Saturday, September 5, 2009

St. Charles football team takes flight with single-wing

Hugh Bernreuter The Saginaw News, September 05, 2009 3:03 p.m.

Every football game is a "throwback" night at St. Charles.

The Bulldogs use the Single-Wing, an offense that evokes memories of leather helmets and clouds of dusts.

Mock them if you want, but it's working. The Bulldogs are 2-0 and have run circles around both New Lothrop and Merrill. St. Charles ran for 346 yards in a 36-14 win over New Lothrop, then followed with 430 in its 34-12 win Thursday over Merrill.

Three different runners - Tyler Nieman, Travis Crane and Dugan Roosa - gained more than 100 yards against Merrill, with Nieman running for 176 yards and four touchdowns. Crane ran for 155 and Roosa 109.

"It's a direct snap to a runner, we spin Travis Crane and he can hand off or keep it ... you can do a lot of things," St. Charles coach Brady Lake said. "The advantage is that instead of snapping it to a quarterback, you're snapping to someone who can run or become a blocker."

There are some shortcomings. First, the forward pass doesn't fill a large part of the playbook, making it challenging at times. Second, defenses can key on the blocking back to find the football.

"Defenses learn how to stop it, so we have to continue to evolve too," Lake said. "We add wrinkles to it. We added a play where Tyler takes it one way with everybody going the other way. By the time the defense figures it out, he's 10 yards downfield. It makes the linebackers think a little before going after the blocking back."

Nieman is a key part of the Bulldogs offense this year, just as he was last year. After two games, Nieman has 289 yards and six touchdowns on 13 carries. Nieman had similar statistics last season before getting injured in the fifth game and missing the rest of the season.

"You sometimes think that if he had been healthy, things might have been different last year," Lake said. "But the great thing is that not only is Tyler a great back, he's a heckuva blocker.

"All three of our runners complement each other. They all bring something different. Travis is the tough runner and gives us the hard yardage, while Tyler is the speed guy, the shifty runner. Dugan is the smart, methodical runner. It's a good group."

A year ago, the Bulldogs also made a nice run. St. Charles won its first seven games before ending the regular season with losses to Carrollton and Hemlock. The Bulldogs regrouped to beat Byron and Flint Beecher in the playoffs before a 35-10 playoff loss to Nouvel Catholic Central.

Too early to celebrate

Nouvel Catholic Central is 0-2 for the first time in its school's football history, which may have some area rivals drooling at the prospects of avoiding the Panthers in the playoffs. They shouldn't get too excited.

True, Nouvel hasn't looked like Nouvel is supposed to look. The Panthers are not playing Nouvel football ... yet. They have played two of the toughest teams on their schedule in Flint Powers and Traverse City St. Francis. Look for Nouvel to make a nice little run and gain momentum against the rest of the schedule, qualifying for the playoffs.

A big test awaits the Panthers at the end of the regular season. They can gauge their improvement when they take on Bay City John Glenn.

TVC West showdown

Carrollton is the defending Tri-Valley Conference West Division champion and has given every indication it is ready to defend it. A big test awaits Friday when the Cavaliers take on Ithaca. Robert Essex gained 283 yards on 29 carries Thursday, scoring four touchdowns for the Cavaliers.

Ithaca counters with quarterback Alex Niznak, who scored six touchdowns in the Yellowjackets' win over St. Louis. Niznak completed 9 of 10 passes for 174 yards and three touchdowns, while running 10 times for 139 yards and three more touchdowns.

A year ago, Carrollton made a statement with a 14-6 win over Ithaca. The winner Friday will make a similar statement as a prime target in the TVC West.

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Congratulations to Coach Ortega and his Knights!

Editors Notes:
(1) The article below is a pre-season article.

(2) The Single-Wing Sentinel would like to give you an update. The Wheaton Knights win their season opener over Bethesda Chevy Chase 29-12. Joe Ortega, first year coach, attained his first Varsity win as a Head Coach. Congratulations to Coach Ortega and his Knights on their great win!


Wheaton Knights Follow A New Leader
By GamedayMD - Gameday Maryland Staff
August 22, 2009

Photo By: Tony Ventouris

WHEATON, MD - Something must be in the water because there is a pattern beginning to form in the coaching ranks of Baltimore-Washington teams. First, Washington Capitals Head Coach Bruce Boudreau spent the better part of two decades toiling in the minors before a 2007 promotion into an NHL job and hasn't looked back since.

Next, Baltimore Oriole Manager Dave Trembley took the reins in the majors making him the longest tenured minor league manager to ever get a head job in the big leagues.

Now after approximately twenty years coaching in Montgomery County everywhere from youth leagues to assistant high school jobs all over the county, Joe Ortega was announced as the Head Coach of the Wheaton Knights football team.

Ortega spent the past two seasons as the Wheaton Junior Varsity Coach and was promoted partly because of the outstanding job he had done at the lower level. After a winning season at 5-4 in 2008 by the J.V., which some observers believe played as a sum greater than its parts, Ortega and an excited rising group of players will try to turn around a varsity program that went just 2-8 last season.

