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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Week 2 Preview - Triway at Orrville

Who: Orrville Red Riders (1-0) vs. Triway Titans (0-1)

Where: Heartland Field at Red Rider Stadium

When: Friday August 31, 2012, 7pm - GATES OPEN AT 5:45pm

Radio: Updates on WQKT 104.5

All Time Series: Orrville leads 34-6.  The Riders have won 7 of the last 8 in the series.  Last Triway win was in 2009, 28-14.

Last Meeting: Week 2 of 2011 (Orrville won 52-7)

Last Week: Orrville beat Northwest 24-20, Triway lost to West Holmes 41-22.

Coaches: Doug Davault is 51-22 in his 7th year as Orrville coach, Tony Lee is 18-15 in his 4th season as Triway coach.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Opening Night Festivites Planned to Dedicate Heartland Field

This was sent out by Athletic Director Kent Smith in his weekly Booster Club update, but I wanted to share it here too. Looks like a Red Rider fan with a pilot's license got a bird's eye view of the new & improved Heartland Field.

I know we've all been amazed by the transformation that's taken place since mid June, but this really shows how different (in a good way) the facility has become in a little over two months.  I love hearing how impressed the Orrville community is, but also the positive comments fans from other communities have had.

I can't wait for opening night to see the field under the lights.

While on the subject, please plan to arrive early on Friday night for the 2012 home opener and the first ever Orrville varsity football home game on turf as the Red Riders take on backyard rival Triway.

A special recognition ceremony is planned to thank several large business donors and to also thank all of Red Rider Nation that helped make this project a reality.  It will be capped off by skydivers arriving with the game ball.  The Orrville band begins the festivities with their performance at 6:40pm.

A large crowd is expected as always when Orrville & Triway meet.  Add to that it will be the first chance for many to see the new turf, and with weather expected to be good, an overflow crowd is possible.  With parking at the school limited due to construction, please plan ahead.  Parking will be available at the lower part of Orr Park and at the Orrville Elementary & Middle Schools and also in the grass lot behind the home bleachers.  The area between the high school and the practice field will be reserved for media and the parking lot at the south end of the high school (by the Board of Administration office) will be reserved for buses.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Week 1 Info & 2012 Orrville Football Preview

I can't believe I'm doing my 5th Orrville Football season preview. Here was the first preview I did all the way back in 2008 (I predicted a 7-3 record and nailed it).

It's time for another, and while I'm no longer in the predictions business, I wanted to share some info to hopefully make us all better and more informed followers of our Red Riders.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Turf Field renamed 'Heartland Field at Red Rider Stadium'

This literally happened within the last 48 hours & I wanted to share and clarify this with my readers.

First things's the press release:
Orrville High School Turf to be Named Heartland Field
Heartland Field will be the name of Red Rider Stadium’s new artificial turf. The announcement was made earlier this week by Bob Serpentini of Serpentini Chevrolet / Buick, the naming sponsor of the 'Team Up for Turf' project at Orrville High School.

Serpentini said naming the field in honor of the Heartland Education Community, Inc., is a fitting recognition for the hundreds of people that have been committed to the Heartland Education Community for the past 20 years.

It also reflects Orrville’s community spirit, which was instrumental in bringing to fruition Heartland’s vision of creating three new centerpiece school buildings, a multi-purpose facility and The Orrville Area Boys & Girls Club in a common campus in the center of the city.

“We are honored that the Heartland name will be connected with the new field at Red Rider Stadium,” said Al Yeagley, Steering Committee Chairman for Heartland. “Education always has been at the heart of the Orrville community. The naming of the field will help recognize and continue the good work that the community has committed to the education of our youth by shifting the focus from school to education and shifting responsibility from school to community.”

Heartland Field at Red Rider Stadium will be dedicated Friday, August 31, 2012, prior to the first home game of the season.
Basically what this means is there was an agreement reached between Serpentini Chevrolet-Buick and the Heartland Education Community, Inc. to rename the field and from this point forward, the field will be referred to as "Heartland Field at Red Rider Stadium."

Mr. Serpentini's significant financial commitment to the turf project remains the same and his support is greatly appreciated.  He agreed to transfer the naming rights due to his respect for the positive impact the Heartland initiatives have had on the Orrville community via their involvement with the Orrville schools.

The agreement had no input from the Orrville City Schools, their administration or the 'Team Up for Turf' Committee.

