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Colonel Crawford Thinking Consistency

Year in and year out you figure Colonel Crawford is going to be a pretty good football team and their resume proves that.

They have made the postseason playoffs in four of the last five years and have been in the top half of their conference in everyone of those years. That is thanks in part to coach Ryan Teglovic and his outstanding staff.

Teglovic told Swankonsports.com during practice on Wednesday that he has seen a lot of good hard work so far. “I like the effort. It is one of those groups where I haven’t had to get on them to get here on time, the little things, and I appreciate that. We have a good number of kids and we have had a good number of kids here everyday to work, so very appreciative of that,” he said.

Colonel Crawford starts the season week one against Mt. Gilead in non-league play then it is right into the Northern 10 Athletic Conference with Carey and then Mohawk. The big one with arch rival Wynford is September 15 on the road.

Good years, and at least eight wins, have become common place in North Robinson. Teglovic says they certainly have the makings of another pretty good club this year. “We lose 16 seniors, but we lost 16 seniors the year before, so we hope we can replenish that group. We don’t have a huge senior class. We only have eight or nine in that group, so that is not a huge class, but we have 21 juniors to kind of make up for that a little bit and a lot experience at the skilled positions. We are looking forward it. We think we can compete,” said Teglovic.

When it comes to improvement, Teglovic says they have to be more consistent in their execution on defense than they have shown so far and on offensive they need to get step by step progress from the guys up front in the trenches. “I think defensively we have got to be a little bit more consistent. (Tuesday) was one of those days when we added just a few things. We try to stay pretty basic, but sometimes when you start adding things your focus gets off on the little things. We have to be consistent with the little things,” he said, “Offensively for us it is how those guys up front are going to play. We only have one of those guys back, so as they continue to get more consistent I think we will be pretty good. We have great size up there just not a lot of experience.”

Published 8/03/17

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Colonel Crawford Downs Edison

  

          Before anybody was out Edison took a (2-0) lead, but that was all they would get and Colonel Crawford rallied to beat the Lady Chargers (5-2) in the division three district semis on Tuesday at Lexington High School.

          They return Friday to play either Galion or Willard, who meet in the other semi-final on Wednesday at Lexington.

          Edison’s Hailey Stoll led off the game with a double to left center and scored after a couple of wild pitches by Crawford pitcher Sydney Studer.  The Lady Chargers added another run a walk and error.

          Lady Eagles coach Chuck Huggins had seen enough and went to the mound to have a talk with his star pitcher.  “Give Edison all of credit in the world.  They came out of the shoot fast and in the top of the first they put two up on us.  I just felt at that time I need to go out and have a talk and I came up with my best joke as I went out there, but no, actually what happened was I just looked at Sydney and told her you are a first team all-state pitcher last year as a sophomore.  You are the best,” he told Swankonsports.com on the field after the game, “You need to make sure that you understand that and if I had a mirror I would show it to you right now so you could see who you are.  You just need to relax and be Sydney Studer and that is exactly what she did and from there are she was very, very tough.”

          Studer got out of the first with out any more damage, striking out the last two batters of the inning.

          Crawford cut it to (2-1) in the bottom of the first on an RBI hit by Lydia Strause.

          Studer allowed only one Lady Charger past first base the rest of the game and struck out 13 on the day. 

          Huggins says she was a little under the weather, but he says she is a bulldog.  “That is Sydney Studer.  She hasn’t been feeling good.  We have the flu bug going through our team right now.  Dog gone that is just her.  She just finds a whole different level, a whole different competitive level.  I could tell when I went out there and said that to her you could just see fire light inside of her.  When I left the mound I was very, very confident that she was going to be the Sydney Studer that was know and love,” said Huggins.

          Still trailing (2-1) going to the bottom of the third, the Lady Eagles erupted for three runs to take a lead they would never relinquish.

          With one out Studer and Strause worked walks and Abbie Bradshaw loaded the bases with a single up the middle.  Then came to the biggest at bat of the day as Catiltlin Koschinick lifted the ball over the right fielder’s head to drive in two and made it (3-2) Lady Eagles.  “They were being very careful with the meat of our lineup.  They walked Studer, they walked Lydia Strause and Abbie Bradshaw did a great job going up the middle and that loaded them and from there it was Catitlin Koschinick’s time to shine.  What a great opportunity for her because she is our DP (designated player) and I told her you have one job and that is to do be our hitter.  She unloaded on one and got it to the fence and that was huge.  That whole inning was huge because up until then we were behind and that put us ahead and it just kept going from there,” said Huggins.

          Colonel Crawford (19-5) added another run in the third when Bradshaw scored on the back half of a double steal attempt.

          Another run scored in the fourth when Kerri Reynolds tripled to lead off the inning and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Alexis Burkhart.

          Yes, there was pitching and hitting, but there was a little defense too.  Burkhart, the Lady Eagles shortstop, made a diving catch and tagged out Lauren Wolf trying to steal in the top of the third when the Lady Eagles were still down a run.  She also dove into the hole to snare a line drive hit by Leah Kroll in the fourth after he team had just taken the lead.  “I said only “Burks” and that is the only way to describe it only “Burks.”  She expects that from herself.  She knows she has that kind of God given talent and that kind of athletic ability that she can make those plays anytime, anywhere and obviously we needed those,” said Huggins.

 

Published 5/17/17

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Plymouth Gets Past Colonel Crawford

  

          Plymouth used a four spot in the bottom of the sixth inning to rally past Colonel Crawford (5-3) in a division four sectional final game at Plymouth on Thursday.

          The Big Red scored an unearned run on a Crawford throwing error in the fourth and the Eagles really hadn’t done much at all offensively, just three hits, all singles, off of Plymouth starter Austin Nester, but they reached him for three runs in the top of the sixth.  Kaden Schell led off the inning with a triple and scored on a single by Jake Johnson.  Gavin Feichtner followed with a double to put runners on second and third.  Blake Treisch followed with a sacrifice fly to center to give the Eagles the lead.  It became (3-1) Crawford on an RBI single by Noah Toman.

          However, the Big Red (18-5), #5 in the Swankonsports.com coaches poll in the small school division, got busy in their half of the sixth.  After Colonel Crawford pitcher Ethan Studer issued back to back one out walks Anthony Montgomery singled in a run to make it (3-2) and coach Joe Swartzmiller removed him in favor of Toman.  Nester’s sacrifice fly to center tied the game and Mitchell Chaffins and Seth Bailey followed with RBI hits.

          Plymouth coach Jason Higgins says he got a little nervous, but his players responded.   “I told the boys you know you have something special when you can pull out a win like that.  You can tell my voice is a little different because I about lost it with the excitement.  They are a good team.  Joe (Swartzmiller) does a nice job with them.  They were ready to play, that was a big scare.  You know you are special when you can come back like that, just never do it to me again,” said Higgins.

          Swartzmiller says he felt he had no choice but to make the pitching change in the sixth.  “We come in and take a two run lead as a pitcher you have to know there are no walks, there are no free bases, they have to earn it.  My pitcher came in and walked two batters and I said that’s it.  I had to go with somebody else,” he said.

          Jake Johnson started the game and went the first four plus one batter in the fifth.  He did have some command issues walking two and hitting three batters.  He was replaced by Studer in the fifth.

          Higgins says they had to adjust to different styles of the Crawford pitchers.  “We are some quality at bats.  We started to figure out their pitchers.  They kept switching pitchers on us.  The first guy we got into him a little bit and then they brought in the next guy and the next guy.  Sometimes it is tough with the different arm angle.  The guys for some reason like that last guy they brought in and we were excited about that,” he said.

          Nester went the distance for the Big Red, who will play Firelands Conference leader Norwalk St. Paul, a (10-0) winner over Buckeye Central, in next Wednesday’s district semi-final at Galion High School.  He allowed seven hits, four in the fifth inning, walked none and struck out nine, including Schell to end the game.

          Higgins says it was just a normal game for him in a lot of ways.  “Nester pitched great.  He has been doing that all year.  Pitching to contact he is not going to overpower you.  He is going to throw strikes.  He is not going to give free bases,” he told Swankonsports.com after the game on the field, “There are a couple of things defensively we could have done a little better.  He gave us a great effort.  Our scouting report was great.  A couple guys surprised us with a couple of the swings they had. But for the most part we had our guys where they weren’t having to move too much to make the play.”

 

 

Published 5/12/17

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Colonel Crawford Upends Lucas

  

          Colonel Crawford’s Noah Thoman drove in the game winning run with an RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning and Colonel Crawford edged Lucas (4-3) in a division four sectional semi-final game in North Robinson on Tuesday evening.

          Crawford coach Joe Swartzmiller says games like this can give coaches grey hair, but they are going to take it.  “They are exciting.  Anytime you get your first win in the tournament.  A lot of people say that is the hardest win of them all.  A win is a win and we will take it and move on,” he said.

          Colonel Crawford (13-8) has won eight of its last nine games and Swartzmiller says it is because of the pitching and defense they have gotten better as the season has gone on.  “Defense and pitching has been super.  I mean I can’t ask for anything more.  We are making the plays out in the field.  We are throwing strikes and keeping the runs down,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win over Lucas, “The only problem now is we don’t know what hitting team is going to show up.  That is always a fun occasion.”

          They are likely going to have to score some runs when they play Plymouth (17-5), #5 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the small school division, in the sectional final at Plymouth on Thursday.

          Plymouth has shown to be one of the better hitting teams in North Central Ohio all year.  They beat the Eagles (13-10) in late March in a non-conference game.

          Swartzmiller thinks both teams are playing well and it should be a good contest.   “They are playing really, really well right now.  They have shored up their pitching a little bit and they are hitting the crap out of the ball.  We are playing our best, they are playing their best, so it should be a great game,” he said.

 

Published 5/10/17

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Colonel Crawford Ready for Championship Month

  

          Colonel Crawford has set itself up to have a great season and now they need to take advantage it.

          After a (16-0) win over Buckeye Central on Tuesday, the Lady Eagles stand in a tie with Upper Sandusky and a game ahead of Carey in the loss column, although the Lady Blue Devils has played four fewer league games due to rain outs.

          Speaking of rain if Mother Nature allows, and it looks like she isn’t going to, Colonel Crawford (17-3,12-1), #5 in the Swankonsports.com softball coaches poll in the small school division, will host Carey (9-4,7-2) on Thursday and Upper Sandusky (18-4,13-1) on Friday and then play at Upper on Monday.

          Coach Chuck Huggins is happy in what he has seen from his players leading up to this week.  “We worked our tails off during the month of April just to have this opportunity.  We look at it as a golden opportunity.  I have always prided myself in calling May championship month.  All five of them are out there, I know the state tournament is usually in June, but these next five weeks everything is on the line.  We have certainly put in a lot of hours together and had a lot of fun doing it and now it is time to see where we are at,” he said.

          Huggins, the Lady Eagles coach for three decades, and winner of more than 600 games, says these are the fun games to play in.  “You can just tell in some of these ballgames the last couple of weeks, I don’t want to say we are bored because we definitely talk about making each game a championship game because if you get bumped off early you don’t put yourself in that situation to play for championships,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday night, “Our program prides itself in preparing themselves and having these opportunities.  I can’t say enough about how excited these kids are with everything falling into place perfectly with the “N10” championship this week and then next week we start tournament already and we go from there.”

          Huggins says his team has improved a lot since the beginning of the preseason, but they know they still have to be better.  “They have really learned the game of softball.  Are we perfect yet?  Absolutely not.  From the point they have come since late February when we first got in the gym until now I can’t say enough about what they have accomplished and most of all the time they have put in to make sure we have gotten to this point.  They understand, they look up at those banners and they know what it is all about.  They understand that you just don’t put on a Colonel Crawford uniform and it happens.  They pride themselves in putting themselves in position and now it is time to have fun and get it done.  We will see where we are at,” said Huggins.

 

Published 5/04/17

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Crawford Wins Sixth Straight

  

          Jake Johnson went six innings allowing two runs on five hits and Colonel Crawford won its sixth straight game in topping Buckeye Central (3-2) in New Washington on Monday in Northern 10 Athletic Conference action.

          Ethan Studer’s two run double in the third inning gave the Eagles the lead (2-1) and Johnson made it stand up.

          Crawford coach Joe Swartzmiller says they have found some momentum over the last couple of weeks.  “We have kind of turned things around, which is good to see come tournament time.  Our overall play has been pretty good,” he said.

          The Eagles play Lucas in their first tournament game next week.

          Colonel Crawford (10-7,6-6) struggled a little bit earlier in the season, but Swartzmilller says they have made some changes in the lineup and that has been a big difference for the ball club.  “The lineup has changed since earlier in the season,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday night after the win, “We have put people different places and we have tried to get comfortable that way.  Now that we have got settled here the last couple of weeks things have just took off.”

          Johnson walked four and stuck out six on the day in throwing 105 pitches.  Swartzmiller says it was a difficult day to play with all of the wind, but Johnson did a good job in keeping himself loose.  “Jake threw well.  He threw strike after strike after strike.  He had a little bit of trouble in the second inning.  In between innings he just got cold.  He just got loose outside the dugout there.  He threw really well,” said Swartzmiller.

 

Published 5/02/17

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Big Win Keeps Lady Eagles in Share of First

  

          Colonel Crawford downed Carey (5-1) on Tuesday night and they remain in a share of first place with Upper Sandusky in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference softball standings.

          Last Wednesday, Colonel Crawford lost to Seneca East (1-0,) that is their only loss of the season.

          Veteran coach Chuck Huggins, who won his 600th softball game last Saturday against Crestline, says they learned a lot from that loss that they can take forward for the rest of the season.  “I really think the Seneca East game was a good teaching game for us.  When you lose you are going to learn some things and I think we learned a lot in that game.  First of all, we let a good ball team hang around with us and the longer they hung around with us the more confidence they got and being the home team that night they were able to scratch one across in the bottom of the seventh and gave us our only loss of the season,” said Huggins.

          Huggins says they did not let Carey hang around on Tuesday and they were able to take advantage of some things on offense and get some clutch hits and that was a key.  “We learned from that and we realized you have to take advantage of opportunities and I thought we were very opportunistic (Tuesday) night.  It was just a great high school game between two great programs.  No mistakes, there were no errors in the whole entire game.  We had some timely hitting in some key spots and Carey didn’t and we were able to come out ahead,” he said.

          Colonel Crawford (11-1,6-1), #2 in the Swankonsports.com softball coaches poll in the small school division, plays Bucyrus again on Wednesday.

          Huggins says Monday night they hit the ball well and that is what they have been doing most of the season.  “Just like the other night against Bucyrus we scored 13 runs and when I got home and looked at the scorebook we had 13 runs and nine different kids scored those 13 runs.  The more productive you can be up and down your lineup the better off you are going to be offensively.  You don’t have to rely on the top of your order or the meat of your order.  Once you get down there in six, seven, eight, nine you are still productive and you can put some runs on the board,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday night after the win over Carey, “That is the kind of team that we have this year.  I can go deep in my bench and if I need a good pinch hitter or something done in the short game I feel very, very confident in the kids and the kids have confidence in themselves and each other and confidence goes a long, long way in all athletics in the success of kids.”

 

Published 4/19/17

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Colonel Crawford Ready For Seneca East

  

          Colonel Crawford kept its record unbeaten for the season as they rocked Wynford (9-0) in Northern 10 Athletic Conference softball on Tuesday.

          They share first place with Seneca East and play the Lady Tigers Wednesday and Thursday.

          Coach Chuck Huggins says they did a good job of keeping their focus against a Wynford squad who has had its problems early in the season.  “We knew the last couple of nights that Wynford was next up.  I know it is an old coach’s cliché and us coaches use it a lot, but it really holds true.  You have to trust your kids that they are going to concentrate on the next game and they heard that from me both nights we can’t be overlooking Wynford because if we would happen to drop one of the games to them then we are going to be playing catch up with Seneca East,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday night, “So, we took care of our end of the job and beat Wynford twice and Seneca East has remained undefeated.  The next couple of nights, Wednesday night and Thursday night, are going to be awfully fun to be a part of.  It is going to be fun to see where my team is at and how we are doing compared to a very, very good Seneca East team.”

          Both the Lady Eagles and Seneca East are unbeaten in conference play and Huggins the next two nights are going to be good tests for them.  “You want both teams to be at the top of their game.  If you have the better team you are going to come out ahead and if you don’t then you are not.  It’s a situation where you know it is going to come down to a play here or a play there.  Just knowing Seneca East I know they are going to be aggressive and we like to play an aggressive brand of ball.  It is going two very evenly matched teams.  Like I said it is going to be a lot of fun,” he said.

          One thing that Colonel Crawford (5-0,3-0) has is a talented and experienced pitcher in Sydney Studer and Huggins says she is very focused too.  “I am very glad that Sydney Studer wears the black and gold and she will be traveling on the Colonel Crawford bus up to Seneca East on (Wednesday.)  I just can’t say enough about the start of the season she has had.  The thing is you can just tell that she is still hungry.  She still has that demeanor about her.  I know we are off to a good start coach, but she listens well and she listens to everything I say and she said (Tuesday) night I know how important these games are and you don’t have to say anything coach.  It is just nice to have somebody with that kind of grit and that kind of determination and competitiveness in them.  The nice thing is she is right there in the pitching circle for us,” said Huggins.

 

Published 4/12/17

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Lady Eagles Handle Mohawk

  

          Colonel Crawford earned a big win Monday night when they blasted Mohawk (12-2) in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference girls’ softball game at Mohawk.
          Sydney Studer pitched a one hitter for the Lady Eagles (3-0,1-0) and she had four hits and six RBI, not a bad game.

          Veteran coach Chuck Huggins says they worked hard with the week they had off and he really thought they were ready to play on Monday night.  ”I was really pleased with how the girls were totally, totally focused (Monday) night on what was needed.  As a coach you are always a little concerned.  We had been off a whole week.  The last time we played was last Monday night when we beat Plymouth (6-1) up at Plymouth.  We had a whole week of rain outs and weather outs and some misfortune with Carey.  It had literally been a whole week since we had played,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday night, “I was pleased with how everything came together.  I told the girls after the game about the rewards that they reap from a week of hard work in the gym.  We really got after it in the gym and worked on getting the swings down.  I was pleased how we were able to put everything together here against a very good Mohawk team.”

          Another key Monday night, according to Huggins, is they were able to get a lot kids involved in what they were doing on offense.  “The nice thing is as look at the scorebook again we had seven different kids score those 12 runs and that is key because the deeper you can go into your lineup and the more varsity hitters that can prepare for varsity ballgames the more you know it can help your team,” he said.

          There is a lot more scoring these days, but you still must have a quality pitcher.  Plus, Huggins says Studer is just an outstanding overall player out there on the diamond.  “Our ace Sydney Studer has had three consecutive one hitters with double digit strikeouts every game.  She just came out on fire this young season and is really just focused in on what needs to be done.  It is not only her pitching right now, but she as 4-for-4 (Monday) night with a home run, two doubles, and 6 RBI.  She has such a tremendous work ethic and I just admire the time that she puts into the game.  It is not something I have to tell her.  It is not something my assistant Carl Diebler, her grandpa, has to tell her. It is something that comes from inside of her.  When you have an opportunity you just feel so good when you see them achieve like she has.”

 

Published 4/04/17

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Colonel Crawford Must Slow Down Spartans

  

          Colonel Crawford is the next team in line to try and slay Goliath as they face state ranked Mansfield St. Peter’s in the division four district final at Willard High School on Friday night.

          The Eagles (18-6) advanced to the final with a (57-49) win in overtime over Norwalk St. Paul on Tuesday night.

          Coach David Sheldon says they able to keep their composure in the tight moments of the game and they had offensive balance, which has been a key for them all season.  “Mike Smith is a heck of a basketball coach and I have the utmost respect for his program.  It was two good programs playing basketball as they should.  It was a grind.  A game of runs back and forth and we were fortunate enough to make enough plays at the end to come out on top.  I was proud of our kids sticking to the plan and playing one possession at a time.  We just never panicked.  Once again we put four players in double figures and had great balance throughout the night,” he said.

          St. Peter’s dominated a good South Central team (79-41) on Tuesday night.  Their only losses this year come to Ontario (67-60) in early December and Canton Central Catholic (51-43) on January 7.

          Sheldon says the Spartans have tremendous talent and really no one outside of North Robinson expects them to win this game.  “First of all the pressure is on them.  They are the number two ranked team in the state.  They were in the regional finals.  Three years ago when Joe left St. Vincent/St. Mary when his daughter went to state he came to St. Pete’s with Cobb and Campbell and his son and Kent and now they are juniors and seniors. We are looking forward to this opportunity.  All of the pressure is on them and our kids are excited to go,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “I know our kids are going to go out and play hard and leave it all out of the floor.  We feel like we have a game plan ready to go.  They are a very good basketball team and they are very talented, but we are a very good basketball team too.  There are only 32 teams left of 200 in division four and Colonel Crawford is one of those.  So, I told our guys we are going to go over and play with confidence the way we have all season long.  We are looking forward to playing in another district championship game.”

          The Spartans (23-2) have burned people this year by beating them down the floor and getting good looks at the basket.  Sheldon says they must have good transition defense and force them into taking tough shots.  “You have heard that all year from numerous coaches they are a very good basketball team in transition.  They have skills in transition and do a lot with the basketball.  Their top four guns with Cobb, Jakubick, Kent and Campbell, so you have go to stop their transition game.  They want it to be a track meet and we have make sure they set in a half court offense throughout the entire night,” said Sheldon.

          Due to their good ball movement and the way they move without the ball, St. Peter’s has been able to get a lot of clean looks at the basket.  Sheldon says they can’t let that happen on Friday night.  “One thing you want to make sure is every possession they have to shoot contested shots, that is the big thing when you look at them with the multiple weapons they have you have to make sure they shoot contested shots and also limit them to one shot when they shot goes up,” he said.

 

Published 3/10/17

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Colonel Crawford Edges St. Paul in Overtime

   

          Colonel Crawford outlasted Norwalk St. Paul (57-49) in overtime on Tuesday night in the division four district semi-finals at Willard High School.

          They play state ranked Mansfield St. Peter’s (23-2) in the district final on Friday night.

          The Eagles (18-6) made six of seven free throws in the final 1:09 of overtime to provide the final margin, but the game was close the entire way with the lead never more than seven until the end.  There were six lead changes in the game.

          A Heath Starkey basket gave Colonel Crawford (38-31) lead with 6:00 minutes to play, but St. Paul railed to outscore the Eagles (12-5) down the stretch.  Dylan Furlong’s follow with :27 seconds left tied the game (43-43) after a St Paul steal and missed layup.

          “It was two very good basketball teams.  Norwalk St. Paul has 16 wins and is a senior dominated team.  We knew it was going to a grind.  We had to go 36 instead of 32 (Tuesday) night,” said Colonel Crawford coach David Sheldon.

          Cameron McCreary scored with 3:27 left in overtime to give Crawford the lead (45-43) and Heath Starkey converted an old fashion three point play on the next possession to give the Eagles a (48-43) lead with 2:59 on the clock.  However, things weren’t over as the Flyers closed to (50-49) on Brandon McCall’s hoop with 1:11 left.  The Eagles free throws closed the game out.

          Sheldon says he told the players before the overtime started that they were going to being playing on Friday.  “We turned the ball over late in regulation and we take pride in that.  You get our teams in those situations and we are usually pretty good and we made some careless mistakes.  I told the guys between “OT,” I said hey let’s go, get your heads up, we are going to win this thing,” he told Swankonsports.com after the game, “McCreary hits a big one to start us off, Heath (Starkey) gets a post feed from Harley (Shaum) and a and one and we got some defensive stops.  I am proud of my guys.  We have talked all year trust the process with the schedule we play to get us ready for a district tournament.  You look at four freshmen and three juniors and one senior get to play for a district championship on Friday night.”

          St. Paul coach Mike Smith says he knows they had their chances, but he couldn’t be more proud of his kids.  “It was a heck of a high school basketball game.  People got their money’s worth.  Every possession matters.  For 36 minutes you look back and free throw there, a layup there, a check out missed.  I thought our kids were really dialed in to what we had to do.  I thought they were too.  They made plays and once they got the lead in overtime we had to foul and they were pretty good from the free throw line.  I can’t fault our effort.  The worst thing is I have seven kids that won’t be back at practice the next time we practice.  They are just a terrific group of seniors.  You won’t find any better as far as teammates and leaders, students, friends, basketball players.  We challenged our younger kids that it is a tough group to follow.  They have the whole package.  Every one of them, all seven, are going to be really good, successful people,” said Smith.

          Those seniors are Furlong, McCall, Will Ceccoli, Jimmy Adelman, Jacob Avendano, Noah Winslow, and Hayden Jaworski.

          During the overtime Colonel Crawford had four freshmen on the floor including McCreary, Reis Walker, Jordan Fenner and Gavin Feichtner.

          Sheldon says those kids have really matured as the season has gone on.  “It’s a special group and how about Reis Walker (Tuesday) night?  He steps off the bench and we knew going into tournament that Reis was going to play a lot because he gives us an offensive threat and he is long at the defensive end.  He got to hit some big shots.  Once again it comes back to the floor general though.  Cam (McCreary) created those off of his penetration.  McCreary is a special floor general and he created from other people all night and himself,” said Sheldon.

          McCreary paced Crawford with 14 points, followed by Starkey with 13, Walker with 11 and Jordan Fenner with 11.

          Furlong had a game high 17 for St. Paul.  McCall chipped in with 10.

          There was certainly a physical nature to the game, but Sheldon felt his kids handled it well.  “The more you get down the tournament line it turns physical and that is the way it should be.  The officials did a fantastic job and they let you play and that is the way it should be this time year.  Let the kids decide the outcome.  I thought our guys did a good job because I’ll tell you their two post players McCall and number 32 (Paul Pearce) they are physical specimens.  They are seniors and I thought we did a good job.  We got in foul trouble throughout the night, but other guys stepped up when we need them to step up,” said Sheldon.

 

Published 3/08/17

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Colonel Crawford Battles Norwalk St. Paul

  

          Colonel Crawford and Norwalk St. Paul, two of the marquee programs in North Central Ohio headed by veteran coaches, meet on Tuesday night in the division four district semi finals at Willard High School.

          The Eagles (17-6) beat Lucas (59-50) and St. Paul (16-7) rallied to knock off Buckeye Central (53-45) in sectional finals at Sandusky High School last Friday.

          Crawford coach David Sheldon has talked all season about playing a tough schedule and getting ready for a game like Tuesday night.  “We have talked all year about trusting the process.  We put together a schedule to hopefully get us ready for a district tournament.  We were fortunate enough last Friday to win a sectional championship.  Hopefully our kids have been battle tested because we have a very tall task at hand Tuesday night versus Norwalk St. Paul,” he said.

          The Flyers start a line-up that features one the tallest overall teams in Brandon McCall, Paul Pearce and Dylan Furlong and Sheldon says they have guards that handle the ball too.  “They are very long.  They have good post play and they have good guard play.  They are very balanced.  They remind me a lot of us when you look at personnel with posts and guards.  They are a very balanced basketball team,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “They are going to run the stuff that “Smity” does and they are going to run it well.  They are going to know our stuff.  It is going to come down to kids making plays and that’s what it comes down to at this time of year.”

          Colonel Crawford has some height too in 6’10” senior Heath Starkey and 6’4” junior Harley Shaum.

          According to Sheldon things like rebounding, and handling the ball, and just plain hustle are going to be big factors in this district semi-final match-up.  “You have to value the possessions when it comes tournament time and it comes down to grind out games.  It is going to be the team that doesn’t turn the basketball over, that rebounds the basketball, and 50/50 balls.  It is all of the little things when you look at a game when you get to this level and you play great opponents no matter who it is at the district tournament,” he said.

          Plying in these kinds of games is not new to the Eagles.  They have advanced to the district level the last six years in a row.  They beat St. Paul (70-65) in a semi final game in 2013.

          Sheldon these games are what their program is all about.  “It has become an expectation in the Colonel Crawford program.  It is our sixth straight district appearance and seventh in the last eight years.  That is what you want your program to be and we are fortunate that we have got it to that.  Our kids are excited for this opportunity and we are looking forward to going over in front of a great atmosphere Tuesday night.  There is no better time of the year than high school basketball tournament time, especially when you get to the district level,” said Sheldon.

 

Published 3/07/17

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Flexibility Important For Colonel Crawford

  

          Colonel Crawford, the runner up in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference, plays Lucas, the second place team in the Mid-Buckeye Conference, in a division four sectional final on Friday night at Sandusky Senior High School.

          The Eagles (16-6), #4 in the final Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division, did loose its last two very good teams in Ontario (53-37) and Upper Sandusky (63-36) to close the regular season.

          However, coach David Sheldon is positive this is still a team that is getting better.  “If you look at the last month of the season we are very happy with the growth we have made from the beginning of the year.  I believe the team has gotten better, even in the losses to Upper and Ontario, there were some good things we saw throughout those games as well.  You point those things out and hopefully we are ready to play for a championship come Friday night.  I believe this team has gotten better from day one to four months later,” he said.

          After trailing by ten points (19-9) at the half, Lucas (14-9) rallied to beat Sandusky St. Mary’s (54-50) on Tuesday night in a semi-final game.  Sheldon says the Cubs are a versatile team.  “It is a very good team.  They have 14 wins and you just look at their athletics.  They have had success in football and basketball.  This is a good basketball team.  They have two good post players in Murphy and Denison.  They can go inside and go outside.  They have several guards that are solid and good players as well.  We are looking forward to the challenge of playing for a sectional championship Friday night versus them,” he said.

          The Eagles like to run with the ball, but they have won some games where there have had to execute in the half court too.  Sheldon says you have to be ready to do whatever the game dictates.  “They are very physical and athletic.  They have kids that are both physical and athletic.  They run their stuff very well in what they do in their offensive package.  Defensively they get up in you.  They play good man to man defense and they show some zone as well with our stuff.  We play both ways.  We try and get out and run if we can and we have turned games into have court games.  We have to take advantage of what they give us and try to stop them at the offensive end as well,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “At this time of year when it comes to the tournament every possession is so important.  There are a lot of grind out games in the tournament over the years.  Bottom line is it comes down to kids making plays at both ends of the floor and hopefully we are fortunate enough to make enough plays come Friday night.”

 

Published 3/02/17

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Colonel Crawford Plays Unbeaten Upper Sandusky

  

          Colonel Crawford gets a second chance at Upper Sandusky when they play the Rams at their place in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game on Friday night.

          They are the only team that stands in the way of the Rams (21-0,15-0), #3 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the large school division, from going unbeaten in the regular season for the second straight year.

          Crawford coach David Sheldon says they just want to compete.  “It is an excellent opportunity to end with a very good team, the number one team in the state in division two.  They have already won the Northern 10 outright with us being two games back.  I think the big thing this week is going over against a great basketball team and see our guys compete.  I want to see all of our guys when they step between the lines compete and have a positive attitude the entire night for 32 minutes because there is going to be ebbs and flows to that game with the way they play so fast and their defensive pressure.  So, that is the number one thing I want to see out of us when the game is over Friday night.  No matter what happens next Friday we are playing for our sixth straight sectional championship against who wins the St. Mary’s versus Lucas game,” said Sheldon.

