The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Columnists

September 8, 2013

CORY ISENBERG| Berlin's Fochtman rushes under the radar

JOHNSTOWN — Berlin Brothersvalley sophomore Braden Fochtman is not an imposing figure when you see him standing on the sideline, but he certainly gets a team’s attention when he is on the field.

Listed as 5-foot-8, 162 pounds on the Mountaineers preseason roster, the wiry No. 3 is following in the footsteps of some pretty impressive Berlin rushers, including Drew Glotfelty, Ian Sayler and Eric D’Carrion.

The low-key Fochtman gave the Portage defense plenty of air to grab hold of on Friday, breaking away from numerous attempts to bring him down to rack up 352 yards on 29 carries with three touchdowns in Berlin’s 28-14 victory over the Mustangs.

Now, it will be interesting to see how opposing defenses deal with the slippery Fochtman as the season progresses.

In case anyone was wondering, the state individual rushing record was set by Alex Cooley of Eastern York last season with an eye-popping 500 yards against Hanover, according to the latest Pennsylvania Football News Resource Guide.

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Surprises thus far?: Most of the experts had figured that Richland was going to be successful this season, but a lot fewer were on the Meyersdale and Bedford bandwagons.

The Red Raiders - yes we know their nickname is not the Indians - got a big lift on Friday with what many termed an upset over Windber, and are now 2-0.

The biggest question about Meyersdale was whether a 1-9 team from last year could learn to win in 2013.

Seems as though the Red Raiders have figured it out, and already have the two wins that the newspaper listed them for in the preseason predictions.

But, the Raiders will have to continue to take it a game at a time and not let the early success go to their heads.

The Bisons are also off to a 2-0 start, including a big

Week 1 win over Bishop Guilfoyle and a road victory against Penn Cambria.

It doesn’t get any easier for Bedford this week as it heads to Richland, which is ranked in the top 10 in Class AA in the state, on Friday.

In addition to the Rams, Raiders and Bisons being 2-0, Ligonier Valley also started the season with a perfect record and faces its first big challenge Friday at Blairsville, which is also unbeaten.

Forest Hills and Somerset are each 2-0 in the Laurel Highlands while Homer-Center and Penns Manor are still unbeaten in the Heritage.

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Local Columnists
  • Local Columnists

    Robin L. Quillon
    Chip Minemyer
    Tom Lavis
    Mike Mastovich
    Cory Isenberg
    Eric Knopsnyder
    Ralph Couey
    Zachary Hubbard
    Michele Bender
    Bill Eggert
    David Knepper

    William Lloyd
     

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  • Curtis, Shawn SHAWN CURTIS | Pirates win has familiar feel

    As much as all the fuzzy feelings of the 2013 season came to an end when Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano fired a first-pitch strike to Emilio Bonifacio at 1:14 p.m. on Monday afternoon at PNC Park, the 1-0 win took the shape that many Pittsburgh wins did a season ago.

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  • Eric Knopsnyder ERIC KNOPSNYDER | A fresh take on funnies

    Did you notice some funny business in our comics pages recently?
    Many of you did and contacted the newsroom to ask why “Doonesbury” and “For Better or For Worse” were no longer appearing in our publication.
    There’s a simple explanation: They are no longer being produced.

    March 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Siehl JIM SIEHL | Basketball officials never win

    Today’s column bounces from local politics to basketball after two previous articles concentrated on Jesse Topper’s successful launch into a new career as a state representative.

    March 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michele Bender Michele Mikesic Bender | Playing the name game

    So, did you decide on the ‘popcorn dress’  for the church dinner?” asked Judi, my Communion Lady.
    “No, I think the ‘hydrangea dress’ might be better,’’ I answered.
    “You name your clothes?” Denise’s jaw dropped.

    February 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill Eggert Columnist Photo Bill Eggert | A heartfelt message of thanks

    February is the month the medical community sets aside for matters related to heart health. That makes sense, given that Valentine’s Day is right in the middle of the month. So it was ironic that I found myself dealing with the matter of the heart in a serious way this month.
    This column is a valentine to the staff of the Conemaugh Health System.

    February 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Siehl JIM SIEHL | Answering the call, wherever it leads

    My last column dwelled extensively on the qualifications of Jesse Topper, the multitalented, highly-respected and popular former executive minister at Bedford Methodist Church.
    Left unanswered was the question “why” – why did the newly-elected state representive choose to turn away from what many believed was his destiny to be an ordained pastor?

    February 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Siehl JIM SIEHL: Election win a loss for church

    Folks at Bedford United Methodist Church had a difficult decision to make at Tuesday’s special election to determine the successor to the late state Rep. Dick Hess.
    It was all about wanting the best for Republican candidate Jesse Topper but not wanting to deal with the likelihood of his leaving his church position for an opportunity that is far different from what he is so ably doing.

    January 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bill Eggert Bill Eggert: Elvis remains the King

    Last week we marked the birthday of an American original: the late Elvis Presley.
    Jan. 8, 2015, will mark his 80th birthday.
    This is hard to wrap our minds around given Elvis always seems to remain forever young, frozen in time.

    January 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bender_Michele.JPG Best New Years Eves ever

    Happy 2014!  2014? How did that happen?

    January 4, 2014 1 Photo

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