The 2009 Wheaton Knights will be led by a close group of only a handful of seniors on the roster. The senior's role will be to lead a young group of junior varsity players graduating to varsity that have had a taste of success and are hungry for more. A small group of returning starters will be in place and most will play along the offensive and defensive line.

Two returnees, Offensive tackle Anthony Randel and guard Daniel Alegbeleye, will have the job of blocking for Junior quarterback Leonel Cruz, who takes over for last year's graduated starter Juan Rosas. Cruz will be asked to carry the offense using his legs as he was a highly effective runner on the Junior Varsity, and keep defenses honest with his arm.

Coach Ortega believes Cruz is quite capable of being effective both passing and running the football and his versatility will be a key to the Knights attack this season.

Defensively, look for Wheaton to build a stout team defense that has decent size and a swagger. Many players will carry the confidence of their 2008 J.V. campaign and that larger group will be paired with the few varsity holdovers.

Strength and size is available, but due to the lesser number of players on the roster, Wheaton will need to fight through fatigue when other teams are able to rotate more players onto the field this upcoming season. Look for an attacking defense to cause turnovers and havoc in opponents backfields as much as possible while opponents will attempt to wear down the unit.

The ability to play together and swarm to the football will be the biggest key this season and Ortega has demonstrated the knack for bringing his teams play to a higher level.

5 Camp Observations

Schedule Change
Historically a 3A program, Wheaton will make the move down to the 2A level. While still playing several 3A opponents the schedule will not be nearly as grueling without several perennial Montgomery County powers included. In the 2A division the Knights will have a strong opportunity to make a run and will not have to worry about the likes of Damascus, Quince Orchard, and Seneca Valley.

An opening game against Bethesda Chevy-Chase will be a strong measuring stick for the program. Also, scheduled in early October will be an interesting matchup against Fairmont Heights High School. This will be one of the few Montgomery versus Prince George's County regular season games this upcoming year and one to keep an eye on.

Where will this team get leadership from? With a small group of seniors and only a few returning varsity starters, both Anthony Randel and Daniel Alegbeleye will need to be solid leaders on and off the field. While not a varsity veteran, junior quarterback Leonel Cruz will also be needed to demonstrate leadership for the team to win and make a possible 2A playoff run.

Position Battles
Many starting positions are undecided which could be a positive for the young team. Very few players will have the luxury of knowing where their playing time will come from and will be needed to compete at a high level in practice to earn playing time.

One such player, running back Carlos Santana, will be amongst a group that will carry the football out of the Knights backfield. Santana will get playing time with his outstanding speed, but how much will be dictated by performance.

Strength In Numbers
One of the most important and toughest jobs at a program where total player numbers have dwindled for several years is to keep more and more athletes interested in playing football. While numbers will not be the strength of the team, the emergence of Head Coach Ortega as an inspiring leader has drawn excitement and will benefit the future of the team.

The Hardwood vs. The Gridiron
In the recent past some multi-sport athletes such as football and basketball player Ricardo McLeod, who will be among a group of players contributing at the skill positions this fall, had lost interest in the Wheaton football team.

With a new coach and a new attitude many players see that it is an exciting time to be a part of the program. McLeod will be looked at to make plays as he was a key contributor during the Wheaton 7 on 7 summer league team and continue his success on the hardwood in 2009.


Windber's Cover rushes for 144 yards in victory

The Tribune-Democrat

NEW PARIS — The Windber Ramblers defeated Chestnut Ridge Lions 21-14 Friday on the strength of their ground game and the single-wing offense at Dr. Giovacchini Stadium.

Jarid Cover led the Ramblers’ ground attack with 144 yards on 22 carries.

Windber opened the scoring when quarterback Erick Strapple tossed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Ulasky with a minute left in the first quarter. The extra point made it 7-0.

The Lions got their offense going scoring with 8:44 into the second quarter with Jude Donatelli scoring on a 13-yard run, but the extra point failed.

Donatelli ended the day with 96 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns.

Windber came back on the next series, with Cover scoring on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Strapple.

The teams went into the locker room with Windber leading 14-6.

Windber scored again with five minutes left in the third quarter on a 1-yard run by Strapple. The extra point made it 21-6.

The Lions fought back with Donatelli scoring on a 5-yard run with four minutes left in the game. The two point conversion made it 21-14.

Strapple went 4-for-8 with two touchdowns and an interception.

Lions quarterback Brad Hengst finished 6 of 11 for 83 yards.

Windber coach Phil DeMarco said his team overcame mistakes to eke out a win. He credited the Lions with shutting down the inside run.

“It wasn’t pretty, but we found a way to win,” he said. “You have to give Chestnut Ridge credit. They shut down the five and six hole. We had to run the perimeter.”

Lions coach Max Shoemaker said Windber is always a challenge.

“They’re single wing offense is very difficult to defend,” he said. “I think that was part of our game plan, to keep the ball away from their offense.”

Shoemaker said the team played hard but couldn’t move the ball consistently.

“We needed to be more consistent offensively,” he said “We just didn't do that.

“My hat’s off to Coach DeMarco and his squad.”

