Making of the Santa Bowl

Rhino Charge host George Marinos recently sat down with Hanover Rhinos’ president and co-owner Chris Bunty to get an inside look at the preparations that take place for the Rhinos’ annual charity football game, the Santa Bowl.

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George Marinos: I’m here with Hanover Rhinos president and co-owner Chris Bunty. Our team has the charity game, the Santa Bowl, coming up this weekend. How excited are you for this game?

Chris Bunty: We get very excited about the Santa Bowl because we know it’s the start of our season. The Santa Bowl is very special to our team because we get to help the local community raise toys for Toys for Tots.

GM: What all goes into the build up for the Santa Bowl for you and Adam Bostian as owners of the team?

CB: First off, we have tryouts in late September to see who is interested in playing in the spring. Next, we find a team who is interested in playing in our annual Santa Bowl for Toys for Tots. Then we book our field. We build up the excitement with our Stuff-A-Bus campaign in hoping to draw people to the Santa Bowl game. We added the Grocery Grab fundraiser this year, too. That drawing will be at halftime during the Santa Bowl.

GM: How many toys have been raised by the Hanover Rhinos this year?

CB: We collected 471 from Stuff-A-Bus, which was 1,021 last year. Collected 481 at drop-off locations so far, but this Friday is when the serious collecting gets done, and next week.

GM: Talk about what the Stuff-a-Bus program is for those fans that may not know.

CB: The Stuff-A-Bus campaign was started last year by the team. This was to help collect more toys to help the Adams County /Hanover Area program. We start the program on the first weekend of November, and end it on Black Friday weekend on Saturday.

GM: You go around to different locations for the Stuff-a-Bus program. What do team members do at each location?

CB: I talk to different Hanover Area businesses who would be interested in hosting the bus at their business. Most locations are 2-4 hours, tops, except on Black Friday weekend. The team members wait until people show up with toys. They collect them from people and put them into the box, and when box gets filled, they are bagged and put on the bus.

GM: How proud are you to connect with Toys for Tots and help bring smiles to the faces of many children in less fortunate situations?

CB: I am very happy to help put smiles on the children’s faces. I am one person trying to make a difference in the community I live in. If I can make them smile on Christmas morning, then I did my job.

GM: The team also has had donation boxes located at areas around town.

CB: The team helps with putting boxes around the Hanover Area and collecting the boxes and toys when the time comes. It takes commitment to do this task.

GM: About how many hours would you say the team commits to collecting toys during the lead up to the Santa Bowl?

CB: The Stuff-A-Bus alone was 29 hours, that’s just the 8 stops in November. Putting boxes out in the community is another 30 hours. Picking up toys, it can vary, because some boxes alone get filled up before pick up dates. I have been to Five Below two times now, and every time, it’s been 7 bags. In total 14 bags, which equals 351 toys, just from their location.

GM: You spent some early mornings with your son picking up collection bags. What did that mean to you?

CB: It makes me proud to show him that volunteering to help others is the greatest award, no matter who they are. He understands the value of never taking things for granted.

GM: All of the charitable work leads up to the game in early December. How do you find an opponent for the game?

CB: Adam and I ask other teams in our league, or outside our league, if they are interested. Usually, it’s the first team who gets back to us.

GM: Generally speaking, how many teams do you send out invitations to, and are these done online or through the mail?

CB: We send out to 2 or 3 teams to start with, through e-mail or through social media to the owner of the team.

GM: What’s the criteria for picking an opponent?

CB: There isn’t any opponent criteria. It’s about having a fun day to play football and collect toys for the kids.

GM: But why do you choose to send invitations to certain teams? Is there an effort to pick new and different teams that the Rhinos haven’t played?

CB: We try to get as many teams involved with our Santa Bowl as we can. Some, have other events they are doing, or others just can’t make it that year when asked.

GM: You’ve held a number of different positions for the Santa Bowls over the years. You’ve been photographer, general manager, player, and owner. Which did you have the most fun doing?