This should reflect positively on both parties.  The relationship between Serpentini, the Orrville Schools and the Turf Committee was and remains 100% positive and the Heartland Education Community has been amazingly supportive of the Orrville School System for 20+ years.

As far as logistics related to the stadium, specifically the Bleacher Wrap bearing Serpentini's name....the top part of the wrap has already been removed and will be replaced with signage recognizing Heartland as the new naming rights sponsor of the field on one half, with Serpentini keeping an advertising presence on the other half. 

The costs associated with replacing the banners will be paid for by the Heartland organization.

I think a sincere "thank you" is warranted to both Heartland and to Serpentini Chevrolet for this agreement.  Two entities got together and made a mutually beneficial decision that positively impacts the Orrville community.  Let's keep that in mind when discussing this issue.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Turf Project - Week 9 - Fundraising Deadline & Projects Update

Wanted to take a brief moment and update everyone on the turf project. Even though the turf is finished, several projects related to the larger project are still in progress.  Thanks to Rod Dilyard for the picture at the top.  Click here for a full-size version.

Also wanted to share some updated photos as well as info relating to the cut-off date for fundraising.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Fall Sports Schedules & Football Master Schedule

Courtesy of the Orrville Booster Club website, here are you 2012 fall sports schedules.



Cross Country

Girls Tennis



One last schedule I wanted to share is one I made up showing our football schedule along with the complete schedules of all 10 teams we play.  Click here to view the 2012 Orrville Football Master Schedule.  It's helpful for those computer playoff points nerds gurus (like me) and anyone in general who wants to know what teams our opponents are playing each week.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Orrville Football Coaching History

The 1976 Red Rider coaching staff. Also pictured are (front, from left) Mike Bushi, Fred Blosser, Bill Sturgeon; (back, from left) Bob Shonk, head coach Mo Tipton and Ron Zook. (Photo courtesy of The Daily Record)
As we approach 600 wins as a program, I thought it would be neat to share this with my readers....the complete list of Orrville football head coaches.  If this post gets buried over time, you can find the list under the "Football" tab at the top of the page.

Not too many programs can claim to have 600 wins and also boast 22 playoff appearances.  I'd say the number of schools that can is less than a dozen....and having good coaches over the years is a big reason why we're poised to join the 600 win club.

From looking at this list of past Red Rider coaches, I plucked some interesting facts of note....

  • From our first season in 1903 until now, we've had a total of 26 coaches...but just 4 since 1954, which is pretty incredible
  • From 1903 to 1954, we had 22 head coaches over 45 years of football, an average tenure of just over 2 years per coach.  If there's ever been a better example of continuity leading to success, I haven't seen it.  
  • The program has 596 wins, with the four winningest coaches (Shunkwiler, Tipton, McMillan and Davault) accounting for 413 of those 596 wins.  That's 70% of our program's wins from 4 coaches that cover the last 57 years of Red Rider Tradition.
  • Blog reader Vince pointed out that Harry Strobel (not Henry as I originally listed him) went on to coach Barberton football and was eventually named Ohio State's freshman coach after his time at Orrville.  Reading this link, it sounded like Strobel was almost chosen as Ohio State's head coach in 1951, but that went to Woody Hayes instead.  Strobel won a state basketball title at Bellevue in 1945 and a state football title in 1947 at Barberton (where he coached Bo Schembechler) before moving on to Ohio State. Great read, and thanks to a loyal reader for pointing out Strobel's history.
  • Current coach Doug Davault has the highest average wins per season (8.3) of any Orrville coach.  Mo Tipton averaged 7.3 wins per season and Coach Mac just below at 7.27 wins per season.  Having an extra few rounds of playoff games certainly helped Coach Mac and Coach Davault's numbers.  About a third of Coach Tipton's years of coaching came when there were no playoffs, and when playoffs did begin in 1972, there were only a few rounds...not the 5 rounds that exist now.
Enjoy reading.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Turf Update: Week 8 - Turf is DONE! Fundraising Update

From this (on June 11, 2012).....

To this (on July 30, 2012).....

I still have a hard time believing this is real, and an even harder time putting it into words how cool this is....but as of July 30, 2012, a completed turf field now resides at Red Rider Stadium...and in what is a highlight of the 4+ years I've been writing this blog...I can now say that Serpentini Field at Red Rider Stadium is now a part of the list of Northeast Ohio Turf Stadiums.  I made that list at least 3 years ago and I had hoped to add our field someday.  Now I can.  Again, pinch me.

