the Class 4A playoffs. They eventually lost to Nazareth Area, 28-21.
We sat down with head football coach Steve Shiffert and talked to him about the big challenges he will face in 2012.
Steve Shiffert has a 167-72-1 record going into the 2012 season.
Q & A with Easton Area head football coach Steve Shiffert
How is your off-season going this summer?
It’s been pretty good. We have gotten good attendance at our summer workouts and we are pleased by what the kids are doing.
Who do you have coming back on offense?
We have everyone back up front, except one.
We have Tyler Greene and Forrest Myers both back at Tackles. At Guard is AJ Rodriguez. John Spadoni comes back at center.
Austin Brown is at fullback. Sophomore Shane Simpson is back at running back and flanker. He will be all over the place.
Matt Mowad is at tight end.
We have two kids competing for the quarterback job, Brad Wilkins and Joey Ford who are both juniors.
Who do you have coming back on defense?
At defensive end are Mowad and Nick Raso. Tyler Greene is at defensive lineman.
Both inside linebackers are back, Cameron Casciole and Austin Brown.
We have both corners back, Chevrick Graham and Xavier Jenkins.
All those players are returning starters.
What about special teams?
We lost all-conference kicker Chris Roubik. But we have Kristopher Horton coming back and we have a kid from the soccer team.
What about your league?
Are league is very competitive each year and when you pickup a strong non-league team like Pennsbury, there are no weeks off.
It keeps our kids competitive each week. They have to play at a high level to succeed.
To have a successful season you have to?
We need to have the quarterback position developed by the home opener. We have experience in every position except that one.
We need someone at quarterback who doesn’t create turnovers and makes good decisions for us to be successful this season.
Easton Area opens home against Pennsbury on August 31st
40 teams in 40 days
Day 1 – Mount Carmel Area (4)
Day 2 – Manheim Central (3)
Day 3 – Delaware Valley (2)
Day 4 – Southern Columbia (4)
Day 5 – Berwick Area (2)
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