Monday, November 26, 2012


Every team has preseason goals and expectations. The Richland High School football team is no different.

The Rams, however, aren't afraid to raise the bar.

They're not afraid to let it be known, either.

Before a down was played this season, Richland adopted a Twitter hashtag used by coach Brandon Bailey, players and fans alike.

Many tweets concluded with "#win13."

For those not in the know, Twitter is a booming method of social media. It's used by movie stars, rock stars, pro athletes and, on a more local level, high school student-athletes and coaches. Twitter is an effective and quick way to communicate with an entire team and beyond.

Richland football actively uses Twitter as a communication vehicle. The Rams also entered the season with the heavy expectation of winning its first 13 games, which would lead to the program's first district championship.

Hence, the hashtag "#win13."

A couple weeks ago, senior receiver/defensive back Luke Shertzer explained the hashtag.

"It's something we talked about before the season, and it feels great knowing we're close to achieving it," Shertzer said. "All summer long, we talked about winning the (Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference) and the district. Winning 13 games meant we would do both."

Well, Richland achieved its goal Friday night when it shut out Forest Hills, 27-0, in the District 6 Class AA championship at Mansion Park in Altoona.

It prompted a change in hashtags.

Shertzer, who goes by @GeistownsFinest on Twitter said following the win, "Wouldn't trade this team for the world, thank you for making my senior year memorable "

Matt Shaffer (@mshaffe12) "Words just can't describe this... "

Tanner Solarczyk (@Tsolarczyk) "Best feeling ever "

Mario Rizzo (@mariorizzo1411) "Hats off to FH, great game D6 champs!!!! Greatest feeling. Lets keep rolling and "

Of course, for the Rams to win 16, it means they'll be crowned PIAA champions at the end of the year. First, Richland (13-0) must get past District 10 champion Hickory in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Slippery Rock University.

Who knows, by next week, maybe Richland will be tweeting "#won14."

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