Blanchard River Buzz

A blog for rabid sports fans in the Findlay Area. Maintained by Findlay Courier sports writer Jamie Baker. The opinions expressed are my own crazed ramblings and not those of my employer the Findlay Publishing Company and its subsidiaries.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Wearing a handicapper's hat

One thing I’ve learned in my 15 years as a sports writer, you know nothing after Week 1 of the high school football season.

Some teams score big upsets in Week 1 and other teams aren’t yet moving at full speed because of inexperience, injuries or learning new offensive and defensive schemes.

What I’ll try to do with this blog entry is handicap three area leagues — the Blanchard Valley Conference, Greater Buckeye Conference and Midland Athletic League.

Let start with the BVC.
1-a, Hardin Northern — Speed to burn. The Polar Bears are more than just Nathan Bame, but he’s good enough to do more than enough damage for HN to win on Friday nights. With Pete Brunow’s coaching and motivation and HN’s talen at the skill positions —- watch out!

1-b, Liberty-Benton — I thought the Hornets may give the Eagles a good game Friday night. They didn’t. Having a freshman quarterback with some talent at the helm bodes well for L-B, he’s going to get better every single week.

3, Cory-Rawson — I don’t think their close loss to Bluffton was a fluke. The Hornets can be pretty good as long as they play mistake-free football. But on an off-night there are four or five conference rivals that could take the sting out of C-R.

4, McComb — Coach Kris Alge knows how to develop quarterbacks and he’s found another good one in Kevan Westenbarger.
5-9 is a big, guess on my part.

5, Arlington — The Red Devils have beaten two teams that were a combined 1-19 last year. We’ll now a little more about Arlington after this week‘s game against L-B. It’s quite possible they could finish in the top 3.

6, Leipsic — Tough to gauge the Vikings at this point. They may have trouble scoring points with their new offense if 7 points scored during the first two weeks is any indication.

7, Van Buren — Another tough squad to figure out yet. The Knights will score some points but the defense has to step up and stop people for them to move into the top half of the league.

7, Arcadia — Everyone like’s what Joe Kirkendall is doing at Arcadia. They will be competitive this season as last week’s 7-0 loss to Leipsic showed and they’ll surprise someone before the season is through.

8, Pandora-Gilboa — CG might not have the team that they have had in the past so judging the Rockets on that win might not be realistic. The Rockets could finish anywhere from fifth to ninth in my book.

10, Vanlue — I think they’ve made a step forward by hiring Todd Richards as head coach and I truly believe if they played in a conference line the North West Central Conference they could be a .500 football team.

1, Fremont Ross — At this point you have to think maybe the Little Giants are the league favorites at 2-0. I they go into league play at 4-1 watch out!

2, Findlay — Yeah they are 0-2 but they play the toughest non-conference schedule in the conference bar none. They are having some growing pains right now but just remember they won a share of the GBC a few years back and only finished .500

3, Napoleon — You gotta like the little guys in the league. Sure they’d like to be in another conference but Coach Snoad gets everything he can out of his Wildcats especially when GBC play begins.

4, Marion Harding — A little short on depth, the Presidents should have enough talent to make things interesting.

5, Sandusky — Another season and another new coach for the Blue Streaks, they just can’t get out of the rebuilding rut.

6, Lima Senior — A team that should be improved and will knock off at least one team that finishes above them in the league standings this season.

1, Hopewell-Loudon — The Chieftains are No.1 until someone proves they can beat them. Mohawk and Seneca East are candidates to knock H-L from the top.

2, Mohawk — Quality wins over Wynford and Liberty-Benton prove the Warriors are for real. They have to guard againsgt a let down though as they always seem to lose one game in the league they shouldn’t.

3, Seneca East — They have a lot of talent but can the Tigers put it all together for all 10 games. That’s the question.

4, Fremont St. Joseph — A 2-0 start and a win over rival Sandusky St. Mary? Looks like SJCC alumn Todd Drusback has breathed new life into the program.

5, Carey — Devils can’t let 2-one point losses wreck their season. It may take a season but I think Todd Worst will get the Devils back on track.

6, Tiffin Calvert — Calvert is struggling right now and have a new head coach. Wins over FSW and NB are what’s probably in store for the Senecas unless they get better in a hurry.

7-a, North Baltimore — Coach Hite has the right attitude but he stepped into the job at NB at the wrong time. If he sticks around and the fans don’t run him off I think he is the perfect choice at NB.

7-b, St. Wendelin — The Mohawks got a win against Riverdale but they will probably struggle the rest of the way. Beating NB isn’t out of the question and would be a feather in their cap.


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