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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

After Week 14...and the season.

And just like that, it's over. Another season of Orrville football has come and gone, the 101st season if my numbers are correct. The 21-3 loss to Chagrin Falls was not the way we wanted to go out, but on that night they were the better team and I wish them luck this Friday as they take on Bishop Hartley for the D-IV crown.

It stinks to see things end.  We're very proud of the team but when a season ends short of the ultimate goal, it's always so sudden and so final.  What makes the Orrville sports community special is what makes it very difficult at times too.  It's not a curse, that's the wrong word, it's just part of being a fan.  You have to be invested as a fan, and with that investment comes an acknowledgment that you have to take the good with the bad.

Some choose not to be invested, fearing a letdown.  I guess I've never been that way.  I try to enjoy the ride, knowing that you're always one game from the end, and there's never a gentle letdown.  It always comes to a screeching halt.

I wish our kids could have had a shot at the big prize this Friday morning in Massillon, but it wasn't to be I guess.

But you find the good...the silver lining, and you move on.  We'll turn the page to basketball and wrestling, then to baseball, softball and track in the spring.

Let's talk (quickly) about the Chagrin Falls game and look to next season. We'll talk some basketball too and throw in a few other things for good measure.

Chagrin Falls (Rod Dilyard's photo gallery from the game is here)
Hated to see our guys not have their best game on a big stage.  On a cold & windy night I didn't think the best move was to come out throwing, but that's exactly what we did...and it didn't go well at all. I can understand the logic, showing them that we're going to throw the ball....but you'd think the weather conditions would dictate a change in approach.

Before we even got to run a play on offense, we were down 7-0, I think it was a 13 play drive that the Tigers put together. We needed to answer right back with a long drive of our own. Everything is hindsight now, but running the ball, in my opinion, would have been the better approach. Between Tre, Mason, Stewart and even Matt Davis, you had talented options.

Our playoff wins versus Elyria Catholic and Genoa were gained by running the ball and picking our spots throwing. The Chagrin Falls game seemed to fly in the face of that approach. At the state semifinal level, it should be about which team's strength is stronger, whatever it may be. I don't think we played to our strength Friday and tried to "surprise" the Tigers by throwing the ball instead of running it right at them. Between Tre and Stewart, we had over 100 yards rushing on just 13 carries, that's almost 8 yards per carry. Just sayin'.

I will say this....Chagrin Falls is a solid ball club. Talk about tradition. They graduate 20 seniors and are right back where they were a year ago. Impressive. They had a bunch of playmakers and kept our defense guessing all night. Even running the wildcat with Bradley Munday. Would love to see us tinker with the wildcat next year. Seems to be such a simple, yet effective approach.

One of the bigger issues I heard from several fans was why we did not use our three timeouts at the end of the first half.  It was Chagrin Falls ball inside their own 20 with :50 seconds left.  If they run it into the line three times and we burn our three timeouts, they punt with :35 seconds or so left.

At the time, my thought was "just run the clock" and let's score on the opening drive of the 3rd and make it a game.  Looking back (you know hindsight is always 20/20), I guess I would have like to see us make them punt it.  Never know if they mishandle the snap or Stew/Drew bust a long return and at least given us a shot at a score before half with the wind at our back.

We could have also fumbled the punt or given up a big play on the three preceding downs.  I'm sure if we use a timeout, the Tigers may shift into "let's gain some yards and maybe break a long run" mode instead of "let's kill the clock" mode.

There was risk/reward either way.  Sort of a no-win for the coaches.  Down 21-3 we weren't exactly in a position to be aggressive, at that point we were licking our wounds.  I get both sides of the argument, though. 

Looking Back
The Chagrin Falls loss shouldn't put any damper on the season, a tough loss to a very good team. This year's Red Riders won 10 games, beat Wooster for the 6th straight time, beat Triway TWICE and won the region 14 title. It was a VERY successful season and a fun ride.

Most schools in Ohio would give a whole lot "only" win 7 regular season games and "only" make it to the final four. Keep it in perspective.

All-Time Record
Our All-time record now stands at 588-351-41.  That's 980 total games.  So the 2012 game at Wooster will be the 1,000th game in school history.  It's likely that we win our 600th game long before that, as early as next year if we go on another long playoff run.  I'll get all the season details, the historical opponents record and the all-time record updated in the coming days.

