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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Broncos Humbled, Hiller Hurt

Not a good night for the Western Michigan Broncos and Orrville alum Tim Hiller. They were thrashed by the Rice Owls to the tune of 38-14. WMU's only two scores came in the 4th quarter after the outcome was no longer in doubt.

Individually, Tim had another subpar game, and Coach Bill Cubit spoke on that at the post-game press conference, more on that in a second.

For the game, Tim was 19-42 for 198 yards, 2 TD's and 2 INT's. In the 4th quarter alone, Tim went 7-14 for 118 yds and his 2 TD passes. That also means that through the first 3 quarters, he was only 12-28 for 80 yards, 0 TD's and 2 INT's.

For the season, Tim was 339-522 (65%) for 3725 yds, 36 TD's and 10 INT's, bringing his career totals to 704-1094 for 8020 yds and 76 TD's.

After the game, Coach Cubit mentioned that Tim had played the last 2 regular season games and the bowl game with a torn left ACL. It's believed that the injury happened during the Illinois game. He tore his right ACL back in late 2005 and missed the entire 2006 season. This injury will at least keep him out of spring practice.

After revealing the injury, Coach Cubit had some very complimentary words for his QB...
“One of the things I love about this kid, he’s been playing with a torn ACL in his last three games and hasn’t said a word to anybody.”

“I asked him, ‘You sure you want to go out there?’ He says, 'Coach, I’m going to do this for this football team.' I know it didn’t work out for us tonight, but these kids are all winners, and this kid, what he did the last three games was unbelievable."

“So, I just wanted to let you guys know because he’ll never say a word about it. He’s never going to use it as an excuse. That’s how dedicated this kid is, so thanks.”

“The kid went into the locker room, the training room, the restroom and put (his leg brace) on so he wouldn’t let anyone else know he was wearing that,” Cubit said. “In my book, he’s really good.”

This is another tough break for Tim. His senior season in high school was ended when he broke his collarbone against Youngstown Liberty in a first round playoff game. Anyone at the game agrees that had Hiller remained in the game, the Riders would have likely won.

Individually, here's a list of WMU passing records and where Tim stands in each category.

Passing Yards, Season
Tim now holds the school record of 3725. Tim Lester is 2nd with 3639.

Passing Yards, Career
Current record is again held by Tim Lester with 11,299, with Hiller having 8020.

Passing Yards, Game
Tim already holds this record, throwing for 471 yards in a loss to Central Michigan. Previous record was 450 yds.

Passing Attempts, Career
Tim currently has 1094 career pass attempts. The school record is 1507, again held by Tim Lester.

Passing Attempts, Season
Tim now holds the school record of 522 attempts.

Passing Attempts, Game
Tim holds the record with 63 attempts, set earlier this year against Buffalo. Previous mark was 58.

Pass Completions, Career
Tim currently has 704 and is 2nd on the all-time list, school record is 875.

Pass Completions, Season
Tim set the record this season with 339 completions. Previous record was 282.

Pass Completions, Game
Another record Tim holds, completing 42 passes this past season against Buffalo. His 38 completions the following week versus Central Michigan was the 2nd most completions in school history.

Completion Percentage
School record for completion percentage in a season is 67%, Tim's 2008 mark was 65.0%. The record for completion percentage in a career is 60.2%, Tim is currently at 64.4% for his career.

Touchdown Passes, Career
Tim is all alone in 2nd place with 76, record is 87.

Touchdown Passes, Season
Tim broke the record in the bowl game, finishing with 36 TD passes for the season. Previous mark was 34.

Touchdown Passes, Game
Tim has thrown 5 TD passes in a game only twice, once last season and once this season. School record is 6.

We at the RRS blog congratulate Tim on a great season and wish him a speedy recovery. Orrville is proud of your accomplishments, and of your character.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Wishes from the RRS Blog

Just wanted to wish all my readers a Happy Festivus Merry Christmas. I've been at this since March and couldn't be happier with how things have progressed. This is the Blog's First Christmas, so I wanted to do something special to mark the occasion.

In the spirit of giving, here are a few gifts to my readers.

