Harkening back to local football history and the original Bologna Bowl of the 1940s, the second annual Seltzer’s Lebanon Bologna Bowl is set to take place on Saturday, Oct. 23, at Northern Lebanon High School.

The series of games between the youth football programs of Palmyra Area and Northern Lebanon school districts will represent roughly 400 players coming together, according to Dave Kline and Phil Shirk (Peewee Head Coach and President, respectively) of the Northern Lebanon Midget Football Association (NLMFA). Kline, Shirk, and the rest of NLMFA, along with the Palmyra Midget Football Association (PMFA), first held the event in 2019.

The program that wins the best of three games staged between the districts’ Peewee, Pony and Midget divisions will walk away with the traveling Seltzer’s Bologna Bowl Trophy. The inaugural bowl saw the Northern Lebanon Vikings seize a win over the Palmyra Cougars through wins by their Peewee and Midget teams.

The Northern Lebanon Midget Football Association mission statement is to “promote safe and rewarding sports instruction for the youth in our programs so that they may one day use the values that they have learned to make a positive impact in our community as citizens.” (Kline)

The Bowl kicks off at 3 p.m. with a game between rival Smurf teams (players in the first and second grades). The outcome of this game will not be counted in the overall competition. It will be followed by the Peewee teams’ game at 4 p.m. (third and fourth grades), the Pony teams at 5:30 p.m. (fifth and sixth grades), and the Midget teams at 7 p.m. (seventh and eighth grades).

Admission for individual spectators is $2 and admission for families is $5.

The NLMFA was formed in the 1980s under the leadership of Stan Kozlowski. Kozlowski, who has since passed away, is remembered through an annual $500 scholarship in his name for a high school player who played through the program.

Aside from its football schedule, the organization also holds bonfires, roasts, and other community events.

In 2014, NLMFA joined the regional youth football league Capital Football Association, followed by PMFA in 2019. The entrance of both associations marked the first Bologna Bowl, sponsored by Palmyra bologna manufacturer Seltzer’s.

“We just want to have a fun day and create a local rivalry between two organizations,” said Shirk. “It’s about local pride.”

“We hope that people take interest and kids get out there on the field,” said Kline, who also serves as assistant treasurer.

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Note: This article has been updated to correct the titles of Dave Kline and Phil Shirk. Ron Copenhaver is the Head Coach of NLMFA.

Joshua Groh

Josh is a Cornwall native and freelancer with a love of local history and the outdoors.