Thursday, November 1, 2012

Cheering for my Hometown Rams

Just wanted to recognize my Rams from Upper Sandusky. After finishing the season at 7-3 Upper Sandusky finished 8th in their region in Division four. The good news is that they have made the playoffs for the first time since the "Greg Micheli Years." The bad news is that they play Bishop Hartley tomorrow night. The Hawks are rated the number one team in Division Four. That rating is probably justified.

I am really happy for the Rams. I travel every weekend and do not get to see them play. But once a Ram, always as Ram. I do know three of the younger players, and I like what the team represents in the community. The only time that I saw them practice was this summer at 2:00 on a hot Saturday afternoon. At that time, they went full go tackle drills for at 35 minutes. From that, I know that they work hard are mentally tough.

Upper Sandusky used to play in the Northern Ohio League. In fact, I did, too, back in the day. The Rams were one of the smaller schools in the conference. Recently they joinded a new league in the area with two divisions. The Crawford County schools forseeing a drop in talent, decided to break from the new league and start another league without the Rams, Ontario, and Galion. Now they have to join yet another league.

If I am betting man, the Rams are probably going to be in for a long night. It is what it is. Quite simply, Hartley is athletic, fast, strong, and well coached. They also have some legit Division I level college players. But the Rams are in the playoffs and that is really huge for the community.

There will be some more  "Upper Sandusky's" playing tomorrow and Saturday night. Teams who are going to simply be out matched will be playing throughout the state. Upper Sandusky finished 7-3. Many teams in Ohio would love to have the 7-3 record. Many teams in Ohio would love to have been preparing for a playoff game this week but are not. Many teams in Ohio would love the challenge of proving themselves against a higher ranked team. Finally, many communities would love to experience the excitement of a playoff game.

As for me, Ohio did not have the playoff system back in the 60's. We would have had no chance anyway. We were not very good my senior year. In fact, we were getting hammered against Shelby. At half-time, our coach said,"If you want to quit and go home, go." Twelve players started taking off their uniforms. As a head coach, the playoffs had not been expanded yet. We never were good enough to make it. Now, my youngest son played at Kenton in the "Ben Mauk" years. Enough said.

Good luck to the Rams. In fact, good luck to all of the teams in the Playoffs, especially the underdog teams. Play hard. Most of all, do not forget the season that you had just to make the playoffs. Do not forget all of the sweat, as well as the fun that had as a team. Most of all, do not forget that there are roughly 523 high schools in Ohio that will be watching games this weekend, instead of playing.

Go Upper Sandusky Rams.

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