Monday, December 31, 2007

Won a close game over Waynesville - a one point victory. We had a slim lead at halftime, they battled back and had the lead in the last quarter. We got the lead back with about 2 minutes left and hung on for the win. It was the best game that we have played this season. The team played hard from the tip off to the closing buzzer. After winter break we play two tough games against larger schools. We had better not lose our momentum from back to back victories. Now that they know we can win, it should give them more confidence against the bigger schools.

at the high school level South boys won the Shawnee Christmas tournament. The consolation game was won by TCN. Dixie girls won their holiday tournament. South won the consolation game. South is having a winning season so far which is a positive.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tough start to the season. The Junior High teams play against some bigger schools. We pulled up to Bellbrook Middle school and the girls remarked that their Middle School was as big as our High School. So that makes it tough to compete. We finally managed our first victory tonight. We were even at half time and after a good talking to and a change to a full court man to man press we pulled ahead for good. The girls seem to get into lackadaisical moods at times and you have to get tough with them to get them focussed.

At the High School level TVS was upset by Franklin Monroe. Lost by one point. I thought that they had the talent to run the table in the CCC. Still the league seems to continuously have strong basketball teams. So it is tough to make it thru the season undefeated. It is more common to have co-champions at the end of the season than a single championship team.

Friday, December 07, 2007

My team:Our first 4-5 games are our toughest. The team is gradually getting better - at least we are starting to score points. But we are still needing our first win. Also the team needs to start stronger. We have been allowing the other teams to race out to early leads. We seem to play solid basketball in the second half.The girls suggested that I do some sort of Vince Lombardi speech in the pregame, but thats not my style. We just need to be mentally prepared from the beginning. At least we are getting better each game, as long as we are improving - we will eventually get that first win.

Around the area: South boys seem to be on fire in the early going, no losses and beat Tri Village who is perennially in the top of the CCC. South girls upset favored Franklin Monroe in the CCC. Preble Shawnee girls are really struggling in the early season. The other boys teams in the county aren't doing so well. The North girls are continuing their winning ways and seem to be well on their way to a good season.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Yeouch, zonked on our first game of the season. Really outsized and our turnovers really made it easy for them. They had tall girls with coordination. They could take the ball coast to coast and outdistance our girls who I consider as being quick. The half court defense was fair, but a lot of turnovers became points. Lots of work to do before the next game. As a small team we need to work hard to get position on rebounds. Our best quarter was the third quarter. The team came out of the locker room and played with determination. So they did not give up, they showed spirit.

Chelsea has been a good help on the bench and in the locker room. I think she would make a good coach, but with school and work there just isn't enough hours in the day for her to do it all. I think the girls look up to her. It is interesting to hear her say same some of the same things that I have told her over the years. After all those years of basketball some of it sunk in.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

First scrimmage.

The team did OK - considering we have had only 8 or so practices. The first week we worked on defense, so only 3 practices on offense. And it showed, our defense was pretty good for the most part, the offense could have been better. But we did well enough to win 4 out of 5 quarters. Speed, hustle, good defensive plays made the difference. Only two practices and then we have our second and last scrimmage. So much to learn, so little time...

Had some good performances. One of the wings did a great job on defense when we had to shut down their best player. A guard hit a last second shot - the buzzer went off as the ball was in mid-air to win one of the quarters. Our center had a good game under the boards.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

I am back in the saddle again. After laying off for a few years I am coaching basketball again. This time for a school. I am not used to all of the red tape that it takes to coach for a public school. I organized and started a peewee football program and a youth basketball program. Plus I did some AAU basketball. But these were all not connected directly with any school. There were a few forms to fill out, but after that you were able to concentrate on the team.

Not so easy with the school. A background check and fingerprints. CPR course - it had been 20 years since my first red cross course so it was time for a refresher. A "Pupil Activity Course" - it had some good stuff about concussions and injuries that I paid close attention to; every season there are at least a few sprains or hard falls. Still have to fill out some forms for the office. That takes care of me, then the parents and kids have to sign umpteen documents and return them. Next year I will have to hire a secretary....

