Published: December 13, 2012
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Any single-season sports record that stands for 54 years tells you two things. First, the record was set by a pretty impressive player and, second, the player that breaks the record would need to be a special athlete.
In the fall of 1958, Robert Rinaldi was running the football for Old Forge High School and finding the end zone on a regular basis. He finished the season with 27 touchdowns, setting a single season record for Old Forge in the process. Scoring that many touchdowns in a season is something no Blue Devils player had ever done before - and a record that would hold the test of the time.
History repeated itself in 2012 when the Blue Devils had another special running back. Senior Brian Tomasetti was a workhorse for Old Forge as its featured running back and he wore the number 21, like his predecessor.
Tomasetti, like Rinaldi, has a nose for the goal line, as he rushed for 30 touchdowns, setting a new single season record for Old Forge. Tomasetti also set the record for most rushing yards in a single season. He rushed for 1725 yards setting the new record. Ryan Marsico set the previous record in 2001 with 1684 yards.
"It felt great. I didn't really expect it," Tomasetti said of the touchdown record. "I set my expectations high and my teammates played great and that really helped me."
Rinaldi was in attendance when the record was broken and he still follows Old Forge Football. His grandson, Bobby Rinaldi, is Tomasetti's teammate. Rinaldi's son, Bob, is the owner of Rinaldi's Café in Old Forge and is an assistant coach for the freshman football team at Old Forge.
"He told me I'm great player and said a lot of nice things about me," Tomasetti said of Rinaldi. "It is great coming from him since he was such a great player at Old Forge. It meant a lot to me."
The Old Forge football team had a season that will be remembered for some time. The Blue Devils ran the table in the regular season going 10-0 and won the Lackawanna Football Conference Division III title. Old Forge finished the year with 11 wins - the most in the history of Blue Devils' football.
Old Forge's season came to an end in the PIAA District 2 Class A title game against Dunmore. Dunmore won my a narrow margin of 7-6 and have since went on roll as they will play for the PIAA District 2 Class A title on Friday afternoon. The Blue Devils dominated Dunmore in their regular season meeting by a score of 21-0.
"I was very disappointed at first," Tomasetti said. "But as the days have passed I realize the great things this team did."
On the night Dunmore advanced to the state title game, Tomasetti began his basketball season for Old Forge. The Blue Devils defeated Wyoming Area by a score of 50-21. Tomasetti scored 12 points in the win.
"It is a little different, but it feels great to get back into the swing of things in a new sport," Tomasetti said of the basketball season. "We have a great group of guys, so I am looking forward to having a good basketball season too."
Tomasetti plans on playing college football and is still considering a few schools, but this winter he will look to help bring a Blue Devils' basketball season a winning season and perhaps a PIAA District 2 Class A basketball title.
"He is the guy we are going to," said Old Forge basketball coach Al Semenza.
"He is athletic; he can get the ball and take it to the basket," Semenza continued. "He can rebound the ball. It is a matter of his teammates getting him the ball in the right area. I think the more he plays this sport you will how much better he is going to get as time goes on."