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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Jets Slip by Panthers

J. C. Tilton
Slow starts in the first and third quarters left Twin Valley South playing catch up ball most of the night. Coach Mabry would later acknowledge after the game that we have been a slow starting team this season, we need to pick it up in the first quarter. Turnovers further hampered their play on Saturday night. Finally, the team was playing short handed as a couple of players were unable to dress for the game.
The game itself was an exciting match up. The Jets raced off to an early 10 point lead in the first quarter. The score was even until the midway point and then the Jets went on a 10-2 run to finish out the quarter with momentum. South spread out their offense in the second quarter and found some gaps to exploit. They slowly chipped away at the Jet lead and climbed back into the game. Gates scored 7 in this quarter; Wysong and Creech both scored to pull South within 1 twice and finally the quarter ended with the Jets advantage at 3 & 25-22.
In the third quarter, Franklin Monroe exploited the South interior defense, scoring most of their points in the paint. Again turnovers were a factor as South had several passes get picked off. South adjusted their defense and after being down by as many as eight points, they finished the quarter down 6 thanks to a pair of Creech free throws.
The scrappy Panther team closed the gap with the Jets, but were never able to pass them. Gates, Creech, and Voge(one basket and a three pointer) all hit shots in the last quarter to pull the team even. With a minute and half left it was a two point ball game. The Jets spread out their offense and tried to play slow down. They hit a critical free throw to make it a three point game. South tried to set up a play with a little over 10 seconds left, but the shot rimmed out and Franklin Monroe hit their free throws when they snagged the rebound and were fouled to get the final margin of victory 55-50.
Coach Mabry was pleased with Adelee Gates overall performance. “She is just a sophomore and makes mistakes from time to time, but overall she has done well this season.” On the team, “We have to have stronger starts to our games, we can't spot a team 10 points and then play catch up.” He was pleased with the game the team won earlier in the week against Bradford. “Anytime that you can hold a team under 40 points, you should win the game. We had a strong second half against them offensively and that put the game away.”
Scoring for the Panthers: Wysong 5, Voge 7, Gates 21, Ingram 7, Creech 10.
The JV game was won by Franklin Monroe 30-27. Scoring: Emily Burge 6, Katie Bingham 4, Kim Perry 14, Jessica Hickey 3.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

CCC boys: Out of the chute it looks like Bethel and Miami East are the teams to beat. The rest of the teams will be in a dog fight for third place. Twin Valley South has no seniors this year, but still should do well. Trail is in a rebuilding mode with a new coach and inexperienced players. North is off to a slow start, that program is a hard one to get right. Not much height and so they will need to be a scrappy team to get victories. Covington is also off to a surprising slow start as well.

CCC Girls: I just don't see any team in the CCC good enough to beat Miami East. North should do well. They have some height for a change and good guards. Even though they have a first year coach in Music, they should have a winning record this year and if the cards fall right they could challenge for second place. Trail is a team on the rebound. After years of being the cellar, they are off to a strong start. Again a team with height and decent guards, they will surprise a lot of teams this winter. South is a team of guards this winter. Like the North boys team, they will need to be scrappy and play tough defense to get their wins. They should finish in the top of the heap at seasons end.

Buckeyes: The match up with Texas should be a good one. Colt McCoy is a senior now - the first time that McCoy played the Buckeyes he was a freshman. The Longhorns will have a chip on their shoulder as they feel that they should have been playing for number one in the BCS. The Buckeyes will be playing for pride. Can Tressel get the team fired up for this game? This long layoff from the end of the season to the bowl game has plagued them in the past.

Bengals: When is the last game? Isn't it about time for the punishment to stop? Carson Palmer's arm is supposed to be OK. But it would be wise to sit him on the sideline and just save him from getting injured again this year.

Browns: I see more upside for the Browns than the Bengals for next season. Winslow has repented. Quinn will be mended by next year.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

I do not follow a professional football team - I am a Bengals fan.

This season is circling the toilet and like 15 out of 16 seasons in front of it - another losing season is guaranteed. I spoke with a Bengals fan who said that they will do better next year. What, they will win two games? Even with Palmer back, they will have a patchwork offensive line. Either Johnson or Housmansadah and possibly both will be gone. So not only will Carson be running for his life, he will have the likes of 'stone hands' Glen Holt to throw to. Not a recipe for success.

Say what you want about Marvin Lewis, Johnson, Palmer, and Co. The only way you change the Bengals is to change the way that the team is ran. The only constant in the Bengals misfortunes on the field is the management and I do mean Mike Brown. His father took the team to two superbowls. Mike Brown can just barely generate a winning season. But then Mike measures success by the balance of his bank account and that is where there the problem lies.

As a fan you measure success by wins and losses. As a businessman you measure success by your profits. So by Mikes measurement he is very successful - why change when the bucks are rolling in. So there is the root of the problem - in the NFL there is no danger of losing money even when the product on the field is subpar.

So how can you force a change? Complaints to Mike fall on deaf ears. The only thing that can force Mike to change is the NFL. And the only thing that can make the NFL change is the fans. Complain to the commissioners office. If everyone complains to the commissioner, to your congressman, to your local papers, to anyone that will listen, then the roar of protest from fans will gradually overwhelm any support for Mike and force him to sell, or at least hire a GM and give that GM the power to run the team the way the other teams in the NFL are ran.

Folks sitting on our hands and taking it has gotten us no where. Complacency means another 15 years of the same thing. If the NFL won't act, then we must force it to act. My son is 16 years old and has only seen 1 winning Bengals season. And the question is, "Dad why do you follow the Bengals anyway?" And I don't have an answer any more.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Regular Season Summary

South ended their season with a whimper, not a bang. I was hoping that the would try to play spoiler and end Ansonia's season on Friday night. But I think that the boys are ready for basketball season. Ansonia was a good team and executed well. But the South sideline seemed flat, unemotional - I think that they just wanted the season to be over with. The Panthers ended the season at 5-5, but graduate only 2-3 seniors. So there is promise for the future if everyone is back.

Congrats to Miami East, Covington, and Ansonia for making the playoffs. At the beginning of the season, the league looked flat going 1-9 in the regular season. Now we see if the teams have matured and see if they've improved in the playoffs.

With the exception of Miami East's senior laden team, everyone else is young. As long as everyone is back next season, the CCC should be a stronger league in 2009.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Columbus: Folks, things have been hectic in the past few weeks. I was let go by my former employer in August. Hence all the time to do work on the website. But I am now working in Columbus. So my focus is on my new job. As you can imagine Sports is secondary right now. My apologies for the disruption.

South over Bradford. South just had too much for the Railroaders. From the beginning South's goal was to run, run, run. The pass was used sparingly. The Panthers dominated their homecoming game. They had a commanding lead at halftime and I believe the final score was something like 47-13. Probably a good confidence builder for the team. Next week they have Trail.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Battle of the Inept

Like driving by a bad accident, I could not keep my eyes off of the carnage. Had some outdoor work to do; listened to the game on the radio. But kept wandering inside to catch some Bengals v Browns on the TV. It made for an unproductive afternoon for all concerned. Yeah the Browns eeked out a win. But not in a convincing fashion.

