Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Coldwater football team looks to make strides in '08

By Mike Clutter
The Daily Reporter
Tue Aug 26, 2008, 12:52 AM EDT

Coldwater, Mich. -
After a 2-7 record in 2007, Coldwater football coach Mark DeMeester looks to his Cardinal squad to make some improvements and become more competitive in the upcoming season.

"We want to keep making strides forward, our goal is to have a winning season," said DeMeester. "We have good team speed, more experience on offense and solid groups at outside linebacker and defensive backs."

The Cardinals will spread the offense out more and hope to become almost 60-40 run-to-pass ratio.

"We'd like to get the ball away quicker from our quarterbacks," said DeMeester of starter Josh Roddy, who started at the junior varsity level last season and part-time quarterback Cyle Herendeen. "We won't have a tight end most of the time in our spread single-wing offense; this is our second season running it, so we should be more familiar with it."

The Daily Reporter, 15 W. Pearl St., Coldwater, MI 49036
Coldwater High School
275 N Fremont St
Coldwater, MI

Head coach Ken Hofer has used the single-wing offense with devastating results en route to back-to-back Division 5 titles

Menominee Pursues Three-Peat

By John Raffel

The single-wing offense is a unique weapon that Menominee High School has used for two-straight Division 5 Michigan state football championships and a 28-game winning streak.

Despite heavy losses, the Upper Peninsula school and coach Ken Hofer is going to be gunning for a third-straight 14-0 season. Last season, Menominee beat Jackson Lumen Christi 21-7 in the title game.

“It's a group of young people who aren't afraid to make a commitment and then go out getting the job done. That's what it comes down to,” Hofer said, adding that duplicating last season what his team did in 2006 was a pleasant surprise of sorts. “We had a lot of apprehension. Fortunately, we had a group of offensive linemen come through for us. That made a significant difference. We had to move some people around like taking our backup tailback and making him a defensive tackle, and taking a tight end and making him an outside linebacker.

“Our offensive line grew in stature as the season went along.”

The season starts on Aug. 28 and 29 around the state and Hofer is cautiously optimistic.

“I would say this is a team that has a good turnout of young people, 46 of them juniors and seniors,” Hofer said. “We don't have a lot of experience on defense. We don't have one experienced offensive back. We have a lot of work to do in developing an offensive structure in the backfield. Defensively, we're almost starting from scratch.”

The single-wing has been Hofer's offense since 1966. He's been coaching for 41 years at the school.

“I enjoy the challenge of it. It makes me feel a great deal younger when you're with young people,” Hofer said. “You think young and as a result, it makes for a very nice experience.

"In my estimation (this team) has one of the most difficult schedules we've ever had,” Hofer said. “We play two Wisconsin schools who are among the top five in Wisconsin, and that's Homestead and Marshfield. We have our own conference with Kingsford and Escanaba, which are two very good teams. The other schools are also very competitive.”

Menominee also has another Wisconsin team on the schedule, with neighboring Marinette in the well known M&M game.

“They're on the way back and look to have a very good team this year,” Hofer said. “When I look at our schedule and the size of our school, we have our work cut out for us and it will take a great effort among our young people to be successful.”

Key players for Menominee will be tight ends Jacob Pedersen and Justin Salzman.

Menominee High School
2101 18th Street
Menominee, MI 49858


Single-Wing Coach Among The Best!

The 10 Greatest SEC Coaches of All Time: Part Three
by Michael Shibley (Columnist)
August 26, 2008

This is the final part of a three-part series. Take a look at part one, and part two.

And now without further ado, the top three coaches of all time from the best football conference:

3. Steve Spurrier, Florida (1990-2001): 122-27-1 (.817 pct) & South Carolina (2005-present): 21-16 (.568 pct), six SEC titles, one National Title, named "The Swamp"

Bear Bryant once said that if Florida could ever find the right head man, watch out. And lo, in 1990 Steve Spurrier came back home to Gainesville and it has never been the same.