          In their first meeting in North Robinson, Upper won (82-54) and Sheldon says they must play better transition defense and handle the ball.  “We broke down that film many times.  Early on we had some bad turnovers to start the game.  Throughout the game we didn’t turn it over and we shot 55 percent in that game, but the thing we didn’t do was find them in transition,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “They play so fast we have to find their guys defensively in transition a lot better because their first five that they start can all shoot the ball and drive the ball they are a very talented group.  There is a reason they are 21-0.  So, we didn’t start off well taking care of the ball and second of all we have got to be able to match up in transition with the speed of the game that they play.”

          Upper broke their school record making 21 three pointers last week against Wynford.  Sheldon says you can’t let them get the momentum.  “The first time they were 13-23 from three and that is pretty dog gone good.  It is a team that you have to play one possession at a time, like coach “K” at Duke says, next play.  No matter what happens you have to go to the next possession against a team like this.  Offensively you have to take care of the basketball.  It is hard to slow them down because they get in passing lanes so much, but there are ways to take advantage and we can do that with their pressure on the basketball and away from the basketball.  This is an excellent team,” he said.

          The Eagles (15-6,13-2), #4 in our small school poll, has played a very tough schedule this year and Sheldon says that is by design.  “If you look at our schedule and I was looking this week.  In our five losses, we lost to Spencerville, who won the Northwest Conference, which is a heck of a league out west, we lost to Northmor, who is the “MOAC” champs, we lost to Ontario, who is number two behind Sandusky in the “NOL,” we lost to Upper once, who is the number one team, and we lost to Carey , who is probably going to end up 15-7.  The reason we do this is to prepare us for the division four basketball tournament.  It is one the most challenging schedules we have put together here at Colonel Crawford because we knew we wanted this group challenged.  Some of these guys have not faces adversity and this us the first time we have, so it is sort of a learning process for a young team to get where you want to get this year and years to come,” said Sheldon.

 

Published 2/24/17

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Lady Eagles are Hoping Tournament is Different

  

          Colonel Crawford will play fellow “N10” member Seneca East in the first round of the division three tournament on Tuesday night at Willard High School.

         The Lady Eagles (11-11) have lost their last three games to Buckeye Central, Upper Sandusky, the top two teams in the “N10,” and to Mansfield St. Peter’s.

          Coach Kyle Fenner says for them to be successful they have to defend well first and then rebound.  “I think it always starts on the defensive end and rebounding the basketball.  We have got to be sharp defensively and we have go and defend as one.  We can’t be five people out there defending.  We have got to talk and communicate and defend and then we have to finish it out with a box out and a rebound,” said Fenner.

          Seneca East (11-11) won both of the league games between the two, winning December 17 (61-56) in overtime at Seneca East and (54-46) January 24 at Colonel Crawford.

          Fenner says they must control the Lady Tigers guards.  “It is going to be round three and I expect it to be a hard, physical battle.  We know we have to defend.  We have to stop their main two players in Megan Siesel and Marina Adachi, they are both great players.  We know we are not going to stop them we just have to make it hard for them and make them work for everything that they get,” she said.

          Siesel is the leading scorer in the “N10” at almost 22 points a game.

          Dave Stallings resigned as the Seneca East coach in late January after an incident involving a student.  Athletic Director Doug Mason has been coaching the team since that time.  A civil protection order has been filed and Stallings is not allowed within 500 feet of one the players on the team and can not initiate any contact with her.  The order says Stallings and the girl have exchanged over 1,000 text messages.

          Fenner, who has been a very successful tournament coach over the years says you have to have intensity and right from the beginning.  “The beginning is important you always want to get off to a good start.  When you are in the tournament you have to pick up your intensity level and be ready to go,” she told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “You start 0-0 and it is just different when you get in the tournament.  You have got to be ready to go.  You don’t want to get behind the eight ball in the first two, three minutes of the game.”

 

Published 2/21/17

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Ontario Downs Colonel Crawford

   

          Six different Ontario players scored in the first quarter as the Warriors took a (17-8) lead and they went on to beat Colonel Crawford (53-37) in a non conference boys’ basketball game on Saturday night.

          It was (9-3) Ontario with 5:19 left in the first quarter after a basketball by Owen Zeiter and the lead grew to (29-13) when Trey Jordan scored with :06 seconds remaining in the half.

          Ontario coach Joe Balogh thought they were able to make some adjustments defensively to take away some things Crawford wanted to do.  “We are really happy with the way we played defensively both nights.  (Friday) night and (Saturday) night they were similar in the sets that they ran.  I was pleased when we made some adjustments during the game on how to defend the side ball screen and the roll because that hurt us a little and I thought our kid’s concentration was really good,” said Balogh.

          Jackson Todd led three Warriors in double figures with 19.  Logan Jones added 12 and Jordan 10.

          Balogh says they executed well with the ball in their hands.  “I thought offensively we were much better.  We talked this week about trying to be efficient and precise.  I thought our sets (Saturday) night against the zone we were pretty precise in what we did,” he said.

          Colonel Crawford coach David Sheldon says they didn’t handle the Ontario pressure well and they settled for too many outside shots early in the game.  “I thought early on they took us out of some things.  We had seven turnovers in the first half and you can’t do that against a very good basketball team.  That is a great basketball team and there is a reason we schedule that.  We won’t see anyone like that in our entire district.  It is a D-four playing a D-two to challenge us.  We have to stay positive and that is what I try to do as a coach,” he told Swankonsports.com after the game, “I thought some guys rose to the occasion and some didn’t play as well.  A lot of that has to do with Ontario and their pressure and what they did.  The second half I was very pleased.  We thought we could attack them inside with drive and post and it the second half we did that.  The first half we were 2-10 on threes and the second half we were 1-1 and we were able to get it inside.”

          6’10” senior Heath Starkey led the Eagles (16-5) with 14 points on Saturday.

          Colonel Crawford has been a good rebounding team this year, but Saturday night the Warriors (16-5) were able to keep them off the offensive glass.  Balogh says their guards did a very good job.  “The thing is our guards have done a much better job of rebounding the ball.  Quan (Jackson) and Tre (Jordan) and Alex Shifferer at 5’9” or whatever he is has really gotten in there and battled.  That has been a big emphasis for us because we found ourselves defensively that we watched a lot or we leaked out too much.  We talked to our guards if you rebound the ball we don’t have to worry about out letting the ball we can just push it and I thought we did a good job of that (Saturday) night,” said Balogh.

          The Eagles have emphasized running the floor this year, but their preferred tempo probably isn’t quite as fast as Ontario’s.  Balogh says they were successful in pushing the pace.  “We kind of knew that they wouldn’t want a fast paced game.  I thought our pressure in the full court was really good.  We made some adjustments with that too and tried to take some different things away with their press attack.  I was just really pleased with the concentration and focus that our kids had in (Saturday) night’s game,” he said.

          The lead grew to as much 31 points (48-17) after a field goal and a free throw by Todd with 3:41 to play in the third quarter before Colonel Crawford started to play better for the remainder of the game and got the ball inside.

          Sheldon says this was an important game for them leading into the postseason tournament in two weeks.  “It was a learning experience.  There was nothing lost (Saturday) night.  It is a loss in the loss column, but it was a learning experience in the big picture for our goals down the road,” he said.

 

Published 2/18/17

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Colonel Crawford With Two Old Rivals

  

          Colonel Crawford plays host to two of its most traditional rivals this weekend in Buckeye Central and Ontario.

          They play Buckeye twice a season in Northern 10 Athletic Conference play.  They have not played Ontario for a while, but they have had some very good games over the years.

          Crawford has won seven in a row and 14 of their last 16 games.  They beat New Riegel (44-39) on Saturday in non-league action and coach David Sheldon says that was another good win for them.  “That was a very good win for us.  You look at New Riegel and they were the number three seed in their division four district.  To go on the road at New Riegel was a great win for our guys.  It was a close game down the stretch.  Those are good games to play at this time you to get you ready for the tournament.  There are going to be some games that come down to the wire.  I thought we did a great job of handling time and score and situations.  It was a very good road win.  We have had some battles over the years with a very good New Riegel basketball program,” he said.

          Colonel Crawford (15-4,12-2), #3 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division, is at home for Buckeye Central (9-10,7-7) in an “N10” game on Friday night.  The Eagles won the first meeting (55-44) in New Washington.

          Sheldon says they have to control Buckeye’s Jacob Shade.  “They revolve their offense around the Shade boy.  He is a very good player.  He can take you inside, he can take you outside.  A lot goes though Shade and he has had a great year.  Then you have Max Loy, who has really been playing well as of late too.  He has shot it really well.  They have good role players around them.  Anytime Crawford and Buckeye get together it is a great match-up.  Two great communities and a great atmosphere for our kids to play in front of.  We are looking forward to playing them a second time around and playing them at our place this time,” he said.

          On Saturday night, the Eagles host Ontario (14-5) of the Northern Ohio League.  The Warriors have won 12 of their last 13 games.  Sheldon says he has great respect for Ontario coach Joe Balogh and his team and knows it will be good preparation for them.  “This is a great game for us.  There is a reason the A.D. (Sheldon) put this game here on Saturday as we get close to tournaments.  It is a great non-league test.  It is like Izzo at Michigan State and Kentucky and Kansas played here a few weeks ago.  Ontario is the premier program in this area because of Joe Balogh and what Joe has built over there.  I have the up most respect for him.  He is one of my mentors in coaching.  We are going to look forward to challenge on Saturday,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “Friday is most important and then we will turn the page for Saturday for Ontario.  They are so good at transition.  They have athletes in all of the spots and it is going to be a great test.  In our district the one seed was St. Pete’s and one of their two losses is to Ontario.  There is not a better game to test us when it is still in the regular season to get us ready come tournament time for a good Lucas or St. Mary’s team that we would have to play in the sectional.”

 

Published 2/15/17

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Balance a Key for Colonel Crawford

  

          Colonel Crawford owns a five game winning streak and sits in second place in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference standings heading into a league game Tuesday night at Ridgedale.

          They beat Seneca East (61-44) and Bucyrus (61-30) in conference games last weekend.

          Coach David Sheldon is very happy with their progress, but he knows they have to keep the pedal on the gas.  “I am very happy we have really grown.  You look at December 1 till now this team has gotten better.  If you remember back in December I said this is a team has more possibilities of getting better toward the end of the year more than any team I have ever coached just with the make up of the kids we had this year.  It is a team that has gotten better they are understanding about togetherness and winning basketball games.  I looked at the league stats that came out (Monday) and we have four guys averaging 10 points a game and then another right around eight.  When you turn into an offensive basketball team like that you are tough to guard because you have so many options,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “Secondly our defensive production has been very good with what we did this past weekend and leading up to that.  We are a team that is getting better, but we still have a lot of details we have to keep getting better at.  You know me I am never satisfied because we are looking at the big picture come tournament time.  We still have to get detail oriented and there are still things we have to get better at every day we step in the gym.”

          Crawford has good balance in terms of the skills too.  Sheldon says they have good perimeter shooters and solid post play too.  “This is the best one, two punch I have had in the post in my 11 years with Harley (Schum) and Heath (Starkey.)  They have really grown and they are two of the leaders in shooting percentage and our guards know they have to get touches.  If you try to take them away they will kick it out and we have great shooters outside.  We have balance with our guard play and our posts.  Then we bring guys off the bench and keep guys fresh.  Coach (Nate) Hill and I throughout the game are subbing every three, four minutes and getting guys ready to go back in, so it is not like it is just our first five.  Gavin (Feichtner), (Jordan) Fenner and Reis (Walker) have given us good minutes too.  You have to have that in a 32 minute game if you want to play fast and you want to play hard you have to keep kids fresh the whole time.  It has been very good balance and we have inside and out.  It has been a fun team to coach I am going to be honest,” said Sheldon.

          Colonel Crawford (13-4,11-2), #3 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division, plays at Ridgedale (3-14,0-12) in an “N10” game on Tuesday.  The Rockets lost (55-44) to Buckeye Central last Saturday.

          With Alex Eldred back in the lineup, Sheldon says the Rockets are better.  “They have three guys averaging double figures with Eldred, the Hunley kid, and Burton.  I watched the Buckeye-Ridgedale game from Saturday at Buckeye and it is a two point game in the fourth.  It is a team that is better because Eldridge is on the floor. He is a big boy that can go inside and steps out and shoots the three and Burton is a very good guard.  They have a guard and post.  We have to go on the road it is our third game in five games.  This comes down to the mental approach because physically in practice you are not beating on kids.  You have to come mentally ready when the ball tips for 32 minutes come Tuesday night having to go on the road again,” said Sheldon.

 

Published 2/07/17

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Colonel Crawford With Double Weekend

  

          Colonel Crawford, in second place in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference standings, plays two conference games this weekend against Seneca East and Bucyrus, two teams they beat in the first round of league play.

          With Upper Sandusky two up in the conference the chances of catching them aren’t very good, so coach David Sheldon says they are focused on getting better.  “This Friday, Saturday, Tuesday coming up are the last three games before you put your record in for the tournament draw.  What you want to do is keep getting better as a basketball team.  You look at details you have to work on.  Try not to do too much, but focus on the details that we feel as a coaching staff that we to get better at,” he said.

          When it comes to getting better, Sheldon says ball handling and defense are two areas that need refinement.  “One thing is I think we have to make sure we cherish the basketball every possession rather if we are in the front, half court versus whatever defense, we have go to take care of the basketball to get shots.  You look at our statistics were are phenomenal at shooting and if you turn the ball over you are not going to get shots up.  Just defensively with rotations, guarding the dribble, you have to get defensive stops down the stretch going into tournament time,” said Sheldon.

          Colonel Crawford (11-4,9-2), #3 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division, host Seneca East (8-7,4-7) in an “N10” game on Friday night.  The Eagles won (65-44) the first time they played.

          Sheldon says the Tigers have the ability to score points.  “They have a winning record overall and they have two of the leading scorers in the league Johnny Diem and Alex Forehand.  Two very good guards.  They have a big post player inside.  They have got the tools and they have played some good basketball throughout the year,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “They score a lot points.  They get out and go.  It is a team that doesn’t run a ton of sets offensively, but they are going to keep doing what they do.  We have to make sure we come out and guard them.”

          Bucyrus (3-11,3-7) entertains the Eagles on Saturday night in a conference game.  Sheldon says the Redmen are starting to turn it around.  “We look at them the past week and they beat Seneca East, a very good win.  It is a team that has gotten better, the previous game they played North Union, a very good team, very close.  Their junior class is a very good class of basketball players.  They have sped the game up a little bit and they are putting some points on the board.  That has benefited them over the last few weeks when they have got some wins.  It is a rival and they will be excited to play and we will be excited to go over there Saturday,” said Sheldon.

 

Published 2/01/17

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Crawford Holds off Wynford

   

          A (15-3) run to close the second quarter game Colonel Crawford a 12 point halftime lead (28-16) and they went on to beat Wynford (62-58) in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game on Saturday night.

          With the game tied 13 Harley Shaum hit a three and followed that with a layup and the Eagles pulled away in last couple of minutes of that second quarter.  Coach David Sheldon says they handled it better.  “The first quarter we turn it over seven times and the second quarter one.  When we get shots we have a lot of weapons had four guys in double figures again (Saturday) night.  In the fourth quarter we got sloppy and turned it over.  They throw eight threes in, four of them banks.  “The House of Thrills” wasn’t good to Sheldon coming back late.  When they bank four threes in the fourth quarter you know you are in trouble,” said Sheldon.

          Sheldon played for his father Rob at Wynford.

          Wynford cut it to seven (31-24) with 4:20 left in the third on a Jordan Creel basket, but again the Eagles would go on a (7-2) run to end the quarter and lead (38-26) after three periods.

          The Royals turned up the pressure in the fourth and they were able to get with 10 twice and then made three three pointers in the final minute of the game and eight in all in the final quarter.  Wynford scored more points in the fourth quarter (32) than in the first three quarters (26) of the game.

          Royals coach Jason Engel says it was tough to get anything going on offense early in the game and they struggled at the free throw line.  “They guard very well.  We shot 61 times.  We missed some shots we normally make, missed some layups, missed some threes.  We did a decent job rebounding according to our stats.  We were 5-16 from the free throw line and they were 25-32, so it was tough we had to foul late to put ourselves back in the game.  We didn’t start making shots until the fourth quarter,” he told Swankonsports.com after the game, “They are very good defensively they take away everything you have.  We only had eight turnovers.  I didn’t think offensively we were terrible.  We probably didn’t get it inside enough for post touches here and there.  They have 6’10” in there too, so it is tough to score at the basket.  We are trying to drive and attack and he alters a lot of shots and so does Harley.”

          Brody Martin had 15 for Colonel Crawford and Shaum added 14 for the Eagles.  Jack Reed led Wynford with 15, but nine of those came in the fourth quarter, six in the final minute.

          Sheldon felt they did an outstanding job guarding the Royals leading scorer.  “I thought we did an exceptional job.  Credit Hayden Bute and Cam McCreary and our other guys on the help.  He scores late when the game was out of line a little bit.  He had 22 the first time and most of his came in the fourth quarter (Saturday) night.  Hayden Bute and Cam did a great job guarding Jack all night because he is a very good player,” said Sheldon.

          The Eagles were able to get a number of baskets in transition and Sheldon says when they can do that they are a pretty good.  “We want to get out in transition.  When we get out in transition we are a good basketball team.  Our posts run the floor and our guards are spotting up.  That is one thing we definitely do well.  We got some easy baskets in transition,” he said.

 

Published 1/28/17

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Colonel Crawford Better but Still Needs Improvement

  

          Colonel Crawford is better team than they were at the beginning of the season, but they need to continue to try and improve as we head into the final month of the regular season.

          The Eagles play at another of their traditional rivals in the Wynford Royals on Saturday night in an “N10” game.

          They beat Carey (66-49) and Mohawk (48-31) in conference games last weekend and coach David Sheldon says that shows improvement by the players.  “You look back to the first time and we lost to Carey by seven and beat Mohawk by eight and to win both games by 17 points each that shows the growth over the last couple of months.  That is what you want to be doing growing at this time of year as you head into the second season at the end of February.  So, we were very pleased with the movement of our guys and now we are back to work this week with another big league game,” he said.

          Crawford has been playing some freshmen all season long and Sheldon says those players have shown a lot of growth and so too have the upperclassmen.  “I couldn’t be happier with our young kids.  The four freshmen have really played well throughout the entire season.  It’s a special group and our upperclassmen too have gotten better.  When you combined those guys it is turning into a good basketball team.  I think the biggest thing right now is this is the grind of basketball season in the end of January and early February.  It is a long high school season and we are trying to keep guys fresh with days off here and there and cutting back practice time and being more efficient.  You want to keep guys hungry going into the month of February next week,” said Sheldon.

          Colonel Crawford (10-4,8-2), #5 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division, plays across town at Wynford (7-6,7-3) in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game on Saturday night.  The Royals beat Bucyrus (73-60) and Ridgedale (62-53) in conference games last week.

          Sheldon says they Royals are better too.  “They have won four of their last five and three in a row.  It is a team that has gotten better and it reminds me a lot of last year’s team.  They grew and grew and turned into a great team in February heading into the tournament.  So, this is a team that has gotten a lot better.  I think the thing that has impressed me is they have multiple scorers now,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “We all knew about Jack Reed going into the year and they have had other kids step up and have gotten better throughout the year.  I think offensively that is a team that has definitely gotten better.  We are looking forward to the opportunity going over to a great environment Saturday night at Wynford.”

          Colonel Crawford beat Wynford (65-44) the first time they played, but Sheldon says all they have to do is remember what happened last year.  “We talked to our kids that we are getting into this stretch of the leagueof teams that we beat the first time around and there is an “x” on your chest because everyone wants a piece of you the second time around.  It happened last year when Wynford came over here and handled us pretty easy.  We have tried to keep our guys focused and understand that the other teams have gotten better too and you have really got to pay attention to detail.  What have you go to get really good at detail wise offensively and defensively heading into the second time in the league,” said Sheldon.

 

Published 1/27/17

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Colonel Crawford Wants to Continue to Grow

  

          Colonel Crawford wants to bounce back from the thrashing at the hands of unbeaten Upper Sandusky last Saturday and the Eagles host Carey and Mohawk in a pair of Northern 10 Athletic Conference games this weekend.

          Last Saturday, Upper Sandusky pounded the Eagles (82-54) in North Robinson.

          Crawford coach David Sheldon says they Rams are just very good, but they hope they can learn something from the loss.  “I think it started Monday morning watching film.  Showing what Upper did to exploit us and also the way Upper Sandusky pushed the ball and what they do sharing the basketball offensively.  That is what we want this basketball team to get to whether it is this year or down the road with only having one senior.  I think it was a good teaching experience from that.  The one thing we were disappointed in was our transition defense,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “Some of that is Upper Sandusky they push the ball so hard, but we did a very poor job of matching up and making sure we knew who to guard.  Upper shoots 63 percent on the night, but some of those we weren’t even contested shots.  On the other hand, looking back we shot 54 percent, which is a good percentage, but we had 14 turnovers in the game and seven in the first quarter.  I think that sort of opened the door when you let a great basketball team like Upper get off to such a great start it is tough to get back into it.”

          Carey (7-4,7-1) is the only other team to beat Colonel Crawford (8-4,6-2), #5 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division, in an “N10” game this year, that was (50-43) on December 10.  Sheldon says this will be an examination of how far they have come since early December.  “I look back to December and we were up 13 in the third quarter and let one slip away.  This is a good basketball team.  They have three guys averaging double figures.  They are going to spread you out four around one and move the ball.  They are very unselfish as a basketball team.  This is the first time of playing somebody a second time in the league to see where you come as basketball team from the first time to the second time.  How are we going to respond to beating we took last Saturday to Upper Sandusky?  This is a good basketball team they are 7-4 right now.  Whether you like it or not this is for second place in our league because I don’t see Upper Sandusky losing twice within this league.  It is a good challenge for our guys they are a good basketball team and I am anxious to see how our guys respond,” said Sheldon.

          Mohawk (3-9,2-6) is a young basketball team this year, but Sheldon says they have some improving young players.  “It’s a back to back league week, which is always tough.  Throughout the week we mostly work on Carey, some Mohawk stuff, then Saturday morning there will be a crash course on Mohawk.  Mohawk has won two of their last three.  They have some nice post players and some perimeter guys.  We will work on that Saturday.  Their new coach is doing a good job setting a foundation there at Mohawk,” he said.

 

Published 1/19/17

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Upper Pounds Crawford in “N10” Game

 

          Colonel Crawford is a good basketball team, but Upper Sandusky is a really good basketball team and they showed that on Saturday night in downing the Eagles (82-54) in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game.

          Upper came right out of the gate with Ry Adams hitting two threes in the first minute of the game and the Rams taking a (12-2) lead with 5:11 to play in the first quarter, but the Eagles would battle back and close to (24-16) at the end of the first quarter. 

          Crawford would get as close as (31-24) on a Harley Shaum basket with 5:42 left in the half, but the Rams would widen the lead to 13 (47-34) at halftime.

          Perhaps, the key to the game was an Upper (13-6) run in the first 3:12 of the third quarter to take a (60-40) lead in the game.  “They are a good team and David (Sheldon) makes some really good adjustments.  We said these first three minutes are huge it’s only a 13 point lead if they hit a couple of buckets are we don’t it’s a ball game.  I said right now is where we have to end it.  I thought we did a good job of extending our lead and making it tough to come back from,” said Upper Sandusky coach Jeff Winslow after the game.

          Eli Kinley made three three pointers in the first three minutes of the second half and Colonel Crawford coach David Sheldon says that was a dagger.  “That is a very good basketball team.  I mean there are five guys in double figures.  In the third quarter Kinley comes out and hits three threes.  He has had five threes in 12 games.  When you are playing a great team like that you have to pick your poison.  Credit that kid he steps up and buries three threes,” he told Swankonsports.com in the locker room after the game, “I think that is a learning lesson for our young kids.  I remember when Adams and Vent were freshmen taking some lumps early on now you see what they have grown up into as juniors and seniors.  They are explosive and they push the ball.  When you look at our stats we only turned it over 11 times.  Their pressure is them bringing it in transition.  I thought we had some mental breakdowns matching up and not knowing who we are guarding.  You just can’t do that against that many weapons.”

          Wes Vent led Upper with 21 points on Saturday night.  Kinley added 20 and Javon Dible 15.

          The Rams shot 62 percent from the field and made 13 of 23 three point attempts on the night.

          Winslow thought they passed the ball and were able to get some open shots.  “I think the reason we shot the three is we moved the ball so well and got it inside and they flatten out the defense and kick it out.  Those are pretty good shooters shooting those shots.  It is amazing how good of a coach I am when our kids put the ball in the basket.  It makes it look like I know what I am doing,” he said.

          Harley Shaum and Heath Starkey both had 14 for Colonel Crawford and Sheldon thought they were able to get the ball to them in good spots, but he says Upper is just really good.  “Our two posts get double figures and a lot of that is credit to our guards on dump off passes and their pressure and help over.  We did have a size advantage it is just they put pressure on your ball too and sometimes it is hard to get it into the post because of the pressure on the basketball.  I thought our kids tried to compete with them it is just they are explosive basketball team and there is a reason they have won that many games this year.  It is a junior-senior dominated basketball team that has played a lot of basketball.  We have guys in this program that want to be like that it’s just we are not at that level yet. We have 14, 15 year olds playing 17, 18 year olds and I thought that showed,” said Sheldon.

          Winslow says it was a key for them to try and take the ball out of freshmen point guard Cameron McCreary’s hands and he thought they did a pretty good job of that.  “What a freshmen he is going to be excellent, he already is excellent.  We really wanted to wear him down because he is their main ball handler, stirs their drink.  We wanted to make other people beat us.  We did a good job overall.  They made some plays in that first half.  They were getting to the basket and getting by us and I wasn’t too happy with that.  Give them credit they are good and are going to make some plays.  We stepped up in the second half and limited some of that,” he said.

 

Published 1/14/17

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Colonel Crawford Hosts Unbeaten Rams

  

          There won’t be an empty seat in the house when Colonel Crawford plays at home against the Upper Sandusky Rams Saturday night with first place on the line in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference.

          Crawford trails the Rams by a game in the conference standings after they beat Buckeye Central (55-44) last Saturday night.

          They got behind early, but coach David Sheldon says they didn’t get rattled.  “I think that was a big stepping stone for us.  We got down early.  It is a sign of a good team that you don’t panic.  We never panicked and we kept chipping away one possession at a time.  Then in the third quarter we were able to extend it to double digits.  We were able to get some transition baskets.  Our two post players played really well, both scoring in double figures.  Our point guard got to playing well and was distributing the ball as well.  To go out of there with a double figure win.  We have always struggled playing over there at Buckeye and we were very happy with that win.  Like I said I think it was the growth of a basketball team because we were down early and we just never panicked and we were able to turn the tides and come out of there with a big league victory,” said Sheldon.

          It is fair to say that Upper (12-0,7-0), #3 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the large school division, has not really been challenged for 32 minutes yet this season.  Sheldon says they pressure you on defense and they score time after time off that pressure.  “They are ranked number one in the State of Ohio in division two.  They have won 36 regular season games in a row.  Jeff Winslow has done a fantastic job over there.  I probably shouldn’t have recommended him to Brad Ervin because now I have to play him twice a year.  He has done a great job.   When you look at them they are very good in transition offense, make or miss and also their pressure defense.  Their defense creates offense,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “They are very good playing within the system.  They have four guys that average double figures and two others that are really close to double figures.  I think that is the sign of a good basketball team they have multiple weapons.  You have to be mentally tough for 32 minutes with the way they guard and make plays.  You have to be able to withstand their runs.  They are very good at going on runs of eight to 10 points and you have got to stop runs that they make throughout a basketball game.”

          In order to slow down the Rams, Sheldon says they must have to handle the basketball and not give up a bunch of turnovers.  “You have to handle their pressure.  You have to be ball strong and be able to beat their traps when they trap you and then attack from that.  This is a great game for this young basketball team.  Like I said it is the number one team in the State of Ohio against our one senior and some young kids.  Our kids are looking forward to this opportunity.  I mean Upper Sandusky is a junior, senior dominated team.  These kids have been in these games before and this is an excellent opportunity for our basketball team to be on this type of stage.  We are still in that league race at the halfway point.  This is the last game of the first round of the league.  We are going to see what kind of basketball team we are Saturday night against a very good Upper Sandusky team,” said Sheldon.

          It’s going to be loud in the gym as long as the Eagles are within in range and that is a plus for them.  They almost got Upper last year at home and Sheldon says this will be a great test, according to Sheldon.  “That is one thing we never have to worry about either home or on the road.  Our community and crowd loves basketball.  We know that it will be a great atmosphere for high school basketball.  Our student section is as good as anybody around.  It will be a crazy atmosphere.  Upper Sandusky’s community will travel as well.  In North Central Ohio it is probably one of the marquee match ups this weekend.  These are the games you want to play in.  I would rather be on this end of the spectrum playing and 8-3 versus a 12-0 team rather and 1-8 and 2-10.  With our program this is what we want to be involved in.  I have the up most respect for the Upper Sandusky basketball program,” he said.

 

Published 1/12/17

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Colonel Crawford Faces Unbeaten Upper

  

          Kyle Fenner is a competitor and so are her players and they are going to ready for unbeaten Upper Sandusky in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game on Tuesday night in North Robinson.

          They are used to playing talented teams with Cardington and Buckeye Central over the last week.

          Fenner says at the top of their scouting report every night is rebounding and defense and when they do that the Lady Eagles can be pretty good.  “It has kind of been a little bit of up and down.  We have been happy at times. Sometimes we have competed really hard.  We feel like the two things we have to do each night are rebound and defend.  When we do those things we are pretty good.  We have had a couple of game lately, against Buckeye Central and against Cardington, where we really didn’t do those things and it wasn’t a good night for us.  If we rebound and we defend we can be pretty good,” said Fenner.

          Colonel Crawford (6-5,4-3) hosts Upper Sandusky (12-0,7-0), #1 in the Swankonsports.com girls’ basketball coaches poll in the large school division, on Tuesday night.

          Fenner says the Lady Rams play hard and they are loaded with basketball skill and that can be a lethal combination.  “They have put together a great season they are undefeated and they are the class of our league.  They just have four or five girls with just really good basketball skills.  They have a big point guard that is six-feet tall.  They have Abby Fogle that can just shoot it lights out from the outside.  They have multiple other weapons around them.  They are just good competitors that have basketball skills.  It will be a great challenge for us (Tuesday) night,” said Fenner.

          Colonel Crawford knows what they are up against and they will have to play well to win.  They played Carey, Cardington, and some other good teams pretty tough this year, but Fenner says it is time for them to get a marquee win and Tuesday night would be a good spot.  “The pressure is on them and we talked about that (Monday) night.  Nobody really expects us to win, but the last couple of games we felt like we had played well, more so in the Cardington game than the Buckeye Central game,” she told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “We told our kids we are not into moral victories any more.  We are senior and junior dominated and we need to have a break through game where we come through and we win one of these games.”

