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.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Hate mail from Kenton

OK my few faithful blog readers…I’m leaving it up to you.

My fate is in your hands.

Did I go over the line when I wrote the following prediction in The Courier’s Pigskins Picks…

"OTTAWA-GLANDORF over Kenton -- I'm pretty certain no felon deer pranksters will be playing for O-G."

Some Kentonites seem to think I went over the line. I guess I was stating my unequivocal view of the matter that the Kenton school board did the wrong thing in not passing a resolution banning convicted felons from extracurriculars.

My question to you…Should I apologize like some of the emailers think I should. Have I been a bad boy and do I deserve to be taken to the woodshed?

You tell me…Here are the emails…

From AR at the University of Findlay…
“That was a pretty unprofessional post. There should be some sort of appology to Kenton.
Those kids were ok'd to play by a judge. They are eligible to play, so they are playing. These kids have
taken quite a bit of negativity from the public. Lets sit back a minute and think of things we did as kids or do now. For example, driving drunk or speeding. Those things put someone's life at risk. Every day people are doing these things and getting off much easier than those boys did. So how about we be more professional and let things in the past go.
In addition, a friend of my family was killed in a car accident a month prior. She was killed by two students of Hardin Northern as they were driving drunk. Why were they not punished? Why do they not get the negativity and publicity?
I hope you grow a bigger heart before your next post.”

From VW, a Kenton City School employee..
“I found your comment about the OG-Kenton prediction to be VERY rude,crude,unprofessional, and uncalled for!! I am from Kenton,work for KCS and this has been a very difficult situation and we really do not need people like you continuing to make such comments..I will NOT be buying the Courier anymore!!!”

Email No.2 from VW
“As for what the school board did,I do not fully agree with the vote,but,to eliminate a "big lawsuit",might just be the reason the vote went that way..Were you there at the meeting?? I,as a 40 year fan,I
did not like what has happened,but,for you,the media,to continue to make rude comments just keeps the pot stirred.. as a community we need to heal and you as the media just won't let it happen..My next email will be to the editor for your paper...Sorry you are so immature to not see the whole

From BB, whereabouts unknown
“I think that your comment about the felon deer pranksters was totally out of line and uncalled for. As a sports writer I would have hoped for some maturity. Your maturity is worse than the students who commited the prank.”

From RW

“I felt the comments about the Kenton football team today were crude and uncalled for. Please tell Jamie she was way out of line”

Now it’s your turn to weigh in.

Game Day Notes...Week 2

Here are your game day notes for Week 2

Findlay TROJANS at Dublin Coffman SHAMROCKS
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Findlay 0-1, Dublin Coffman 0-1
LAST SEASON: Findlay nipped the Shamrocks 14-12
LAST WEEK: Findlay fell to Toledo St. John’s 24-16, Troy topped Dublin 16-13
NOTABLE: Dave Hanneman is covering this game at Rocks Stadium … FHS coach Mark Ritzler is looking for his first win as head coach … In 10 meetings with Dublin Coffman Findlay’s only win in the series came last year … This is the last meeting in the series between these two schools … Zak Kristan completed 16 of 37 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns for Dublin Coffman in last week’s loss … Troy returned a kickoff return 92 yards for a touchdown last week against the Rocks … Findlay led last week’s game 3-0 into the third quarter before St. John’s wore them down and scored 24 second half points … Findlay quarterback Chris Schneider was 16-of-30 passing for 147 yards last week.

Arlington RED DEVILS at Pandora-Gilboa ROCKETS
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Arlington 1-0 overall, 0-0 Blanchard Valley Conference; Pandora-Gilboa 1-0, 0-0
LAST SEASON: The Red Devils stopped the Rockets 39-14
LAST WEEK: Arlington crushed Riverdale 52-0; Pandora-Gilboa slipped past Columbus Grove 28-27
NOTABLE: Pandora-Gilboa picked up a stunning victory in coach B.J. Queen’s debut as head coach last week against Columbus Grove … The Rockets matched their win total of a year ago as they were just 1-9 in 2005 … The Rockets blocked CG’s PAT kick in overtime last week to hang on to the victory … Cory Forney led Pandora-Gilboa’s ground effort with 129 yards on 28 carries while Ethan Luginbuhl connected on 10-of-15 passes for 105 yards and 2 touchdowns last week … Arlington is coming off an 8-2 season, which allowed them to finish third in the BVC as they just missed a playoff berth … Arlington junior Travis Rettig ran for 135 yards, scored 3 touchdowns and recorded 4 interceptions in last week’s win … The Red Devils piled up 585 yards of total offense, including 349 on the ground. The Red Devil defense allowed Riverdale just 67 net yards while intercepting six passes … Arlington leads the series with Pandora-Gilboa 27-13 …

Leipsic VIKINGS at Arcadia REDSKINS
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Leipsic 0-1 overall, 0-0 Blanchard Valley Conference; Arcadia 1-0, 0-0
LAST SEASON: Leipsic outgunned the Redskins 40-24
LAST WEEK: Patrick Henry swamped Leipsic 41-0 while Arcadia cruised to a 41-14 win over Danbury
NOTABLE: Leipsic is coming off a loss to Division V defending state champion Patrick Henry in its opener … Game is at Arcadia’s Keiffer Field … The Redskins got an easy win over Danbury in their first game with Coach Joe Kirkendall as head coach … Arcadia quarterback Seth Kirian was 7-of-11 passing for 141 yards and 3 scores while carrying the ball 11 times for 71 yards rushing last week … The Skins A.J. Holman caught 3 passes for 78 yards and one touchdown … Patrick Henry outrushed the Vikings 317 to 113 with the bulk of Leipsic’s ground game provided by Ryan Morin who carried 14 times for 91 yards in last week’s contest … Leipsic allowed 3 first quarter touchdowns in last week’s game … Leipsic leads the series with Arcadia 30-14

Liberty-Benton EAGLES at Cory-Rawson HORNETS
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Liberty-Benton 0-1 overall, 0-0 Blanchard Valley Conference; Cory-Rawson 0-1, 0-0
LAST SEASON: The Eagles downed the Hornets 29-10
LAST WEEK: Mohawk edged Liberty-Benton in overtime 20-13, Cory-Rawson fell to Bluffton 25-22
NOTABLE: Tough losses for both ball clubs last week … The Eagles were facing a fourth-and-goal at the 6-inch line when freshman quarterback Aaron Craft was pushed back by Mohawk’s defense on the final play in overtime … Cory-Rawson had a chance to beat Bluffton but a 14-yard pass into the endzone fell incomplete as time expired … Craft had a nice debut for the Eagles completing 18 of 26 passes for 130 yards. He also ran for 92 yards. Elbin had 98 yards on the ground for the Eagles, who lost four fumbles in the game … C-R quarterback Joe Marshall was 6-of-17 passing for 93 yards … The Hornets’ Andy Wagner had a big night on the ground rushing for 101 yards on 21 carries while teammate Jeremiah Boss-Hummel scored 3 touchdowns … Cory-Rawson leads the series with L-B 40-9-2 …

CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Van Buren 1-0 overall, 0-0 Blanchard Valley Conference; McComb 1-0, 0-0
LAST SEASON: McComb knocked out the Knights 39-20.
LAST WEEK: Van Buren spanked St. Wendelin 42-0, McComb blanked Tiffin Calvert 35-0
NOTABLE: Van Buren rolled up a 35-0 halftime lead against St. Wendelin last week … St. Wendelin could only muster 5 first downs and 47 total yards of offense against the Knights. Van Buren on the other hand had 16 first downs and 262 yards of total offense … Sophomore Kevan Westenbarger had a sensational debut as McComb’s quarterback against Calvert. He was 22 of 38 passing for 332 yards and 3 touchdowns … McComb’s Derrick Hill rushed for 83 yards on 12 carries … McComb netted 448 yards of total offense, while holding Calvert to 182 … Game is at McComb’s Doc Miller Field ... McComb leads the all-time series 47-22-5

Vanlue WILDCATS at Hardin Northern POLAR BEARS
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Vanlue 0-1 overall, 0-0 Blanchard Valley Conference; Hardin Northern 1-0, 0-0
LAST SEASON: Hardin Northern thumped Vanlue 62-7
LAST WEEK: Vanlue dropped a tough 28-26 decision to Waynesfield-Goshen while Hardin Northern rolled past Ada 67-38
NOTABLE: Offense, Hardin Northern had plenty of it in last week’s win … The Polar Bears Nathan Bame, an all-Ohio track sprinter rushed for a school record 315 yards on 32 carries last week … HN teammate and QB Cory Brunow added 149-yards rushing on just 8 carries. He scored on runs of 63 and 15 yards and added a 59-yard touchdown pass to Cody Price and a 27-yard scoring strike to Brock Crist … The Polar Bears did allow 518 yards passing to Ada quarterback Zac Dysert in the victory … Ada and Hardin Northern combined for 1,224 yards and 16 touchdowns (10 in the first half) in last week’s game … Vanlue’s Nick Lee was sacked in the endzone for a saftey with 1:14 left giving Waynesfield, a 2005 playoff team, the victory. Lee scored on runs of 61 and 9 yards in the contest … Vanlue’s Todd Richards is seeking his first head coaching victory … Hardin Northern leads the series with Vanlue 35-4-2 … Vanlue’s last win over Hardin Northern was a 14-12 win back in 1982 … The Polar Bears have scored at least 54 points against the Wildcats every year since 1994 except in 1997 when they won 34-0

Ada BULLDOGS at Spencerville BEARCATS
DATELINE: Spencerville
CONFERENCE: Northwest Conference
RECORDS: Ada 0-1 overall, 0-0 Northwest Conference; Spencerville 1-0, 0-0
LAST SEASON: The Bearcats got the best of the Bulldogs 34-28
LAST WEEK: Hardin Northern ran roughshod over the Bulldogs 67-38, Spencerville rolled Indian Lake 28-7
NOTABLE: Ada’s quarter back Zac Dysert was 38-of-55 passing for 518 yards with 5 touchdowns in last week’s loss to Hardin Northern ... The Bulldogs and Polar Bears combined for a staggering 1,224 yards of total offense. Hardin Northern rolled up 563 yards rushing and 86 passing while Ada had 518 yards passing and another 57 on the ground ... Dysert connected with Kyle Baker on touchdown passes of 8 and 34 yards. Ron Grzybowski and Nate Vermilion added touchdown catches of 15 and 37 yards from Dysert respectively. Jeff Wolber hauled in a 13-yard scoring pass and added a 2-yard scoring run to complete the scoring for the Bulldogs ... Spencerville’s Isaac Bowers rushed for 160 yards on 20 carries to lead the Bearcats in last week’s win ... The Bearcats outgained the Lakers in total yardage last week 364-212.

Bluffton PIRATES at Lockland PANTHERS
DATELINE: Lockland
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Bluffton 1-0, Lockland 1-0
LAST SEASON: Didn’t meet.
LAST WEEK: Bluffton stopped Cory-Rawson 25-22; Lockland blanked Williamsburg 27-0
NOTABLE: Bluffton’s Patric Garlock booted a field goal with 2:21 left in the game and the Pirates held on for a 25-22 season-opening win over Cory-Rawson. The Hornets had one last chance to win the contest but a 14-yard pass by quarterback Joe Powell fell incomplete in the end zone as time expired ... Bluffton’s Josh Falk, a 2-time state wrestling champion, rushed for a game-high 123 yards on 17 carries and scored a touchdown ... Bluffton back up quarterback Tyler Neal, who came into the game in the first half when starter Kory Place went out with an injury, connected for touchdown passes with Andrew Hieronimus (53 yards) and John Guagenti (27 yards) in the third frame ... Neal stepped hit 4-for-10 passes for 111 yards for the Pirates. Hieronimus hauled in 2 passes for 54 yards ... The game is a one-game deal between Lockland and the Pirates the trip is approximately 130 miles ...

