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Play Off Picture Week 7
October 7, 2010 - Michael Palmer
I had a few compliments on the last blog and a few requests to do it again, so, here we go with week 7. Shake that Magic 8 Ball!
Okay Purple Fans, put away your crying towels, it isn’t over yet.
The D3 Region 11 polls list the Potters at number 3.
1. Steubenville 6-0 2. Marlington 6-0 3. East Liverpool 5-1 4. Minerva 5-1 5. Licking Valley 6. Salem 5-1 7. Sheridan 6-0 8. Granville 4-2 9. Licking Heights 4-2 10. Dover 3-2
The good news may be that sometimes Karma plays a role in the season outcome. Back a few seasons the Newcomerstown Trojans went 10-0 and missed the playoffs. During that season they blanked Conotton Valley almost exceeding the capacity of the scoreboard and going into triple digits.
Dirty pool you might say. Well, read this, Many of the area fans have heard about the treachery in East Liverpool when the Potters took 2 knees in the victory formation at the end of the game leading 20-17 with the clock ticking down. Then on third down the quarterback faked the knee and threw a touchdown pass!
Now there is a clip worthy of You Tube. What could possibly be the point? What logic is there in calling this play? It dumbfounds any sports fan and is a shock to those of us who looked up to our coaches for guidance. Players on both sides of the line of scrimmage and the fans watching of all ages will never forget that moment.
Seriously, the importance of sports (also cheerleading and marching band) as an extension of the classroom for learning life lessons and camaraderie are evident across society. Coaches are more than just whistle blowing physical fitness instructors, they are mentors, they teach life skills that can not be taught in the classroom. They ask the hard questions and give advice and help mold wild young men and women into what are usually exemplary members of the local community as adults.
What are these coaches teaching their players?
Could you imagine being an assistant coach or a parent of a player on that team with any moral conviction or sense of fair play?
Locally we have several assistants, sometimes called equipment managers or trainers, or by other titles - who are genuinely concerned about the young men that play football for their respective teams. They sometimes have nick names, we can recall from our high school days; Whitey or Pops. It is still the same today. I would like to do a survey of Sarge, Tug, Gillie, Coach Sam and all of the other ‘old school’ sages of wisdom and ask their opinion.
It was a two game contract and their will be no chance for avenging the slap in the face next season but The Purple Faithful must now have a renewed sense of purpose as a result of it.
The Purple Riders are still in the top 8 and qualifying in D4 Region 13:
1. St Clairsville 6-0 2. Akron Manchester 6-0 3. Perry 5-1 4. Chagrin Falls 5-1 5. Campbell 5-1 6. Cleve Central Cath 5-1 7. Martins Ferry 5-1 8. Canton Cent Cath 5-1
The Riders receive no points for the Crusaders who are not a member of the OHSAA, however, with all of their remaining teams having winning records they could sustain one more loss and still cruise into week 11. The worst case scenario is that they finish across the board from St. Clairsville and we have a Buckeye 8 elimination game in the first round, I hate those.
The Red Devils are ranked first but still have three quality opponents to hurdle before making the playoffs. 10/8 A Edison (5-1) [3:11] 10/15 A Martins Ferry (5-1) [4:13] 10/22 H James Monroe (WV) (5-1) The battle with James Monroe is the only home game left on their docket and then the Huskies in the coal bucket game at Cadiz, dare I say on a muddy field? If memory serves the last few have been.
Manchester still has to play games against 5-1 Triway and my cousins 4-2 Tusky Valley Trojans. Perry has Kenston (4-2), Aurora (5-1) and Chagrin Falls (5-1) remaining on their schedule. Chagrin Falls has West Geauga (5-1) before their rivalry game against Perry. Campbell Memorial has a good chance to move up with a pair of 4-2 squads and one 3-3 left on their schedule. The Ironmen of Cleveland Central Catholic still have parochial battles with Elyria Catholic (6-0) and Lake Catholic (5-1) so the chances are good we see two locals make it through to week 11. MAGIC 8 BALL PREDCITION: It is decidedly so.
D5 Region 19 saw the Shamrocks plummet to a chilly eleventh place while Monroe Central remains on the bubble at number 7. Meaning the battle of Route 800 is a must win for the Rocks if they want to climb back into the top 8 and a must win for the Noles if they want to stay there. Monroe has taken two losses, both to unbeaten opponents, so November 15 will be a big night in Woodsfield. Can Barnesville return to the top 8? MAGIC 8 BALL PREDCITION: Very Doubtful. Will Monroe make the cut? MAGIC 8 BALL PREDCITION: As I see it yes.
D6 Region 23 has the Tigers riding the wave at number one. Shadyside 6-0 Their face off against number 2. Bridgeport 6-0 will be an epic OVAC game and I am praying I get that game as my number two on November 22.
3. Newark Catholic 5-1 has been beaten by just one team, I say proudly, my alma mater Heath High School. They have both once beaten Licking Valley and Granville remaining.
Number 4 Symmes Valley 6-0 has not played a team with a winning record and faces Oak Hill in week 8. Number 5 Strasburg 6-0 is in the same predicament with their easy schedule behind them and the remaining teams all tough Inter-Valley Conference opponents: Malvern (3-3), Newcomerstown (4-2), Ridgewood (6-0) and Garaway (4-2) remaining - These Tigers may need to bounce the Hornets to make week 11.
6. Lancaster Fairfield Christian 6-0 has a great AD and their schedule looks like the cream puff tray at your local bakery. Looming big on their schedule is (which features three 0-6 teams) is a local visit to the Irish of St. John Central on October 23.
7. Malvern 3-3 has Strasburg this Friday before finishing with two 2-4 teams and the winless Conotton Valley. Perhaps a chance for revenge against the Hornets in Week 11 may be on the horizon for the Bulldogs. Recalling the game when 10-0 River went up against the Hornets in the playoffs….. let’s hope everyone stays healthy.
Will the Bulldogs and Tigers see Week 11? MAGIC 8 BALL: You may Rely on it.
This week I start my Friday Night at River where the Bulldogs take on the Pilots. Then upriver to Shadyside for some second half photos of the Irish in Tiger Town. Come out and show your support and maybe we can get you in the paper!
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