The venerable Jerry Page, former coach of Laurel Valley, always preached that football was so much more than just a game.
Page, whose son Greg of Homer-Center was the North squad coach Friday at the 44th Ken Lantzy Finest 40 All-Star game, was honored prior to the start of the game.
The elder Page was praised for his years of service to the organization as well as his positive outlook in helping to shape so many of the young men who played for him over the years.
“It’s an extreme pleasure,” the humble Jerry Page said about being honored. “To be a part of the great game of football even as I am now, father of Greg, and as a former coach, it’s always been an extreme pleasure for me. I love the game, I love the kids who played at Laurel Valley and I love my fellow coaches and all the parents and families. It was just a tremendous experience. Now I get to watch it from a different vantage point.”
Jerry Page was at the helm for the Rams starting in 1979 and stepped down at the end of the 2008 season.
“Realizing that all good things must come to an end, it hasn’t been that hard for me (adjusting to being on the sidelines),” Jerry Page said. “Of course with Greg coaching, it’s made it easier for me. He has often said to me that I’m the reason that he’s a coach and he thanks me.”
The elder Page said that coaches help teach players so much more that the game of football.
“To me, that is the most important thing,” Jerry Page said.
Page’s North squad lost 48-18 to the South.
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Decal dilemma: Just as Olympians exchange pins, Ken Lantzy game players trade decals.
Thus, the many decals collected make the familiar helmets of the schools look a little less familiar to fans.
For instance, Richland’s Matt Shaffer, one of the quarterbacks for the South, had his Rams’ emblem nearly eclipsed by logos from Somerset, Greater Johnstown and Westmont Hilltop.