Allen East MUSTANGS at Columbus Grove BULLDOGS
DATELINE: Columbus Grove
CONFERENCE: Northwest Conference
RECORDS: Allen East 1-0 overall, 0-0 Northwest Conference; Columbus Grove 0-1, 0-0
LAST SEASON: Columbus Grove blanked the Mustangs 18-0
LAST WEEK: Allen East whipped Lima Bath 35-25; Columbus Grove dropped a 28-27 overtime decision to rival Pandora-Gilboa
NOTABLE: In last week’s overtime loss to Pandora-Gilboa Columbus Grove scored on its overtime possession on Eric Maag’s 17-yard touchdown pass to Logan Rieman. The Rockets blocked the PAT kick to preserve the victory ... The Rockets edged the Bulldogs in total yards 352-340 last week ... Maag was 9-of-24 passing for 147 yards and led the Bulldogs on the ground with 79 yards on 10 carries ... Allen East’s Blaine Schmidt scored 3 touchdowns and Zach Sterling added 2 scores in the Mustangs’ win over Bath last week ... The Mustangs rolled up 350 yards rushing against the WIldcats ... CG shared the NWC crown with Bluffton and Convoy Crestview ...

Patrick Henry PATRIOTS at Swanton BULLDOGS
CONFERENCE: Northwest Ohio Athletic League
RECORDS: Patrick Henry 1-0 overall, 0-0 Northwest Ohio Athletic League; Swanton 1-0, 0-0
LAST SEASON: The Patriots bombed the Bulldogs 48-0
LAST WEEK: Patrick Henry downed Leipsic 41-0; Swanton topped Lake 33-24
NOTABLE: A pair of juniors, Tom Busch and Drew Kuesel, led Patrick Henry to its 30th straight regular-season victory by combining for 246 yards rushing ... Busch rushed 9 times for 122 yards and scored on runs of 51 and 25 yards in a 20-point first quarter ... Kuesel, who registered 124 yards on 11 carries, add scoring runs of 5 and 7 yards in the second half. Patrick Henry outrushed the Vikings 317 to 113 in last week’s game ... Swanton snapped a 20-game losing skid with a win last week over Lake ... Swanton’s Ben Gustafson scored on runs of five and seven yards as the Bulldogs ran for 276 yards and added 76 in the air against Lake ... Swanton allowed 36 yards rushing and 295 passing, including 3 touchdowns ... PH has won or shared the last four NWOAL titles and are the defending Division V state champs ...

Kenton WILDCATS at Ottawa-Glandorf TITANS
CONFERENCE: Western Buckeye League
RECORDS: Kenton 0-1 overall, 0-0 Western Buckeye League; Ottawa-Glandorf 1-0, 0-0
LAST SEASON: Ottawa-Glandorf stopped Kenton 38-10
LAST WEEK: Coldwater downed Kenton 28-7; Ottawa-Glandorf edged Fostoria 21-19
NOTABLE: Ottawa-Glandorf opens its defense of the Western Buckeye League championship it won last season against Kenton ... The Titans’ Jacob Lugo rushed for 120 yards on 20 carries ... O-G quarterback Tyler Closson connected on 7-of-12 passes for 119 yards and hit Jake Maag 4 times for 85 yards and a touchdown ... The Titans were outgained in total yardage 337-332 by the Redmen ... The Titans stopped a Fostoria 2-point coversion try with 1:25 left in the game to preserve the win ... Kenton quarterback Dailyn Campbell was 13-of-32 passing for 197 yards and 5 interceptions in last week’s loss ... Jesse Howard was Kenton’s top receiver with 5 catches for 62 yards ... Howard and Campbell were the players that will be allowed to play football before serving their sentences for a prank with a fake deer that severely injured 2 other teens ... The Wildcats allowed 482 yards of offense to Coldwater last week.

Bowling Green BOBCATS at Fostoria Senior REDMEN
DATELINE: Fostoria
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Bowling Green 0-1, Fostoria Senior 0-1
LAST SEASON: Bowling Green upset the Redmen 26-22
LAST WEEK: Otsego whipped the Bobcats 47-26; Fostoria Senior fell to Ottawa-Glandorf 21-19
NOTABLE: Fostoria leads the series 58-21-2 and had won 9 straight against the Bobcats up until last year ... Fostoria and Bowling Green have played the most games between each other than any other team that the Redmen play. They first met back in 1903 with Fostoria winning 40-0. They would continue to play nearly every year up until 1983 after which the series was suspended ... Fostoria QB Micah Hyde was 10-of-16 passing for 193 yards and a touchdown and led the team with 95 yards rushing on 15 carries ... The Redmen outgained the Titans in total yards 337-332 in last week’s loss but were stopped on a 2-point conversion try with 1:21 left in a 21-19 loss ... Otsego’s Otsego’s Cody Donald rushed for 355 yards last week against BG ... Zach Akenberger and Adam Crawford tallied two TDs apiece for Bowling Green. Akenberger, who scored on runs of 31 and 61 yards, netted 127 yards for the Bobcats, while Crawford pulled in a 26-yard TD toss and scored on an 82-yard kickoff return ... The Bobcats allowed 498 yards of total offense last week ...

Bucyrus REDMEN at Upper Sandusky RAMS
DATELINE: Upper Sandusky
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Bucyrus 1-0, Upper Sandusky 1-0
LAST SEASON: Upper Sandusky topped the Redmen 35-28 in overtime
LAST WEEK: Bucyrus edged Ridgedale 27-21 in 3OTs; Upper Sandusky nipped Carey 27-26
NOTABLE: Upper Sandusky quarterback Alex Falk rushed for 2 scores and passed for another in Upper Sandusky’s win last week ... Falk rushed the ball 11 times for 51 yards and 2 scored while Ryan Burka caught 5 passes for 124 yards and 1 score for the Rams ... Ridgedale fullback Bobby Lee rushed for 165 yards in 27 carries and sophomore quarterback Kegan Barlow, playing in his first varsity game, guided the Rockets to 325 yards against Bucyrus ... Bucyrus’ Jon McDaniel led the Redmen with 144 yards in 27 carries in last week’s win.
Carey BLUE DEVILS at Cardinal Stritch CARDINALS
DATELINE: Northwood (Game is at Northwood HS)
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Carey 0-1, Cardinal Stritch 0-1
LAST SEASON: First meeting.
LAST WEEK: Upper Sandusky nipped Carey 27-26; Fremont St. Joseph dumped the Cardinals 28-20
NOTABLE: Cardinal Stritch lost at St. Joe, 28-20, despite 134 yards passing from Hank Taylor. Carey’s Derek Stock ran for two touchdowns, and Cody Holsinger returned an interception 65 yards for a score in last week’s loss at Wentling Field ... This will be the first ever meeting between the two schools ... Carey’s Todd Worst is looking for his first career coaching victory at his alma mater ... The Cardinals’ kicker is Mary Lynn Hadley, a female soccer player ... The Cardinals defense gave up 398 yards of total offense to St. Joseph last week ...

Danbury LAKERS at North Baltimore TIGERS
DATELINE: North Baltimore
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Danbury 0-1, North Baltimore 0-1
LAST SEASON: North Baltimore throttled Danbury 58-0
LAST WEEK: Arcadia crushed the Lakers 41-14; Holgate blanked North Baltimore 26-0
NOTABLE: North Baltimore’s Ryan Hite is seeking his first win as head coach and he might get it this week as the Tigers return home to play at Memorial Field ... Holgate scored a touchdown in every quarter in beating NB 26-0 last week ... Cory Herr had a solid outing for North Baltimore as he was 13-of-22 passing for 113 yards and 3 interceptions. He also added 40 yards rushing ...

Lakota RAIDERS at Hopewell-Loudon CHIEFTAINS
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Lakota 1-0, Hopewell-Loudon 1-0
LAST SEASON: Hopewell-Loudon whipped the Raiders 38-6
LAST WEEK: Hopewell-Loudon beat Elmwood 17-10; Lakota shut out Plymouth 28-0
NOTABLE: Lakota ran for 254 yards and scored a touchdown each quarter in a 28-0 win at Plymouth . Sean Brickner sprinted 72 yards for a touchdown to give the Chieftains the lead, and the defense came up with big stops down the stretch for a 17-10 win over the Royals … The Raiders scored a touchdown in each quarter while limiting the Big Red to 106 yards of total offense to claim the win last week .... Justin Apple, Mason Lowery, Nick Hoffman and Nathan Sattler all scored touchdowns for the Raiders ... Apple finished with 82 yards rushing while Lowery added 80 for Lakota ... Hopewell-Loudon leads the all-time series between the two schools 19-8-2 as thios is their 30th meeting ... Hopewell-Loudon has won 27 straight regular season games ... Brickner rushed for 122 yards on 17 carries in last week’s win for Hopewell-Loudon ...

Port Clinton REDSKINS at Elmwood ROYALS
DATELINE: Bloomdale
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Port Clinton 0-1, Elmwood 0-1
LAST SEASON: Elmwood beat Port Clinton 28-25
LAST WEEK: Hopewell-Loudon downed Elmwood 17-10; Woodmore whipped Port Clinton 33-6
NOTABLE: Elmwood’s Dusty Brown rushed for 218 yards on 42 carries as the Royals’ spread attack picked up just 42 yards through the air ... The Royals did a great job keeping Hopewell-Loudon in check in last week’s loss giving up just 121 yards rushing and 53 passing ... It’s the second of three straight games against SLL schools to open the season for Port Clinton who plays Genoa next week ... Woodmore picked up 360 yards of total offense last week against the Redskins including 201 through the air ... Port Clinton, which finished with just 104 yards of total offense, scored its lone TD on a 29-yard run by Jarrod Cox ... The Redskins have just 25 players on the roster ...

Fostoria St. Wendelin MOHAWKS at Riverdale FALCONS
DATELINE: Mount Blanchard
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Fostoria St. Wendelin 0-1, Riverdale 0-1
LAST SEASON: First Meeting
LAST WEEK: Van Buren crushed St. Wendelin 42-0; Arlington racked up a 52-0 victory over Riverdale
NOTABLE: I am covering the game ... See Thursday’s Courier Online Edition for the game preview story

Bonus notes

We didn't have room to run my football notes in the paper so call this a bonus blog...

