Former Lions' coach caught in the middle
For the lead story in our football preview package in Saturday's paper, I took a brief look at the history of Red Lion football and where this game ranks in the program's proud past. One of the people I talked to was former Red Lion coach Don Dyke, who coached at the school from 1969-80. He was at the helm during the Lions' three-season unbeaten streak from 1972-74. Dyke, 70, found himself in a strange position this season for Red Lion's two much-hyped showdowns with rival Dallastown. His grandson, Garrett Hartman, was a starting two-way lineman for the Wildcats this season. So on one hand, Dyke had his allegiance to his former program. On the other, he had his loyalty to his grandson. Care to guess which one he chose? "Of course, blood is thicker than water," Dyke said, laughing. The former coach even wore his Dallastown hat -- a Christmas gift from his family last winter -- to each of the teams' two games. Dyke was a bit "torn" having to watch the teams play, but said he pulled for both throughout the season. "I like to see the county do well," Dyke said. "I was really happy to see Dallastown have a great year, because there's really no reason a school that size shouldn't be successful." Of course, with Dallastown out, Dyke has continued to follow Red Lion's run to the district final. He said he plans to attend Red Lion's District 3-AAAA title game against Cumberland Valley on Saturday night. "It's been a long time coming," Dyke said of Red Lion's success. "It's been very gratifying to see it."