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Catching Up With ...
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2020-08-19

Paulette Gebert

 

            In the 20 years between her graduation from Upper Perkiomen High School and

Paulette Gebert

and her return in the mid-1980s, Paulette Gebert made her mark coaching basketball. While spending four seasons as an assistant and a head coach in Division I college basketball, she traveled the country.

Gebert capped a long career as the UPHS athletic director in 2003, retiring after serving 17 years as the department's lead administrator.

            Initially, Gebert took a job as an elementary school teacher after her father retired as the district's business manager. She briefly coached basketball and softball before replacing Greg Thren as the athletic director.

            "I decided it was more important to be closer to my family than anything else," Gebert said.

            A 1964 graduate, she played field hockey, basketball and softball for the Indians. Gebert described basketball as her best sport growing up. She also played several summers for the Pennsburg Shamrocks,  a local softball team.

            At East Stroudsburg University, she competed in basketball and lacrosse since the school did not offer softball. Gebert described the strategy of the game as similar to basketball but with a completely different skill set.

            "I was always a student of all the sports I played," she said. "I learned a lot as I went."

During her first teaching job, at a high school in Cherry Hill, N.J., Gebert taught health and physical education. She also coached basketball, tennis, lacrosse and softball.

            Then, she took a pay cut to enter the coaching ranks in women's college basketball. Gebert spent two seasons as an assistant at the University of Nebraska, before taking the head coaching job at Northern Arizona.

            Leading the Lumberjacks for three seasons, she faced several challenges, including a lack of financial support. In 1983, during a road game at Weber State, Gebert recalls playing the game with only five players. She sat alone on the bench without any assistants or an athletic trainer.

            "I didn't have many decisions to make," said Gebert, who posted 17 overall victories.

Gebert expressed appreciation for the unique relationship she developed with her players. However, she said she enjoyed coaching in high school more than in college.

            "I feel like the high school athletes were more appreciative of their opportunities," said Gebert, who currently lives in the Villages in Florida. "Sometimes, the college kids were not as honest with me as I was with them."

 

 

Barry Reeder

 

            Barry Reeder's best sport at Upper Perkiomen High School was baseball.

Barry Reeder

However, he turned down two offers to sign a professional contract to play football in college.

            Spring football prevented the East Greenville native from returning to the diamond. Reeder says he often wonders what might have been had he chosen baseball.

            He attended East Stroudsburg University and played football for 2 1/2 years before graduating with a degree in education. Reeder parlayed his education into a 25-year teaching career in the Souderton Area School District.

            In high school, Reeder excelled on the athletic field. He earned 12 varsity letters in four seasons for the Indians. He served as a captain on all three teams.

            The 1959 graduate did his best work on the baseball field. The left-handed hitter was named all Bux-Mont three consecutive seasons. He hit .411 as a sophomore.

            Reeder says his success on the baseball field was hereditary. His father Clyde played three years in the Philadelphia Phillies organization prior to World War II.

            "I worked very hard at the game," Reeder said. "My father helped. But he never pushed me. I wanted to play."

            The Pirates and Phillies both offered him $10,000 to sign a professional contract after high school. However, Reeder said he wanted to play football in college. The interior lineman's position coach put in a word with the Warriors' coaching staff.

            "I took a visit and I liked it," Reeder said.

            His high school football team managed just three victories and two ties over his final three seasons. He said the experience was far more enjoyable than his playing time at East Stroudsburg.

            "The losing wasn't fun," said Reeder, an offensive and defensive tackle who played in the first night game at Upper Perkiomen against Boyertown, under portable lights in 1956. "But I developed some really good friendships. I still meet up with the guys a couple times a year."

            After college, he took a job at Salfordville Elementary. He taught sixth-graders for 21 of his 25 years at the school.

            "I loved that age group," said Reeder, who retired from teaching in 1989 and currently lives in Lititz. "The kids don't act that silly, and they are able to comprehend a lot of what they are taught."


 

 

 

 

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