Paying a football Friday visit to the variety store...
Through the first two weeks of the 2009 season, the seven Ashtabula County football teams have posted a collective record of 8-6 (.571).
If that looks like a pretty decent mark to you considering the recent well-documented struggles of the teams from Ashtabula County, you’d be right on the button.
How does the collective record of those seven teams (we’ll not include SS. John and Paul in the discussion as the Heralds aren’t playing football this fall) — Conneaut, Edgewood, Geneva, Grand Valley, Jefferson, Lakeside and Pymatuning Valley stack up historically?
Here’s how those seven teams did through the first two weeks of the season since Ashtabula and Harbor consolidated to form Lakeside in the fall of 2001:
n 2001 — 6-8 (.429).
n 2002 — 4-10 (.286).
n 2003 — 5-9 (.357).
n 2004 — 6-8 (.429).
n 2005 — 5-9 (.357).
n 2006 — 4-10 (.286).
n 2007 — 4-10 (.286).
n 2008 — 4-10 (.286).
That means this season has been the most successful for those seven county teams in the 21st century.
Name the pitch-and-catch combination that led the Harbor Mariners to an 8-2 mark for then-coach Dan Platano in the 1981 season.
With a season-opening win at Champion (27-15) and a 28-19 triumph in Week 2 at Berkshire, coach Joe Kearney’s Edgewood Warriors did something that had not been done at Edgewood in three seasons — win back-to-back games.
Previous to those wins, the last time the Warriors strung consecutive wins together was in Weeks 8 and 9 of the 2006 season when they won at Youngstown Christian (26-20) and at archrival Conneaut (38-14).
Actually, those two victories extended a winning streak to three for then-coach Lance Hostetler’s squad, which had also prevailed at Geneva in Week 7, 28-20, in a double-overtime triumph.
Kearney & Co. will look to match that three-game winning streak Saturday night when they host first-year coach Bill Lipps’ 1-1 Lakeside Dragons at Corlew Stadium.
Let’s take our weekly historical look at how the area’s 10 teams have fared in their series against the respective Week 3 opponents.
And, with one very notable exception, there isn’t much history to recap.
n Madison at Perry (7:30) — These two played for bragging rights from the 1930s through 1995, when Madison officials decided it was time for a change. Good decision? Not so much.
Anyway, the Blue Streaks and Pirates got together for the first time in 13 years last fall at Blue Streak Memorial Stadium and packed the house for the Pirates’ 44-7 win, a victory that took the prized Little Brown Jug — the trophy awarded to the victor each time the two schools square off — back to Perry.
The Little Brown Jug was first awarded in the fall of 1949 and despite last season’s mismatch, the Blue Streaks have pulled a Meat Loaf in the series — two out of three ain’t bad — winning 32 of the 48 games played in series.
Just how hot a ticket was last year’s contest in Madison?
Consider: Brenda Hall, who won the 50-50 drawing at Blue Streak Memorial Stadium, stuffed her pockets with $1,281.50.
n Champion at Conneaut (7, WWOW, WYBL) — The Golden Flashes and the Spartans have played only four times in the last 25 years, including last season’s memorable 27-20 five-overtime triumph by Champion in Trumbull County.
Champion also prevailed in 2007 at Conneaut (35-14) and in 2006 at Champion (27-6), while the Spartans earned a 12-10 triumph in 2003 at Champion.
n Jefferson at Brookfield (7) — The Falcons and the Warriors have played five times all-time, with Jefferson’s thrilling 29-27 double-overtime verdict last season at Falcon Pride Stadium representing the only win for the good guys.
Brookfield earned wins in 2007 at home (24-19), 2006 at Jefferson (14-7), 1972 at Jefferson (45-0) and 1971 at Jefferson (8-6).
