2000 Pioneers Story
The Conestoga High School Football team found out life without Marquis Weeks may not be so bad after all. Weeks, the all-time leading rusher in Conestoga history with over 6,000 yards, is now enrolled at the University of Virginia. But Conestoga had enough left to defeat West Chester East 20-13, in the nonleague opener for both clubs Friday night.” That was the opening paragraph from the Daily Local report of the Pioneers’ opening game for the 2000 season.
The team under the tutelage of Head Coach Matt Gibson won three games in a row, and then they came up against the State Champion Strath Haven team. They lost that game and the following three. But the young team turned things around and won their next four games to go 7-4 for the season. Captains for the team were seniors Dave Wimer and Anthony Beard and juniors Chase Bower and Steve Shea. Gibson was proud of his defense throughout the season, and sophomore quarterback John D’Agostini credited his offensive front for his success. Pat Heim, Tyler McCraw, Eric Hildenbrand, Terrance Smith and Dewey Burke were often mentioned in the newspaper articles.
2001 Pioneers Story
The 2001 season’s articles were exciting ones to read. The Pioneers opened with three wins. In their fourth game, they met Strath Haven Panthers, the AAA defending State Champions, and they lost 28-14. However, sheer determination, energy and enthusiasm formed a close-knit brotherhood who took the Conestoga Pioneers to new heights. They won their remaining six regular season games and moved into the District I championships. They handily defeated Quakertown 42-6 to quiet all of their doubters. Tyler McCraw’s two field goals in overtime proved to be the deciding factor in the 34-31 victory over Cheltenham.
Then according to the DLN (11/24/01) “The Conestoga High School football team has had a magical ride all the way to the District 1 Class AAAA championship game. But Friday night, the Neshaminy Redskins (13-0) pulled the carpet out from under the Pioneers (11-2), in a 28-12 victory. The loss ended the most successful Conestoga season ever.”
Long time assistant coach and Conestoga grad John Vogan took over as head coach this season. Captains were Chase Bower, Dewey Burke, Eric Hildenbrand and Steve Shea. Instrumental in the victories were the offensive line and the defense. Unfortunately their names were not ever mentioned in the articles. Other seniors mentioned were lineman Aris Byrd, running back/ cornerback Terrance Smith, wide receiver/ cornerback Jon Weller, lineman and linebacker Mike Messina, lineman Calvin Corvaia and tight end Ron Shepherd. Underclassmen who made their mark on the season were juniors John D’Agostini – quarterback, Pat Heim – wide receiver/ linebacker, Ryan Randels – tight end/ linebacker, and sophomores Shane Seaver – tight end/ linebacker and Andrew Colbert – running back/ linebacker.
2003 Pioneers Story
Brian Chidester and Travis Walklett were the Captains of the 2003 Pioneer football team, and they lead their teammates to a seven win – four loss season. John Vogan was the Coach. The season began slowly with a loss, a win, a loss, a win, two losses, but an exciting finish of five victories to complete the season. According to the DLN, in addition to the captains, seniors Shane Seaver, Sean Kincade-Crean, Bill King, Sean Floyd-Bethune; juniors P.T. Ricci, Dave Holland, Josh Cohen, Andrew Werner and sophomore Dwuann Clark were team leaders.
2004 Pioneers Story
Reading the 2004 football season articles was a lot of fun. The excitement grew as the Pioneers continued to win. The team captured the League Crown with ten wins and no losses, and they earned a spot in the PIAA District I championship. Captains Josh Cohen, P.T. Ricci, Tony Siravo, Blair Long motivated teammates by their actions. Senior David Holland was a workhorse for the team. Juniors Dwuann Clark, Leroi Leviston, Mark Herzlich and Brandon Winters made their mark each week. Unfortunately, the team made an early exit in the championships at the hands of North Penn.