The Tribune-Democrat
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Friday, September 4, 2009

Prep football previews: Week 1 for most teams in the valley

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 4, 2009 Last modified: Friday, September 4, 2009 10:20 AM PDT
By Scott Ford
Argus Observer

Ontario—Tonight every team in the valley will be on the gridiron, some playing its second game, and for others the season opener.

Parma (1-0) Butte County (0-1)

The Parma Panthers are coming off a defensive battle with the Payette Pirates where they turned the ball over five times, but managed to sneak away with a 7-0 win.

This week the Panthers are hosting Butte County from Arco, Idaho, who are coming off a 22-20 loss against Grace.

“They (Butte County) are a little undermanned, as they had a few injuries in their loss to Grace,” Parma head football coach Greg Asbury said.

Butte County runs a true single wing offense, which Asbury called an old school offense, with some size on the line and some speed to go with it.

“It will be a challenge to defend something that we have never seen before,” Asbury said. “It’s going to be a tough one. I think we have the kids to combat what they do, because I believe we have the best defense in the state.”

On offense, the Panther will be looking at a 4-3 defense, but Butte County will throw in the

“Bear Front” which is a 4-6 front that shifts the defensive line to the weak side of the offensive line — away from the tight end — in hopes of confusing the quarterback.

“I am expecting to see the 4-3 defense. That seems to be their trend over the past couple of years.” Asbury said. “We’ll just line up and do what we do.”

Asbury said the goal against Butte County is to clean up the turnovers and play a physical game.

Parma and Butte County will kick off at 7 p.m. today in Parma.

New Plymouth (1-0) at Nyssa (0-0)

The Nyssa Bulldogs open their season at home today against a solid New Plymouth Pilgrim team that is coming off 52-18 drubbing over Filer.

The Bulldogs struggled in 2008 with a 3-6 record, but have high hopes in 2009 of turning their program around. Part of the scheme to change the direction of the Bulldogs was to move Eric Jensen from the wide out position to the quarterback spot. Nyssa head coach Lee Long, in his second season as head coach, said Jensen he will have a talented duo in the backfield for support in Jesse Martinez and Zach Straton.

With Jensen, Long believes the Bulldogs are a more rounded team because he can throw well and run well.

On defense, the Bulldogs will be facing a seasoned quarterback in Brady Harris for the Pilgrims along with a scat back in Kyle King. Last week against Filer, the Pilgrims scored at will with a variety of players.

New Plymouth also boasts a solid run defense which has both speed and experience to combat the new-look Bulldogs.

Fruitland (0-0) vs. Emmett (0-1)

The Fruitland Grizzlies enter tonight’s game with a lot of unknowns and a lot of uncertainties, but the one thing they do know is they are ready to get on the gridiron to find out where they are at.

“We find out how our young guys do,” Fruitland head coach Bruce Schlaich said. “We do not have a whole lot of experience. They will get their feet wet against a solid passing team in Emmett.”

During the preseason, the Grizzlies had to decide on who was going to be the signal caller in 2009, and Schliach said the Ryan Wright has won the job.

Joining the Wright in the backfield will be Jordan Martin at the fullback position and Nic Rayo at the wingback.

The keys to victory for Fruitland will be to minimize the turnovers. Fruitland will kick off at 7 p.m. today.

Payette (0-1) vs. Melba (0-1)

The Payette Pirate football team will be looking to rebound from its 7-0 loss in the season opener to Parma. In that game, the Pirates could only muster 70 yards of offense and struggled against a physical Panther defense.

Today, against Melba, who is coming off a 33-0 drubbing at the hands of the Homedale Trojans, the Pirates look to get its offense moving in the right direction.

“We really worked hard this week in practice,” Payette head coach Troy Gleave said. “We worked on 11 guys attacking the football, and worked on executing on offense.”

Payette seen its starting quarterback, Garrett Grotheer go down in the season opener, but Gleave said he will be in the starting lineup in tonight’s game.

The Pirate defense likes to run the veer and they love to pass the football, and on defense they run a 3-3 stack and like to send everybody on every play.

Payette kicks off at 7 p.m .today in Payette.

Argus Observer

1160 SW 4th Street

Ontario OR 97914



Early deficit hurts Bucks

Tribune Staff Writer

BRONSON _ Bronson gave Buchanan plenty of opportunities Thursday night.

But the Bucks weren't able to cash in on enough of them.

The Vikings stung the Bucks with three long second-quarter touchdown passes and hung on in the second half for a 26-14 non-league football victory.

The victory was the second straight for Bronson, while Buchanan fell to 0-2. Buck coach Joe Austin can only hope that the recent formula for the Buchanan-Bronson series doesn't hold true. Since the two started the current series seven years ago, the Bucks were successful enough to earn state playoff berths in the four seasons in which it defeated Bronson. But in the two previous campaigns that Austin's teams fell to the Vikings, Buchanan had losing seasons.

Bronson roared to a 26-7 halftime lead on the strength of a 17-play, 85-yard opening touchdown drive and three long TD passes. Quarterback Josh Czajkowski hit Tony Myers with a 68-yard scoring strike and Mickey Allaman with a 20-yard touchdown pass. Allaman then fired a 69-yard TD strike to Myers off a reverse with 24 seconds left in the half.