CB: To be honest George, all of them. I do like to take photos of the guys playing, and seeing how they turn out. I liked doing the general manager and owner role, because it’s nice to sit back and watch the things come together that you plan. Sometimes they don’t work out as you plan, but you work with it. As for playing, it was nice to get on the field that one year, but as you realize, this is for the younger guys.

GM: What’s the most stressful part of organizing the events?

CB: The most stressful part is hoping you didn’t forget anything. During the week of, I like to double-and triple-check myself.

GM: But at the end of the day, watching everything come together and making a difference in all those kids’ lives makes it all very rewarding?

CB: It’s very rewarding, no matter if everything works out to plan or not. We do this for the kids, to ensure they have a good Christmas morning.

GM: When did work begin on this year’s Santa Bowl?

CB: I start to think about the Santa Bowl when the year is over. So, for next year, I will start to think about it on January 1, 2017. Always try to plan ahead.

GM: How can people outside the Rhinos’ family assist with the Santa Bowl if they wish to do so?

CB: People can help by following the Toys for Tots of Adams County & Hanover PA, and follow the Hanover Rhinos Facebook pages. There are over 80-plus businesses in the Hanover Area that are drop-off locations this year. This is almost double from last year. (People) can assist by donating their time to sort, bag, and distribute toys on December 4th at the Gettysburg Times Building, from 12 PM- 4 PM, and Hanover VFW on December 11th, 10 AM – 2 PM.

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Santa Bowl V Preview

12/3: Rhinos vs. Southern Maryland Gladiators

It’s finally here, folks! That’s right. After months of preparation, the Hanover Rhinos officially begin the 2017 campaign with their annual December charity game benefitting Toys for Tots.For the third straight year, the Rhinos will be battling a team named the Gladiators. The previous two Santa Bowls featured the Germantown Gladiators, but in Santa Bowl V, the opponent is the Southern Maryland Gladiators. Southern Maryland went 4-6 in its first AFA season in 2016, and has moved into the AFA Northern Conference as a member of the East Division. The teams will also play in the final week of the regular season in June.

WHEN & WHERE: Saturday at 1:00 PM, Manheim Adventure Park, 4565 Camp Woods Rd, Glenville, PA 17329.

WEATHER FORECAST: 44 degrees and partly cloudy. Precipitation: 0%. Humidity: 61%. Wind: 16 MPH.

RHINOS IN THE SANTA BOWL: Hanover is 1-2 in the Santa Bowl, and has been outscored 46-24 by the combination of the Virginia Chargers (2012) and the Germantown Gladiators (2014, 2015).

The Rhinos lost last year’s Santa Bowl to Germantown, 31-6. Jay Collins snagged a jump-ball for a 10-yard touchdown pass on a play-action rollout by quarterback Jordan Gardner in the third quarter for Hanover’s only score.

LAST MEETING: This is the first meeting between the Rhinos and Gladiators.

IN HONOR OF OUR FALLEN: Both teams have suffered tragedy in the months leading up to this game. Former Hanover players Shannon Martin and David Telp, Jr. passed away in late summer. The Rhinos will honor them by wearing special helmet stickers. Each helmet will have one circular sticker split into halves by a diagonal line, with Martin’s number 32 on one half, and Telp’s number 7 on the other half.

Southern Maryland also suffered a grave tragedy in the last few weeks when two-way lineman Everett “Chip” Corley was killed by a drunk driver. He was 28. The Gladiators have some plans to honor Corley, as well.

“We are going to retire his jersey #74 once his new one comes in,” assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Rusty Allison said. “Then, we will frame it and take it out to every coin toss, and have it on the sidelines.”

The Gladiators are also planning to wear helmet stickers this season.

GO FIGURE: The Rhinos have never recorded a single kicking point in Santa Bowl history.

RHINOS’ OUTLOOK: Hanover comes into the Santa Bowl with roughly 60 players under contract, which should make for some interesting position battles. The first live game against another opponent will help clarify some questions for head coach Noah Sneeringer. Sneeringer will be the 4th different Rhinos’ head coach in the 4 Santa Bowl games.

The two most interesting positions to watch are quarterback and linebacker. The tandem of Chase Scharf and Jake Orner look like a solid bet to improve on Hanover’s 16.5 team quarterback rating in 2016.

