George Ebbert has been attached to the Lehighton football program his entire life.
His father, Lamont "Mike" Ebbert, was an all-star player and a legendary coach for the Indians, guiding the program to a co-Lehigh Valley League championship in 1964. The elder Ebbert was inducted into the National Football Foundation Lehigh Valley Chapter Hall of Fame in 2010.
George Ebbert played at Lehighton and was associated with the program as a coach for the past 27 years.
But that relationship has apparently come to an end as Ebbert was told he would not be rehired as the Indians head coach.
Ebbert went 12-28 in his four seasons in charge, 4-6 in the recently completed 2011 season.
The Indians lost five games by a total of 19 points and actually led league champion Stroudsburg deep into the second half before falling 20-19 on Oct. 14.
"This was the superintendent's [James Kraky's] decision and I was told that they just wanted to go in a different direction," Ebbert said. "I wanted to tell the kids myself and I did back in December. I told them that for four years, they didn't quit on me and I wasn't quitting on them. That was important to me."
Ebbert said he wasn't totally surprised because the position had been opened on him once before, but he re-applied and got it back.
"The job is hard enough and then when you don't get the support from your superintendent it makes it that much more difficult," Ebbert said. "I guess it came down to wins and losses, but the kids worked hard. I have no complaints. They were great. Being the size of school we are, it's difficult to compete in the Mountain Valley Conference and yet they gave it their best shot every week."
Ebbert is hoping that whoever replaces him will have some success.
"I will miss it, but I'll still be rooting for the kids," Ebbert said. "I hope they can continue some of the traditions of Lehighton football that have been in place for years. Little things like whether you win or lose, when the game is over you go over and sing the alma mater with the band.
"When I told the kids, some of them were upset. But I told them that Lehighton football has been in existence for a long time. It's bigger than you, it's bigger than me. I encouraged them to keep working hard in the weight room and try to get better."
Of course, Lehighton remains a part of the MVC, which will welcome Allen and Dieruff this year. The Indians were believed to be the only program not happy with the additions, only because Lehighton will lose two sellout nonleague dates against Tamaqua and Panther Valley.
Tamaqua, by the way, will be playing Allen as one of its two nonleague games this season.
IS THIS THE YEAR?
It's the sixth consecutive year that Reed has been a finalist and there's a feeling that this is his year.
Bill Parcells heads this year's list of nominees, which also include Jerome Bettis, Curtis Martin, Will Shields, Aeneas Williams, Chris Doleman, Kevin Greene, Charles Haley, Cortez Kennedy, Dermontti Dawson, Willie Roaf, Tim Brown, Cris Carter and former 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo, Jr
To receive induction, a nominee must receive 80 percent support from the selection committee.
LOSS IN THE LOCAL COMMUNITY
Few families have been more intertwined with the local high school sports scene, especially at Dieruff High School, than the Stoudt family.
So, it was with sadness that I learned over the weekend that Elaine Stoudt, the lady behind all of the Stoudt boys, died at age 74.
She is Tom Sr., and David's mother — Tom is the color analyst on RCN-4 high school basketball coverage and David is the baseball coach at Dieruff — and also rooted on her grandsons Tom Jr., Travis and Seth over the years.
Seth is a member of the Central Catholic boys basketball team. Travis and Tom Jr., are both former Dieruff standouts.
Besides raising a terrific family, Mrs. Stoudt was also known as "The Cake Lady" of Allentown and made some of the best cakes you'd ever want to have for your special occasion.
She will be missed.
Temple University defensive back Kevin Kroboth (Nazareth) has been selected to play in the 2012 Casino Del Sol All-Star football game (formerly the Blue-Gray game) at Kino Stadium in Tucson, Ariz., on Jan. 16.
The game is one of four college all-star games this month and will feature 90 draft-eligible players.
Kroboth was second on the team in tackles with 76 and had three interceptions, seven pass breakups and a fumble recovery for the Owls, who went 9-4 and beat Wyoming 37-15 in the New Mexico Bowl.