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Oilers on All-Academic list

Oil City players whose names appear on the PA Football News All-Academic teams:

Gold -- Alex Stevens, Cam Crocker, Dane Ley, Gavin Stephens, Hayden Wilson, Henry Milford, James O'Dell

Silver -- Austin Shoup, Brayden McFetridge, Ethen Knox, Kevin Pearsall, Travis Carbaugh, Walker Willey

Bronze -- Cam Schiffer, Jake Van Wormer, Justen Dunkle, Malik Carney, Tanner Kightlinger.

OCHS schedule has different look

There is a new look to the 2022 football schedule Oil City.

The Oilers will play out of Class 3A Region 4 in District 10 against familiar opponents – Franklin, Warren, Conneaut, and defending champion Meadville -- all holdovers from last year. But long-time rival Titusville will rejoin them in region (league play.)

At one time the Oilers had played the Rockets every year from 1915-2009, but since then meetings have been few and far between. There were games from 2015-2019 and again in 2020 due to a Covid reschedule. 

Also returning to the schedule is Corry. The two teams haven't played since 2017. At one time they played every year from 1950-76 when both were members of Section 2. Corry was the dominant team in that league until Franklin took over in the late 1950s.

Also joining Oil City's schedule are Hollidaysburg (a playoff opponent in 2018 and 2019), North East (another playoff opponent in 2009 and a regular season foe in 1951 and 1952) and Northwestern (a regular season opponent in 1932 when it was Albion).

That game against Albion was the first played on the new Mitchell Avenue Field. Oil City won 39-0 and blanked Corry the next game, but the Oilers, who averaged 150 pounds, scored only one more TD and failed to win another game the rest of the season.

The Oilers are scheduled to end the regular season at home against Sharon, a school they don’t usually play. But, the Tigers were on last year’s schedule, and won, 23-0.

This series began in 1905 with an Oil City victory, but they didn’t play again for 20 years. Then the Oilers played the Tigers every year from 1928-37, and at one point Sharon won 11 straight until Oil City stopped the streak in 2010.

2022 Oil City schedule
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'Forgotten opponents' return to FHS slate
2022 Franklin schedule

Some new coaches in District 10 for 2022:

General McLane -- Marshall McCormick

Conneaut -- Josh Blood

North East (on Oil City

schedule) -- Jovon Johnson

Seneca (on Franklin schedule) -- Jack Corey

Maplewood -- Jason Wargo (former Franklin assistant)

Cathedral Prep -- Mike Krahe

Titusville -- Mike Reynolds

There’s a new look to the 2022 Franklin schedule as well.

The Knights will play out of Class 3A Region 4 in District 10 against familiar opponents – Oil City, Warren, Conneaut and defending champion Meadville – all holdovers from last year. But long-time rival Titusville will rejoin them in region (league) play.

Franklin last played Titusville in 2020, but that was their first meeting since 2017. The two teams played every year from 1907-2015, many of the last games non-leaguers since the Rockets had been sent to a sort of football “Siberia” – aka Mercer County where Titusville had zero natural rivals and drillings became a weekly ritual. (Don't forget, Titusville was pretty good in the oughts.)

The Knights will renew a rivalry with one of those Mercer County foes – Hickory. They haven’t played the Hornets since 2003 when they beat them 22-20 in a playoff game – under Tiger LaVerde! The Knights and Hornets first met in 1950 when Hickory  came into existence. At one time they played every year from 1972-1991 when both were members of the old Northwest Athletic Conference.

Also back on the Franklin schedule, and for the first time since 2003, is Mercyhurst Prep, an Erie school, which has produced Penn State linebacker Jesse Luketa (who hails from Canada.) Franklin won that 2003 game, 60-19. The series began in 1997 and the Knights hold a 5-2 advantage.

A new face on the Franklin schedule is Seneca, formerly known as Wattsburg.

The Bobcats were 3-5 last season with one common opponent – Fairview, which trounced Seneca, 56-26, in the season finale. However, Seneca did boast an outstanding sophomore, 5-11, 180-pound Noel Seabury, who checked in with 1,686 yards total offense.

 

Rounding out the Knights’ non-region opponents are General McLane and Lakeview. 

The Lancers, who will have a new coach, what with the dismissal of veteran Jim Wells, had been region opponents in recent years, so the Knights are familiar with them. They’ve played 11 times since their first meeting in 1999 with Franklin still seeking that elusive first victory.

 

Franklin and Lakeview played in the 2021 season finale with the Sailors pulling out a 41-40 overtime victory in a game that was voted as the best in District 10 last year.

Nate Byham, Albany U. assistant coach

A fella named Nate Steis wrote this very nice story about Franklin's Nate Byham that was published more than a YEAR AGO in exploreVenango. I just discovered it today (May 3, 2022.) 

Thought (more) people might be interested in reading it, even though it is over a year old.

It's copyrighted and all, so I will just link. Obviously, I'm giving the writer and the paper all the credit. The picture is from Albany.

Byham played tight end at Pitt and briefly in the NFL. He's now an assistant coach at Albany.

LINK TO STORY

Franklin sides

Gold to coach all-stars

Redbank Valley coach Blane Gold, a Franklin grad, has been named a coach for the West for the East-West all-star game May 29 in Harrisburg.

Gold received numerous coaching honors after guiding the Bulldogs to back-to-back District 9 1A title and a berth in the state finals in 2021.

Gold also digs marathons

Fulmer to Edinboro

Next stop for all-stater Easton Fulmer will be Edinboro.

Franklin's all-time leading boys scorer (1,596 points) made the announcement April 12 on Twitter.

