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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.

It was just a few weeks ago that I expressed some concern about how we were playing.  My preseason preview  and picks for the Wooster District showed that I was still confident, but not sure.  But three solid wins later, and we're back in Canton, with a look at Columbus....and I think that's about all you can ask for as a fan.

Roadblocks remain, and from here on out, there are no gimmies.

I've been very impressed with the comments from Coach Slaughter all season, especailly in the last several weeks.  This is why he was brought in.  Not only for his coaching ability, which so far, has spoken for iteself, but his sense of what this town is about, what this town expects, and what he expects of himself and of his players.  He has the sense of history, because he himself is a part of that history.  He's got the ring to prove it.  This one actually.

The Triway win was big because it got us over the proverbial "hump" and the kids showed a packed Orrville section how to paly with pride, passion and hustle.  If I dare say so, it was a performance that Smitty would have been proud of.  And fair or not, that's the measuring stick in Orrville...and it will be for a long time.

I'm excited to witness the sea of red fill up the Fieldhouse once again.....and I'm hoping the team who takes the floor in their red jerseys brings back some of that old Fieldhouse magic that we're so used to.

Win or lose....it's been a great ride, but I've got a feeling that this team isn't done "wowing" us yet.  This is a very talented team, but their heart is what makes them special.  They're Red Riders to the core.

2 comments:

Peggy said...

Go Riders...enjoyed watching you play this season.. Glad we are in div.3 and not Div.2
Rider fans would be sad again in post season play.

Red Rider Sports Blog (Tim Snyder) said...

Rider fans are very proud of this teams play...regardless of what division we're in. Very obvious improvement from just 1 year ago.