Buchanan came back to score on the opening drive of the second half. And the Bucks had two other golden opportunities, recovering fumbles at the Bronson 30 and 46 yard lines. But Buchanan to cash in on either.

Austin's team had one other late chance when Cordel Johnson broke loose on what looked to be a 58-yard scoring run. But Bronson's Anthony Mitchell tackled Johnson at the Viking 5 and partially due to a pair of penalties, Buchanan failed to score on that one, too.

"We had our chances," Austin said. "We gave them too many cheap scores early, but we played much better in the second half. We had some kids step it up.

"But Bronson had some fast kids. And that first drive was amazing. There aren't too many high school teams that could go on a 17-play drive with no errors."

Bronson has combined some of the formulas of both the single wing and wing-T offenses to utilize the speed of backs Myers and Mario Hernandez. Both offenses rely on deception for success.

"We've run the single wing for seven years," Bronson coach Jeff Gallup said. "And we've tweaked it each year. We call it a hybrid. But it's a fun offense to coach and the kids enjoy playing it."

Both Myers and Hernandez had big nights. Myers, who scored five touchdowns in Bronson's season-opening 41-6 win over Quincy, rushed for 66 yards on 12 carries and caught three passes for an additional 153 yards, including the two touchdowns. Hernandez added 117 yards on 25 carries with a 4-yard scoring run.

"Myers is a special kid with breakaway speed," Gallup said. "And Hernandez had great speed, too. Tonight we went with the hot hand."

Quarterback Bryan Kuntz and Johnson gave Buchanan some hope for the rest of the season with their performances Thursday. Kuntz completed eight-of-19 passes for 90 yards, including a 10-yard scoring pass to Marquis Tyler. Johnson finished with 113 yards on 18 carries. Spencer Anglero scored the other Buchanan touchdown.

"We improved from game one to game two," said Austin of his team, which had dropped its opener 36-6 to Wyoming Kelloggsville. "We just have to pin our ears back and play some football the rest of the way."


Buchanan 0 7 7 0 — 14
Bronson 7 19 0 0 — 26

BR — Mario Hernandez 4 run (Mickey Allaman kick)

BU — Spencer Anglero 7 run (Ryan Catalano kick)

BR — Tony Myers 68 pass from Josh Czajkowski (kick failed)

BR — Allaman 20 pass from Czajkowski (run failed)

BR — Myers 69 pass from Allaman (Allaman kick)

BU — Marquis Tyler 10 pass from Bryan Kuntz (Catalano kick)

Buch Bron
First Downs 10 18
Rushing Yardage 29-127 54-197
Passing Yardage 90 178
Passes-att-com-int 8-19-0 5-5-0
Punts-yardage 3-37 1-37
Fumbles lost 0 2
Penalty Yardage 60 30

No place like home

By Shane Mettlen 825-0771, ext. 127
Published: September 4, 2009

Motivation shouldn’t be a problem when Eastern View High School takes the field tonight against visiting Louisa.

After all, the Cyclones weren’t exactly thrilled with their 26-12 opening victory against Culpeper and the Lions were one of three teams that beat Eastern View a year ago.

“Last week was eye opening because last week we came out a little bit cocky, thinking we were going to blow them out,” EVHS linebacker Shawn Ferris said. “And Louisa has been beating us ever since I was in middle school so we definitely got to do something about that.”

Ferris is one of the Cyclones that will have his hands full against Louisa’s single-wing offense. The Lions return quarterback Dillon Hollins, who ran the misdirection offensive scheme and guided Louisa to a 7-3 record last season.

Along with Hollins, the Lions have running backs Andre Mealy and Rayshawn Jackson, who have the speed and strength to give Eastern View trouble. Defending Louisa coach Mark Fisher’s complicated offense is also a concern.

“Louisa is good and they’ve got players back from last year and they are running more option than they did last year,” EVHS coach Greg Hatfield said. “It’s a heck of a test for us. They are really hard to defend because they come out in the single-wing and then they’ll run the spread set and move guys around. Coach Fisher throws about 48 different formations at you a game. You have to be solid defensively and sound with what you are doing.”

But defense has been a strength for the Cyclones thus far. After shutting out Fauquier in a preseason scrimmage, Eastern View limited Culpeper to just 162 yards, one offensive touchdown and forced five turnovers.

Ferris said he and fellow linebacker Bilial Williams will have to continue to play well and be ready for Louisa’s misdirection.

“We know we’ve got to bring it because they are tough boys and like to hit,” Ferris said. “Me and Bilial have to be at the top of everything because we are at the center of the defense and if they get by us there’s not a lot there except the end zone. If me and Bilial aren’t on our game it’s going to be a long night.”

Offensively, it was a bit of a tumultuous week for the Cyclones, who had two players quit the team in backup quarterback Cody Jenkins and running back Kyle Schubert. But the Cyclones seem prepared to move forward with Simon Pendleton as the solid No. 1 quarterback.