Fairview star James Sitter announced on Twitter May 3 that he, too, will be playing hoops for the Fighting Scots.

Also, junior-to-be Damon Curry announced on Twitter that he received a scholarship offer from Morgan State. It is his first Division I offer.

Geer's final numbers

Former Franklin state champ Dakota Geer finished his career at Oklahoma State with a 139-42 record in six seasons.

Wrestling mostly at 184, his career started at Edinboro in 2017. Best finish at nationals: fifth in 2021; best record: 31-10 as true freshman.

Geer will be a volunteer assistant coach at Clarion.

Looking back: the boys and girls of winter

(Most photos by Richard Sayer, (Eight& 322); click on arrow and it moves!!

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Spring sports update May 11
Oil City boys track team 2022
Oilers win region track title

May 10 -- Unbeaten Franklin routed Oil City, 17-0, to clinch the Region 4 crown. Trinity Edge tossed a five-inning one-hitter and led the Lady Knights' offense with three doubles...

Meanwhile, Kaiden Shreve and Jack Mumford were triple winners as the Oil City boys beat Corry, 82-68, to claim the Region 3 track title, the Oilers' first since 2011...Noticed Justen Dunkle was part of the winning 400 relay and later batted ninth in the Oilers' night baseball game (it's on YouTube) with Karns City, an 8-1 defeat...40-foot triple from Gavin Stephens and a 20-foot long from Shreve...The Lady Oilers lost to Corry, but Baine Snyder cleared a season's best 5-3 in the high jump...

In baseball, Franklin won its fifth straight, taming the Northwestern Wildcats, 14-2...

Elsewhere in track: Cranberry girls swept Keystone and Union/C Valley...Two outstanding performances for the Union/ACV team: a 6-7 high jump by Hayden Smith and a school record 18-63/4 by Baylee Blauser in the girls meet...

May 9 -- Winners: Oil City, Cranberry, Rocky Grove baseball; Rocky Grove softball; Oil City tennis (final match ends with victory over Titusville). Homers by Kenny Lavrich (Cranberr), who hit a pair, and Isaac Clayton (Grove). Eli Moreland hurled five-inning shutout for Orioles. Sierra Toland -- only senior on team -- hit a walk-off two-run single for Rocky Grove girls. 

May 7 -- After prom (for some) Oil Country Invitational. Cranberry's Laiyla Russell (100, 200) and Franklin's Ashley Alcorn (shot, discus) were double winners in 33rd annual event at OCHS. Other winners were Oil City's Ethen Knox (100) and Baine Snyder (high jump) and Cranberry's Morgan Stover (javelin). No pole vault. Some 25 teams participated. Grove City boys and Hickory girls emerged as team champions.

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Two sophomores, Oil City's Jack Mumford and Franklin's Caleb Prettyman, ran under 10 minutes in the 3200. Prettyman's time was a school record 9:49.48. Mumford was clocked in 9:49.23. They were 2-3 behind Grove City junior Josh Jones (9:42.96).

Notable performances this season

Luke Guth of Franklin struck out 19 and pitched a one-hitter against North East on April 27. Guth also fanned 19 vs. Meadville on May 5...Teammate Kyle Alexander drove in eight runs on four hits vs. Grove City...Oil City's Jacob Teeter 5-for-6 with 4 RBI vs. Hickory...

Franklin's Gabby Laderer homered in three straight plate appearances April 30 against Sharon...Hoobler leads the state in stolen bases...

(Richard Sayer/Eight&322.com)

Eli Moreland

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Wanted: officials

If you haven't heard by now, the PIAA and District 10 is in desperate need of officials -- for all sports.

There simply aren't enough to go around -- that's why we sometimes see Thursday Night Lights in the fall.

The pay isn't going to make you rich and you're going to hear it from the fans, so it's pretty much a thankless job. But officials are in demand.

You can apply online or by mail. Information is available on the PIAA.org web site. Or ask your favorite local athletic director. 

This plea extends to spring sports. Oil City had to postpone a baseball game due to lack of umpires.

Meanwhile, to the left is a photo gallery of some local officials taken mostly by Richard Sayer. One exception is the father-son duo of Jay and Jake Serafin, which I got from social media someplace, and Kelly Malek took the Cranberry photo last year of Cam Russell getting his all-state award. Young former athletes are welcome and are no-brainers -- former OCHS grid/hoops star Holden Stahl passed his test, come to think of it.

Rich pointed out that the guy with the white hair in the one photo is George Schroeder from Crawford County who has been officiating for 57 years. He also does volleyball. 

Have whistle, will travel.

About This Site

If you are from Anywhere, USA, and happened to stumble upon this site, Franklin and Oil City are about eight miles apart along Route 8 in Venango County, Pa. -- which is about halfway between Pittsburgh and Erie in the western part of the state.

route8rivalry.com (formerly venangofootball.com) covers the grid doings of Oil City and Franklin high schools in Venango County. It also includes the football histories of the two schools, which date back to 1896, along with that of Venango Catholic (nee Christian and formerly St. Joseph in Oil City), which dropped the sport in the 1990s. VC has been in co-ops with Oil City and Franklin since then.

This is a Wix site with longtime but former Derrick sports editor Penny Weichel serving as webmaster. She is the former webmaster of ocpafootball.com and franklinpafootball.com, and most of the information found there can be found here. Also added in the last two years is basketball covering all five Venango County schools (Cranberry and Rocky Grove, too) along with some wrestling and swimming and other fall/spring sports.

Contact pennyweichel@yahoo.com if need be.