Friday, May 2, 2008

Shilb Accepts the Helm with the SK Cobras

Sigourney News-Review 30.APR.08

The Sigourney Community School Board recently approved the hire of Mark Shilb as the new head football coach for the SK Cobras.

Shilb comes to the Sigourney-Keota football program from Graceland College in Lamoni, where he was the defensive secondary coach for the past year. Graceland finished the 2007 season with a 6-4 record.

“We are pleased to get someone like Coach Shilb. He is a good hire with a good track record in coaching football,” said Superintendent Todd Abrahamson. “He has solid character and will bring another element of leadership to our communities.”

“I miss being a head coach in Iowa. I’ve experienced several different levels of football...bigger (college) is not always better,” said Shilb. “We are looking for a place to call home - what better place than to find it with Sigourney-Keota.”

Prior to his tenure at Graceland, Shilb has gleaned extensive experience as a head coach in a couple different classes of high school football in Missouri and Iowa. He has a wide background of coaching different positions on the field.

He led South Harrison High School (Class 1) in Bethany, Mo. to a three year record of 27-9. “When I first arrived, the program was used to winning about one game per season,” said Shilb. “We went to the State Semi-finals in my final season.”

Shilb returned to Iowa accepting the helm at Perry High School (Class 3A). Traditionally, Perry isn’t a power program, but Shilb led them to a District 7 Runner-up title in his second year as head coach.

Shilb plans to keep the basic Cobra offense with the ‘I’ formation; he feels he has a handle on the single wing philosophy and will add a few new moves. Defensively, Shilb plans some changes, but feels the SK program is strong and will continue to be powerful into the future.

Shilb also plans to teach Physical Education and Health at Sigourney Junior/Senior High School. He and wife, Krista have three children: eldest daughter, Erin will begin the third grade this fall; son, Reid will start Kindergarten and their youngest daughter, Macy will turn two years old in August.

The family hopes to move to the community before June first as Coach Shilb is eager to get into the weight room with the players. “We are excited to be coming to the area representing the football program, the community and the school,” said Shilb. “We were very impressed with all of the people we have met and are looking forward to making our home with the SK Cobras.”

Sigourney News-Review • 114 East Washington • Sigourney • Iowa • 52591

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Chuck Landon: Questions answered as spring drills close

Apr 26, 2008 @ 11:28 PM
The Herald-Dispatch
Questions, questions, questions.

That's what Marshall faced when spring football practice began 26 days ago.

Twelve practices, two scrimmages and one lopsided Green win over the White, 44-8, Saturday before 6,107 fans at Edwards Stadium later, it's time to address the top 10 questions.

No. 1 -- Who will be Marshall's new quarterback?

Although MU head coach Mark Snyder still declines to name Mark Cann the starter, it's a moot point. If Cann isn't the starting quarterback, the Herd will have to install the single-wing and play Chubb Small at "spinner."

No. 2 -- Who will be MU's new place-kicker?

Craig Ratanamorn came out of nowhere to answer this question, punctuating it with three field goals Saturday. The former soccer goalie was such a find, Snyder remarked, "I can sleep well at night now."

That's more than MU soccer coach Bob Gray can say. Ratanamorn apparently has decided to forego his final year of eligibility to concentrate on football.

No. 3 -- Who will emerge at the vacant offensive tackle spots?

Redshirt freshman C.J. Wood took command of right tackle early, while Ryan Tillman made a late rise to first-team left tackle.

Will that duo be able to hold off injured incumbent right tackle Buck Baldridge and incoming juco transfer Landis Provancha in August?

That's a question for two-a-days.

No. 4 -- Will MU improve its poor cornerback play?

Yes, unequivocally. That answer is based on impressive performances by redshirt freshmen DeQuan Bembry and T.J. Drakeford.

Add sophomore D.J. Wingate and juco transfer Josh Miller to the mix and former starters J.J. Johnson and Zearrick Matthews might be on the outside looking in.

No. 5 -- How quickly will the players adjust to new coordinators?

So far, so good. Defensive coordinator Rick Minter's blitz-happy 3-4, featuring heavy usage of nickel and dime coverage was an immediate hit.

