SPORTS DIGEST By Bill Byham

Sport announcer and writer Bill Byham

Sport announcer and writer Bill Byham

CANTON AND TROY FOOTBALL – I can’t remember the exact year but it was before 1981. It was still in the time the older Miller Moyer was head coach at Canton and I was having a ball being a sports caster for the old WMPT in South Williamsport.

We had this disc jockey on the station by the name of Kelly Watts who had moved to Canton to open and manage anew radio station in that borough. If memory correctly serves the stations call letters were WKAD and I was told those letters stood for Kelly and Dave with the Dave being Dave Castlebury who was the owner and GM of WMPT.

Kelly had decided he wanted to cover the annual Canton versus Troy football game and had Dave arrange it with me to drive up there to to do the play by play while Kelly would handle the commercials and offer what ever he could about the game being played.

It was a day I knew I would never forget. I was a rookie in regards to knowing the strong feeling between those two communities when it came to their annual football tussle.
In that year it was an afternoon game. Late fall but the ride up was still full of color. Then I reached Canton and realized, very quickly, that this was a “throw back” to what I had known as a high school player in Kane, Pa. I was to go directly to Kelly’s house and he would get me over to the field and set up our location plus the broadcast equipment.

Between the borough limits and the Watts house I got so very much pumped up. The town was already locked up. The business district was closed down, big brown paper signs were in window after window telling me or any other person looking for a furniture store, a shoe store, whatever that they were closed to go see the ball game. Most of those signs read “Closed. See you at the game.”

What game? Folks, there is only one game that could go unidentified up there on that given day. Troy was coming over to play Canton and I don’t think it mattered one iota who had the better record or what the game would mean to either team when it was over except for the year long bragging rights to the winner. This was long before post season football for high schools.

I have not been a guy who likes height when there is not a solid building surrounding on all sides. When we arrived at “our location” I choked just a little when Kelly set me up fairly high with a matter of balance involved since we were not all that level.

But we were there. A couple of deep breathes to get acclimated to where we would stand for the next couple of hours. A look around and there they were. Tons of people. All those who had closed their shops for the afternoon and all those who might have shopped those closed stores plus tons more. In the bleachers, along the wired fences and about five-six deep. Even across the end lines behind the goal posts.
I can tell you, ladies and gentlemen, I was ready! I tingled all over. This was high school in its best ever setting.

Canton won that day in what was a good football game.

That whole picture flashed by these old memory banks the other day when the same two teams met. It was another major meeting of those same two towns. They tell me the game intensity was at a very high peak with Canton, off a great year of success, won the game (a come from behind win) and a spot in the District 4 playoffs. Sadly, that Canton season (9-2) came to a close on their home field Saturday as Line Mountain scored 14 first half points and made them to stand up for the win.

VALLEY LADY SOCCER STRONG IN THE VALLEY.
When you open this weeks Webb Weekly you probably already know the results of last nights Lady Soccer playoff game between Loyalsock Twp. and Montoursville with the winner clinching a spot in the PIAA State championship game.

The game, played under the lights at Hughesville’s natural grass field was the third meeting in 2008 these two teams have played each other. Montoursville won the first one but then fell to Loyalsock Twp. in game two which was for the District 4 semi final.

Both teams competed last Saturday on the same field with Montoursville defeating Lewisburg 4-1. Loyalsock Twp. came out and using great team speed put a 5-0 licking on Tamaqua.

Two seasons ago the South Williamsport Lady Mounties won out during the post season to win the 2006 PIAA State championship. Whichever team won last night now has the opportunity to reach that same plateau.

SHORT SHOTS –

Ken Lewis, Chicago born Watsontown native, coached his first baseball team when he was 16 years of age. At the end of fall 2008 he is still coaching 70 years later. In late September the Pennsylvania Wood Bat 2008 Showcase, being played over three days on several fields, took time to bring Lewis out on the Island Field in Harrisburg for an honors ceremony.

More exciting post season high school play is on tap for this weekend.
The 2008 football season at Lycoming College for first year head coach, Mike Clark, appears to be a one game season after losing to Kings last weekend. Lycoming must defeat Lebanon Valley at home Saturday and hope that home standing Delaware Valley can defeat current conference leader Albright.

THAT’S 30

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