Fitzpatrick was out of sync. Badly overthrowing the ball on long passes. Adrenalin, lack of reps, probably the former - he also mishandled a couple of snaps. He was able to dink the ball on short passes or tuck and run when no one was open. So that gave some relief to the anemic "cough, cough, cough it up" running game. One bright spot, I thought the run blocking was improved, I was actually seeing the Bengals open up some holes. Defense made some plays, but gave up a lot of run yards.

Palmer is a big question mark. A sore elbow? How about a shot of cortisone and something to numb it? I wonder if there is more than that amiss. With the protection that he is getting maybe it would be best if it is something that requires surgery and he gets the season off. It would save his body from a beating this season, hoping that next season the Bengals solidify their offensive line. Or if he really wants that superbowl ring he hopes that he gets traded this winter.

Time to put the Bengals gear back in the closet and it's not even October. If Marvin can salvage this season, he is a miracle worker. No wins yet and it doesn't get any easier with their schedule. The team morale was fragile already and I'll bet that the locker room has the feel of a death row right now. And if Palmer is out long term it pretty much seals the deal. We are back on a familiar road - another 4 win train wreck of a season, how many will be watching this carnage?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Speed Trumps Strength
J. C. Tilton

This past Friday’s game between North and South was a match up at many levels. It was a decisive game as both teams were 2-3 going into the game. A win would make a winning season record that much easier, the loser would be 2-4 and would face an uphill climb to have a winning season. Next this is a rivalry game, both teams give a little extra on the field when playing your schools chief competitor. North features a large line and strength in numbers – around 40 players in all. South came into the game with a quick backfield and effective passing attack; but were low in overall numbers. So it became a battle of speed versus strength.

North’s game plan seemed to be to pound the ball between the tackles and wear down the South defense. Although they passed some, a pair South of interceptions kept them from utilizing the pass more. South’s game plan was to work the edge with their speed and mix in the pass to keep North off-balance. To their credit the South defense did not get weary in the second half and was able to make big plays at critical times.

The consensus was that this would be a high scoring as both teams have been able to light up the scoreboard. But the first quarter ended in a 0-0 tie. But from there both teams would cross the goal line many times. The chains were smoking on the yardmarkers as they followed the ball up and down the field. South scored first. Ryan Burns helped set up it with an interception to the 37 yard line. South had a short field and minutes later Grant Kreitzer caught a pass for the first score of the night. In a carry over from last week, South had problems with extra points and would not get an extra point on their first 4 scores of the night.

Dakota Gulling drew first blood for North. After a 45 yard carry, he completed the deal with a 1 yard TD run. Encroachment put the ball on the 1 and half yard line and so North went for a 2 pointer and got it when Matt Green scored. From there the action was swift. South’s Steve Balthis caught a TD pass to regain the lead; North answered with a Matt Green touchdown run. The last touchdown of the half followed an odd series of events. South had to punt but the punter bobbled the snap and barely got the kick away. There must have been butter on the ball as the North return man muffed the kick on his end and South recovered on the North 21. Miles McCollum ripped off a 21 yard carry to put South up at the half 18-15.

A bad snap set up North’s first score of the next half. Again the South punter barely got the ball away and this time the kick only netted about 10 yards. Matt Green took advantage of the short field and scored to put North back on top. South needed a momentum boost and got it when Roy Wysong busted a kick return all the way back to the North 27. Skylar Reckers crossed the goal line for the score.

Special teams were a problem for both teams. North had a punt blocked deep in their territory. This time Tyler Leach crossed the goal line for South. When North tried to battle back into the game, an alert Cody Bryant caught a bouncing ball that tipped off of two other players downfield to end a North drive at midfield. What was once a see-saw game started to become a rout as South’s Skylar Reckers scored again. Another North turnover occurred when Steve Balthis fell on a North fumble and this set up a Miles McCollum to Grant Kreitzer TD pass. North managed a score in the final minute of the game when Josh McAdams scored. When the horn blew South had won 45-30

Sunday, September 21, 2008

“Our guys really played hard against a good program and I was proud of that,” remarked coach Schondelmyer after the game, “They [Covington] are where we want to be. It’s what we want to do at Twin Valley South, we want to get to the point where we are the Covington of the conference. We did run the spread against Covington, we saw some matchups in their pass defense where the spread would exploit that. Tyler Leach did a great job running the ball. Miles McCollum did a nice job, we added a lot of stuff this week and he handled it well. Steve Balthis ran the ball well. And I thought that Roy Wysong blocked hard tonight - that is an important part of the game. Grant Kreitzer had a good night too, he caught a pass for a touchdown and he blocked well too – I look for the guys that block because they are the difference makers.”

On next week’s game[South vs. North], “Obviously this a big rivalry game and both teams will be up for it. It looks like it will be the game of the week – so I’ve been told. We played well last week, but not well enough to win. I’m looking forward to the game against North, the kids should be hungry for a victory. If we keep improving like I’m seeing, we will do just fine.

Audio links

South - Covington Duel in West Alexandria

J. C. Tilton

After a week where most everyone was affected by power outages, fans were able to get their minds off of their woes with a spectacular game between the Buccaneers and Panthers. Penalties and giving up big plays plagued Twin Valley South on Friday night. Still the team managed to win the time of possession and stayed even with the Buccaneers. The game was a nail biter with the winner being decided in the last 16 seconds of the game.

South scored first in the first quarter when Miles McCollum ran about 50 yards on a quarterback keeper. Both teams had problems with extra points this night and South's first try was blocked. Covington answered with a Logan Woloch touchdown but their try also failed. At the end of one, it was TVS 6 and Covington 6.

After a South drive stalled, thanks in part to a delay of game penalty, Covington ended their drive with a 30 yard TD run by quarterback Jake Bitner. South came right back with a great effort by fullback Tyler Leach. He bulled his way thru the line, shook off the secondary, and chugged 55 hard earned yards for a touchdown to tie the game again. But the South defense turned around and gave up a big play of their own - allowing a 70 yard touchdown that put Covington up at the half 19-12.

In the second half, South kept the Bucc's off balance by going into a spread offense at times. But after advancing to the redzone, an interception gave Covington the ball and a few plays later they ripped off another 70+ yard TD run to go up by two scores. South pulled closer when Grant Kreitzer had a 60 yard TD catch. And on their next possession, South caught a break when a bad snap on a punt gave them possession on the Covington 24. Miles McCollum scored and going into the fourth quarter it was a tie ball game - 26 all.

But another defensive breakdown allowed Covington to peel off a 64 yard TD on their next series. Late in the fourth quarter, South would catch a break as another bad snap on a punt gave them the ball on the Covington 42 with 4:27 left in the game. This would be their last possession of the ball game. Thanks to a pass interference call they were able to advance to the redzone. But with 16 seconds left in the ball game, they failed to convert on 4th down at the Covington 8 yard line and the Buccs were able to take a knee to seal a 32-26 victory.



Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Test Results.

On Friday it was posted that several teams had some big games this weekend. Some stepped up, others... well didn't do so hot.

Bengals F What a way to open at home. Offense can't seem to find a spark. Team seems disoriented and unfocused. Wear a trash bag and a paper bag - you don't want any one to figure out that you are rooting for them.

