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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pennsbury Basketball: Calling out the Bucks County Courier Times

One of the best high school basketball programs (boys') in the Philadelphia area belongs to the Pennsbury Falcons. Alums of Pennsbury include Bucknell guard Jason Vegotsky and Temple center Lavoy Allen. Senior swingman Dalton Pepper is headed to West Virginia. The Falcons' come close to selling out their home games. Coach Frank Sciolla is a renaissance man -- a well-read English teacher who already has won 250 games (he's not even 40 yet).

Sciolla also gives back to the community. He and his players run clinics for young players in local recreational leagues on Saturday mornings. Well over 100 kids attend each Saturday during the season. Moreover, Sciolla encourages these kids to come up to him during the junior varsity games that precede the varsity's contests. If a young kid looks Coach Sciolla in the eye, says hello and tells him what book he's reading, that kid gets to go into the locker room for the pre-game talk and at half-time for the half-time talk. That's a pretty nice reward, isn't it?

And where are the Falcons? In the top 10 in southeastern Pennsylvania. It's an outstanding program.

The team plays most of its games on Tuesday and Friday nights. The team has won most of its games. And yet, it gets almost no (and sometimes no) coverage in the Saturday morning edition of the Bucks County Courier Times, the local paper for communities in what's called Lower Bucks County. How can this be? Now, the Saturday edition is almost a non-edition, a sparse tabloid that testifies to the financial position of the Caulkins Newspaper group more than anything else. Still, it should be covering the best team in the area, shouldn't it?

Why type of grudge is the paper bringing to bear here? Why aren't the Falcons getting top billing on the back-page of the paper? They have a great coach, good kids in the program and a wonderful program.

And they deserve a whole lot better from this paper.


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