Staff Writer
Advantage Riverdale.
If anyone has an advantage in Friday’s streak-stopping battle between the Falcons and Fostoria St. Wendelin it’s probably Riverdale coach Jeremy Kloepfer.
Kloepfer was an assistant coach at St. Wendelin last season and should have a pretty good understanding of the personnel the Mohawks will be putting on the field.
“If you are a good coach and in it for the right reasons you really get to know and really like the kids that play for you,” Kloepfer said. “I know all those kids at St. Wendelin, personally. I feel for them and I’m pulling for them, except for this week.”
Cool is also hoping Kloepfer and his Falcons can turn things around, only not this week.
“When you coach together it’s like you’re a family. I want to see Jeremy’s team do well but we have to worry about ourselves and take care of business on the field Friday night,” Cool said.
LONGER STREAK: While St. Wendelin and Riverdale have never met on the football field, the Mohawks did beat the Mt. Blanchard Hurricanes 6-0 during the 1950 season. Also, the current streak isn’t the Mohawks’ longest losing skid on the gridiron.
St. Wendelin dropped 26 straight games between 1954 and 1956 before putting together back-to-back tie games and beating Bloomdale 34-20 in their fifth game of the 1957 season.
Ashland Mapleton has the state’s longest current losing streak at 32 games.
STAT ATTACK: Hardin Northern statistician Bob Dysert probably woke up with a bad case of writer’s cramp after Friday night’s 67-38 Polar Bear win over rival Ada.
The two teams went up and down the field, combining for 15 touchdowns and more than 1,200 yards of total offense.
Nathan Bame’s 315 rushing yards on 32 carries broke Hardin Northern’s school record of 283 yards set by Rob Crossman in 1996. Ada’s Zac Dysert was 38-of-55 passing for 518 yards which was a school record and ranks eighth on the all-time OHSAA single-game list.
SIZE DOESN’T MATTER: Delphos St. John’s proved it can play with the big boys. The Division VI Blue Jays stopped Division I Worthington Kilbourne 28-12 Friday. The Blue Jays dominated the game, racking up 365 yards of total offense while holding the Wolves, who made the Division I playoffs last season, to just 131.
Kilbourne will be in town to take on Findlay Sept. 22.
TRIPPING OUT: Perhaps the longest trip for a game in Ohio during Week 2 will be right here in our corner of the state.
Hicksville hosts Ironton Rock Hill in a 6 p.m. Saturday night special. Mapquest lists the trip as a 5½-hour trek with a distance of 283.8 miles separating the two schools.
BVC LID LIFTERS: After a 6-4 opening week, teams from the Blanchard Valley Conference go about their business of beating up on one another for the final nine weeks of the regular season.
Hardin Northern opens defense of its BVC crown by hosting Vanlue. The other four games should make for some mighty interesting football.
Arcadia’s Joe Kirkendall and Pandora-Gilboa’s B.J. Queen both won their head coaching debuts last week and their teams host tough foes in Leipsic and Arlington, respectively. Cory-Rawson and Liberty-Benton will try to rebound from tough opening-week losses when they square off at the Hornets’ nest. Van Buren makes the short trip down State Route 613 to Doc Miller Field to play McComb.

STRIKE OUT: It’s been a chaotic week at Sandusky Perkins as the Pirates prepare for their Week 2 game against Keystone. A teacher’s strike began at the school Monday and school has resumed with replacement teachers in the classroom. A student walkout took place Tuesday and several security guards hired by the school district were fired after it was discovered they had extensive criminal histories.
Still the Perkins administration is committed to keeping its fall sports season afloat during the strike with volunteer coaches replacing those on the picket lines.

Contact staff writer Jamie Baker at:
(419) 427-8409

Your guesses are as good as mine

Last week I went 11-4 picking games. This week I'm even less confident in my selections if I get 50 percent of them right I'll be happy. There were some some games to call this week and I should have probably just used the dartboard method on some of them.

I will post the notes for this week's games when I get them up later today...

Baker's Picks

DUBLIN COFFMAN over Findlay -- FHS has beaten the 'Rocks only once in the series.

PANDORA-GILBOA over Arlington -- I'll expect a few voice mails from Mrs. P for this pick.

Leipsic over ARCADIA -- Heat will be on me for taking the Vikings.

Liberty-Benton over CORY-RAWSON -- Eagles have must-win games the rest of the way.

McCOMB over Van Buren -- A Van Buren player told me this game will be high-scoring.

HARDIN NORTHERN over Vanlue -- This is the only BVC pick I'd bet the house on.

Ada over SPENCERVILLE -- Maybe Dysert will throw for 500 more yards this week.

Bluffton over LOCKLAND -- I don't have much respect for many of the small-school teams in Cincinnati.

COLUMBUS GROVE over Allen East -- Just a hunch that the Bulldogs will bounce back.

Patrick Henry over SWANTON -- This one could get real ugly real quick.

OTTAWA-GLANDORF over Kenton -- I'm pretty certain no felon deer pranksters will be playing for O-G.

FOSTORIA SENIOR over Bowling Green -- A game against BG can cure what ails you.

UPPER SANDUSKY over Bucyrus -- Rams go to 2-0 in rivalry games.

Carey over CARDINAL STRITCH -- Blue Devils give coach Worst his first victory.

Danbury over NORTH BALTIMORE -- Better days are ahead in Tiger Town.

HOPEWELL-LOUDON over Lakota -- Chieftains roll their neighbors to the north.

ELMWOOD over Port Clinton -- I thought Toby Hammond could turn things around at PC. Guess not.

RIVERDALE over Fostoria St. Wendelin -- No way, no how are the Mohawks going to beat the Falcons.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Pinch hitting

I’m doing the pigskin picks this week. Joe Williams and I are pinch hitting for Mark Heiman and Dave Hanneman this week.

You wouldn’t believe how many people take those picks so seriously. Hey they are all in fun and no hard feelngs are intended.

I can’t believe we didn’t get any feedback on the 2006 football tab. Anyone look at it? How does it compare to other tabs that you might have seen? Actually I took a drive Thursday and picked up about 15 or so high school football tabs from other newspapers throughout NW Ohio. I don’t know if ours was the best but it was the biggest.

We already got some good ideas for things to add to our tab from looking at some other ones. Hopefully next year;s will be even better.

Well it looks like we will have some Big Ben stories in next week’s Pro Football Tab. After a month of trying to track him down, Roethlisberger finally returned a phone cal from our own Dave Hanneman. Luckily Dave took the Courier cell phone on his family outing and Ben called.

Tomorrow I’ll share the pigskin picks and notes on this weekend’s games.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Standing up for the little guy

The writers at the big city newspapers have written favorable stories about the divisional changes the OHSAA is making. I guess, we at The Courier, are a lone voice in the wilderness (or the farm fields and woodlots of NW Ohio).

I can't get the word out enough so my blog today is simply my Tuesday column on the subject...

Mark Heiman's last column a few weeks back, on the changes the OHSAA has made on the way teams will be placed in divisions, was subtle.

As you might expect, mine won't be.

I don't think The Courier sports staff is going to get a Christmas card from the OHSAA this year. And that spot we've been trying to get on the OHSAA's Media Advisory Committee? Oh, that might be out the window, too.

Sure, we've been a thorn in the OHSAA's side and a collective pain in the butt trying to stir up a little trouble over the way they will be setting divisions in 2007-08. But when you are from Findlay and the bulk of the schools your cover area are going to be adversely affected by the new rules, someone has to say something.

As we've discussed the issue of divisional changes in the office, I half expected one of us to grab a pitchfork, do an Oliver Wendell Douglas impersonation and break out in a chorus of the theme song for the TV show Green Acres.

We're all small-school guys and someone has to stand up for the little guy -- the Hardin Northerns, Vanlues and Arcadias -- who are just as much members of the OHSAA as Cleveland St. Ignatius, Massillon or Findlay.

If I were a coach or AD, I could live with the new rules in every sport but football. There will be 72 schools in Division I and 140 in Division VI . And even though there will be nearly twice as many teams in the smallest school division, both divisions get 32 playoff berths.

I've talked to a few OHSAA representatives and members of the Blue Ribbon subcommittee that came up with the plan. Still, no one can tell me why the bottom two percent of the football schools, in terms of enrollment, are being taken out of the equation when evenly splitting Divisions II though VI and then are being added back into Division VI. My guess, and from comments I have gotten off the record, is that those schools aren't considered much of a factor in terms of football.

I double dog dare those at the OHSAA to drive to Dola and tell Pete Brunow and his Bears they don't factor into the equation.

I also have a big problem with the subcommittee. There wasn't a single, solitary member of the subcommittee with ties to a Division VI football program. Two Division V schools were represented and an administrator from Division VI-sized Worthington Christian was on the subcommittee but that school doesn't even have football.

Also, after contacting Toledo Central Catholic's Bill Axe, who serves as the president of the Northwest District Athletic Board which represents around 1/3 of the entire Division VI schools in the state, I had more doubts about the whole plan. He was a member of the subcommittee but didn't want to answer any questions about the changes and told me that he thought all discussions in the subcommittee were confidential. He also told me there were things discussed and said that people would not want to come out publicly.

How's that for open, fair and equitable?

They say you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.

Well area small school administrators, athletics directors and football coaches, we've led you to the trough and now it's up to you.

Drink deep and drink well.

Monday, August 28, 2006

The big one

It’s time for the big one.

St. Wendelin vs. Riverdale.

I’ll take credit. I was the first to suggest these two teams play in Week 2 with Carey instead of taking on Riverdale playing St. Wendelin’s opponent Cardinal Stritch instead when I wrote a column last year.
It’s a one-shot deal though as Riverdale will play Lima Perry in Week 2 beginning next year.

I’m covering the game Friday night and honestly don’t know who is going to win. But someone will either Riverdale’s 28 game losing streak or St. Wendelin’s 24 game skid will come to an end at Baum Field.

There are lot of questions to be answered when other week 2 games get underway Friday night…

Can Findlay rebound from a disappointing loss to St. John’s in an anticipated tough game with Dublin Coffman?

Will Hardin Northern’s Nathan Bame leap buildings in a single bound or just run for another 300 yards against Vanlue this week?

Who will step up and surprise during the first weekend of Blanchard Valley Conference action?

Can Pandora-Gilboa shock someone else and be 2-0 after the first two weeks of the season?

How many points will Patrick Henry hang on poor Swanton this week?


-- After the first weekend of cross country, numbers are down on area teams and I’m not certain any area boys team will be good enough to qualify for Columbus this year. Hopewell-Loudon may be the best of the pack and we’ll find out more this weekend when Columbus Grove hosts its annual invitational.

-- The University of Findlay started the season with a victory thanks to a late blocked kick. You don’t get a chance to see a defending NCAA Division II champion team come to Donnell Stadium very often. Fans will get the chance Saturday night when Grand Valley State comes to Findlay Saturday night for a 7 p.m. contest.

-- The prep volleyball season got underway Saturday with a full slate of matches set for this week. It’s amazing, of the 30 schools in The Courier coverage area, there are 14 new volleyball coaches.

What we’re working on this week….

Dublin Coffman vs. Findlay preview

Today’s column will be one last shot at the OHSAA for its new division rules

A look at the Riverdale vs. St. Wendelin game

Pigskin picks with Jamie Baker and Joe Williams pinch hitting for Dave Hanneman and Mark Heiman

I’ll also be working on a story abolut a diabetic kid playing football for Van Buren this season.

We’ll also be working on some stories for the Courier’s pro football tab which comes out next week

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Wow what an opening night

All I can say is wow what an opening weekend of high school football around the area.

Two overtime games, a couple of one point games, a two-point win and a three-point decision. Those are some clooooose games!

The game that surprised me the most was Pandora-Gilboa’s 28-27 win over Columbus Grove. I’ll admit it. I was blindsided, I just didn’t see it coming. After all, B.J. Queen is Pandora-Gilboa’s third coach in three years, the Rockets were 1-9 last season, Grove is the defending NWC tri-champs, P-G has a relatively small roster, we had trouble even getting a roster from them. Everything just screamed CG victory.
Let me now express my heartfelt apologies to the Rockets. Wow you played a whale of a game and have a bright future ahead this season and in future seasons.

Everyone on the Internet was making a big deal about Hardin Northern’s varsity not scoring a touchdown in scrimmages against Hopewell-Loudon and Allen East. Pete Brunow….you old sandbagger you. I wouldn’t want to take him on in poker after seeing what his offense did to Ada yesterday.

Good luck to the rest of the BVC against the Polar Bears this season. They have speed to burn and if you give guys like quarterback Cory Brunow or running back’s Travis Bolen and most of all three-time all-Ohio track sprinter Nathan Bame any kind of seem, they are going to take it to the house.

I’m not sure I can think of a defense in the conference that can match up against speed like that. But giving up 515 yards passing to Ada is troublesome. I’m sure the Bear defense will get better as the year goes on though.

It’s going to be a fun year.

Tomorrow a little on how we got the games yesterday and other tidbits in the Noteworthy section.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Series by the numbers

If you are looking for the game notes scroll down to the entry before this one.

Here is more from The Courier archives....

A list of opening games who played and who won through the years...