OSU F Moved the ball in the first half but only had three points to show for all that yardage and time of possession. And in the second half, USC knew that they would be playing catchup and blitzed the bejeebers out of Boeckman. The backup was more mobile, but hard to say how good of an arm he has. So does Tressel pack it in this season and let the youngster start and prep for next season. He should but probably won't - loyal to his seniors.

Dixie B They stepped up to the challenge after a lousy first quarter. But QB Nick Worley was seriously injured in this game. Next week they go against Brookville who is also undefeated.

South B Won in OT against Bethel. Evened up their season. Another tough test awaits as they face Covington on this coming Friday.

Miami East A+ Top of the class this week. And so long as they don't relax, top of the CCC. Had a great first half and held off Covington for a convincing win.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Costly Victory for Dixie

Dixie was able to come from behind and then hold off a comeback attempt by Shawnee to earn a victory last Friday night. But that victory would come at a high price for the Greyhounds against their division foes. The game was emotional as both programs are resurgent this fall and it was their first SWBL matchup. A loss would make winning the Buckeye division that much tougher.

Shawnee had a great first quarter. On the opening play, sophomore Jake Jarbo broke thru the line, found daylight, and raced 79 yards for a TD. It looked like Dixie would answer but an interception by Justin Berry gave Shawnee the ball on their own 7. On that drive Kyle Letner scored on a 45 pass from Tyler Begley. Dixie was facing a 14-0 deficit.

Turnovers plagued Shawnee in the second quarter and this gave Dixie a short field several times. Almost all of the second quarter was played on the Shawnee end of the field. Aaron Copeland started things off by pouncing on a Shawnee fumble which gave Dixie the ball on the Shawnee 19. Eddie Bellman caught a Nick Worley pass to put Dixie on the board. Next was an interception by Dixie freshman Doogie Hauser. This drive fizzled thanks to a sack by Shawnee’s Aaron King. But Shawnee coughed up the ball yet again with Dixie’s Dustin Chatterton falling on the ball. Mike Hall ran for a TD after Eddie Bellman caught a Nick Worley pass to place the ball on the two yard line.

With the score tied at 14 all a determined Dixie team took the field after the half. First Eddie Bellman returned to the Shawnee 42. Then Earls carried to the 15 where he punched the ball in to put Dixie up for the first time 21-14. This sparked the Dixie defense that held Shawnee to three plays and a punt. Again Woody Earls knifed thru the Shawnee line for a 43 yard TD run. What was a close game was fast becoming a rout.

But on their next offensive series, Dixie would pay a price. Senior quarterback Nick Worley took a hit on the knee while passing and had to be taken off the field on a stretcher. Dixie needed someone to step up and make an impact. Woody Earls was having a great half of football and added to his stats on the very next play with a 14 yard TD run.

Shawnee tried to take advantage of a rattled Dixie team and did manage a touchdown – Cameron Letner connected with brother Kyle for a score. Shawnee tried an onsides kick, but it went out of bounds. In a change of fortunes, a fumble recovery by Shawn Moreland briefly gave Shawnee renewed hope. But a few plays after making an interception, Woody Earls scored his 4th second half touchdown to put the ball game away for the Hounds 41-20.

Chris Tilton Sports

Friday, September 12, 2008

Tests this weekend

Bengals - Is it paper bag time? They performed dismally against Baltimore. The O-line should have been given red capes and little matador hats. The Ravens signing of ex-Bengals offensive lineman Willie Anderson may have been a factor. He knew all the line calls and also knew each linemans weaknesses. The Titans won't have that advantage. Still the Bengals were anemic on offense.

A second loss and fans will start giving away their tickets again. I already heard on the radio that Bengals tickets are selling for below face value in the secondary market like stubhub. Still Mike Brown is laughing all the way to the bank. The franchise has a value of just under a billion (yep with a 'b') dollars.

OSU - After barely beating kissing cousin Ohio University, the buckeyes play USC Saturday night. Tressel better whip the team into a froth this week at practice. If they can capture the focus and intensity of the 4th quarter, then they will have a chance. But if they play like the lost sheep of the first 3 quarters, it could get embarrassing - fast.

Feature running back Beanie Wells is out, so that is a factor. That puts more of the weight on Boeckman's shoulders. Let's see if he has matured in a year. According to Tressel, it will be running back by committee. Hopefully someone stands up to the challenge and has a career day. This is a make or break game for OSU. A loss pretty much guarantee's that they are out of the hunt for the national title.

Dixie vs. Shawnee - A big game for both teams. More of a challenge for Dixie. They beat Fort Loramie last week. It was a big emotional game for the Greyhounds. And sometimes after a big win, a team will relax the next week. Can the coach keep the players focused? Shawnee's program is coming around and they will be up for a division rival. Rain will be a factor. Both teams run the spread offense, and a slick ball could hurt the passing.

South vs. Bethel - South got their first win of the season last week. The Bee's are still searching for a victory. A big game for both teams as it will determine the direction for the remainder of the season. The winner should have a good chance at a winning season.

North vs. Bradford - North is recovering from a shellacking by Covington. Can they beat up on the Railroaders and get back on the winning track?

Miami East vs. Covington - The game of the week in the CCC. This weeks poll says the Vikings are the winners. Covington has homefield advantage. But a rainy day might negate their passing attack and favor the running attack of Miami East. Should be a close, hard fought game. The best defense could be the deciding factor. This is probably the championship game, it's hard to see anyone else knocking off either of these two.

More local sports at: Chris Tilton Sports

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Panthers Battle Blackhawks

In a matchup of closely matched teams, the Panthers and Blackhawks played a hard fought game on a wet Friday night. It was an exciting game with lead changes and a late comeback attempt that fell short. Both teams have been bitten by the injury bug, but were pretty back up to full strength for this game. With the wet field, turnovers would play a role in the game.

Mississinawa Valley scored first and made it look easy. Two carries by Darick Hiatt put the Blackhawks up 7-0 just a minute into the game. He rambled to the 1 yard line on the first carry of the game and scored on a one yard TD run. The Blackhawks tried an onsides kick but South recovered and got good field position. Skylar Reckers scored for TVS on a 2 yard TD set up by a drive where Miles McCollum ran for most of the yardage.

Now the momentum swung over to the Panthers. They returned a favor and did an onsides kick of their own. Ryan Burns fell on the ball and again South’s offense found themselves at midfield. This time South worked outside the tackles with both Balthis and Reckers gaining yardage. The drive was capped with a 10 yard Skylar Reckers TD run.

The TVS defense played inspired football, pinning the Blackhawks deep in their territory. Grant Kreitzer would have 7 tackles at halftime. South was able to score twice with Steve Balthis TD carrying on both runs. Two interceptions ended two other Panther drives. The Blackhawks were still full of fight. Towards the end of the half quarterback Trent Heitkamp was scrambling, then found some daylight and more as he took the ball 65 yards to the house. South had a commanding lead at the half 27-17.

The momentum swung over to the Blackhawks side in the third quarter. South began the half at their own 6 yard line. A poor punt gave the Blackhawks great field position. Darick Hiatt’s 9 yard carry put the Blackhawks back within a TD. South needed a spark to get their momentum back. Skylar Reckers responded early in the 4th quarter by intercepting a pass and returning it about 25 yards for a touchdown. Panthers piled in the endzone in response to the big play. Now the Blackhawks needed two scores to catch the Panthers.

