Connor Shines in Strath Haven Opener

<b>Dan Connor</b>, who is rated the #1 LB in the nation by, looked terrific in helping Strath Haven get off to another fast start in the Panthers bid to get back to a fifth consecutive state title game appearance. (Pics included)

Name: Dan Connor
Position: LB, FB
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 220 pounds
School: Strath Haven High School, Wallingford, PA

Strath Haven High kicked off their 2003 campaign on Friday night with a big 54-6 win over visiting Academy Park. I was there to get a good look at Haven's trio of Division 1 prospects, Penn State commit Dan Connor, Dave Peck, and Phil Atkinson.

As has been the case for the past two years, Connor, up to 6'3" and 220lbs., played FB and MLB for Coach Clancy's Panther squad. Dan had 12 rushes for 77 yards and one touchdown, and from his LB spot he led a suffocating Haven defense that shut the Academy Park offense down to 41 total yards. Dan showed the kind of play that you would expect from the national #1 LB.

Dave Peck played both TE and DE for Strath Haven. The 6' 5" 235lbs. Peck looked bigger and stronger than he did last year and played a rock solid DE in this game. Peck is being recruited by Wisconsin, Minnesota, Navy and Syracuse and has offers from each of those schools. It appears that Wisconsin may be the leader at this point.

Phil Atkinson, a 6' 190lbs. RB, WR, DB, had 7 carries for 77 yards and two touchdowns, and 3 catches for 78 yards and another score. Phil looked great in reeling in a 61 yard scoring strike from QB Rick Coppick.

Atkinson is being recruited by Wisconsin, Iowa, and other Big10 and Big East teams.

Strath Haven High School is on the verge of breaking one of the state's most impressive prep football records.

If the Panthers win their next six games of the 2003 season, they will set a state record for consecutive regular-season victories with 70. Strath Haven entered this season with 63 straight regular-season victories, a streak that began with a 25-21 triumph over Ridley on Oct. 18, 1996.

The state record for consecutive regular-season victories is 69, set by District 9 Class A school Smethport. Smethport set the mark from 1988 through 1996. Ironically, Smethport's streak was stopped by Eisenhower on Oct. 11, 1996, just one day before Strath Haven suffered its most recent regular-season loss.

Incredibly, almost one-half of Strath Haven's 63 victories during the streak have come by shutout; the Panthers have blanked 31 opponents during that time, largely in part to Coach Clancy and some fantastic football players, past and present, like Dan Connor, Dave Peck, and Phil Atkinson.

Dan Connor

Dave Peck

Phil Atkinson

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