The Rhinos will have to replace the league’s leading tackler, Jeremy Renoll, who retired this offseason. Bermudian Springs graduate Phoenix Russell and ex-Germantown player Twon Lyles figure to head the group vying for that spot.

This will be the first chance for defensive coordinator Adam Bostian to showcase his Darkside defense.

The bottom line: the Rhinos are going to have a lot of fun playing for a good cause, while also taking a key step toward a bounce-back season in 2017.

SCOUTING THE GLADIATORS: SMG’s wins came against Mid-Atlantic (twice), Mountain Mayhem, and the Virginia Beach Rhinos, and they posted a 2-3 road record in 2016. Brian Green threw for 331 yards in the season-capping VA Beach game, and will start the Santa Bowl. Talented big-play receiver DeMarcus Sweat is no longer on the team, but Marchaz Coates leads a squadron of receivers looking to fill Sweat’s shoes.

Leading rusher Michael Clark is back, as is offensive playmaker Mike Reedy. Reedy played quarterback last year, and led an impressive comeback from 20 points down against the Hill City Stampede in week 9.

Rhino Bites

This Santa Bowl week, Rhino Bites will feature a holiday influence. Today, meet a new Rhinos player who offers his insight into what life is like in the winter wonderland of New England.
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GEORGE BELL

georgebell

Age: 20, Position: WR

#1. You lived in an interesting state, Vermont, that I’m sure not many of our guys have visited. What is life like up there?

GB: It’s very quiet and peaceful, some of the most beautiful scenery you will ever see, especially in the fall. Everyone is really friendly and it makes you feel right at home. The weather is very crazy, you almost never see grass from Thanksgiving until Easter. Fall stats at the end of August really. But it’s a beautiful place to live and I love to go back and visit whenever I can.

#2. Finish this sentence. You know someone is from Vermont when ____.

GB: They call ice cream a creemee.

#3. What brought you back to PA?

GB: I finished my time at college, and I was ready to come back home to my family. I consider myself a very family-oriented person, we might not always get along or see eye to eye, but I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

#4. What college were you attending?

GB: Castleton University.

#5. What are the 5 most recent songs on your music playlist?

GB: 1. Warning, by Incubus; 2. Duality, by Slipknot; 3. Times Like These, by the Foo Fighters; 4. Sick Love, by Red Hot Chili Peppers; 5. My Name Is Human, by Highly Suspect.

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They’re Back…

…And ready to shock the World in 2017.

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Three players have returned to the Rhinos after playing for the rival York Silver Bullets in 2016. From left: Ron Rohrback, Chase Scharf, and Bashawn McFadden. Photo Credit- Ursula H. Yost.

They didn’t go all the way around the world, but they went all they way across York County to play football in 2016.

Now, they’re back, and ready to help the Hanover Rhinos shock the world in 2017.

Chase Scharf, Bashawn McFadden, and Ron Rohrback were among 13 players who left the Hanover Rhinos for the York Silver Bullets after the 2015 season.

“I wasn’t a player that Hanover contacted to come back (last year) like they did with others, and so that made me feel unwanted in Hanover at the time,” McFadden said, “But I’m back now. I appreciate the warm welcome the staff and players have given me, and I’m looking forward to a great year.”

Adam Bostian was the Rhinos head coach in 2015, and watched his roster stripped of some of its best players following that season. “When the Bullets returned to the Atlantic Football Association, we kinda knew what was going to happen. The guys that live in York, or close to it, would go and play for York,” said Bostian, now co-owner and defensive coordinator with the Rhinos. “We knew that was going to happe, and we didn’t blame the guys for doing that. It really did hurt our program by our win or lose record.”

What followed was a disastrous 2-8 season for the Rhinos that featured three head coaching changes. The Bullets went 6-4, making the playoffs. Adding fuel to the budding rivalry was the fact that the Bullets were placed in the Rhinos’ division, meaning, not only would they compete directly for a playoff spot, but they would face each other twice on the field during the season.