The Panthers had a couple more big plays to end the game. Tyler Leach made a critical sack on 4th down at the 5:49 mark to end a Blackhawk drive. Then when South needed a critical first down on long yardage (from a holding penalty) to keep possession, Miles McCollum sprang for 22 yards and gave South a fresh set of downs. When the Blackhawks finally got the ball back, there was only 42 seconds left on the clock. Not enough time for two scores and the Panther would get their first victory of the season 33-20.

For pics, audio and more sports go to: Chris Tilton Sports

Thursday, September 04, 2008

South – Slow Start, Strong Finish

South started slow in their first volleyball set, but finished strong against rival TriCounty North. It is rare for one team to beat the other in straight sets in this annual rivalry. This match was no different as it took all 5 sets to determine the winner. It did get heated at times as TVS head coach Leslie Roberts received a yellow card in a dispute over rules interpretation with the referee.

Due to some electric problems the game was started a little late. South seemed nervous and unsettled in the first set. Some early miscues allowed North to go up 17-9 early. South rallied back to pull within a point 18-19. But then resumed their sloppy play and allowed the ball to fall several times sparking a North win 25-20.

The next two sets were split with South winning the next one decisively 25-14, and then North doing the same to South with a solid 25-16 win. North’s Abbie Schlater had some vicious spikes during this set to put North up 2-1. It seemed that the momentum was with North at this point.

But South was determined in the 4th set. It was a rubber band match where South got an early lead and North gamely hung onto their heels. They would close the gap only to have South pull ahead again. North was able to tie late in the match at 21 all. But then South went on a 4-1 run to put the set away with a 25-22 win. The last and deciding set saw the score tied 3 times. After a 9-9 tie, South went on another late rally to win the set and the game 15-10. South’s ability to finish strong in the last two sets was key to their victory.

“It was an awesome contest.” exclaimed South’s Coach Roberts after the game. “It was a traditional North – South rivalry. We were a little down this year and knew that they would be the team to beat. The game was in our own facility. We wanted to protect this floor and claim the victory. In the first set, the team was a little rattled. It was a matter of focusing and getting their heads back into the game.”

Coach Roberts was asked about South taking the last two sets, “I preach focus and execution. If they buy into that and realize that they can just let a mistake go and work on the next thing then we can get on a roll and act as a team. Our blockers, Amanda Beneke and Taylor Baker were critical – it allowed them not to run the middle. “

Next weeks coverage will be football - Dixie vs. Preble Shawnee.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hounds Slay Deer Park

In their opening game Dixie was slow to get started, but once they got their motor running, the team scored fast and furiously. Against Deer Park, the Grey Hounds raced off to an early lead, scoring three touchdowns in a little over three minutes. The game was over almost as soon as it started. They proceeded to score in each quarter and finally gave up a TD and safety in the fourth quarter to win 52-8.

Three minutes, three scores. Aaron Bingham set up the first score with a kickoff return to the 45 yard line. He finished the drive with about a 10 yard TD run. On the ensuing kickoff Deer Park coughed up the football. Aaron Bingham caught a pass from Nick Worley and went 35 yards for his second TD. Deer Park did finally get to run their offense, but fumbled and Woody Earls recovered. He capped off this short drive with a 4 yard TD run. When I looked at the clock there was 9:01 left in the first quarter and Dixie was already up by three scores.

Dixie scored twice more in the first quarter. Moore kicked a 25 yard field goal and Woody Earls ran about 20 yards for another score. Defensively, Aaron Bingham also had two interceptions in the first quarter. It was 31-0 12 minutes into the game. The Hounds scored in each of the next three quarters – Michael Hall rushed for a TD, Eddie Bellman caught a 30 yard TD pass, and backup quarterback Charles Grey scampered 13 yards for the last score of the night.

Coach Tarpley was asked about the difference in the first quarter from last week to this week, “Our receivers dropped a lot of passes in the first quarter last week, and this week the wide receivers came thru and caught the football and that made all the difference in the world. Our offensive line came thru and dominated the line of scrimmage. I didn’t think we did that against South in the first quarter.”

Coach Tarpley allowed that Eddie Bellman had a good game, “I don’t think he dropped one pass all night. Woody Earls had a good night rushing, with about 100 yards in the first half alone. Sophomore Ethan Hayes, our middle linebacker, had a superb game last night. He has a great football future in front of him, he’s dedicated and a leader. He had at least 8 solo tackles.”

Next week Dixie journeys to Fort Loramie, “They will be a great test for us, everyone is wanting to see what the Greyhounds are made of – and that game will tell the tale. I’m looking forward to the game and can’t wait to begin working on it. They run a wing T and have a good offensive line – they are a power running football team.”

Next week will feature coverage of the North – South volleyball game and the South - Mississenawa football game.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bengals Preseason Wrap up

For most teams the preseason record can be thrown out. The team that they scrimmaged tonight, the Colts, are noted for not faring well in the preseason. But unfortunately for the Bengals more than any other team the preseason is a fair gauge of how they will do in the regular season.

Preseason is time when questions are answered. It’s a time for veterans to get the dust off. But for the Bengals preseason is raising more questions. Who will be healthy on opening day has got to be the biggest question. Chad Johnson’s shoulder – how bad is it really? Is he one body slam to the turf away from ending the season? Will Rudi Johnson’s hammy be healed enough to play anytime soon? Housmanzadah also has been absent from the field. A lot of the key skill position players are nursing wounds.

Carson just hasn’t hadn’t shown us very much in the preseason. The offense has been flat for the most part. Perry has shown some signs of coming around. But I don’t know that he will be carrying for 1200+ yards in a season. He just hasn’t show the durability and I don’t know that he is a runner that you pound in between the tackles with. Tonight the back up quarterback Fitzpatrick showed that he could be a worthy backup and Glen Holt snagged some passes – making his case to be that third receiver.

The defense has played passably. I would say it shows signs of being at least an average defense. Not going to be a shut down defense, but one that can make a play and keep the other team out of the end zone every once in awhile. Defensive line applied good pressure got some sacks, but I don’t think that the Colts played very many starters.

Turmoil seems to follow the Bengals. Can’t we just play football??? First Chad Johnson in the offseason. And the signing of Chris Henry after stating that character counts – we don’t need players like that on our team. What a hypocritical 180. What is that going to do to the discipline on the team? Then the rumor about trading Rudi Johnson for a receiver. I can’t believe that other NFL teams would want him for any receiver of value – lackluster season last year + injured this year. So I discount that as a rumor. But all this churning and turmoil – it just can’t help the psyche of a team. What is their mindset going into the season – Are they focused warriors ready to battle on Sunday, or are their minds swimming with all of these distractions?

So in summary I think you can see where this is going. Too many negatives and not many positives. Prediction for the season is for sub-.500 year. I hope everyone heals, Rudi finds his groove again, and Palmer gets the eye of the Tiger. But you have to step away and face the facts – the team hasn’t improved enough from last season and may even have backslid. Paper bags anyone?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dixie Hall of Fame Inductee's

At the opening game, Dixie honored the 1967 football team which was coached by Adam Griffith.
The team set a number of records, many of which hold to this day. Below is a copy of the handout from Dixie schools.