 

Published 1/10/17

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Back to the Classroom for Colonel Crawford

  

          So far, the Colonel Crawford Eagles boys’ basketball team has been very good at learning things and moving forward and that is what they have been doing this week.

          The next quiz comes on Saturday night at Buckeye Central in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game.

          Northmor broke a six game Crawford winning streak with a (59-47) win on Tuesday night.

          Coach David Sheldon says the Golden Knights are very good and they were able to control the game.  “Our guys competed.  I think that is a very good basketball team.  Look at their length they are 6’6”, 6’7”, 6’5”, 6’2” and a little point guard that is 5’8” that is very quick and makes them go.  As I watched and broke down the film I can’t fault our kids effort we just didn’t make shots.  We shoot 39 percent from twos and only 26 percent from threes and a lot of that had to do with their length.  They altered shots.  They did a great job altering us at the rim and they played very good man to man defense.  I felt the second quarter we really struggled.  Their point guard was out at the time in foul trouble and we just didn’t take advantage,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “We had some careless unforced errors that led to layups were we couldn’t set up our defense.  We cut it to six in the third our guys did a great job coming out of the locker room and got some great looks we just couldn’t get stops at the end.  I think that is a game that makes us better.  (Thursday) we are going to look at film we have it all clipped.  Film doesn’t lie and it is going to teach about things we need to grow on and get better as a basketball team.  We wanted to challenge this team with out non-league schedule.”

          The Colonel Crawford coach says his players have been pretty good this season at looking at things and understanding how to get better.  “I think these kids have done that.  You look we played a very good division three Spencerville team hat has only one loss on the year and we learned from that and grew.  Now Northmor and later in the year we have a division two Ontario and that is what has to prepare you to get through a tournament run.  I think basketball is totally different than football you have to win games to get in the playoffs.  We are in no matter what.  We want to challenge our non-league schedule to prepare us for tournament teams we are going to see down the road.  Our guys have done a great job of learning from film and now we have to make a step and learn from Tuesday night and prepare for a big game Saturday night,” said Sheldon.

          Colonel Crawford (7-3,5-1), #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division, in second place in the “N10” a game behind Upper Sandusky, plays at Buckeye Central (3-5,2-2) on Saturday night.  Buckeye lost to Carey, a team that also beat Crawford, (54-46) last Friday.

          Sheldon says the Bucks have been getting much better.  “They are much improved from the beginning of the year and that starts with Phil Loy he does and outstanding job and I have a lot of respect for him.  He has been a coaching friend for a longtime beginning in the “NCC” and then the “N10.”  When you look at their team Shade and Max Loy have played a lot of varsity minutes.  It starts with those two, but their other kids have stepped up.  Their young kids that were playing JV are playing well.  We know they are going to be prepared and when we go over there we will be prepared.  Games like this are going to come down to which kids are going to make plays and which kids are going to get defensive stops.  So, we are looking forward to going over there Saturday night.  It is a great rival and we are going to go over there and compete for 32 minutes,” said Sheldon.

 

Published 1/06/17

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Colonel Crawford Striving to Get Better

  

          Colonel Crawford heads into the holidays playing some pretty good basketball and they want to continue that when they play at Plymouth in a non-conference game on Tuesday night.

          The Eagles (5-2) has won their last four games and coach David Sheldon says they have done it with solid ball handling and balanced scoring.  “We have really played well these last several games.  I think it starts about three weeks ago when we talked about not playing very good basketball and we have done a better job of taking care of the possession of the ball and making good decisions.  If you look at it we have had four guys in double figures every night and it is five or six guys.  We have really shared the basketball very well,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “So, I have been very happy with our defense.  If your look at the league stats we are giving up in the low 40’s per game.  We just want to continue to get better.  Even after wins we do a lot of teaching to try and point out things than even in wins what we didn’t do well to keep getting better as a basketball team.”

          Sheldon says have been pretty good at getting stops and grabbing rebounds and all of that is a good ingredient for winning basketball games at the high school level.  “You have to get stops and we have been able to do that and rebound the ball well and keep people to one shot and it has allowed us to get out in transition.  The number one thing we want to do is get out in transition and let our guys make decisions and we have done a great job of making decisions with the basketball,” he said,

          Plymouth (1-5) has lost its last five games after, including a (50-37) loss to Norwalk St. Paul in Firelands Conference play last Wednesday.  Sheldon says the Big Red has been in a lot of games, they just can’t get over the final hurdle and get the win.  “They have played people close and they have been right in games.  We look at Nestor, Myers and Chaffins and those are three kids that have played a lot of basketball.  They are a good basketball team they have just come out on the shot end of the stick.  We are going on the road (Tuesday) night as part of six games in 16 days.  This is game five of that stretch.  We have to come with focus and these non-league games are big come February for tournament seeding.  There are several Firelands Conference people in our sectional tournament and that is what we try and emphasize that we want to keep getting better as a basketball team when we hit the floor (Tuesday) night,” said Sheldon.

 

Published 12/27/16

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Eagles Move Forward

  

          Colonel Crawford has made some nice improvement over the last week and now they need to maintain it.

          The Eagles beat Wynford last Saturday and Seneca East on Tuesday by identical scores (65-44) and have kept themselves right in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference race, a game behind leader Upper Sandusky.

          Coach David Sheldon says they have matured and learned a little bit about handling adversity.  “After that Carey game we had to break down things that we had to get better and now we have won three games five days and in the last two we really played out best basketball against Wynford and Seneca East.  I think the big thing is we have cleaned up some things.  We have a lot of guys for the first time playing varsity.  The last two games we have had four guys in double figures each game.  We have a lot of different areas we can score.  We just have to take care of the basketball and get the ball where we can attack defenses and we have done that the last two,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “I am proud of our guys because that was a tough first time because some of these junior high guys never lost a game.  We faced a little adversity and it is easy when things are going good, but what happens when you face adversity.  Our guys have rose to the occasion these last three games.  Hopefully, we continue to get better.  We talk about even when you win it is not the cure of all we need to keep making improvements.  We talk about areas we need to improve on.  It has been a big step early on in the season for us.”

          Sheldon says if you have a lot of guys that can score it helps spread the floor, plus it gives you options as a coach.  “We have had six different guys in double figures throughout this season at different times.  I think the one thing that it gives you is if somebody is having a bad night you can throw somebody else in there and they get a little more time on those nights.  With our bigs and our guards you definitely have different weapons.  We see as a coaching staff what different defenses do against us and try to attack the area where we can be at our best,” he said.

          Part of the maturing process is becoming a smarter basketball team and recognizing things on the floor and attacking them.  Sheldon says they are still working on that.  “That is an area we need to grow as a team is basketball I.Q. for sure.  (Tuesday) night we saw that when Seneca East was in man we were able to attack inside and when they are in zone we go 6-14 from the three point line.  Those are areas were you have to keep teaching and growing as a basketball team and our goal this year is to keep taking steps forward.  With only one senior on the floor we want to keep taking steps forward and not taking one or two steps back over the course of the year,” he said.

          Friday night, the Eagles (4-2,3-1) host Bucyrus (1-4,1-2) in “N10” play.  The Redmen earned their first win of the season Tuesday night in beating Mohawk (49-46) in a league game.

          Sheldon knows the Redmen will come in fired up.  “This is a basketball team where these kids have played a lot of varsity basketball.  When I look at their lineup it is a lot of the same lineup that started last year against us.  They fight a lot and they got a big win on Tuesday against Mohawk.  Anytime it is Bucyrus and Crawford or Wynford or whoever it is that Crawford County rivalry.  Our kids know theirs and we are 10 minutes away from each other and it will be over holiday break when a lot of college kids are back.  It will be a good atmosphere Friday night as we are looking forward to the challenge,” said Sheldon

 

Published 12/22/16

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Young Colonel Crawford Has to Handle the Ball

  

          Colonel Crawford has the raw talent, but they have to continue to refine it if they want to become a solid basketball team by the end of the season.

          They play at Mohawk on Friday and at home against Wynford on Saturday in conference games.

          Last Saturday night, the Eagles lost their Northern 10 Athletic Conference opener to Carey (50-43) as the result of poor ball handling.  Coach David Sheldon says they had too many turnovers in the second half.

“We had a great first half and were up 11 at the half and even halfway through the third we are up and then the wheels sort of fell off and we had a lot of turnovers the second half.  We had 12 turnovers leading to 10 points on layups.  We are still trying to get through to this basketball team how valuable each possession is,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “With a minute to go it is still a one point game, we are still right there, and have opportunities to take the lead or tie it and we just couldn’t get them the ball late and they made some free throws down the stretch.  We have to cherish the basketball a little bit more and not turn the basketball over.  The first half we took over 30 shots and in the second half I think we had 16, 17 shots because we turned the basketball over.  That is something we have to correct if we want to become a better basketball team.”

          Good teams are ones that get better, but Sheldon says he hasn’t seen the good kind of progression yet.  “This is two weeks in a row.  We didn’t have a good second half against Spencerville.  Hopefully, over time when we keep pointing it out.  As a coaching staff there has to be a lot of teaching with an inexperienced basketball team like we have this year.  At the varsity level we have to do a lot of teaching and correct things.  You make steps.  The goal is to be the best basketball team Colonel Crawford can be by the end of February.  We just have to keep chipping away and making improvements,” he said.

          Colonel Crawford (1-2,0-1) travels to Mohawk (1-1,1-0) for an “N10” game on Friday night.  Mohawk beat Buckeye Central (46-44) on Saturday.

          Sheldon says the Warriors are a young team that has a pretty sizable upside.  “Mohawk is much improved.  Coach Dunn, their new coach, has done a great job after watching film with their structure of their offense and defense.  These kids are playing with a lot of excitement and are playing extremely hard.  They have a very talented sophomore class over there with a few good seniors as well.  They got a big win last week at Buckeye against a very good Buckeye team.  It will be another challenge for this basketball team going on the road again on Friday night to Mohawk,” said Sheldon.

          Wynford (1-1,1-0) beat Bucyrus (49-34) in their first conference game last Saturday.  Sheldon says the Royals are going to bring a pretty good team to North Robinson on Saturday.  “Wynford is coming off a very successful season last year and they have some key parts back.  Jack Reed is one of the better guards in our league.  The Hoffman kid is as tough a kid as you are going to play against.  They have the Crell kid inside and some good role players around them.  It is always a great atmosphere anytime two Crawford County teams get together. Jason (Engel) has done a great job getting that program back on track.  It will be a challenge for us and will probably be the biggest crowd these kids of ours have played against yet this year.  It is going to be a tough weekend with two league games back to back and we have to have great focus.  Colonel Crawford needs to be worried about Colonel Crawford by making improvements of things we struggled with the last two games and become a better basketball team,” said Sheldon.

 

Published 12/13/16

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Eagles Need to Continue to Improve

  

          Colonel Crawford spilt their games on the opening weekend and now they are getting ready for their first game in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference when they travel to Carey on Saturday night.

          Last week, they rallied to beat Mansfield Christian (49-46) on Friday night and lost to talented Spencerville (47-37) on Saturday night.

          Coach David Sheldon says they actually played better against a very good team on Saturday.  “Opening night you never know what is going to happen when the lights come on.  Plus, playing three kids that have never played in a varsity basketball game.  I thought there were a lot of mistakes opening night.  Credit Mansfield Christian they are so well coached with their offensive patience and man to man defense is very good.  Fortunately at the end of the game we were able to make some plays and come out with a “W,” but there were a lot of teaching points.  Saturday, we played much better than we did Friday night,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “Our defense was better.  That was a Spencerville team with four kids that were starters since their freshman year that were seniors that might make a run.  It was a two point game in the fourth and we just had some empty possessions in the fourth at the offensive end where we didn’t take advantage of opportunities and ended having to foul in the end and lost by 10.  I was pleased with our effort Saturday night because we knew it was going to be a tough non-league game.”

          When it comes to improvement Sheldon says its starts with an honest review of the film.  “I think number one all of the film work that we have done this week to show all of the things that happened Friday and Saturday that we have to improve on.  Film doesn’t lie.  I heard Kevin Love say this week after the Cavs three game losing streak they looked at film.  Film proves a lot of things and our film session was a little harsh.  We have to get better if we want to become a good basketball team.  That was the first step and now getting on the floor and working on things that we need to get better before take the floor on Saturday night,” he said.

          Carey (0-2) started the season with losses to Riverdale (64-44) and Van Buren (75-64,) but Sheldon says they have very good guard play.  “First of all they have a very good guard back in Cody Luzader.  He is a very good guard.  He can shoot it, he can put it on the floor.  They are four guards a lot of times and one post.  So, you have to get out and guard the three point line as well as the drives.  We are going to have to play one on one man to man defense and help defense when they put it on the floor.  This is a team that can shoot the three and put it on the floor with their guard play.  We have to go on the road for the first league game in a new gym.  There is some excitement for them with this gym they are playing in.  It will be a challenge for us, but we are looking forward to the opportunity.  It is nice to have two non-conference games and now hopefully all of the butterflies are out and hopefully we make steps to get better from week one to this week,” said Sheldon.

 

Published 12/08/16

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Lady Eagles Get Another Big Test

  

          After suffering their first loss of the season to defending division three state runner up Marion Pleasant last week, Colonel Crawford travels to face last year’s Northern 10 champ, and district runner up, Carey on Tuesday night in conference action.

          Crawford won its first to games of the year before the setback to Pleasant (53-40) last Thursday night.  Coach Kyle Fenner felt they competed against Pleasant.  “We have had a really good start.  We have got off to a 2-1 start.  We beat pretty good Northmor and New Riegel teams and then kind of ran into a buzz saw in Marion Pleasant.  They are the defending state runner up.  They have their studs back in Summer Blevens.  We played pretty well against them, just too much Blevens that night,” she said.

          You never want to lose, but if you do you want to take something away from it.  Fenner says they want to be tested because that makes them better and she feels it was excellent preparation for Tuesday night against an equally good Carey team.  “In the locker room after the game I told our kids look we play these teams, we puts these teams on our non-league schedule to make us better,” she told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “Carey is pretty much a carbon copy of Marion Pleasant in that they have a big girl in the middle and some guards that can surround her.  We hope we can learn from the Marion Pleasant game and take that into our game (Tuesday) night against Carey.”

          Carey has won both of the “N10” basketball titles and they are going to be good again.  They have a loss this year to Liberty-Benton (66-49,) but beat Arcadia (57-54) in overtime on Saturday.

          Fenner says it is going to be a tough assignment at Carey in a new gym on Tuesday night.  Again she says they remind her a lot of what they saw in Pleasant last week.  “It would be a great win for our program, but Carey is really, really good again, they are the defending league champions.  They have a stud in the middle in Chin and some guards around her that are really, really good.  Phil (Vaughn) has done a great job over there and they sort of have an attitude that they are going win games.  It will be a great challenge for us going over there.  It will be the first girls’ basketball game in that gym (Tuesday) night,” said Fenner.

 

Published 12/06/16

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Colonel Crawford Wants the Challenge

  

          Colonel Crawford is one of the most consistently strong boys’ basketball programs in this part of the state and they should be very good again this season.

          They play at home against Mansfield Christian in Friday night then hit the road to play Spencerville at Bluffton University on Saturday night.

          Coach David Sheldon thinks they are going to be ready to go.  “We have been very happy as a coaching staff.  We have really played a tough scrimmage schedule.  We have seen some division ones here in our last scrimmage.  I think that is what you want from the preseason with guys getting better as you’re bringing out details after every scrimmage on film.  I think we have seen growth and we are excited to tip it off.  You work all of June, the summer, and the fall and this why you do it to play under the lights on Friday night.  I think we are excited to get going and we have definitely seen growth in the preseason,” said Sheldon.

          The Eagles coach believes they have the personnel this year to be able to spread the floor and get some good shots.  “We are very happy with our two posts inside in Harley Shaum and Heath Starkey and we have really good guard play outside.  I think if we can go inside out we can set things up.  We just have to make sure we focus on that.  Number one we want to get out in transition and then in the half court we have to look to go inside out to score and also throw good passes so we can get into our offense.  Anytime you have balance it makes you tough to guard and that is one thing that we feel we have is good balance with guards and post play this season,” said Sheldon.

          Two things with Mansfield Christian, according to Sheldon, they are going to be very good in their man to man defense and they are going to be disciplined on offense.  “I have the up most respect for John (Kurtz.)  He does a great job going all of the way back to Crestview.  The one thing John’s teams always do is they are going to guard you and play man to man defense.  Offensively they are going to be simple and not run a lot of stuff, but they are going to be affective and fundamental.  They have good guard play in the McPeak kid and John’s son who can really shoot it from the outside and a big post player.  They have some young kids that look like they can play.  Anytime we play them it is a tough game.  We know they are going to play extremely hard and we going to have to match their intensity for 32 minutes,” said Sheldon.

          When it comes to Saturday night Sheldon says this is an example of their attitude of playing a very good non-conference schedule.  He believes it pays off.   “It is a great non-league game for us.  They got to the district championship game last year and lost to the state champs in Lima Central Catholic.  They return two post players at 6’6” and 6’5” and they have a 6’4” guard that is really good.  It is going to be a tough non-league game, but that is what you want with our on-league schedule,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “We beefed up our non-conference schedule.  We have won five straight sectional championships and we want to get over that hurdle in the district tournament.  That is what non-league games do for you.  We want to strengthen our schedule to get us ready.  It is nice to have to games the opening weekend before we open up league play the following week to get our young guys ready playing under the lights.  We are excited for Saturday night.  We have to match their intensity.  It’s a beautiful facility at Bluffton University.  A great opportunity for our program.”

 

Published 11/29/16

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Colonel Crawford with Blend of Youth and Experience

  

          It looks like Colonel Crawford is going to have another good basketball team this winter, it is just a matter of how good.  The development of their younger and more inexperienced players may tell that story.

          Coach David Sheldon believes they will be able to score in a variety ways this year, but he says to get where they want to they are going to have play defense.  “I am very fortunate we have a group of guys that love the game of basketball.  We had a lot of them this fall that had great individual workouts in the weight room and on the track.  It is great to get started now.  We have a great mixture of guys back with our three lettermen juniors in Hayden Bute, Harley Shaum and Brody Martin and then we have the 6’10” senior back that has really come a long way in Heath Starkey.  We are going to play some young kids.  I have some freshmen that you are going to see right out of the gate.  We have to get them adapted to playing at the varsity level, but they have some skill.  I think the best thing so far in the preseason our first weekend trip we went to Van Wert for an overnight with Van Wert and Ottoville and the team chemistry was great,” he told Swankonsports.com during Thursday’s practice at Colonel Crawford,  “Offensively we have to share the basketball, we have a lot of different weapons.  Defensively we have to get better.  You hear that every year from me.  We have got to get better guarding.  If we are going to win basketball games that is what it is going to come down to.  We challenge these guys every day at the defensive end because that is what they don’t understand.  We talk in our program about one possession at a time our way.  It starts on the defensive end.  We have to get better on that end every day.”

          With four freshmen on the varsity roster, Sheldon says the plan to create chemistry on this roster started early.  “I think that is where the month of June helped.  We got to do a lot of team stuff in June with our 10 coaching days.  We put young and old together and the chemistry started to build and then this fall the time we had together that has been really good.  These upperclassmen have to understand these freshmen we need and some of these younger kids to have a successful basketball season, which we expect every year here at Colonel Crawford,” he said.

          There is some height on the Eagles roster this season, but Sheldon believes they have the tools to be able to execute while running the floor this year.  “We want to get up and down.  We really want to get out in transition.  You are going to hear about a point guard by the name of (Cameron) McCreary, you heard that name a few years ago and we also have another point guard on the floor a lot in Jordan Fenner, our girls’ coach’s son.  We have two guys that can push the ball when everybody gets and goes.  We want to run the floor.  When we get in the half court we have to be able to execute and go inside out.  We want our inside to create shots for our outside.  Definitely we are going to try and push the tempo and get up and down the floor,” said Sheldon.

          Running the floor is good, but Sheldon knows they have to be able to execute in the half court too.  “That comes down to just execution in what we are trying to do offensively and guys making plays and getting a great shot every time down the floor, not just a good shot.  We have to be able to get some ball reversals when we are in the half court and make the defense move.  You are going to get in half court games when you are playing great teams that we will see in our league and non-league schedule this year,” he said.

 

Published 11/18/16

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Colonel Crawford Senior to Play at AU

  

          Heath Starkey, a 6’10” senior at Colonel Crawford High School, Thursday signed a national letter of intent to play college basketball at division two power Ashland University.

          All of this without playing a single minute of varsity basketball yet for the Colonel Crawford.

          However, 6’10” kids, at least in North Central Ohio, don’t come around every day.

          Ashland was (25-6) last year for coach John Ellenwood and Starkey feels like this is a good fir for him.  “It’s a good program, a good coach.  We had a Tiffin offer come up, but I felt like coach Ellenwood and their staff just built a really good relationship with me.  It’s really good school to study at and continue my athletic career in basketball,” Starkey said Thursday.

          Not having reached his 18th birthday yet, Starkey is rail thin and he knows he needs to build strength to play at the college level.  “I definitely need to get stronger.  I have the opportunity to red shirt my freshmen year to the opportunity to get stronger.  So, I will possibly take that up.  Mostly just keep my emotions in check.  Don’t get upset after a shot.  Don’t it get in your head, move on to the next possession,” Starkey said.

          Colonel Crawford is one of the traditional division four powers in the area and Starkey believes this can be a very good season for the team, which will have an element of youth and inexperience.  “We can be very good.  We have four freshmen up on varsity.  Me along with three other seniors have really brought them in underneath our wings and just really took them in,” he said.

          When it comes to where he fits with the “AU” Eagles, Starkey says coach Ellenwood says the sky is the limit.  “If I choose to do a red shirt freshmen year, we have talked it over, it’s an opportunity for me to have that extra year.  As long as I am producing I get minutes,” he said.

 

Published 11/11/16

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Point of Attack Huge in Colonel Crawford, Liberty Center Game

  

          There seem like there are a lot of similarities between Colonel Crawford and playoff opponent Liberty Center.

          They both have lost two games and only two other playoff teams, they both have been very good at running the ball and petty good at stopping the run.

          Crawford (8-2) plays at Liberty Center (8-2) in a first round playoff game in division six on Friday night.

          It’s the fourth time in the last five years that the Eagles have made the playoffs.  The Eagles win over Ayersville (42-10) last year was the program’s first playoff win.

          Coach Ryan Teglovic says anytime you get to play on week 11 there is a big jump in excitement.  “I think there is always a good level of excitement amongst coaches and players trying to reach the postseason.  It is kind of a unique experience here in Ohio where you have to play your way into the postseason.  When you have done that I think there is always a level of excitement when you are heading into the postseason even if you have done it a couple of times,” he said.

          Liberty Center has a great tradition as the Tigers are making their 17th appearance in the postseason.  They won a state title back in 1997.  This is the first time they have been at this level since 2012.

          Teglovic says the Tigers like to play old school football.  “They are a phenomenal football program.  They are a school that has won a state championship, been a state runner up and been in the semi finals several times.  We are playing against a legendary coach.  Now that we have a chance to watch some film and take a look at these guys they do things old school,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “They are going to get off the ball.  They are going to run the football.  They are going to play good, solid defense.  They are going to hit you.  We have to respond to their physical nature.”

          Liberty Center is one the bed rock programs in Northwest Ohio, but Teglovic says they aren’t playing that tradition they are playing this year’s team.  “We have some tradition here too and those kinds of things.  It’s the 2016 Colonel Crawford Eagles against the 2016 Liberty Center Tigers. We are both good football teams.  It is going to come down to who gets off the ball better up front.  Who can limit turnovers and play good field position and all of those kinds of things you have to do to win a good football game,” he said.

        Liberty Center’s losses this year are to unbeaten Patrick Henry (22-14) and to Swanton (28-15) another playoff team.

          Teglovic says control of the line of scrimmage is going to determine the winner in this one.  “It is going to be huge in this one.  It is crucial in any game.  When you watch film you get the understanding that both teams like to run the football and like to control that line of scrimmage.  It comes down to which team is going to be able to do that along the offensive and defensive lines.  Who wins that battle is going to go a long way in determining the outcome,” he said.

 

Published 11/01/16

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Playoffs Await Colonel Crawford

  

          All that stands in the way of the Colonel Crawford Eagles and another playoff berth is a win at home Friday night against Upper Sandusky in Northern 10 Athletic Conference play.

          The Eagles won their fourth straight game last week with a (34-6) win at Buckeye Central and stand sixth in division six, region 22.

          Coach Ryan Teglovic says they gave a pretty good performance on both sides of the ball last week.  “We did what we needed to do overall.  We rushed for over 300 yards.  We thought we were fairly efficient in the passing game.  We were four for seven in the air.  We didn’t turn it over and won the turnover battle.  At times we played well defensively and in the special teams game.  I felt overall it was a decent performance.  We didn’t perform as well as well as we did the previous week against Lucas, but overall a solid performance and it puts us at 7-2 and sets us up for a big game this week versus Upper Sandusky,” said Teglovic.

          Defensively, Crawford (7-2,5-2) has gotten steadily better this fall.  Allowing just one score and two of its last three games and slowing down a good Lucas team too.  Teglovic likes the progression he sees on that side of the ball.  “There are still some issues here and there, but I feel overall, just like offensively, they have gotten better.  We returned about three starters on both sides of the ball, so that has been the big thing we need to continue to get better, continue to fix some mistakes, and game plan every week, and have a better understanding of who we are defensively.  Overall we have played solid at times and last couple of weeks I feel we have played a little bit better,” he said.

          Upper Sandusky (4-5,3-4) got clobbered last week by unbeaten Wynford (53-0,) but Teglovic says they really isn’t an illustration of who they are as a football team.  “They have some potential.  Last week, they not only turned it over four times, they turned it over four times in the first half and if you do that against a good football team like Wynford that just opens the flood gates and that’s what happened and before you know it it is 28-0 in the first quarter.  That is pretty tough to recover from for a football team,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “When we look at other scores and how they have competed.  They competed very well against Mohawk, 28-26, very well against Carey, a 20-19 game, and they have won four football games.  It is a team that scares you because there is enough talent there to be competitive on both sides of the ball.  I just know they are going to come in here and play hard.”

 

Published 10/27/16

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Colonel Crawford Faces Rival Buckeye Central

  

          Colonel Crawford is on a track that will take them to playoffs again this season.

          They are on the edge of clinching a playoff spot for the fourth time and the last five years.  They stand sixth in their divison six region heading into play this week.

          They travel down State Route 602 Friday night to face rival Buckeye Central in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game.

          Last week, the Eagles (6-2,4-2) downed Lucas (47-20) in a non-conference game handing the Cubs just their second loss of the season.  Coach Ryan Teglovic says it might have been their best, at least their most consistent, performance of the season.  “It might have been our most consistent performance for us all year for four quarters.  We have played that well at times for a half or three quarters, but as far as playing well for four quarters that was our best performance,” he said.

          Crawford was able to bottle up the Lucas running game holding the Cubs to less than 200 yards.  Teglovic says they were physical and executed very well.  “Obviously they do a great job of running their stuff.  I think we have physical kids and kids that have shown the ability to play physical football.  I think there have been some other times we have done that as well.  I think our kids understood what they needed to do, kept things simple, and I thought they executed very well,” he said.

          Buckeye Central (2-6,2-4) rallied from 19 down to beat Bucyrus (41-40) last week and Teglovic says they are going to be pumped up when they play them.  “They absolutely will come in with some confidence and some momentum.  They were down 33-14 at half and then they came back to win that game in a close fashion.  A lot of their playmakers have been hurt for most of the year and they are starting to get some of those guys back.  So, I think they are playing with some more confidence now.  We have to go over there.  We have to continue to get better and play well this week,” said Teglovic.

          Buckeye Central has a new head coach in Rob Detterman and Teglovic says the Bucks approach is different this year than it has been.  “Last year they would spread things out and obviously they had a really good quarterback.  Buckeye has had tight ends when they have had those available.  You are going to see tight end sets from them this year, more pistol stuff.  They want to be 4-2-5 defensively.  They are running some more fronts too and more multiple in the pass game with a 4-4 and a cover three and cover one kind of stuff.  They are a little different schematically,” he said.

 

Published 10/18/16

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Running Game Big for Crawford and Lucas

  

         Colonel Crawford plays at Lucas in a game Friday night that certainly has playoff implications. 

          Lucas is right 4th in its division seven region and Colonel Crawford is 8th in its division six region.  The top eight in each region make the post season playoffs.

          The Eagles (5-2) are coming off a (61-8) thrashing of Ridgedale in Northern 10 Athletic Conference action last week.  It was the second straight week they had scored more than a 60 points in a game.

          Coach Ryan Teglovic says they have been doing a solid job of controlling the line of scrimmage and running the football.  “The offense has played well.  We have one of the better rushing offenses in the area and one of the leading rushers in the area in Blake Treisch with over 1,300 yards.  I think they have played well and executed well.  This Friday night obviously is a big test for us,” he said.

          The Eagles offensive line is physical and has taken the right attitude, but Teglovic knows they are going to be tested by Lucas on Friday night.  “I think our offensive line has done a great jog all year and they have a tough mentality to them.  It’s a good group and hard working group of kids.  They are going to be tested though this Friday night.  We are going to face a defensive line that is big and physical.  Those are the same guys that are on the offensive line.  They are big and physical.  Lucas is used to playing the physical style of football and they are very good at it,” said Teglovic.

          Lucas (6-1) has put some points on the board too.  They hammered Crestline (63-28) in a Mid-Buckeye Conference came last week, amassing over 400 yards on the ground in the process.

          Teglovic says it is going to be a slugging match in the trenches.  “You have to be able to go toe to toe.  You have to be willing to take the punches and continue to take them throughout the game.  They are going to keep going at you and test you physically and test you mentally,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “Our guys are going to have to play very well up front.  They do a great job.  Not only that but they can spread things out and run the same basic stuff from a spread formation.”

          Lucas likes to eat up the clock and Teglovic says you have to be able to get off the field on third down and take advantage of your opportunities on offense.  “You have to maximize your offensive opportunities because they do shorten the game.  That has been their game now for a few years now.  Not only do they do that, but they will onside kick or squib kick.  They do a lot of things to keep the ball out of your offense’s hands.  I would say in a lot of regards we are fairly similar,” he said.

 

Published 10/13/16

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Colonel Crawford Doing Good Things

  

          Colonel Crawford plays host to Ridgedale in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game on Friday night.

          They are going to need some things to happen in order to get a piece of the “N10” title having already lost to Wynford and Seneca East, the co-leaders. 

          They belted Bucyrus (62-27) last week in a conference game, establishing a school record for total yards in a game.  Coach Ryan Teglovic says they threw the ball better than they have all season.  “It was nice to see us fair well in the passing game.  That was first time we have thrown for over 100 yards this year.  We made some big plays in the passing game.  The running game has been good all year.  We have a back now that is over 1,000 yards six games into the year.  That is a tribute to how well our guys are playing on the offensive side of the ball, our backs and especially our offensive linemen,” says Teglovic.