The team is vertically challenged. But they are athletic and are competitive. They work hard and most of all they have fun on the court. So far no prima donna's or drama queens. We are really focusing on defense. We will need a tough defense to offset our lack of height.
What a season for the Panthers. I am sure that the seniors must have thought they they would never see a victory after going 0-10 their Freshman and Sophomore years. The team went 2-8 last season, and completed this season at 7-3. South's first winning season in like 5-6 years. Something that the seniors can be proud of. They can look back and say that we were the team that turned the program around and regained respectability.
They proved me wrong, my personal thoughts at the start of the season was that the team would go 5-5. Good thing that I am not in Vegas....

The last game was tough it was pretty even going into the last quarter, then Ansonia ran away with the ball game. According to my son it was emotional as the team gathered together for one last huddle. I hope that the underclassmen reflect back on the season, the emotions of that moment and resolve to do even better next year. We will be light on seniors and so the juniors and sophomores will have to step up even more to carry the team forward. Will South be a flash in the pan - a one season wonder, or is this the return of South to the days of old when they were consistantly at the top of the league?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

ME 48 - TVS 7 Wow, what a whooping from the Vikings. A big game with playoff implications and the Vikings controlled it from the first whistle to the last. They were definitely up for the game and South just seemed to be in a daze. Nothing seemed to work on either defense or offense. We did have one drive that made it 21-7 and gave a glimmer of hope. We were hoping to see the magic happen, but South seemed to run out of mojo. We let their backs run wild, ripping off runs of 60+ yards several times. We got pushed off the ball and out of position. They ended up with a 41-7 halftime lead.

Maybe the team was emotionally spent to a degree. Back to back games against Covington and North - finally beating them for the first time in 5-6 years at least. Maybe the team got complacent and thought that they could just walk onto the field and win. East was definitely the better team, but South really seemed to tuck their tail between their legs and roll over.

Three winnable games left on the season, but I am sure that Bradford, Trail, and Ansonia all smell blood. The seniors need to show leadership and get the team rallied. Otherwise the highwater mark for season could be the North game.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Well many CCC teams have had their hopes dashed against the Covington Buccaneers. The first half was all Buccs as they accumulated a 14-0 half time lead. The defense was very stingy only allowing 4 first downs in the half, and about 80 yards of offense. South's best chance at a score was stopped. Maleski went deep on a pass and Flynn hit him in stride - he had the corner beat. But the Covington safety made one heck of a play. As Maleski was making the catch he raced across the field and knocked the ball loose for an incompletion.

In the second half, South put together a drive mixing the short pass and a few runs. They hit paydirt on a Flynn to Boyd TD catch to make the game 14-7. But was as close as the team would come. The Covington offense looked potent as they racked up another TD to make it 21-7. South did have another second half drive that was deep in Covington territory. But a trick play on 4th and 6 on about the Bucc 25 yard line fell short and South had to give up the ball on downs. They were driving at the end, but ran out of clock deep in Covington territory.

So the team has a gut check, they are not going to be undefeated, but how will they react to the loss? And now injuries are now starting to be a factor, they are starting almost all sophomores o on the offensive line. There are still plenty of tough games on the schedule. This week will be a critical one for the Panthers. Do they lick their wounds and tuck their tails? Or do they rebound from this loss and redouble their efforts?

Friday, September 14, 2007

TVS 34 Bethel 33.

Wow, another nail biter - at this rate the coaches must be running out of fingernails. But you have to hand it to the players and coaches - they keep finding a way to win. Bethel dominated the first quarter, but South fought back. I think that Bethel definitely had a larger line and seemed to be getting a good surge off the ball initially. But South adjusted and had some good series where they made Bethel go 3 and out. Mayes was definitely effective - but he didn't run helter skelter thru the defense as was feared. He had his share of good carries, but there were some drives where he was stuffed.