1. A new Red Rider Sports Blog logo (look up). Like? If anyone out there dabbles in grahpic art, and would like to design their own RRS Blog logo, feel free. I may design a few and rotate them when I feel the need to shake things up.

2. Here's a link to all the posts in my Playoff lookback. It's probably the biggest part of my blog, and if you've just recently found the site, here's a chance to catch up.

And while I'm in the Christmas are a few Christmas wishes that I have.

1. A win for Western Michigan and Orrville alum Tim Hiller in the Texas Bowl (12/30/08).

2. A playoff berth for the 2009 Red Rider football team. I think '09 will be the year for us to finally win the OCC and make our 20th playoff appearance.

3. A district title for the boys basketball team (last one was in 1996).

4. A return to the big skull award stickers for the football team.

Have a wonderful Christmas. Now let the Airing of Grievances and Feats of Strength commence.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

New "Non-Orrville" Links

I've tried to keep my links (Look on the right side margin) as Orrville related as I can, but it's time to include some of my favorite sites that have nothing to do with Orrville sports. I hope you at least take a look, they're meant to broaden the mind and enrich your lives....or at least kill some time.

Let's start with probably the one that's most popular at this very moment, or the one that's got the most buzz....

Club Trillion. Never heard of it? Me neither, until about 2 days ago. It's run by a guy named Mark Titus, who also happens to be a non-scholarship junior on the OSU men's basketball team. He blogs about being an "end of the bench" guy and other behind the scenes stuff. I won't bother trying to explain the Club Trillion thing, but once you read this, it will make sense. His writing is fantastic. It's rare that athletes take up blogging, most don't know how, or could care less. This guy is different.

Bill Simmons. In the same mold of Club Trillion, Simmons writing is fantastic, and if you can get by the (sometimes) excess of Boston sports talk, he's always fun to read. If you podcast, his weekly podcast is one of the best out there.

UniWatch. Anyone who's read this blog knows my love for the details encompassed in a uniform, and this site is the holy grail. Not much more can or needs to be said.

Ballparks, Arenas and Stadiums. This is the site I got the St. John Arena slideshow from. It's a great time killer, and has the most complete collection of new and old ballparks and arenas.

Ohio Media Watch Blog. Covers Ohio radio and TV dealings. Must read.

Waiting For Nexy Year. Tremendous Cleveland sports blog. A good amount of humor for a site that covers the Browns.

The O-Zone. Ignore everything but the Photo Gallery. Trememdous pictures of every OSU football and basketball game. Any picture can be made into a print for you to buy.

I think that will do for now. If you have a favorite link or two that you think I might like, post it in the comments. I'll post these in the right hand sidebar.

Lastly, I've removed the counter on the right hand side. It was not giving me accurate readings. There have been 4000 page visits since October, but not 4000 visitors. I don't want to be accused of padding my stats.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Red Rider Playoffs: 1987

The '87 Red Riders became the 3rd team in school history to win 10 regular season games (1963 and 84 were the other two) and they did it in typical fashion....a potent offense, and a staunch defense. This year's defense was especially dominant, recording six shutouts, five of those coming against AOL opponents.

For the season, they outscored league opponents by an amazing 155-0 score. The irony of the season, however, would be the way the season ended.

Let's jump in the time machine and head back to 1987, we'll discuss the season, as well as the Riders 6th playoff appearance and some minutiae that you've come to appreciate from me.

Found on YouTube...The Orrville Valvoline Commercial

I just looked on YouTube the other week for this...and now it shows up.

Check out the shot at the beginning of the "Marching Band of Style," complete with the old Grand Poobah hats. Classic stuff.

I was young when this commercial was shot and don't believe me or my family were in the crowd, but I do remember people in the shoot received one dollar for their time and participation.

Anyways, it's a neat piece of Orrville history. Joe Sedelmaier was the producer of the commercial and he was born in Orrville. He was behind the old Wendy's "Where's the Beef" commercials also.

The first scene was shot along Market St. (obviously) near Brown's Furniture and the second shot was filmed along Crown Hill Rd. (or near there).

