Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Sunday night, the house is quiet and I am still feeling the effects of all of the food from Thanksgiving. To make matters worse, there are alot of leftovers in my fridge. Not good. Had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and I, like you, have so many things for which to be thankful. Since this is a football centered blog, here are some football related things for which I am thankful.

As I watched Carey play Ada in the playoffs with the stands being filled, thank goodness we have 6 divisions and the playoffs were expand a few years ago. Bright, sunny day and both small towns were closed down so that everybody could watch the game.

As I watched inner city football this year in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dayton, Toledo, and Columbus, I am so pleased that young Black coaches are coaching and serving as role models for kids. Years ago, I felt so many Black coaches were there in body, but had no clue how to coach football, or relate to young people. Times are changing and Black coaches are doing a wonderful job as coaches and teachers.

Football officials are finally taking their bodies seriously and have eliminated the big overhangs on their wasteline. The game is getting so fast that officials have to be in shape. Plus, I watched an official this year who could not lay the ball on the ground. He dropped it and then put his foot on it to place it. Thank goodness officials are conerned about appearance.

I am thankful my very good friend Ted Ginn Sr. has led Glenville to the state championship. We go back to the day when Glenville was struggling and nobody cared about them. Now with their success, everybody is concerned about them. Yes, I know all about the open enrollment and all of that stuff, but I am glad they have made it.

John Reed, head coach at Coldwater, and I go way back to Upper Sandusky High Shool days. He represents everything good about a teacher, coach, and person. Coldwater is in the state finals again. John is in the Ohio High School Football Coaches Hall of Fame. As John leads Coldwater into battle this weekend, he has a bigger battle off of the field. Late summer, cancer was discovered. Coach will always be one of those "guys" whom I really admire and thankful that we are good friends.

Maybe silly, but I really appreciate the time and help that high school coaches give me. Of course, I am older than most of them, so maybe they feel sorry for me. I do know with the internet websites able to second guess coaches and rip coaches and players and the market getting larger with high priced recruiting services, I am fortunate that coaches on both the high school and college level trust me. There is just so much out there.

I am really thankful that a friend of mine here in Upper Sandusky understands computers and websites like no other. The man is unreal. Never played football in his life, but understands computers.

Lastly, no sympathy here, but I am 61 years young and really enjoy what I do with football scouting. As most college coaches know, I am a "kids guy," almost to a fault. I enjoy working with them, and, honestly, it keeps me young. My wife lost a battle with cancer seven years ago. My "adult kids" have left the nest. Some consider me the "old guard," but Papa Joe and Bobby are still "hangin," so maybe I have a chance. Take care and I hope that you have had a wonderful Turkey-Day.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The "Old Guard" are Retiring

Football coaches just seem to know the timing to retire or resign. Lou Holtz once said, "if you can walk way and not miss it, then the decision was the correct one." Some of my long time friends have been announcing their retirements the last few days. With the chatrooms and the unaccountable ways idiots make comments, I sometimes wonder why more head coaches do not contemplate retirement.

Bob Ramsay, Dalton High School, has spent 35 years in the business. I coached football and track against Bob, when he was an assistant at Orrville and I was at West Holmes.(God's country). He went to Dalton as head football coach and stayed for 29 years. Excellent football coach, but a better coach at working with young people. We see each other at clinics and camps, and, of course, always chit-chat. Now he has put on some weight, but other than that, same old Bob. Led his school to seven league championships in the always tough Wayne County League. Remember two things as you drive SR30 thru Dalton: Bob Ramsey and the cop that sits at Wendy's.

Greg Bailey, Lakota East High School, is stepping down. We go way back to his Fredericktown days. Tremendous individual. Excellent football coach. For some reason "fast horses" gives one a chance to be a good head football coach. Greg always was honest in his player evaluations. Moreso, he was always promoting his players and trying to do the best for them.

Some more of my old coaching "boys" are making retirement plans and will be announcing soon. Retirement is not the worst "gig" in the world. From first hand experience, life is short. Play hard and take time to smell the roses.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bowsherville University - new program

Something I rarely do any more is provide fuel to the media. Interviews are limited. One radio show I do occassionally, and then sometimes talk with good friend, Bill Conley on his pregame show. One thing certain, if you read anything remotely associated with Lee Shearer and his "Bucknuts Boys, " it is not from me.

Years ago, I wrote a column for "Scarlet and Gray Illustriated," called "Around the State." The mag was good, but went "bottom-ups," and , of course, no job or owed money for me.

Bowsherville University is the school starting a football program. These are my recruits. Of course, just from Ohio. Naturally, people will differ on my choices and they should. Please do not get offended, if you are not on my team. I am not trying to cause controversity. Have some fun with it. I am far from an expert like all of these internet guys who make up the "star" system.

Going to Fremont to watch Avon Lake and Toledo St. Francis.