South's defense still gives up the big play. We will get a team in 3rd and long, but let them off the hook with a big pass, or long run. Maybe the defense relaxes, or ??? but it does seem to be a pattern -not sure how to cure this. The offense sure seems to able to score. Again the team made some adjustments; in the first quarter we looked awful - 3 plays and punt. But the coaches made some changes and the offense began to move the ball well.

Players really stepped up and made big plays. Josh Flynns 90 yard runback to start the second half was huge - and was channel 7's play of the week, so congrats to him. JT Stone had a nice 40+ yard carry to set up the last TD. Eisenhour had a catch where he was wide open and took it to the house. Maleski did some damage in the first half, had a nice TD catch and run. Matt Wentlender made the defensive play of the night when he ended Bethels last drive with an interception with less than a minute in the game. And of course the play that put TVS on top was something that young kids dream about. Quarterback rolls out with the game on the line. Defenders converge and start to grab hold. With defenders clinging to his jersey, the quarterback makes a desperation pass to an open reciever who catches it in the end zone.

Next week Cinderella will go up against Covington. Will they shatter the glass slipper and send South home in a pumpkin? Word is that Covington has a tough defense (no surprise there) and a young but potent offense. An angle to the game is that Covington is coached by ex-South coach Dave Miller who took South to the regional finals several years ago. The game will be a battle of unbeatens and with South's track record this season, promises to be an exciting one. This is a game with both playoff and conference implications.

I see that North soundly defeated Bradford for their first win the season. The Railroaders did score 21 points, so it looks like they don't give up. Ansonia shows that they are a force to be reckoned with as they beat Arcanum by a bunch. Mississinawa Valley took out their frustrations on Trail.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

TVS defeats Mississinnewa Valley in OT 34-33. A whale of a ball game. Both offenses were churning up yardage, the Blackhawks in big chunks, the Panthers in a methodical Woody Hayes style. South did not pass that much, I think because they wanted to control the ball and keep the Blackhawks off the field. It ended up tied in regulation when the Blackhawks scored in the last minute of the 4th quarter. They won the toss, scored, and elected to go for the kick and made. South scored on their possession and went for two and Josh Flynn crossed the goal line on a quarterback keeper.

I jokingly remarked after the game that the Blackhawk ball carriers must have lathered themselves up with soap before the game. They were elusive and we just couldn't seem to tackle them. They had several gains of 30, 40, 50 yards. We just couldn't contain their running attack. They also had a decent sized line that opened some nice holes for the runners.

Next up for the Panthers is Bethel, Mays will be another slippery running back. Miami East and Bethel are also shaping up as teams to beat in the CCC. ME may be the real deal this season narrowly beating Bethel by a point. Ansonia could be in the mix. But Bradford and National Trial will be battling to stay out of the basement this fall.

Monday, September 03, 2007

TVS 32 Arcanum 20. A quality win for South. The Trojans have been in the upper echelon of the conference for many years now. A big first quarter put TVS up 18-0. And early in the second quarter South was up 25-0. But they could not nail the coffin closed. Arcanum would outscore TVS the remainder of the game. But South was opportunistic - twice in the second half Arcanum was knocking at the door only to fumble and South recovered both times. Converting one into a second half touchdown to give a little cushion. Still the team seemed to let their foot off the pedal a little bit, the next time they may not be able to hold off a comeback. But as Coach Cottingim stated the players are still learning to win and now need to learn how to hold onto a lead and not let the other team back into the game.

