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.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Staying focused with 2 weeks to play

Week 8 of the prep football season is nearly in the books.

There is one game on the schedule for tonight between Bluffton and Lima Central Catholic, but other than that most area teams have just 2 games left to play.

It’s a tough time of year to be a football player or a coach. You either have something to play for the final two weeks, a playoff spot a chance at a league championship, or you don’t. If you have something to play for it’s easier for coaches to keep their teams focused on the task at hand. I remember what it was like myself.

My junior and senior year we had decent teams but we weren’t in the hunt for a playoff spot or league championship during the final couple of weeks of the season. While we played the final games with everything we had it was natural for thoughts to begin going in other directions. For me I started thinking about and preparing for the upcoming wrestling season. After the last game of the season I even told one of my coaches, Mike Lee, that football for me was just something to do before wrestling started. I didn’t really mean it because I did love playing football but if there was nothing at stake, the games just didn’t mean as much to me. I was thinking about the next big thing coming up.

Here’s a little tip for any seniors out there playing in your final two games with nothing on the line. Enjoy it, savor it and play every down like it’s your last one. Don’t take anything for granted and don’t look ahead. You only get one chance to play high school football so enjoy every single second of it while you can.

SLURRING WORDS: Take this for what it’s worth. There was a letter to the editor in Friday’s Lima News explaining why Lima Senior’s girls soccer team walked off the field n a recent match against Riverdale. The letter writer said the Lima Senior team was the object of racial slurs by Riverdale players and fans. So instead of finishing the game, which they were trailing in badly, they decided to leave the field before the match was over. Not sure what to think about this, especially since I wasn’t there. I’ve met a lot of people at R-dale over the years and they are all genuinely nice people. Lima Senior walked off in a game they were trailing Findlay last year when the Trojans were crushing them at halftime.
Is something we should be looking into or is it best to let sleeping dogs lie? I’d definitely get both sides perspectives. What should I do?

HOCKEY NOTES: There’s been a Ken Zirkle sighting. You remember Mr. Zirkle, he was the head of the University of Findlay. He did a lot of good things like boost the UF’s enrollment. But he was also essentially forced out by the board of trustees after ringing up a sizable budget shortfall in his final few years.

Well he’s back as president of Becker College in Massachusetts. One of the things in retrospect that was a complete failure during Zirkle’s tenure was starting men’s and women’s hockey programs a UF. The programs ended up just being a money-sucking waste for the Oilers and upon Zirkle’s departure the programs were discontinued. It was interesting because when UF started hockey who did they name as head coach? Zirkle’s son-in-law Craig Barnett.

Well Zirkle is at it again. Becker has started a men’s hockey program from scratch. Guess who the coach is? You guessed it --- Barnett. He is also the school’s athletic director. Glad to see nepotism is still alive and well in college athletics.

TROJAN TIME: Good to see the Trojans put together a pretty good game last night at Donnell Stadium against Fremont Ross. They probably aren’t as bad as their 2-6 record would indicate. Here’s hoping the team gets wins against Sandusky and Napoleon the next two weeks to give Coach Mark Ritzler and his players something to build on next season.

Findlay Courier Saturday’s Local Sports
Eagles stop Riverdale in overtime
Fostoria Review Times Saturday Morning Sports
Little Giants get past Trojans
Ada mutes Mustangs
Mansfield Area prep football boxscores
Napoleon hands Harding a GBC loss
Port Clinton area football boxes
Elmwood locks up Otsego, Donald


  • At 1:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Are you kidding me? That Riverdale/Lima Senior story would be awesome! If it's true it would be a great read, if it's not true, and Lima Senior just hates to accept that they suck, it would be an equally good read. My vote is the latter.

    I think you should forward your three or four paragraphs about Ken Zirkle to a paper near Becker College. I'm sure they would be interested in a little back story.

  • At 6:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    As the story goes Zirkle originally had planned an aquatic facility until his ace swimmer daughter decided to go to a different university. The main layout of the Ice area is a swimming pool layout changed to ice. Then the son-in-law story kicks in.

  • At 7:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I have talked to many people who attended the soccer match in question, including impartial observers, and no one saw or heard anything like what was described actually happening. Rather, they saw a team get totally dominated and then get taught a lesson of quitting by their coach, and it doesn't sound like this is the first time this lesson was taught to these kids either. I hope the public tempers their reaction to this story by realizing that there is a strong possibility that it is sour grapes that was the motivation of Lima Senior's coaches, kids, and now the author of this letter.

  • At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I see that you got cited for window tinting.

  • At 12:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I don't know the story, but I'm sure there is more than one Jamie Baker out there. Heck, I know one and she is an 18 year old girl, maybe it was her. Jamie will tell us, but I'm not so sure he is the window tinting kind of guy.

  • At 8:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think it's at least worth a phone call or two to find out what really went on with the Riverdale/ Lima Senior soccer game. I hope it's not true.

    I'm not going to rip Zirkle, he did far, far much more good for the university than bad. Hockey's a tough sell here, but in Massachusetts...


  • At 1:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've been to several Riverdale athletic events and let's just say their sportsmanship has alot to be desired....i.e. jr.high girls basketball game,and that was just junior high,I couldn't imagine what it would be if it really meant something,so reading your blog about them doesn't surprise me one bit

  • At 8:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow, seems like quite a leap from whatever you saw at a JH basketball game to "not being surprised one bit" about charges of racism against an entire community. Nice deductive reasoning skills there last anonymous blogger.



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