          Guys in the trenches tend not to get a lot of notoriety, but Teglovic says his big guys have played well all season.  He says they make good adjustments.  “They do a great job.  Our offensive staff does a great job teaching our scheme.  Those guys up front we have an intelligent bunch.  They are not straight “A” students, but they get it, they know, they make adjustments.  We have been running this offense now for four plus years.  You show them different fronts and they are able to adjust well and make their calls.  They work hard and they are aggressive as well,” he said.

          Ridgedale (0-6,0-4) has had another tough season.  They lost (42-0) last week to Buckeye Central.  Teglovic says they have some really good players, just not enough of them.  “I think they are hurt overall because one of their best, if not their best, Trevor Boyd, has not really been able to play this year because of an injury he suffered during the spring.  Reports say he is kind of slowly trying to get in.  He is a really good athlete and he has been starting for them for at least three years now,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “He runs in the low 11’s in the 100.  Their quarterback is a really good player too.  He has started for a couple of years and he throws the ball nicely.  They have a couple of pretty good players just unfortunately they don’t have a lot of players.  The kids they do have are up there competing and getting better.”

          This is a week for Colonel Crawford (4-2,3-2) to concentrate on themselves, but Teglovic says every week that is the case.  “It has to be that way every week and I think that is typical of how we approach things.  I think our kids have a handle on that are what we are looking for.  It is Colonel Crawford versus Colonel Crawford.  That is what we want to continue to do every week, so we can improve,” he said.

 

Published 10/07/16

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Crawford Needs to Get Back to Winning

  

          After back to back losses to undefeated teams, the Colonel Crawford Eagles need to recapture that winning formula.

          Last week, they held a four point halftime lead, but were outscored (21-3) by Seneca East in the second half and lost to the Tigers (42-28) in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game.

          Coach Ryan Teglovic gives all the credit to Seneca East.  “No it didn’t go our way, but credit them, credit Seneca East, I think they have an awfully good football team.  They have good skilled athletes, their quarterback, their running back, are phenomenal players.  I was really impressed with their offensive line, how well they played.  They have some good veterans on their team, they have a lot of talent.  They did a nice job in preparation.  I thought they have a great team.  We have to get back to the drawing board this week.  It is an important week for us to get back at it,” said Teglovic.

          Crawford (3-2,2-2) plays at home against Bucyrus (0-5,0-4) this week.  Teglovic says there are a lot of things they can still accomplish.  “We talked to our kids about that.  The big thing for us is to go out this Friday night and play well and continue to get better.  If we can do that week by week over the next five weeks when we get to the end of the year we will be happy with what we have accomplished.  The process is going to be pretty important,” he said.

          Mental approach and emotion are going to be key for the Eagles this week.  Teglovic says it has been a tough couple of weeks and it will be important for them to have strong mental focus.  “Not just two tough games the last two weeks, but the first five games for a young and inexperienced team.  It is a grind and we have appreciated how our kids have competed.  It has been rough.  We have to find a little bit in the emotional tank this week because I know that Bucyrus will.,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “Bucyrus kids play hard.  I don’t anticipate anything less from them this week.  We are at home and defending our territory.  Hopefully, we can bounce back this week and have that emotion.”

          Bucyrus is winless, but among the losses are Wynford, Marion Pleasant, and Seneca East.  Teglovic says it is clear that the Redmen are getting better.  “We talk about our schedule being pretty tough, and it has been, but when you look at their schedule and they have a lot of tough opponents on their schedule.  We have seen them several times because we have seen those same opponents as well.  I think they are getting better and I told coach Eckert that (Monday) when I talked to him.  I can see some things, especially up front.  They are playing some young kids and are working those guys.  I think overall they are making a lot of strides.  Sometimes you don’t see that in wins and losses.  I know that they will play hard.  It is an in county rivalry.  Last week, I thought they played well.  I thought they played with emotion.  They were right there for quite a while,” said Teglovic.

 

Published 9/27/16

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Colonel Crawford Faces Another Unbeaten Team

  

          After a tough loss to rival Wynford last week, Colonel Crawford must put things back together quickly as they must travel to Seneca East to face the unbeaten Tigers in Northern 10 Athletic Conference play on Friday night.

          Last week, the Eagles (3-1,1-1) gave up three scores in the first quarter before rallying, but lost to Wynford (28-21) in a hard fought “N10” game.  Coach Ryan Teglovic thought they played a good football game.  They just gave up too many early.  “I was really happy with how hard our kids played, especially after being down early.  I thought it was a great effort on our part and at times good execution as well.  I think their speed got us a little bit there in that first quarter and then we adjusted to that a little bit.  Our kids settled in and played good football,” said Teglovic.

          It is going to be an important week of practice after losing their first game of the season.  Teglovic says they have to be ready mentally and emotionally for Friday night.  “We have to go on the road and play another 4-0 team.  Seneca East was a playoff team last year at 8-2 and they return a core of those guys back this year.  They have been off to a hot start here early.  We have to find a way to recapture that emotion and get back at it this week,” he said.

          Seneca East (4-0,3-0) belted Bucyrus (54-14) last week in a conference game, amassing 603 total yards to the process.  Teglovic says they have to keep that Tiger offense off the field and when they do have the ball do their best to contain running back Brock Martin.  “I think our offense is going to have to help us some by pounding the football like we have been able to do a little bit.  They have a variety of very good athletes, but I think Brock Martin is the key,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “He is a three year starter now as a junior.  I remember him playing against us as a freshmen.  I though he was a fine player then and he has gotten even better, so we will have our hands full trying to slow him down.  They also have a veteran quarterback.  I think he missed the first game or so and now he is back in.  Those two guys are really the key to what they do.”

          Martin had 11 carries for 209 yards last week against Bucyrus.  Quarterback Brennan Martin was 22 of 25 for 342 yards in the game.

          Seneca East has also beaten South Central (54-20,) Ridgedale (60-8,) and Buckeye Central (46-14) this year.  Those teams, and Bucyrus, have combined to win just one game this year and it is clear that Crawford is best team on their schedule so far. 

          Teglovic says they haven’t been challenged, but he is sure that has given the Tigers a lot of confidence.  “That could work to our advantage or it could work against us.  They haven’t been really challenged, but a lot of times that can give a team a lot of confidence.  They are 4-0 and have been able to move the ball at will and stop people and those kids of things.  Mentally I think they are going to come in high and certainly awfully confident.  We would like to make sure it is still a game in the second half, but that is going to be a tough task,” he said.

 

Published 9/19/16

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Crawford Hosts Wynford in Big one in the “N10”

  

          Colonel Crawford has done a lot of good things on the football field the last couple of years, but it has been Wynford that has been their Waterloo.

          Both teams are unbeaten as the Eagles host the Royals in North Robinson on Friday night in Northern 10 Athletic Conference play.

          Last week, the Eagles (3-0,2-0) beat Mohawk (24-8) and head coach Ryan Teglovic, who works a lot with the defense, was pretty proud of what those guys did last week.  “After the first drive I felt like our defense settled in and played very solid and good responsibility football.  We are making steps on that side of the ball.  We still have a lot of work to do and will be tested pretty well Friday night, but I was pleased with the overall effort there,” he said.

          Wynford (3-0,2-0), #1 in the Swankonsports.com football coaches poll in the small school division, buried Ridgedale (68-22) last week in a game that was (68-6) at the half.  They had beaten Bucyrus (48-13) two weeks ago.

          Teglovic says quarterback Zach Hoffman is scary good.  “What is especially good is their speed and in particular the quarterback.  He is an awfully good player.  He was one the best players around the area last year and he has gotten nothing but better this year.  He probably throws a little bit better this year as well.  His speed is really good,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “The other guy they have in the backfield with him at the running back position has pronominal speed as well.  We haven’t seen a backfield with two guys that fast and that is going to put us to a test.”

          Stopping the Wynford backs from getting to the perimeter is a big key for them, according to Teglovic.  “You have to get them before they get started.  You don’t want to let them out in space.  They are going to make people miss in space.  Not just because of their speed and quickness, but because of their athleticism as well.  Our front seven guys are going to be pretty important you have to control the line of scrimmage,” said Teglovic.

          In similar situations the last two years Wynford beat Colonel Crawford (41-14) a year ago and (41-10) in 2015.

         With the explosiveness Wynford has shown, Teglovic says they would like to play keep away, but knows that won’t be easy.  “We would love for that to be able to happen.  Our offense has done a nice job of that the first three weeks of the year.  We’re not perfect there either.  Those guys have continued to learn and get better.  The guys up on the offensive line have done a great job, we’ve got the running backs, those guys have had a good year too.  It would help tremendously if we could shorten the game a little bit and keep their offense off the field, but that is easier said than done,” he said.

 

Published 9/16/16

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Eagles Want to Make Momentum Forward

  

          After a dramatic come from behind win last week, Colonel Crawford hits the road to face a pretty good Mohawk team in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game on Friday night.

          Trailing 20-3 last in the second quarter, the Eagles (2-0,1-0) rallied to beat Carey (27-26) in an “N10” game in North Robinson last Friday.  Coach Ryan Teglovic says it was a great win for what is a young bunch of players.  “I am very happy for our kids.  It is a group that has worked hard.  A lot of them were JV guys last year even as juniors.  To be able experience that Friday night, a come from behind win at home, just the emotion of that.  I am happy for them and it was a fun game,” he said.

          Wins like that can have an affect on the rest of your season.  Teglovic hopes the win builds some additional confidence and character on the football team.  “Sometimes games like that when you can come from behind and win builds some character in the guys.  Learning how to win close games is an important thing.  Hopefully we can build on last week.  We play a 2-0 Mohawk team.  So, hopefully we can build on that and take it into this week,” said Teglovic.

          Mohawk (2-0,1-0) began their “N10” schedule with a (26-12) win over Buckeye Central last week.  Teglovic says the Warriors are a pretty good football team.  “They have a good coaching staff over there and a good number of kids playing football.  They are young, they lost a lot of seniors from last year from a 7-3 football team, a very good football team last year.  They have done a nice job of replacing and reloading there.  They are off to a good 2-0 start,” he said.

          Mohawk has definitely featured the run over the first two weeks of the season.  Teglovic says due to an injury to their starting quarterback Mohawk has been going to the run game a little more.  “Their quarterback that was supposed to start the year got hurt in the preseason.  A broken collar bone, something of that nature.  They are down to their second string guy.  I have watched and he does a good job and they can throw the football a little bit.  Because of that injury and that kind of thing I think they want to run the football a little more,” he told Swankonsports.com on Sunday evening, “They have two or three running backs that are pretty good.  Obviously, the (Parker) Brown kid is a pretty good football player.  He got in a little bit last year even on a good, veteran team.  Yeah, I think they want to run the football.”

 

Published 9/05/16

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Colonel Crawford Starts League Play with Carey

  

          Colonel Crawford has been one the real challengers in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference football race in recent years and they host Carey in their conference opener in North Robinson on Friday night.

          Last week, in non-conference play, they handled Mt. Gilead (46-26) and coach Ryan Teglovic says it wasn’t their best performance, but pretty good and they have been working hard this week.  “As the smoke has kind of settled and we have watched a little more film and put things in more perspective we did some good things.  There are obviously some things to work on.  I thought the kids have done a good job of trying to work on those things this week and correct those individual mistakes.  I feel pretty good about how that process has gone this week.  We have just told our guys that through experience we will continue to grow and get better,” he said.

          The “N10” is the only area conference with conference play on week two.  Teglovic says that makes preparation a little different and more urgent.  “Obviously it is not the ideal situation.  Playing the three non conference games at the beginning of the season I think most coaches would find that more ideal than jumping into that conference fray that second week.  Obviously there are still a lot of things to work on.  There are a lot of things we need to improve on and get better at.  You would want those things tightened up before you head into conference play.  We are all in the same boat heading into conference play on week two.  It does create a little more sense of urgency when you have those conference games on week two,” said Teglovic.

          Carey lost (45-0) to a very good McComb team on week one last year.  However, Teglovic says keep in mind McComb is a very strong team.  He thinks the Blue Devils are a team that can do some things.  “I don’t put a lot of stock in the score outcome of that game.  McComb was in the state final four last year and they have quite a few kids coming back.  They are a good football team.  Carey was able to do some things against them and they were playing a good football team.  I saw their scrimmage against Lepsic and they moved the ball extremely well there and defended well there too and that is against a playoff team last year.  Carey seems to be a better football team than last year,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “They return a little more speed.  They have some guys that were injured last year that are back.  They have some experience at quarterback now.  He was able to play quite a few games for them last year.  They have a three year starter at fullback and defensive end.  I really think they are a solid football team.”

 

Published 9/02/16

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Crawford Well Prepared

  

          Colonel Crawford has developed a football program and that means they normally can reload and that seems like the case this year.

          They have to replace some players, but they can fill those holes with quality talent.

          Coach Ryan Teglovic says they have been tested in the preseason and he believes they have gotten better heading into the season opener at Mt. Gilead on Friday night.  “Our scrimmage schedule was tough.  We scrimmaged good football teams.  I thought we competed well.  We got a little bit better as we went along.  We have stayed pretty healthy.  Overall I think it has been a good, positive off season.  Guys are excited to go week one,” he said.

          With the opener just a couple of days away Teglovic says everybody in the Eagles camp is ready to go and go out and prove what they have on Friday night.  “Kids and coaches I think are ready.  The preseason is long.  You get three weeks of preseason plus you get 10 days of contact on top of that, plus all of weightlifting and all of those things.  There is a lot of build up to it.  Week one there is something special about Friday night football.  It’s for real.  You know, scrimmages help, but unless they put official there it isn’t a game,” said Teglovic.

          Mt. Gilead, out of the blue division of the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference, hosts the Eagles on Friday night.  Teglovic says Mt. Gilead has guys on offense that can make big plays.  “The Indians have six or so starters back on both sides of the ball.  Starting with Barnett, their tailback, he rushed for 1,600 yards last year so we know he is an awfully good football player,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “We are going to have to really focus well to stop him.  They have a fullback back with some experience.  They have a kid in at receiver that is about 6’5”, 200 pounds, that can go up and get it.  It is going to be a good test for us.  They have some guys back defensively.  We have to go there and they usually play us pretty tough.”

 

 

Published 8/24/16

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Crawford With a Chip

 

          Colonel Crawford has developed a good reputation for playing solid football and some of the members of this year’s team believe they are not getting the kind of respect that they deserve.

          We start finding out about how good they can be next Friday against Mt. Gilead in non-conference play.

          Coach Ryan Teglovic says they have found out a lot already because they have scrimmaged some pretty good football teams here in August.  “We are pretty happy with where we are at.  We have scrimmaged Tiffin Calvert and Edison and Grandview Heights.  Two of those three teams were final four teams last year in their respective divisions, one division five and one division six and Calvert was a second round playoff team as well.  It was been a good test for us.  It has been good for us.  We have been healthy.  I feel like we are making improvement as we go,” said Teglovic.

          The Crawford coach says by scrimmaging against quality opponents you find out where you need to be better and what you need to emphasize in practice sessions.  “We find out where we need to get better personnel wise.  We may have to get some guys switched around.  We also find our where we need to get better technique wise.  Our own guys, where they need to step up their own game.  We tell our guys we don’t want to get to that week one against Mt. Gilead and have the speed on the game be a whole lot faster than what we have experienced in the preseason, so that has been very good for us,” he said.

         Although the Eagles did graduate a number of players from their playoff team from a year ago, Teglovic says this year’s team is eager to prove what they are about this fall.  “It is a group that has a bit of a chip on their shoulder.  I don’t know what a lot of people outside of our program what the expectations are.  They have been around teams that have had good success,” he told Swankonsports.com, “As far as expectations, they want the success that those other teams have had, particularly our seniors and even those kids that have come up from the JV team as juniors that played JV last year.  They want to prove themselves as well.  There are a lot of individual battles going on.  I think that is good for us.

 

 

Published 8/18/16

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Crawford Has Inexperience, but that’s Okay

 

          Colonel Crawford has been Wynford’s biggest rival for football supremacy in the Northern 10 Athletic conference.  This year the Eagles will have less experience, but they will still have talent.

          Head coach Ryan Teglovic says they have a good number of players in camp and they are excited for the 2016 season.  “We have 57 in camp, so our numbers are still good.  They have been mid 50’s or higher the last seven or eight years.  Guys show up and we had a good week.  I don’t have to worry about guys not showing up.  If they do have to miss or be late they are very good at being accountable.  It is a good group again.  It’s a nice group to work with,” he said.

          With a lot kids that may not have played a lot last year, Teglovic says they have a group that is willing to learn and understand what they need to do to be successful.  “I like what is see, especially with the inexperience that we have.  Sometimes that even helps in the practice environment.  You have got a lot of inexperience, so guys know they have to listen, they know they need the coaching.  If feel our guys have done a nice job with that, so I am pleased with our frame of mind,” he said.

          Colonel Crawford  has developed what they want to do as a program and Teglovic says they are going to remain consistent with that with some tweaks along the way.  “We are going to run the wing-T offensively.  We are going to run the 4-3 defensively.  Now, we are going to do some variations out of those things to utilize the athletes the best we have.  Coach (Ty) Stevenson and our offensive staff have done a great job.  Last year, we had a quarterback that rushed for 1,800 yards, so we were a lot of one back wing-T.  We have some pretty good running backs this year, so they will adjust and we will run a little more two back wing-T.  We try to keep the system simple and be multiple in that system to utilize the talent.  The kids every year know the system,” said Teglovic.

          On defense, Teglovic says they are in a similar position to where they are on offense.  He says they will need some kids to step up and he thinks they will do it.  “We have about the same amount of experience on both sides of the football.  We have about three of four starters back on both sides of the ball.  Both sides are inexperienced, but on both sides we are still playing juniors and seniors for the most part, it is just guys that have waited their turn and are ready to go,” he told Swankonsports.com, “So, I like what we have defensively.  We have a lot of experience on the defensive line, our linebackers fairly inexperienced, but they can run.  It is probably the best running linebacking corps we have had.  We have one really good defensive back back and another guy that played a little bit, so safety will be inexperienced for us.  A lot of our defense will depend on how those safeties come around.”

 

Published 8/09/16

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Crawford Does it Again in the Sixth

 

          Colonel Crawford got the key outs when they needed them and scored four times in the sixth inning to beat Maragretta (4-0) in a division three district semi final on Wednesday at Lexington High School.

          Veteran coach Chuck Huggins says his players have played in a lot of pressure packed games and they knew what had to be done.  "Margaretta had a lot more opportunities than we did in the early innings.  To our kids credit we understand how to play defense.  We understand it doesn't matter if they have runners on base or not.  We pride ourselves in knowing that we have covered every situation in practice.  I tell the kids that there is absolutely no reason to be nervous because the nervous teams and the nervous players are the ones that are not prepared.  Our team just performed effortlessly and they focused on what needed to be done.  I'll tell you what we made some plays behind Sydney Studer (Wednesday) night.  She as right on.  She had another 12 strikeouts and zero walks," said Huggins.

          The sixth inning seems to be a good friend of the Lady Eagles in tournament play and they were able to step up again.  Karissa Rowlinson got it started with a single and Alexis Burkhart followed with another.  Jada Klingenberger drove in the first run with a hit and then there was a Margaretta error, a wide pitch and a sacrifice fly and suddenly in was a (4-0) game.  "Come the bottom of the sixth just like last Friday when we scored five in the bottom of the sixth against Galion we scored all four of them in the bottom of the sixth (Wednesday) night against Maragretta.  That sixth inning has been magical for us.  It starts out with our number nine, catcher Karissa Rowlinson, hits one down the line and it just explodes from there.  The kids they just build off of each other.  It just worked out perfectly for us," said Huggins.

          It is a match-up of the top two teams in our Swankonsports.com softball coaches poll in the small school division as #2 Colonel Crawford plays #1 Edison in the district final on Friday night.

          Huggins looks for a great battle between similar teams.  "Edison has been division two for a lot of years and went division three this year.  When they were division two they were always at the division two regional over in Bucyrus and saw them at Firestone Stadium in state a few years.  They are a very, very tradition leaden program, just like Colonel Crawford.  We have been division four and went division three and we just happen to get together.  Friday's district championship is going to be one heck of a softball game.  You just start in the pitching circle and their young lady (Erica) Reber is almost identical to our ace Sydney Studer," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday night, "They matched each other, Reber had 16 strikeouts (Tuesday) in the district semi finals and Sydney has 12 (Wednesday.)  They manufacture runs, we are almost carbon copies of each other.  It is just going to a great, great softball game for North Central Ohio."

 

Published 5/19/16

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Lady Eagles are Hungry

 

          Colonel Crawford is just one step away from no less than a share of the Northern 10 Athletic Conference softball title and a (4-0) win over Carey in league play on Monday.

          As has been the case pretty much all season, coach Chuck Huggins says they played outstanding defense and that was a big key on Monday.  "The name of our game here the last two or three weeks has been has been excellent pitching, timely hitting, and I can not say enough superlatives about our defense right now.  (Monday) night our ace Sydney Studer only had four strikeouts.  So, if you subtract the four strikeouts from the 21 outs there were 17 plays out in the field that had to be made and we were absolutely flawless.  I can't say enough about how good our defense is playing right now.  We are scarping across enough runs to win, but our defense is really keeping our heads above water.  I am very, very proud of our defensive execution right now," said Huggins.

          Colonel Crawford (20-2,13-1), #2 in the Swankonsports.com softball coaches poll in the small school division, and #1 in our new Twitter fan poll, travels up Route 602 on Wednesday to meet Buckeye Central (11-11,8-5,) a (6-5) winner over Seneca East in division four tournament play on Monday.  A win gives the Lady Eagles at least a piece of the title and Huggins believes they will be focused on that task.  "We have just talked about that fact that we make every single game the most important and this time of year that is so true.  We can't peak out ahead to the tournament.  We have positioned ourselves with the opportunity to win the Northern 10 Athletic Conference and our total focus now is going to be on Buckeye Central," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday night, "They played us tough at our place it was a 6-2 ball game that we won.  I have a lot of respect for coach (Roger) Durnwald and his team.  I just know that they are going to be ready.  We are going to get after it (Tuesday) in practice and make sure everything is fine tuned .  We have to make sure come Wednesday that that is the only game on the entire schedule that is because it is the one that allows us to play for our first championship of the year."

          Crawford will play either Galion or Wynford for a sectional title at home in North Robinson on Friday.  However, Huggins says they can't be thinking about that.  "This group of kids, the 2016 seniors, have done such a good job of just staying in the moment.  They understand that we have set the table and not it is time to enjoy the dinner and the dessert and in our program that is the championships.  So, we never take it for granted.  We truly believe that winning never gets old.  These kids deserve it.  They have had a pretty tough year in girl's sports and they are hungry... they are still hungry.  They know there are championships out there to be won.  They were the first ones that said (Monday) night, Wednesday we finally get to play for our first championship of the year.  I really feel the hunger in them and they are really, really focused," said Huggins.

 

Published 5/10/16

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Huge Win For Crawford

 

          It's championship month in North Robinson and the Colonel Crawford Lady Eagles were up to the challenge on Monday night.

          Sydney Studer fired a one-hitter and Colonel Crawford beat second place Upper Sandusky (1-0) to take a two game lead over Upper in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference standings.

           Coach Chuck Huggins knows the importance of this month and he reminds his girls of that fact.  "I just want them to know that all of the hard work they have put in in the month of April to put themselves in position to win some championships.  That first championship that is always circled on our team goals is a conference championship and we went a long ways (Monday) night in putting ourselves in position to win that championship.  I reminded the kids on Saturday after we got done with the Champions Challenge that we were switching over and the next time I saw them it would be May and May has always been championship month for us," said Huggins.

          The game's only run came in the home half of the third inning when Alexis Burkhart singed, stole second, advanced to third on a bunt, and scored on a two out single by Lexi Hoepf.

          Huggins says Studer, who carries a 0.28 ERA, and catcher Karissa Rowlinson, worked well together, against one of the better offensive softball teams in this area.  "We talked about Sydney Studer, our sophomore ace, and her battery mate, Karissa Rowlinson.  It is just so neat to see those two work together.  The other nice things about that group is Sydney's grandpa, Carl Diebler, my longtime assistant, those three, the last half a dozen games, just to see the maturity in Sydney and Karissa.  It is just so rewarding for Carl because he calls the pitches," he told Swankonsports.com after the win, "Just to see those three on the same page the way they are.  I truly believe if you have excellent pitching, solid defense, and timely hitting, some awful good things are going to happen for your softball team."

          Colonel Crawford (18-1,10-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com softball coaches poll in the small school division, plays at Upper Sandusky (17-4,12-2) again on Tuesday.  Huggins says that game is even more important to them.  "That is the way our league is set up.  It is set up that way to help baseball out, so they don't see number one pitchers on the baseball side.  My exact words to the kids after we talked about the game (Monday) night were  I said I want you to enjoy (Monday) night.  Remember everyone is going to want to pat you on the back and tell you how well you did, so remember it is all about team in this program and they do a great job of doing that.  The last thing I told them was when your heads come off the pillow (Tuesday) make sure you understand this is the most important game on our schedule, meaning the second Upper Sandusky game, because it is the one that is next and it is the one we have the opportunity to play, so we need to make sure we are ready to go.  It kind of goes back to that word that was talked about earlier in the season and that word is now.  That is exactly what happens (Tuesday)when we get ready to play Upper again.  We have to concentrate on now," said Huggins.

 

Published 5/03/16

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Colonel Crawford Outscores Buckeye Central

 

          Jake Johnson got the win on the mound and had a big day with the bat as Colonel Crawford outlasted rival Buckeye Central (10-6) in Northern 10 Athletic Conference baseball on Wednesday.

          Johnson had three hits and four RBI for the Eagles (10-8,5-5) in the win over Buckeye.  As a team, the Eagles rapped out 12 hits and coach Joe Swartzmiller says they were able to execute some fundamental things too.  "Not only that, but some situational stuff too.  Did some really good bunting for the first time.  And the result of that was we scored some runs, which is great," he said.

          Buckeye Central (9-8,3-9) scored four times in the fifth and still had the bases loaded with nobody out when Swartzmiller brought in Noah Thoman, who was able to get out of the bases loaded jam.

          Back to .500 in the league, Crawford has started to play a little better, but Swartzmiller says they still need more consistency.  "I don't know how to say it, but I don't know which team in going to show up," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday night, "Errors kind of hurt us (Wednesday) night.  We hit the ball great and the pitching was solid.  If we could just get all three phases of the game going we will be alright."

          The two teams play again on Friday in "N10" play, this time in New Washington.

          The tournament draw is Sunday and Swartzmiller believes their tough league play is going to help them come May.  "Our schedule is going to help us come tournament time.  Top to bottom the conference is having a great year.  It has been tough, it has been competitive .  It has really prepared us for tournament time," he said.

 

Published 4/28/16

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Colonel Crawford Stays Unbeaten

 

          Colonel Crawford has been very good this year at winning tight games and Tuesday night was another example.

          Sydney Studer fired a two-hitter and the Lady Eagles had no errors in route to a (2-1) win at Mohawk in Northern 10 Athletic Conference action.

          Coach Chuck Huggins says their defense was tremendous and their focus was there on every play.  "I was just so proud of my team.  First of all, they have just done a great job so far of just tuning into us coaches and listening to me because I told them that we got into Mohawk pretty good at our place and beat them 11-1 a couple of weeks ago and haven't been able to play the second game because of weather, so (Tuesday) was make up day.  I told the kids they are not same team and they are going to come at us pretty good.  I was proud of them that they really bought into that.  I was sincere about that I knew 11-1 was not indicative of how good Mohawk really is," he told Swaankonsports.com on Tuesday after the win, "They are really, really doing a good job of making every play.  We had no errors (Tuesday) night.  Sydney Studer, our ace pitcher, wasn't overpowering because she only stuck out seven.  In a seven inning game there are 14 plays that have to be made out there.  In the field we were flawless.  I was proud of the way we played defense."

          Huggins says there was a key play in the fifth inning that probably won the game for them and they have been able to make key plays like that at the right time.  "On offense we happened to get the timely hit and score our two runs in the fifth.  They had the same opportunity.  In the bottom of the fifth they had runners at first and second and one out.  Our third basemen, Alexis Burkhart, made a super play, back handed a ball down the line, stepped on the bag and went over the first.  If we don't make that play the game is tied and we are probably still up there playing at ten o'clock in the evening.  If you get good solid pitching, if you play really, really good team defense, and you get timely hitting, you are going to win ballgames.  That has kind of been the formula that has worked for us this year," said Huggins.

          Colonel Crawford (12-0,8-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com softball coaches poll in the small school division, plays Ridgedale (0-9,0-6) on Wednesday and Seneca East (4-5,4-3) on Thursday in league games.  Huggins says the girls know they have to be ready for all of these teams.  "As I told the kids right now we are everybody's seventh game of the World Series, as the saying goes, because they are coming at us and they know they have a shot at knocking off Crawford.  It is just another situation where I can't emphasize enough how much the kids have bought into trusting each other and knowing that teams are going to come at us and it is going to be a dogfight every time we get out there on the field together," he said.

 

Published 4/20/16

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Crawford Finding Itself

 

          Colonel Crawford has won five of its last six games and they are starting to become a dangerous team in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference.

          The Eagles beat Ridgedale Monday (2-1) get over the .500 mark overall.

          Coach Joe Swartzmiller says they are beginning to field the ball better and not give away runs and that has been key for them.  "We are playing better defensively than we were.  We had a bad defensive game against Seneca East, but other than that our defense has been picking it up," he told Swankonsports.com after the win, "We are trying to get these kids to focus more.  That is the biggest thing, focus, staying focused.  The mind starts to wonder a little bit."

          Swartzmiller believes if they can continue to improve on defense that is something this team can count on day in and day out.  "The other thing too, and I have been stressing this to the kids, is offense is always going to come and go.  There will be good days and bad days.  We are trying to get these kids to understand you can hang you hat on defense," said Swartzmiller.

          Colonel Crawford (7-6,3-4) plays at Mohawk (5-3,2-2) on Tuesday, Mohawk to Seneca East (12-7) on Monday, in an "N10" game, play at home against Ridgedale on Wednesday, and at Seneca East, the defending conference champion, on Thursday.  The Tigers beat Crawford (11-7) las Thursday, the Eagles only loss in the last week.

          Swartzmiller says this week in the league is going to challenge their pitching again.  "Oh my gosh, four a week?  That's just killer.  Actually, I am glad we are playing.  I'm not complaining about that.  You have to have some pitching.  That is the hard thing right there," he said.

 

Published 4/19/16

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Lady Eagles Shut Down Bucyrus

 

          Colonel Crawford remained unbeaten Wednesday as Sydney Studer fired a shutout and the Lady Eagles edged rival Bucyrus (1-0) in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game.