Pendleton had a solid varsity debut, throwing for two touchdowns and running for two more in the win over Culpeper. Schubert had been sharing carries with Moses Washington and Alquan Newman, among others.

Washington and Newman will likely get the bulk of the carries with Pendleton, who rushed 13 times for 52 yards last week, also contributing to the running game. The Eastern View offensive line will be charged with the task of keeping senior defensive end Ryan Bullock out of the Cyclones’ backfield.

Hatfield knows the Cyclones face a tough test, but believes Eastern View has the talent to pull off a victory.

“They are a tough team,” he said. “But we like our guys and we’re going to show up and play our best and give it everything we got. Our guys seem to be up for the challenge and we’re excited to be able to play somebody like that.”

The Culpeper Star-Exponent
471 James Madison Highway, Suite 201
Culpeper, VA 22701


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hatchets carry confidence over to GTW opener

By MIKE BOGAN Tribune News/Sports Editor
Published: Wednesday, September 2, 2009 11:12 AM EDT

BAD AXE — Dave Rowland isn't sure how many more victories his Bad Axe football team will get this season.

The Hatchets might win a few more games. They might even make the playoffs.

Or, they might wind up 1-8.

But the Hatchets' third-year coach is certain of one thing, though.

"We're going to have fun, no matter what," Rowland said late Tuesday night. "The thinking is changing. It's like, 'OK, if we got the first win, why can't we get the second win?'

"The kids are seeing the benefits of hard work and dedication. It looks to me like they're not intimidated anymore. They are excited about playing."

Who could blame them?

Bad Axe won its season opener for the first time since 2001 last Friday night, getting a solid effort on both sides of the ball in a 28-6 decision over Harbor Beach.

Now, the Hatchets get a shot at a 2-0 mark when they travel to Vassar on Thursday night for the Greater Thumb West opener for both schools.

"This game is going to be an overall test to see where we are at," Rowland said.

Offensively against the Pirates, the Hatchets received strong efforts from Mitch Roth, Dillon Newell and Steve Salens.

Roth rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown. He also hit Salens on a 28-yard strike for another score. Newell added 106 yards and Bad Axe's two other touchdowns.

Rowland said he wasn't surprised about how Roth and Newell played in the opener.

"Both Mitch and Dillon worked very hard over the summer," he said. "I don't think they missed a day lifting. It certainly showed (Friday night)."

Quarterback Roth runs Bad Axe's modified version of the single wing.

Before Rowland took over the job as head coach at Bad Axe in 2007, he put in many hours studying the single wing offense, which was created by Glenn "Pop" Warner and was sort of the precursor to the modern spread or shotgun formations.

Today, the "Wildcat Offense" uses many of the single wing concepts.

"I have always wanted to run the single wing," Rowland said. "The kids love it and it's a lot of fun.

"We call it a single wing, but it does have a lot of variations."

Whatever the case, Bad Axe's offensive output last week was just the third time in the last 12 games it's managed 28 or more points.

Bad Axe's offense wasn't the whole story last Friday night against Harbor Beach.

The Hatchets' defense limited the Pirates to 186 yards on the ground and just 11 first downs. The last time an opponent scored less was in Week 8 of 2006 when Bad Axe blanked Saginaw Buena Vista, 62-0.

"I think our defense has improved, it's much better," Rowland said. "We're not starting freshmen and sophomores any more. Most of the kids who are out there have some experience."

Last season, the Vulcans rolled to a 51-16 victory over the Hatchets. It was the first time Bad Axe and Vassar had hooked up in a game since the old Thumb B Conference back in 1990.

"Offensively, we want to control the ball and have long and productive drives," Rowland said. "Defensively for us, they have a lot of speed on offense, so we want to pressure the quarterback. They are definitely going to be a test for our defense."

Whatever the outcome Thursday night, Rowland knows his team will have fun and be competitive.

"I think we're finally realizing we can play and be competitive," he said. "Now, we want to be the ones dishing out the hits. Before, we were the ones who were getting run over. And that isn't very fun

Huron Daily Tribune
211 N Heisterman St, Bad Axe, MI48413


Tommy Tharp takes the reins at Mangham

By Keith Prince • • September 2, 2009

To say Mangham will have a new look when it opens the 2009 season Friday night while hosting Ouachita Christian is quite an understatement.

The Dragons, who had an exciting run to the class A quarterfinals last fall, will not only be reloading after graduating a big senior class, they will also be unveiling a totally new system under a new head coach.

With Bo Meeks’ move to Calvary Baptist, the Dragons have brought "home" a veteran coach with an outstanding pedigree and a lot of fresh ideas.

Tommy Tharp, a 1982 graduate of St. Frederick who has been coaching in Tennessee and Alabama the past 16 years, is the new leader at Mangham and he said, "We are going to count on a lot of young players this year but we have some talent and I’ve never been around a group more ready to work and learn."

While on one hand there can’t be a lot of big-time expectations as Mangham moves up to AA and into a tough district with Farmerville, Ferriday, Jonesboro-Hodge, Lake Providence and Sterlington, Tharp said, "There’s one very positive ingredient that these kids have and can’t be minimized. They expect to win. They have that mentality, the whole community has and it goes all the way back to coach Moose Munyan and was really re-energized with Bo’s success last year."