1970 — Cory-Rawson 35, Bluffton 0
1971 — Cory-Rawson 13, Bluffton 0
1972 — Cory-Rawson 13, Bluffton 3
1973 — Cory-Rawson 7, Bluffton 7
1974 — Bluffton 28, Cory-Rawson 0
1975 — Bluffton 12, Cory-Rawson 0
1976 — Cory-Rawson 12, Bluffton 0
1977 — Bluffton 13, Cory-Rawson 6
1978 — Cory-Rawson 14, Bluffton 8
1979 — Bluffton 12, Cory-Rawson 0
1980 — Bluffton 28, Cory-Rawson 8
1981 — Cory-Rawson 12, Bluffton 0
1982 — Cory-Rawson 30, Bluffton 0
1983 — Bluffton 18, Cory-Rawson 14 (C-R led 14-0)
1984 — Cory-Rawson 14, Bluffton 10
1985 — Bluffton 14, Cory-Rawson 0
1986 — Bluffton 19, Cory-Rawson 0
1987 — Bluffton 30, Cory-Rawson 6
1988 — Bluffton 37, Cory-Rawson 10
1989 — Bluffton 21, Cory-Rawson 8
1990 — Cory-Rawson 34, Bluffton 20
1991 — Bluffton 28, Cory-Rawson 8
1992 — Bluffton 21, Cory-Rawson 13
1993 — Cory-Rawson 14, Bluffton 0
1994 — Bluffton 41, Cory-Rawson 0
1995 — Bluffton 30, Cory-Rawson 0
1996 — Bluffton 20, Cory-Rawson 0
1997 — Cory-Rawson 6, Bluffton 0
1998 — Bluffton 13, Cory-Rawson 7
1999 — Bluffton 29, Cory-Rawson 7
2000 — Bluffton 21, Cory-Rawson 6
2001 — Bluffton 28, Cory-Rawson 0
2002 — Cory-Rawson 12, Bluffton 7
2003 — Cory-Rawson 21, Bluffton 20
2004 — Bluffton 34, Cory-Rawson 0
2005 — Bluffton 16, Cory-Rawson 7
Bluffton leads 22-13-1

1970 — Arlington 22, Riverdale 14
1971 — Riverdale 21, Arlington 3
1972 — Riverdale 3, Arlington 0 (overtime)
1973 — Riverdale 28, Arlington 10
1974 — Arlington 9, Riverdale 0
1975 — Riverdale 32, Arlington 14
1976 — Arlington 25, Riverdale 12
1977 — Arlington 25, Riverdale 0
1978 — Arlington 26, Riverdale 0
1979 — Arlington 25, Riverdale 0
1980 — Arlington 13, Riverdale 7
1981 — Riverdale 14, Arlington 13
1982 — Arlington 28, Riverdale 0
1983 — Arlington 27, Riverdale 20
1984 — Arlington 39, Riverdale 0
1985 — Arlington 23, Riverdale 6
1986 — Arlington 13, Riverdale 6
1987 — Arlington 13, Riverdale 0
1988 — Riverdale 28, Arlington 0
1989 — Arlington 28, Riverdale 6
1990 — Riverdale 31, Arlington 8
1991 — Riverdale 33, Arlington 0
1992 — Riverdale 15, Arlington 13
1993 — Arlington 38, Riverdale 13
1994 — Arlington 14, Riverdale 7
1995 — Arlington 14, Riverdale 10
1996 — Riverdale 13, Arlington 9
1997 — Riverdale 26, Arlington 7
1998 — Arlington 28, Riverdale 0
1999 — Arlington 28, Riverdale 0
2000 — Arlington 22, Riverdale 13
2001 — Riverdale 21, Arlington 7
2002 — Arlington 69, Riverdale 0
2003 — Arlington 52, Riverdale 0
2004 — Arlington 39, Riverdale 0
2005 — Arlington 55, Riverdale 0
Arlington leads series 23-13-0

1950 — Columbus Grove 38, Pandora-Gilboa 7
1951 — Columbus Grove 39, Pandora-Gilboa 0
1952 — Columbus Grove 45, Pandora-Gilboa 20
1953 — Columbus Grove 31, Pandora-Gilboa 19
1954 — Columbus Grove 25, Pandora-Gilboa 7
1955 — Columbus Grove 31, Pandora-Gilboa 7
1956 — Columbus Grove 32, Pandora-Gilboa 0
1957 — Columbus Grove 27, Pandora-Gilboa 13
1958 — Columbus Grove 52, Pandora-Gilboa 12
1959 — Columbus Grove 32, Pandora-Gilboa 0
1960 — Columbus Grove 40, Pandora-Gilboa 0
1961 — Pandora-Gilboa 20, Columbus Grove 0
1962 — Pandora-Gilboa 12, Columbus Grove 6
1963 — Columbus Grove 28, Pandora-Gilboa 0
1964 — Pandora-Gilboa 27, Columbus Grove 6
1965 — Pandora-Gilboa 26, Columbus Grove 0
1973 — Pandora-Gilboa 19, Columbus Grove 0
1974 — Columbus Grove 20, Pandora-Gilboa 13
1975 — Pandora-Gilboa 20, Columbus Grove 16
1976 — Pandora-Gilboa 41, Columbus Grove 6
1977 — Pandora-Gilboa 47, Columbus Grove 6
1978 — Pandora-Gilboa 39, Columbus Grove 6
1979 — Columbus Grove 20, Pandora-Gilboa 0
1980 — Pandora-Gilboa 13, Columbus Grove 3
1981 — Pandora-Gilboa 15, Columbus Grove 2
1982 — Columbus Grove 12, Pandora-Gilboa 7
1983 — Columbus Grove 19, Pandora-Gilboa 0
1984 — Columbus Grove 6, Pandora-Gilboa 0
1985 — Columbus Grove 19, Pandora-Gilboa 14
1986 — Pandora-Gilboa 6, Columbus Grove 0
1987 — Pandora-Gilboa 34, Columbus Grove 6
1988 — Columbus Grove 24, Pandora-Gilboa 20
1989 — Columbus Grove 21, Pandora-Gilboa 0
1990 — Columbus Grove 16, Pandora-Gilboa 8, OT
1991 — Columbus Grove 34, Pandora-Gilboa 14
1992 — Columbus Grove 52, Pandora-Gilboa 0
1993 — Columbus Grove 25, Pandora-Gilboa 7
1994 — Columbus Grove 44, Pandora-Gilboa 22
1995 — Columbus Grove 14, Pandora-Gilboa 7, OT
1996 — Pandora-Gilboa 34, Columbus Grove 21
1997 — Columbus Grove 21, Pandora-Gilboa 14
1998 — Columbus Grove 20, Pandora-Gilboa 12
1999 — Columbus Grove 20, Pandora-Gilboa 13
2000 — Columbus Grove 13, Pandora-Gilboa 12
2001 — Columbus Grove 17, Pandora-Gilboa 14
2002 — Columbus Grove 41, Pandora-Gilboa 6
2003 — Columbus Grove 44, Pandora-Gilboa 6
2004 — Columbus Grove, 28-6
2005 — Columbus Grove 14, Pandora-Gilboa 0
Columbus Grove leads series 35-14

1975 — Leipsic 20, Patrick Henry 12
1976 — Leipsic 14, Patrick Henry 14, TIE
1977 — Patrick Henry 21, Leipsic 0
1978 — Patrick Henry 39, Leipsic 0
1979 — Patrick Henry 27, Leipsic 2
1980 — Leipsic 20, Patrick Henry 6
1981 — Leipsic 34, Patrick Henry 13
1982 — Patrick Henry 46, Leipsic 0
1983 — Patrick Henry 15, Leipsic 0
1984 — Leipsic 9, Patrick Henry 6
1985 — Patrick Henry 28, Leipsic 6
1986 — Patrick Henry 13, Leipsic 7
1987 — Patrick Henry 19, Leipsic 0
1988 — Patrick Henry 13, Leipsic 0
1989 — Patrick Henry 12, Leipsic 0
1990 — Leipsic 13, Patrick Henry 0
1991 — Leipsic 9, Patrick Henry 0
1992 — Patrick Henry 30, Leipsic 6
1993 — Patrick Henry 7, Leipsic 6
1994 — Leipsic 26, Patrick Henry 12
1995 — Leipsic 33, Patrick Henry 6
1996 — Patrick Henry 44, Leipsic 34
1997 — Patrick Henry 63, Leipsic 0
1998 — Patrick Henry 39, Leipsic 16
1999 — Patrick Henry 42, Leipsic 24
2000 — Patrick Henry 25, Leipsic 7
2001 — Patrick Henry 35, Leipsic 0
2002 — Patrick Henry 38, Leipsic 37
2003 — Leipsic 30, Patrick Henry 28
2004 — Patrick Henry 40, Leipsic 7
2005 — Patrick Henry 42, Leipsic 12
Patrick Henry leads 21-9-1

1987 — Hardin Northern 34, Ada 12
1988 — Ada 26, Hardin Northern 7
1989 — Hardin Northern 42, Ada 0
1990 — Hardin Northern 21, Ada 0
1991 — Hardin Northern 10, Ada 0
1992 — Hardin Northern 24, Ada 13
1993 — Hardin Northern 20, Ada 7
1994 — Hardin Northern 21, Ada 7
1995 — Hardin Northern 35, Ada 7
1996 — Ada 39, Hardin Northern 36
1997 — Hardin Northern 35, Ada 14
1998 — Hardin Northern 21, Ada 14
1999 — Hardin Northern 35, Ada 14
2000 — Ada 13, Hardin Northern 10
2001 — Hardin Northern 44, Ada 0
2002 — Hardin Northern 27, Ada 14
2003 — Hardin Northern 24, Ada 0
2004 — Hardin Northern 20, Ada 6
2005 — Hardin Northern 31, Ada 7
Hardin Northern leads 16-3. Ended 1963, renewed 1987

2001 — Arcadia 34, Danbury 6
2002 — Arcadia 43, Danbury 13
2003 — Arcadia 63, Danbury 8
2004 — Arcadia 42, Danbury 15’
2005 — Arcadia 27, Danbury 7
Arcadia leads 5-0

2001 — Elmwood 7, Hopewell-Loudon 6
2002 — Hopewell-Loudon 43, Elmwood 19
2003 — Hopewell-Loudon 28, Elmwood 14
2004 — Hopewell-Loudon 14, Elmwood 12
2005 — Hopewell-Loudon 41, Elmwood 18
Elmwood leads 10-9
2001 — Van Buren 26, St. Wendelin 0
2002 — St. Wendelin 44, Van Buren 0
2003 — Van Buren 17, St. Wendelin 9
2004 — Van Buren 21, St. Wendelin 14
2005 — Van Buren 49, St. Wendelin 7
Van Buren leads 4-2

2002 — Findlay 30, St. Johns 7
2003 — Findlay 42, St. Johns 7
2004 — Toledo St. John’s 31, Findlay 7
2005 — Toledo St. John’s 42, Findlay 38
Series tied 2-2

2002 — McComb 49, Ayersville 20
2003 — McComb 45, Ayersville 28
2004 — McComb 40, Ayersville 13
2005 — McComb 28, Ayersville 6
McComb leads series 8-7

2002 — Upper Sandusky 6, Carey 0
2003 — Upper Sandusky 14, Carey 0
2004 — Upper Sandusky 30, Carey 14
2005 — Carey 22, Upper Sandusky 20
Upper Sandusky leads series 37-17-6

2004 — Vanlue 42, Ridgemont 14
2005 — Vanlue 29, Ridgemont 13
Vanlue leads series 2-0

2005 — Liberty-Benton 41, Tiffin Calvert 7
Liberty-Benton leads series 1-0

NORTH BALTIMORE vs. HOLGATE (moved from week 3)