That first matchup came on March 19th, a cold, snowy day at Manheim Adventure Park. Before the game, the Bullets did a lap around the field during warm ups, which took them right by the Rhinos’ bench. The attitude was cordial, as players and personnel from the Rhinos greeted their former teammates with hellos as the York players passed by. However, it was clear in the crisp spring air that everyone on both sides was ready for the battle that lay ahead, and no one wanted to cede bragging rights.

“It definitely was (weird), man,” McFadden said. “I mean, Hanover was the 1st team I ever played for, so the Rhinos were home for me in a way.”

In the Bullets’ first game, they used strong defense and good field position to beat the Rhinos 25-6. Hanover scored just once, a tipped pass that turned into a long touchdown with just 3 seconds left in the game.

It was a harbinger of things to come for Hanover, while York would enjoy a sterling season. Scharf was replaced at starting quarterback by Bob Moore in the fourth game of the season, and the Bullets took flight. They surged through the likes of Franklin County and Carroll County, and gave the defending champion Harrisburg Sharks and the 3-time champion Virginia Chargers  all they could handle.

Hanover’s season trudged on through 6 more consecutive losses, 5 of them shutouts.

Included in that was a 67-0 loss at York on 4/30 that set franchise records for most points given up, and most lopsided loss.

“It was strange a little during the first game in the snow,” Rohrback said. “It was almost like coming to practice, but with a different uniform on. The 67-0 game, I only played a few downs on defense. But some guys had a point to prove.”

In the playoffs, York took another shot at knocking off Harrisburg, but fell just short, 18-14.

When Clayton McNair’s late fourth quarter run for a first down reduced the Silver Bullets’ season to a few kneel downs, Scharf knew he wanted a change of scenery.

“The moment the season ended, I knew I wasn’t returning to the Bullets,” Scharf said. “It’s a new me, new scene. Adam had reached out to me the day contracts ended, and that really stuck out to me. Not only coming home, but being on a team that wants me there, and that I can lead.”

The hometown quarterback born a rolling stone wasn’t immediately sure he was running back to the only team he’d even known.

“We talked about life in general to start out,” Bostian said. “Then, I asked what his plans were for the next football season. He said he was not playing summer or fall ball, and wanted to get in shape for the next spring season, but never told me what team he was interested in playing for. He kept me in the dark for as long as he could.”

Ultimately, Scharf found something he couldn’t replace in Hanover.

When he ended a few months of speculation, and finally decided on the Rhinos, it instantly filled the position at which the Rhinos had the biggest need.

Last time we saw Scharf in the red and black, he was on his back on the Steel-High field turf as his 65-yard touchdown pass was being caught by Jay Collins in the 2015 playoffs against Harrisburg.

During that 2015 season, Scharf played to an 84.3 quarterback rating, which is 68.7 points better than Hanover’s team quarterback rating in 2016. Sixty-two-year old Greg Day took one snap at quarterback, but his 39.6 rating was the highest on the team.

Scharf is steadfast in his belief that the present is the only thing that matters.

“As much as people want to ask why I left York, when I left York, etc.,” Scharf said, “The fact is, I left, and its time to focus on the season. The past is over. Time to focus on us!”

The member of the original Hanover Rhinos squad in 2012 further cautioned against dwelling on the past.

“When I was a Bullet, I was a Bullet, season ended. Now I’m a Rhino,” Scharf said.

For McFadden, the decision to return to Hanover was made easy when his friend Scharf said he was going back to Hanover.

“Like I told the coaches, I was going with my teammate Showtime, and it just felt right for me to branch off and take this route, especially changing positions,” McFadden, now a wide receiver, said. “There’s no hard feelings or nothing personal toward the Bullets. Those guys are my brothers, they’re very talented and I wish them nothing but the best. I’ll be rooting for them, as well as my team, the Hanover Rhinos.”

Flash back to 2015, to when McFadden, then a cornerback, began his semi-pro career.

“That 1st season was a learning experience for me, man”, McFadden recalls. “I gained a lot of friendships with the players, especially Shannon Martin, one of my closest friends on the team. Those were the times man.”

After bouncing around for a few years between Pennsylvania and his home state of South Carolina, McFadden settled in the York County Area to be closer to where his wife grew up.

