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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"Turn"-ing into a Red Rider...and the value of social media.

I heard rumblings of this back in May...but through some old-fashioned journalism pestering of a few different sources, I was able to confirm that Wooster junior-to-be Stewart Turner seems to be all but officially transferred to Orrville.

This is good news for Red Rider fans.  So lets discuss.

(Photo credit to Ashland Times-Gazette)

I was prepared to sit on this for as long as I needed to...didn't want to meddle in the personal decisions of a student-athlete and his family.  But now that he actively participating in Orrville's position camp happening this week, I don't think it's a huge secret anymore.

Turner was a three-sport athlete for the Generals and put up some very impressive numbers for a sophomore.  He had over 1,000 all-purpose yards on the football field and is the reigning Ohio Cardinal Conference champion in the long jump and 200m dash (he was runner-up to Mansfield Senior's JaMarkus O'Neal in the 100m by 1/100th of a second).

Let's focus on those football numbers for a second.  According to the OCC football stats page, Turner accumulated a total of 1,022 yards last season (129 rushing, 490 receiving and 403 on kick returns) and scored a total of 6 touchdowns (1 rushing, 5 receiving).  His long reception of 89 yards was best in the entire conference as was his yards per catch average of 24.5 yds (among receivers with 20+ catches).  All totaled, Turner averaged 19.28 yards per touch.

Sounds like a nice addition to the Red Rider family.  Probably not going out on too much of a limb to think he'll compete for a wide receiver & defensive back spot.

I'd like to think our facilities, tradition and coaching staff had a big part in this.  We've had a weird knack at helping kids land scholarships to D-1 colleges lately, and you can't fault a kid or his family for wanting to seek out that kind of opportunity.

It does add another layer to the Orrville/Wooster rivalry.  We've had transfers from Wooster before, Kameron Barnes was one, but this one feels a little different.  Turner was certainly one of their best returning players along with Duke Price.  And I think it also says something that a student-athlete is choosing a D-4 school over a large D-2 school in terms of showcasing his abilities.  Usually it's the other way around with transfers.

So, welcome to Orrville Stewart Turner.  I think you'll find that red, white and black is a good look.  You'll soon know the special meaning behind skull pride stickers, the song "Lunatic Fringe," and making the playoffs....among other things.

I would recommend wearing something other than #81. You're too fast for that number. Unless #81 has special meaning, something in the single digits would look better. Numbers in the 80's are for tight ends, not speedsters.


Oh...about the social media aspect of this.  It started with an email saying that he took a tour of Orrville High School back in May, then it was messages on Facebook, then statements on Twitter by one of his former Wooster teammates and message board chatter...and now it's happened.

My point?  Don't dismiss "internet talk" as unreliable or unfounded gossip.  It's the way people communicate now.  If you prefer to get your news from the paper and your sports talk at Mrs. J's...that's fine.  But don't dismiss those that get and share their news online as something as something less than legitimate....because it's simply not accurate.

1 comment:

RedRiderTradition said...

So I guess the saying doesn't always stand true in this case and in mine. "Once a General, NOT always a General." Welcome to the family Stewart. Go Red Riders!