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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pride...Nothing but Pride.

Wasn't sure what to write about. Sure, we're all disappointed, but I know I'm more proud than disappointed.  What a great run.  Twenty one wins, a district title, regional title, and a runner-up finish in the state.  We were one of 8 teams in the entire state to be playing basketball yesterday.

One only needs to look at the Blog group on Facebook for the general mood of Rider fans....

Friday, March 26, 2010

My Heart is Full.

I hope yours is too.  I know it sounds dorky, but I just can't help but beam with pride at what our Red Riders have accomplished.  It borders on the improbable.  Some have said it's destiny.  Maybe so.  This team has given us so much to be proud of.  Hopefully there is one more chapter in this book.

This is right up there with the Hoosiers pregame speech that I posted last week, and maybe even a bit better.  From the movie "Friday Night Lights".....

"Forever" is about to happen.  Go be "perfect."

Clear eyes, full heart.  Can't Lose!!

Go get 'em Riders.

Meet the Thunderbirds...and other useful info.

Winners of 19 straight, the Lima Central Catholic T-Birds will look for their 1st state title in school history.  They've finished as runner-up in 1989 & 1994.

Their coach, Bob Seggerson, notched his 500th win earlier this season and will seek his 1st state title in his career.  He's 515-209 in his career.  Those numbers are Smitty-esque.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Season of Dreams....One to Go!!

All the Links: Box Score -- Columbus Dispatch -- JJHuddle Article -- Ohio High School Hoops Blog -- article on Coach -- Wooster Daily Record (and another) -- -- Another Columbus Dispatch article (and photos) -- Video Highlights from NBC4 out of Columbus

Simply can't describe what I saw today in Columbus. I'm out of words...and that's saying something. Of all the moments & memories that have been experienced in Columbus by our all of our great teams in the 1990's and in 1980, today may have topped them all.

Sam Miller, a senior & Kent State football commit, corralled a Jacob Bolyard miss and was fouled with 1.8 seconds left. He proceeded to calmly (at least it looked calm) drain 2 free throws and give the Riders a heart-stopping 50-48 win over Columbus Bishop Ready.

The win gave the Riders a shot at the Division 3 State title on Saturday morning (10:45am) against the Thunderbirds of Lima Central Catholic, who have won 19 straight games.

***Took that pic before I took my perch on press row (down low).  Sat next to former Orrville girls coach Marcie Alberts who did play-by-play for WTIG 990 out of Massillon.

Let's talk about the rest.

Orrville vs Cols. Bishop Ready - Div. 3 State Semifinal

Will be checking in periodically with updates. Can't live blog...but will try to post updates after each quarter.

Keep it right here and refresh your browser (hit F5) for all the updates.

Feel free to use the comment section during the game.

Update #1 (1:39pm) - Teams out for warmups....exciting time. Pep bands are making noise...and I'm right next to former Orrville girls coach Marcie Alberts and Ray Jeske, doing the game for ESPN 990 out of Massillon.

Update #2 - Riders will be in their home white jerseys...Ready in their road blue. Almost game time.

Update #3 - Ready leads 13-9 after 1 quarter. Orrville getting screened and back-cut a lot. Good start, but need to get Wasson involved more.

Update #4 - Orrville leads 21-20 at halftime. Jake sat out the final 4 minutes of the 2nd quarter with 2 fouls...and Zach twisted his ankle. Looks to be ok. That being said, the kids are playing tough against a very physical Ready team. Sam Miller has 8 pts to lead the Riders.

Update #5 - Got a little too into the game....Riders went on a run and led 32-23 and 35-27 after 3 quarters, but Ready has stormed back..tieing the game at 37. Orrville took a timeout.

Update #6 - The Ready lead got to 5 (42-37), but the Riders have answered, taking back the lead by 2, 44-42. Three minutes to go.

Update #7 - What a finish...Riders win 50-48. They will play in the school's 4th state title game on Saturday morning. 10:45am against Lima Central.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

To the ends of Ohio....

Good Luck Riders!!!!

Rider fans have really been all over the state of Ohio since the fall, following and supporting our teams in all sports....Ashland, Tiffin, Mansfield, Youngstown, Canton, Wooster, Cleveland, Lexington, Bellville.....and now the capital city of Columbus.

The tourney trail has been a great ride, wins over Black River, Hillsdale & Triway in Wooster...wins over Cleveland Central Catholic and Newton Falls in Canton...but now, in the city where we've claimed 3 state titles, we return after a 14 year absence, hoping to bring home a 4th state title.

To Coach Slaughter.  Thank you.  You've restored much needed respect to the program.

To Coaches Smith, Landis, Spurlock..and all the others at the lower levels & team managers, trainers and statisticians & cheerleaders...thank you for all your unrecognized time you've spent away from your families to dedicate to Orrville Basketball....and for your undying support.

To the players....Jake, Sam, Joey, Andre, Chase, Dillon, Zach, Max, Drew, Cody, Devon, Kyle, Jordan, Derek & AJ.....THIS is what Orrville basketball is all about.  You're all part of where this team is.  Represent your school and town with pride & class.  Play hard.  Play "hustle" ball for 32 minutes and beyond if necessary.  Respect your opponent, but don't be in awe of them.  Leave it all on the court.

