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Football toughness and
a player's heroics
Letter No. 198 | September 30, 2000

As a Nanty Glo Journal subscriber, I peruse the sports section weekly and read where the Blacklick Vikings under a new coach is having a rough football season. The new coach, James Poldiak, has past impressive credentials and is noted for building strong viable teams. In time, he should be able to establish a credible football team and perhaps even make it the regional powerhouse of several years ago.

All fans need to commend Coach Poldiak and all Blacklick Valley youths who play football. Win or lose, it requires courage and mental toughness for any player to play football or any competitive sport. There is strong evidence that this type of disciplined training, like military training, reaps rewards for an individual throughout his entire life or helps one to bear up under a crisis.

As a resident of Alexandria, Virginia, I sometimes attend Friday night high school football games at the nearby high school (Thomas A. Edison) where my son and daughter attended school about 20 years ago.

In a recent game that I attended, the Edison team was defeated (take heart Viking fans) by a rival team by the score of 28-14. The defeat was disappointing and completely unexpected since Edison was strongly favored to win, and is expected to win the Virginia Regional football title for its district. They last won this title back in 1978 when my two children attended school there. Edison has a top Northern Virginia player named Cedric Bryant. He is a fleet-footed, black football player who is 5' 7" and weights 160 pounds. In a losing effort, Bryant gained an impressive 125 yards rushing, but a rival player gained 330 yards to soundly defeat the Edison team.

The defeat must have stirred the Edison team and especially Cedric because they defeated Falls Church 66 to 21 in a game two weeks later. In this game, Bryant showcased his power and speed by totaling 334 yards in just the first half. His coach pulled him from the game in the third quarter, or he might have broken the Northern Virginia rushing record of 505 yards set by another player in 1995. Included in Bryant's performance were touchdown runs of 1, 71, 55, 51, 42, and 74 yards. In the end, he rushed for 379 yards on 17 carries and added a 34-yard touchdown reception and a 52-yard kickoff return.

The Washington Post high school sports section highlighted his performance and I thought it might be of interest to any sports enthusiasts of the Nanty Glo web site. Most sports fans, like myself, are always fascinated by individual heroics. So take heart, Blacklick Viking fans; there might be a Cedric Bryant emerging somewhere from the ranks of your young players. The Washington Redskins, with their one-win and two-loss record would probably sign him right now from the high school ranks.

Best regards,
Frank Charney

Webmaster's note: A new movie, (PG rated!), Remember the Titans, opened yesterday and accounts the heroic season of another, real, Virginia high school, near Washington, several decades ago. Though I haven't seen it yet, from all I've read, it's one every sports fan and everyone interested in high school life in general will want to see.

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