2008-2009 INDUCTIONS



Head Football Coach Dixie Greyhounds 1966-1971

Leader. Coach, Mentor, Teacher

Record: 29 Wins, 6 Losses, 2 Ties

Career Winning Percentage of 81% An Inspiration to all who played for him.

Remembered for saying:

“Son you are going to have to rise to the occasion”



Dixie 22 Brookville 0 Dixie 26 Valley View 6

Dixie 46 New Miami 6 Dixie 22 TVS 12

Dixie 40 Springboro 0 Dixie 51 Shawnee 0

Dixie 86 Bellbroook 0 Dixie 0 Jefferson 27

Dixie 48 Carlisle 6


Most Points in a Game — 86

Most Points in a Season — 341

Most Yards Rushing Game — 650

Most Total Yards Game — 700

Most Rushing Yards Season — 3,319

Most Total Yards in a Season — 3,723

Most Touchdowns in a Game — 11

Most Touchdowns in as Season —48

Most Interceptions Season — 15

Most Fumble Recoveries in a Season -15

Most Blocked Punts in a Game —2

Monday, August 25, 2008

Commentary by TVS Coach Shondelmyer on the Dixie game:

“We were concerned with the weather. The team is thin this year with 27 players and we knew that fatigue would be a factor. We had problems with cramping. And you could tell first half early on our kids played and we were right in the game. We had a 7-0 lead and the potential to go up 14 -0. We couldn’t connect on a pass and it really snowballed after that. The next thing we know we are down 14-7 going into the half. At one point in time we only had one starter in the offensive backfield and that was Miles McCollum.”

“Fatigue really began to set in with kids going both ways and playing special teams. Dixie did a nice job and came away with the victory. We talked to kids after the game about the amount of effort it takes to be a small team and to go hard at practice and be successful on Friday nights. I think the kids are looking forward to going out and trying to redeem themselves this week.”

Next Coach was asked to speak about players performances, “Miles McCollum has done a good job so far, he has done well with the option. We need to work on passing, now he does have a strong arm. We just need more faith and trust in our offensive line. So far I have been happy with him, we just need to protect the ball and not turn it over. We have a good supporting cast with running backs Steve Balthis, Skylar Reckers, and fullbacks Tyler Leach, Grant Kreitzer in the backfield.”

“Early on I thought the defense did OK. I thought we got pressure on the quarterback and took away their spread option. And in the second half we just weren’t as fresh as we would have liked. We just have to do a better job in the second half. We threw the first punch, but we just didn’t counter very well. Once we do take a shot, we have to respond to it. Colin VanKirk was the leading tackler.“

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Dixie – Big Plays, Big Score

J. C. Tilton

Twin Valley South won the coin toss and the first quarter. But after that, the potent Dixie Greyhounds generated touchdown after touchdown from big plays to win going away. South actually crossed the goal line first due to a Miles McCollum TD pass to Steve Balthis and were up 7-0 at the end of the first quarter. Initially it looked like South had the right game plan – use clock eating drives to keep Dixie’s offense off the field. Then use a stubborn defense to hold Dixie to 3 and out. South had control of the ball game for the most of two quarters. Then with about 3 minutes left in the half, Dixie lightening struck twice.

Dixie has a lot of offensive weapons this season, and there are several players who can score in an instant. The momentum shift came when South had driven to the Dixie 30 only to have their drive stall. South elected to punt and in a coverage breakdown, Dixie returned the ball 97 yards for a score. Then with about a minute left in the half South had Dixie pinned back – inside their 20 yard line. A scrambling Nick Worley found an open Wood Earls and connected with him on a 84 yard scoring play. This made the score 14-7 at the half.

Dixie wasted no time went straight back to work after the half, Woody Earls scored on a 5 yard carry, set up by a Nick Worley pass to Earls. The next score was set up by a bad snap on a TVS punt. Woody Earls had a 6 yard carry to cap this short drive. With 7:32 left in the quarter Dixie was up 28-7. The team was a touchdown factory scoring 4 times in a little over 8 minutes.

At this point, South was working with a patchwork lineup. Injuries had sent 3 starters to the sidelines. With players going both ways, that sometimes meant that 2 positions had to be filled. Dixie took advantage, and when the game was over they had a convincing 49-7 victory. The knock on Dixie last season, was that they could score a lot, but lost because their defense couldn’t keep the other team out of endzone. This season the D bent and broke only once against South – hopefully a sign of big things to come from the Hounds this season.

CCC notes

Opening night was a tough night for the Cross County Conference. The only team able to muster a victory was the Mississenawa Valley Black Hawks. And many teams lost by blowouts. The high attrition in coaches is a factor with most teams having first year coaches. Still it looks like a down year for the conference unless some of these teams grow up in hurry during the course of the season.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Poll Result - First poll for 2008 was to predict the CCC champ in football. Fans determined that this was a dead heat between Miami East and Covington with each getting a little over 30% of the votes. So September 12th will be a big night when the Vikings journey to Covington.

Game of the Week - This season I will be doing a game of the week. First feature is the Dixie - TVS football game. Dixie has a wealth of seniors and an experienced quarterback in Nick Worley. South will need to maintain ball control on offense and sustain clock eating drives to keep a potent Dixie offense that scored over 25 points per game last season off the field. The South defense will need to be of a bend but do not break variety - Dixie will generate yardage, but can South keep them out of the endzone. Will Dixie put 8 in the box and dare South to pass? Game time is 7:30 on Friday at Dixie.

Will try to mix in some volleyball and CC as time permits this season.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Final Tune up for South - Shawnee

J. C. Tilton

Twin Valley South and Preble Shawnee scrimmaged this past Friday – both teams final tune up before the regular season. First impression was the sea of black on the Shawnee sideline and the sparse number of red jerseys on the South sideline. Shawnee has over 50 players out this season, the most in a long time – maybe the most ever. South does have 29 players on the roster, but due to injury and other factors they were only able to dress 22.

Shawnee’s first year coach Stacy is featuring a spread offense and running it with no huddle. While South featured the double wing and wishbone sets on offense. The teams exchanged scores in the early going. But Shawnee was able to pull ahead and outscore South 35-21. Penalties were an Achilles heel for Shawnee; while South passed sparingly and although they completed some long passes, there were three interceptions.

Shawnee’s quarterback Begley was a bright spot – showing versatility with the pass and run. South’s running attack looked pretty solid. There are several backs that can break a long run at any time. I also thought that the team got fatigued later in the scrimmage which may have been a factor in Shawnee’s ability to score late and put some distance between them and TVS. Lots of guys going both ways and a younger team – not as much stamina and size with just 3 seniors.

One positive for TVS, they did make adjustments on defense. But Shawnee had a lot of arrows in their arsenal. South finds a way to stop the bubble screen, they go to a quarterback keeper, stop that by crowding the line and the Arrows start throwing deep.

TVS first year Head Coach Shondlemeyer had this to say about his team, “Offensively we have speed and can score points this year. Defensively, we are not as strong as we need to be. On defense you have to get off blocks and that boils down to the weight room. And we are not as strong as we need to be, that will be focus for the off season and right now – we will still continue to work on getting stronger. We will be outstrengthed and outsized defensively. And we saw a little bit of lack of effort in the second part of the second quarter and I was not pleased with that. We have to get over that, we have to learn that you have to give it everything.”