Let's Go Riders!!!!

Link to Webcast of Orrville Game

I wasn't sure about this until just tonight, but the game will be broadcast on 104.5 WQKT FM, this we knew...but it will also be webcast on

In the past, the state had awarded a single website ( with the exclusive rights to broadcast the games over the internet....but apparently that's not the case this year.

Good thing too, I know a lot of people who will be at work or out of the area and not able to tune in by radio.

Click here for all the games, starting at 10:45am....and around 2pm for the Orrville/Ready game, or tune into WQKT on your radio. They do a wonderful job in all 12 games.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Final Four Week - Tuesday..and Div. 3 All-Ohio

Second day of Final Four week....and today we find out that Orrville is the home of two Division III All-Ohioans. Jake Bolyard was named to the first team and Zach Wasson was named Honorable Mention. Full list is here. Congrats to Jake and Zach.

Ready's Joe Graessle joined Jake on the first team.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Final Four Week - Monday

I'll try to do one of these per day. Orrville is one of 16 teams left standing in the entire state.  Exciting times, no?

Pictured: Value City Arena (duh).  Going to be weird going there instead of St. John Arena.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Division 3: Kind of wide open...

The Riders are in the final four, but who are the other three teams?  I know one thing, you could make a case all four teams left to bring home the gold trophy.

We know about Orrville, but let's look at the other 3.  Conider this your Cliff's notes version.  In the end, everyone that's still playing is good.

Season of Dreams...headed to Columbus!!!

My goodness!! This just keeps getting better and better...and more unbelievable. Orrvillle goes back to state after a 67-56 win over Newton Falls.

The magical season will continue at Value City Arena (can't believe I'm actually writing this sentence) on Thursday (2pm) against the Silver Knights of Columbus Bishop Ready.

Let's all bask in the glow.  Thanks to Mike Guster for the pic.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Newton Falls Preview

Who knew the tournament trail could be so long and winding? Us Orrville fans are just plain out of shape. It's like we haven't been on a good walk in 14 years. Tomorrow could change all of that as the Riders seek to puch their ticket to Columbus for the 5th time in school history....and on a day that is very significant to Red Rider fans.

I guess we'll talk about Newton Falls first.

Miller & Hoobler to receive Scholar Athlete Award

Orrville seniors Chase Hoobler and Sam Miller have been selected as Scholar Athletes by the Northeastern Ohio Chapter of the National Football Foundation. 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Riders beat Ironmen!!! How About That!!!

****In the Media - Daily Record (and a rare 2nd article) - - (Pics)- Pictures courtesy of Rod Dilyard

Totally drained...but never been prouder of a team in my life. Orrville defeats Cleveland Central Catholic 65-59 to earn a spot in the Elite 8 of Division 3. They will play the Newton Falls Tigers, who defeated previously unbeaten East Canton by a 60-48 score, for the regional championship and a spot in the Final Four.

My words just can't do justice to the effort I saw tonight....but I'll try.

My quick thoughts from the game.  In no certain order.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Making New Footprints.

Go back to one year ago...another first round defeat and plenty of fan apathy...followed by a coaching change.  Can you honestly say that you thought we'd be where we are....two wins from returning to Columbus? I guess given the change in Division, from 2 to 3, it wasn't completely implausible, but it certainly felt light years away. 

I think the large portion of the town thought that several good looks at Regional berths were not taken advantage of, and in a town like Orrville, there shouldn't be 14 years between regional appearances, the talent is just too consistent.

Regardless, the footprints from the 1992, 95 and 96 championship teams had long since been covered up, and we began, or at least I began to contemplate that maybe, just maybe, our best days were behind us.....but what a difference a year makes.  Heck, what a difference several weeks make.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Regional Semifinal - Orrville vs Cleveland Central Catholic

Haven't done a true game preview since football season.  Let's dust it off in the spirit of the Riders first trip to regionals in 14 years.

We'll also hear from another guest, who has some real-world experience with the Riders' opponent.

Your Canton Fieldhouse Memories....go!

I know we've played at the Canton Fieldhouse on a yearly basis since 1996, so it's not like we've been totally absent, but this Wednesday will be a different feel....and not just because the tickets will be more expensive (remember when they used to be reserved?  Your ticket had a section, row & seat number.)

The Riders are back in regionals, and what a perfect time to talk about all the great memories we've had there over the years.  I'll share mine, and that you share yours too.

Sweet Sixteen

Only 64 teams in Ohio are preparing for a game this week, 16 in Division III....the Orrville Red Riders being one of them. Before looking closer at Cleveland Central Catholic and the other matchup in Region 9, let's take a look at the other 12 teams left standing.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Little Inspiration....

Can we just pretend that this exact speech will be delivered by Coach Slaughter tomorrow night??

Slow clap = movie gold.

Yeah, about that "I don't care what the scoreboard says" business....sorry, but I want the win.