Tharp expects to win, too, because that’s what he has been doing during the past 11 years as a head coach, first at two schools in Tennessee and most recently at Albertsville, Ala., where he took an 0-10 team the previous season to the state regional runner-up slot.

He coached in the Tennessee all-star game twice and reached the state quarterfinals twice there, and has been in the state playoffs three years in Alabama.

"I enjoyed all of those years but I wanted to come back home. I can help my mother here and it’s just great to get back into football here," he remarked.

While he can’t predict what is in store this year, Tharp can promise "that our football team will be aggressive and that we will bring a lot of new looks to the program."

Tharp termed his offensive scheme "somewhere between the single wing and the spread. We might use 5-wide outs our we may have a single wing look. We use a blocking back just behind the guard and sometimes we aren’t far from what Florida runs.

"There is a lot of deception involved. Really, we can make it fit whatever our kids can do best," he said.

The new coach said his offense will revolve around a pair of talented athletes who are very versatile.

"We want to get the ball to Montel Hardman any way we can. He will line up in a lot of different spots and he is a great high school athlete and will be our senior leader.

"Our tailback is Shaquelle Ausberry and he ranks up with Alabama linebacker Dante Hightower as the most talented sophomore I’ve ever coached. He has good speed and great strength," said Tharp.

Sophomore Seth Parker, "who had very few snaps last year," takes over at quarterback. "He has a great arm and a real feel for the game. He also has speed, can take a hit, and we will use him as a runner, too."

While the Dragons return just four starters on offense, there are nine returnees on defense "and that’s where we will hang our hat as our offense grows up."

Middle linebacker Edward Blount (5-10, 210-pounds) should be the leader while outside backer Arthur Miley (6-5, 220) and free safety Richard Haynes (6-1, 180) should also have exceptional seasons.

As for Mangham’s opener against OCS, Tharp said, "All you need to say is that it is OCS. They do such a great job of coaching and that’s why they never beat themselves. They have some great young talent. Both (Braden) Bristo and (Mark) Laird are exceptional and you have to slow them down to have a chance.

"We are excited about the opener and about the season. It’s great to be home and it’s an added bonus to be at a place like Mangham," said Tharp.

The News Star
411 North 4th Street
Monroe, Louisiana, 71201

Monday, August 31, 2009

Column: Nevada's Lippincott gets another chance

When last football season arrived, things were looking good for Nevada running back Luke Lippincott.

The former Palma standout was coming off an outstanding junior year with 1,420 rushing yards, the fourth-best single-season total in Nevada history.

Then, in the second game of the 2008 season against nationally ranked Texas Tech, he hurt his ACL and was out for the year. The NCAA granted a hardship redshirt for another year of eligibility. After being out for nearly the entire year, the 6-foot-2 Lippincott is looking to make up for lost time, and make an impact for the Wolfpack.

Lippincott studied psychology, so he knows all about the difficulty athletes face mentally before getting back on the field.

"You've got to get past that," he said. "That's one of the hardest things to get past when you have an injury."

Lippincott is taking graduate classes in sports psychology.

"That's just not my mentality," he continued. "The last thing I want to do is act timid; that's how people get hurt. The best thing I can do for my knee is go 100 percent."

Nevada (7-6 last season) runs the "Pistol" offense, a shotgun-type offense with the quarterback and running back closer to the line. The plays run out of it give Nevada a unique offense with elements of the run-and-shoot and single wing.

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw for 2,849 yards in 2008 as well as getting 1,130 yards rushing, second on the team behind Vai Taua, who had 1,521 yards and led the WAC with 117 a game.

"It's kind of pick your own poison," Lippincott says of the Nevada offense. "A lot of plays it's Colin, me and Vai all in the backfield at once. The defense has to pick which one of us to take."

He had six carries for nine yards and an 11-yard reception in last week's end of preseason scrimmage.

There was a silver lining about Lippincott's injury and taking the year off.
Without his senior year being delayed, he wouldn't be suiting up for the Wolfpack when they open their 2009 season Saturday at Notre Dame, in front of more than 80,000 fans and a national television audience.

"We are all trying to keep that excitement down, because no matter what, on game day we will be pretty pumped up," he said. "Look for a good game. There will be a lot of scoring, that's all I can say for now."

•Embele Awipi is a Marina-based radio host and member of the Football Writers


The Salinas Californian

123 West Alisal Street

Salinas, CA 93901



Montezuma-Cortez runs a "newer" offense called the spinner series

Stacking up the Western Slope League

(4-6 overall last year)
Outlook: Chuck Cotter returns for his second year as head coach after spending the previous two years as a coordinator. Montezuma-Cortez runs a newer offense called the spinner series. The offense essentially is a single-wing look out of the shotgun formation. The quarterback sometimes will spin 360 degrees to fake handoffs. Although the offensive line was big last year, it was hit hard by graduation.