AttendingWoodland High School in South Carolina, McFadden was a classmate of his cousin, Nagui Wright, who was a standout football player. Wright would also go on to play for the Rhinos, and still owns several of the Hanover Rhinos’ all-time rushing records.

For Rohrback, walking up to the first practice was a harrowing experience.

“Nervous. Not knowing what to expect. It had been 15 yrs since the last time I played organized ball,” Rohrback said.

He ended up living a million miles of memories with those teammates that he so tepidly approached on that fall afternoon in 2014.

Build like a cinder block at 5’6, 197 lbs., the 1999 Dallastown graduate still remembers his first touchdown.

In Santa Bowl III in December 2014, Rohrback stepped on the field with an organized team for the first time since high school.

In the annual charity game that benefits local Toys for Tots, the Rhinos were trailing the Germantown Gladiators 8-6 in the third quarter at the mud-stricken Hanover Middle School Field.

The Rhinos had driven to the 5-yard line when Bostian called a 22-dive up the middle to Rohrback.

The play went anything but the way it was planned.

The Gladiators’ defense plugged the gaps to the inside, so Rohrback dashed to the outside and around the end of the line for the eventual game-winning score.

“It was a team effort,” Rohrback said. “The line held up, just couldn’t get any push, so just bounced it out. I grew up watching Barry sanders play. He never, not once, showboated.”

It remains Rohrback’s only touchdown as a semi-pro athlete.

Once the regular season started, Rohrback and McFadden joined a defensive unit that was coming off of two consecutive seasons where they held their opponents under 100 points.

After an unlucky start, which saw the Rhinos lose their first four games by a total of 21 points, including three losses by 5 points or less, Hanover caught fire, and won 4 of its last 6 games to make the playoffs.

That season is viewed very fondly by the players on the Hanover Rhinos, with many of them regarding 2015 as their most memorable season.

Part of that may be due to the untimely passing of two of the team’s biggest personalities from that season. Shannon Martin and David Telp, Jr. passed away during a several week period in the fall of 2016.

“To really sit and think why a lot of guys have such fond memories of that season, is because we can never take the field again with a few guys,” Rohrback added.

Rohrback hopes that some spiritual elements of the 2015 team will develop in the Rhinos this upcoming season.

“To early for me to tell but I think it’s right there,” Rohrback said. “Guys have to grow on one another. Only a few that are still there that I’ve played with.”

As practices have begun in the fall of 2016, Scharf has been a vocal on-field leader as he and the rest of the players work on head coach Noah Sneeringer’s offense.

“That’s the most important (relationship)!,” Scharf said. “I feel like me and Noah have gotten off to a great start, two football minds working as one. QB’s need to have that support system, so regardless, good or bad, we can talk on the sidelines to correct anything at a moments notice.”.

McFadden has been working hard and studying to learn the art of playing receiver at the semi-pro level.

Rohrback will continue to be two-way player who impacts the game on both sides. He’ll be taking snaps at fullback, and his usual linebacker position on the Rhinos’ newly-named “Darkside” defense.

Asked what he needs to do to help the team, Rohrback said, “Just play my part. Get to know some guys better, strengths and weaknesses, to help each other. Other then that, that’s about it. I’m no hero, but if we work as one team and curb the ‘I’m the greatest’ BS, the winning will take care of itself.”

All three players have expressed gratitude over the way the Rhinos’ organization has welcomed them back with open arms.

“The Rhinos have treated me like I never left,” McFadden said. “In fact, I seem more appreciated by the team than before. It feels great to be back. I’m looking forward to a great season with the team.”

Who says you can’t go home?

 

Rhino Bites

Get to know the newest members of the Hanover Rhinos! Rhino Bites is a segment that will run once a week during the off-season, and feature a blaster pack of questions to players who are new to Snacktown’s warriors for the 2017 season.

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KAM STEVENS

kam

                   Age: 23                             Position: RB

#1. What’s your favorite moment from your football playing career?

KS: Trying out for the Canadian Football League (CFL).

#2. What team did you tryout for and when?

KS: Winnipeg Blue Bombers in February, 2015.