2005 — Ottawa-Glandorf 44, Fostoria 22

1995 — Findlay 14, Elida 13, OT
1996 — Elida 26, Findlay 8
1997 — Findlay 44, Elida 9
1998 — Findlay 35, Elida 32
1999 — Findlay 38, Elida 13
2000 — Findlay 24, Elida 8
2001 — Findlay 36, Elida 14
Findlay leads series 6-1
1995 — North Baltimore won
1996 — North Baltimore 32, McComb 14
1997 — McComb 37, North Baltimore 0
1998 — McComb 24, North Baltimore 6
1999 — McComb 48, North Baltimore 8
2000 — McComb 67, North Baltimore 0
2001 — McComb 60, North Baltimore 7
McComb leads 5-2
1997 — Upper Sandusky 14, Elgin 12
1998 — Upper Sandusky 26, River Valley 0
1999 — Upper Sandusky 10, River Valley 7
2000 — Upper Sandusky 13, River Valley 10
2001 — Upper Sandusky 16, River Valley 0
Upper Sandusky leads 9-6-1
1999 — Elmwood 42, St. Wendelin 6
2000 — Elmwood 26, St. Wendelin 6
St. Wendelin leads 8-5
1997 — Fostoria St. Wendelin 35, Cardington 0
1998 — Fostoria St. Wendelin 14, Cardington 0
Fostoria St. Wendelin leads 2-0
1993 — Elmwood 32, Liberty-Benton 7
1994 — Liberty-Benton 42, Elmwood 0
1995 — Elmwood 24, Liberty-Benton 0
1996 — Liberty-Benton 13, Elmwood 0
1997 — Elmwood 26, Liberty-Benton 14
1998 — Elmwood 41, Liberty-Benton 0
Elmwood leads 4-2
1991 — Carey 22, Van Buren 13
1992 — Carey 13, Van Buren 0
1993 — Van Buren 8, Carey 7
1994 — Carey 6, Van Buren 0
1995 — Carey 35, Van Buren 14
1996 — Van Buren 7, Carey 6
1997 — Carey 12, Van Buren 7
1998 — Van Buren 14, Carey 6
1999 — Carey 41, Van Buren 27
2000 — Carey 27, Van Buren 7
Carey leads 7-3. Series ended in 2000
1978 — Hopewell-Loudon won
1979 — Hopewell-Loudon 28, Arcadia 0
1980 — Arcadia 6, Hopewell-Loudon 0
1981 — Hopewell-Loudon 13, Arcadia 12
1982 — Arcadia 25, Hopewell-Loudon 7
1983 — Arcadia 28, Hopewell-Loudon 20
1984 — Hopewell-Loudon 21, Arcadia 0
1985 — Hopewell-Loudon 14, Arcadia 0
1986 — Hopewell-Loudon 42, Arcadia 20
1987 — Hopewell-Loudon 10, Arcadia 0
1988 — Hopewell-Loudon 16, Arcadia 14
1989 — Hopewell-Loudon 19, Arcadia 0
1990 — Arcadia 21, Hopewell-Loudon 20
1991 — Arcadia 22, Hopewell-Loudon 13
1992 — Hopewell-Loudon 14, Arcadia 7
1993 — Hopewell-Loudon 19, Arcadia 14
1994 — Hopewell-Loudon 26, Arcadia 6
1995 — Hopewell-Loudon 29, Arcadia 22
1996 — Hopewell-Loudon 28, Arcadia 0
1997 — Hopewell-Loudon 27, Arcadia 18
1998 — Hopewell-Loudon 35, Arcadia 10
1999 — Hopewell-Loudon 28, Arcadia 6
2000 — Hopewell-Loudon 6, Arcadia 0
Hopewell-Loudon leads 18-5
Series ended after 2000 season
1989 — Paulding 21, Ottawa-Glandorf 0
1990 — Ottawa-Glandorf 36, Paulding 29
1991 — Paulding 35, Ottawa-Glandorf 7
1992 — Ottawa-Glandorf 13, Paulding 6
1993 — Ottawa-Glandorf 12, Paulding 0
1994 — Ottawa-Glandorf 6, Paudling 0
1995 — Paulding 20, Ottawa-Glandorf 13
1996 — Ottawa-Glandorf 38, Paulding 6
1997 — Ottawa-Glandorf 31, Paulding 6
1998 — Ottawa-Glandorf 31, Paulding 6
1999 — Ottawa-Glandorf 19, Paulding 0
2000 — Ottawa-Glandorf 70, Paulding 0
2001 — Ottawa-Glandorf 31, Paulding 0
2002 — Ottawa-Glandorf 67, Paulding 6
Ottawa-Glandorf leads 11-3
1991 — Vanlue 32, Marion Catholic 8
1992 — Marion Catholic 42, Vanlue 14
1993 — Vanlue 7, Marion Catholic 0
1994 — Vnalue 34, Marion Catholic 0
1995 — Vanlue 14, Marion Catholic 0
1996 — Vanlue 12, Marion Catholic 0
1997 — Marion Catholic 26, Vanlue 14
1998 — Marion Catholic 28, Vanlue 12
1999 — Vanlue 33, Marion Catholic 0
2000 — Vanlue 34, Marion Catholic 6
2001 — Vanlue 20, Marion Catholic 0
2002 — Marion Catholic 49, Vanlue 18
Vanlue leads 8-4
1995 — Tiffin Columbian 31, Fostoria 14
1996 — Fosotria 20, Tiffin Columbian 12
1997 — Tiffin Columbian 32, Fostoria 6
1998 — Tiffin Columbian 20, Fostoria 10
1999 — Tiffin Columbian 37, Fostoria 14
2000 — Tiffin Columbian 37, Fostoria 8
2001 — Fostoria 34, Tiffin Columbian 33
2002 — Tiffin Columbian 33, Fostoria 13
Fostoria leads 43-29-3
1999 — Lakota 19, Liberty-Benton 7
2000 — Liberty-Benton 14, Lakota 6
2001 — Lakota 13, Liberty-Benton 7
2002 — Liberty-Benton 26, Lakota 0
2003 — Liberty-Benton 41, Lakota 6
2004 — Liberty-Benton 48, Lakota 6
Liberty-Benton leads 4-2
ENDED 2004
2003 — Vanlue 34, Yellow Springs 9
Vanlue leads 1-0

2002 — North Baltimore 38, Cardinal Stritch 0
2003 — North Baltimore 32, Cardinal Stritch 13
2004 — North Baltimore 20, Cardinal Stritch 14
North Baltimore leads 3-0
ENDED 2005
2003 — Clyde 32, Ottawa-Glandorf 14
2004 — Clyde 23, Ottawa-Glandorf 13
Clyde leads series 2-0
ENDED 2005
2003 — Olentangy 35, Fostoria 0
2004 — Olentangy 20, Fostoria 19
Olentangy leads series 2-0
ENDED 2005

Courier weekly notes...

As promised here are our notes on Friday's area football games...

They are a little skimpy this week they will have a little more meat as teams get into league play and there are more standouts to mention...

Prep Football
Friday’s Games
Toledo St. John’s TITANS at Findlay TROJANS
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Season-opener
LAST SEASON: Toledo St. John's 42-38
LAST SEASON'S RECORDS: Findlay 10-2, Toledo St. John's 8-3
NOTABLE: The Titans won a shoot out last year and lead the overall series with the Trojans 5-4 ... Game is the first as head coach Mark Ritzler, an FHS graduate, who takes over for former coach Cliff Hite, who stepped down last winter ... Findlay has won two straught Greater Buckeye Conference titles and has had just two losing seasons in the past decade ... Dave Hanneman will be covering the game.

Arcadia REDSKINS at Danbury LAKERS
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Season-opener
LAST SEASON: Arcadia whipped Danbury 27-7
LAST SEASON'S RECORDS: Arcadia 2-8, Danbury 4-6
NOTABLE: Arcadia won last year's meeting handily and this will be the last meeting between the Lakers and Redskins in the forseeable future as Arcadia opens with St. Wendelin beginning next year ... The Redskins have a new coach in former Patrick Henry offensive coordinator Joe Kirkendall he takes over for Jim Kettner, who was non-renewed by the school board last spring ... The Redskins could score points in bunches with many of its skill positions returning including quarterback Seth Kirian ... Junior Nick Wiedenhoft has taken over at quarterback for Danbury, he is a top-notch scrambler, and was a starting wide receiver as a freshman and sophomore ... game is at Biro Field ...

Bluffton PIRATES at Cory-Rawson HORNETS
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Season-opener
LAST SEASON: Bluffton stopped Cory-Rawson 16-7
LAST SEASON'S RECORDS: Cory-Rawson 5-5, Bluffton 7-3
NOTABLE: It should be an interesting game between these two neighborhood rivals ... Cory-Rawson could have as many as 9 seniors starting on offense against the Pirates ... Bluffton leads ther season-opening series between these two clubs 22-13-1 ... Bluffton's Kory Place is Bluffton's sixth quarterback in the last six seasons ... The Pirates shared the NWC title withg Convoy Crestview and Columbus Grove.

Elmwood ROYALS at Hopewell-Loudon CHIEFTAINS
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Season-opener
LAST SEASON: Hopewell-Loudon rocked Elmwood 41-18
LAST SEASON'S RECORDS: Elmwood 7-4, Hopewell-Loudon 13-1
NOTABLE: Elmwood and Hopewell-Loudon both made the playoffs last season and the Chieftains made it all the way to the Division VI state semifinals before being ousted by Delphos St. John's ... The Royals shared the Suburban Lakes League title and Hopewell-Loudon was the Midland Athletic League champs ... The Chieftains have won 26 straight regular season games and three straight MAL titles ... Elmwood quarterback Thomas Curtis is out with a broken hand he will not be back this season on offense ... Ben Hammer could step in for the Royals at or quarterback and Dusty Brown may take a few snaps too ... Mark Heiman is covering the game at Chieftain Stadium

Fostoria Senior REDMEN at Ottawa-Glandorf TITANS
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Season-opener
LAST SEASON: Ottawa-Glandorf doubled up Fostoria 44-22
LAST SEASON'S RECORDS: Fostoria Senior 6-4, Ottawa-Glandorf 10-2
NOTABLE: The Titans are coming off a season in which they won the Western Buckeye League and advanced to the regional semifinals in the playoffs ... The series between these two schools is knotted at 8-8-1 ... They played in the season opener from 1969-77, 1984-88 and 2005-06 ... Redmen are picked to finish second in NOL by a media panel that covers the league ... Currently the Redmen rank fourth in all-time wins in Ohio and 32nd in the nation with 647 victories.

Hardin Northern POLAR BEARS at Ada BULLDOGS
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Season-opener
LAST SEASON: Hardin Northern whipped Ada 31-7
LAST SEASON'S RECORDS: Hardin Northern 12-1, Ada 3-7
NOTABLE: Hardin Northern has made 5 straight playoff appearances ... HN's Pete Brunow has a record of 200-49 at the school ... The Polar Bears and Bulldogs also met back in the day before the series was stopped in 1963 and since they renewed ties in 1987 the HN leads the series 16-3 ... Hardin Northern has won 5 straight games against Ada ... Ada has a new coach in Mike Fell, who formerly coached at Columbus Grove ... HN might have the fastest skill players around in Nathan Bame, Cory Brunow and Travis Bolen who along with guard Chris Motter placed at state in the 400 relay last season.

McComb PANTHERS at Tiffin Calvert SENECAS
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Season-opener
LAST SEASON: First meeting.
LAST SEASON'S RECORDS: McComb 6-4, Tiffin Calvert 5-5
NOTABLE: The two teams have met in scrimmage match ups and once, according to Calvert records, in the 1950s but it's the first match up between the schools since then ... The game is at Krost-Kalnow Stadium ...
Mohawk WARRIORS at Liberty-Benton EAGLES
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Season-opener
LAST SEASON: First meeting
LAST SEASON'S RECORDS: Liberty-Benton 10-2, Mohawk 7-4
NOTABLE: Two teams that have playoff aspirations again this season are meeting for the first time in their histories... L-B has made three straight playoff appearances ...L-B has never had more than four straight winning seasons in their history.

