Mike Rendos: Former Mount Carmel athlete helped scout Mahomes
In 2014,Tom Brady was asked how long his then 37-year old body could continue to play in the NFL. Brady replied,“When I am a bad quarterback,I’ll retire. But,I don’t plan on being a bad quarterback for a long time.”
With Tampa Bay’s sound defeat of Kansas City,Brady now has seven Super Bowl victories under his belt and,from all indications,has no plans to stop the train he is riding. Brady is not only the greatest quarterback who ever lived,he may arguably be considered one of the greatest athletes who ever lived.
Speaking of the Kansas City Chiefs,former Mount Carmel athlete Brett Veach is the organization’s general manager.
Back in 2014,while in the Chiefs scouting department,Veach was looking at film of a Texas Tech offensive lineman in preparation for the NFL draft. While watching the film,he noticed the Tech QB throwing one dart-like pass after another. Veach took the tape and plopped it onto coach Andy Reid’s desk,suggesting that Reid may want to look at this guy.
That small film clip by Veach was Patrick Mahomes’introduction to the Kansas City Chiefs. Veach was the 1996 Pennsylvania Football Player of the Year,scoring 26 TDs his senior year and leading the Red Tornadoes to a state championship.
I am sure former Lock Haven High School football coach Mike Packer remembers Veach,as the Bobcats and Mount Carmel squared off each August in preseason scrimmages.
Penn State football will have its fifth different offensive coordinator in eight years with the addition of former Texas,Oklahoma State,and Ohio State offensive guru Mike Yurcich to James Franklin’s staff.
Yurcich replaces Kirk Ciarrocca who just couldn’t get any traction during his short stay in Happy Valley. The Ohio-born Yurcich has deep Pennsylvania ties,having graduated from California University of Pennsylvania and coaching stops at PSAC schools Shippensburg,IUP and Edinboro.
The word on Yurcich is that his strong points are developing QBs and scoring points. Hollidaysburg High School football coach Homer Delattre worked summer camps at Edinboro with Yurcich and tells me that,“Mike Yurcich will do whatever it takes to move the ball up and down the field.” Look for the Lions to put last year’s 0-5 start in the rearview mirror and make some noise in the Big Ten this fall.
The Nittany Lions kick off the 2021 season on Sept. 4 with a trip to Big Ten heavyweight Wisconsin at Madison’s Camp Randall Stadium. Camp Randall,named after former Wisconsin Gov. Alexander Randall,was a Union military training facility,hospital and POW camp during the Civil War. The stadium sits on a portion of that facility. Former Bald Eagle Nittany and Central Mountain principal Norm Palovcsik has visited every Big Ten stadium,and he believes that Camp Randall Stadium is second only to Beaver Stadium for unmatched game-day experience.
The Steelers started the past season like a race car on the NASCAR circuit,speeding out to a franchise record 11-0 start,only to run out of gas and limp across the finish line losing five of the final six games,including two straight losses to the arch rival Cleveland Browns. The late season collapse resulted in three assistant coaches,including offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner,receiving the pink slip.
The Steelers recently hired Mike Sullivan as their QB coach. The 54-year old Sullivan has a very unique resume in that he graduated from West Point and then went on to complete Army Airborne,Ranger and Air Assault Schools. Additionally,he has a belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I can’t believe that anything in the rugged AFC North will rattle Sullivan. When Penquins coach Mike Sullivan was asked his thoughts on having a namesake now with the Steelers,he replied,“It doesn’t surprise me,there are a lot of Mike Sullivans in this world.”
Area high school athletic directors have had their hands full keeping events rolling this winter season under restrictive pandemic guidelines and tough weather conditions. A shout out to Bucktail’s Jack Hanobic and CM’s Stephen Hafele for meeting the challenge and getting the games played.
Riding by Mill Hall’s Community Park baseball field the other day,I noticed that a large gaggle of Canadian Geese have taken up residence in right field. Central Mountain baseball coach Mike Kramer and his able assistants James Gallagher and Bob Barth may have to shoo the feathered friends up over the right-field dike and into Fishing Creek prior to the opening of the high school spring season.
For you fishermen and fisherwomen out there,note that this year’s statewide opening day of trout season will occur on Sat April 3. After a long,hard winter,area anglers will be anxious to head for their favorite fishing hole or lake in search of wily trout.
Until next time — be a sport!
Mike Rendos is a former Keystone Central School District counselor,a current Central Mountain High School assistant athletic director and a longtime PIAA sports official.