“We do return a lot of our linemen. Jesse Koeller at offensive guard. AJ Bantz at center. Skylar Reckers returns from last year, he will be an excellent player, but he didn’t start playing until the end of the season. Tyler Leach played a lot of defense, but now he is an option fullback and will be taking a lot of hits. Steve Balthis has a tremendous amount of speed and again is making the transition from defense to offense. Roy Wysong did not play last year, but I am impressed with him at split end. All those guys have to grow up fast and get better fast.”

Shawnee Head Coach Stacy was asked for his thoughts, “ One positive is that on offense we moved the ball up and down the field very well. We were our own worst enemy when we put the ball on the ground and gave up the turnover. We played very hard as a team. We made some mistakes on defense – but we knew that would happen. Most of our focus has been on offense. We got burned a few times, but that let us know what we need to work on.”

“We have nice wide outs, slot backs, running backs and a couple of nice quarterbacks – so we are equipped with some nice skilled players. Begley and Kyle Lettner are two key returning starters. Danny Dillon can fill in at quarterback. Willie Barnhill is another receiver that we are looking for big things from. I think that we will become more and more explosive as we come together as a team.”

Finally Coach Stacy was asked to look ahead to opening day, “We need to be perfect – don’t jump offsides, don’t put the ball on the ground, catch the ball, run all 11 guys to the all on defense. I’m looking for hustle and fundamentals – knowing what you are supposed to do. “

Next Friday Shawnee hosts National Trail while South journeys to Dixie and will be the game of the week.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dixie and North Prepare for Kickoff

J. C. Tilton

Had the opportunity this past weekend to watch the Dixie – North scrimmage and get an idea of the prospects for each team this fall. After the scrimmage I was able to speak with both head coaches and get their take on the upcoming season.

The two teams exchanged a series of 10 plays, then played for down and distance. That was when the scoring began. North found the end zone first. They had a decent running game and got the ball to midfield where they scored on a 42 yard pass. But from there Dixie made adjustments on defense and got their offense in gear and took control of the scrimmage.

Their defense was of the bend but do not break variety. They were also opportunistic, generating several turnovers off of North fumbles and interceptions. Which set up a short field for the offense. The Greyhounds had balanced scoring, Nick Worley connecting on two pass plays for TD’s. One of these about a 20 yard TD pass to Eddie Bingham. Woody Earls found paydirt twice on runs of 62 and 6 yards.

Coach Tarpley of Dixie was asked about the scrimmage. “The offense line looked a lot better this year than they did last year. The senior leadership seems to be making a difference. We had a good situation with the running backs and we are going to run a little more this year. Our defense does need to improve as far as giving away third down conversions. We averaged about 25 points a game last year and were still getting beat.”

Top returning starters for Dixie, “Nick Worley at quarterback, 24 TD passes with 13 picks. Eddie Bellman at wide out with about 25 catches. Woody Earls at running back; there are about 8 starters back in all. Copeland and the Hayes brothers are back on the line. The quarterbacks brother, Aaron Worley, is playing center. “

Coach Tarpley continued, “We have 42 kids out this year, a big jump up from last season when we finished with a little over 20. It makes our practices better and makes it more competitive for positions. “

North’s coach Hart was asked to comment on his team, “Our first positive was effort, effort, effort. Our kids played hard today and they played hard even when things went bad. Our running backs played well today, hit their holes hard. Defensively we covered them well even they spread 4 and 5 wide across the field.”

“We do need to improve on our pass blocking; too many times our quarterback was running for his life. We also need to do the little things correctly – footwork and fundamentals. Once we do that, we will be a better team.”

Top returning starters for North, “Matt Green at fullback and middle linebacker. Kyle Booth at corner and now quarterback. Dakota at running back. Todd Delong on offensive and defensive lines. A couple of new faces on the team, seniors Matt Robinson and Cody Burnside decided to come out and play this year. Both are athletic and should contribute.

Coach Tarpley does ask that fans attending the next scrimmage, Friday, August 15th 5:30pm at Dixie, to please bring canned goods to donate to local food pantries. With the slowed economy many local charities are low on food. Comments:

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bengals First Impressions

First string defense seems to have a little spark. Opened with a couple of quarterback sacks - hopefully a sign that more will be coming. Got a pick on their second series. I do see where they need to hit and wrapwhen they tackle. There were several plays that could have been stopped for little or no gain and sprang for big yardage when the runner slipped out of a tackle.

I didn't realize that Brett Favre had only one losing season during his stay at Green Bay -
pretty impressive. Aaron Rogers has his hands full stepping into the shoes of a legend.
But at least he was able to move the ball, so credit is due. Carson Palmer seemed a little
cold in the first quarter. The offense was lethargic to say the least. Overthrew deep once and dinked some short passes. It looked like Carson Palmer was the quarterback that had only thrown 59 passes in the NFL and Aaron Rogers looked like the seasoned pro.

Running game was nothing to write home in the first quarter. Ominously, Rudy Johnson is having leg problems. But in the second quarter the running game took off under Watson and Perry. Maybe they made some adjustments on their blocking assignments. But the running game finally got the Bengals a first down, and more. Their first TD was a Palmer pass to a tight end, Utecht. Palmer finally got into a groove. And that will really spread defenses thin if the Bengals can continue using the tightend. Most times a tight end will draw coverage from a linebacker which will generally be a mismatch either in height or speed. In the past, the Bengals haven't been able to field tight ends with decent hands.

The new linebacker, Rivers, played in the second quarter, albeit when the Packers started to put in their backups. But he played well from what I could see. Palmers backup, Fitzpatrick, did a decent job while he was in the game. Connected with his recievers as well as tucking the ball and running for first down when everyone was covered. Not bad for a guy from Harvard - not exactly known as a football school.

Not going to make any projections here, too early to tell. One positive that can be taken from this is that Perry seems to have that eye of the Tiger this year. He was running like a guy that needed to prove himself. Rudy is getting to the end of his career and if he continues to ail, then Perry may be the answer for the running game. So long as he stays healthy. Another positive was the pass pressure from the defense. Not in there every time, but often enough to disrupt the offense.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ohio State could have one of their better teams this upcoming season. Lots of starters returning, particularly on defense. And as we have seen, that is what wins championships. I did see where a safety was suspended for two games, but the Buckeyes do begin the season with patsies. He does play against his old team - Youngstown State. The true test will be USC - and Carson Palmer has provided some material for the bulletin board. Doesn't he know Ohio well enough by now to know that 90% of the state are rabid Ohio State fans? So the Buckeyes will have a chip on their shoulder going into this game.

Boeckman will have to prove that he can win big games. Thought that he got rattled in the championship game. Now they do have an incoming freshman that is a Vince Young type of quarterback. So if Boeckman stumbles, look for him to get some reps.

One factor for Ohio State is last season's performance in the Championship game. It was their second lackluster performance. Now last season was more of a rebuilding season, lots of new faces in the roster. The way that the season went down, I think that they were as surprised as anyone that they ended up in the Championship. But based on their last two Championship games, they will have to greatly exceed expectations to make it back again. And I know there are some who criticized OSU for their performance. But during Tressels tenure, I would like to know how many times he has been ranked in the top 10 as opposed to other coaches during this time frame. I wonder how his peers compare, off the top of my head I don't think that any match up. So he gets kudos for consistency in producing a nationally ranked program.

