American Football has played a huge part in
the lives of the following Portville, NY natives, Gary Swetland, Boomer Connell, and Jimmy Reynolds...who all happen
to be PCS 1979 grads.
Editors of The Portville Herald were able to catch up with these three old geezers for a
talk about the gridiron sport in their lives over the past 50 years.
ED: What is your first memory of
CONNELL: All I rcall is following my dad around the locker room when he started coaching the Panthers
in the Sixties. My older brothers were on the team in the late Sixties, and I was there for it all...all the way through
ED: What years did your dad coach?
CONNELL: Uh, 1963 to 1979 seasons...he retired as head
coach the year after I graduated...he had heart problems.
SWETS: But he came back during the Eighties to be an assistant. He was there
when I came on board in 1986.
ED: What year did ol' Bear Connell die?
ED: Alright, so let me get this straight. You guys played under Bear Connell
during the Seventies, then Gary, you became head coach...when?
SWETS: 1992 season.
ED: Boomer, tell
us about your early 60's experiences at Portville, then let's progress through time to all of your football experiences,
just to set the record straight.
CONNELL: At this stage in life, I remember the smells of hanging around the team
in the early times. Back in those days, PCS was just getting rolling in the Border Conference, the Baby Boomers were in high
school, and my dad beat out Mike O'Brien and others for the heavy job of football coach in town. Our whole family revolved
around the school and football, as my brothers Mike and Mark were star players as well. My dad was a history teacher and a new
coach who was very aggressive at the time, having been a football player at Columbis and fighting in WWII.