Fridays in the Fall. It is not for everyone, but it is for a lot of people. In a politically charged world, this center stage season takes on even more consequences. I was in it deep in the LIP days, then plenty removed, and now, I consider myself semi-knowledgeable enough to take a stab at reporting on the high school football season. I will have help. Plenty of help. And there are some pretty talented kids and some pretty talented teams and I believe for the first time in a while, everybody thinks they are pretty decent. And they might be right.
This is the “going out there for the love of the game” group. While I believe that to be a bit cliché, I’m not baggin on the concept. Truth is there are likely a lot of reasons why…as many reasons as there are kids, and that is OK. And KTown is stacked with tradition, producing great individual players, fantastic rivalries, and State Championships. It’s fun…it’s supposed to be fun. Look for more soon on KSE in terms of High School Football…maybe even High School Falls Sports if it plays out that way.
In honor of the 2020 High School Football Season, I give you some random thoughts to consider:
1987 Bradford (title picture) The Brian Cotten powerhouse. Bradford’s best team from the time I can remember all the way to the era that would produce the title. And any team photo of Coach Harry Stoebe rockin a mustache is gold in my book. And he still whip your ass at Pickle Ball. Man, this team was physical, and just took the game to the other guy. Vintage Tom Roders picture too.
Larry Carbone and Mike Gentile. ’77 and ’78 at St Joe’s. Lakefront Stadium. I used to show people The Sporting News (yes, the paper one) to highlight Carbone being like 5th in the country in total offense at Brown. Gentile played like a brilliant animal and coached like an even more brilliant animal. Toss in Joe Fiorini and Phil Wade and you have a Saturday afternoon to cherish.
Rick Jiminez clock management to salt away the 1991 state championship for Tremper. Tremper had a 3-year run that was amazing for everyone. I was lucky enough to do color alongside The Voice of Carthage College, Johnny “Bud” Weiser. In my 400 plus games, I’ve never seen a high school kid more in control of a game….at the highest level. Jiminez would deliver the Trojans another state title and much like the QB who got the first 2, Marc Hujik, the leader was in total control.
Gordon and Waynes. It will be a long time…or never…before two dudes from the same team go on to solid professional football careers. The most memorable Gordon play, he never touched the ball. It was a punt and two were deep. Not only did Gordon give way to a guy that probably didn’t posses Gordon’s skill, but the block he laid just sounded amazing. And Wanyes crossing shitty Horlick Field, 50 yards diagonally, in what seemed like about 3 seconds, to run down some speed-burner from Park. I guess that is why they are pros.
Danny Freund and Andy Heller at St Joe’s. The best passer/receiver tandem in my lifetime and there really isn’t a close second. When you are the son of a former stud player who also happens to be an offensive trend-setter as your coach…and he learned from Bob Hyland, a man who walks on football water in this state, you might have decent upside. And Heller is no doubt a Top 5 “Natural Athlete” in city history. Maybe the perfect high school WR. LOVED watching their games from the end zone.
Jaskwich Stadium. I do not have a history with Indian Trail and I sure won’t try to make one up. But I do know Jaskwhich, and it is really a fantastic facility. And IT is now a pretty big-time program. They have a strong, experienced coaching staff, they have great individual athletes. And playing at that top-shelf stadium makes a difference. All of our local stadiums are outstanding, and this football season could be one to remember. We WILL find out who has the best team…enjoy it!