As for offensive coordinator John Shannon, the running backs, slot receivers and tight ends particularly like his new scheme. But it remains to be seen how X-receivers will be utilized.

No. 6 -- Will the reconfigured front seven be effective?

That question wasn't answered. Defensive end John Jacobs had a very good spring, but nothing else was conclusive because so many players sat out.

No. 7 -- Can Marshall build some much-needed depth at linebacker?

Yes, thanks to injuries to probable starters Maurice Kitchens, Mario Harvey and Andre Portis. That allowed redshirt freshmen Kellen Harris and Corey Hart to get a ton of reps. It also permitted converted strong safety Phillip Gamble to blossom in his new role.

No. 8 -- Will a new wide receiver emerge to strengthen the depleted corps?

Yes, and his name is Bryant Milligan. The redshirt freshman moved up to first-team slot receiver and led the Green-White game with six catches for 65 yards.

No. 9 -- Who will step up at tight end to solidify the position?

Everyone expected it to be highly touted junior college transfer Maurice Graham. But ankle surgery opened the door for Lee Smith, who made the most of the opportunity.

"He had an excellent spring. ... very, very impressive," said Snyder.

No. 10 -- If the Herd were given a letter grade for spring practice, what would it be?

Based on 20 scholarship players sitting out the Green-White game with injuries, I give the Herd a B-minus.

Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Call him at 526-2827. E-mail him at


The Herald-Dispatch
Huntington, W VA

A coach (or two) to look up to

Football at Evanston High School the past couple years has been fun to watch, and I’m sure it’s been fun for the Red Devil players and coaches as well.

I’m going to make a wager that the coming fall campaigns at Red Devil Stadium will be equally as exciting.

Don Dinnel came to Evanston – by way of Mountain View and Rawlins – a few years back and transformed the Devil gridiron program. Dinnel took an EHS program that had not won a game in two seasons to a Wyoming Class 5A powerhouse that advanced to the state championship game last fall.

After 31 seasons of coaching high school football, Coach Dinnel decided to retire from coaching. His final season will be long remembered around these parts. The Devils went 6-2 during the 2007 regular season, then beat Casper Kelly Walsh and Rock Springs in the playoffs to advance to the 5A title game. EHS lost to host Cheyenne East in the championship final last November.

Dinnel’s replacement was named last week. We introduced Scott Robinson in the Tuesday, April 22, Herald Sports section and in a story here on the Herald web site.

I had the distinct honor of covering the Devils the past two football seasons. And the distinct honor of working with a true class act, a gentleman, and a great coach in Mr. Dinnel.

Coach made my job here so much easier. He always had great things to say about his team, win or lose. I witnessed the passion he had for his job, the passion he had for the task of molding our outstanding young men into a great football team. He allowed me, as a sports writer, pretty much unlimited access to his team. I always felt welcome at EHS practices and on the sidelines during games. I truly made a dear friend, and gained a friendship that will last forever.

I think that same relationship will be kindled with the new Devils’ head coach. I chatted with Coach Dinnel at the high school earlier this week. He seemed impressed with Scott Robinson, as the old and new EHS head coaches had a chance to get acquainted when Robinson was in Evanston last Monday.

I connected with Mr. Robinson Saturday evening (April 19). We talked for more than 30 minutes via telephone, as he detailed his history and other data that went into last Tuesday’s story. Note: Scott was born in Star Valley, where his father, John, started the wrestling program. He played high school sports at Soda Springs, Idaho, with dad as his coach. He wrestled and played football at Ricks College in Idaho, then later at BYU (we won’t hold that against him too much). He's coached in Wyoming (head wrestling coach at Jackson in the late 1980s), Idaho, Utah and Arizona.

I knew he was coming to town Monday, April 21, so I asked if it would be possible to meet with him to get a photo. He agreed to come down to the Herald office Sunday evening when he and his family arrived on their long trip from Arizona. Note: Scott, his wife Shirley, and their youngest daughter, Rose, left their current home in Snowflake, Ariz. (about 90 minutes east of Flagstaff) at 3 a.m. Sunday and arrived in Evanston late Sunday afternoon.