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Basketball: Canton....Riders...Wasson Watch

Before I get to the crux of the post, just wanted to take a minute and thank the people who run the WQKT/Smitty Classic...namely Mike Breckenridge of WQKT, but I'm sure there were plenty of others who make it go, including the many volunteers who give their time to this event. Things are really starting to roll downhill as the classic finishes it's 4th year. Now all they need is a website to track the history of the classic and publish news on future classics.

Regardless, it's a well run classic with some real solid teams. A few buzzer beaters always helps too.

Now on to the other stuff.....

Canton District Update
Here's an updated schedule of teams in the Canton District. Overall, the NBC looks very average. Alliance is the early impressive team, but teams like Louisville have only played 1 game, plenty of games left to play.

St. V and Buchtel will be the class of the Akron teams.

My overall top 5 in the district would look like this...

5. Minerva
4. Alliance
3. Orrville
2. Buchtel
1. St. V

Check out the schedules and results here.

Riders win 2....everyone eligible (hopefully)
Nice weekend for the Riders, 2 wins, one coming in OT and one cupcake win at the Smitty. Plenty of work ahead as the Riders get deeper into OCC play. The Riders only play 2 games in the next 2 weeks, the 20th at West Holmes, who are still searching for win #1, and the 27th against Wooster, so hopefully some of the bad habits (FT shooting and turnovers) will get some additional work.

And I don't want to keep my fans waiting, here's the initial "Wasson Watch" © for the 2008-09 season.

The Wasson Watch

Season Points to Date: 51

Career Points to Date: 340

Season PPG: 17.0 ppg

Career PPG: 13.6 ppg

Points from 500: 160 (projected date of 500th point....Jan 30, 2009 @ Ashland)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Red Rider Playoffs: 1985 (Part 2)

Note: I can't believe I never posted this, it was complete back in early August, but I never published. Many apologies.....

Here's part 1 if you need to refresh yourself on the first 2 rounds of the '85 playoffs.

Click the link below for the final two games....and again....forgive me for not posting this sooner.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hiller & WMU to the Texas Bowl

Tim Hiller and the Western Michigan Broncos finally found out their bowl fate this past weekend. After hearing rumblings of the Hawaii Bowl, they'll have to settle for the lush beauty sprawling metropolis that is Houston, Texas.....home to the largest Rodeo in the world and the Texas Bowl. Their opponent....the Owls of nearby Rice University.

The game is set for Tuesday, December 30th at 8pm at Reliant Stadium. The place seats 71,500, so I'm guessing tickets are readily available.

Seeing the game from the wintry confines of Orrville, Ohio will take a little legwork. It will be broadcast on something called the NFL Network (anyone heard of it?). Thanks to a 2 year long standoff, the NFL Network is still not available on most local cable company's lineups.

Knowing this, you have 3 options....
1. Fly to Houston
2. Find a friend with a satellite dish
3. Head to Jerry's Bar

Anyone for a roadtrip? It's a scant 20 hours by car.

Here's the trophy that goes to the winner (oil tycoon not included!!), word is it doubles as a belt buckle.

And here is the MVP trophy and requisite cowboy hat ('cause it's Texas). Just something for Mr. Hiller to shoot for.

*****UPDATE:***** Here's the list of S.W.A.G. (stuff we all get) that both teams will receive from the Texas Bowl and it's sponsors.

1. Party at Best Buy (I'm assuming the Geek Squad will be there)
2. Swisstek watch (not a cheap watch, some styles cost $1000 or more)
3. Under Armour HeatGear long-sleeve T-shirt, Twister pants and cap
4. Commemorative belt buckle (Hmm....wonder what it will look like?? Maybe this?)
5. Toppers backpack
6. $300 Best Buy gift card

Nice haul. Beats what Ohio St. gets IMO....Myvu personal media viewer, Apple iPod Nano, Kenneth Cole watch, Hat. On second thought, I guess the hat kind of puts it over the top.

Friday, December 5, 2008

4th Annual Smitty Classic Lineup

Edit: This was originally posted back in May, but figured I'd bump it to the front of the line since it's so close.

Per The Daily Record, the lineup for the 4th annual Steve Smith/WQKT Classic is set, and the organizers have delivered another solid lineup of teams and matchups. I'm basing times on how the schedule has been set in previous years.