          Coach Chuck Huggins says it was one of those games that came down to just a few plays and he thought they had really good execution.  "It was a real good ballgame.  We have a pretty good rivalry with Bucyrus and we have had some pretty good games over the years and this one was no exception.  We found a way to scratch one across in the first.  Our ace pitcher Sydney Studer worked together with our catcher Karrisa Rowlinson and our defense was stellar.  It was just a good ballgame to be a part of.  You wouldn't think a 1-0 ballgame would be, but there was just so much strategy.  When you get in a ballgame like that every single pitch can make the difference in the game.  I just thought our kids really, really responded well.  We talk about mental toughness and I really thought they showed a lot of grit and a lot of mental toughness," said Huggins.

          Colonel Crawford (7-0,3-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com softball coaches poll in the small school division, scored on a wild pitch in the top of the first inning.  Huggins says a real key for them was getting out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the first.  "We pride ourselves in our defense.  We know we have a pretty good young lady on the mound, but they still put the ball in play and we pride ourselves in playing good defense.  A good example of that (Wednesday) night was the very first girl for Bucyrus rips a triple down the leftfield line and was standing a third base with no outs.  They loaded the bases, but we were able to get out of it with no runs.  They had an opportunity, but we really buckled down and got out of the inning and that was so key for us," said Huggins.

          Colonel Crawford hosts Seneca East on Thursday and Bucyrus on Friday and travels to Wynford on Saturday for "N10" games.  Huggins says they have done an excellent job this year of maintaining their focus.  "We talked about that this whole past week when we were in the gym and watching the rain outside.  I am so proud of my kids because they really stayed focused.  I talk about making sure we make our weaknesses our strengths and our strengths even stronger," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday night. "I just thought our kids after being outside for six ballgames and then having to come back in the gym I really felt we got a lot of good things done.  It really showed (Wednesday) night winning a one run ballgame like we did."

 

Published 4/14/16

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Consistency the key for Crawford

 

          Colonel Crawford, like everyone else, has been having trouble getting on the baseball field and that means that games are beginning to pile up.

          As it stands now, the Eagles play four Northern 10 Athletic Conference games this week.  They play at Wynford on Tuesday, if things dry out, then at Bucyrus on Wednesday, host Seneca East on Thursday and Bucyrus on Friday.  That is a major league like schedule and things will only get more backed up if the weather doesn't improve and stay that way.

          Coach Joe Swartzmiller says the weather has forced them inside and messed up their timing.  "It has a huge affect.  The biggest thing is timing.  That is how baseball is built is timing.  Timing is way off now.  We need to play games to get timing back.  We haven't been playing games and we have had mostly indoor practices now," he said.

          Through the first two weeks of the season Colonel Crawford (2-2,0-1) has shown some inconsistency.  Swartzmiller says that is what has been holding them back.  "We have to be better in about everything we do.  We really haven't been hitting the ball well, sometimes we have," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "Fielding has been off an on.  Pitching has been off and on.  Nothing has clicked.  We are just trying to find it."

          Baseball in Ohio has an inning restriction, 10 innings over a three day period is the max, and Swartzmiller says if all of these games get played this week some younger, more inexperienced kids, and going to have to take the mound.  "I have some inexperienced kids that are going to be pitching.  Sometimes that is exciting, but the flip side of that is you don't know.  We are going to find out," he said.

 

Published 4/12/16

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Colonel Crawford Focused on Performance

 

          Colonel Crawford has won all of its softball games so far, but they have to sort of forget about that and keep their focus on their next opponent.

          If the weather allows that is going to Seneca East on Friday and again on Monday in Northern 10 Athletic Conference play.

          Coach Chuck Huggins says they have to be ready to go at game time weather that is Friday, Monday or whenever.  "Our kids have definitely bought into what we talk about.  One of the main things I try to tell them is one simple word and that one word is now.  We can't control what happened in the past, teams don't care that we are 6-0, they want to kick our butt even more.  And there is nothing we can do about the future.  What we have control of right now.  That is why our total focus now is on Seneca East that we have coming up here in our next two games," said Huggins.

          Because of the consistent success of the Colonel Crawford program, Huggins says whoever they play, in conference or out, that opponent will be ready to play them and that means they have to be ready too.  "We take that as a complement.  We use the simple phase that we feel like we are the seventh game of the World Series to some of these teams and we take that has a complement.  We can't control what our opponent does, we can't control what the weather does, the only thing we can control is what we do as a program, as the 2016 Colonel Crawford softball team, we have total control over that.  That is why we are focused on that one word and that one word is now," he said.

          The Lady Eagles are off to a great start and they are proud of that, but Huggins stresses that a good start does not make a good season and he keeps reminding his players of that fact.  "A good start means nothing.  Teams are not remembered for how they start, but how they finish.  So, we are very, very happy with the start we have," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "We are very, very proud that we are 6-0 and so is our fan base and everybody, but that does not matter at all when we get out there against Seneca East.  It is just a mind set that you have to have that you know they are after us and we have to make sure that we take care of business right at that time."

 

Published 4/08/16

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Colonel Crawford Playing Well, Wanting More

 

          Colonel Crawford is five for five on the season after a quality (11-1) win in six innings over Mohawk in Northern 10 Athletic Conference play on Wednesday and they want to keep getting out on the field.

          Coach Chuck Huggins says they knew they had a some talent coming back, but they must continue to push to get better.   "We knew we had a nice nucleus back with eight starters back and some young kids that were going to be pushing for some varsity time.  You never expect to get off to quite this good of a start.  However, I truly believe that I don't want to let a good start be mistaken for a good team.  We just need to make sure, and I have used this term before, I am happy, but I am definitely not satisfied.  It's okay when a few things go wrong here and there because that way it is a little bit of a eye opener and it gives you some things to work on.  I have been laughing we are playing almost like a major league baseball schedule with all of the games we have been getting in and the good spring weather so far," said Huggins.

          If the weather permits the Lady Eagles play Galion in a non-conference game on Thursday, Mohawk again in an "N10" game on Friday and a good Plymouth team in a doubleheader on Saturday.  Huggins says the kids are excited to play.  "You get on a row and the kids are excited and they are focused in on everything.  We were fortunate enough to beat a pretty darn good Mohawk team (Wednesday.)  We talked about the game afterwards and I told the girls I don't want to be the bearer of bad news, but it looks like a little rain coming in (Thursday) so we may not get to play Galion," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday night, "Of course, Galion is a nice little rivalry with us.  Our school districts are right next to each other.  They were disappointed and they said right away that it gets rained out we have got to make it up.  I said it is early enough in the season I think we will be able to do so.  You can just tell by their demeanor how enthused they are.  That is a very common thing in our program.  Our kids play the game with a lot of excitement, a lot of emotion.  It has just been fun to seem them grow together as they young season has gotten started."

          With (5-0,1-0) start to the season, Huggins says they have played solid, well rounded ball.  "A perfect example was the Crestline game the other day.  We beat them 4-1.  It doesn't matter if it is fast pitch softball or baseball.  If you have good, solid pitching, good cloves behind them, timely hitting, things are going to happen.  That is exactly what we did against Crestline, all three of those things really came together.  Not just the Crestline game, but all five of all games," he said.

 

Published 3/31/16

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Crawford Poised to be Good

 

          Colonel Crawford might be one of a bunch of good baseball teams this year in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference. 

          They certainly have some potential.

          Coach Joe Swartzmiller says they have been able to out on the field during spring training and they have been able to show some pretty good things.  "So far, so good.  We have had some scrimmages for the first time in a long time.  Going into the first scrimmage we hadn't seen any live pitching or live hitting and we did exceptionally well," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "That's what I am pleased with.  We might be a little bit ahead, but we still have some kinks to get out of and little more development, but so far so good."

          After some seasoning last year, Swartzmiller believes they are ready to compete in the conference this spring.  "I'll tell you what talent wise we have a lot of talent.  There are a lot of athletes on this team.  We were young last year.  I saw a lot of talent coming, but some of that talent just wasn't ready for varsity ball.  Now, it's a year later and we just have to play to our talent level," he said.

          Colonel Crawford plays Western Reserve in a non-conference game on Saturday.  They begin the "N10" against Wynford on April 4 and 6 and Swartzmiller says it would be great to get off to a good start, but that is the case every year.  "That would be great.  The confidence boost.  I would take that every year, but we will find out here," he said.

          As far as the league is concerned, Swartzmiller says there are so many good teams that it is really hard to pick favorites.  "They conference is very deep.  It is very, very deep.  It is going to be a great battle this year.  I have talked to a couple of other coaches and the winner this year could easily have four losses.  That is how deep it is, how competitive it is.  There are a lot of seniors.  A lot of good seniors this year.  It's a great league," said Swartzmiller.

 

Published 3/22/16

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Colonel Crawford Hopes to be Really Good

 

          Colonel Crawford is one of the traditional powers in girls' softball in North Central Ohio and this looks like it can be a very good year for the Lady Eagles.

          Coach Chuck Huggins says they are going to be a team with a lot of  varsity experience.  "We are certainly excited about the up coming season that is for sure.  We are fortunate, we only had one senior last year and that was Cassie Sager and she is off to Kent State and getting her bachelor's degree up there.  We have eight starters back and 11 letter winners, so we are very, very excited.  As we all know it starts in the pitching circle and we are fortunate to have Sydney Studer back as our number pitcher and she is only a sophomore.  Her battery mate and catcher Krista Rollerson is also a sophomore and we have another excellent catcher in Abby Teglovic. We are just excited about getting things going and seeing how we can do this year," said Huggins.

          With that big game experience, Huggins says his players are showing they have some pretty good leadership that they can pass down.  "Our shortstop and second basemen are four year starters.  if you think back to four years ago it was 2013 and those two young ladies, Lexi Hepp at shortstop and Jada Klingenberger at second base got to go all of the way to the state championship game and play in Akron Firestone Stadium.  They are grizzled veterans and they know what it takes to get this team ready," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "They are great leaders for us along with our other two seniors Veria Scott and Taylor Lewis.  It is just fun to watch them mingle and work with the younger kids and show them the ropes and help them get ready.  It does put us a step ahead as we get ready for 2016."

          The weather has been an unexpected plus this year for all of the softball and baseball teams in the area and Huggins says it certainly allows them to do some more things to get ready for the season.  "After the last two brutal winters we have to go through here in Ohio we will take this kind of weather any day.  I am looking outside at the grass right now.  We have been out on our field many times.  It just pays dividends because you can get an awful lot done in a gym, but I have often said that you create players in the gym, but you create teams out on the field.  We break things down fundamentally is a gym, but having this great weather we can get out and put our team face together and get ready to go," he said.

          With the way the basketball season was set up this year it has given spring sports an extra week to get ready.  Huggins thinks that has been a real plus for them.  "I think it has been huge.  I understand why they did it.  The started girls' and boys' basketball a week earlier because of Easter this year, so we got our girls a week earlier.  I'll tell you what we haven't felt like we have had to squeeze things in here and there and be doing last minute things.  It has helped that we have had that extra week to just get to know each other and get the young ones incorporated into what we do.  Everybody has had that same opportunity.  It's not just Colonel Crawford, it is going to be everybody that has had that extra week.  I have really enjoyed it," said Huggins.

 

Published 3/17/16

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St. Mary's Stuffs Crawford

 

          Sandusky St. Mary's held Colonel Crawford scoreless for nearly 12 minutes of the second half and they beat the Eagles (48-42) in a division four district semi-final at Willard High School Tuesday night.

          The game was tied a 25 at the half and Colonel Crawford took a (28-27) lead on an Owen Adams field goal with 5:48 to play in the third quarter, but they didn't score again until Derek Burkhart's three with 2:03 to play in the game, which cut the Panthers lead to (41-31,) but it was too late.

          Trenton Zimmerman scored 12 of his team high 17 points in the second half.  Adams led Crawford with 18, Burkhart added 15.

          St. Mary's (22-3) coach Lyle Falknor says they were able to score on the offensive glass and he says they did a tremendous job defending Crawford.  "Our kids went to the glass really hard.  We got a couple of easy buckets off that.  I just thought defensively we played a really good ballgame.  I was really proud of the way the kids played," he said.

          Another Burkhart three with 14 seconds left provided the final margin. 

          Colonel Crawford (16-8) coach David Sheldon feels they got some good looks, they just didn't knock them down.  "We just forgot to make shots.  We didn't get bad shots they were good ones.  Those were ones we have been making the last seven games.  We just didn't make shots.  It is not that we turned it over a lot.  For the game we got six turnovers.  We just forgot to make shots and that is the tough thing about tournament basketball.  They are very athletic at every spot on the floor, we knew that going in with their length and their strength and that had something to do with us not making shots," said Sheldon.

          Considering where they were six, seven weeks ago, Sheldon says this was a very good season for the Eagles.  He says they got great leadership from their seniors and solid improvement from their underclassmen.  "I am proud of our effort.  When you look at middle January after the Wynford game and I talked about adversity and we faced a lot.  I said what are going to do?  It's just like life.  These guys really turned it around in the month of February if you look at the finish we had in getting our fifth straight sectional championship," he told Swankonsports.com after the game, "Our young guys looked like puppies (Tuesday) night.  Our sophomores have played so well and I thought they looked like deer in headlights a little bit.  That is some of the growing pains you are going to go through when you play young kids.  And credit my seniors they excepted them and that is a credit to them."

          The Eagles had killed South Central with threes in their sectional final win and Falknor says they knew they could not leave the Crawford shooters open.  "We just didn't help as much.  We knew we couldn't help off the three point shooters and give them and inch.  We knew if you give Burkhart and inch it's in the basket.  We just didn't help.  We challenged our guys to do a better job of playing man to man defense.  I thought they did an outstanding job," he said.

          Both of the Panthers big guys guarded Crawford's guards and Falknor say they can do that.  "Those were switches on a flair screen that they run.  The second half we did that because they hit a couple of shots the first half.  Zimmerman is quick and so is (Luca) Mormina.  Those guys can switch off on guards and do okay on them," he said.

          Sheldon says players become part of the fabric of your life and that is what makes nights like Tuesday so tough.  "You look at those four seniors in Owen and Derek and Will and Casey.  We will miss them.  They have been part of a special program.  A lot of success the last four years.  That is the tough thing about (Tuesday) night and tournament is saying goodbye because they are like my sons since the third grade.  A lot times I spend more time with other people's kids than my own little daughters," said Sheldon.

 

Published 3/01/16

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Crawford Rolling Right Now

 

          Teams want to be peaking at the end of season and right now Colonel Crawford is certainly one that is doing it.

          They play Sandusky St. Mary's in the division four district semi-finals at Willard High School on Tuesday night.

          They are coming off a (69-44) thrashing of Firelands Conference champion South Central on Friday night in the sectional championship game at Sandusky High School.  Coach David Sheldon says they just played very well at both ends of the floor.  "I was very proud of our guys.  I thought offensively we did a great job of sharing the basketball.  Made the extra passes and being patient at times when they need to be.  Defensively to be able to hold a very good, explosive team, like South Central to 44 points was just a very good team effort because it was team defense that we worked on all week in preparation.  It was nice to get our fifth straight sectional championship.  It says a lot about our guys stepping up last Friday night," he said.

          Sandusky St. Mary's (21-3), #2 in the final Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, is the outright Sandusky River League champion.  Sheldon says they are a team that was predicted to be at this level due to their talent across the board.  "I think they are very athletic.  They have great length and they have great athletes on the floor when you look at those areas.  They get out very well in transition offensively and they hit the offensive glass very hard.  We know it starts with the Zimmerman boy.  He is a 1,000 point scorer and just a special player.  He can go inside and he can go out.  Mormina, McGuire, Snow, and the list goes on.  They are a very good basketball team," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "They have a lot of weapons and there is a reason they have won 21 games, that just doesn't happen.  We are looking forward to the challenge.  They the number one seed, so the pressure is on them.  They are supposed to be here.  This is a group of guys that they expected big things from.  We are looking forward to the challenge of going over there and giving it our best shot."

          Trenton Zimmerman scored 33 points and hauled in 10 rebounds in a (54-37) win over Lucas last Friday.  Sheldon says he reminds him a lot of Buckeye Central's Grant Loy.  "It is going to take great team defense when you have a player like that.  He is a big kid, but he is athletic and he has great ball skills from the perimeter he can shoot the three.  He is just a special player.  He reminds me a lot of Grant Loy in our league.  They are very much the same type of player.  He is very good and it is going to take multiple guys to hopefully contain him.  You have to be aware of their other guys as well because they have other guys that do special things as well," he said.

          This the fifth straight district tournament for Colonel Crawford and they have twice been to the regionals during that time.  Sheldon says they are confident and focused going into Tuesday night.  "We have a lot of confidence right now.  When you look at the way we finished the year and after our performance last Friday night and we are peaking at the right time, which you want to be doing in tournament.  I think they have done a great job with game planning and preparation with what we want to defensively every night out and they know that is a big key this time of year.  It is a group that is very focused.  As I like to say they are playing for each other instead of their selves right now.  We have got to continue that Tuesday night.  We have to play together.  They throw a lot of different defenses at you.  We have to recognize and attack them in ways that we can. Defensively hopefully contain their athletes and their length all night long," said Sheldon.

 

Published 3/01/16

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Defense the Key for Colonel Crawford

 

          Colonel Crawford will attempt to make its fifth straight tournament appearance, but it won't be easy as they must beat a conference champion to do it.

          The Eagles (15-7) meet South Central (17-6), #5 in the final Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, and Firelands Conference champion, in the division four sectional final on Friday night at Sandusky High School.

          Colonel Crawford has won five of its last seven games, their only losses to Buckeye Central, who has won seven in a row, and unbeaten Upper Sandusky.  Coach David Sheldon says they have been executing well on both offense and defense.  "When you look at our last seven games we have played really well.  I am really proud of our guys.  We are clicking at the right time of the year.  That is what you want to be doing going into the second season tournament time.  Defensively we have been defending very well against some high powered offenses," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "Offensively it is probably the best execution we have had all year.  We have had three or four guys in double figures every night.  We have been sharing the basketball.  Just playing the game very well.  We are excited to play Friday night for a championship again."

          South Central beat Plymouth (82-78) in a first round game on Tuesday night.  Sheldon says this is a high powered team.  "They are Firelands Conference champions and have won 17 games.  They are a very good basketball team.  I think when you look at them offensively they have a lot of different weapons.  They have multiple guys that can score.  They get out in transition very well and they can really score the basketball.  It is a game that we are going to have to lock them down at all positions because of their explosiveness.  Brett Seidel has done a phenomenal job is his years there.  We are looking forward to playing them in a championship game," said Sheldon.

          When you are talking about two very good teams like this it is going to come down to a few plays at the end.  Sheldon says they have to be ready to step up at those moments.  "It is one possession at a time.  When you have a team as good as South Central and with our success it comes down to kids making plays.  That is what it comes down to when you look at the whole picture of what is going on.  We have had a great week of preparation.  We took the bye like we have done the last four years with our success in the tournament.  Our kids have done a phenomenal job of focusing for four days getting ready to play Friday night.  It is going to come down to kids making plays for 32 minutes," he said.

 

Published 2/26/16

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Colonel Crawford Finding Itself

 

          Colonel Crawford has become familiar with tournament success and they appear to be peaking for what is a very difficult division four tournament.

          Excluding a (52-33) loss to rival Buckeye Central last Friday, coach David Sheldon believes his team has been playing some pretty good basketball and that includes a (55-53) loss to unbeaten Upper Sandusky on Saturday.  "Take away the Buckeye game, give Buckeye credit they played a heck of a game both offensively and defensively, and we struggled on offense all night, but other than that if you look over the last two weeks we played really well.   We bounced back Saturday and played really well against the number two team in division two.  It was a tough loss at the end.  I think our offense was very good Saturday night after struggling Friday.  I thought we shored up some things that can help us this week and going into the sectional championship the next Friday night.  Even though we lost two I think we are peaking," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "We have made a lot of line up changes all year.  We are playing three sophomores a lot right now.  It took us a while to get their feet wet.  At the end of the year you want to play what your best lineup is and that has been an adjustment and a roller coaster all year just to figure that out and I think we have started to here at the end."

          At the beginning of the season the Eagles were pretty much a perimeter shooting team, but Sheldon says now they are showing the ability to score inside too.  "We are starting to get some production in there.  Our guards are not just falling in love with the three, we are putting the ball on the floor and finish at the rim with a pull up jumper.  I think we are becoming a more versatile basketball team," he said.

          Colonel Crawford (14-7,10-5) is at home for Carey (10-11,8-7) on Friday night in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game.  The Blue Devils beat Crawford (58-52) on January 9.  Sheldon says they are a very good perimeter team that should prepare them well for the tournament.  "It's a team that really loves to shoot the three.  It's a team that they can all score from the three point line and one post they put inside.  It is a great similarity to what we are going to see the following week with Plymouth or South Central , whoever wins that.  So, it's a great tune up.  It is a our last game for our seniors.  It is a team that beat us earlier in the year.  We had played them on Saturday night after our first Upper game, probably our toughest week of the year, two games on the road, at Upper, at Carey.  So, it's a very good basketball team, they have a lot of weapons, they love to shoot the three.  We are going to have to be able to guard everybody for 32 minutes," said Sheldon.

 

Published 2/19/16

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Upper Edges Crawford; Stays Unbeaten

 

          Upper Sandusky survived a scare and outlasted Colonel Crawford (55-53) in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game on Saturday night in North Robinson.

          It was an ending you don't see every day, in fact, this reporter has never seen it before.

          The final margin came on two Wes Vent free throws with .9 seconds left after Colonel Crawford was whistled for a technical foul for having six players on the floor.  "Tough way to lose.  We drew up in the huddle where we wanted guys on the foul line and one of the guys stood out there and I didn't recognize it.  We take the blame as coaches for not recognizing what we drew up in the huddle.  Give my kids credit that is the number four team in the state in division two.  We took them right down to the wire.  It is sad that it had to end that way.  I give credit to our kids, they never backed down all night.  Offensively we were ball tough against a very good basketball team.  Proud of my kids after a tough loss (Friday) night they came back and responded and gave it everything for 32 minutes," said Colonel Crawford coach David Sheldon.

          Trailing by one, Colonel Crawford's Derek Burkhart drilled a three pointer from the left wing to give the Eagles the lead (53-51) with 19 seconds left.  Upper Sandusky then worked the ball to leading scorer Wes Vent, who missed a twisting jump shot under pressure, but the ball was rebounded by Noah Dible and he was fouled with .9 left.  After he made the first free throw it was determined that Crawford had six players on the floor and the technical was called.  Dible then connected on his second free throw to tie the score and Vent swished the pair to give the Rams the lead.

          "I told those guys, yeah we got a break, but we earned that break.  Sometimes you have to earn the breaks you get and we did because for Noah Dible it is not unusual.  He is one of our leading rebounders, one of our leading offensive rebounders.  He is the best offensive rebounding point guard I have ever had and it doesn't surprise me that he stepped up to make that play.  That was a big play, without that the game is over," said Upper Sandusky coach Jeff Winslow.

          Upper Sandusky (21-0,16-0), #4 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the large school division, is one the few unbeaten teams in the state.  Winslow says even after Burkhart's shot he had confidence they would win.  "He made a shot, but our guys believe in a close game we win.  I just thought we get the ball in and get the ball to Wes and let him try and win the basketball game.  We have a lot of gritty guys that just don't believe they are going to use.  I just thought we would make a play to win the game and we did," he said.

          Colonel Crawford (14-7,10-5) had the lead for most of the game.  Burkhart and Brody Martin both hit two trees in the first quarter as the Eagles took a (20-14) lead.  The led by as many as 10 in second quarter (28-18) and held nine point lead (34-25) at the half.   "I don't think their defensive pressure hurt us as much as the first time.  We got great driving lanes.  I thought we got to the basket and then we got kick out threes.  We attacked their man to man defense.  It is what it is," said Sheldon. 

          Vent scored 12 points, on threes, as Upper tied the score (40-40) after three quarters.  "He finally made a shot.  Once he makes a shot and starts feeling it and things are going for him.  How we get going is defensively.  We turned up the defensive pressure and quit giving up driving layups and get out on the break and get easy looks for him," said Winslow.

          Upper Sandusky had won the first match-up easier (60-39) at Upper, but Winslow says he knew what to expect.  "We knew that coming in.  David Sheldon is the best coach in this league.  They have a winning tradition, they have some tough kids, and we knew coming over here was going to be a battle.  We just told our kids that was decided to stay the course throughout the game and go on some runs.  They had a lot of energy early.  I think we did that (Saturday) night," he said.

          Vent led everybody with 27, 21 in the second half and Dible chipped in with 16.  Sophomore Hayden Bute led Colonel Crawford with 16.  Burkhart had 11.

 

Published 2/13/16

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Crawford to be Tested

 

          After losing four out of five games, the Colonel Crawford Eagles have won four straight heading into one of their more difficult weekends of the season as they travel to Buckeye Central on Friday and host "N10" champion Upper Sandusky on Saturday night in conference games.

          Lat week, the Eagles beat Ridgedale (55-39) on Friday in a conference game and Plymouth (56-38) in a non-league game on Saturday night.  Coach David Sheldon thought they executed well.  "I was very happy, we had a great weekend.  We played well offensively having two or three guys in double figures.  We made some lineup changes at the midway point and I really think it is starting to benefit us at the offensive end and we haven't lost a game since then.  Friday night at Ridgedale, that was a great win, the week before they had beaten Buckeye.  To go down there and get a 16 point victory I was very happy.  After a short turnaround we beat Plymouth, who had beaten some good teams throughout the year.  We have been very happy overall to string four wins in a row.  It is a great time you year to be playing good basketball heading into the tournament at the end of February," said Sheldon.

          Colonel Crawford (14-5,10-3) plays at rival Buckeye Central (12-6,9-4) in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game on Friday night.  Sheldon says they can't let Grant Loy explode on them if they are to be successful.  "Phil Loy is a great friend of mine and I have the up most respect for his program.  They have one of the best players in the area when you look at Grant Loy.  He has been phenomenal for four years and he is ending his career on a great, high note.  He is very good, but they have other guys around him that are very good as well.  When Buckeye and Crawford get together we are each going to know each other's stuff.  They are going to know us and we are going to know them," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "It comes down to kids making plays at that is the bottom line.  What kids can make plays through the 32 minute game.  It is a challenge going over the New Washington on Friday night, but we are looking forward to it.  These last three games are great teams to be playing heading into the tournament.  The league championship is wrapped up with Upper Sandusky and now we are going to play some great teams to prepare us for a sectional championship at the end of February."

          Grant Loy is one the better players in the district and Sheldon says because of his versatility there aren't any easy answers when it comes to stopping him.  "The thing about Grant is he can go inside or he can go outside.  He can do it all.  He is one of the best overall players I have seen in a long time in the Mansfield area because he is so versatile.  Being a coach's son I have a lot of respect for him because being one myself.  It's nice to see him finish up with a great career.  We are looking forward to playing against him one more time come Friday night," he said.

          Upper Sandusky (19-0,13-0), #4 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the large school division, and the outright "N10" champ comes calling on Saturday night.  Sheldon says the Rams know what they are good at.  "They have a lot of weapons.  They are very good.  There is a reason they are undefeated.  They have so many offensive weapons, but their defensive pressure is still good.  You try to control pace, but they try to speed you up with the way they defend.  They are very good basketball team and their is a reason they are the "N10" champs this year.  They is a special group of kids going though this year and next year at Upper Sandusky.  Coach Winslow has done an outstanding job getting them to play the style of basketball that meets their needs.  It will be a challenge on Saturday night," he said.

 

Published 2/10/16

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Colonel Crawford back to Being Pretty Good

 

          After a little swoon in January, the Colonel Crawford Eagles are back on track as they try to get themselves ready for what should be a pretty good division four tournament.

          They beat Bucyrus (51-27) last Saturday and coach David Sheldon is pretty pleased with what he sees right now.  "January is always that grind month for basketball.  Winter sports is the longest season of any high school athletics.  We have got through that and getting two wins in a row definitely helped.  Wining helps when you have been in a little bit of a downfall.  I thought we hit the wall a little bit in January.  I don't know what reason that is.  We had all of those games early and I thought we hit the wall.  We really picked it up the last two games.  Now we have got a great test going into the tournament, which I like as a coach.  When you look at our league games with Ridgedale, Buckeye, Upper and Carey those are great tests going into a division four super sectional tournament," said Sheldon.

          Crawford (12-5,9-3) will be at Ridgedale (8-7,5-6) for a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game on Friday night.  The Rockets beat Buckeye Central (66-57) on Saturday and Sheldon says they have a pretty good starting line-up to work with.  "Their first five is real good.  The have three of the leading scorers in the league in Britton, Eldridge and Burton.  They are all really good and have played a lot of basketball already as juniors and seniors playing at a young age.  They are coming off a very big win last weekend versus Buckeye against a really talented team and we have to go down to their place, so it is going to be a big challenge for us to see how we respond," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "When you look at the four league teams that we have left they are all above .500.  So, it is a tall task for us and we are looking forward to the challenge.  It's like the tournament before the tournament when you look at these four games and a non-league Saturday night with Plymouth that is in our sectional."

          Defense has been the corner stone of the Crawford program over the years and Sheldon says that is what they are relying on right now.  "I think the last two games we have gotten back to defending.  We have done a good job.  We went through a stretch there were we struggled and gave up a lot of points.  Offensively we are still a work in progress.  We have struggled a little bit offensively throughout the year.  The good thing is we have had some different guys step up lately and that's what you need, you need some balance, and I think we have gotten that.  We are playing three sophomores that have gotten more comfortable playing varsity basketball now that you are at the end of the year.  Now, we will see how it is against very good teams," he said.

          On Saturday night, the Eagles host Plymouth (5-12) in a non-league game.  Sheldon says he expects to see the team that beat both South Central and New London.  "I went and watched then (Tuesday) night against Christian.  Christian played a whale of game on defense and offense.  When you look at their schedule they have beaten New London and South Central, two of the leaders when you look at the top of the Firelands Conference.  It's been a team where you don't what is going to show up.  We know we are going to get their best shot.  We have had some great games over the last several years in their great run with Tyrell and the boys.  This is different team, but they have several players off those really good teams.  It is going to be tough anytime it is a back to back game Friday-Saturday.  That Saturday game is a lot of mental toughness when you come down to it," said Sheldon.

 

Published 2/04/16

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Crawford wants to Carry Some Momentum

 

          Colonel Crawford is going to need a lot of things to happen to win another Northern 10 Athletic Conference title this season, but they still have some things they can accomplish, mainly in the postseason.

          After getting clobbered by rival Wynford (71-50) on Friday night and getting beat pretty much in every way, the Eagles responded with a (73-43) win at Seneca East in an "N10" game on Saturday night.  Coach David Sheldon says they came ready to play.  "I was really happy with the way we responded Saturday night after a tough loss.  Like I said you have to credit Wynford, they played exceptionally well offensively and defensively and had a great night against us.  I was really happy Saturday our kids bounced back," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "To go on the road after an emotional loss the night before and win by 30 was a real credit to our kids.  We made the extra pass.  When you look at our assists from Saturday compared to Friday we played better, together as a team.  Our kids responded very well.  Hopefully we can build some momentum off of that going into this Saturday, then February and the tournament."

