Petercuskie coached high school football at
Neshaminy so long ago; many of his former players
are now grandfathers. His final game with the
Redskins was in 1965.
35 years later, his name and his reputation carry
great weight on Heartbreak Ridge.
Petercuskie will receive a long-overdue honor when
he is inducted into the Pennsylvania Scholastic
Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. The
ceremony will take place at 1:30 p.m. at the Hershey
Lodge in conjunction with Saturday's Big 33 high
school all-star game between Pennsylvania and Ohio.
even knew they had a scholastic Hall of Fame,"
Petercuskie, 75, said from his home on Cape Cod.
"But I'm very honored. I appreciate everything that
ever happened to me at Neshaminy. Anything we
accomplished was because of the kids we had and the
assistant coaches I worked with.”
let Petercuskie's humility fool you. His record is
five successful seasons as a co-head coach with
Harry Franks, Petercuskie took over the Neshaminy
program in 1960 at age 35. Over the next six years,
the Redskins went 59-1-5, including a 51- game
unbeaten streak from 1961-65.
then, suddenly, he was gone, off to Dartmouth
University to begin a long and successful career as
a college and NFL assistant.
a sad loss to Neshaminy and Lower Bucks football
when he left," said Jack Striker, a 1961 graduate
who scored 150 points for the Redskins in 1960.
"He's one of the nicest people I've ever known, and
the best football coach I ever played for.
taught us a lot of things, especially about
loyalty—to the team, to the people we played with
and to our school."
longtime Neshaminy supporters are probably shocked
to learn that it's taken Petercuskie this long to be
inducted into the state Hall of Fame. The reason,
quite simply, is he hasn't been eligible — and
technically still isn't.
Neshaminy coach Mark Schmidt, one of two District
One representatives (along with retired Central
Bucks West coach Mike Pettine) on the Hall of Fame
committee, explained that Petercuskie didn't meet
two of the criteria necessary for induction — years
as a head coach and at least 100 victories.
after Petercuskie's son, Jerry, nominated him for
induction this year, his name was presented before
the 37 coaches on the committee. His induction was
approved unanimously. "I totally took for granted
that he was already in,” said Schmidt, who is in his
second year on the committee. "When his nomination
was brought up, all 37 coaches unanimously voted him
in, even though he missed in two of the criteria.
That's how super he is."
has formed a special relationship with Petercuskie
since coming to Neshaminy in 1995.
puts me on a pedestal I don’t belong on,”
Petercuskie said. "He treats me like a king; I'm a
Neshaminy rooter because he's there."