STRATH HAVEN, Pa. (CBS) — High school football season is underway and that means it’s the return of Friday Football Frenzy. The Game of the Week tonight features a major Delaware County rivalry — Strath Haven against Ridley.
1999 may seem like forever ago, but for the champion Strath Haven football players of that time, that year feels like yesterday.
“It’s fresh. We only get it one time and that’s the special thing about it was what we did that year and always looking back and saying, ‘You know what, I won a state championship in high school.’ Matter of fact, we went 15-0,” said Mark Jones, a member of the 1999 Strath Haven High School football team.
“My wife always likes to make fun of me, saying you’re still living 20 years in the past when you’re in high school and I said, ‘You know, it meant a lot to me,'” Chris Deering said.
Because on that windy and rainy championship night in Hershey, Jones — who would later play pro football — and Deering marked history for their high school. alongside their friends and families.
“Unfortunately, our older brothers didn’t get a chance to play because the state football system playoffs were set up back then,” Deering said.
“For us to finally do it was really special. It was for all the players prior to us who paved the way for Strath Haven football,” Jones said.
“So here Strath Haven, from the mid-90s through 2000s, it was just like winning breeds winning. Today they’re trying to get back to that,” Deering said.
To help, a few alumni have headed back to high school to share some life lessons with the current team.
“One of the alumni spoke to them, they stopped eating and paying attention and you can see it really means something,” Strath Haven coach Jim Connor said.
It was clear this generation was listening.
“One thing that stood out to me, they said fear nobody and that’s just the mentality we have to go into every game,” one current player said.