I certainly think that they have the talent to make to the top again. The question will be can they win big enough to convince skeptics to vote their way for the poll portion of the BCS rankings.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Bengals - Everyone is a contender in August. Hearing good things out of summer camp. But it's the Bengals. And based on past history, it is hard to get overly enthusiastic. One of the biggest concerns I have is running back. Without a threat to run, we can have a good quarterback and all the draft picks at wide out - but not be effective as defenses can lay back and wait on the pass.

If I were a running back, I would not want to be picked by the Bengals - it's the kiss of death. Witness Kijana Carter and Kenny Irons. Both were good college backs, get drafted by the Bengals, and are injured early in their careers. This season the Bengals didn't really do anything to address running back. Perry is supposed to be back. But he has always been a promise. He hasn't played an injury free year yet. Watson is a change of pace back for third downs. So I think the biggest question mark is running back.

The defense - pretty much no where to go but up. Justin Smith is gone. So the front line will be revamped. The linebacking corp was decimated last season, but the newly drafted linebacker is still unsigned. So getting him into camp and getting some reps will be a priority.

There is plenty of depth at wide receiver - so that shouldn't be a problem. Some shuffling of the offensive line is taking place. But I think that they will be effective. At quarterback, Palmer will carry the load. So they should be able to put points on the board.

But overall I don't see the night and day changes needed to get the franchise going in the right direction. Fortunately they are in a weak division and so that is help. Get some momentum and they have a chance at playoffs. But I am not sure that this is the year.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

From the radio this morning, it sounds like Ken Griffey Junior's tenure at Cincinnati is coming to an end. Rumor is that the White Sox are making a deal for him. Griffey's glory days were at Seattle. He just never was the impact player that the Reds were expecting. Injuries were a factor and now his age. When he came on board, fans were expecting him to put the team on his shoulders and carry them to the promised land. He never had that kind of leadership either on the field or in the clubhouse. A lot of fans resented him - but the Reds have been losing forever and Griffey is just a small part of that. The Reds have had a merry go round at General Manager, which is another problem.

On the plus side, his leaving will free up some salary that the Reds can use to acquire some younger talent.

I keep up with girls basketball and was reading in one of the newsgroups about an 8u AAU team. Thats not a misprint - it's 8 and under. I like AAU, but I think that folks are pushing this too far. At one time 10 years and under was the lowest age group. Then 9u became the lowest age group. If this trend continues, then are we going to have kindergarten teams? Toddler teams? I wonder if the kids get any value out of this at that young of an age? It has been my experience with the younger age groups that early developing kids will dominate. More from athleticism than from basketball skill.

So as you can tell, I am against this. In my opinion, AAU should make 10u the youngest age group for basketball. Personally, I think that 12u is probably the best age to start players at AAU. At that level, basketball skills can start to make a difference. And the kids are old enough to start to decide for themselves if basketball is something that they want to focus on.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

CCC - How does the the Cross County Conference stack up in 2008?

Covington - Still the team to beat in the CCC. Should be a more experienced unit with talent. Their conference to lose.

Miami East - Had a fantastic season last year. Lost some good talent, but their excellent running back - Smallwood is back. Probably the team with the best chance at knocking off the Bucc's.

Everyone else - Lots of coaching changes in the CCC this season. About half of the league has had a coaching change this season. New systems, new coaches - who can get their team to adapt faster?

Ansonia - Should have a winning record. One of the smaller schools in the CCC, but they still play good ball. Graduated a good running back in Beisner, so someone will need to fill his shoes.

Arcanum - Also a program with a new coach. Have some solid returning players. They just have to gel.

Bethel - Mayes is gone, who will take his place? Have some returning linemen, should be in the mix this season.

Tri-County North - Return a lot of players. This is their second year under their new coach. So the team will know what to expect on July 31 when they report in. Should have the talent to be around .500 and if things break right, a winning record.

Twin Valley South - Lost a lot of talent at the skill positions. But almost all of their line is back. New coach here as well, Shondlemeyer who has a proven record at Arcanum. Struggled at Versailles, but he was trying to fill the shoes of a legend. If history holds true, look for South to run, run, run.

Mississinnewa Valley - Graher has left and he is the glue that held everything together. The Blackhawks have been respectable under his tenure. Will the new coach be able to continue the success, or will the program backslide and become doormats again?

Bradford - Low numbers last season. Another new coach. Program needs to right itself. Can the coach reenergize the community and get the numbers and enthusiasm back up?

National Trail - Another program plagued by apathy. Low numbers, not much help at the skill positions. This season will be another struggle.
Tony Augsperger is the new Athletic Director at TVS. Dan Bassler decided to step down. With South's financial woes, maybe he decided that now may be a good time to get out before budget cut backs get worse. Tony will have his hands full with pay to play. That will effect numbers at all sports. Also it may make parents more anxious. If a parent is paying X amount of money and my kid is on the bench then that may be something to gripe about. I do know that Tony will be stretched thin, wearing multiple hats this school year.

Shawnee Summer League for Junior High Girls.
Congrats to the champs - Eaton! Runners up was Twin Valley South. Third was Valley View, then Trail, last was Shawnee. South did have a little upset over Valley View in the opening round. In their first meeting South got thumped. But in the tournament, South played well enough to beat the Spartans and advance to the finals.

For next season, I think that a weekend shoot out might work out better. Maybe the weekend before the 4th of July. Everyone plays three games over a Friday, Saturday, Sunday. We can work with scheduling to a degree. If a bunch of your girls have a Sunday softball game, then we can schedule your three games for Friday and Saturday.

I see the value in a league in that you can work with and develop players. But I also know that in the summer the girls are doing so much that it is difficult to get a team together every week for the games.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

It's about that time of year again. Practices are starting up, games are only a month or so away.

Eaton - Lost a lot, but have some good returning talent. Will probably have the best record of any Preble County team. Playoffs? I think that they have a shot.

TVS - New coach, but a coach that has had success in the CCC at Arcanum. Lost a lot of talent at the skill positions. But should be returning almost all of their line. I can have average running backs and a good line will make them look good. The team will be thin on seniors. So Juniors and Sophomores will have to step up. Also pay to play may keep some players away. So depth could be a problem. There has been a lot of coaching changes at several of the other teams in the CCC so if the team gels and learns the new system quickly then they have a good shot at a winning record.

TCN - Second year for their head coach. Another team relying on young talent. They should be improved over last years team. Should be around .500.

Preble Shawnee - Another team with a first year coach. They are in the small school division of the SWBL, but I see them sub .500.

National Trail - A program desperately needing a turnaround. Some young talent. The CCC has replaced like 6 or 7 coaches. So they might be able to surprise some of the teams that are learning new systems under their new coaches. Still I see them sub .500.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Congrats to Joe Maleski and J. T. Stone from South. Both made it to state in track - Maleski finished second in 100m, 7th in 200m while Stone finished 4th in the shotput. So a great way to cap off successful senior years. J. T. Stone is going to play football at Moorehead State in KY. Haven't heard what position they recruited him to play.

