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If they could play like that all the time

November 2, 2010
By MIKE MATHISON

Well, they can't.

No team can.

There are many reasons why 192 teams make the high school football playoffs in Ohio out of 718 teams - 26.74 percent.

Teams can control that night.

Teams cannot control what other teams do, teams you already defeated, needing them to keep winning.

Three 10-0 teams are on the road this week in the playoffs.

Two 9-1 teams and 13 8-2 teams, including Edison, did not make the playoffs.

The Wildcats missed the playoffs by .4686 points.

But, other teams were closer.

Louisville went 7-3 in Division II, Region 7 and missed by .051 points.

North Royalton (Division I, Region 1) went 9-1 and missed by .15 points. Caldwell (Division V, Region 19) went 9-1 and missed by .25 points.

Division I Grand Valley missed by .1995 points, Division III Oak Harbor by .132 points, Division II Ravenna by .25 points and Division II Rocky River by .2758 points.

Don't you think all those teams want one night back?

On those nights that teams can control, sometimes the other team is just better.

It's no one's fault.

It's just athletics.

No one has to be blamed.

No excuses need to be tossed around like parents who complain about other kids on the team.

"Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way." - Romans 14:13

I know some Indian Creek fan(s) somewhere want to know where Saturday's effort was in the four games the Redskins lost in 2010.

It doesn't matter where it was on those other nights because it was there on Saturday night.

You see, if the Redskins had that effort against Oak Glen earlier in the year they would have made the playoffs.

And, if the Golden Bears had their Friday night effort against Magnolia in the loss to Beaver Local, they would be in the West Virginia Class AA playoffs instead of having to wait and see what happens this week.

And, if Brooke would have taken what it did against Weir and John Marshall and channeled that into the Morgantown game, the Bruins would be in the driver's seat for a home playoff game. And, if Steubenville hadn't kicked the ball away six times against Massillon, Big Red would have finished No. 1 in the region.

What does it say when Indian Creek loses to St. Clairsville by 40, Edison beats the Red Devils in triple overtime and the Redskins beat the Wildcats?

What does it say when the Redskins beat Buckeye Local handily and the Wildcats have to stop a two-point conversion to slip past the Panthers?

What does it say when Harrison Central gets by Weir High in double overtime and the Red Riders get smacked by Edison, which has to score late to secure a win against the Huskies.

Hey parents, is every day at work your best day?

That is a resounding 'no.'

Why?

It's not possible.

Sometimes your best is not very good.

The same goes for high school football players and teams and coaches and officials and, yes, even fans.

If ... If ... If ... If.

Such is what happens throughout a 10 week high school football season.

Not every game is the best game.

Weir High beat Catholic Central, which beat Toronto, which played Shadyside tough and the Tigers had their hands full with Harrison Central.

What does all of this tell you?

A lot.

It tells you that anything can happen on a Friday or Saturday night or a Saturday afternoon when you're dealing with 15-to-18-year-old boys.

It tells you that not one team can go out and play perfectly each week.

It tells you that match-ups are a big deal in high school football - better yet, in football at all levels.

Case in point - did anybody really see coming what Cleveland did to New Orleans last week?

Nope.

How about Green Bay shutting out the New York Jets Sunday?

Nah.

Pittsburgh 28, Cleveland 10

Cleveland 30, New Orleans 17.

New Orleans 20, Pittsburgh 10.

Make sense?

Nope.

And all of those guys play football for a living. They get paid to put on the pads.

Kids don't.

So, if anything can happen on any given Sunday, why can't the same be said on any given Friday or Saturday?

So, the Red Devils had their way with the Redskins. Creek, in turn, gave the Purple Riders a battle, as usual.

Martins Ferry then turned around and beat St. Clairsville in overtime and then turned around again and lost to Wheeling Central.

The Maroon Knights then lost to Shadyside, which lost to Bridgeport, which beat Wheeling Central.

That happened a week after the Bruins came back from a 21-7 deficit at University and escaped with a 28-21 victory.

That's high school athletics.

That's sports in general.

"It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak." - Romans 14:21

I know there are Edison people right now who just cannot believe what happened Saturday night and are placing all the blame on the coaches.

Seriously people, wake up.

The same kids who lost Saturday night are the same kids to came back from 21-0 down to beat St. Clairsville in triple overtime.

The same kids who hung on to beat Buckeye Local and Bellaire are the same kids who whipped Oak Glen,?Weir, Tyler Consolidated and Union Local.

Those were the same kids Saturday night who never wanted to go out on that field and lose.

They wanted to play Week 11.

But, you are the same folk who were complaining when the Wildcats were 6-1.

People, why couldn't you just enjoy the ride?

Or, was that too much to ask?

I know it's not all adults, but members of that program just spilled their guts for the community.

For you.

Get off their backs.

It was nice to see a actual home crowd at Kettlewell Stadium Saturday night.

You actually cheered, which was a lot different from the previous two weeks, when your Redskins were basically playing playoff games and there was hardly anyone there.

And, those who were there cheered harder for the band or the announcement of a Big Red defeat than anything the Redskins players did on the field.

The same coaching staff you whined about all year is the same coaching staff who has gone 12-8 in the past two years, missing the playoffs by one win each season.

You can focus on that one game, or focus upon the fact Indian Creek football is relevant after that forgetful 2-8 season.

As a matter of personal opinion, I would bet some adults are whining more now after going 12-8 that they did of that 2-8 season.

"Yeah, but ..." doesn't cut it.

You are either all in or keep it quiet.

"Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled." - Hebrews 12:15

I know the Crusaders just went through a 1-9 season, which is not fun at all.

But, if there is another high school football coach out there who cares more about the Central kids that Gregg Bahen, please let me know.

I was on the sidelines Saturday night listening to him coach those kids with everything he had. He didn't just sit and watch and say nothing.

He patted them on the butt, kicked them in the same place, clapped for them, cheered for them and coached them with every fiber of being he has.

That team is just going to get better and is going to be a lot of fun to watch.

How the Toronto fans can complain about anything from this season is beyond me. Yet, far too many will find and have found something.

Coach Eric Meek, the staff and the kids went 4-6 and were a blocked punt away in Week 1 from going 5-5.

The Red Knights played Shadyside tough and punished the Tigers in the process.

Anybody see that coming after the Week 1 loss to Wellsville?

Nope.

Folks, get behind the programs. The ride is a lot more fun that way.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at mmathison@heraldstaronline.com)

 
 

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