We chatted a bit more, while waiting for his oldest daughter, Topaz, and her husband and kids, to arrive from their home in Soda Springs, Idaho. Mom and daughters caught up Sunday evening while I took the crash course, Scott Robinson Football 101.

I almost failed to mention – Mr. Robinson won’t be hard to pick out in a crowd. He must stand at least 6-3, and, without divulging his weight, we’ll just say he’s a very big man. Note: I can’t wait to see him on the sidelines discussing politics, global warming, etc., with the game officials. He’s a big man who wrestled at 98 pounds as a freshman at Soda Springs a few years back.

While we were discussing his offensive philosophy, he asked for paper and pen. I learned the basic intricacies of the Robinson-style shotgun offense. That offense will feature short passing and power running, part West Coast, part old single wing, and, I believe, 100 percent fun for the EHS players and fans.

His defensive philosophy is definitely full attack mode, and that should mean an all-out blitz on every EHS opponent next fall. And more fun for Devil players and fans.

I think the Robinsons were here well over an hour Sunday. Scott talked football, and I got enthused thinking about all the possibilities for the Red Devil gridiron edition next fall. Note: can Hazen D. have an even better year catching the football than he did in ’07?

Scott talked with several of his new players when he was in town Monday. From what I heard in person, those guys are also enthusiastic about their new coach.

Scott said even though he was born in Star Valley, there will be no soft spot in his heart for the Braves when they square off against his Devils on the gridiron. Note: That should help make an historical rivalry even better.

We won’t forget Coach Dinnel and all he did for the football program. These past few years of Red Devil football under Dinnel have been fantastic. But I think EHS football fans are also going to enjoy the coming years with Scott Robinson.

I can’t wait for everyone else in town to have a chance to get to know Coach Robinson and his family when they make the move to Evanston in early June. I think you will also be impressed.

Note: is football season here yet? It feels like it!
Uinta County Herald, WY

Corley looking forward to Dragons' challenge

By Frank Scott
When Doug Corley takes the reins as DeWitt High School's new football coach, he'll take over a team that hasn't had a winning season since 2002 and hasn't been to the state playoffs since 2000. But he's not daunted by the challenge.

"It will take some time, but I think we can build a good football program here," Corley said last week just after accepting the job. "If everyone is patient, I think we can have a winning team here."

It's not like Corley will be trying something new. In 2000, he took over a Perryville program that had been dropped for a year, then had played another year outside Arkansas Activities Association (AAA) auspices for another season. His teams struggled at first, but, eventually, the Mustangs were regular contenders for a playoff berth and posted records of 10-3 and 9-2 in consecutive years.

Corley is a Stuttgart native, and his wife is originally from DeWitt, so he's familiar with the area. But as far as the football program is concerned, he's "coming in cold. I saw [the Dragons] work out in the off-season, but I don't know that much about the players' abilities," he said. "I'll have a lot of evaluating to do when I get there."

The details of Corley's employment still have to be worked out, including his starting date. "But I'l figure out someway to be [in DeWitt] for spring practice," he said.

Corley said he likes to start out of the Wing-T formation, the offense the Dragons used part of the last two seasons under Greg Bigham. However, "I like to mix everything up. We'll run some spread, even some single-wing," he said. "A lot of what we do will depend on what we have, what our players are capable of doing."

Despite his newness to the Dragons, Corley is familiar with some of the opponents the Dragons will face when they move to a new conference next year.

At Perryville, "we had Clinton on the schedule every year, and we scrimmaged Heber Springs the last two seasons, so I know what those teams will do," he said. "I'm not too familiar with the other teams in the conference."

And of course, he's familiar with the Dragons' nearest opponent, Stuttgart.

"As an old Ricebird, I'm going to enjoy those games, " he said. "I understand DeWitt fans haven't enjoyed those games that much in the past. Maybe we can change that."
DeWitt Era-Enterprise
DeWitt Ar.

The Sentinel Receives its First Award

I am proud to announce that the Single-Wing Sentinel has received its first award!