Battle Mountain (0-10 overall last year)
Returning starters: 18 (9 on offense, 9 on defense)

Top players: QB Parker Robbins, RB Jon Simpson, OL/DL Mason Babcock

Outlook: Battle Mountain hasn’t won a football game since Sept. 21, 2007, and second-year head coach David Joyce hopes to change that. Led by senior quarterback Parker Robbins and a plethora of returning players, Joyce thinks his squad has a shot at returning to respectability in 2009. Such a turnaround would coincide nicely with the Huskies’ christening of a new field — and Battle Mountain’s new campus — in Edwards. The coach said the Huskies will roll out new uniforms to go along with their new, artificial-turfed digs. “We’re trying to kick it off right,” Joyce proclaimed.

Delta (5-5 overall last year)
Returning starters: 14 (7 on offense, 7 on defense)

Top players: QB Austin Watson, LB Gene White, OL Duncan Simmons, DL Ethan Kraai

Outlook: Delta welcomes new head coach Ben Johnson to the fold. Johnson, who was an assistant at Olathe for three years and a head coach in Las Vegas, N.V. 10 years before that, brings two state titles to Delta. He won one last year with Olathe and one in Las Vegas. The Panthers will be a fast team, but they lack depth. Johnson, who is from Colorado, said he knows the Western Slope League well. He said initial indications from summer and fall camps are that the team has responded to his style of play. Delta has always had the athletes, and with Johnson leading the way, the team could certainly make the playoffs.

Eagle Valley (4-6 overall last year)
Returning starters: Six (3 on offense, 3 on defense)

Top players: LB Clayton Gerard, QB Nick Pietrack, OL Bryce Steggall, LB Seth Williamson

Outlook: Linebackers are the only area the Devils return players. Led by two-time All-League performer Gerard, Eagle Valley returns one of the youngest units in the league. The good thing for coach John Ramunno is the system he has in place has been there for a long time. There aren’t many secrets. The offense will line up in a double wing set, and the defense will be physical. Ramunno said at football camps this summer, the team improved each day. If the team can come together and grow up quickly, it should compete in a wide open Western Slope League. Getting off to a fast start might be the biggest key. Last season the Devils started the season 0-5, before finishing 4-6.

Glenwood Springs
(14-0 overall last year)

Returning starters: 5 (2 on offense, 3 on defense)

Top players: LB/RB Nick Ciani, QB Luke Jacob, OL/LB Chad Montover, RB Tyler Thulson, WR/DB Josh Galvan, WR/DB Trey Fox

Outlook: The reigning 3A state champions lost a huge senior class to graduation and return just five starters. Still, one league coach says the two-time defending 3A WSL champions are the top dogs until someone knocks them off. With 3A player of the year Dakota Stonehouse now at Carroll College in Montana, junior Luke Jacob will assume the quarterbacking duties for the Demons. Coaches like his arm and grasp of the position, both keys to functioning capably in head coach Rocky Whitworth’s spread offense. How the offensive and defensive lines shape up will go a long way in determining just how good the Demons will be in the 3A WSL.

Palisade (9-2 overall last year)
Returning starters: 12 (7 on offense, 5 on defense)

Top players: OL/DL Nicholas Stephanus, OL/DL Zaid Bradfield, RB/LB Sean Dunn

Outlook: Palisade never drifts far from the top of the 3A Western Slope League, and it’s hard to imagine the Bulldogs won’t be in the mix for a league title in 2009. Behind its signature smash-mouth brand of ball, Palisade finished second to Glenwood Springs in the league race last year and, with 12 returning starters, head coach John Arledge’s blue-collar bunch is primed to shine this fall. With players like Nicholas Stephanus and Zaid Bradfield anchoring the lines, look for the Bulldogs to make some noise.

Rifle (3-7 overall last year)
Returning starters: 12 (6 on offense, 6 on defense)

Top players: QB/DB Joe Burgess, OL/DL Jacob Massey, RB/LB James Martinez, RB/LB Tyrel Lenard, TE/FB Caleb Lenard

Outlook: A new coach with big-name college coaching experience and a team-wide hunger to turn things around could be a recipe for success in Rifle. In 2008, the Bears fell short in their bid for a 14th consecutive playoff appearance. Misfortune played a role in the team’s struggles, as a neck injury prevented then-head coach Bill Kucera from ever gracing the sideline as Rifle’s frontman. The Bears never rebounded. Enter new head coach Ryan Sulkowski, who’s fresh off a stint as a graduate assistant at Clemson University. With the help of a top-notch staff that includes former Rifle head coaches Damon Wells and Anthony Alfini, the former Valdosta State University offensive lineman hopes to, as he puts it, “pick up the program and dust it off.”

Steamboat Springs
(8-3 overall last year)

Returning starters: 14 (7 on offense, 7 on defense)

Top players: QB Austin Hinder, RB Joe Dover, LT Carl Steele

Outlook: Steamboat has the skill guys on offense to compete with just about any team in the state. Behind much ballyhooed quarterback Austin Hinder and a finally healthy Joe Dover, Steamboat shouldn’t have problem scoring points. It also helps the Sailors have 18 seniors on the roster, most of who worked out all summer. The key might be how an athletic, but undersized, offensive line comes together. Defensively, Steamboat will again run the 3-5 front, led by quick linebackers Cody Harris and Jack Spady.