#3. What made you want to join the Hanover Rhinos this season?

KS: To become a better player and play for a good organization.

#4. What about the Hanover Rhinos’ organization do you like?

KS: It’s more than a team, it’s a brotherhood, almost like the Power Rangers. As corny as it sounds, each Ranger had a specific skill, but when they came together, they formed an unstoppable force.

#5. Which power ranger would you be?

KS: Green.

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Wordy Wednesdays

A Word With: Ursula H. Yost

urseyThe multi-talented Ursula H. Yost sits down with our host to discuss action photography and cheerleading, among other things.

GM: I’m here with Ursula Horn Yost, the team photographer for the Hanover Rhinos. Tell our readers how long you’ve been with the team?

UY: 4th season.

GM: Haha. You’re known for the beautiful action photography you do for all Rhinos games, and other community events. How did you get started with photography, and what has fueled your passion along the way?

UY: Since I can remember, I have had a camera. I took some photography courses in college, even though it was not my major. I learned how to develop and process film. It was so much fun. After college, I put the camera down for a while. Once my kids were born, I picked it back up. I really got in to sports photography when my nephews started to play high school volleyball. I found that I could catch the action shot so much better than, say, a portrait.

GM: You’re more than the photographer for the Rhinos, though. Talk about your role within the Rhinos community.

UY: I am the team secretary. This is because (Rhinos owner) Adam (Bostian) needs someone to write things down. I help maintain the website and the Facebook page. I keep the contracts in order. I am also “Mom”. I am old enough to be mom to everyone but Greg Day. I consider all of them “My Boys”. They know I am tough and do not take crap, but that I love them and will do what I can for them.

GM: Is there anything special that you do to welcome new players to the team?

UY: No, nothing really special. Maybe tell them if they want good pictures of themselves, they need to make good plays.

GM: How did you become part of the Rhinos family?

UY: A friend of mine knew I had been really enjoying taking pictures of volleyball and wanted to get more into sports photography. She told me that the Rhinos were looking for someone to help out and take pictures. So, I contacted Chris Bunty and volunteered. I was so nervous that first game, but everyone was so welcoming. What started out as just taking pictures of the games, turned in to me being an ever-present fixture of the Rhino family.

GM: What was the moment when you felt like you arrived at being that ever-present fixture?

UY: I do not know if there was a specific moment. I just knew I had found an organization that I wanted to be a part of.

GM: What’s the funniest moment you’ve had during a game?

UY: Sorry, no funny stories. During games, I am pretty much in a zone. I am always thinking about where I need to be to get the good shots.

GM: And it shows in your work. What are some of your favorite shots you’ve gotten over the years?

UY: Omg, you know when a receiver makes a catch and just has his toes touching when he catches the ball… I got that shot. It was against the Phantoms and Jay Collins was the receiver. I looked at my screen to see if I had really gotten that shot. Sure enough, I had. It was a spectacular catch and I caught it on film. Other favorites are actually heartbreaking images. I captured some of the last pictures of Roma Michael playing a game that he loved. I had pictures of Shannon Martin holding one of his children after a playoff game, and had pictures of David Telp being David and dancing on the field.

GM: What do you think it is that causes us as human beings to be drawn to tragic works of art?

UY: I don’t think it is being drawn to it. I think you see it and those memories are pushed to the forefront again.

GM: So, it causes a rush of emotion, and helps you remember the good times you had with a person?

UY: Yes. And the impact they had on everyone around them.

GM: Despite what you said about your ability to do portraits, you got a nice portrait of Rhinos’ defensive back Lloyd Welford.

UY: Those are more candids. Portraits are very set up. Lighting, posing, all that stuff. I rarely get a good portrait. The one of Brady Hearn and his drum are the best ones I have ever done. I always say I can get a better shot of someone moving, than just being still.

GM: You’ve been working with Essential End, Brady’s band from the local area. What has the experience been like?

UY: Hanging out backstage at shows, watching the crowd react to them as they perform, seeing/hearing such amazing talent, and getting to take pictures of it all… it is an absolute blast.

GM: What are some things about you that not many people know?