It has been awarded as one of the top 10 sports blog on the internet by Global Blogger!

Thanks to all readers for making this unique site a success.

I put a hit counter on the site seven months ago and in that time over 34,500+ hits.

That's a lot of interest in the Single-Wing!

There are 360 articles posted.

We have 206 coaches/teams that have signed the Single-Wing Coaches Map (guestbook). We're showing that there are Coaches/Teams in 48 states, plus the District of Columbia and 6 other nations.

The six countries other than the US are: Canada, New Zealand, France, England, Germany and Austria.

The States without a coach/team showing are:
1. Delaware
2. Vermont

If you know of a team any of the States not showing a team, let me know.

Again thanks, to all for making the Sentinel a success!


Glenwood’s Henderson leaving for job at Comer

By Tim Cottrell
Glenwood is in need of a new coach.

Tripp Henderson, who compiled an 18-5 record in the last two seasons as head coach of the Gators, resigned Friday to take the same position at B.B. Comer in Sylacauga.

Henderson’s hiring was approved by the Talladega County School Board on Friday morning.

“Tripp told me this morning,” Glenwood athletic director Tim Fanning said. “We had had some discussions, so it wasn’t a surprise. We were informed.”

Henderson said he had been conflicted about leaving Glenwood.

“I’m torn,” he said. “I developed a lot of relationships with kids and other people in the school. This is home to me, but at the same time you’re always looking to advance your career
and do what’s best for your family.

“That’s kind of what happened here.”

Henderson spent one year at the school as a defensive coordinator before being hired as head coach prior to the 2006 season. The Gators improved from 2-8 to 9-3 in his first season and went 9-2 in 2007.

Fanning said Glenwood had some names in mind as it sets out to find a new coach, and that the search would begin soon.

“More than likely, interviews for the job will start at the beginning of May,” Fanning said. “As an athletic director, you have to be prepared for these types of things when you have a young coach.”

Despite all the excitement of a new job at a larger, public school, Henderson said he regretted one thing he’d be leaving behind.

“The kids,” he said. “This was my first head coaching job. The senior class that just graduated was the first class I’d gone all the way through with. That’s gonna be the hardest part, not being around those kids every day.” 737-2511

Mike Szvetitz contributed to this report.

Tripp Henderson To BB Comer Memorial high school

A good sports story is easy to find out
Will Heath

Hold on to 16 as long as you can,
Changes come around real soon,
Make us women and men.

So many storylines are going on around East Central Alabama, and there’s barely any time to cover them all.

Normally, we here at The Desk like to turn Wednesday’s column into a “notes” package, a sort of glance at some of the stories that might otherwise slip past our radar. Trouble is, this week, everything seems like a huge, huge story.

Without further adieu, and in no way ranking in order of importance, here’s a look at some of the storylines around East Central Alabama this week:

• You can start off — where else? — on the football field, where spring practice gets underway this week and next around the area. Notably, brand-new B.B. Comer head coach Tripp Henderson opened practice on Tuesday — his Tigers will conclude spring drills on May 15 in Howell’s Cove against Talladega County Central, less than a year removed from its trip to Birmingham for the 1A state finals.

It’s tough to know, obviously, exactly where Comer is headed with its new head coach, the fifth since the retirement of Bobby Overton in 2000. Henderson has a track record of success at Glenwood, a winning personality and even an enjoyable trademark (his teams at Glenwood ran a version of the single-wing). But Comer’s a different situation, obviously, and the Tigers need to replace some skill position guys lost from the 2007 team.

Still, if there’s an opponent out there that will let you know exactly where you are as a football team, it’s probably TCC. Spring practice will begin next week nearly everywhere else, with spring games around the area.

• Of course, for games that count for something, there’s softball, and Pell City turned in one of the more memorable games in recent memory Monday night.

Do you realize, for example, that freshman Alli Hall’s 25 strikeouts were only three short of the state record? I didn’t. That the Lady Panthers have now won 24 games and still somehow can’t crack the state’s top 10 (along with B.B. Comer, and yeah, I don’t like it)?

