Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Soccer rivalry takes civil turn
In terms of tradition and championship hardware, the boys soccer teams from Peters Township and Canon-McMillan couldn't be farther apart despite sharing a border.
In terms of on-field results, competition between the two has improved significantly as Canon-McMillan makes progress under the direction of fourth-year head coach Michael Garet.
Both Peters Township and Canon-McMillan will represent Section 5-AAA in the WPIAL playoffs. For Peters Township, it's an opportunity to reach the PIAA title game a third straight year and defend its WPIAL championship. For Canon-McMillan, it's an opportunity to establish itself. The Big Macs are making just their second postseason appearance.
"They're a very good team," Peters Township coach Bob Dyer said following last week's 2-0 victory at Canon-McMillan. "Mike's done a good job weeding out the undisciplined play."
Another area where this rivalry took a turn for the better, at least during last Thursday's match, is sportsmanship.
In recent matches, things have been a little heated between the Big Macs and Indians.
Last year, there were several player ejections in one late-season match. This year at Peters Township, a Canon-McMillan fan accosted the Peters Township coaches.
There was little of that nonsense last Thursday and none between the players.
"This is probably the first match in a while where there was no caution or sending off," Garet said. "It's good to see with a rivalry. I think it can be as intense and the emotion can be as powerful if players keep it in check."
Blogger's note: Photo from Peters Township at Canon-McMillan match provided by Fred Perino, father of Big Macs goalie Doug Perino.