Saturday December 13h
Norwayne (D3) vs Claymont (D2) - 12:30pm
Northwestern (D3) vs Coshocton (D2) - 2:15pm
Liberty-Benton (D3) vs Tallmadge (D2) - 4:00pm
Smithville (D3) vs Columbus Africentric (D4) - 5:45pm
(College) Wooster vs Albion - 7:30pm

Sunday December 14th
Wooster (D1) vs Wadsworth (D1) - 12:30pm
Orrville (D2) vs East Liverpool (D2) - 2:00pm
Toledo St Johns (D1) vs Cleveland Heights (D1) - 3:30pm
N. Canton Hoover (D1) vs Dublin Scioto (D1) - 5:00pm
Triway (D3) vs Plymouth (D4) - 6:30pm

The day 1 game between Smithville and Cols. Africentric will be one to watch. The Smithies return many talented starters from their district title team in 2007-08.....the Nubians will give the Smithies a great measuring stick as to where they stand on a statewide level, as well as give them a solid non-conference test.

This will be Orrville's 4th appearance in the Classic named after legendary Orrville coach Steve Smith. Orrville has never lost a game in the Classic, beating Loudonville in 2005, Walsh-Jesuit in 2006 and Lima Senior in 2007, with all 3 victories being double digit wins.

In regards to Orrville's opponent, East Liverpool, (another mediocre opponent IMO), they are 6-4 in tournament play in the last 4 seasons, making a district final once.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Basketball: Canton District Schedules

It's never too early to look toward the Canton Fieldhouse and the Div. II district tournament. The field of teams is the same as last year, fourteen teams make up this years district, with Akron Hoban being the defending champ. Read on for more on the makeup of the district as well as a link to schedules for each team.

The district is represented by teams from four different conferences, 6 teams from the Northeastern Buckeye Conference, 3 from the Portage Trail Conference, 1 Independent, 1 from the North Coast League, 1 from the Principals Athletic Conference, 1 from the Akron City Series and 1 from the Ohio Cardinal Conference.

Finally, here is a link to the schedule of each team in the district. I will update it periodically as the season goes on. Enjoy.

Canton D2 District Schedules

In terms of strength, I don't think I'd be shocking anyone to say that St V. plays the toughest schedule, followed, in my humble opinion by Buchtel, Hoban and Louisville. I'd place Orrville 5th in terms of schedule strength.

Orrville is 1 of 5 teams in the district to NOT play a non-conference game against a district team. The other 4 being Norton, Minerva, Louisville and Akron Springfield. Louisville, however, plays 3 Federal League teams (Lake, Hoover & Glenoak) as part of their non-conference schedule.

In early season reports, there seems to be a lot of question marks coming from the NBC teams. There appears to be no clear cut favorite.....meaning another great 2 weeks of basketball is sure to take place in March.

Monday, December 1, 2008

2008 Orrville Hoops Preview....a new feature, and a poll.

Put the peach baskets up on's cage season!!

Here's my 2008-09 Boys Basketball preview......albeit a brief one.

Strengths: Low post size (Wasson, Pirman, Hoobler)
Weakness: Lack of an experienced PG...overall depth.
Question Mark: Can the Riders win their 1st district title since 1996?

My Starting Five:
PG - Joe Besancon
SG - Jake Bolyard
C - Zach Wasson
SF - Syndel Gant
PF - Max Pirman

Prediction: 16-4 (11-3 in the OCC, 2nd place).


Here's the schedule.

As for my new feature, let's call it the "Wasson Watch"©, it's purpose is to track the points of sophomore Zach Wasson....and here's what it will look like.

The Wasson Watch

Season Points to Date: N/A

Career Points to Date: 289

Season PPG: N/A

Career PPG: 13.1 ppg

Points from 500: 211 (projected date of 500th point....Jan 30, 2009 @ Ashland)

I'm not trying to undermine the "TOGETHERNESS" of the team....but I do feel that he has a real chance of being Orrville's 1st 1,000 point scorer in over 10 years, so why not track it. He also had 139 rebounds last season. Honestly, I think he has a chance to be a 1500 pt/600 rebound guy....and I'm not too sure how many other Orrville hoopsters can claim that. Very few for sure.

Lastly, a new poll at the top of the page. And just like the last early & vote often once.