Area tournaments are going on all over the area, with Childersburg and Munford hosting. Childersburg’s starts today.

“We have been looking forward to this time of the season since we had tryouts back in the fall,” CHS head coach Brian Nelson said. “This is what all the blood, sweat, and tears have been about. Now it is ‘Win or Go Home’ time and that is what it is all about.

“The entire rest of the season is great, but if you don’t win in this tournament then it is all for naught.”

Meanwhile, at Munford, there’s a probability of two more meetings between Munford and Lincoln, both with the area title on the line — the two teams split during the regular season, both games decided by one run.

Too close to call? I’d say ... yeah.

• If you’re talking Lincoln, you have to talk about the state track meet, which gets underway Friday in Troy for 1A, 2A and 3A schools, and in Gulf Shores for the big boys. The Golden Bears are trying to re-claim their spot at the top of 3A in track, something they haven’t done since 2001. The Alabama School for the Deaf is also in pursuit of another 1A title, having finished runner-up in ’07 after winning it in ’06 and ’05.

Beyond that, a number of other storylines are also in play. Talladega County Central’s Kiara Calhoun is defending her title in the 200 meters, and going after a similar crown in the 100. Talladega qualified more for the ’08 meet than they have in recent memory. And Winterboro’s Bacardy McClendon took the high-point championship at sectionals, as well.

• And, of course, let us not forget Childersburg baseball, the team that continues to prove the old wrestling analogy that the hardest thing to do in sport is to take the belt off a champion.

It’s funny: right after last season’s title run ended, I was sitting at John Cox Stadium in Childersburg at a spring football jamboree, talking baseball with some supporters in the press box.

“And the thing about it is,” one told me, “in a couple years, we’re gonna be really good again.”

Turns out, they didn’t have to wait so long. Childersburg, on the road and reeling in a decisive game 3 on Saturday, just kept doing what Childersburg does ... and, naturally, left with the season still intact.

On Friday, they’ll get second-ranked Jackson, a team still smarting from 2007 – they thought they should’ve been the team piled up in the middle of Paterson Field to end the season, and would’ve been, if not for some bad luck against Trinity.

It should be a packed house, and an emotional series.

Just one of a number of great storylines from around East Central Alabama.

About Will Heath Will Heath is sports editor for The Daily Home.


Thoughts on the Orange and White Game

Editors note: Below is a repost of a blog report on Tennessee --
Thoughts on the Orange and White Game
By Hooper Section: Tennessee Volunteer Football
Posted on Sat Apr 19, 2008 at 07:30:10 PM EDT

The "game" is over, and we've all headed home (or are still heading home), but it was a great time. Joel will certainly get some astute thoughts up when he gets a chance, but I'm going to sneak in a few thoughts/observations of my own.

Morley and Berry make a fantastic combination in the secondary. They'll be fun to watch when they're busy dismantling the QBs of teams other than our own.

The attendance was listed at nearly 29,000. I have no idea how they knew that since there were no tickets or turnstyles, but it looked about right. If you see the coverage on DISH, it'll look more crowded; stadium renovations meant that much of the seating areas were off-limits, and everybody was gathered in the same third of the stadium.

The offense is doing better than the reports from early practices would indicate. Crompton is clearly the starter right now until proven otherwise and he made good decisions, for the most part.

Expect Gerald Jones to be a starter. That guy was probably the biggest feature of the offense - rightfully so. Nice work by him.

Speaking of Jones, can you say "Single Wing"?

(I'd be able to explain more about Jones, but I can't figure out how to get my grainy little video to display correctly.)

There was some kind of coaching award (named after Neyland) given at halftime. I didn't catch the details because I wasn't listening until I heard the name of the coach who won it. I'll give a hint: the award was likely some kind of lifetime achievement award. I was quite surprised to see the coach in person, much less to hear his name as an award recipient. Take a guess and I'll tell you if you're right.

Overall, mistakes seemed to be down. There were a few missed assignments and some oopsies on the lines, but most of the play seemed pretty solid from my perspective.

Again, Joel will post more later. This is just a tidbit to give a first impression while we wait.