          Colonel Crawford has some very good perimeter shooters like Owen Adams, Derek Burkhart and Brody Martin and Sheldon if they continue to move the ball like they did against Seneca East they are going to get more open shots.  "I think what kids need to realize is when you get more ball movement and reversals when you get stopped in transition, you are going to get better shots when you make the defensive move and I though we did that Saturday.  Three guys were in double figures.  When we have multiple guys in double figures that makes you harder to guard.  We have multiple guys that can score double figures on any night.  We just have to go out and execute like that every night," he said.

          Bucyrus (1-14,1-9) will be at Colonel Crawford (11-5,8-3) for an "N10" game on Saturday night.  The Redmen won their first game of the season on Saturday night when they downed Mohawk (53-45) and Sheldon says they are going to bring some energy into the game.  "They are coming off their first win and there is some excitement about that first win.  They have some really good young kids.  They are playing some sophomores and even a freshman.  Tony (Rose) has done a good job of getting those kids ready to go.  They have some seniors and juniors that have also been contributing.  The biggest thing for them is they are coming off a win.  They are going to be excited coming over here.  It is an emotional game for them when you look at the Crawford County rivals.  So, we have to come out and play.  As I told our kids we get everybody's best shot.  With the way our program has been over the last six years having been successful we get everybody's best shot no matter what they do.  They are coming off a big win.  It is at our place and hopefully we come out and are able to do what we need to do to be successful come Saturday night," said Sheldon.

 

Published 1/29/16

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Colonel Crawford Needs Wins

 

          Colonel Crawford needs to win the rest of its conference games and get some help if they are going to share in Northern 10 Athletic Conference title this year.

          They trail Upper Sandusky by two games.

          After losing two straight conference games, the Eagles got back on track with a (51-34) win at Mohawk on Saturday night.  Coach David Sheldon says he liked their effort and execution.  "To bounce back after a really tough stretch in the schedule I was really happy.  We had to go on the road to get a 17 point victory.  I was proud of the way our kids responded and did what we needed to do.  It was nice to get back on the floor and I thought our kids played really well.  We played a very good New Riegel team last week as well as played right down to the wire and just came up a little bit short.  To go on the road after only one days preparation I was proud of our kids," he said.

          Colonel Crawford (10-4,7-2) plays at home against rival Wynford (7-6,5-4) on Friday night in an "N10" game.  They beat the Royals (72-36) on December 11, but Sheldon says it will be closer his time.  "I think it is definitely a team that has gotten better as they year has gone on.  I think they are more comfortable now with the new coach setting in.  He has made some lineup changes with what thy are doing.  Starting four guards it is a totally different team than we saw at the beginning of the year," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "We are going to have our hands full Friday night when they come over here.  They have great guard play and a couple of bigs inside that they rotate.  It is a much improved basketball team and we knew that would happen throughout the year when the new coach got settled in and the kids understood his expectations."

          Wynford is playing better defense and Sheldon says that means they have to also.  "You have to guard them.  You have to play great defense.  A lot of times they will have four guys on the floor that can shoot the ball and put the ball ion the floor.  It comes down to playing good one on one defense and get good rotation.  We must be able to defend them they are good in transition.  They run the floor very well.  They have went back to playing a lot of man to man defense.  At the beginning of year they were play a little 1-3-1, but now it's mostly man and they have great athletes over there.  So, we are looking forward to the Crawford County rival and it's nice to be playing at our place Friday night," said Sheldon.

          They have to keep winning to have a chance at defending the league title and Sheldon says they have a tournament seed to pursue as well.  "When you talk about Upper they are in a league of their own right now.  They are a very talented basketball team.  We have been talking since we were two back that every game is important when it comes to the tournament too.  This is a Wynford team that is in our tournament and if we want to get one of the higher seeds we have to keep winning basketball games and taking care of Colonel Crawford," he said.

 

Published 1/22/16

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Crawford has to Fight Back

  

          Colonel Crawford lost two games in a row for the first time since 2013 last weekend when they were drilled by Upper Sandusky and then upset by Carey in Northern 10 Athletic Conference games on both Friday and Saturday.

          Coach David Sheldon says they got beat by a better team in Upper Sandusky (60-39) and then got too far behind the next night against Carey (58-52.)  "Upper is a very good basketball team.  They are well coached and they just have athletes and players of all sizes.  Their defensive pressure really took us out of a lot of things we wanted to do on offense.  It was an old fashion butt whopping of Friday night," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "The we have to turn around and go to Carey.  We knew this was going to be a tough stretch having to go to Upper and Carey.  On Saturday out of the gate we are down 21-4, just got off to a terrible start against a Carey team that shot the ball really well.  We were able to cut it to two, but we couldn't get over them hump.  It was a tough back to back, but we have to regroup.  That is the task that we have has this Thursday its another tough non-league game as New Riegel comes to town and is a very good basketball team."

          It is sort of a gut check time for the Eagles and Sheldon says now is when you find our if you have leaders.  "We always talk to our seniors about what is going to be your legacy in this program with the level of success that we have had.  We need to keep getting better because their is a lot to play for.  When you look at the basketball tournament once you get into February in division four we talked about the last two district champions have a lost five our six games and were able to make the regional.  There is still a lot to play for even though we are going to need a lot of help and I don't know if that is going to happen in our league with as good as Upper Sandusky is," he said.

          Crawford hosts New Riegel (8-2) of the Sandusky River League on Thursday in a non-conference game and Sheldon says again this year the Blue Jackets have a lot of talent.  "I think they are very good at all positions.  They have kids that can shoot it.  They have kids that can drive it.  And they play together so well.  They all play so hard because they are passionate about the game and we have to match that.  Their only two losses are to good teams when you look at Upper Sandusky and Sandusky St. Mary's.  It will be a great test Thursday to see how we respond and how we react to some adversity.  This is a possible tournament opponent when you look at division four.  We are looming at it as a challenge and it will be interesting to see how they respond to the adversity of last week," said Sheldon.

          Colonel Crawford (9-3,6-2) plays at Mohawk (3-7,2-6) in the opening of the second round of league play on Saturday night.  The Eagles won the first match up (45-31) and Sheldon knows this won't be an easy one.  "They played us tough at our place and we were fortunate to get a win.  This is a team that has gotten better and we have to go back on the road.  Anytime you go on the rode anything can happen.  In the second round your execution is so vital because people have seen you and they are going to try and take some of your options that worked the first time," he said.

 

Published 1/13/16

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Mental Toughness the Key for Crawford

 

          The old cliché is a team is still conference champion until somebody beats them and in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference that team is Colonel Crawford.

          Right now, they are tied with Upper Sandusky for the conference lead and they play at Upper on Friday night.

          Last week, the Eagles (9-1,6-0), #4 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, beat Ridgedale (64-55) and Buckeye Central (47-42) in conference games and Northmor (44-42) in a non-league game.

          Coach David Sheldon says they did what they had to do to win.  "I was proud of our guys.  We showed a lot of confidence and resiliency.  We played five games over Christmas break.  Our guys did a great job of hanging together.  In various games our defense was good and some days when our offense wasn't good we fought through some adversity in games.  We talk about fighting through adversity even when you are winning and we had adversity throughout some of those games and found a way to get some big wins.  We have played 10 games in 31 days and it is nice to get back to practicing before we play a big weekend coming up," he said.

          Upper Sandusky (10-0,7-0), #3 in our large school poll, has rarely been challenged this year, however, New Riegel took them to a three point game (76-73) in their last game.

          Sheldon says they execute the fast break well, they rebound the ball, and the force turnovers with their press.  "They are a very good basketball team.  They were the team the media picked to win it all.  We are very fortunate to be where we are at right now as we go over there and this game means something early in the year.  The league championship will not be won or lost this weekend, but it will have a big impact on it.  You talk about their explosiveness.  I think there are three things when you look at Upper Sandusky," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "Number one, they are so good at transition offense, make or miss they really push the basketball looking to score and put pressure on you.  Second of all they do a nice job of getting to the offensive glass getting second shots.  Third, they put defensive pressure on you for 32 minutes in the full court and the half court to try and take you out of stuff.  We are going to have to handle it.  We are looking forward to the opportunity to go their place on Friday night in a tough environment.  Hopefully we can give it our best shot,"

          Most teams have not been able to handle the Upper press this year, some have not handled it at all, and Sheldon says that is going to be a big key for them.  "We are going to have to have a lot of mental toughness when you look at the 32 minutes.  You have to be strong to play against this type of basketball team.  I think that will be key.  I think it helps with some of the games that we have had lately and having to play that way for 32 minutes.  This is a different animal that we are attacking on Friday night and looking forward to this opportunity of going over there.  We are still the defending champs and I told our guys this week that we have to go over there with some confidence and try to get out of there with a victory," said Sheldon.

 

Published 1/08/16

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Eagles with Two Tough League Games

 

          Colonel Crawford shares first place in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference with the Upper Sandusky Rams and they face two league games in three days this week.

          They travel to Ridgedale on Monday and host Buckeye Central on Wednesday.

          Coach David Sheldon says he is not concerned about playing these important games during the holidays.  "It really doesn't concern me because we have been through this through the years.  We took a few days off and were back in the gym Saturday to prepare for Ridgedale first Monday and then Buckeye Wednesday.  I always say goal number one is a league championship and we have two very good league teams we are playing.  Monday night, Ridgedale, they have all of their starters back from last year.  They got a big win last week versus Carey that we got to see.  Buckeye is starting to roll and play real well.  Most importantly Monday night going down to Ridgedale.  Over the break it is sort of like weekend games because we don't have to worry about school, English and math and stuff, we are in basketball mode," said Sheldon.

          Crawford (6-1,4-0), # 4 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, will be at Ridgedale (3-3,1-3) in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game on Monday night.  The Rockets beat Carey (55-48) last Wednesday.  Sheldon says they feature an excellent starting five and are starting to play with confidence.  "The first five are really good.  They have a really good first five.  Their bench is not really strong, but he doesn't go to the bench unless they are in foul trouble.  They had the same situation last year and these are two, three, four year lettermen that are playing for them now.  They are playing very well.  They are playing with confidence and we have to go on the road down there.  It will be a challenge for us.  When you look at the league we are still 4-0 and this is a league game.  We have talked about our league schedule being a marathon and this is step five Monday night at Ridgedale," said Sheldon.

          Buckeye Central (5-3,4-1,) in the third place in the "N10" comes to North Robinson on Wednesday.  Sheldon looks for another good one in this long rivalry.  "It goes through Grant Loy.  He is one the best, if the best player in our league.  He is a very good player.  He has been around and through the wars and on successful teams.  He can go inside, he can go outside.  The Shade kid, the post player playing next to him is a very good player as well.  He has had some big games and has really matured.  Then they have a good point guard in Scotty Heydinger that has played for a long time over there and runs the show and controlling things defensively.  They have good guards around them," he told Swankonsports.com on Sunday, "That is going to be a tough game.  Every time it is Buckeye-Crawford it's war and it comes down to the fourth quarter and last possessions.  We will worry about that come Monday night after Ridgedale, but first of all we have to worry about Ridgedale.  Earlier in the year Ridgedale took Buckeye to a four point game at Buckeye."

 

Published 12/28/15

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Crawford Plays Mansfield Christian

 

          In a possible preview of a March division four tournament game Colonel Crawford travels to Mansfield Christian to play the Flames on Monday night.

          The Eagles (5-1), #4 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, lost their first game of the season on Saturday night when they fell to Convoy Crestview (44-33) in a game that was played at Bluffton University.

          Coach David Sheldon says they played outstanding defensively, they just had trouble to getting the ball in the basket.  "It was a great experience, first of all at great facility, and against one of the better teams in Western Ohio in D-4, they are ranked third in some of the preseason polls in the State of Ohio.  They are coming off their regional and state run of a couple of years ago.  I was very happy with the way we competed.  Once again defensively we really guarded well.  Overall, we just couldn't put the ball in the hole at key opportunities throughout the game.  It a good non-league game.  There was nothing to lose and a lot to gain when it comes to where we have to go in February and March.  I am happy with our kids effort we just forgot to make some baskets (Saturday) night at Bluffton University," said Sheldon.

          Mansfield Christian (2-2) is coming off a (42-33) loss to Kidron Central Christian in Mid-Buckeye Conference play on Friday night.  They are missing Stevie Brown, a point guard lost to the Flames for the season due to a knee injury.

          Sheldon says the Flames are tough on defense and disciplined on offense.  "First of all they are very well coached.  John Kurtz does a great job.  You know they will get up into you defensively and get in passing lanes.  The are going to play extremely hard and "The Furnace" is a tough place to play.  It's out 6th game in 11 days.  We have to forget about (Saturday) night and get back to work.  We have an NBA schedule right now," he told Swankonsports.com on Sunday, "Offensively they have the Mount kid that has played since his freshman year, a very good player, the Cross kid inside, and some good players around them.  They are going to run their four out around one and few sets.  They always make sure that they take great shots.  It should be a very tough game Monday night before we get into Christmas break."

          Sheldon knows this is a game to make a statement.  "We talked about that.  This is a team in our super sectional tournament.  This a team we could see down the road.  We have played them before in the division four tournament with stuff on the line in the post season.  It will be a good non-conference game Monday night when we go down to "The Furnace," he said.

 

Published 12/21/15

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Colonel Crawford Shooting Better, Playing Better

 

           Colonel Crawford shot the ball a lot better last weekend and that resulted in two quality wins. 

          They beat Wynford (72-36) and Seneca East (75-59) in Northern 10 Athletic Conference games last Friday and Saturday.  Coach David Sheldon says their offensive efficiency was a whole lot better.  "I was really happy with our offensive efficiency.  Remember last week I said we needed a lot of improvement on the offensive end and with the points we put up and the efficiency.  We took care of the basketball.  We had 11 or less turnovers in each game and I was very happy with our production with the amount of points we put on the scoreboard.  Defensively we still did a very good job on Friday night.  Saturday night we got beat up in the post a little bit, but overall did a good job winning by 15 points.  We are very happy with our production on the offensive end and the defensive consistency continued throughout the weekend.  On double league weekends that make a difference when ultimately your first goal is to win a conference championship," said Sheldon.

          Derek Burkhart established a new school record with 10 three pointers on Saturday against Seneca East.

          With the ability to score out of the post and from the perimeter, Sheldon says they have some versatility on offense.  "We have guards that can really shoot the basketball, but then we also have some bigs.  We are getting 18 to 20 points from our four bigs every night, so we have some posts as well.  Last week, we shot the ball really well.  We got 12 three on Friday and 12 threes on Saturday nigh, but we have a post game that can score for us too.  The posts are doing a good job.  At the defensive end our athleticism and strength, all of hard work in the weight room is paying off in allowing us to defend different people based on their strengths," he said.

          Colonel Crawford (4-0,3-0), #4 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, in a share of first place in the "N10" with Upper Sandusly, plays at Bucyrus (0-5,0-2) in an "N10" game on Thursday night.  Sheldon says won't take a win for granted.  "We are going to get their best shot.  Anytime we play Bucyrus, I have always said, this is a big game for them.  Anytime they play Colonel Crawford they are really going to pump this game up, their kids get up, their community gets up to play against us, so we know we are going to get their best shot.  Yes, they have struggled with wins and losses, but they are going to come out and give us their best shot.  We have to step up and guard them right out of the gate.  It's a road game at their place," said Sheldon.

          On Saturday night, the Eagles travel over to Bluffton University to face Convoy Crestview.  Sheldon says it will be a great opportunity.  "It's a great measuring stick for us.  It is a non-league and a lot of people had them ranked number three in the state in division four.  It is a team that two years ago won the state championship and went undefeated.  They have two great seniors that played on that team and some young kids that are very talented.  We have started to pick up some these games non-league because down the road our goal is a sectional and district, get to a regional.  We have been fortunate the last four years to two regionals and two district runners up and these are the types of games we need to pick up non-league  What a great opportunity for our kids," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "Bluffton University has a brand new basketball facility.  It is going to be an arena like atmosphere that our kids will be playing in on a college campus.  Their coach is a great friend of mine.  He played with me when I was at Bluffton.  He was a shooting guard when I was a point guard.  Bluffton wanted to get two alumni to say hey the program is back.  It is definitely going to be a challenge.  We are going to come out and give it our best shot on Saturday evening."

 

Published 12/16/15

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Colonel Crawford Battling

 

          Colonel Crawford may not have won as many games as they would have liked, but effort is there and their coach believes they will start to turn it around.

          The lost (56-47) to Bucyrus on Saturday and coach Kyle Fenner says they are facing a little adversity right now.  "Our kids are working hard.  It has been a little bit of a struggle.  We really haven't played quite as well as we wanted to play.  We are kind of going through some things.  We are battling some injuries.  We are going to get one of them back this week.  We are continuing to work hard, we are getting better, and hopefully that is going to pay off with some wins," said Fenner.

          Crawford has one of the more successful girls' programs in the area down through the years and Fenner says he knows the players believe in themselves.  "We have had some success.  It has not been a lack of effort.  Our kids have come to practice and worked hard every day and they play hard.  We have been in every single game we have played.  We have to continue to work hard and believe in our system and believe in each other and those things are going to pay off for us," she said.

          Colonel Crawford (3-5,1-3) is at Ridgedale (0-6,0-4) on Tuesday night in Northern 10 Athletic Conference action.  The Lady Rockets have struggled this year.  They lost (86-31) to Buckeye Central on Saturday.  Fenner says their goal is to get better at their stuff.  "It is a focus game for us.  In our scouting report (Monday) night we talked about the fact that they have struggled.  We need to go down and concentrate on us and we need to do the things right and do things better that we can make ourselves better at the end of (Tuesday) night," she told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "It is a not a game we are taking lightly.  We had a good practice (Monday).  We expect to step on the floor (Tuesday) and be focused and be better in the end."

 

Published 12/15/15

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Crawford Needs to Reduce Turnovers

 

          Colonel Crawford is the defending Northern 10 Athletic Conference champion and they face a tough double weekend in the conference with games against Wynford and Seneca East.

          The Eagles beat Crestline (54-27) and then downed Mohawk (45-31) on Saturday night in their league opener.  Coach David Sheldon was happy with their execution on defense, but not so much on offense.  "I thought we were fantastic on defense in both of the games.  When you look at the defense we were very good in both games.  offensively we got off to a slow start in both games.  Just rhythm and some unforced errors that was have to clean up.  With only having nine days of practice we were happy get out of there with two wins.  It has been nice to go back this week and have four practices to get ready for a big, double league weekend.  It was nice to just get back to some fundamentals that we need to work on to get this thing rolling where we expect to be.  We still have a long way and some improvements to make on offense mostly to get where we want to be," said Sheldon.

          It is not the shooting that is they problem on offense, Sheldon says they turned the ball over way too much against Mohawk.  "We are getting great shots, we have just had some unforced turnovers.  There were some possessions where we would go empty because of some unforced turnovers.  We stress in our program once possession at a time.  It was like we were trying to hit a home run instead of singles all of the way down the floor.  So, I think that is the biggest thing.  Offensively, in the half court we have to take care of the basketball and different fundamentals that we need to do to be successful.  We are getting shots up.  Our shooting percentage is good.  We just had some unforced errors that we had to clean up in order to compete on a nightly basis," he said.

          Crawford (2-0,1-0), #3 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, plays across town at Wynford (2-1,1-0) on Friday night.  Sheldon says they have a nice blend of talent and experience.  "It is a veteran team.  They have six kids on their roster that have played varsity basketball, so they have been through the trenches.  It is a new coach.  They are coming off a big win last Saturday at Ridgedale.  Two of their guards in Crall and Tea are really good guards and have been around there for a while.  They have bigs inside, so they are balanced," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "Defensively, they change up a lot.  They'll go some zone, they'll go some man.  They will trap a little bit.  It is a little mix of everything defensively.  They definitely have the athletes.  I have said all along the senior class over there is a good class.  They have a lot of varsity experience.  Anytime it is a Crawford County rival it's going to be a big crowd from two great comminutes.  We are going to have to come ready to play in order to try and get a victory on Friday night."

         Seneca East (1-2,0-1) comes calling on Saturday night.  Sheldon says the Tigers are improved.  "They have gotten better.  Todd Eichols has been hired, the old New Riegel coach, and he does a great job.  I have got to see one time in person and then on film.  They are doing the right things.  So, I think it is a team that is going to get better as the year goes on.  They have a lot of guys back that played varsity basketball last year.  Anytime it is a double league weekend, it's a tough one.  These are the weekends that are big if you want to be in contention for a league title come the end of the year," he said.

 

Published 12/10/15

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Wednesday is Opening Night For Colonel Crawford

 

          Colonel Crawford, the defending champion in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference, gets its season started on Wednesday night, when they travel to Crestline for a non-conference game.

          Due to their long run in the football playoffs, the Eagles did not start the season last weekend.  However, coach David Sheldon says they were able to get some work in to prepare for the season.  "It was nice last week we were able to get a scrimmage in.  Over the weekend when we were supposed to open up we were able to scrimmage a couple of other football teams that were able to make a playoff run.  It is nice to get on the floor and play in some game situations.  I think one of the biggest things early in the season is being able to get our conditioning back, the speed we want to play at, we are still working on that in getting our legs back.  Our kids have come in with a fantastic attitude," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "We have had a couple of two a day practices.  They understand the system because we have been here for 10 years, so it is not like we are reinventing the wheel.  I think our guys are excited.  Now the games are here and in the month of December we have nine games.  So, every week you are playing two games a week, some weeks three.  I think we are excited to get going and we will see what happens when open up on he road (Wednesday) night at Crestline."

          Not that they can't execute in the half court, but Sheldon says this team is going to be best when they can get out and run for the floor and get some easy chances.  "We want to get out and go.  I think we have a little bit deeper bench than we have had over the years.  We have good guard play and then we have an inside presence that can score inside as well.  We definitely want to get out and run, but then if we can't get something we will get into out half court offenses that we do.  I definitely think we want to speed the tempo if we can and then depending on what the defense gives us on a nightly basis," he said.

          Crestline, now part of the Mid-Buckeye Conference, has been part of Colonel Crawford's schedule for a number of years.  Sheldon says they are going to be pretty young to start the season.  "They are a young team.   They have one starter back in the Gregory kid, who is a very nice player.  They are very young and inexperienced at the varsity level.  They have a new coach.  They are going to be excited to play at home.  Opening night is always opening night.  We have only got three guys that have played varsity basketball, so we are anxious to see what these other guys do when they turn the lights on.  It is different from practices or a scrimmage.  We have to go over there and compete and try to play to our strengths.  We will see how the ball bounces before we open league play then on Saturday," said Sheldon.

 

Published 12/02/15

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Colonel Crawford Progressing Nicely

 

          Colonel Crawford begins Northern 10 Athletic Conference play on Tuesday night as they host Mohawk in North Robinson.

          The Lady Eagles are really trying to play an up tempo style this year and coach Kyle Fenner says he is pretty pleased with the progress they are making this season.  "We have had some really good moments where we have done what we wanted to do.  Push the action up and down the floor to lead to easy baskets.  We have had some situations where we haven't been able to do that," she told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "We have caused some havoc and haven't been able to reward ourselves by finishing at the end and making some lay ups.  We have played hard and we have gotten better.  We are a little banged up and we need to get healthy.  All in all we have played hard and we will be okay if we continue to do that."

          Crawford beat Plymouth (55-32) on Saturday in a non-league game.

          Fenner says when they don't score in transition and have set up in the half court they need to slow down and get better shots.  "We have gotten some good looks and haven't finished some shots.  Sometimes we need to make the extra pass.  We need to give up and okay shot to get a better shot.  Sometimes you need to slow down.  Sometimes that is hard when you are trying to run as fast as your are trying to run to slow down and be patient.  We will continue to work on that," she said.

          The Lady Eagles (2-2) host Mohawk (0-2) in an "N10" game on Tuesday night.  Fenner says the Lady Warriors have some really good players that can stretch their defense.  "They have a very physical post that we are going to have to defend really well, be physical with, box her out, and keep her off the glass.  They are also have two girls on the perimeter.  Their point guard is Chelsey Trusty, she can score from behind the arc and put it on the floor.  Probably their best player is Alley Weinandy, she is also very good.  She can put it on the floor and is tall and lanky and can shoot the three.  We need to control those three on (Tuesday) night," said Fenner.

 

Published 12/01/15

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Colonel Crawford Getting in Shape for the Season

 

          Colonel Crawford's boys' basketball team is getting a late start due to the tremendous success that the football team had this fall, but their coach says everything will be okay in the end.

          The Eagles open their season next Wednesday, December 2, against Crestline in non-league play. 

          Coach David Sheldon, also the school's athletic director, says the late start to the season and the limited amount of practices won't hurt them too much.  "I think our football success is great for our basketball program.  I don't think it has put us being the eight ball necessarily.  We have had to adjust what we are going to do in the preseason.  We had all by three of our varsity guys playing football up until a week ago Saturday and kids competing is good for all sports.  The relationship I have with our head football coach Ryan Tgelovic is fantastic.  I am his biggest fan and our kids played their butt off their last game and almost had a chance to win versus Tinora.  So, I don't think it has put us behind the eight ball we have just had to readjust some things.  I save every practice plan and normally we have 24 practices before our first game and this year we only have nine.  I think the big adjustment is getting kids in basketball shape compared to football shape.  It is totally different conditioning the way basketball is go, go, go and football you stop and reset and all of that.  So, that is going to be the biggest thing and getting us healthy too.  We are a little banged up from some nagging football injuries.  I think the good thing is with this being my 10th year here at Crawford is our kids know our program.  It is not like we are reinventing the wheel.  We had a great June.  It is just picking up and getting them back into shape and reviewing what we need to do on the offensive and defensive ends of the floor," said Sheldon.

          Colonel Crawford won the Northern 10 Athletic Conference title last winter and advanced to the district final in division three.  Sheldon says its is true they lost some players to graduation, but he expects others to step up.  "We lost a very good senior group, especially our point guard Dillon Gulley and our shooting guard Todd Entenmann, but I think we just need to rebuild to cupboard.  We have three lettermen back with Owen Adams, Will Kirkpatrick and Derek Burkhart and they played a lot of minutes on that successful team from last year.  Our JV's last year won 19 and now our program has got to the point where these JV kids have to step up to the varsity level.  We have a lot of competition right now in the gym," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "There are 10, 12 guys that we are looking at to fill holes that we have to replace.  The competition in our practice is going to be very good to see where the cards are going to fall when it is all said and done before opening night and probably for the first couple of weeks of the season not having the scrimmages like we normally have at the beginning of the season.  We definitely lost some important pieces, but those three lettermen are our three captains this year.  Owen and Will were outstanding on our football team, with a lot of accolades.  Those leaders are going to be the same ones we count on this winter in basketball."

          Sheldon says competition for spots on the team can only be a good thing.  "When you have competitiveness within your team that makes your practices very good and it prepares you for Friday nights when we open up.  I think compositeness is a good thing.  We just have to see who rises to the occasion.  It might take a few games to see who that is because of the short preseason," he said.

 

Published 11/24/15

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Colonel Crawford Kicking up the Tempo

 

          To be successful this season, the Colonel Crawford Lady Eagles are going to need to be a team that can score in transition and be able to press the other team and force turnovers.

          Coach Kyle Fenner says they have been working a lot on that in preseason practices and scrimmages and she has seen some good things from her players.  "We are playing hard.  I think that as time has gone on, scrimmages have gone on, and practices have gone one, we have gotten better.  We are still kind of a work in progress and we hope to keep getting better as the season goes on," she said.

          Fenner will be patient with her kids because she understands that learning to play this kind of up tempo style is going to take a little time.  "We are trying to play an up tempo game this year.  We don't have a whole lot of height, so we are trying to play an up tempo game," she told Swankonsoprts.com on Wednesday, "We are playing fast, so we are trying to handle the basketball and play fast and make shots.  Sometimes when you do that is it just comes with experience.  We keep doing that every night in practice.  As time goes on as we work hard we are going to get better."

          A key to be successful with this kind of game is the mental approach.  Fenner says you have to know what is a good pass and what is a good shot and what isn't to be affective.  "They have to be good decision makers and we talk about that in practice.  We want to play fast, but we want to play smart too.  There is a fine line there between playing smart and wanting to get up and put pressure on the defense too.  It comes from playing and learning and just getting experience doing it," she said.

          Colonel Crawford begins its season this weekend with a pair of games against teams from the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference.  They are at Marion Pleasant of the red division on Friday and at home with Northmor of the blue division on Saturday.  Their first Northern 10 Athletic Conference game is at home with Mohawk on December 1.

 

Published 11/19/15

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Crawford Facing Defending Regional Champs

 

          Colonel Crawford won its first playoff game ever last week and now they meet the Tinora Rams in the second round of the division six playoffs on Saturday night in Lima.

          Last week, they spotted Ayersville a touchdown lead and then went on to pound them (42-10) in an opening round game.  "We played a pretty good game.  We got off to a rough start.  We drove the ball down the field and then we kind of stalled out and they came right back and scored and had a little momentum there.  Our offense was able to come right back and tie the game.  From there it felt like the kids played pretty well," said Colonel Crawford coach Ryan Teglovic.

          After giving up that first TD, Teglovic says his kids did not hang their heads they got with it.  "In the playoffs you can expect that other teams are going to do some good things.  I was proud of the way our kids did respond and were able to put things away in the second half," he said.

          Tinora (9-1), they only played nine regular season games, has about everything you could asked for in a team, according to Teglovic.  "They won our region last year and are certainly one of the better teams in the region this year.  They have good size.  I am more impressed, probably, by their speed.  I think their speed is good," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "They have a variety of weapons on offense, their quarterback has a great arm.  They have two very good backs in the backfield.  They are big up front on the offensive line.  They have tremendous speed on defense.  They play a lot of seniors.  When you are at this stage of the game you want to rely on those seniors."

          Tinora beat Wynford (17-0) in last year's regional final and Teglovic says their personnel and approach would be similar to Wynford, who handed the Eagles their only loss (41-14) this year.  "They remind me a lot of Wynford in regards to some of the things that they run and what they like to do offensively.  Their speed.  I don't know if they are quite as big as Wynford.  Up front their are a lot of similarities," he said.

          Comparing scores can be dangerous because there are a lot of factors that lead to scores, but Tinora beat Ayersville (41-0) in their final regular season game and Crawford beat the same team last week (42-10,) so it would seem to be a pretty good match-up.

          Teglovic says there three main things they have stressed with the players this week.  "Getting off to a good start I think is important.  At playoff time you can't turn the ball over.  We have to make sure we have good field position.  I think one of the keys will be who can control the line of scrimmage.  Those are the three things we have really talked to the kids about this week.  Maybe a little different than some of the things we talked to them about last week," said Teglovic.

 

Published 11/11/15

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Colonel Crawford Looking for First Playoff Win

 

          Colonel Crawford is making its third playoff appearance in the last four years.  They have never won a playoff game and they would like to change that.

          The Eagles (9-1) play host to Ayersville (8-2) in North Robinson on Saturday night in a regional quarterfinal game in division six.

          Coach Ryan Teglovic says it is a reward to make the playoffs, but they would like to take the next step.  "No, it doesn't get old, especially when you experience with a new group of seniors.  This group of seniors have been in the playoffs three times, but they didn't get to go last year, so it is exciting for them.  You always like to send your seniors out on a good note.  Obviously, we are looking to win a playoff game as well, so their is excitement in that too," he said.