The 1971 and 1972 games were played at the Falcons’ former home field, Memorial Field.
n Geneva at Lakeview (7) — The Eagles began playing football in the fall of 1903 and thanks to efforts of resident Geneva football historian and now-Utah resident Norm Potter (Class of 1986), we know that the Bulldogs’ 30-14 triumph last season at Memorial Field was the first-ever meeting between the two teams on the gridiron.
n Grand Valley at Jackson-Milton (7) — Tonight’s game will be the first time the Mustangs and the Bluejays (yes, that’s how they spell it, for whatever reason) have played in the last 25 years.
n Garrettsville Garfield at Pymatuning Valley (7) — Tonight’s game at Laker Stadium will mark the first time the Lakers and the G-Men have squared off on the gridiron in the last 25 seasons.
n Riverside at Fitch (7:30) — The refrain continues — tonight’s game between the Beavers and the Falcons will be the first time they have played in the last 25 years.
n Lakeside at Edgewood (Saturday, 7) — This Saturday night special will mark the resumption of a series that ended after the 2004 season.
The Dragons have thoroughly dominated the Warriors the four times they have met, winning in 2001 at Edgewood (52-0), 2002 at Edgewood (41-6), 2003 at Edgewood (55-7) and 2004 at Lakeside (60-13) — an average final score of 52.0-6.5.
Quarterback Dana Schulte and receiver Dean Hood were the headliners on that 1981 Harbor team that posted an 8-2 record.
Schulte, now the head honcho of MediaOne Group, completed 93 of 173 attempts (53.8 percent) for 1,195 yards and hurled 11 touchdown passes.
He was so good Platano trusted him to call the majority of his own plays, something that was almost unheard of in that day and age.
Hood, now the head football coach at Eastern Kentucky University, caught 25 of Schulte’s passes for 318 yards, an average of 12.7 yards per catch.
For their efforts, Schulte was named Star Beacon Ashtabula County Offensive Back of the Year, while Hood was named Star Beacon Ashtabula County Offensive Lineman of the Year (he played tight end for the Mariners).
The Star Beacon Ashtabula County Defensive Player of the Year that season was Doug Brunot, a senior for coach Steve Nolan’s NEC champion Conneaut Spartans.
McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paying a football Friday visit to the variety store...
Geneva, Edgewood win in J-Town
The Geneva boys and Edgewood girls managed to amass just enough points to claim the team titles at the Falcon Night Relays on Friday at Falcon Pride Stadium.
Johnson: Browns will be better
Football fans of every age gathered Friday evening to converse with Cleveland Browns linebacker James-Michael Johnson.
Skleres finds good fit
There are two very different sides to Michealia Skleres and the Pymatuning Valley senior wasn’t ready to go one direction or the other just yet. She may never be ready to separate those two halves.
Lakers ousted by LaBrae
Though the LaBrae softball team fell short of one goal this season, another was achieved on Friday.
Fitch 10, Lakeside 1
SATURDAY, MAY 18
n No events scheduled
Top to bottom
For a team to score a number of runs in a softball game, the bottom portion of a lineup has to string a couple of hits together at least once.
Falcons fly to sectional title
Lake Catholic softball coach Dale Colagross had the option of a potential battle with rival Notre-Dame Cathedral Latin, the top-seeded team in the Division II district tournament, or a potential matchup with third-seeded Jefferson in a sectional championship game in the other half of the bracket.
Area High School Baseball Statistical Leaders:
INDIVIDUAL BATTING (minimum 45 at-bats)
PLAYER SCHOOL AVG OB% SLG% AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB
Chase Thurber PV .548 .642 .790 62 24 34 10 1 1 25 13
Tim Cross PV .492 .528 .667 63 24 31 9 1 0 25 12
Louie Wisnyai Edgewood .492 .559 .763 59 17 29 8 1 2 26 8
Tony Magda Edgewood .483 .552 .603 58 14 28 5 1 0 19 6
Joey Piscsalko Jefferson .471 .548 .571 70 23 33 7 0 0 19 14
Scott Davidson Jefferson .464 .519 .623 69 20 32 7 2 0 10 8
Lakeside rolls past East
One of the great lessons in sports competitions is to play with the maximum effort in utilizing your own skills and talents. It’s a lot easier said than done, but the Lakeside Dragons got a full dose of it Thursday afternoon as they tangled with a youthful and inexperienced group of Panthers from Youngstown East in a Division I sectional semifinal ballgame. The Dragons came out on top, 12-0.
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