We had a bunch of guys earn All Conference honors, including Mason Monheim who was named the OCC Defensive Player of the Year.

Other honorees were Sam Reusser, Cody Rice, Derek Graber & Stewart Turner, who all made first team OCC. Dan Groves, Drew Brenner, Tre Simpson & Matt Davis who made the 2nd team, and Max Pirman, Trevor White & Kyle Lichti were named Honorable Mention.

Daily Record Honors
Mason, Tre, Sam, Matt, Stewart & Derek G. were named All-Daily Record 1st Team. Kyle, Drew, Dan, Max, Trevor & Cody made the 2nd Team. Derek V and Travis named Honorable Mention.

Division IV All-Ohio was just announced.  Congrats to Mason Monheim (1st Team Defense), Sam Reusser (2nd Team Offense), Stewart Turner (3rd Team Defense) and Tre Simpson (Special Mention) for earning the highest honors in Ohio High School football.

Some other numbers from the season...I think Tre ended with over 1,300 rushing yards on the season, and without looking, that puts him in the top 5 all-time in terms of single season rushing yards per the records in the fall sports program. For his career, he was right around 2,500 yards, which again put him in the top 5 for career rushing yards.

Kyle Lichti threw for 2,000 yards as a sophomore and gained valuable playoff experience. I'm excited to see his development this off-season.

Mason Monheim had to be near 200 tackles on the season, which puts him over 300 for his career and within striking distance of Chase Hoobler's 430 career tackles.

Stewart Turner had 1,000+ all-purpose yards as well. I think his ability will be more utilized in the offense next year, maybe as a running back or even a QB out of the wildcat at times. The thought of him running the ball with a lead block is a pretty exciting thing.

Coach Davault is now 42-18 over his first 5 seasons.  Sixty games over five years is an average of 12 per season.  That's pretty impressive, as is his 70% winning percentage, which is higher than both Mo Tipton and Bill McMillan after their first 5 years.

Congratulations and best of luck to the 12 seniors and for continuing the Red Rider Tradition. They were a part of 26 wins over the last three years, 5 playoff wins and a regional title. Not many graduating classes have that kind of 3-year resume. Be proud of that.

This was shown to the football team on Friday morning. Good stuff with the old video footage (starts at about 1 minute in). The black and white footage was from the 70's (love how little our uniforms have changed since then). The footage at Ohio Stadium was the 1985 state title game versus Columbus DeSales.  The audio was from the Kenny Chesney "Boys of Fall" video.

Akron Beacon
Sure was nice to see the Beacon cover us...they even took some pictures. Give me the Daily Record all day when it comes to high school sports.

Chase & Sam
Tough situations for 2010 graduates Same Miller (Kent St) and Chase Hoobler (Indiana). Both now get to go through coaching changes, as Kent State's Doug Martin resigned and Indiana fired Bill Lynch. New regimes mean new thoughts and ideas. Hope the talents of both make it hard for any new coach to ignore. The uncertainty has to be tough to deal with, though.

Winter Sports
I guess it's now winter sports season...and there's no break. Girls basketball (schedule) has already begun, boys (schedule) tip-off this Saturday at Shelby and wrestling (schedule) begins December 10th at Smithville.

Should be an exciting season. Girls basketball looks to defend their OCC title, and the boys will have one of their deepest (and tallest) teams in a long time to defend their district & regional title.

I'll probably law low through Christmas time, might add a few things here and there to the drop-down menus, and I should have some info forthcoming about another round of nominations for the OHS Sports Hall of Fame, but other than that, I wont do a whole lot in the way of unique content.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for a great football season of the Sport's Blog. My family and I just love reading it. Best site of it's kind....maybe one of a kind!

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

Thanks for the kind words. It's been my pleasure.

Anonymous said...

Tim, Thanks for all of the things you do to promote the Orrville Red Riders...if it weren't for you we would not have anything like this. I look forward each week you your new post, and I am never unhappy about it. Keep up the great work, and hope the site has more and more success.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for great coverage this season. Orrville football is definitely back and I enjoyed this season very much. I agree, we invested a lot of time, money, and whatever else but great run by the Riders. Every Friday night was family night for me in Orrville and that is priceless. Dravenstotts then football in Orrville is hard to beat. Thanks again Tim and Red Riders football for making this a joyous season