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October 24, 2011 - Michael Palmer
As predicted, football season has flown by in its usual high speed and low drag fashion and it is week 10. It is a sad week for all the sports staff at the Times Leader because we love Ohio Valley football.
It will also be the end of a disappointing season for some area teams as the dreaded mathematically eliminated appears in the column alongside their name on Joe Eitel’s playoff charts.
These teams fall into the playing for pride category and also have the possible role of spoiler for other teams as they bid for playoff spots. The talk last weekend on the sidelines at Barnesville was focused on their playoff hopes slipping away and also on a game at the river’s edge between Martins Ferry and St. Clairsville.
One cameraman from a local televisions station stated that he picked Ferry to win because the Red Devils could not go 10-0, “They always seem to manage to and blow one game, so I am going with Ferry.”
I know that St. C would love to have a perfect season in the books, but sophomore running back Jaylon Brown remained on the sidelines and that was a factor. No disrespect to Ferry. The Purple’s sometimes maligned as “Vanilla” offense may be all but predictable, but their linemen made the holes every down for senior running back Tyrel Simmons. He was running left almost every time he touched the football and still managed to lead the Riders rolling up 213 yards and four TDs, if that is vanilla then make mine a double scoop.
I doubt that we will see Brown take any snaps this week against UL either, because the Devils have locked up a home game and they also have to overcome their post-season problems of the past. “Content with ten,” is what the local sports gurus say about St.C’s football team.
I will be on the sidelines at Shadyside for the Barnesville game first this Friday and then off to St. C. I have picked the Shamrocks to win and that is because I hope they can. The Tigers have a playoff spot locked up and the Rocks will need a win and some help to play in week 11. After rolling off seven straight to begin the season it would be a tough way to end the 2011 season if they miss a chance the playoffs.
St. C is most likely going to hand the Jets their final loss in a winless season. Union Local is a team with a lot of class and I hope they realize in the hangar that there is only so much you can do with the talent you are dealt in a season and do not blame the coaching staff, again they are a class act bunch of guys who love the game and their players, win or lose.
I always tell the players on the sidelines that I enjoy taking the photos of high school football. If it was my choice to go and take sideline photos for Ohio State vs. Michigan or a local high school team, I would pick local every time. If I could shoot the Steelers or St. John Central, I would go to the Irish sidelines. If I could shoot the Superbowl or Union Local, believe me when I say, I am headed to Morristown.
I have a column this Sunday in which I will elaborate and further explain why, but I love high school football. IF all the teams could go to week 11 and I could somehow cover them all in the playoffs that would be a dream season for me.
Unfortunately, it will not ever happen, but for those who do make it into week 11, I will be on the sidelines for as many as I can. Sunday morning we will all know and can start making plans for the playoffs.
Until then sports fans, I will see you on the sidelines.
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