When Spurrier, the 1966 Heisman Trophy winner, came back to Florida the Gators were in the doghouse. The last two head coaches, Charley Pell and Galen Hall had both left the program in disgrace. So when Spurrier was hired, Florida fans saw it almost as if the prodigal son had returned.

By the eighth game of his 10th season as head coach, Spurrier has won 100 games, a feat accomplished faster than any other major-college coach. In all 12 seasons at Florida, his Gators would win nine games or more.

Spurrier changed the way the SEC played football. He brought his wide open "Fun 'n Gun" offense to the conference and other SEC defenses had to catch up. Spurrier was loved by Florida fans for the same reasons he was hated everywhere else, he was cocky. He was routinely accused of running up the score, something he never denied with much conviction.

In the end, Spurrier helped turn the SEC into the most powerful football conference today. The Gators were the SEC team of the 1990s, culminating in the 1996 National Title. Despite not being able to bring the same magic yet to South Carolina, Spurrier is rightfully deserving of a top three spot on this list.

2. General Robert R. Neyland, Tennessee (1926-1934, 1936-1940, 1946-1952): 173-31-12 (.829 pct), five SEC titles, two National Titles, stadium and street named

When he first got the job in 1926, the man who turned Tennessee into a football power was hired with one directive, even the score with Vanderbilt. At the time Vandy was the power in the region but Neyland put a stop to that.

Neyland, a West Point graduate who served in France in World War I, and his approach to the game reflected his military roots. He preached discipline, organization, and teamwork.

He stressed above all, defense and the kicking game. In his 216 games as head coach, 112 of them were shutouts. His 1939 Volunteers squad shut out all 10 regular season opponents scoreless, the last team to accomplish the feat. Tennessee still holds the record for consecutive scoreless quarters at 71.

The General would've won more games if Tennessee did not have to share him with the Army. Twice, Neyland was called back to Uncle Sam. However, when Neyland was leading the charge on Rocky Top, Tennessee was a national power, running off undefeated streaks of 33 and 28 games.

Neyland was also a master of gamesmanship, before the word was even invented. On October 20, 1928, the Vols played Alabama in Tuscaloosa. The Tide was so heavily favored that Neyland asked Tide coach Wallace Wade if they could shorten the quarters if the game got out of hand. Tennessee halfback Gene McEver returned the opening kickoff 98 yards for a TD and that led Tennessee to the upset over Alabama 15-13.

Like the General he was, only Neyland knew when he was beat. When he returned to Tennessee after World War II, the Vols were just mediocre. There were murmurings that the game had passed him by, and the single-wing offense was dead. The General never surrendered as the Vols went 11-1 in 1950 and again in 1951, and in the latter year the Volunteers were the consensus National Champions.

Neyland also never lost to the man who is Number One on this list...

1. Paul "Bear" Bryant, Kentucky (1946-1953): 60-23-5 (.710 pct) & Alabama (1958-1982): 232-46-9 (.824 pct), 14 SEC titles, 6 National Titles, stadium, street, museum named

As if there was any doubt who would be number one. After successful tenures as head coach at Kentucky and Texas A&M, Bryant returned to his Alma mater in 1958 because "Mama called."

The Bear was hard nosed, and demanded nothing short of perfection in his players. Many a talented player were left broken in the carnage because they could not take the demands set by Bryant.

Those who made it through practice sure took it out on the opposition. Under Bryant the Crimson Tide went to 24 consecutive bowl games, and this was way before you could get to a bowl with just six wins.

Bryant was able to win with the changing times, both in football and in society. Bryant's first three National Championship teams were all white; his last three integrated.

When he saw the shape of things to come, Bryant recruited and coached black players with the same old fervor and treated them all the same. Once when Ozzie Newsome was a star receiver for the Tide, Bryant was asked by a reporter how many white and colored players he had. The Bear simply said he had only football players.

Bryant was able to adapt his offense to the players he had. When he had a quarterback like Ken Stabler or Joe Namath he won through the air. When he had the material for it, he won on the ground with the wishbone. Bryant put it best in his own words, "I ain't nothing, but a winner."

