Souderton celebrates, reflects on 100 years of football

Alumni, coaches and players reflect on their experiences inside the football community throughout the years and what they have gained.


Arrowhead Photo by Zoe Bass

En pointe…Scoring a touchdown, junior Ryan Sadowski dives for the endzone during this year’s homecoming game. Souderton football defeated Harry S. Truman High School 38-0 on October 7.

By coaching with a specific set of skills and traits, head football coach Ed Gallagher has created successful teams throughout his coaching career, contributing to 100 years of Souderton’s football success.
According to Gallagher, he loves the life lessons that it teaches. “It’s a very structured game where you have to do a lot of little things correctly in order for things to work,” Gallagher said. “There are 11 people that need to work cohesively to make that work.”
Game days require special quirks in how he prepares for a game.
“Every day that I have a game I wear the same outfit. I try to eat similar things for breakfast and lunch. I drink the same tea every day on game day,” Gallagher said.
According to Gallagher, the key to success is not always measured in wins and losses. “It’s development you want to improve as the season goes on and have that improvement be a learning experience for life,” Gallagher said.
Reflecting on the first recorded Souderton football game in 1923, Gallagher celebrates the accomplishment. “I feel honored that I’ve been there for one-fifth of those games and now that this is my 20th year so it’s pretty exciting,” Gallagher said.
Along with Gallagher, head JV coach Elijah White gives his players his full support. When White thinks of football he thinks of community, and most importantly family.
“You get to see young men grow. You get to see them turn from boys to young men. You get to see how they grow not only on the football field but also in the classroom,” White said.
According to White, he is their biggest supporter and is like a parent figure from the sidelines. “I’m their biggest cheerleader, but I’m also their biggest critic. They’re going to be held accountable. It’s what any good papa does with all his children. You hold them accountable and they’ll be all right,” White says.
Starting his first year coaching in 1965, defensive line coach Anthony Cipriano continues his coaching streak of 57 years.
“Going to practice every day and working with [young] players brightens my day every day and it’s just the sheer working with younger people and coaching a sport that I basically spent my life coaching or playing is what I look forward to,” Cipriano said.
Cipriano, a retired Souderton science teacher, adjusts his coaching style to best fit his players by getting to know his players on a personal level.
“Over a course of time, you got to spend time, not only coaching football, but you have to work with the players that you have to understand them as people and what you know they’re going through each day and their problems,” Cipriano said.
Throughout all of his years coaching, Cipriano admires athletic director Dennis Stanton and everything he has done.
“I’ve been through multiple athletic directors, and Mr. Stanton, I think, is a fantastic athletic director. His efforts in all the different areas that he’s involved with are very good,” Cipriano said.
According to junior Ryan Sadowski, the love and support the players receive heavily correlate to their performance.
“We’ve been playing [together] forever, it’s the chemistry that makes it really nice,” Sadowski said. To Sadowski, the 100 years symbolize how strong the team is, however, teams can not all always be strong.
Along with many other firsts, Sadowski’s first varsity start was not the best.
“Neshaminy last year was my first varsity start and it was not a good one…it definitely humbled me on a varsity level and it made me better,” Sadowski said.
Junior Danny Dyches said athletes need the right mentality because if they don’t, they will never be successful.
“My first touchdown ever [was] a big milestone because playing varsity I was a sophomore is just nerve racking stuff. So to have a touchdown, on varsity, is just a big thing,” Dyches said.