Maleski showed what he can when he gets past the line of scrimmage. On so many carries he only gets a yard or two, but when he gets green grass in front of him, he is gone. His 44 yard TD run was an example of that. He found a crease to the secondary and he zipped by them like they were standing still. If he gets some lateral moves to get around people or gets better at shedding tacklers he will be formidable. Flynn did well on both sides of the ball. Stone and Wentlender did well on defense. Michael Williams was shook up and a sophomore had to take his place. So at one point, 4 sophomores were on the offensive line - and the team still moved the ball. So that bodes well for the future. Freshman Balthis scored on both sides of the ball - caught a TD pass and intercepted a pass and ran it in too.

Special teams was a concern this game. Three missed extra point opportunities and the coverage on kickoffs seemed to decline as the game went on. There were some good kicks from Koeller and we tackled them back deep the first time. But despite the good kicks we let them get some decent returns. When you let the other team start at midfield, you make it easy for them. Wentlender seems to be consistent at punter - so having two good kickers is a plus on the special teams ledger.

Missinnewa Valley will be an interesting team to play. Won their opener, but Miami East seemed to win fairly handily - judging from the box score. My sources tell me that they have some size on the line this year. Did they think that ME were going to be pushovers and weren't up enough for the game? I imagine that this is a tough week for the Blackhawks - Graher will be getting them focused and ready the visiting Panthers. It will be a big game for both teams - South will want to keep their momentum while the BlackHawks will want to redeem themselves and get back to a winning record.

Covington won big over rival Bradford. Trail got knocked around by Ansonia as did TCN by Bethel. Looks like there will be a big gap between the teams at the top of conference and those at the bottom.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Opening night was a tough night for the CCC. Lost 3 games and only won 7 - it looks like a down year for the conference. Anna was the team to beat and now they are gone so it knocked down the competition a notch. Teams had to play at a higher level to be competitive with them. Plus last season we lost several good coaches so teams are learning new systems, etc. I would say that Covington is back to being the standard bearer for the conference and the road to the conference championship will have to go thru the Bucc's.

Missinnewa Valley under coach Graher could make some noise. Sounds as though they have some size, and with him coaching you know the team will be hitters. They won on opening night (over Union City IN) as did Covington under Dave Miller (7-3 over New Breman) and TVS.

I was able to watch the TVS game and it was a thriller. Dixie is the real deal. they line up in a spread offense and can throw the ball. It was close at half time, but Dixie had 2 scores in the third quarter to pull ahead 30-14 going into the last stanza. South was in the middle of a drive and finished it off with a TD to start the 4th, but the two point try was denied. So the team was still down by two scores. About the 2nd play after the kickoff, Dixie ran a sweep. A defensive tackle busted thru and go to the runner the same time that the ball did. Knocked the ball loose and grabbed it in midair. Took it 25 yards to the house. Again Dixie starts their drive and goes to pass after 2-3 downs. A linebacker picks it off and takes it back to the 25 yard line. A few plays later and now South has the lead. In a little over 3 minutes the team scored 3 TD's!

Dixie did knock at the door, but on 4th and 3 on the TVS 15 a pass was batted and fell incomplete with about 2 minutes left . South was able to get a much needed first down on offense and run out the clock. Definitely shows that the boys don't give up.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

TVS 5 scores - PS 1. TVS did a good job of mixing the pass and run. Would like to see more consistancy on the passing, but they did well enough to keep Shawnee on their heels. The defense gave the offense good field position. There was one breakdown where Hale got behind the safety and Shawnee's QB hit him in stride and he took it to the house. Other than that drive late in the scrimmage, South dominated. Shawnee had a lot of penalties - including an unsportsmanlike. I think that they got frustrated.

Maleski showed flashes of what he is capable of, he was starting to run downhill later in the scrimmage and also was starting to make people miss with shoulder fakes and lateral moves. Early in the scrimmage it seems like he was tentative, looking for holes and stutter stepping at times. Stone seems to be a more reliable ball carrier this season, and Flynn showed that he can run as well as pass when he has to. Don't know all the names on defense, but I know the one tackle did a great job on pass rushes - must have had 2-3 sacks. Linebacker corp seems to be solid.

