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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

2013 Football Preview...and a special gift to my readers

Before we get to the 2013 Orrville Football outlook, I wanted to share a special project I've been working on over the past month.

It's the culmination of a project that took many hours of research to compile....and it's something that every Red Rider football fan needs to see.

It's my honor to give you the 2013 Orrville Football Fan/Media Guide.  It's basically a 12 page reference guide with current info as well as historical info.

Click the link below to view the file. You can also save it on your own computer or print it out.

Here's the breakdown of all 11 pages:

Page 1 is the 2013 football roster
Page 2 is the 2013 Varsity schedule
Page 3 is a "Master Schedule" showing all 10 of our opponents and their complete schedule
Page 4 is Orrville Football "by the numbers" with detailing stats on our playoff history, league titles, etc.
Page 5 & 6 is our all-time record broken down by each opponent we've ever played
Page 7 is our all-time coaching history
Page 8 is our all-time football captains list
Page 9 & 10 is our all-time playoff history with scores of all 50 playoff games
Page 11 is a game-by-game breakdown of the Orrville-Wooster rivalry.

Again, feel free to print it out or save it to your computer.  I'd like to update this annually.

Now on to 2013.................................................................................

Here's the article that I submitted to the most recent issue of OrrViews.  I'll add to the article below.

With last year’s 1-win season in the rearview mirror, Orrville head coach Doug Davault and the Red Rider football team are excited to get 2013 season started.
Now in his 8th season as head coach with a 51-30 record, Davault feels he has a good group of kids and the right mix and size, speed and smarts to get Orrville football back on track.
“We really try not to say too much about last year, we like to talk about where we are and where we’re heading,” said Davault. “But all of the coaches and players are excited to put last year behind us and get the season started and play that first game.”
The four senior captains for 2013 are Trevor Summers (TE/LB), Kyle Ritchie (WR/DB), Harrison Brown (OL/DL) and Joel Zook (RB/DB).  They will be counted on to lead the team all year and according to the coach, they’ve already begun stepping into that role.
“Our captains are doing what we ask them to do and they’re really leading the charge,” Davault said. “It’s part of the Orrville tradition that your captains take charge; it’s their team.”
One of the new faces on the 2013 team will be sophomore quarterback Luke Smith.  He takes over for 3-year starter Kyle Lichti.
“I’m very impressed, I have to keep reminding myself that he’s just a sophomore,” said Davault of his new signal caller. “He throws the ball well, has good vision and poise & I don’t think the moment of the game will be a problem for him.”
Seniors Elijah Coleman, Chandler Smith, Kyle Ritchie and Trevor Summers will be receiving targets for Smith while a group of linemen led by seniors Harrison Brown & Connor Davis, juniors JJ Miller & Amir Simpson, sophomores Jacob Zimmerman, Jacob Hochstetler and Korbin Sprowls will provide protection on the offensive and defensive line. 
Running backs will be led by Senior Joel Zook with junior Keontae Owens and freshmen Jacob Hershberger & Austin Domer potentially seeing time as well.
On defense, senior Trevor Summers will anchor the defense at linebacker.  He’ll be joined by juniors Colton Shrader, Jachai Palmer and Corre Shaffer at linebacker, while seniors Kyle Ritchie, Joel Zook, Elijah Coleman and Chandler Smith will man the defensive backfield along with junior Nick Fetty.
The Red Riders kick off the 2013 season at home on August 30th against Cleveland John Marshall.  This is a slight change in the schedule as Cleveland Lincoln West was scheduled to travel to Orrville, but due to low numbers on their team, it was agreed to replace them with the Lawyers of John Marshall.
Orrville will travel to Triway in week 2, this will be the first game on Triway’s new turf field.  The Red Riders will round out the non-conference portion of the schedule in week 3 as they host Northwest.  The next 7 weeks will be against Ohio Cardinal Conference competition, which will again prove a difficult test for the Riders, who by enrollment numbers are the smallest school in the conference.
“I think the conference will be strong again, there are teams with lots of athletes,” said Davault.  “We’re going to have to be at our best every week.”
The annual week 10 matchup against Wooster at Heartland Field will be the first game in the 100+ year rivalry to be played on turf.
With participation in the low 40’s counting all freshmen as well as sophomores, juniors and seniors, staying healthy is as important as it’s ever been.
“If we stay healthy, we’ll compete, if we don’t, we’re going to struggle,” Davault added. “But we’ll compete one play at a time and try to focus on the little details that can mean the difference between a win and a loss.”
Lastly, Davault stressed the need to get the season off to a good start by winning early.
“Kids need to know that all the hard work they’re putting in is prospering into something.  We would love to get off to a great start, that confidence and belief that would come with it is huge.”
I honestly think this could be a team to surprise people this year.  There's strong leadership at the top with a large senior class and 4 seasoned senior leaders in Zook, Brown, Ritchie and Summers.  It all starts with those 4.  All 4 need to have strong seasons on both sides of the ball.  I think we have some youth on the team that will have an impact, and some kids that have been waiting in the wings to make an impact.  We haze an offense and defensive line with some good size for the first time in a that group gels and opens holes for the run game and protects Luke Smith at QB will obviously be a very important thing.

