Coach speak at its finest
The high school football season isn’t called the fastest 10 weeks of the year for no reason. In the blink of an eye, this weekend completed Week 7 of the slate, leaving three games left in the 2013 regular season.
With that said, it was two months ago now that the Tribune Chronicle and every sports department in the state was wrapping up their preseason football previews. The publication showcased previews on every team, which at the time all have the same record and chance of making the playoffs. It also gives each coach the chance to give his best “coach speak” interview and tries his best to get the media to believe every word out of their mouths.
So, let’s take this opportunity to look back two months ago, and see who was telling the truth. Or trying to get us to believe something that just hasn’t happened.
Austintown Fitch coach Phil Annarella: “We want to keep things rolling. How well we do that is going to be based on our supporting cast. We have a lot of question marks and I’m not sure who’s going to fill the bill at whatever positions.”
Apparently the Fitch supporting cast could win an ESPY, Oscar and Emmy award for their performance so far this season. The Falcons are 7-0, ranked fourth in the state in the AP poll and will likely move into the second spot in Division I, Region I of the computer ratings.
Many thought Fitch would be good – not many thought they would be one of the best teams in the state. After their impressive 30-27 victory over Massillon on Friday night, the Falcons are still only allowing 8.5 points per game.
Because Division I will take 16 teams out of Region 1 to the playoffs, it is likely Fitch will have a deep run into the postseason. Not bad for a team with a lot of question marks and supporting players who needed to step up two months ago.
Jackson-Milton coach Mark Assion: “We’re planning on being exciting on offense, making some big plays through the air, and putting a lot of points on the board.”
Now, many thought this was the best example of coach speak ever, as Jackson-Milton had not had a lot of success over the years – including an 0-10 2012 season. However, Assion was correct when he said the offense would put up some points.
The Blue Jays, which are 4-3 this year after an upset victory over Mineral Ridge on Friday, are currently averaging 31.4 points per game. During the winless 2012 campaign, Jackson-Milton only mustered 17.2 points per game.
The boys from North Jackson are one of the surprise teams of the season so far. With their four wins this season, they have already equaled their win total of the last three seasons combined. While it’s going to be hard to win Division II of the Inter Tri-County League with Western Reserve sitting at 7-0 on the year, the Blue Jays could pose problems for Lowellville and McDonald in Weeks 9 and 10, respectively – two teams that are battling for a playoff spot.
Warren G. Harding coach Steve Arnold: “John (Coleman) is a very good running back; he was just sort of overshadowed by LeShun (Daniels) last year. … we’re expecting a breakout year for him.”
While Coleman has put up decent numbers for a fullback (70 carries, 294 yards), unfortunately Arnold named the wrong running back to have a breakout season for the Raiders.
Sophomore Keemari Murry has been the go-to back for Harding, already accumulating 1,005 yards through the first six games. He did not play in Friday’s loss to Euclid due to an injury.
While the Raiders are not having the season they would have liked to (4-3), and will likely miss the playoffs this year, Murry is a back to watch for the future. With the year he has had so far, it would not surprise any if he follows in the steps of Dan “Boom” Herron, LeShun Daniels and Maurice Clarett as one of the best in Harding history.