Three losses to Triway in one school year (one in football and potentially two in basketball) would be a bitter pill to swallow.

Good luck Riders, and good luck to Coach's been a tough stretch for him lately, and if anyone deserves a reason to smile tomorrow night, it's him.

I still don't think this team has put it together for a complete game this year. We've put together good stretches and good halves, maybe tomorrow night is when it all clicks.

If we're fortunate enough to win, we just might need to refer to this link for help in cutting the nets down. It's been 14 years since our last net cutting exercise.

Let's end the streak. Good luck Riders. Play loose, play smart, play fast and most importantly, play Orrville Basketball.

Post-Season Basketball Honors (OCC, District 4 & NE Inland District)

The Ohio District 4, the NE Inland District and the Ohio Cardinal Conference released their awards for boys and girls basketball. 

We'll start with the good news, and finish up with another slight, unfortunately.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Two (Years) and Counting.....

Don't want to distract from the big game on Friday, but it's been 2 years since I started on this little blogventure.  Thanks to the 10,000 of you that have visited over the past 365 days.  It continues to mean the world to me when I hear positive feedback, or any feedback for that matter.

Site saw pretty big growth, including a record number of visitors in November when the Riders were on the football playoff trail.  I've branched out to include a Twitter page and a Facebook page as a way to publish items more quickly.

Save the pats on the back, and direct your positive energy toward the boys as they take on the Titans from North Shreve, or is it South Wooster?

Seriously, thank you all so much.  Got some interesting items coming up, and am always wanting your ideas and feedback, so keep it coming. 

If you have comments or ideas, or ways you think the site could improve, I'd love to hear them.  I also wouldn't be opposed to a permanent guest writer or two.  If you're interested, get in touch.  Fair warning....the pay stinks.

Go Riders!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Quick Hits

Some quick thoughts and opinions.  The Riders have earned their first district title game appearance since 2005 (also against Triway), and seek their first district title since 1996, with a big 61-48 win over Hillsdale.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Orrville vs Hillsdale - A Quick Preview

Once again, Andrew of and I are here with a preview of the Orrville/Hillsdale game tonight.  Since both of us picked Northwestern to beat Hillsdale (and were wrong), take the rest of what you read with a grain of salt.

The Full district preview & results are here.  So far, Andrew and I are 8 out of 10 in our picks.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Wooster District Preview - Part 2 (Updated w/ Scores)

****Originally posted on Feb. 26th****

by Tim Snyder and Andrew Marcum of

Let's get right to it, you've read (or will read) part one

Part two is where Andrew and I predict out all the games.  I'll name the game, give you Andrew's prediction, then mine.

For my analysis, I may substitute actual knowledge with humor, it's a diversionary tactic that has worked fairly well for me over the years.

For the record, I've not even glanced at Andrew's picks before doing my own.

Ready?  How could you not be?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Dennis Raber = Champion

Wouldn't be an Orrville championship if it didn't have tons of heart-stopping drama. 

In a thrilling triple overtime match, Dennis defeated Nick Leforce of Carlisle by a 4-3 score to win the 160 lb. weight class in Division 3. 

He becomes the 3rd state champ in Orrville wrestling history, joining Shane Hartzler (1996) and the late Jack Leeder (1985).

He was also the first champion from Wayne County since 2007 (David Stiltner, Waynedale).

Thanks to Paul Vance for the pic.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Swimming Wrap-Up

Lost in the madness of everything was another solid performance by the Orrville swimming program.  Still in it's infancy as a recognized OHSAA sport at Orrville, the team again placed multiple swimmers on the state podium....and held their own against the big-time programs in Ohio.

Here's a quick summary from the state meet and a look back at some great accomplishments by this group of very accomplished swimmers.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Good Luck Dennis & Gage.....

...At the state wrestling tournament. Represent Orrville with pride.

Fans can follow along at Baumspage Wrestling site, link is here.  Site does a great job of posting results quickly.  All weight class brackets in Div. 3 are here.

The Division 3 championship prelims start at 3pm on Thursday.

Channel your inner Louden Swain, and bring home the hardware.

*******Update:  Dennis will wrestle for the Div. 3 state title on Saturday.  He has won his first 3 matches and will take on Nick Leforce (31-2) of Carlisle for the crown.

The Div. 3 matches will begin at 5:45pm

Gage finished with 1 win and 2 losses.  His 2 losses were by a combined 3 points.  Both opponents are still alive in the 215 lb. bracket.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Ohio Cardinal Conference Post-Season Awards

My quick rundown of how I think the OCC post-season awards should be doled out. Check back after they're announced to compare notes.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Congrats to Jake...and other things basketball.

With 31 points against Wooster, Jacob Bolyard became the 11th member of the Orrville 1,000 point club, joining his father Tom Bolyard (5th all-time with 1277 points).

I'll talk more about this, list the other 10 members of the club (and update the status of the soon-to-be 12th member) and some concerns (based in statistics) that I have as we head towards tourney play.

Pic: 'Lakers vs. Celtics' computer game...circa 1989.  Classic PC Sports game.