For myself, I have been working on Summer basket ball with Shawnee. The camp went OK, took a shot gun approach and showed them a little bit of everything. We had our first game on Sunday and got clobbered. Partially because we were short players and had to play some 6th graders on the Junior High team. So that made it tough. Also for many of the players it was their first time going against another school. But I saw some signs of progress. They were real ragged the first part of the game, but started to settle down and play better after that.

At the high school level participation has been low at the open gyms. Same problem that there has been in the past. Everyone plays soccer or volleyball in the off season. But no one wants to focus on basketball. Even the 7th grade team that I coached last year - only one signed up to play this summer. So that is very discouraging, it will be tough to be competive next season if no one does any work this summer. I spoke with a few of the other JH coaches and they have kids doing AAU, etc. So it may be another tough winter. I don't know that the team will equal last years wins or not. Other teams are improving and we are pretty much treading water. I made it known that I would rather coach next years 7th grade squad, a good many of them attended camp and also are in the summer league. So I can see enthusiasm for the sport in that group, they want to get better - those are the players I want to work with. But I think the school is leaning for the JH coaches to stay with a team both years of JH. We'll see what happens this winter, if I lose my job, I may not be able to coach at all.

Spoke with Joe Webster, the Varsity coach and he is frustrated at the inablity to build enthusism for the program at almost all levels. His last open gym only 5 players showed up. Out of 28 who said that they would be there. We need a youth group to play in the Dayton Metro, Kingdom Sports, or some other league. But haven't seen any parents willing to step up an organize this. Now there are kids that are playing with other programs, but it would be great for a Shawnee team to get organized instead. But I think that will be the key for future, getting the girls turned on to the sport at an early age and getting them to buy into the program. Well that and of course winning doesn't hurt either. A winning season will help, but if things continue as they are now, that may still be on the horizon.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Well the latest rumor is that Coach Cottingim is stepping down at TVS. But his replacement is Shondlemyer(sp) - formerly of Versailles and Arcanum. Very successful at Arcanum, but not so good at Versailles. He was stepping into a legends shoes in Tiger land, and that can be tough to do. He tried to install his system and his offense and it just didn't click. He runs the double wing, and doesn't like to pass a lot. The contract has to approved by the school board but it should be a done deal shortly.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

News from TVS - Head Football Coach Cottingim is stepping down. So that will make the 2008 campaign that much tougher. A very thin senior class, pay to play, and a new coach/new system. It will take a monumental effort to overcome all of this. I also understand that at least one of the assistants may be leaving as well.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Girls Summer Basketball. Had a rep from TVS get with me about restarting a basketball league that I had going when Chelsea was still in school. It will be good for local girls to get this going again. Lots of youngsters are doing JO volleyball, but not many are doing any basketball in the offseason. Right now 6 schools have expressed an interest.
The North Girls ended their season with a hard fought game in the state tournament. They got off to a slow start, but closed the gap and even lead in the 3rd quarter. But West Liberty Salem had a nice run at the start of the 4th quarter and North had to foul towards the end. The Tigers hit their shots and North dropped out.

Kevin Schaefer, the head coach for the Preble Shawnee girls was the first casualty of the offseason. he will not be renewed for next season. Usually the first season is a bye, too bad that things turned out the way that they did. Kevin did seem to have good knowledge about basketball. By next season the varsity team will have had 3 coaches in 3 years. And although the team only loses one senior, the returning starters have a lot of work to do to get back in the win column.

South's girls team was beaten soundly by Franklin Monroe. Katie McCoy was out with a badly injured knee and Lindsey Vogue was ill. So they were down 2 varsity players. The team never did get in sync on offense. Kate Ervin was the only beam of light on an otherwise dreary day. Lead the team in scoring, rebounded, and played solid defense. The team did have a good season, a winning record, next year they should reload.

South boys did win the league, got the Versailles bug off their back with a win over the Tigers in the first round of the tournament. But ended up losing a hard fought game in the next round. They graduate a lot, but some strong players are coming up so they shouldn't lose much.

Dixie boys played too many come from behind games and in the tournament against Arcanum, they couldn't muster up a rally and fell to the Trojans. A great season for the Hounds and they were state ranked for the first time in a long time.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

My team finished just under .500 with an overall record of 7-9. That includes going 1-1 in the tournament at the end of the season. They ended the regular season with a 3 game winning streak and made it 4 in a row with a win over Dixie. After an 0-5 start, we turned things around. We finished the season with a tournament game against a tough Bellbrook team. We were definitely overmatched - they were like a head taller at every position. But we scrapped all the way to the end. The team went down, but we went down with full sails, cannons blazing, and flags snapping in the breeze. They fought all four quarters, they gave it all that they had. What more can a coach ask for.

South girls varsity had two injuries to post players at the end of the season. So they will have to retool the team going into the tournament.

Shawnee girls varsity have had a rough season, going winless in their season. Now to compound the situation, the team played 21 games due to a scheduling error. The AD was alerted a month ago about the situation, but they played it out. Several girls can't play in the post season and they go against a number one seed in the first round of the tournament. So that could be a real ugly game.

If the South boys don't choke, they are in the drivers seat for an outright league championship. They have tough brackets in the tournament, but they are capable of winning a district title as well.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

My team is back in the win column. But only after a couple of losses. We had a disappointing game against Carlisle, scored only 5 points in the first half, then came back in the second half and just fell short. I don't know if we were over confident after our lopsided victory or what, but the team was just flat in the first half. We played the second best team in the lead toe to toe for about 3 and a half quarters. After being close we found ourselves down 10 with a little over a minute and a half to go. I thought about fouling, but we had only accumulated 3 fouls. Plus they were hitting their foul shots and were like 0 for 7 from the 3 point line. So a very very slim chance of pulling off the upset. I pulled the starters and gave the bench a little playing time. It's a fine line between balancing playing time and playing to win at the 7th grade level.

But the team rebounded after that performance and has had one sided victories over Milton and Northridge. They seem to be peaking at the right time with the tournament coming up this weekend. One concern is that we have been lucky with illness and injuries. Last night both occured. My center felt ill after the game and her backup injured her knee - took a hard fall on the floor. It looked like it would bruise. They have a day to recover, then our last regular season game, then the tournament.

At the high school level South boys have posted a big victory with a win over Miami East. It gives them a real good shot at winning the league outright. They have a tough tournament bracket. So getting a district title will be a dog fight. The South girls are out of the hunt for the ccc crown, but could do something in the districts. They are D4 this year and so they have a chance of getting a sectional and even a district title if they play the way that they are capable.

Friday, January 11, 2008

My team: A roller coaster week. We had a close game on Tuesday. We were up by two at one point in the second half. But we gave up a turnover, had a mixup on the called defense, and had another miscue. It added up to a 4 point loss - 24-20. Still the team played hard. Another coach told me that he arrived at halftime and saw the halftime score (5-5), then saw the other team take the court. He wondered how my scrawny little team held them to just 5 points. Like all the other teams they outsized us, we just play scrappy basketball. Still it was an emotional loss.

We did manage another win. We crushed Franklin 38-8. Almost everyone got at least one basket. I was worried about how the team would rebound coming off of that loss and they did surprisely well.