No one mattered more to the state of Alabama than Paul "Bear" Bryant. When he died in 1983, mourners lined the highway was the funeral procession traveled from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham.

His spirit will live on not only in Alabama, or the SEC, but in all of college football. The late Grambling coach Eddie Robinson said it best, "As long as they kick it off, there will be something of Coach Bryant in the game."

Hope you all enjoyed reading this list, let the debating begin!

Bleacher Report

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Injuries May Have WHS using the Single-Wing

Tate returns with lofty goals

By David Hearne

The winds of change blew through the Wren High School football program in the offseason, bringing a fresh attitude along with new coach Jeff Tate, who played at Wren. And while building a winning program doesn't happen overnight, Tate believes his team has the talent to have success this season.

"The kids are enthusiastic. I'm not satisfied, but I'm pleased with the amount of information we've been able to give them," Tate said. "Our goal is to win each game we're involved in. I expect our kids to have a great season. We've got an opportunity to be successful in our non-region games and to compete in our region."

Wren (4-7 overall, 1-4 Region 1-AAAA in 2007) has used the ground game to attempt to control the game in recent years, but this year's team will be more balanced. The team will still rely on the running game, but Tate wants to "be able to throw it when we want to and throw it when we have to."

After spring practice sophomore Austin McCaskill had separated himself as the top quarterback, but will miss the beginning of the season after an appendectomy. The Hurricanes have been looking at senior Brent Sinopoli and freshman Austin Anderson, but both were injured in preseason scrimmages. Tate has considered going to with a single wing look until his quarterbacks are healthy.

"(Brent and Austin) got banged up a little bit. We're thinking about running more of our misdirection stuff, more like a single wing. You can give up or you can try to be creative," Tate said. "Austin McCaskill has the physical ability and intellectually he has figured out what to do (with the offense). Brent has been working, and Austin Anderson is gonna give us a chance to throw the football as he develops."

Wren's receiving corps will feature several big targets, and will be led by senior captain D.J. Brown. Sidney Rhodes moves over from quarterback to the slot position, and basketball guard Demetrius Babb is another athletic target on the outside. Chris Perdamo has also impressed Tate with his playmaking ability and understanding of the game.

Tate has been pleased with what he has seen at running back from Chris Roberts, a strong runner with speed and the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Roberts also suffered an injury in the preseason.

"He hurt his ankle a little bit, but he's gonna get back. Any time he misses is significant. It's hard for me to tell you how long it'll be before he gets back, but I don't think it's too far into the future," said Tate.

Two captains anchor the offensive line, with seniors Ryan Thurn at center and Jamal Ellis at left tackle. Stepping in at right tackle is sophomore Shaq Anthony, who Tate believes has the potential to be one of the best linemen to play at Wren. Seth Camp and Zach Pritchett will round out the line at the guard positions.

Tate wants the Hurricanes 3-5-3 defense to be an aggressive, attacking unit. "We're going to attack, and we're going to blitz as soon as we get on the field," said Tate. "We've got secondary people who can come on stunts, and we've got linebackers who can run pretty good. We're not a sit and read defense."

Senior Richie McCarroll is a physical presence on the defensive line, and may be joined by freshmen John Michael Pritchett and Landon Stacy. "A lot of people say that you can't win with freshmen. But I can tell you some freshmen that have played, and they played because somebody couldn't beat them out," Tate said.

Kyle Vargo is an athletic linebacker who will help in pass coverage and on blitzes. Brook McCollum is another linebacker who Tate describes as a brick wall, saying "He's like a cement wall, hard and doesn't know anything but how to work."

Wren will be a multi coverage team, and the defensive backfield will be led by senior Nate Holmes. Holmes, a team captain, will be joined by Andrew Kohler, and Tate said that both have shown continued improvement at each practice. Chris Roberts, Elliot Caldwell, and Rashaad Floyd will also see time at defensive back.

The Greenville News
305 S. Main St.
PO Box 1688
Greenville, SC 29602

Wren High School
905 Wren School Road
Piedmont, SC 29673