These were the years that Canton Warriors had four consecutive NTL titles which Matt and his brother Shawn had a lot to do with, under the coaching of Miller Moyer and the 44 WHAM to pay-dirt play.
The rest of the NTL was relieved NOT to see a Machmer back there for the 1993 season.
In 1991, the Warrior fans got to see Matt at his best, playing running back full time. The '91 Warriors racked up over 400 points of offense, averaging 34 points a game. Matt led the entire Twin-Tiers in scoring that year with 17 touchdowns and had over 1200 total yards for the Warriors.
Matt, like his brother, was almost impossible to tackle one-on-one in the open field and NEVER ran out of bounds.
He made defenders pay the price if they wanted to tackle him.
The echoes of his side-line collisions can still be heard in these hills. Every time he touched the ball it was an explosion.
In 1992, Matt proved to be the ultimate team player as he played equal time at running back and quarterback. He did whatever the Warriors needed him to do to win and win they did.
Matt only suffered one regular season loss during his time as a starter. That loss was to Towanda in 1992 as his potential 32-yard game winning field goal sailed over the right up-right and was ruled no-good. Booo! That ended Canton's regular season win streak at 33 games.
Matt Machmer was probably the best defensive back in Canton history. His 17 interceptions are the most in Canton's history.
During his career, Matt never gave up a touchdown to the receiver he was guarding. Matt's proudest stat is that his 1992 Warrior defense only gave up 55 points for the season.
Matt ended his high school days here at Canton as the NTL's MVP in football and baseball. In 1993, Matt Machmer and Towanda Junior Nate Bump were the area's top baseball prospects. Matt's powerful right arm still is legendary. Once, in a high school baseball game at Troy, Matt picked the ball up at the center field fence and threw the ball over the back-stop with a runner trying to score from first. It would have taken most ball players three throws to get it that far.
Matt was signed by the Chicago Cubs after a special 37 player individual tryout on Aug. 28, 1993. He was the only player the Cubs chose to sign out of the group and Cubs Scout Ed Ford offered him a contract on the spot. Matt's minor league career ended in 1997 with a pain filled right-arm.
Matt noted that "I would especially like to thank my teammates for blocking so hard and clogging up every gap on defense to allow me to have some success. I wish that all my teammates could be out here with me tonight because it was We, The Canton Warriors..not Matt Machmer who won all those games. We all played hard and did the best we could for Our Canton Warriors. Thanks for the memories. - #12
Dan Shaffer is a 1982 graduate of Canton High, the son of Patricia Shaffer and Hall of Famer Coach Jake Shaffer, He is the grandson of Weldon Shaffer the nost vocal supporter of Warrior football in program history, and he is a proud member of the undefeated 1979 Canton Warriors football team.
Dan's association with the Warriors began in fourth grade, when he served as an assistant equipment manager for the varsity. Young Danny developed important life skills during this assignment, repairing broken facemasks, pitching pennies at football camp and avoiding serious injury while sprinting on and off the field to recover the kicking tee.
He got an early start reading about Jay Perry in the newspaper as a sixth grade member of the midget league championship Canton Chiefs, and was never implicated in breaking Wade Crimbring's leg during JV practice a few years later.
Dan eventually became a three-year varsity starter at center, offensive guard, and middle linebacker for the Warriors, earning All-NTL and All-Twin Tiers honors each season even through he spent most of his time apologizing for his brother's temper and trying unsuccessfully to keep Coach Shaffer from being thrown out of games. For the record, Dan thinks we should have run the damm WHAM.
During the winter of 1978-79, Jeff Sechrist made sure Dan was the smallest freshman 155-pound wrestler in the Northern Tier League, and Tod Ribovich did his very best to avoid causing him irreversible damage during live takedown drills. These experiences stood him in good stead over the next three years; Dan was able to contribute as a member of Canton's undefeated NTL championship wrestling team, and he defied bowling alley oddsmakers to win a sectional tittle at 167 pounds as a senior grappler.
Coach Shaffer mercifully ended Dan's baseball career, but he was unable to keep him from playing in the Jazz-Rock Ensemble. Thanks Mom!
Dan was honored to share the Robert McWilliams Award in 1982, with Matt Ward, the best athlete he ever saw.
Following graduation, Dan attended the U.S. Naval Academy, graduating with distinction in 1986 and entering active service as a bass player and nuclear-propulsion trained Surface Warfare Officer. He holds a Master's Degree in National Security Decision Making from the Naval War College and was privileged to command USS Ross in Norfollk, VA, and Destroyer Squadron Sixty in Naples, Italy.
Various assignments at sea and ashore include duty as Chief Engineer aboard USS Enterprise and his current assignment as Director of Capability Innovation at Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk.
He'll retire as a Navy Captain following 30 years of commissioned service in the spring of 2016, so keep him in mind if you're hiring. Dan has no hobbies, as he has focused solely on giving taxpayers the best return on their investment in national defense.
Dan has been happily married for 22 years to the former Kim Stearns of Lakewood, WA, and is the proud father of two boys; George, freshman at the Volgenau School of Engineering at George Mason University, and Andrew, a seventh grade student in Norfolk, VA. Neither of them believes their father participated in organized athletics.
Jake Shaffer, a 1981 graduate of Canton High School, is the son of Patricia Shaffer and fellow HOF Inductee Coach Jake Shaffer. He is the grandson of Weldon Shaffer who was a fixture at Canton HIgh School football games during the early 1980s.
Jake, was the "prettiest" of an outstanding group of offensive linemen, who opened holes for several thousand yard rushers, and helped anchor a stingy defensive line on the top ranked defensive group in the NTL during the 1978-81 seasons helping to win an NTL Championship during the 1979-80 campaign. Jake as an All-NTL and All-Twins Tiers performer as a two-way tackle during those years for Coaches Miller Moyer and Jake Shaffer.
As an undersized heavy weight on the CHS wrestling team, he joined his teammates in garnering an undefeated 14-0 wrestling season and winning the NTL Championship in 1981 outright for the first time in Canton's history.
Jake notched five meet victories as the last match at heavyweight in order to keep the streak alive, most notably against arch rival Athens. Jake went on to win a Sectional Championship and was named the All NTL wrestling team.
Jake was a member of the CHS track team where he threw the shotput, discus, and javelin.
He was awarded the Robert McWilliams Award in 1981 for the Outstanding Senior Athlete.
Following graduation from CHS in 1981, Jake attended Wilkes College where he graduated with a BS in biology in 1985. He attended medical school at Temple University earning his MD in 1989. He completed a residency in Obstetrics and gynecology in 1993 in Roanoke, VA and practiced medicine for 20 years in Radford, VA.
He has accepted a new position with Vidant Beaufort Medical Group and will be starting on the Inner banks of North Carolina in mid-September and plans to do a lot of fishing and hunting.
Jake has been happily married for over 27 years to the former Elizabeth Ilnicky, Highland Park, NJ. They have four children: Zeke, a senior at the US. Naval Academy and member of the Navy Golf team; Caleigh, a junior at VA Tech; Ameila, a freshman at the University of Mary Washington; and Connor, a junior at Radford High School.