The biggest keys are to stay healthy and to get off to a good start.  With low numbers, we have many kids playing offense and defense.  This isn't anything new in Orrville, but our depth is very shallow.  If a key player gets hurt, it's the equivalent of losing 2-3 kids.  A team our size just can't absorb losses like that and be the same team.

Getting off to a quick start is so key this year.  Our first 4 games are John Marshall at home, at Triway, then Northwest & Lexington at home....we have a real opportunity to get off to a hot start and you never know how the season will go if that happens.  We've seen what confidence (and yes, swagger) can do to a team.  If this team gets off to a good start and sees the results of their hard work paying off in wins, it could be a very interesting season.

With the addition of a 7th division, Orrville is now a D-5 school, playing a largely D-2 and D-3 schedule.  It's not inconceivable to go 5-5 and make the playoffs.

We'll be the smaller school in terms of enrollment, 10 out of 10 weeks this year.....and the OCC will be as competitive as ever.  This wont be an easy road.  Our kids are never afraid of a challenge and will not back down.  We will never be the biggest school, but I'll take the heart of our kids any day of the week.

These are good kids who have worked hard to get here and deserve our support.  Nobody wants 1-9 again and these kids are going to do everything in their ability to not let that happen.

Let's start with a win Friday night, on our turf, and have a healthy roster walking off the field after the game, heading to Triway for a week 2 showdown with the Titans on their turf.



Thursday, August 1, 2013

Community Night Details - Levy News - Red Rider Swag

Just a quick few items as we get ready to start another school year and another high school sports season....but first...I need to do my part for this levy vote next week.

Levy News
We're inside of 1 week until the community is asked to approve a renewal levy to assist our schools.  This is a no-brainer for me.  I'll be voting for the renewal and would ask you to do the same.  If this levy is defeated, money already being collected by the schools would disappear and make a difficult financial situation even worse.

I'm hearing that if this levy passes, it will not solve the entire financial crisis, but much less "new" levy money will need to be approved by voters in the future if we can pass this renewal levy.  It makes sense for Orrville and I hope to see it pass easily.

For the "average" home in Orrville, this levy represents about $20 per month, for some it's more than that, some less....again...this is money that is already being collected by the schools.  They are not asking for new money.  I'd really hate to think that the town would vote this levy down just to save $20 a month in their budget.  I'd think there would be much better ways to find $20 in your budget than at the expense of the schools.


"Meet the Team Night + Tour of new High School"
A community night has been scheduled for Friday August 16th at the high school and football stadium.  See below for the schedule of events that evening:

3:00-5:45 - Open football practice at Red Rider Stadium
5:30-7:00 - Open concession stand at the football stadium.
7:00 - Meet the fall sports team night at Red Rider Stadium 
7:30 - OHSAA required Informational meeting for fall sport parents. (Grades 7-12)

If you recall, the "Meet the Team" function has been held in the downtown area for the past few years.  I think this change will be a better venue for this event.  The school will be much more accessible from a parking standpoint, and the stadium will be a nice venue for coaches to introduce their captains, say a quick word about the upcoming season and give fans and younger kids the opportunity to come out on the turf and meet the teams.

Add in a chance to tour the new high school and it should be a good night.

While you're in the gym, make sure to check out the new banners that were paid for by the Booster Club.  They commemorate our 6 team state titles and our 22 team final 4's in all sports.  What a great look and a wonderful celebration of our athletic tradition.

Booster Club Info
As always at this time of year, the Orrville ALL SPORTS Booster Club is conducting their membership drive and for folks wishing to join at the Elite level ($50), this year's spirit item is a really neat one.  A Red Rider Tervis tumbler mug shown below.

The Booster Club is always seeking volunteers to help sell programs, 50/50 tickets or work in the concession stand.  In my opinion, every parent of an athlete should be required to work at least 1 event that their son/daughter is not involved in.  The Booster Club spends thousands of dollars a year for the benefit of all Orrville sports.

Red Rider Gear
Expert T's is once again selling Orrville football and Orrville volleyball shirts for the upcoming season.  Order forms for both are shown below.  Feel free to print out a form and turn it in at their store.  I really like this  year's designs.

That's all for now....we're inside of 1 month until the start of the fall sports season and the first home football game on August 30th.