Phil Anastasia: Coach Tony Barchuk gets another win as Kingsway defeats Pennsauken

Kingsway head coach Tony Barchuk tends to get upset when somebody in red and black missesa tackle - or, worse, a block. "You got to love it," senior linebacker Myles Matthews said.
Kingsway head coach Tony Barchuk tends to get upset when somebody in red and black missesa tackle - or, worse, a block. "You got to love it," senior linebacker Myles Matthews said.
Posted: October 22, 2012

The 328th football game of Tony Barchuk's career was something completely different.

"Never played here before," Barchuk said after Kingsway's first game at Pennsauken.

Six weeks earlier, Kingsway played its first game at Shawnee.

"They say change is good," Barchuk said after Kingsway's 30-6 victory on a breezy, sunny Saturday afternoon.

Barchuk hasn't changed. He looks pretty much the same as he did when he took over the Kingsway program in 1979.

He sounds exactly the same.

"Are you kidding me?" Barchuk bellowed, about 12 times, during a game that his team won by 24 points.

Pennsauken coach Clint Tabb, who has been alive for as long as Barchuk has been Kingsway's coach, could hear his counterpart loud and clear across the field.

"He's worth the price of admission," Tabb said.

People close to Barchuk know his gruff exterior and sideline antics are mostly for show. Inside, he's a softy who spends spring coaching Kingsway softball to statewide prominence.

Still, he's an emotional guy and an old-school coach, and he tends to get upset when somebody in red and black misses a tackle - or, worse, a block.

"You got to love it," Kingsway senior linebacker Myles Matthews said. "He gets after you. But we all know it's for the good of the team. Sometimes, the freshmen get a little intimidated, but after you've been here a while, you get used to it."

The victory improved Barchuk's record to 182-141-5. Only Florence's Joe Frappolli (269-116-5), who has been at this since 1974, has coached more games in South Jersey history.

When Barchuk took over the Kingsway program, Jimmy Carter was in the White House, Dick Vermeil was the Eagles coach, and the Dragons were a small Group 2 program with a roster filled with farm kids.

Now, Kingsway is Group 4 on its way to Group 5, a burgeoning school district surrounded by newer housing developments. And the old Tri-County Conference program is in a West Jersey Football League division with new rivals such as Shawnee, Pennsauken, and Winslow Township.

Barchuk's teams haven't changed. The Dragons still run the football, focusing on physical play.

"They were as advertised," Tabb said after Kingsway controlled the line of scrimmage with a ground game that featured senior fullback Emilio Irving (14 carries, 133 yards) and junior halfback Ray Lawry (18 carries, 109 yards).

"This was huge," Barchuk said of the victory over the defending South Jersey Group 4 champions.

Kingsway improved to 4-2. The Dragons are in prime position to qualify for the South Jersey Group 4 tournament, and are smack dab in the middle of the race for the WJFL National title.

"We're right in the thick of things," Barchuk said. "As a coach, as a team, that's where you want to be this time of the year."

Kingsway's best play was a draw to Irving. Quarterback Robert Green reached around the fullback, from behind, to hand him the ball. It looked like a play from 1979.

"Been running that a long time," Barchuk said. "It still works."

The same could be said for the veteran coach.

Kingsway 7 16 0 7 – 30

Pennsauken 6 0 0 0 – 6

P: Larenz Brown 42 pass from Tyee White (kick failed)

K: Emilio Irving 22 run (Tyler Bell kick)

K: Pat Hodges 37 pass from Robert Green (Erik Gebeline pass from Brandan Pollick)

K: Irving 1 run (Pollick run)

K: Ray Lawry 63 run (Bell kick)


Contact Phil Anastasia at panastasia@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @PhilAnastasia. Read his blog, "Jersey Side Sports," at www.philly.com/jerseysidesports

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