North Baltimore TIGERS vs. Holgate TIGERS
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Season-opener
LAST SEASON: North Baltimore crushed Holgate 47-8
LAST SEASON'S RECORDS: North Baltimore 6-4, Holgate 0-10
NOTABLE: Both teams have thin rosters, NB has 24 kids and Holgate has 27 but NB is coming off their first winning season since 1995 ... NB has a new coach as Ryan Hite, son of former Findlay High School coach Cliff Hite, who takes over for Dino Woodruff ... Holgate leads the all-time series between the two schools 5-4 ... Game is at Ayersville High School because of construction of a new school, Holgate's field isn't ready ...

Pandora-Gilboa ROCKETS at Columbus Grove BULLDOGS
DATELINE: Columbus Grove
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Season-opener
LAST SEASON: Columbus Grove stopped Pandora-Gilboa 14-0 last season
LAST SEASON'S RECORDS: Columbus Grove 8-2, Pandora-Gilboa 1-9
NOTABLE: Columbus Grove is coming off an NWC championship last season they shared with Bluffton and Convoy Crestview ... Pandora-Gilboa is coming off its worst season since 1992 whewn they also posted a 1-9 record ... B.J. Queen is Pandora-Gilboa's third head coach in three years ... Game is at Clymer Stadium where Grove always seems to have a big homefield advantage ... Columbus Grove has won nine straight against the Rockets and is 35-14 since the series started in 1950 ...

Patrick Henry PATRIOTS at Leipsic VIKINGS
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Season-opener
LAST SEASON: Patrick Henry waxed Leipsic 42-12
LAST SEASON'S RECORDS: Patrick Henry 15-0, Leipsic 6-4
NOTABLE: Patrick Henry has won 29 straight regular season games ... Patrick Henry is the defending Division V state champions but lost an outstanding quarterback in Zack George and receiver in Marc Krauss among its graduating class last spring ... Leipsic is going to a shot gun spread type offense this season so they may have a few problems in the beginning of the campaign ... Patrick Henry leads the series 21-9-1 and has won nine of the last 10 meetings between the two schools ...

Riverdale FALCONS at Arlington RED DEVILS
DATELINE: Arlington
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Season-opener
LAST SEASON: Arlington blasted the Falcons 55-0 last season
LAST SEASON'S RECORDS: Arlington 8-2, Riverdale 0-10
NOTABLE: Arlington has dominated this series between bitter neighborhood rivals ... The Red Devils are 23-13 against the Falcons and have won seven of the last eight meetings ... Riverdale's new coach is Jeremy Kloepfer a former assistant at McComb and St. Wendelin and head coach at Vanlue ... Riverdale has dropped 27 straight games and hasn't won since beating Upper Scioto Valley 38-0, Sept. 6, 2003 ... The Falcons are 1-39 over the past four years and play St. Wendelin, who has a 23-game losing streak, in Week 2 ... Arlington finished ninth in Region 22 last season just missing the school's first playoff birth.

Upper Sandusky RAMS at Carey BLUE DEVILS
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Season-opener
LAST SEASON: Carey edged Upper Sandusky 22-20
LAST SEASON'S RECORDS: Carey 4-6, Upper Sandusky 2-8
NOTABLE: Upper Sandusky leads the all-time series with their Wyandot County rivals 38-15-6 since the rivalry was resumed four years ago they are 2-1 against the Blue Devils ... Carey graduate Todd Worst is the school's third coach in three seasons ... Game is at C.D. Wentling Field ... Carey just installed a new state-of-the art scoreboard at the south end of the stadium ... Sophomore Alex Falk will be making his debut at quarterback for the Rams ...

Van Buren BLACK KNIGHTS at St. Wendelin MOHAWKS
DATELINE: Fostoria
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Season-opener
LAST SEASON: Van Buren cruised to a 49-7 victory over the Mohawks
LAST SEASON'S RECORDS: Van Buren 4-6, Fostoria St. Wendelin
NOTABLE: Van Buren leads the all-time series 4-2 and has won three straight over the Mohawks ... Adam Greer the No.2 passer in the BVC last season returns for the Black Knights after throwing for 1,748 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2005 ... St. Wendelin has dropped 23 straight games and haven't won since beating North Baltimore during the fourth week of the 2004 season ... The game is at Fostoria's Memorial Stadium ... This is the last year of this series as St. Wendelin will play Arcadia beginning next season while Van Buren will play North Baltimore

Vanlue WILDCATS at Waynesfield-Goshen TIGERS
DATELINE: Waynesfield
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Season-opener
LAST SEASON: First meeting
NOTABLE: Teams have never faced one another ... Vanlue has a new coach in Todd Richards ... Vanlue has won 5 of its last 6 openers ... Waynesfield will have an outstanding athlete on the field in Gray Horn an excellent long jumper and state pole vault champion who helped the Tigers win the Division III state track crown last season ...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Countdown to kickoff

It should be an interesting opening weekend for high school football teams around the area.

Scrimmages are nice but there’s nothing like the real thing when games finally start to matter. It’s always interesting around the sports department this time of year for more than 25 year The Courier’s Pigskin Picks have been a weekly tradition in the fall.

You’d be surprised the number of people that read those every week and take them so very seriously. But that is a very good thing because it shows how much interest there is in high school football in this area. In bigger cities and other part of the United States high school football isn’t a big deal but here it’s a very big deal.

Anyway, since my good buddies Dave Hanneman and Mark Heiman hog all of the pigskin picks glory so to speak here are my own picks for week 1.


Arcadia over DANBURY -- I heard the Redskins looked pretty good in their scrimmages. A new coach and new offense may translate into a few more wins this season in RKD.

Bluffton over CORY-RAWSON -- Buster thinks Cory-Rawson fans are in for an enjoyable season. This is a big game for both teams and could be a nailbiter, but as far as making the playoffs go the opener is a must-win for every single BVC team.

HOPEWELL-LOUDON over Elmwood -- This is the game Buster is covering this week. The Chieftains made it to the state semifinals last season, Elmwood returns everyone on offense but star quarterback Al Tyson. But the Royals’ starting quarterback, Thomas Curtis, won’t back at QB this season because of an injury which is a blow to the Royals’ offense.

Fostoria Senior over OTTAWA-GLANDORF -- The Redmen have a lot of talent but O-G coach Ken Shriner always get the most out of his players. This might be the toughest game to pick of all of them.

Hardin Northern over ADA -- How could I pick against Hardin Northern in Week I? Well they haven’t scored with their first team offense in their two scrimmages and Ada has a guy in charge who can coach in Mike Fell and an outstanding quarterback. It could be close.

McComb over TIFFIN CALVERT -- The media picked the Senecas to finish third or fourth in the MAL but I don’t buy it. I’m not sure the Panthers will be in the hunt for a league title either but I think they have enough to win this one.

LIBERTY-BENTON over Mohawk -- This could turn into a great season-opening match up. But I’ll take the Eagles in football and the Warriors in wrestling.

HOLGATE over North Baltimore -- Inexperience, small team in numbers and size. It will be tough for NB to overcome this season even with new coach Ryan Hite’s optimism and enthusiasm.

COLUMBUS GROVE over Pandora-Gilboa -- The Rockets have lost two of their best players by injury and I don’t have any evidence, just a hunch, that it’s going to be a tough year for the Rockets.

Patrick Henry over LEIPSIC -- The train just keeps on rolling for the Patriots. The Vikings won’t be able to keep up offensively in this one.

ARLINGTON over Riverdale -- Riverdale will be looking for a win Week 2 against St. Wendelin and an inexperienced Arlington team needs some success early. I just hope the pregame meal isn’t catered by Terry’s.

FINDLAY over Toledo St. John’s -- I don’t know why. Just a hunch I guess but I think the Trojans come through for a win in Ritz’ debut as head coach.

Upper Sandusky over CAREY -- Yep, Wentling Field will be rocking for this one. It’s going to take awhile for the Blue Devils to get their offense going but who knows what will happen when rivals like these meet.

Van Buren over FOSTORIA ST. WENDELIN -- Greer and company will have their way with the Mohawks. The game will set up a Titanic week 2 battle between the Mohawks and Riverdale Falcons.

WAYNESFIELD-GOSHEN over Vanlue -- The ‘Lue doesn’t have an athlete on the field that can match up with Gray Horn and that will be a problem.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Take Evasive Action!!!!!!

I’ll admit it, I’m a small school guy at heart.

I‘ve lived in Northwest Ohio most of my 38 years. I’ve gone to small schools, even the smallest of the small in Bettsville, covered small schools as a sports writer, coached at small schools and cheered for them in the tournament.

I’ll admit I do have a bias in the way the OHSAA’s new rules on setting up their divisions is concerned. Especially in football when there will be 72 Division I teams competing for 32 playoff spots and 140 Division VI teams doing the same. I’m writing a story for Thursday’s paper telling the OHSAA’s side of the story why it’s a good idea and what went into coming up with the idea.

Some people from the OHSAA are starting to get a little ouchy. I had a strange encounter this morning when I called Toledo Central Catholic AD Bill Axe, who also wears the hat of the Northwest District Athletic Board President. He was one of the members of the 18-person Blue Ribbon subcommittee that recommended the changes to the Board of Control. I asked him if I could get some clarification on a few things and he didn’t want to answer questions, seemed surprised I was asking about it and even said that he thought the discussions that took place were confidential and that he knew he wouldn’t want anyone else knowing what was said during the committee meetings. He was quite evasive and it was just a bit of a strange exchange.

As a reporter I can kind of get a sense of when someone doesn’t want to tell me something because : A) It will stir up a bunch of controversy or B) They’re hiding something. I got the vibe that both of those things were going on here.

I think because he knows there are so may small schools that will be negatively impacted here in NW Ohio, he doesn’t want to have anything to do with the decision -- even though he was on the subcommittee. I asked him a couple of things and was answered with stunned silence.

Keeping things secret is no way to run an organization that is responsible for maintaining Ohio high school athletics for 800 schools and thousands of athletes across the state.

My primary question was: Why were the smallest 2 percent of schools (which include area schools Vanlue, Hardin Northern and St. Wendelin) taken out of the equation when they split the schools into Divisions II through VI, then added back into Division VI. I want to know the rationale behind it?

So far no one knows….nothing….stunned silence.

I was able to get a list of the 18 committee members and found that only one…Worthington Christian’s AD, is from a Division VI school. Two others are from Division V schools.

I think the coaches, administrators and athletes in NW Ohio deserve to know why there are twice as many Division VI schools in football as they will be in Division I.

And I aim to find out why.

Sorry, tomorrow we’ll look at the area openers and maybe give some predictions. Also Thursday I will post out notes on Friday’s match ups.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Poor Mo

Poor Maurice Clarett.

He’s getting the short end of the stick. Just kidding. In reality, he’s getting everything he deserves.

We have this conversation in the newsroom every once in awhile. We ponder the many reasons why there are some people that have everything fame, fortune and wealth just, excuse my French, piss it all away.
I mean Mo had it all. Star player on the NCAA championship team as a freshman and future as bright as anyone could imagine. His potential seemed limitless. One bad decision, the decision to try and play in the NFL and bucking the league’s rules that allowed for only juniors to enter the NFL draft, I think was his downfall.

From that one decision, I think everything began to spiral out of control.

He was never the same football player when he was finally drafted by the Denver broncos. If he would have stayed in school maybe things could have turned out different, He would have furthered his education and improved his stock in the NFL draft instead of being labeled a rabble rouser or troublemaker.

