Also suspended by district administrators was Mark Collins, the principal at Maple Point Middle School. Collins was Neshaminy High's principal the last four years - and is a devoted follower of the football team.
Schmidt coached the Redskins in Friday's 28-21 home loss to Abington and spoke to his players about the suspension Saturday. He will not return to the sideline until the squad hosts Suburban One League Patriot Division rival North Penn on Oct. 10.
"It will be the longest three weeks of my life," he said. "It's horrible. I feel badly for our kids and their families."
Schmidt has compiled a 57-33 record (.633 winning percentage) in nine seasons. In 2001, he guided Neshaminy to a 15-0 record and a PIAA Class AAAA state championship.
According to Schmidt, his assistants will run the team. That group includes Jay Weidenbaugh, Steve Wilmont, John Quinn, Roger Grove, Eric Deitz and Ryan O'Neal.
Neshaminy athletic director Sheila Murphy could not be reached for comment.
Bears golden. If Upper Moreland's Joe Shannon ever took a page from the coaching book of Temple's John Chaney and began scheduling early-morning practices, Eric Schmidt would probably be the most bright-eyed participant.
That's because Schmidt, a guard and inside linebacker, is used to getting up before dawn. He works part-time as a greenskeeper at Manufacturers Golf and County Club in Fort Washington, Montgomery County.
During the school year, he works on Saturdays and Sundays from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Last summer, his weekday hours were from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The starting time on weekends was 5:30 a.m.
Schmidt works under golf course superintendent Scott May, a standout athlete at Jenkintown High in the late 1980s.
"It's hard to get up sometimes," Schmidt said, "but you've got to do what you've got do to."
Schmidt has the same workmanlike approach in football. The 6-foot, 180-pound senior made a team-high eight tackles (five solos) as visiting Upper Moreland blanked Springfield (Montco), 10-0, Friday in a nonleague game.
The Golden Bears, who held the Spartans to 68 yards rushing and 66 passing, improved to 3-0. They were 3-9 last season.
"We started lifting in December," Schmidt said. "We had a great attitude in the weight room."
Against Springfield, the deciding score came in the game's first minute. Outside linebacker Greg McKinski intercepted a left-side pass and returned it 38 yards. Mike Kenyon added a 21-yard field goal later in the quarter.
Upper Moreland posted its first shutout since the 2001 opener, a 42-0 win at Jenkintown.
Other leaders on defense were end Benet Donnelly, tackle Ed Noble, safety Art Johnson, and cornerbacks Jamal Herbert and Chad Peterman. The unit forced three turnovers.
Getting back. Yesterday, Monsignor Bonner coach Mike Coyne watched a tape of St. Joseph's Prep's 39-8 victory Saturday over Holy Cross (N.J.).
He had a reason to worry.
Bonner, which lost its opener to Upper Darby, 31-7, has not had organized practices in more than a week and missed two weekends of games because of a teachers' strike in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The Prep (3-0), a private school not affected by the strike, has outscored its opponents by 89-21. They are ranked No. 1 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer.
Bonner practiced for the first time since teachers went on strike more than a week ago, forcing Catholic League teams to call off games and ban team practices under coaches' direction.
That means while Bonner is looking to warm up, the Hawks are red-hot. The Prep is scheduled to visit Bonner on Saturday in the Red Division.
"I'm excited for the kids to get back and actually play some games," Coyne said.
A tentative agreement was reached, and teachers will vote today. Practices were held under coaches' supervision for the first time since the strike this weekend and games are expected to resume this week, depending on the teachers' vote.
Coyne said a major part of practices would focus on conditioning.
"I think it's going to be difficult to get ready," Coyne said. "The first thing we have to do is make sure everyone is in shape. We're going back to square one."
Other teams used the weekend to shake off some rust and work on the basics.
"Timing was a little off," Cardinal O'Hara coach George Stratts said after a team practice yesterday. "We worked on refreshing them on assignments. It felt great to be back."
Coaches doubt that called-off games will be made up.
Red Division teams missed only nonleague games and are scheduled to open league play this weekend. Blue Division teams, however, missed two weekends of league meetings.
Catholic League athletic directors are expected to meet today to discuss how to handle games that were called off, as well as the rest of the season.
Appeal filed. Pennridge administrators have appealed the team's controversial 26-21 loss at Central Bucks West on Sept. 5.
A letter and tape of the game were sent to the PIAA late last week. Two plays, in particular West's game-winning touchdown pass in the final minute, were cited in the appeal filed by principal Thomas Creeden and athletic director Joseph Thompson.
"It's water over the dam, but we felt like we needed to make a statement," Pennridge coach Jeff Hollenbach said. "The injustice, we believe, was large enough that it needed to be addressed."
After reviewing a tape of the game, Hollenbach and administrators contend that West quarterback Kevin Dunn was past the line of scrimmage when he tossed a 35-yard TD pass to wide-open tight end Eric Matje. It was a fourth-and-10 play.
"I yelled when it happened, but I wasn't totally convinced at the time," Hollenbach said. "But once we went over the tape the next day, there was an obvious problem. [Dunn] was completely over the line. If the officials make the call, the game is over."
There was another controversial call on the Bucks' game-winning drive. It came on a fourth-and-29 play, when a catch was made near the West sideline. Hollenbach said a review of the tape showed that the receiver was out of bounds and also did not have possession of the ball.
Extra points. In Saturday's 10-7 loss to visiting Central Bucks West, Council Rock North linebackers Scott Britton and Cory Collins made 10 and eight tackles, respectively. . . . Linebacker Jim Pearce recorded nine tackles, including seven solo stops, for Springfield (Montco) in Friday's loss to Upper Moreland. . . . Upper Darby back Rick Dougherty rushed for 141 yards and a TD in Friday's 34-0 home romp over Central League rival Radnor.
Inquirer staff writer Shannon Ryan contributed to this article.
Contact suburban staff writer Rick O'Brien at 610-313-8019 or email@example.com.
Southeastern Pennsylvania Football Top 10
Records through yesterday.
Rank Team Record Comment
1. St. Joseph's Prep 3-0 A swarming defense limited Holy Cross (N.J.) to 23 yards rushing.
2. North Penn 3-0 Next for the Knights is Abington, fresh off its upset of Neshaminy.
3. Strath Haven 3-0 The explosive Panthers are averaging 45.7 points per game.
4. Glen Mills 3-0 Senior receiver Jonte Lubin visited West Virginia over the weekend.
5. Interboro 2-0 After a three-week layoff, the Bucs will play Del-Val rival Chester.
6. Central Bucks West 2-1 Mud-covered defenders held Council Rock North to five first downs.
7. Ridley 3-0 The Green Raiders get their crack at mighty Strath Haven on Friday.
8. Neshaminy 2-1 Humbled by Abington, the Redskins will try to rebound vs. Pennridge.
9. Quakertown 3-0 Chris Donley passed for 134 yards in a key win over Cheltenham.
10. Penncrest 3-0 Quarterback Andy Spahr is the leader of a high-scoring offense.
Under consideration (listed alphabetically): Abington, 2-0; Germantown Academy, 1-0; Pennridge, 2-1; Pottstown, 3-0; West Chester East, 3-0.