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Sunday, October 24, 2010

After Week 8.......

We'll save the football stuff for last. I'd rather highlight the positive first.  Let's talk Orrville Cross Country & Volleyball before we get to the ugliness that was Friday night against Clear Fork.

For the second straight year, the Orrville girls cross country team qualified for regionals, as did boys runner Nathan Rosenbaum, who finished 7th in the boys D-2 run at Malone University in Canton.

The girls competed in division 3 (weird that boys are in D-2, and girls are in D-3) and were paced by senior Brooke Benner and FRESHMAN Haley Woodruff who finished 8th and 9th, respectively. Junior Katie Shoup finished 29th, senior Richelle Romanchik finished 71st and freshman Tyra Barnhill finished 74th. Sophomore Anessa Barnhill (98th) and junior Lindsay Rogers (103rd) rounded out the scoring for the Riders.

The girls team finished with 173 team points, good enough for 4th place and a berth in the regional meet in Boardman this Saturday.

The boys team finished a respectable 7th with 177 team points, paced by Rosenbaum and three other runners, juniors Zack Russel (22nd) and Kyle Sprowls (39th) and freshman Spencer Rosenbaum (40th), in the top 40.

See the full results here (boys) and here (girls).  Congrats to the runners and to coaches Jill Reed and Ryan Hochstetler for establishing a very respectable program.

The girls volleyball team has a huge game this Tuesday against Smithville in the Division 3 Smithville District semifinal.  A lot of folks have questioned the choice of jumping into Smithville's half of the bracket, but I think it's a smart move.  Maybe having the game on the Tuesday of Wooster Week instead of Thursday will provide less distractions and allow more fans to make the drive over to support the girls.

Game day is October 26th (Tuesday), game time is 6pm at Smithville High School.  Good luck ladies.

Wooster Week
It's officially Wooster Week (wish we could have skipped week 9 if we knew how it would turn out).  The Daily Record's Aaron Dorksen has done a great job of summarizing the week's events from both communities in today's paper.  I've linked the article over at the Orrville/Wooster info page on this site.

Football Playoffs
According to Red Rider football team has clinched their 21st all-time playoff berth.  So as of right now, they will end up somewhere in the top 8.  A win over Wooster would cement a first round home game and a possible matchup with rival Triway in the first round.  I'll crunch the numbers later today and hopefully have some scenarios later tonight.
We should feel fortunate we're in region 14.  In region 13, the Riders would be 8th, and in region 16, they'd be 11th.
It's nice to be in....but sorta feels like we're backing into the playoffs and not exactly playing our best ball. 
With that said......

Clear Fork game
One word....turrible.

Full disclaimer...I didn't attend this game....but my operatives that were there classified it as quite disappointing.  I could live with losing to Clear Fork if we played well....but other than not having a single penalty on the night, we did very little right, especially on offense.

A shutout at home should simply not happen, and it hasn't since Ashland shut us out 42-0 back in 2007 (not the 33-0 loss to Mansfield Senior in 2001 as reported by the Wooster paper).

It also shouldn't happen to any playoff team.  This is the first Orrville playoff team to be shutout in the regular season since 1997 when Ashland shut us out 34-0 in week 7.  We went on to beat Clear Fork in the first round of the playoffs that year, then lost to Cleveland Benedictine the next week.
Other than 1997 and this year, it's never happened in the 21 year of Orrville making the playoffs.

Back to the game...forty yards passing will not cut it.  Less than 50 yards rushing from our returning 1,000 yard back will not cut it.  Uninspired and predictable playcalling will not cut it.

I'll stop there as I don't want to be the source of any dissension during the biggest week of the year...but I don't think I'm splitting the atom here.  This team needs to right the ship and come out and play with some passion and pride the rest of the way or we might as well turn our attention to basketball season.

For being maybe the last home game that this group of seniors will ever was not the best effort.  Maybe it doesn't even matter.  Maybe kids are looking forward to basketball & wrestling season.  Maybe kids are looking forward to the next step in their life.  Who knows.

If this would have happened in week 4....I'd hold out hope that there were still things that could be improved on....but after week 9?  I'm afraid this is the team that will take us into the playoffs.  It's certainly a team with it's share of talent..but flaws to go with it...and good teams seem to exploit those flaws.

All three losses have been to good teams, which there's no shame in, but the last 2 losses to Ashland and Clear Fork, we were nowhere close to the best team on the field and our vaunted defense has given up an average of 36 points per game in the three losses.

The Riders continued their streak of falling behind in games....they've now trailed in every game this season.  Some they've had the talent to come back from, other they haven't.  You just can't fall behind early like we've done so many times this year.  

It's every coaches wish that their team peak right at this time of the year....ask yourself this and be very honest....are we peaking right now?  I say we're far from it.  I dare say we peaked ALL the way back in week 2 with that win over Triway.  Since then it's been one inconsistent effort after another.  I'd like to think I'm being realistic and not harsh....but the harsh reality is that we'll be an easy out in the playoffs unless things change in a big way.

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