Then again, he could have brought the entire OSU football program down. He could have been the same distraction in Columbus that Terrell Owens became in Philadelphia before the Eagles cut him loose.

His latest episode is truly sad, especially if you read between the lines. He had many of his possessions in his car, he was wearing a protective vest , had loaded weapons in the vehicle and called several people to thank them for various things they did for him. Sounds to me like a troubled man thinking about suicide.

Many Buckeye fans have turned their back on the former OSU star. He’s got a lot of problems, all created by his own actions, but I can’t help but feel sorry for him.


AREA PREP GOLF: Right now if I HAD to put money down on a team to win the Blanchard Valley Conference it would be Liberty-Benton. They played very, very well in their own invitational. Van Buren is pretty good too and deeper than L-B but coach Eric Heitkamp will have a job figuring out his starting lineup with a 10 pretty doggone good golfers.
I’d wager Leipsic (who has one of the area’s top individuals in 2004 state qualifier Jason Crow) and McComb to battle for third place with Arcadia, Arlington and Cory-Rawson coming next although not necessarily in that order.

A new face led the FHS golf team this week in their opener for rookie head coach Scott Grant. Sophomore Ethan Snook led the Trojans in their opener, a lackluster 14th place finish at the Pickerington North Invitational. They’ll certainly get better as the year progresses and win another Greater Buckeye Conference crown. Hopefully Grant can keep a little tighter rein on his players’ social activities than his predecessor.

Bluffton is a pretty solid team when they are playing well. They’ll need to put it all together at the district to qualify for state but the Pirates could do it. Other than that there isn’t another area team that will be much of a factor in the postseason. Other than Crow, other individuals to watch appear to be Fostoria St. Wendelin’s Jake Williams and Carey’s Adam Schmitz. We’ll know a little more in 5 weeks when teams tee it up for their league tournaments.

Coming tomorrow…a look at area football openers.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Starting wrestling

I love organized sports. Always have, always will. They teach a lot. They build character, promote working well with others when you have teammates and it's great also for very young kids who need to develop social skills.

I remember my first attempt at organized sports. Little League. I lived in Bettsville. I never played baseball and never really got much of a chance to practice because my dad died when I was 5 and my mom's biggest worry was keeping a roof over our heads and food on the table for me and my 2 younger brothers.

Long story short, I got cut from the team. Just to let you know they kept a girl but cut me. When I started playing other sports like football, basketball and wrestling when I left Bettsville and moved to Fostoria I never forgot that day. I think it was always in the back of my mind it made me work that much harder because I didn't want to fail again and I wanted to be the best. It worked because I ended up winning a state championship in wrestling and starting on some pretty good football teams including the team that was Division V state runners-up my freshman year.

But I have a special fondness in my heart for wrestling. Fat or skinny, tall or short there's always a place for you on the team.

I have taken some shots in the past at L-B for not having a wrestling team after talking to several people including some coaches out there I think there is some interest there but someone has to step up and do something. Of course the biggest thing is getting a mat, does anyone have a 42x42 square piece of foam lying around???

Anyway here is a plan for starting a high school wrestling program...please anyone with thoughts or suggestions I'd like some feedback...

Liberty-Benton Wrestling
A Three-Year Plan
First Year
Start the program at the middle school level for seventh and eighth graders. That way they and their parents will have at least a grasp of what the sport is all about and will understand basic moves and an understanding on what it will take to be successful before entering high school. Also start a support organization for parents to help make sure the program gets off the ground properly.

Begin an elementary club wrestling program much like other schools have for children in first through sixth grades. The club will meet once or twice a week with occasional matches set up throughout the year against elementary clubs from Findlay, McComb, Van Buren, Fostoria and St. Wendelin.

Also provide information and support for the wrestlers who may be interested in attending spring wrestling clinics in the Lima or Bowling Green areas and summer camps.

Second Year
Continue to build the middle school program and add a program at the high school level. The first year of the high school program will feature no less than 8 dual or triangular matches (4 or 5 at home) with the remainder of the 20 point schedule made up of a mixture of junior varsity and lower-level varsity tournaments. The emphasis should be placed on entering dual meet or pool tournaments where everyone on the team gets a chance to wrestle.

Third Year
For the high school program, cut the dual and triangular schedule back to 5 matches with the remaining 15 points of the varsity schedule made up of tournaments. Most should be either pool-style or dual meet tournaments. A home dual meet tournament could be added, a round-robin six-team dual meet format with a 9 a.m. start time could be completed on a Saturday or during the holidays by 4 p.m.

If numbers allow, enter three or four junior varsity tournaments in addition to the varsity schedule so all wrestlers get a chance to participate at some level.

Tournaments should be structured with an emphasis on building the program to first be competitive in the area. Each year as the program matures the schedule should become increasingly competitive to begin competing with the top Division III programs in Northwest Ohio like Liberty Center, Delta, Sandusky St. Mary’s and Genoa.

Eventually the goal is to be competitive each year at the district tournament with the top Division III teams in NW Ohio, which is the top area for small-school wrestling in Ohio. The top Division III schools in NW Ohio are on a par and in many cases beat the vast majority of Division I and II schools in NW Ohio.

10 points of emphasis to be stressed at both the middle school and high school level programs:
1. Academics always comes before wrestling.
2. The importance of weight training as well as conditioning in wrestling.
3. The importance of proper nutrition and balanced diet in wrestling.
4. Showing respect toward parents, officials, coaches and other adults.
5. Even though wrestling is primarily an individual sport, putting the best interest of the team ahead of individual needs or goals is key.
6. Instill a work ethic. Make sure each athlete understands that nothing worthwhile comes easy and it has to come through dedication, hard work and a desire to succeed.
7. Goals should be set for the team and each individual athlete. Whether it be qualifying for the state tournament or just winning a match, the goals should be specific to each athlete’s talent level.
8. Establish a code of conduct to be followed by each coach and team member involved with the program.
9. Coaches and wrestlers should do as much to promote the program at school and in the local media. The more exposure the school and program gets the better.
10. Encourage all kids to participate no matter their athletic ability. There is a place in the program for everyone.

Cautiously hopeful

Anyone watch the Browns-Lions exhibition game yesterday?

OK, I know exhibition games mean nothing. All they are is an excuse for the owners of the ballclubs to squeeze two more $44 tickets out of average slobs like me who buy season tickets.

But I am at least encouraged by what I saw yesterday on television. They scored more than one touchdown and as sad as it seems it’s a step in the right direction. I’m not ready to declare my Brownies a Super Bowl contender, but at least I am a little more comfortable about them than I was after the offseason, LeCharles Bentley’s injury and all other other woes that always seem to happen to the Browns this time of year.

On a side note, we are putting out a pro tab for The Courier and of course much of it will be centered around our very own hometown hero Ben Roethlisberger. Dave Hanneman has covered Ben ever since he was in high school and the Courier first started calling him “Big Ben.” He has been trying to contact him since before the Steelers even started training camp.

What has he gotten? Zero, zip, nada, bupkis. It’s not his fault either. He’s made numerous calls to the Steelers and Ben’s agent to get an interview. They have been less than forthcoming in providing at least 10 minutes to Ben’s hometown paper.

Hey if I was a big time superstar I might not care about the local paper either.

Anyway Dave is headed to Pittsburgh this week to try and track Ben down in person. We’ll see what happens.

I figured while I have the Buzz I’d open op the Courier archives and share some local sports information we have at our fingertips that doesn’t get in the paper.

Here is a list of the Hancock County League football champions (the predecessor to the BVC).

Hancock County League
Football Champions
1922 Rawson
1923 Mt. Blanchard
1924 Van Buren
1925 Liberty
1926 Vanlue
1927 Liberty
1928 Rawson
1929 Liberty
1930 Vanlue
1931 Rawson
1932 Arcadia
1933 McComb
1934 Arcadia & Mt. Cory
1935 Mt. Cory
1936 Mt. Blanchard
1937 Mt. Cory
1938 Mt. Blanchard
1939 Mt. Blanchard
1940 Mt. Blanchard
1941 Arlington
1942 Arlington
1943 Arlington
1944 Mt. Blanchard
1945 Liberty
1946 Arlington
1947 Arlington
1948 Arlington
1949 Arlington & McComb
1950 Arlington
1951 Arlington
1952 Cory-Rawson
1953 Arlington
1954 Cory-Rawson
1955 Arlington
1956 Vanlue
1957 Arlington
1958 Arlington
1959 Mt. Blanchard
1960 Arlington
1961 Arlington
1962 McComb
1963 Arlington
1964 McComb
TOTALS: Arlington 16 Mount Blanchard 7 McComb 4 Liberty 4 Vanlue 3 Mount Cory 3 Cory-Rawson 2 Arcadia 2 Rawson 3 Van Buren 1

Friday, August 18, 2006

Kenton weirdness and this and that

The story in Kenton just keeps getting weirder

Kenton coach Mike Mauk was interviewed on the Columbus Sportsradio station and had some very interesting observations. One thing I didn’t know was one of the boys had two prior run ins with the law and one of them was a domestic dispute with his girlfriend. Mauk termed the incident as hormones getting the best of him.

You can listen to a replay of the interview by clicking here. It’s from Thursday’s The Big Show and click the link for the time slot 3-4 p.m. It’s best to have a broadband or DSL connection to download. My dial-up just doesn’t cut it.

As coach myself, I always tried to stress to my kids to do the right thing and they knew if they chose the wrong path there would be consequences. While you always hate to give up on a kid and you want to defend them and help them as much as you possibly can, I line has to be drawn and these boys may just have crossed the line.

On to other subjects…


In Saturday’s Prep Extra page in The Courier and Review Times there will be prep golf and tennis capsules with information on every area team…with the exception of Upper Sandusky tennis.

Next week everything else gets underway prep-wise. Soccer starts on Monday, volleyball on Saturday and cross country also begins. Oh yeah, Friday night is the start of the football season!!!

Hardin Northern has hired a new basketball coach. Aaron Thompson, an Upper Scioto Valley graduate and former HN freshman coach will take over the program and try and get the ship righted in Dola.

Here’s what we have planned…

The 2006 Prep Football Tab comes out either Wednesday or Thursday I can’t remember which day. And the following day the 2006 College Football Tab is published.

Our first week of prep football coverage will feature a Findlay High School preview for its game against Toledo St. John’s and a couple of stories about the impact of the new divisional rules the OHSAA has put in place for the 2007-08 season. Mark Heiman will have a story featuring some strong negative reaction from administrators and coaches on the new rules. I am working on a story why the new rules were put in place from the OHSAA’s perspective after talk with Findlay High AD and OHSAA Board of Control president Jerry Snodgrass and members of the Blue Ribbon Committee that formulated the rules including Bluffton principal Greg Denecker.

In addition:

We’ll have area boys and girls soccer capsules in next Saturday’s Prep Extra page.

I’m still trying to track down former Ada and Kent State punter Josh Brazen for a feature on his stint at the Buffalo Bills training camp.

I’m also working on stories about the UF wrestling recruiting class for this season as well as several other stories that if I told you about I would have to kill you in order to keep them a secret.

As always story ideas on area coaches and athletes are always welcome by emailing me at

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Football favoritsm?

OK I have my panties in a little bit of a bunch this morning.

Did you hear about the story about the boys In Kenton putting the deer decoy on the road?

There was a story in Wednesday’s Columbus Dispatch you can look at here and a follow up story in today’s paper here.

Two of the perpetrators are members of the Kenton High School football team. Their actions caused an accident ended up resulting in two people being seriously injured, one of which has permanent brain damage all because of a high school prank.

