CLARKS SUMMIT — Casey Knott, while scrolling through Instagram, came across a post from Saquan Barkley about a challenge the New York Giants star running back posed to fans.
He found it intriguing.
An NFL fan and Abington Heights football junior receiver, he gathered three of his friends and teammates, Griffin McGinley, Connor Dempsey and Will Stevens.
They submitted their video to the NFL and came away as the overall winner. The group will spend the day at New York Giants camp and will meet Barkley as part of their prize.
“I sent it to my friends and they thought it would be cool,” Knott said. “Barkley is one of the most famous players now and we thought it would be great to meet him, so we entered and won.
“That is going to be cool, because I think we get to work out with the whole team and with him. ”
In May, Barkley’s “Quad Squad Quad Challenge” was part of the NFL’s “Experiences of a Lifetime” campaign designed to celebrate the league’s 100th season, according to the New York Giants website.
Fans entered the contest by submitting videos on Twitter or Instagram completing Barkley’s challenge and used the hashtag #NFL100Contest by June 4.
The challenge included first, the bottle flip challenge, then the planking challenge, the flossing challenge and the mannequin challenge.
And contestants needed to complete a lunge hold for 10 seconds with each leg, 10 seconds squats with no weight, 10 seconds of jump squats and finally 20 second squat hold.
Barkley posted a challenge video showing the requirements for contestants to receive the training session with him.
Knott, McGinley, Dempsey and Stevens not only completed the challenge, they got creative.
Using the Rocky movie theme song as the backdrop, the group’s film showed the bottle flip being completed by Knott in a parking lot, then the camera pans to the Penn Paper tower with a Dunder Mufflin sign appearing which referenced the hit NBC comedy “The Office.”
Then, McGinley performed the planking challenge on the top of the fence that surrounds the Abington Heights athletic fields.
Stevens executed the flossing challenge, which is a popular dance where you “start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands at your sides in fists. Next, swing your arms out to one side, and then swing them in the opposite direction so one arm is behind your body and the other is in front.”
Dempsey stood motionless in the mannequin challenge imitating the pose of the pirate statue in front of Cooper’s Seafood Restaurant in Scranton.
It was a winner.
“I was really surprised we won,” said McGinley, who submitted the winning video. “We are just a bunch of kids who had some fun with it. It was pretty challenging.
“It took three days to do the video.”
All four executed the squat exercise challenges on the Abington Heights High School athletic field.
“It was a quick workout,” Dempsey said. “But it was obviously a tough workout. You would expect nothing less from Saquan Barkley.
“It was very rewarding.”
With the win, the team will visit the New York Giants facility, watch a practice and meet Barkley on Aug. 25.
“I am just excited to meet the players and see the facilities,” said Stevens, who confirmed all four are huge Barkley fans.
Mid Valley is celebrating its 50th season of varsity football in 2019.
As part of the ceremony, which includes the team wearing a white No. 50 on its blue helmets, the Sept. 14 game at Spartan Stadium against Susquehanna will be a 1 p.m. start. The school district will honor the first team which took the field in 1970 and had a record of 2-6.
Mid Valley played one game in 1969, losing to Weatherly, 24-0.
Interestingly, Susquehanna is recognizing its 1970 reboot of the program, by wearing white helmets just as the 1970 team did. Susquehanna sponsored football from 1919 to 1936, and fielded a team again in 1970 when the Sabers finished 2-8.
Valley View is doing an acknowledgment this fall, too. The Cougars concluded 50 years of football in 2018 and this year’s team will have a gold No. 50 inside the white paw on the team helmets.
In 1969, Valley View formed with the jointure of Blakely, Archbald and Jessup High Schools. The Cougars finished 9-1-1 in 1969 and won the Big 11 championship.
D2 playoff change
With GAR and Meyers combining with Coughlin to form Wilkes-Barre Area for the 2019 season, which is the second year of a two-year cycle, the District 2 Committee adjusted the District 2 playoff format in Class 3A.
The exodus of two programs left only seven competing schools in Class 3A, so the district will have six qualifiers with the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds receiving byes, District 2 football chairman Mike Ognosky said.
It is possible, depending on the state playoff bracket and number of District 2 schools falling into the 4A classification for the 2020-2021 seasons, that class could also move to a six-team format with byes to the top two seeds.
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