          Teglovic says it is nice to be home for the playoffs, but their are no guarantees.  "I think it does help.  Obviously, it didn't help us a couple of years ago, but I think overall it is helpful to be home, especially in that first round in a familiar setting," he said.

          The Ayersville Pilots are making their 12th playoff appearance, but their first since 2007.  Teglovic says the Pilots can come at you in a number of different ways.  "They do a lot of different things offensively and defensively.  On both sides of the ball it starts with their quarterback, who is also their middle linebacker, the coaches son.  Offensively he will be the quarterback some times, really the majority of the time he is at quarterback, but sometimes they will put him back at running back as well.  He throws it well, he runs it well, he is one the leading tacklers in our region from the linebacker position," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "He is a tough young man, good football player.  They have another running back that has gone for over 1,000 yards on the season that does a good job.  They have some kids on the edge too, they have a kid with 49 catches that makes some explosive plays for them.  So, they have weapons.  They play in a good league.  Their two losses come to two playoff teams.  We will have our hands full."

          Ayersville has lost its last two games to Hicksville (32-26) and Tinora (41-0) last week.

          Has Colonel Crawford seen this kind of team before?  Well, kind of.  Teglovic says Ayersville reminds them of another playoff team from the Northern 10 Athletic Conference in Seneca East.  "We have talked about that a little bit, maybe Seneca East.  Just based on the variety of things that they do.  They will spread it, but they will also have a couple of backs and run the football as well.  A variety of things offensively and defensively and have the skill to do it.  Maybe Seneca East a little bit, reminds you of them.  They also remind us, coach Stevenson and I were talking (Wednesday,) it reminded us a little bit of a couple of years ago when we went down to Trimble, might be a little like that group as well," said Teglovic.

 

Published 11/05/15

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Eagles Want to keep Moving

 

          They might need an upset to share the conference title, but the Colonel Crawford Eagles just continue to play a pretty good brand of football.

          The trail Wynford by a game in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference standings and would need to beat Carey and get an upset from Bucyrus to win a part of the "N10" title.

          Coach Ryan Teglovic says they can't be concerned with what Wynford and Bucyrus are doing Friday night.  "Focusing on ourselves is how we have gotten where we are at and we have a good game with Carey.  Anytime you play at Carey you are going to have to play well.  It is a team with a proud tradition.  Especially playing at their place we are going to have to focus and be concerned with Carey this week and control what we can control," he said.

          This has not been one of Carey's better years this year.  The Blue Devils (4-5,3-4) lost to Seneca East (46-6) last week, but Teglovic says this is a program that you can never take lightly.  "To me it is one of the more storied and traditional programs in the area.  I talked to the kids about they don't have a lot losing seasons in Carey.  They were a little bit inexperienced coming in due to the amount of seniors they lost from last year.  They have been doing some good things, especially when you put in there they have had a lot of injuries to quality and good starters in there.  So, they have continued to improve and get better and patch those holes and that's what good programs do."

          Crawford (8-1,6-1) ranks third in their computer region in division six and Teglovic says over the second half of the season this has been a very good football team.  "Our level of play has been pretty high.  It has been a tough stretch.  We have played some good teams in there, a good Manchester team, a good Buckeye team, a good Upper team last week.  We beat Seneca East and they are a good football team, and Mohawk as well," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "I feel we did some things last week that I would like to get better at and end the regular season on a good note.  We are proud of them for stepping up and putting together some good consistent efforts every week and now we just have to finish off week 10."

 

Published 10/30/15

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Crawford With Goals in Mind

 

          It's week nine and Colonel Crawford still has the chance to do some things.  That's what seven win in eight games will get you.

          They stand in second place in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference, a game behind Wynford, the only team to beat them this year.  They are also second in their division six computer region, just behind, well, Wynford it turns out.

          Last week, they downed Buckeye Central (48-26) in an "N10" game where quarterback Will Kirkpatrick established a new single game school record for rushing yards with 290.  "It was a good effort for us.  I think we beat a good team.  I thought we continued to get better.  We stayed injury free as well, so all the way around it was a big win for us and it sets up another big game this week," said Crawford coach Ryan Tgelovic.

          It's on the road this week for the Eagles as they travel to Upper Sandusky to meet the Rams.  Teglovic says despite a below .500 record, the Rams have good talent.  "They are physical.  I thought they did a very good job against Wynford.  I thought maybe it was their best game of the year.  For a team that at this point is 3-5 when they continue to play hard like they did last week against a very good Wynford team that says something about them.  They have a bunch of six-foot, 200 pound kids that are physical, so that always concerns you," said Teglovic.

          The best part of Upper's team this year has been their defense, which has limited everyone they have played.  Teglovic says they are going to try and make them throw the ball.  "They have limited other teams opportunities and they have played well, especially against the run.  They have really loaded the box against people.  When they do that they really cause you to beat them left handed," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "They are very good at that.  I think their record is very deceiving.  The games they have lost have been close.  Nobody has come out and just throttled them.  We know we have to go up there and it is going to be a tough battle for us."

          In second in the region, the Eagles look in pretty good shape to make another post season appearance.  It would be their third in four years.  Teglovic has been very happy with his players focus.  "We have gotten better every week.  We are not playing perfect football.  That is always the goal, but it doesn't happen.  We are happy with our kids, their mindset, and how they have been focused down the stretch.  That is what it is going to take this week, that kind of effort.  It is to the point where we are playing for some things outside of pride we are playing for some post season opportunities," he said.

 

Published 10/21/15

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Colonel Crawford and Buckeye Square off in Key N10 Battle

 

          Colonel Crawford and Buckeye Central are two of the challengers to Wynford's lead in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference.  The Eagles trail by one and Buckeye by two heading into a match up between the two in North Robinson on Friday night.

          Crawford (6-1,4-1) won a non-conference game (42-20) over Akron Manchester last week.  Coach Ryan Teglovic liked they way they played in the trenches.  "I felt our offensive lime probably played the best game they have played all year.  It was a physical, aggressive Manchester team up front and they throw a lot of blitzes at you.  Our offensive line just did a phenomenal job picking up blitzes and we were able to rush for over 200 yards against them.  I felt our defensive line did a great job too.  There were able to establish the line of scrimmage and take Manchester out of what they like to do.  They got some yards on us in the second half, but they started passing a lot and got away from things that they normally do.  Very pleased with the way we play up front last week," said Teglovic.

          Last week, Buckeye Central (5-2,3-2) took out Bucyrus (48-19) in an "N10" game.  They are really a couple breaks from being unbeaten, losing in overtime to Seneca East (40-34) and on the last play to Carey (32-26) two weeks back.  Teglovic says they are very good on offense, especially quarterback Grant Loy.  "I think they have maybe the best throwing quarterback around in Grant Loy.  He is a 6'3", 6'4" kid, 200 pounds and he can throw the heck out of the football.  He is a competitor.  He is tough to get pressure on.  He just throws a great ball, great arm.  He can move enough in the pocket to buy himself time.  We are going to have our hands full with him," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "They have a couple of real good receivers too, in particular the Heydinger kid, number 5.  He had a good game against us last year.  He is one of the leading receivers in the league right now.  He is a great competitor too with real good speed.  We will have our hands full there."

          If Buckeye has had a weakness it has been on defense this year.  Teglovic says they will need to exploit it.  "We are hoping we can get some defensive stops in there, but it is going to be difficult because it is a good offensive football team.  The offense is going have to play well.  We are going to have top play well on both sides of the football.  Our offense has moved the ball well, most weeks we have had success obviously running the football, by we have been able to throw it too.  There will be a lot of focus in those guys being able to move the football and maybe we can keep Buckeye's offense off the field a little bit," he said.

 

Published 10/13/15

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Crawford faces Battle in the Trenches

 

          Colonel Crawford will play host to Akron Manchester in a non-conference game on Friday night in North Robinson.

          They kept themselves in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference race, a game behind Wynford, with a (55-0) destruction of Ridgedale last week.  Coach Ryan Teglovic says they played well in all phases and they were able to get a lot of there younger kids into the game too.  "I thought our guys came out there and played well and did what we needed them to do offensively and defensively.  We were able to get some younger kids in, which is always nice.  Those guys work hard in practice, so it is always nice to get them some action on Friday night.  I felt it was a pretty clean game in regards to turnovers and that kind of thing as well.  We came out healthy as well, so a lot of good things happened on Friday night," he said.

          Akron Manchester is a traditional football power in Northeast Ohio that has built their reputation as a running team.  Teglovic says that is certainly the case this year.  "They are about 88 percent run.  They don't throw much.  They are physical up front.  They get off the football extremely well on the offensive line.  They have three of four backs they like to get the ball too and their quarterback runs very well too.  They have been in this system for quite a few years," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "Their coach has been there for a long time.  They are very physical on offense and that is what they want to do on defense as well.  They bring a lot of people to just pressure you and put your offense in bad situations."

          Like a lot of times in this game of football, Teglovic says this game is going to be decided up front.  "We talked about the fact that you win games on the offensive and defensive lines and even more so this week with the nature of what these guys do.  If we communicate on the offensive line I think we will fair okay there.  Defensively for us our defensive line has to get off the football.  They have to be the ones that take care of things up front.  Both of those offensive and defensive lines will be important to us," said Teglovic.

 

Published 10/07/15

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Another Must Win For Crawford

 

          Colonel Crawford remains a game behind Wynford in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference football standings and they must keep winning if they are going to have a chance at the title.

          The Eagles only loss comes to Wynford (41-14) three weeks ago.  Coach Ryan Teglovic says he is happy with how his team has improved this year so far.  "We are pretty pleased with the progression of things.  Definitely the last two weeks we have seen some improvements on both sides of the football and special teams wise as well.  We have things to work on and things to continue to improve, but at this point in the season we are pretty pleased with our progress," said Teglovic.

          Having already lost to Wynford, the Eagles do not control their own density.  Teglovic says the thing they have to do is keep winning.  "Every game is going to be extremely important.  Wynford is an awful good football team and they haven't shown they are going to slow up any.  They are going to be a tough team to beat down the stretch.  There is not much margin for error for us in terms of a league title, so we are going to have to play well," he said.

          Colonel Crawford (4-1,3-1) plays at home against Ridgedale (0-5,0-3) on Friday night in "N10" play.  Teglovic says despite their record he thinks the Rockets are a team that can't be taken lightly.  "I think they are improved football team.  I look at the them on offense and have some schemes they are trying to do some things out of a variety of formations, which is the mark of team that is trying to learn, progress and get better," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "They are going to throw some different formations at you, but in the end they are going to run a set of base plays out of a lot of different formations.  That's a good idea with kids understanding a basic theme.  They have a nice running back.  He is an extremely athletic kid, one of the better athletes in the league."

          Teglovic says it will be important for them this week to make good pre snap adjustments to make sure they are lined up where they should be so they can defend the Rockets.  "Formations are one the most important things that we are going to look at this week.  We have seen a couple of formations out of them that we haven't seen from anybody else this year.  We have talked to the kids about that and it is going to be a huge part of our preparation this week," he said.

 

Published 9/30/15

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Eagles Expect Strong Effort Form Bucyrus

 

          Colonel Crawford battled back to get a good win last week and stay in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference race and now they need some focus this week as they face rival Bucyrus.

          After a loss to Wynford (41-14) on week three, the Eagles responded to beat a then undefeated Seneca East team (42-18) last week.

          Quarterback Will Kirkpatrick ran for 175 yards and two scores for Crawford and coach Ryan Teglovic says that was just what they needed to not only win, but play well against the Seneca East.  "It was a good win, especially after coming off a big loss to Wynford.  They were coming into our place 3-0. They were doing a lot of good things and had a lot of athletes.  I was glad the way our guys bounced back.  Anytime you can get a good win like that.  We stayed pretty healthy last week.  We are happy with that," he said.

          Through four weeks of the season, Teglovic believes his team is continuing to get better in its execution and that has to continue to happen as weeks go on.  "I think there has been some progression and our goal is to continue that progression.  We talked about that again on Saturday and again on Monday and hopefully that progression continues on into this week.  There are still a lot of things we need to do better, but I think across the board we are seeing the progression that we like and if we continue that we will be happy," he said.

          Colonel Crawford (3-1,2-1) plays at Bucyrus (1-3,0-2) on Friday night.  The Redmen have lost both of their "N10" games to Seneca East (40-0) and Mohawk (44-7) giving up all of those points in the first half.  They have also lost to Galion (55-0) and their only win comes over winless Crestline (25-17) on week two.

          Teglovic says they remember last year when the Redmen beat them (29-27) and they know that Bucyrus will play extremely hard come Friday night.  "They have struggled and they have had some injuries.  They lost 17 pretty good seniors last year that were that were a real good part of what they did offensively and defensively.  We know that Bucyrus always gives us their best game.  It's a big game because it is a Crawford County rivalry.  I think you can kind of throw out the records there," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "I think our kids understand they are going to play hard and we are going to have to match that intensity level, emotion, enthusiasm because we know they are going to be up.  They came in there last year and got us and it was quite frankly a game that took us out of the playoffs in retrospect.  So, our guys know Bucyrus is going to play hard and it is going to be a tough game."

 

Published 9/23/15

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It's a big one for Crawford

 

          After a loss to defending Northern 10 Athletic Conference champion Wynford last week, the Colonel Crawford Eagles host unbeaten Seneca East in game they have to have for a number of reasons.

          Crawford held a (14-7) second quarter lead, but they were shut out after that and only had nine total yards in the second half in a (41-14) loss to the Royals.

          Coach Ryan Teglovic says Wynford controlled the point of attack and therefore the game.  "It was not at all what we wanted, but you always credit the other team as well.  I thought there were a couple of things that we did better than we did the previous week.  I thought on special teams wise we were a little bit better.  Overall, Wynford controlled the game," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "Their offensive line control the game and their athletes speed as well.  They broke away with it in the second half.  It makes this week pretty important for us."

          Seneca East (3-0,2-0) shares the "N10" lead with Wynford and Upper Sandusky and they have put up a lot of points including wins over Buckeye Central (40-34) and Bucyrus (40-0) in conference games.  Teglovic says they are explosive and balanced.  "They have a variety of athletes.  They have scored 55, 40, and 40 points, so obviously they are a good offensive football team.  They have a great running back in Depinet.  The quarterback throws it very well.  He is a big kid.  They have good receivers.  Straight across the board they have guys that can make a plays and a variety of them," said Teglovic.

          Seneca East has surrendered some points this year, including 28 to winless South Central in their opener, but Teglovic says they have defensive linemen they will need to handle.  "I think the strength of their defense is up front.  They have some big kids up front.  Number 74 was a junior and is a returner from last year.  He is big and strong and gets off the football and we are going to have to neutralize him there along the line of scrimmage .  We have to do a good job on him and the rest of their guys up front," he said.

          It is only week four the season, but Teglovic says this is pretty much a must win for his Eagles.  "It is a big one and not just as far as conference title aspirations, but it is a big one as far as post season aspirations.  Seneca East is division six this year.  They are head of us in our region.  They are 3-0 and certainly playing very well and are riding high right now.  This is a team we have to beat if we want to get into contention for some things," he said.

 

Published 9/18/15

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Crawford and Wynford Clash in Big One in "N10"

 

          Two of the top teams in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference lock horns on Friday night in a game that might go a long way in determining a league champ as Colonel Crawford is at Wynford.

          Both are (1-0) in league play after the Eagles (27-6) win over Mohawk and Wynford's (50-0) destruction of Ridgedale last week.

          Crawford (2-0), #3 in the Swankonsports.com football coaches poll in the small school division, scored twice in the fourth quarter last week to put the win against Mohawk away.  "I thought overall we played well.  We were balanced offensively, and defensively, with the exception of one drive, I felt we played very, very well.  We have talked about our extra point team.  We gave up some points there.  We scored four touchdowns and a field goal and only had 27 points to show for it.  We have to do a little better in our extra point situations.  But, overall played a very good game," said Colonel Crawford coach Ryan Teglovic.

          On defense, the Eagles had some leakage on defense in a week one win over Mt. Gilead (42-21,) but Teglovic says he thought they cleaned a lot of that up last week.  "We played much better last week.  Week one this kid at quarterback was really explosive and we had a tough time with him sometimes.  I felt like our guys responded to some of things we didn't do real week one and fixed those things.  We talked about our defensive backs getting in the run game and they got some tackles and they weren't down the field, two of them were for a loss," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "I felt good that these guys were paying attention to detail and got a little better this week.  Within that front seven there is a lot of experience and those guys just keep getting better.  In our back end there isn't a lot of experience, but there are enough athletes back there and they got better form week one to week two."

          Wynford is the defending "N10" champion and Teglovic says there are very good again this year.  We says they show a lot of speed.  "I am very impressed with their speed.  It is one of the faster teams that we play all year.  They are explosive from a lot of different positions.  The (Nick) Looker kid they have at running back is one premier guys in the league.  They had to replace their quarterback, but the kid they have back there this year, the Hoffman kid, is very fast as well.  They have a lot of speed at receiver.  The had a lot of defensive speed.  I think that is the biggest thing for them defensively is just how fast they get to the football.  They only have the one returning offensive lineman, but they just kind of reload up there.  They are still pretty big and formidable up front," said Teglovic.

          Wynford belted the Eagles (41-10) last season on their way to the conference title and made a lot of big plays in the process.  Teglovic says they can't allow the Royals to get to the perimeter.  "You have to be good tacklers and tackling is about good body position, but it's also about angles and closing down in space.  If you let guys like that get in the open field it is going to be a struggle.  You have go to try and hem people in and stay in your lanes.  It forces you to not do a whole lot defensively and to just try and hone in on doing a few things very well," he said.

 

Published 9/08/15

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Crawford Opens up League Play Against Mohawk

 

          Colonel Crawford dominated Mohawk in their first ever "N10" football game a year ago, but this is a lot better Mohawk team they will be facing in the league opener in North Robinson on Friday night.

          The Eagles are coming off a strong performance, especially in the second half when they scored five times, in a (42-21) win over Mt. Gilead last week.  Coach Ryan Teglovic was impressed with especially their intensity.  "It was a good effort.  Anytime you can go out in game one and get a win your happy.  There were some good things for our kids.  I appreciate their effort, especially in the second half they played hard.  If we can continue to get that and continue to get improvement all year we will be good," he said.

          However, Teglovic knows they have to get better and there are a lot of areas where they can improve.  "There is a lot we can get better at.  This week we have to be able to get off the field on third down.  Some of that is the athletes you are playing against, Deonte Cook last week from Mt. Gilead was a heck of an athlete.  He makes a lot of plays with his feet and arm.  Some of it is just us getting better fundamentally," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "You have to outside pass rush and contain in the pocket.  We didn't play the option very well on the short side.  I didn't think we were reading very well in the defensive backfield.  So, those kinds of things that we can always get just a little bit better at and hopefully we can get a little bit better at it this week."

          Last year, Crawford beat Mohawk (47-14)," but the Warriors appear to be a better team after belting Fremont St. Joe (37-6) a week ago.  Teglovic says Mohawk has experience and talent.  "They are a very solid football team.  The beat St. Joe on week one and scored a lot of points.  They looked very good on film.  We had an opportunity to watch them live in a scrimmage against Plymouth.  They return nine starters on both sides of the ball, so when you are returning that many veterans on both sides of the football you are an experienced, good football team.  We have our work cut out for us," said Teglovic.

          On offense, Teglovic says they have shown some nice balance and that makes them more difficult to defend.  "The do a real good job with being balanced.  They are big up front and they are a typical, physical Mohawk football team.  Their running back is 215 pounds and the offensive line is big, but I'm impressed with how they threw the ball last week.  The opened it up with some nice balance on offense and do a good job defensively.  They are able to do a lot of different things," he said.

 

Published 9/04/15

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Crawford Chomping at the Bit

 

          Colonel Crawford wants to continue a solid streak of football that has led them to 25 wins over the last three years and it looks like they have the talent to do just that.

          Staring quarterback Will Kirkpatrick, already one of the more accomplished signal callers in Eagle history, is back to lead the show along with a number of other solid players.

          They open the season on at home on Friday night against Mt. Gilead in non-conference play.  The Indians, of the blue division of the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference, finished with a (3-7) record a year ago.

          Crawford coach Ryan Teglovic says he has been pretty pleased with his team's attention to detail this month in getting ready for the season.  "I feel like every scrimmage we have worked on some things and gotten better at those things.  We are still looking for a little higher level of consistency among our guys.  We are pretty healthy right now.  I feel like we have a good grasp of the offense and the defense and we have made some good improvements.  If we continue to do that then I feel pretty good," said Teglovic.

          With the success they have had, including a title in the old North Central Conference in 2013, Teglovic says his players, especially his seniors, are eager to get out on the field on Friday night.  "I believe they are ready to play some football.  They are ready to go.  The season we had last season just carried our guys into the off season and they are still pretty excited about that.  We have 17 seniors and it is their last go around.  I know they are very excited to start their senior season," he said.

          Colonel Crawford won the match-up with the Indians last year (51-24), but Teglovic says the Indians are big, they are physical and they have some guys that can give their defense fits.  "There are returners back on both sides of the ball.  It starts offensively with their main man, their quarterback, Deontre Kirk.  He was their starter last year and he gave us some problems last year and he gave some other people problems," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "He is a senior and a good player.  They are physical up front with Michael Mullhan, he is a senior.  He is a three year starter on the offensive line.  He is 6'5", 275.  He is a heck of a player and has been for a couple of years.  Defensively, their line is physical.  If you don't get off the ball.  If you don't establish the line of scrimmage.  If you control the line of scrimmage you are in pretty good shape."

 

Published 8/25/15

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Colonel Crawford's Goal is to Keeping Winning

 

          Winning has become almost expected in the Colonel Crawford football program after three straight years of winning at least eight games.

          It should be no different this fall.

          Coach Ryan Teglovic says it has been a good camp so far for the Eagles.  "We have seen some good things and some bad things, but it's early and we have lots of things to work out.  Our numbers are good.  Our kids have worked extremely hard and not just in camp, but in the weight room.  I feel we have got a good group of seniors and some experience at some spots and some other guys working to crack the lineup and that is good for competition," he said.

          As far as varsity experience goes, Teglovic says this year is going to be a whole lot like it has been in North Robinson.  "We have had three years in a row where we have had eight plus wins and in everyone of those years we lost between 12 and 16 seniors and we brought that many back to play.  It's the same kind of deal.  I think it is the same experience level we have had the last several years.  As opposed to last year we do have an experienced quarterback.  Will (Kirkpatrick) last year had a phenomenal year for us, but it was his first year running the quarterback position.  With him having a little more experience will certainly help," said Teglovic.

          With Kirkpatrick back the Eagles should score some points.  Teglovic says their defensive backfield will be pretty green, but they have some nice athletes there too.  "You have to play good defense to win games and win the N10.  We have a lot of experience up front.  All four of those guys have a little bit of experience at the varsity level.  We have two linebackers back that started several games for us.  There is not as much experience in the defensive backfield, but I like our guys there too.  It is going to be a learning process for the back end and just getting better every week, but the guys are there," he said.

          Consistency has been some the Eagles seemed to have achieved, but Teglovic says that doesn't just happen it takes hard work.  "You never get to the point where you feel real comfortable with that.  We are happy with where we are at based on the last three years.  Our guys understand our system, we have been in the same system the last several years.  Our guys understand sometimes you have to wait your turn and earn your stripes as a freshman and on the JV level," he told Swankonsports.com, "We have had some kids that have all-conference mention as seniors that really didn't play varsity football until they were seniors.  I think our kids sacrifice a little bit more for the team.  We hope we have the program headed in the right direction, but you have to continue to fight like heck every day to make sure."

          Colonel Crawford begins the season August 28 at home with Mt. Gilead in non-conference play and then hosts Mohawk in their "N10" opener the next week.

 

Published 8/17/15

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Crawford beats Rival; Moves to District

 

          Colonel Crawford and Crestline is one of the rivalries that personifies softball in North Central Ohio and they met again Thursday in a tournament game.

          This time, the Lady Eagles (20-7) had much the better of the Crestline Lady Bulldogs winning (11-1) in five innings in the division four sectional title game in North Robinson.

          Crawford coach Chuck Huggins says he really enjoys this rivalry.  "We have had some awfully good softball tournament match-ups with Crestline over the years and this one is no exception.  It just happened a little bit earlier than I would have liked it to happen.  It had to happen in the sectional championship at Colonel Crawford.  It would have been nice for it to happen over at Shelby in the district championship like it has been numerous times.  They came in our bracket, so it came a little earlier," said Huggins.

          With the intensity this game usually brings, Huggins says they were able to put a pretty good effort together.  "It was a good traditional tournament softball match-up between two proud programs.  We are just happy that we played well and can represent Colonel Crawford in the district tournament next week," he said.

          It's now on to a meeting with Plymouth (15-10) in the division four district semi-finals next Tuesday at Shelby High School.  Huggins says Plymouth coach Troy Keene has them playing well and they have a lot of weapons.  "Plymouth is a very good, solid softball program because of what coach Keene has been able to do.  They have a lot of good sticks in their lineup.  They have a nice pitcher that can really bring it," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday night, "It is going to be a tough, tough match-up for us.  Like I have said in the past we just have make sure we take care of Colonel Crawford and make sure that we are ready to go and we will see what happens on Tuesday.  Plymouth is a very good opponent."

          Plymouth beat Colonel Crawford (10-0) in a game that was played at Clear Fork in a mini tournament in April.

 

Published 5/15/15

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Crawford Avenges Loss to Crestline; Stays in Race

 

          Last week, Crestline upset Colonel Crawford in girls' softball and they were not about to let it happen again.

          The Lady Eagles (14-5,9-2) belted Crestline (10-0) in five innings in Northern 10 Athletic Conference action on Monday.

          Longtime coach Chuck Huggins thought they let one get away from them last week when they lost (10-9) to the Lady Bulldogs.  "We were awfully disappointed last week and that's not taking anything away from Crestline because they certainly put a good ball game together against us.  They jumped on us early last week.  We made a nice comeback in the seventh and scored seven runs and were up by three going to the bottom of the seventh and they scored four an knocked us off.  It just felt like, and it did to my kids too, we let one slip away.  We didn't play the best of our potential.  We were definitely a very focused team (Monday) night," said Huggins.

          Huggins says from start to finish on Monday his club was ready to play in every sense and that was because of the focus they had in the game all the way through.  "We knew that with Carey being perfect in the conference, with no losses, we had two losses.  We knew we still had two games with Carey, so we controlled out own destiny.  We just knew from this point forward that we have to take care of business and make sure we have some quality wins.  I was just very impressed with how things came together from the very first pitch to the very last run we scored in the bottom of the fifth inning to end it we were right on.  I was so impressed with their concentration and their confidence and just the way they executed every little thing," he said.

          Crawford plays Buckeye Central (7-10,4-8) on Wednesday and Thursday and then plays Upper Sandusky and Carey twice next week.  Huggins says they must play excellent softball during this stretch.  "We are approaching it like we need to run the table.  We know that there is no room for error right now.  It is such a long conference race with 18 conference games.  We know that is almost has to be perfect," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday after the win, "Could we possibly, possibly, afford one more loss?  Yeah, now that Carey go bumped off, but you don't want to gain ground and then give it right back.  We are talking this week only and we talked about needing a perfect week in the conference.  We need to make sure we go 3-0 in the conference this week and that will set things up for a good exciting finish."

          Ridgedale handed Carey (2-0) their first conference loss on Monday.

 

Published 4/28/15

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Johnson Shuts Down Royals

 

          Sophomore Jake Johnson gave up only two hits and one unearned run as Colonel Crawford edged rival Wynford (2-1) in Northern 10 Athletic Conference baseball action on Tuesday.

          Johnson struck out four and walked three.  Coach Joe Swartzmiller says he has good stuff and he had better control this time than in his previous trips to the mound.  "It was a great outing.  He only gave up two hits.  He had control of his stuff (Tuesday) night.  He had been giving up walks and (Tuesday) night he really honed in on the strike zone and that really helped out," he said.

          Good pitchers are ones that take advantage of the strike zone and Swartzmiller says Johnson was able to do that on Tuesday.  "The ump behind the plate was really calling them low, almost below the knees.  Jake figured that out and that was pretty much where he was throwing it," he said.

          Johnson was the man of the hour for the Eagles (3-7,1-4) as he also had both of their RBI in the game.

          Crawford has a very young roster this year and Swartzmiller says wins like this are going to build confidence.  "So far, this year we have lost three or four one run games and in all of them we have been up.  To finally come through with one is huge for us," he said.

          Crawford plays Bucyrus (5-3,3-2) in N10 action on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. 

 

Published 4/15/15

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Lady Eagles Rally for Huge Win

 

          A line drive single by freshman Lydia Strouse drove in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh as the Colonel Crawford Lady Eagles rallied to beat Seneca East (6-5) in a big Northern 10 Athletic Conference game on Monday in North Robinson.

          It was the second game in four days between the two contenders, both one run wins for Crawford, and veteran coach Chuck Huggins says his kids were up to the challenge.  "We thought the 5-4 win on Friday night over in Attica against Seneca East was big and we knew they were going to come over here and give us everything they had (Monday) night.  It was just one of those games that had every single emotion imaginable attached to it.  The rains came in and they pulled us off the field because of lightning and thunder and at that time they were ahead of us 1-0 in the top of the fourth, so we knew we had to get after it," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday evening, "We got four across in the fourth.  It was just one of those games when the momentum went back and forth from one dugout to the other.  We had a two run lead on them going to the top of the seventh and to their credit they found a way to scratch across a couple of runs in the top of the seventh to tie the game up.  To my kids credit they came in like troopers and we got a run in the bottom of the seventh and pulled it out."

          Huggins has led the Lady Eagles to the state final four seven times, they won it all in 1995, and he says the performance on Monday was one of the best by his team in quite a while.  "Not just Colonel Crawford fans, but just fans of the sport who were there because they new there were two good ball clubs came up to me after the game and said 'coach what a great game.  That is one of the best softball games on in this area in a long time.'  And I said that to my girls after we got done and we talked that was a just one the best heart felt, competitive efforts that I have been around in a long time and I have obviously been around a few," he said.

          Cassie Sager is the only senior on the Crawford roster and Huggins says the freshman and sophomore classes are the engine for this team.  "First of all in the sixth inning sophomore centerfielder Abby Bradshaw drives in a run to put us back ahead.  The in the bottom of the seventh it was a freshman, my number four hitter, Lydia Strauss, driving in sophomore Alexis Burkhart with the winning run.  So, we are a very, very young ball team learning to find ways to win.  When that happens you can just see the confidence and the expectations growing and growing inside of them.  It was just so good to see those young kids come through and be successful," said Huggins.

          Colonel Crawford (7-2,2-1) play Wynford (0-4,0-3) on Tuesday in an N10 game and then have back to back games against Bucyrus on Wednesday after Thursday in league play.