UY: Here you go… things people do not know about me. Black belt in Tae Kwon Do, BS degree in Criminal Justice, cheerleader in high school and college, played the cello for 6-7 years, played flute for 3, but can not really read music.

GM: Out of all those things, which is the most exciting for you?

UY: Loved Tae Kwon Do!

GM: What’s your favorite move that you learned?

UY: Spinning back kick. I could do like 10 of them in a row.

GM: Do you think you could give Chuck Norris a run for his money?

UY: Ha, he and I have an understanding.

GM: I believe it. You got me with  a softer version of that at practice once and I couldn’t breathe for a few seconds.

UY: Never underestimate the short, old lady with a camera. And now that I am working out again… really, really do not underestimate me.

GM: Where did you go to college, and what prompted you to go for a criminal justice degree?

UY: Haha, which time? I graduated from York College. All I ever wanted to be when I was little was a police officer. I also knew going to college was important. So criminal justice was the perfect fit.

GM: Have you ever served jury duty?

UY: No. No I haven’t.

GM: Tell us about your time as a cheerleader?

UY: Started cheering in 9th grade, and kept going through college. I have cheered for football, basketball, wrestling, and soccer. I performed at a Baltimore Blast soccer game during college.

GM: Were you part of the popular crowd?

UY: Yes and no. I socialized with everyone. I did not stick with one group all the time.

GM: Being a cheerleader, did you have a lot of boys asking you for dates?

UY: Nope. I think today they say I was in the friend zone.

GM: Were you one of the girls they tossed in the air?

UY: No. I lifted weights pretty regularly, so I was a good solid base.

GM: Did you ever feel bad after accidentally dropping someone?

UY: Never dropped anyone.

GM: Do you still have friendships that you formed during your squad days?

UY: Just on facebook. I keep my friends circle very, very small.

GM: How did you manage to play the cello and the flute without reading music?

UY: I was told what the notes were, or they were written down for me, and the hand placement, and just memorized it. That is why Tae Kwon Do do was so easy. Someone would show me and I would memorize it and give it back exactly as I was shown.

GM: So, you recently had a birthday. Tell our readers what you did to celebrate?

UY: Nothing really. Going to wait for my son to come home from college for Thanksgiving break next week, then do the dinner and cake thing. Next year though, when I turn 50, I am having a huge party.

GM: What’s the most exciting birthday gift you’ve ever gotten?

UY: Actually, I am not a big gift person. But the but present was that my dad would call me (as he did with all my brothers and sisters) every year and sing happy  birthday to me. Last year, he was in the hospital and could not sing, and he was so disappointed. So my oldest son told him not to worry, that he would take care of it. Well, since my dad’s passing in January, my son has called each of my brothers and sisters to sing to them. So, on my birthday, at 7:30 AM, about the time dad would call, I got a call from my oldest, and he sung to me. I cried the entire time. He made a promise to his grandpa, and he is keeping that promise.

GM: You are a hockey fan. Why did you choose the Pittsburgh Penguins as your favorite team?

UY: They were franchised the year I was born, have always had talented players, and since I am a Steelers fan, it just came natural to cheer for them.

GM: So many great players over the years. Who have you enjoyed watching the most?

UY: Jaromir Jagr, Sidney Crosby, Tom Barrasso.

GM: Is the mullet the greatest hairstyle ever invented?

UY: Hey, hey, when I was in high school, that was the popular style.

GM: More stylish- Jaromir Jagr’s mullet in the 90’s or Jagr’s mullet now?

UY: Oh, he rocked it in the 90’s. (Laughs).

GM: Jagr’s mullet, or Donald Trump’s hair?

UY: Wow, that is a tough one. Ummm, Jagr.

GM: If you could go one place in the world, where would it be?

UY: I am not a good flyer… plus, I love the US too much. I would go back to Wyoming. Actually, that is where we want to end up.

GM: Oh yeah? What are your plans once you get there?

UY: Small ranch at the base of the Beartooth Mountains, with a few horses and alpaca. The horses are for me, since I ride, and the alpaca are for the husband.

GM: Thank you for spending a moment of your time with us.