Robert Roby Jr., 18, swerved to miss the fake deer, crashing his car into a pole and fence. He broke his neck and collarbone and shattered an arm and leg. He has since undergone several surgeries, including his latest last month. The passenger in Roby’s car, 17-year-old Dustin Zachariah, has brain damage.

The Kenton football players Daylin Campbell, the team’s quarterback and Jesse Howard, pled no contest to several charges.

"I’m cutting you somewhat of a break here, and the court will get criticized for this," retired Union County judge Gary McKinley said at the sentencing. "I shouldn’t even be doing this," he added.

He ended up sentencing them to 60 days at the Logan County Juvenile Detention facility AFTER the conclusion of the football season. Campbell and Howard are on house arrest and will be for six months after detention; must pay fines and restitution; must write a 500-word essay on "Why I should think before I act"; and must complete 1,500 and 500 hours of community service, respectively.

The story has made national news. It’s been picked up by the Associated Press national wire and has been featured on websites like, and

I guess at first when I read the story and thought about it I said maybe the kids were better off playing football and serving their sentence later. Then, I started thinking about the victims and what they were probably going through and allowing these kids to play football first, then serve a 60-day sentence in juvenile detention and do their community service was just plain, flat out wrong.

Punishment is part of pleading to the crime. Making them miss the football season would be part and parcel of learning from their mistakes. Not taking football away sends the wrong message to them or anyone else that would be involved in something like this.

That’s my two cents…what’s yours?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Waiting for a call

It hurts my feelings to be persona non grata. Well maybe I don't care if people get mad at me all that much. When you are working on stories and people don’t return your calls it doesn’t make you too happy. I feel like a teen age girl sitting home all alone on a Friday night waiting for the phone to ring.

Right now I think to some people we are persona non grata at The Courier Sports Department. I have been trying to get ahold of former Ada and Kent State punter Josh Brazen for a feature on what it was like for him to be at Buffalo Bills training camp. He got cut about a week and a half ago I haven’t been able to reach him. He lived out a dream every kid that ever puts on the pads thinks about getting a shot in the NFL, It would make an interesting story I think.

Also I called Findlay High School athletic director Jerry Snodgrass for a story on the OHSAA’s side of the new rules on formulating their divisions beginning next year. Since he is president of the Board of Control I figured he’d be the guy to talk to. I wrote a story on the subject a few weeks ago just to get the word out because no one seemed to know anything about it. And Mark Heiman wrote a pretty funny column on the matter this week with fictional characters Gus Gridiron and Willie Whistleblower that probably wouldn’t sit well with much of the OHSAA brass (were waiting to get all press privileges revoked at the Courier for OHSAA events this year).

I haven’t been able to reach him yet. I’m also working on a story about coaches having to cut kids from their teams. What the impact is on the coach, the kid, the parents. How to do it, how not to do it. I wanted his perspective on the issue as a former coach and as an administrator.

And of course I’m still hoping Old Fort principal Tom Weaver calls me back today because last I heard they didn’t have a soccer coach. They are on just about everyone’s soccer schedule in the area and a member of the locally-based North Central Ohio Soccer Association. They have had some pretty good teams the last couple of years and if they don’t field a team because they couldn’t get a coach that’s newsworthy and other people should know about it.

Everyone enjoys reading about the good stuff. Kids working going the extra mile to improve, teams winning championships or coaches who care about their programs and their kids. It’s the other stuff, some people don’t want to see in the paper. And that’s why they don’t return calls or may get defensive when you ask about certain things.

Good, bad or ugly all stories should be told.


-- With three first-year tennis coaches don’t expect many results in the newspaper this year. Of course we will always have Findlay High School’s results and Ryan Whipple, Fostoria’s young second-year coach does a good job too but the other area schools like Upper Sandusky, Ottawa-Glandorf and Bluffton won’t probably report too may matches. As always we’ll do what we can though.

--- We put together weekly notes on each of the area football games for our use strictly in the office. It has match ups, team records and other interesting tidbits we can put in game stories. I’ll post our weekly notes on this blog on Thursday nights if anyone is interested in seeing it.

--- Browns running back Lee Suggs failed his physical with the New York Jets and the trade worked out between the two teams has been voided. If he can’t pass the Jets physical, it doesn’t speak well for my beloved Brownies and their physical standards. It’s killing me that I shell out $44 per game for my season tickets and this is what I am getting for my money.

--- We’re getting the final few stories done for the football tab. It goes to print Sunday night after Monday’s edition of the Courier is printed.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Getting into the swing

OK I have to make a correction on yesterday’s blog. Arlington does have a few 200-pounders on the roster. Five to be exact. The Red Devils aren’t too big but what Division VI school is? Still I think it might be a difficult year for the boys from Flag Village USA. The did graduate 17 seniors and one of the fastest kids in Ohio in quarterback Jared Krout. We shall see soon because the season starts in about a week and a half.

I have been spending my time working on golf previews. Yep football isn’t the only sport in the fall. Golf and tennis are already underway. Boys and girls soccer and cross country are next with volleyball after that. There are more area athletic teams in the fall than in the winter and spring combined.

My partner in crime at The Courier Mark Heiman isn’t a big fan of high school golf. He thinks it shouldn’t be a school-sponsored sport. He says it’s too big of a drain on a school’s athletic department resources. While I respect his opinion, I can’t agree. Thousands of kids in Ohio play on prep golf teams each fall. It’s one of the few high school sports that people continue to play throughout the lifetime.

Just like a lot of people show disdain for high school soccer programs because it takes away from other sports like football and most of all cross country. If there is interest I say let them play it. I’m not the biggest soccer fan but if it means kids are out there playing sports I’m all for it.

Just so today’s blog isn’t all opinion here is some information…

Preseason Football Polls from NW Ohio
North Central Conference
1. Wynford............100 (12)
2. Crestline...........77
3. Bucyrus.............75 (1)
4. Buckeye Central.....59
5. Ontario.............54
6. Colonel Crawford....49
7. Lucas...............31
8. Riverdale...........23

Midland Athletic League
1. Hopewell-Loudon.........93 (9)
2. Mohawk..................79 (2)
3. Seneca East.............77 (1)
4. Tiffin Calvert..........55
5. Carey...................50
6. Fremont St. Joseph......38
7. North Baltimore.........28
8. Fostoria St. Wendelin...14

Northern Ohio League
1. Bellevue 136 points (12)
2. Fostoria 116 points (4)
3. Tiffin Columbian 115 points (2)
4. Shelby 78
5. Willard 69
6. Upper Sandusky 50
7. Norwalk 49
8. Galion 20

Firelands Conference
1. St. Paul 126 points (14)
2. Monroeville 105 points (1)
3. Ashland Crestview 90 (1)
4. Western Reserve 78
5. South Central 69
6. Plymouth 38
7. New London 36
8. Mapleton 23

Ohio Cardinal Conference
1. West Holmes (4) 73
2. Orrville (5) 71
3. Ashland 64
4. Madison 51
T5. Wooster (2) 47
T5. Mansfield Senior 47
7. Clear Fork 32
8. Lexington 11

Suburban Lakes League Coaches Poll
1. Eastwood (5)
2. Elmwood (1)
3. Otsego
4. Lake
5. Genoa
T6. Woodmore
T6. Lakota
8. Gibsonburg

Monday, August 14, 2006

Buzz is back

It feels good to get back to blogging on the buzz.

All of my tab stories are in the can. Previews on Van Buren, Liberty-Benton, Elmwood, North Baltimore, Carey and Upper Sandusky are all taken care of. There is even a story on whether or not Ohio needs a mercy rule in football.

I have you tell you this was one of my most pleasant tab experiences ever. The coaches were nothing but gentlemen and if I had a boy I’d be happy to have any six of those coaches as his head coach.

Here’s my quick impression of each school and coach I visited over the past five days…

Van Buren -- Great quarterback in junior Adam Greer and he might just be the best passer in the BVC this season. They are enthusiastic but one question remains for the Black Knights heading into the season, can they stop people on defense? If they improve their defense I could see a .500 or better season out of the Knights this year. But with 34 kids on the roster they can’t afford any injuries to key personnel.

Liberty-Benton -- In terms of manpower no BVC team can stack up to the Eagles. They have 50-some kids on the roster, have some size and feature some very talented athletes. When I visited Van Buren and then went to L-B’s practice it was a start contrast. Nothing against the Knights but in terms of numbers and size of kids there wasn’t much of a comparison. But looks don’t always indicate performance on the field. The key for the Eagles will be how much they can get out of Michael Busch who is hobbled by his broken foot yet again. Talent wise I think Hardin Northern is probably the only team that will match up with the Eagles. I expect a two-team race.

Elmwood -- Watch out for the Royals. They have 10 returning players on offense from a team that took Division V state champion Patrick Henry to the limit in the first round of the playoffs last year. But the one player who isn’t returning is a biggie -- all-state quarterback Al Tyson. I hear Tyson has been impressive in the University of Findlay’s preseason drills as a receiver. The match up between the Royals and Hopewell-Loudon Chieftains will be a war. They should be right there battling with Eastwood for the Suburban Lakes League title.

North Baltimore -- It may be a tough first year for new coach Ryan Hite. But I think they picked the right man for the job. He’s young, positive and enthusiastic. If he can get a few more kids at school to buy into his attitude he could do well in Tiger Town. There are just 24 on the roster and 22 in uniform when I was there. They also have just four returning letterwinners. The one experienced senior they had, Nick Benedict, opted to play golf fulltime while junior Wade Ishmael has taken his football, wrestling and baseball talents to Oak Harbor. But the future looks bright with 30 junior high and 45 midget players in the program.

Carey -- OK I’ll admit it. Carey is my favorite place to visit. I know a lot of people there and they are always very, very nice. But new coach Todd Worst is hoping the Blue Devils won’t be as nice on the gridiron this fall. He’s looking for a return to that hard-hitting, never-quit attitude the Blue Devils have displayed on the gridiron in the past. There was a perception, right or wrong, that the Blue Devils quit in some games last year. I don’t think that will happen this year. Also there was A LOT of confusion on offense last year because players just didn’t know what they were doing. Worst also told me that the average attendance in offseason workouts was about 50 players per session which is phenomenal.

Upper Sandusky -- A walked into the offense and Scott Will and I looked at each other with a strange look and a giggle. I knew about all the offseason turmoil surrounding his job and I think he maybe expected me to ask about it. Hey, he’s the coach and I wanted to focus on what the Rams are doing to prepare for the upcoming season. They definitely need to get off to a good start and need a few wins before heading into a rugged slate of games in the NOL. He really likes his quarterback Alex Falk and thinks he has a plethora of skill players. If the line can provide some protection the Rams can be competitive this fall.

Other things I picked up throughout the week…

UPGRADE -- Arlington has a new volleyball coach. The Red Devils have had a solid program the past few seasons but haven’t ever been able to get over the hump in the tournament. They’ve hired the successful coach from their main non-conference rival Riverdale in Jon Price. The Devils won’t miss a beat and will likely upgrade the schedule with Price in charge.

OUCH -- McComb football coach was a little banged up in practice last week when serving as the quarterback of the scout team offense. Alge told Courier sports writer Mark Heiman that throughout his career at Arlington and then at the University of Findlay he never had to use crutches. He was hurting and Heiman gave Alge a ride back home after practice.

SMALL, SMALLER, SMALLEST -- Arlington better be relying on quickness this season because size won’t be one of their strengths on the gridiron. The Red Devils’ roster doesn’t have a single player 200 pounds or larger.

WITH A CAPITAL H -- Hopewell-Loudon and Hardin Northern’s scrimmage was entertaining. The Chieftains Shawn Brickner scored the only touchdown in the battle between the two teams’ first units on a 40-yard run. He broke a couple of tackles, got spun around but kept his balance on the way to the endzone. Hardin Northern showed its speed and shut down the Hopewell-Loudon running game but had some trouble with the pass defense.

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