Ken Sturm was a linebacker at Northeast and a longtime football coach in the Philadelphia Public League. He was a defensive-minded boss at Overbrook from 1999 to 2010.
His son, Stephen, went in a different direction when he was a sixth grader playing for the Harleysville Eagles.
"The coach saw he had a pretty good arm, the team needed a quarterback, and that's where they put him," said Ken Sturm, who helped Northeast go 9-1 and capture a Public League title in 1968.
Despite Friday night's season-ending loss to Garnet Valley in a PIAA Class 6A first-round state playoff game, that move worked out extremely well for Stephen Sturm and paid big dividends for Perkiomen Valley.
With the 6-foot-2, 205-pound senior as a prolific passer, the Vikings went 31-5 over the last three years. They went 12-1, averaged 38.2 points, and claimed the Pioneer Athletic Conference this year.
Sturm, also a threat as a runner, passed for 3,425 yards and 42 touchdowns, both school records, this season. Last year, the southpaw threw for 3,100 yards and 31 scores while directing the Vikings to a 10-2 mark.
"As a dad, I'm super-proud of what he's been able to accomplish," Ken Sturm said. "As a former coach, I wish I had at least one quarterback that came close to having Stephen's abilities."
Ken Sturm is retired from his job as a health and physical education teacher in the Philadelphia School District. He's the head coach of Perkiomen Valley Middle School East's eighth-grade squad.
As an assistant at George Washington in the late 1980s and early '90s, Sturm was part of three Public League championship squads. He has also coached at Mastbaum, Jenkintown, and Hill School.
After graduating from Northeast, where he was also a wrestler, Ken Sturm played football and wrestled at Delaware Valley College for two years. He transferred to Slippery Rock, but his plan to continue in football was derailed by an injury.
Stephen Sturm wrestled from kindergarten through ninth grade. "I decided that I wanted to become more serious about football," he said.
Sturm has trained the last three years with Jim Cantafio, a quarterback guru and football lifer, at East Coast Elite camps and at the Spooky Nook indoor sports complex in Manheim. Cantafio just finished his first year as Coatesville's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.
Sturm has taken an official visit to West Chester and has a scholarship offer from the Golden Rams. Other Division II possibilities are Bentley, East Stroudsburg, Kutztown, Mercyhurst, and Shippensburg.
"The process has been a little frustrating," Stephen Sturm said. "My goal was to play Division I or I-AA football. But I'm confident things will work out for the best."