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Thursday, August 04, 2022

Musical Coaches in the WOAC

 Arcanum head coach Schondelmeyer put the Trojans into a bit of a tough spot when he resigned this past spring.  His son, Bryce, who was voted offensive player of the league is leaving Arcanum to play for Springfield his senior year.  Both Schondelmeyers will be part of the program at Springfield is what I have heard.  

So that left an empty seat to fill and spring is generally a tough time to find a coach as most positions are emptied and filled not long after the football season ends as coaches resign or retire around that time. So the pool of candidates looking for a coaching position is very small by the time Spring rolls around. But Matt Macy, the head coach of Ansonia, was an Arcanum alum so when the job was offered to him, he took it.

Next Ansonia was in a predicament.  They saw what Arcanum did and likewise contacted an alum - Adam Hall to come back to coach.  This was great for Ansonia as Hall accepted the offer, but bad for TCN where Hall had been the head coach.   

Now North's AD Tony Augspurger in a pickle.  But he did have a lead with a coach who had been an assistant when he was the AD at South.  Trace Smitherman had been a defensive secondary coach during the Dave Miller era and so Tony gave him a call and persuaded him to come to North.  Leaving Stebbins now without a head coach... and that is where we drop this game of musical coaches.  Situations like these are where Athletic Directors earn their pay.

Dixie will have a new coach as Dave Worley has stepped down.  He had some early on success at Dixie - sending them to the playoffs, but he has decided to move on at this time.  Eric Wolf is taking up the reins in New Lebanon and will be rebuilding a Greyhound program. He has been an assistant at several local programs so he is familier with the schools in the area and of course brings his experience. 

This is all that I am aware of, but as you can see this means a lot of change for many of the teams in the league. 


Covington Struggles with Numbers

 Although Covingtons numbers are not as low as neighbor Bradford, they are struggling with fielding a competive football team.  They notified several of the teams on their schedule that the Buccaneers will not be competive this year and so they would need to find another team to play if they wanted to find a team that could compete at the varsity level.  Several of the teams have already done that.

For the longest while Covington was the terror of the CCC. If they did not win the league outright, you could count on them being the 2nd place team at a minimum. But the Buccaneers fortunes changed when the school went to a new league - the Three Rivers Conference and also got a new, tougher coach. The combination did not sit well with last years crop of players. Only 1 senior bothered to come out and just one starter from last season.  The team is comprised of mostly freshmen and sophomores - so yes basically a JV team.

Second year head Coach Austin Morgan is truly rebuilding and reshaping a football program from the ground up. He is sticking to his guns - instead of bending the program to accomodate the kids, he is bending the kids to fit into his program. Will these younger kids buy in and reconstruct the tradition that has been Covington football for decades, or will they likewise decide that the short term pain is not worth the long term gain like their older classmates?  

Bradford Railroads the WOAC

 Bradford is again struggling to get enough players on the field to have a football team.  The rumor is that only about 12 kids went out this season. And the rumor was confirmed as team after team in the WOAC has announced schedule changes here in the preseason. They are scrambling to find out of conference teams to replace Bradford on their schedule.

Bradford has been having a problem getting kids out for several years now.  They had to cancel a season earlier when they were in the CCC and even when they had teams they had low numbers - once going through a season with like 15 players.   Really a program needs twice that many players - above 30 is best.  That way you can give players a rest, have some depth in case of injuries, and be able to compete.  

Whether the problem is with worried parents not wanting kids to play because of concussions, or just a lack of interest in football (a lot of schools are seeing numbers diminish in all sports, not just football), it seems clear that Bradford needs to take a hard look in the mirror and just end the program.  It is difficult to end a tradition and I am sure there are many in the community that will fight this. But if the interest is not there from the students, then it just needs to be taken off of life support and fade away.

 The other schools can find out of conference games to fill their schedules. They would have an entire off season to pick up games to fill the empty slot.  Franklin and Newton are fellow WOAC members who do not have football, so the precedent is there.  Bradford has shown that they can be competetive in the WOAC in other sports so there are athletes attending this school, just none that care enough to play football.

Having said all this - there is a radical way that Bradford could salvage their football program - 8 man football.  Travel would be a problem as there are not that many teams that are doing this.  But as other small schools reallize that to keep football they need to adjust to smaller teams this division can grow.  As the number of small schools participating grow, then travel times will go down. Not the best solution, but it would be a means to keep football alive in Bradford.