What is so amazing about this project is how swift it has moved along, especially the turf piece.  It took just eleven days from the time the first roll of turf was installed at Red Rider Stadium, but that's all that was needed...thanks to a hard working crew and some dry weather.

From the day the first piece of grass was removed from the field until this past Monday when the turf was completed was only 7 weeks & 2 days.  Work on the field started on June 11th, and ended on July 30th. That's just amazing.

What exists now is simply one of the nicest fields anywhere in the state for a public school of our size, and a testament to the community of Orrville and the support the citizens, alumni and businesses have shown time and again.  I know of only three other Division 4 public schools that have turf (Huron, Martins Ferry and Germantown Valley View)...and none can boast the 'campus' feel of their district like we can.

The best, or most satisfying part of this project was the fact that it was 100% privately funded.....everything being done at the stadium except for the track will be paid for with privately raised dollars.  This was a true grassroots effort from it's beginning in January.  This was done on a quick time schedule, but done well.  Smart people made smart decisions and hard working crews got this job done with pride.  Was great to see local companies used when possible.  Orrville Trucking & Grading provided stone for the base, B&K Concrete (Marshallville) did miscellaneous concrete work and Berkey Excavating (Smithville) did all the sod removal and field grading.  Truly a local project.  Local dollars & local contractors.

Here's an album I put together on the "Team up for Turf" Facebook page that shows the progress from the start of this project in June until now.  Here's a 2nd album with just panorama photos.  You don't have to be signed up with Facebook to see the photos.  Keep checking back there to see updated photos.

What's Next?
Now that the turf is down, work with re-focus on the track with the crew from VASCO back to put the latex topcoat on top of the new asphalt that was poured in late June.  The process is a 7-layer process that will only add 1/2" of thickness to the track.  Each layer must dry completely before the next layer is applied.  Once they finish that, the track will need to cure for 2 weeks and then they will apply the proper lane markings.
Work on the bleacher wrap from Gameday Renovations out of Massillon should be finished up by late this week or early next well as new fencing around the perimeter of the track and stadium is in process as well.  The old fencing was really starting to show it's wear.  Again, both of these projects (the bleacher wrap and fencing) are being paid for by the funds raised by the turf committee.

Also part of the turf project is a permanent recognition space for all donors to the project as well as a space to honor past Red Rider coaching legends.  This will be located near the south entrance by the fence.  Currently there is a plaque honoring former team physician Dr. Reiheld....that will remain, but there will be 3 other plaques added to recognize former coaches Bill Shunkwiler, Mo Tipton and Bill McMillan.  Those 3 coaches represent 50 years of Red Rider football and account for 363 of the program's 596 all-time wins.

Turf Grand Opening
The first contest on the turf will be the JV football game between Northwest and Orrville on Saturday August 25th.  The varsity team will host Triway on August 31st and the soccer team will host their first home match on turf on September 4th.

A special night is being planned for August 31st to dedicate this field for the next generation of Red Riders...make plans to be there.

Fundraising Update
As of this past Monday, the turf committee is excited to report that just over $650,000 (new donor list has been posted) has been committed to this project.  It's been explained to me that the whole project (turf, grooming equipment, bleacher wrap, recognition space, etc.) will cost somewhere around $625,000-$645,000. 

Anything above that range will go to a replacement fund for the turf.  The field will last roughly 10-12 years until it will need replaced...and cost to replace will be several hundred thousand dollars. 

The naming rights that Serpentini Chevy currently holds will expire in 10 years, and the new naming rights sponsor ($100,000) coupled with money being raised right now to replace the turf (hopefully another $100,000) will go a long way to paying for the 2nd generation of 'red rider turf.' 

It is the goal of the committee that the field not be a financial burden to the district in 10-12 years, which is why funds are being set aside now.  There likely won't be a large fundraising effort the next time around so that is why a push is being done now. 

Fundraising will likely cease on September 7th, and as mentioned above, all donors will be recognized on the plaque at the stadium, so please help out if you can.  Our goal of $750,000 is still within reach.  Visit today to pledge your tax deductible support to this project. 

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU....on behalf of the committee to the citizens of Orrville, OHS alums and especially the Orrville business community.  Your support is just amazing.