TVS vs. Dixie: The grapevine tells me that Dixie is running a more spread out shotgun type offense. Miller is an experienced QB and he has some experienced recievers coming back. So the passing attack is there for Dixie. Both teams have shown that they can score points in scrimmages, but I don't feel that either team has really been tested. It may come down to who has the best defense. Also if the south offense can consume clock time with ball control rushing drives, this will keep the high octane offense of Dixie off the field. Dixie will need to score early and often. If they force South to play catch up and pass the ball more often than they like then this could work to Dixie's advantage as their defense sits back and waits on the pass.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

CCC preview

Well it looks like Covington is still the team to beat. Held their own against Eaton until late in the scrimmage last week.

North took a whooping from Dixie, new coach and graduated a good crop of seniors. So this could be a rebuilding year.

South did OK against SouthEastern, but SE was a 0-10 team last season. Good bunch of seniors, thin junior class, so the sophomores and even a few freshmen will have to step up.

Bethel - rebuilding? Haven't heard much from the hive.

Arcanum - should be strong. They still seem to be in a reload mode.

Trail - could be a retread season, don't see much hope for progress. Some good kids at the skill positons, but I heard the numbers are down and that the line is inexperienced.

Ansonia - Should be over .500 They should have some returning starters.

Bradford - new coach but one that coached there with some success in the past, heard that the numbers are down, so that does not bode well.

Mississenewa - Haven't heard anything yet. If they still have Grader they will still be hitters.

Miami East - biggest team in the conference now. They should be returning some starters, they could be over .500 this season for their first winning record in a while.

Monday, August 13, 2007

South Scrimmaged SouthEastern this past Saturday. TVS Varsity did have 3 scores. Running game looked good but the passing game was sporadiac. Both Maleski and Stone had some good carries. Thought that Flynn threw decent passes, but there were a few dropped balls. We did have one touchdown pass. The defense swarmed to the ball and in their first two offensive series, I don't know that SE gained more than 10-15 yards. They did gain more yardage in the last half of the scrimmage, but the SE varsity did not score. The TVS JV did give up 2 scores. So there was some optimism in the TVS stands afterwards. But you have to remember the competition - SE was 0-10 last season. Next South goes up against Shawnee who was 5-5 in 2006. So it will be better guage of where the team is at going into the season.

Heard thru the grapevine that Dixie (first game for TVS) was in the drivers seat for the scrimmage against North. Scored a handful of times using a shotgun style offense and did not allow North to cross the goal line. They have Miller who is an experienced QB and some good recievers with varsity experience from last year. They should have a new running back and linemen but obviously they did their jobs against North. They do have a new coach who is a Dixie alum. Sounds like Dixie is peaking while North may be rebuilding this season with their new coach.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

OK time to get this puppy in action.

Fall Sports preview - Preble County:

Eaton football: Graduated a ton of seniors from a successful team that made the playoffs. Can they reload? History says no. They should be capable of a winning season, but I don't see them in the fight for the championship.

Preble Shawnee Football: The program is showing signs of rebirth. The move to the small school division seems to have helped. I see them over .500 but not by much.

National Trail Football: Ouch. Could be another long year for the Blazers. A lot of young faces, small line. The team has a ways to go to be competitive. They will struggle to get 2-3 wins.

Twin Valley South: Cottingim has the program pointed in the right direction. The team eaked out a couple of wins last year and were competive in most of their games. Strong senior class, but the junior class is thin in numbers. So the sophs will need to step up to make the team competitive. Flynn will play QB, JT Stone will make an impact where ever they play him. Look for Maleski to get the ball at tailback. The team learned that they can win last year, look for a bigger impact this season.

Tri-County North graduated a strong senior class last season. They now have a new coach. Derringer stepped up to the District office and an assistant is taking over. So new players will need to learn the system of a new coach. The team improved steadily under Derringer. Will the team reload or back slide? I think they will drop off a bit, they should have a winning record.