The Craig Daily Press
P.O. Box 5
Craig, CO 81626-0005


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Vienna 30, Hamilton County 28 (2OT)

by Williamson Coun... on August 29, 2009 - 7:09pm

VIENNA -- In his 40th year of coaching football, hall-of-famer Mike Rude has just about done and seen everything. But the most rewarding accomplishment of his career, he said, came Saturday afternoon when his new Vienna-Goreville Eagles won their first-ever varsity game on their new field, 30-28 in double overtime, over the Hamilton County Foxes in a Black Diamond Conference matchup.

It took two overtimes after Hamilton County scored a 36-yard touchdown on a deep pass as time expired in regulation -- the Eagles, playing their first varsity game in 78 years, batted down a pass on the previous play and seemed to have won the game but the clock was stopped at 0.9 seconds, giving the Foxes one more play -- and converted a two-point conversion to tie the game and allow extra football on a muggy Saturday.

But after both teams' defenses made stops in the first round of overtime -- when both teams are given four plays starting at the 10-yard line -- both offenses converted in the second overtime period and a two-point conversion run by Vienna's Colten Krelo, after Reedus Maynor ran in a 6-yard touchdown, provided the points needed for a sweet opening victory.

Maynor also scored Vienna's first touchdown in the opening quarter. Dylan Kramp and Krelo also scored for the Eagles, who led 22-14 with 43.5 seconds left in regulation after Krelo's 3-yard run, only to see the Foxes score on a pass from Adam Irvin to Justin Webb as time expired. Jesse Navarez caught the game-tying conversion pass from Irvin.
Williamson County Game Night

Hall-of-Fame coach Rude leads Eagles to historic victory

By Scott Mees, The Southern
Sunday, August 30, 2009 12:52 AM CDT
VIENNA - It was big day for the Vienna-Goreville football team Saturday as it played its first varsity game in 78 years.

There was a first time for everything, and coach Mike Rude got to experience some nerve-wracking moments in the opening game of the season.

The Eagles led Hamilton County by a touchdown, and the Foxes couldn't connect on a 36-yard passing play in the final seconds of the fourth quarter. That potential score would've tied the game with a two-point conversion.

But the clock was stopped with less than a second left on the scoreboard. Rude glared up at the press box and had a look on his face like he couldn't believe what he'd just witnessed.

Hamilton County received one last chance and tied the game on the final play of regulation to send the contest to overtime.

"I said I was in church last Sunday and it didn't do me any good," Rude said with a grin on what was going through his mind as the Foxes scored as time expired. "I made sure I was there last Sunday, and I thought, well maybe He realized I was just there last Sunday to see if I could get a favor, and I wasn't."

As the Vienna-Goreville fans swarmed the field after the squad's 30-28 overtime victory, Rude got down on one knee and just soaked it all in from the sideline.

"The kids made it worth it today," Rude said. "I wouldn't trade this win for any one I've had. I don't know if I've had a more enjoyable win."

It was obviously a special day for the players as well. They'd been anticipating this contest for quite some time. Senior Reedus Maynor, a 235-pound fullback, rumbled five yards in the opening quarter to score the first-ever touchdown for the Vienna-Goreville team.

"It was amazing and such an adrenaline rush," said Maynor, who also delivered the final touchdown run of the game. "I was excited all night and only got about four hours of sleep so I was dead tired out there."

Maynor helped send Rude to his 190th victory of his Hall of Fame career. Rude last coached varsity football at Johnston City in 2006.

"He's the best coach to ever live," Maynor said of playing for Rude. "He can be tough but he explains things so well to all of us. He's just an amazing coach and he's like another father to me."

It was also a very busy week for Vienna athletic director Ross Hill. It was his first time supervising a varsity football game and things went really well for the most part. The scoreboard, which was powered by a generator, and goal posts were just installed in the last few weeks.

"I just felt like with a school our size we needed more sports than what we had," Hill said. "Some kids can't play those other skill sports so this creates so many more opportunities for all the kids."

A lot of schools starting up a varsity football program would probably land an inexperienced, young coach just looking to get his feet wet. Hill believes the Eagles were lucky to attract a coach of Rude's caliber.

"The whole key to everything is having a Hall of Fame coach," Hill said. "Just the ability to be competitive is going to keep people coming back. He just lives and breathes football, and we couldn't have done it without him."

The Southern
710 N. Illinois Ave.
PO Box 2108
Carbondale, IL 62901


Vienna Wins 30-28 in Double OT

Overtime and double overtime play from the Vienna-Goreville Eagles vs. Hamilton County McLeansboro Foxes at the field at Vienna. Overtime was needed with the Foxes scored eight points with 0.9 seconds left to tie the score.

Coach Mike Rude (earning his 190th career win) and this team came back and won the game in double overtime on August 29th, 2009. This was the first game in Vienna in 78 years.

The final double overtime score was 30-28 as Reedus Maynor ran in a 6 yard touchdown. Reedus also scored the first touchdown of the game. I also have highlights from the rest of the game that will be in a different video, available on