 

Published 4/14/15

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Crawford with a Young Baseball Team

 

          Colonel Crawford has a young team and they will be counting on some young arms if they are going to be competitive in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference this year.

          So far, they are (1-1) for the year, beating Willard in non-league play and losing a one-run game to Mohawk in their only league game so far this spring.

          Coach Joe Swartzmiller says he has been very pleased, and yes, a bit surprised by the performance he has seen from the Eagles.  "It has been surprising actually.  We have a lot of young kids, inexperienced kids, and to come back from three down to Willard and win that one was great two see.  Against Mohawk we had a chance to win that one, we were up 5-2.  I'm happy, I'm happy, I'd like to have two wins, but where we are at right now is great to see," said Swartzmiller.

          Pitching wise, Swartzmiller says they have to learn how to pitch with the lead and that means throwing strikes.  "Right now I am starting two sophomores.  Against Mohawk we are up 5-2 and when you are up 5-2 you have to come out and throw strikes and that didn't happen in that inning for my young sophomore, but you have to learn from it and moving forward he should be better for it," he said.

          There are 18 league games in the N10 this year and teams that are going to have a chance to win the trophy are going to be the most consistent ones.  Plus, Swartzmiller says you are going to have a lot of pitchers.  "Being consistent and having the best pitchers.  At best we have four league games in a week," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday evening, "The way things are looking for next week we may not play any games next week and then we are pushing them back even further and then we may be playing five games a week.  I don't know anybody that has that kind of pitching staff.  That is a lot of games in a week, but that is what we are dealing with."

          Colonel Crawford (1-1) plays at doubleheader at Plymouth (1-1) on Saturday.  They return to N10 play against Wynford on Monday and Tuesday.

 

Published 4/03/15

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Crawford Blasts Mohawk

 

          Colonel Crawford banged out 10 hits in route to a (13-2) win over Mohawk in their opener in Northern 10 Athletic Conference play on Wednesday afternoon.

          Veteran coach Chuck Huggins says they were able to renew what is an old rivalry with the Lady Warriors.  "I thought we played a good overall game (Wednesday) night.  Mohawk is a very, very formidable opponent with a lot of past success.  There used to be  a lot of darn good Colonel Crawford versus Mohawk softball games in the past.  Whether or not they were in the old North Central Conference and competing with us for league championships or a lot of times we would bump into them in district semi finals or district championship games through the mid-90's to the late 90's.  So, we have seen Mohawk a lot, but not too much during the 2000's as we have kind went our separate ways," said Huggins.

          He says it was a good all around performance for the Lady Eagles on Wednesday as they did some good things on both offense and defense.  "It was a good complete effort.  Just real proud of the kids.  13 runs and that was on 10 hits, those weren't just give me runs, we had to earn those runs.  We hit the ball very, very hard and up and down our lineup," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday evening, "We only gave up two runs and the nice thing is in our first two games we have only had one error in each game and that pleases me a lot too.  It was a good start, but I have always said don't let a good start be mistaken for a good team because we have still yet to prove we are a good team."

          There are 18 league games in the N10 this year and the schedule calls for back to back games if the weather allows.  Huggins says he kind of likes the way they used to do it.  "I am a little bit old school.  I have always liked the old style conference where we play everybody in the conference once time all of the way through and then go back and play a second round.  I just believe that if a team, whether it be us or our opponent, would have somebody injured, their number one pitcher or their number four hitter are dinged up the first time around, they might be back the second time around.  It is what it is, so we live with it," he said.

          So, Mohawk will be in North Robinson on Thursday and Huggins says they better be ready.  "I told the girls when we got off the bus (Wednesday.)  We always talk before they head for their loved ones that if Mohawk has the competitive juices in them like I think they do as their success has helped them in the past they will come at us tooth and nail (Thursday) in North Robinson and we have to be ready to get after it.  We have to make sure we continue to take care of Colonel Crawford and improve our game," he said.

 

Published 4/02/15

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Colonel Crawford Has a lot of Good Young Players

 

          Something very rare happened last year at Colonel Crawford, the Lady Eagles lost more softball games than they won.  Don't look for a repeat this year.

          Coach Chuck Huggins says they have a lot of underclassmen that will play significant roles and they have some experience.  "If this is possible we are a young experienced team.  They only way I can explain that is we have only five kids on the roster that are that are juniors or seniors.  We only have one senior and that is Cassie Sager.  The other 20 are freshmen and sophomores.  So, we are young in that aspect, but we are experienced in the fact that we have our entire infield back this year.  The nice thing about our infield is that three of those are still underclassmen this year.  We have Sager at first and three others that are juniors and sophomores in our infield.  That is what I mean when I say that we are both young and yet experienced," he said.

          Huggins says has been nice to be able to get out on the field and watch the talented young kids he has get better.  "If somebody would have told me back in the beginning of March when the last serious snow hit that was were even going to see our field in March or a little beyond it I would have been amazed.  We have gotten outside and gotten some good things done and we really, really have some team competition going on because we have an extremely good, I won't say great because they haven't accomplished anything yet, but we have extremely good freshman and sophomore classes that are really pushing for some varsity time.  When you get that situation that really, really helps your program.  I am just watching these kids grow and get better.  When you get that situation good things are going to happen," said Huggins.

          The veteran coach is particularly impressed with a young pitcher he now has in his stable.  "Last year we broke a 26-year record of having winning seasons with Colonel Crawford softball and it really meant something to the kids.  We have a couple of pitchers back that have worked on it a little bit.  I am really, really proud to say that we have a freshman young lady that has been working in the circle for a number of years now," he told Swankopnsports.com on Tuesday, "It is my longtime assistant Carl Diebler's granddaughter Sydney Studer.  She is what I call a student of the game.  We call them gym rats in basketball, but I call them field rats.  She has just been on the softball field ever since she was a tiny young girl.  She has grown up with it, it is in her blood.  Her mom is Mandy Diebler, who was one of my very first pitchers that I had back in the early 90's.  She is making a huge, strong challenge to see a lot of action in the pitching circle this year."

 

Published 3/25/15

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Girls' Basketball Players to Showcase Talents

 

          Wednesday night, girls' basketball players of all ages will get an opportunity to show what they can do to fans and college coaches with Shelby Rotary NCO Girls' All-Star Basketball Classic at Shelby High School.

          Kyle Fenner of Colonel Crawford and Eric Mitchell of New London are the coaches in the senior game, which includes two ten player teams.

          Fenner has done this before, so she knows what to expect.  "This will be the second time coaching the all-star game.  I believe in 2000 I coached the all-star game over in Ashland, so this will be my second time," she said.

          She will coach team black, which will include: Anna Hintz of South Central, Deijah Swihart of Clear Fork, Gabby Stephens of Shelby, Shelby Stamm of Bellevue, Ellie Richmond of Wynford, Hannah Adams of Willard, Sydnie Carpenter of Ashland, Mekaila Grose of Mansfield Madison, Ta-Sharra Jeffries of Sandusky and Emily Wagner of Sandusky Perkins.

          A real key to this format is to get everyone into the game with a chance to showcase there skills.  "It's not really hard we will have ten kids and we will probably put them in groups of five and let them play for four or five minutes then we will substitute.  We will approach it that way and let them get up and down the floor and show their skills.  If it's a game at the end we will probably go with the five or six best kids that we feel can win the game for us," said Fenner.

          Some of the players might know where they are going to college, but some may not.  Fenner says this is their chance to impress.  "There are going to be a good portion of college coaches there that night.  They have done a great job of getting college coaches there.  It will a great chance for these kids to show their skills off to not only the area, but also some college coaches that will be there," she said.

          On team white will be Carly Santoro of Bellevue, Valesha Province of Tiffin Columbian, Shelby White of Ashland, Jeryn Reese of Mansfield Senior, Morgan Bailey of Clear Fork, Hunter Feltner of Willard, Alexis Smith of Mansfield Madison, Makayla Cook of Norwalk, Megan Flaherty of Bucyrus and Samantha Reer of Norwalk St. Paul.  The coach of the team will be Eric Mitchell of New London.

          There is also an underclassmen game on Wednesday night, a first due to a change in OHSAA rules and Clear Fork coach Heidi Roush is one the coaches in that game. 

          She was an MVP in an all-star game as a player, but this will be her first as a coach.  "It is my first time coaching anything like this.  There are some stipulations as to who can coach the younger kids.  You couldn't have one of your own players on the team.  I think that is how they kind of stumbled on me.  I'm really looking forward to it.  I think it will be a lot of fun," she told Swankonsports.com.

          Her team members are:  Renee Stimpert of Crestview, Abigail Fogle of Upper Sandusky, Sarah Ogden of Wynford, Gabbi Baldridge of Willard, Ashley Painley of Norwalk St. Paul, Shelby Kin of Carey, Maggie King of Willard, Jisselle Thomas of Norwalk, Paige Leitz of Monroeville and Leah Bouillon of New Riegel.

          She says she will judge playing time by performance during the game.  "With you know you have talented kids, they wouldn't be on the team other wise.  I think for the most part you just go with who is playing well.  Get everyone in there and let them show their skills," said Roush.

          There are only a couple of practices before them game and Roush says the players sort of have to get used to each other.  "There are some larger schools and I know those players and what they are capable of and there are some players that I haven't seen before and I only know their stat lines checking on then throughout the season in the paper.  I think it will be a little bit of a challenge for the kids knowing each other.  Some of them will have played against each other in summer league, some during the season and then there are kids they really don't know each other," said Roush.

          Playing for team black in the underclassmen game are Seina Adachi of Seneca East, Sydney Wentling of Carey, Kamryn Troike of Fostoria St. Wendelin, Payton Shays of New London, Kelci Simms of Bucyrus, Jenna Strayer of Bellevue, Sydney Holderman of Riverdale, Emily Yeager of Mansfield St. Peter's, Jackie Garrett of Shelby and Alexus Burkhart of Colonel Crawford.  They will be coached by Jon Dawson of Willard.

          Roush thinks it is pretty cool that underclassmen get to participate too.  "In this sport most of the time you are going to end with a loss and it can be so disheartening.  Now, these younger kids are going to get a chance to play again this season and pump them up and get them ready for next season," she said.

          There will be a halftime three point shooting contest among girls in district 6.  Some boys will be there for dunk contest as well.

          The underclassmen game starts at 6 PM, with the senior game at about 7:45.  Tickets for the game are $6 for adults, $3 for seniors, and free for 18 and under who donate a gently used or new children's book to the Shelby Rotary's "Big Red Book Shelf."

 

Published 3/23/15

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Big Fourth Quarter Lifts Crawford Over Willard

 

          Colonel Crawford outscored Willard (21-8) in the fourth quarter and beat the Flashes (58-48) in the division three district semi-finals on Thursday night at Ashland University.

          The Eagles (23-1) trailed 44-39 with 6:51 to play in the game after a basket by Willard's Nick Blanchard.  Crawford coach David Sheldon says they didn't get nervous, they got busy.  "I thought we did a good job of never panicking.  They made a run and took it to five in the fourth.  Our philosophy is one possession at a time and we finally strung some stops there in the fourth quarter.  Offensively we got a little more aggressive and attacked the rim and were able to get to the free throw line.  We were able to get the lead and spread the floor the last three minutes of the game," said Sheldon.

          They took their first lead of the fourth with 4:55 left at (45-44) on two free throws by Owen Adams.  The Eagles took the lead for good (49-47) on a lay in by Dylan Gulley with (3:10) to play.

          Crawford was 15-20 at the foul line in the fourth quarter.  "Guys stepped up and made free throws that's what you have to do is get freebees at the free throw line," said Sheldon.

          Willard made only one more field goal after Blanchard's hoop and coach Chris Long says they did every thing well except for shooting it.  "It's tough when the ball doesn't go in the basket.  They came out with some pressure and we handled it,  It got to the point where they were double teaming Connor (Robinson) a little bit and we tried to hit him with some post feeds.  They made shots and were able to get to the free throw line and they knocked down free throws when they got there," he said.

          Again it was balanced scoring for the Eagles as Todd Entenmann and Dylan Gulley both has 18 points and Owen Adams added 14.

          Colonel Crawford, the Northern 10 Athletic Conference champion, #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, has built its success on defense.  Sheldon thought they did a solid job on Carson Ebert, holding the 14 point a game scorer scoreless.  "I thought we did a good job with Derek (Burkhart) and Owen (Adams) on him.  Give credit Connor Robinson had a big game for them.  He is a very nice player.  He is a junior and he is going to be very special next year.  He tried to put them on his back.  We made a little adjustment in the second half and put Owen on him and I thought Owen did a good job and we finally got some help on him too when he put it on the floor.  We knew that was a good basketball team.  They are not here for no reason.  Chris (Long) does a great job over there and it was a battle for 32 minutes," said Sheldon.

          Connor Robinson lead the Flashes and all scorers with 24 points on the night.  Long says they put themselves in position, they just couldn't get the shots to fall.  "When it came to the fourth quarter we just couldn't buy a basket.  Sometimes that is the way the game goes, you just don't want it to happen in the fourth quarter," he told Swankonsports.com after the game, "I thought our kids competed and played hard.  We were never going to be able to put them away, so we just had to maintain and we didn't.  They hit some big threes and that is way the ball bounces in this game.  It happens at every level that teams don't physically put the ball in the basket and I thought that's what happened to us."

          Sheldon says he knew it was going to be a tough game, but he trusted his kids.  "This is the fourth year in a row we are in the district championship, so they know what to expect.  They have seen the guys before them lay the foundation and now they are continuing it.  Plus, we play tough games in the regular season.  We have played in front of big crowds in our league.  You know a lot of people didn't give us respect for the Northern 10 and hopefully we earned that a little bit (Thursday) night with a win against a very good league in the "NOL."  Give our kids a lot of credit they showed some toughness, especially in the fourth quarter," said Sheldon.

          Colonel Crawford plays Pemberville Eastwood for a district title on Saturday night at Ashland University.  Eastwood upset second seeded Huron (50-48) in Thursday's other semi-final.

 

Published 3/13/15

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Colonel Crawford Sees a Mirror

 

          Northern 10 Athletic Conference champion Colonel Crawford locks horns with Willard in the division three district semi-finals at Ashland University on Thursday night.

          The Eagles (22-1), #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, beat back a challenge from Margaretta and beat the Polar Bears (44-32) to win a sectional title last week.  Coach David Sheldon says they played a solid third and fourth quarters.  "We had a very good second half offensively and our dense was solid all night.  It was good to get that first tournament game under way and now we can play in the district tournament come Thursday," he said.

          No matter your level of experience there are bound to be some tournament jitters.  Sheldon hopes those have gone way now.  "Hopefully we have gotten any tournament jitters out of the way.  Hopefully, we will come ready to go on Thursday against a very good Willard basketball team, " he said.

          Willard (12-12) held off Edison (54-42) to win their sectional title.  Sheldon says the Flashes may be .500, but they are still a very good team.  "They are a senior dominated team and they have played great teams all year.  We know they going to be well prepared.  Chris does a great job over there and they are going to be prepared.  When you get into the district tournament it is going to come down to kids making plays.  You know, which team has kids make plays.  We will see how it goes on Thursday," said Sheldon.

          With four guards on the floor Willard handles the ball well.  Sheldon says their starters have a good set and will force them to play solid defense to contain them.  "We are very similar with our match-ups with our guards and ours posts and if you look at our size.  Their guards are good and Ebert and Robinson are both very good players.  They also have the Keaton kid that can really shoot it as well and Blanchard and Cofer and the guys off the bench play great roles as well.  They are a very good match-up we feel for us," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "We just have to continue our defensive presence that we have done for the past 23 games.  Like I said at this time of year it comes down to kids making plays and hopefully we make enough come Thursday night."

          Willard is famous or notorious, depending on your position, for running a lot of set plays.  Sheldon says they must be ready to defend those.  "They run a lot of stuff.  They have a lot of stuff in their offensive package and hopefully we are prepared and ready to go.  You have to talk about how you handle different screening actions with all of the different sets they run.  They also ruin their dribble drive and their Princeton series.  They throw a lot of different things on the table and it is a very deep offensive package that they run.  Defensively they play really good man to man defense.  They will press at times and show some match-up zone as well.  We are looking forward to the opportunity and go over there and see what happens," said Sheldon.

 

Published 3/12/15

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Colonel Crawford Ready to Get Going

 

          Colonel Crawford is the number one seed in the division three district and they play their first tournament game on Friday night against Margaretta at Shelby High School.

          Coach David Sheldon says they established some goals at the beginning of the year and having a long tournament run was certainly one of them.  "This is goal number two.  Goal number one we accomplished in early February with a league championship and now we go out Friday and play for a sectional championship.  Our kids are very excited.  They are excited to continue the tradition we have had and the past success.  They know what it takes from seeing the previous teams before them.  We are playing a very good Maragretta basketball team Friday night.  So, we are looking forward to the opportunity of getting on the floor," he said.

          Margaretta (10-11) beat Crestview (55-48) on Tuesday night in a semi-final game.  They are paced by all-district performer Dylan Bailey.  Sheldon says he can do a lot of things.  "They go with Bailey, he is a special player.  He is a two-time first team all district 6 basketball player and he is very versatile.  He can shoot it, he can put it on the floor, he can post up, he can really do everything.  I think he is a big key for their success," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "The second thing is they do a great job getting out in transition and scoring.  So, we must be able to play transition defense then sit down in the half court and try and defend them.  Defensively they have shown a lot of different looks.  The show multiple presses, they show a match-up zone, they show man to man.  We just have to be ready to react and to the best of our abilities attack offensively and make sure we get a great shot every time down the floor."

          Colonel Crawford (21-1), #2 in the final Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, won the outright title in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference this year.  Sheldon believes the tough schedule they played in the league, especially at the end of the season, will help them in the tournament.  "I loved the way the end of our schedule went with Buckeye, Upper and Carey.  We played three very good basketball teams that are very similar to what we are going to see in the tournament.  Our kids have been through wars, they have been through hostile environments and we have played in front of crowds.  The big thing is we prepare all week and we get ready for the test and the test is Friday night at 6:15," he said.

 

Published 3/06/15

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Crawford Needs to Find it Again

 

          Colonel Crawford went the first 20 games of the season without a loss until they suffered at setback at Upper Sandusky last Friday.  This week, they host an other outstanding team in the Carey Blue Devils in Northern 10 Athletic Conference action.

          Upper downed the Eagles (51-39) last week and coach David Sheldon says it is very important for them to only win, but play well against Carey.  "I think playing well is a big key after losing last Friday to a very good basketball team in Upper Sandusky.  I think we have had a great week of practice with the focus of our guys in sharpening some things offensively and defensively," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "Friday night we get to play a very good team in Carey that is 18-3 with two of the better players in the league when you talk about Jared Wentling and Zack Boes.  It is our seniors last home game.  We have a chance to go undefeated at home on the year.  Even though the title is won outright we are still playing for a lot."

          With the postseason tournament starting next week, Sheldon says that makes this game with Carey doubly important because you want to go into the tournament on an up note.  "You always want to be playing well going into the tournament.  I think we have played well and gotten better throughout the year.  We had a little hiccup last week, but it was a tough game on the road.  We want to come out playing our best basketball Friday night heading into a sectional championship the following Friday night.  I think our guys are excited to get back on the floor after having a week off since last Friday and I think they will come hungry to play, especially for our six seniors and the last time they play in Mac Morrison Gymnasium," said Sheldon.

          Colonel Crawford (20-1,16-1), #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, beat Carey (18-3,14-3) 48-38 the first time they played.  Sheldon says they must control the tempo again.  "They are very good in their transition offense and we have to stop their transition buckets and make them work in the half court to get baskets.  Two of the keys we have to focus on are Wentling and Boes, but I think stopping transition hoops and limiting them to one shot at the offensive end are keys all night long for us to be successful," he said.

          The Eagles shot only 23 percent against Upper Sandusky and Sheldon says they have shoot much better on Friday.  "You can dissect it all you want, but if you don't make shots it is pretty tough to win.  This is a confident group and we have shot a great percentage throughout the year.  Last week, was one night we didn't shoot it well and hopefully we will bounce back on Friday night," he said.

 

Published 2/27/15

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Crawford Wins N10; Ready for More

 

          Colonel Crawford secured an outright Northern 10 Athletic Conference title on Monday night and now they are looking forward to closing the season against two good teams in Upper Sandusky and Carey.

          The Eagles outlasted rival Buckeye Central (44-42) on Monday night to claim the title.  Coach David Sheldon says it was their defense that was the difference.  "It was an electrifying atmosphere here the entire night.  It was probably as loud as I had heard this gym.  It's two great communities when you look at Buckeye and Crawford.  Our kids know their kids.  Me and Phil Loy are great friends and will battle for 32 minutes.  It was a game of runs and we were fortunate to make a run at the end and pull out a victory.  It was a great game for us heading into the tournament in a couple of weeks.  we had to face some adversity," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "Our defense really held us in it and caused some turnovers at the end and allowed us to come away with the victory.  It was a night when we didn't shoot it real well and a lot of credit goes to Buckeye because they played great defense.  We found a way to win and you have to do that in the grind of a long season."

          Unbeaten on the season, the Eagles haven't been challenged much.  Sheldon says he knew Buckeye had that kind of talent.  "Back to the Plymouth game on week two of the season was really the last time that we faced adversity in a game like that because our wins being mostly by double figures.  Give Buckeye credit it was a great to see them back and healthy and 100 percent with Grant Loy and Heydinger playing.  I really think they can make a run in the D4 tournament with the Northern 10 preparation they have had all year with the tough league schedule," he said.

          Crawford (20-0,16-0), #1 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, plays at Upper Sandusky (14-6,12-4) on Friday.  The Rams, #5 in or large school poll, have lost to Wynford (67-59) and Shelby (87-80) in overtime this week.  Sheldon says don't be fooled they are still very good.  "You talk about their two losses, Wynford has been playing exceptionally well the last two weeks and Shelby one of the better teams when you look at the "NOL" and their record.  They are very good team, they have weapons, they have posts, they have guards, they are very athletic.  We had a great battle with them the first time here and we are looking forward to the road test on Friday evening.  I think its great the way we end the season playing Upper and Carey, two of the better teams in our league.  It is a great way to go into the tournament with games just like we had last Monday.  Our goal number two is a sectional championship.  Goal number one was to secure a league championship outright and goal number two is to win a sectional championship on March 6," said Sheldon.

          Colonel Crawford won the first match-up (58-44) and Sheldon says again they are going to be able to slow them down again.  "We were able to contain them in the half court.  They do get out in transition.  They have multiple weapons.  Anyone of those five guys can score double figures.  We have to make sure we sprint back in transition, contain them, and try to get them to set up in the half court," he said.

 

Published 2/19/15

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N10 Titles Awaits Colonel Crawford

 

          Goal number one can be obtained by the Colonel Crawford Eagles this weekend.  If they beat Buckeye Central Saturday night they will win the Northern 10 Athletic Conference title outright.

          The Eagles already have a share, but coach David Sheldon says they don't want anyone else's name on that trophy.  "We accomplished a goal Saturday by winning at least a share of the league championship and now we have a chance to win it out right.  We have a very good basketball team coming to North Robinson on Saturday and from what we are hearing they are healthy, so we will get to see Grant Loy, Wurm and Heydinger and everybody, which is great because we want that.  What is great about these last three games is these are three of the top teams in our league when you look at standings and it is a great way to prepare going into the tournament and our second goal of the year, which will be a sectional championship," said Sheldon.

          With the regular season winding down, Sheldon says they don't want to take their foot off the accelerator.  "You always want to be playing your best basketball at the end of the year.  I think we have gotten better from day one to game 19 now.  The nice thing is there are three single weekends and we are able to get some guys some rest.  We have our legs back after playing a grind of the season for the first two months.  It has been very nice to be able to practice all week and do some things that we haven't been able to do with all of the games early on.  You definitely want to be playing you best basketball at this time of year," he said.

          Wynford beat Buckeye (73-66) on Thursday night and Grant Loy scored 19 points for the Bucks.  He had been out of action in recent games due to a back injury.  Sheldon says he wants to play the Bucks (12-7,10-5) at full strength.  "I think they are a very good basketball team either way.  One thing that Phil's team does is they guard every night.  They play tremendous defense and with Grant in the lineup that definitely gives them another offensive weapon with him and Wurm, but their other guys have stepped up while Grant has been out.  They are playing very good basketball while Grant was out with his injury.  I think it is a team that has gotten better since the beginning of the year," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "As I have said all along they are one of the better division four teams in this area.  We are going to get their best shot on Saturday night with the 602 rivalry.  Everybody is trying to knock us off and it will be a great high school basketball atmosphere again and we are looking forward to the opportunity."

          Colonel Crawford (19-0,15-0), #1 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, is closing in on an unbeaten regular season.  Sheldon knows everyone is out to get them.  "Everybody knows what we have done so far and everybody wants to knock you off.  The target on your back gets bigger and bigger as you get to the end of the regular season.  After the regular season everybody starts 0-0.  We know we are going to get everybody's best shot, we are used to that, we have seen it the last few weeks.  We just have to make sure we take it one possession at a time and know our offensive and defensive responsibilities when it comes to Saturday night," he said.

 

Published 2/13/15

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Crawford Seizes Part of N10 Championship

 

          With a victory (79-39) over Crestline on Saturday night, the unbeaten Colonel Crawford Eagles have earned no less than a share of the first ever Northern 10 Athletic Conference boys' basketball title.

          Plus, coach David Sheldon, with his 139th win at Crawford, becomes the school's all-time most successful coach.

          The Eagles (19-0,15-0) were not picked to win the conference before the year began, Carey was, but Sheldon says his guys have had good chemistry, been unselfish, and play tough defense, night in and night out.  "From day number one, goal number one has been a league championship and to do that the first week of February is pretty impressive in what this group has accomplished.  I have been part of three others here, this is our fourth now.  It is impressive especially since the media, you guys picked us third or fourth in the league and I am proud of our guys," he told Swankonsports.com outside the locker room after the win, "I think I have said all year there is togetherness in that locker room, they don't care who scores they just want to win.  You look at (Saturday) we put four guys in double figures.  I think that kind of epitomizes this league championship.  We guard once again, we hold a team to 39 and we have done that ever night.  Even on nights when you don't shoot it well it allows you to win games, which we have been fortunate enough to do."

          The game was tie at six all, then Crawford when on a (12-2) run to take command, Todd Entenmann and Owen Adams each scored five points during the stretch, to take command.

          They then came out in the second half with a (16-2) run, punctuated by eight points by point guard Dylan Gulley... game, set, match.  "We want to try and get on people early.  Our pressure (Saturday) really helped us.  When you make runs you can sort of extend that lead," said Sheldon.

          Entenmann had 21 on the night, Adams 20, and Gulley added 15.

          The Eagles, #1 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, really get the ball down the floor fast after rebounds or steals.  Sheldon credits Gulley.  "I will put him up as one of the best point guards in the Mansfield area.  His quickness and the way he passes the ball, he leads the league in assists.  Then defensively he leads the league in steals.  When he gets steals we are off to the races.  He can pass left or right handed and other guys are athletes and run the floor and we are able to get scores.  When you can get those transition baskets who can put runs on people and all of the sudden you are up 10, 12 points instead of a two, four point game," he said.

          In terms of the coaching milestone, Sheldon is quick to credit others for the program's success.  "I think there are three things when you think about it.  I have had an unbelievable administration.  Form my superintendent, the guy that hired me, Ted Brunner, to my current superintendent, that I worked with when he was a head coach, Todd Martin, to my principal that has been a head coach, Jake Brunner.  They have allowed me to coach kids, and I am tough on kids sometimes, and our program is like that.  Number two, I would say I have had great players.  They bought into the program nine years ago when we developed and brought the program here.  And lastly my assistant coaches.  They are as big a part of this as anybody.  From coach Hill, who is on my bench, just like a head coach working with me everyday and every night, coach Kaple, coach Bauer, my past assistants, coach Kennedy, and my junior high and elementary.  You think about the guys that have been here like Dave Froelich, a future hall of famer, Steve Mohr, a hall of famer, Steve Gray, a hall of famer.  Those are three pretty good coaches that have walked the halls of the Colonel Crawford," said Sheldon.

 

Published 2/07/15

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Crawford Can Get a Share of N10 Title

 

          Unbeaten Colonel Crawford can claim no less than a share of the Northern 10 Athletic Conference title this weekend with wins over Ridgedale and Crestline.

          Colonel Crawford (17-0,13-0), #1 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, owns a three game lead in the N10 standings.

          Coach David Sheldon says they have been very focused and unselfish this year.  "It has been a very humble group and the thing that I have been impressed with is they have taken one game at a time.  Even after wins it is not like it is a party or they are jumping for joy in the locker room.  They move onto the next one.  They have never looked ahead and they have taken one game at a time.  That has been our philosophy.  We haven't really looked at the rankings or the notoriety we just talk about who is next up.  This week the next one in line is Ridgedale on the road.  It is a very unselfish group.  They are playing for each other instead of themselves, which is pretty neat," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "When you look at last week Dylan Burkhart, our sixth man, leads us in scoring on Wednesday night and then on Saturday night at Bucyrus Nick Kemper, our post player leads us in scoring.  We have had six different guys lead us in scoring this year.  I think the closeness of this group has really helped because we have faced adversity throughout games.  When we got down, or off to rough starts, or down in the second half they have always been able to overcome.  There are still a lot games ahead and we are still chasing that number one goal and then we will get to number two and so on."

          In terms of the league title, Sheldon says that is something they want very badly and they really don't want to share it with anyone either.  "It would be impressive.  I look back at the other three league championships we have had over the years here in my nine years, this would be number four if we could do that.  To do that on the first weekend of February would be very impressive with three weeks still to go.  We have to make sure we come out ready to go against Ridgedale before we even think about that league championship.  When you are up three game you really don't want to share that league title either.  I think that is one of the things that we are starting to talk about we have to keep going one game at a time and not have any hiccups anywhere because we want to keep that first N10 championship to ourselves if we have that opportunity," said Sheldon.

          Ridgedale (6-10,4-9) will be at home for Crawford this Friday.  Sheldon says the Rockets can be tough to handle at home.  "Their first five are very solid.  They have played everybody close at home.  When they have played at home, when you look at the top teams in our league, they have played everybody close.  Every gym we walk into right now there is a bull's eye on our back.  Bucyrus had there biggest crowd last Saturday in probably 10 years their athletic director told me.  So, we are going to get everybody's best shot because of the success we have had.  That is why we have to stay together and take one possession at a time," he said.

 

Published 2/06/15

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N10 Battle Set for Wednesday Night

 

          The top two teams in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference lock horns on Wednesday night as league leader Colonel Crawford plays host to second place Upper Sandusky in North Robinson.

          Crawford (15-0,11-0), #1 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, is unbeaten though 15 games and they routed both Wynford (70-39) on Friday and Seneca East (88-42) on Saturday.  Coach David Sheldon says they just continue to do a lot of good things.  "We went on the road Friday night to Wynford and came out an got a nice win.  I thought we shared the ball well as a basketball team.  Once again we defended well both nights.  Saturday night we played really well in the first quarter, got the game in hand, and were able to play a lot of kids on Saturday night, which was nice at this time of year to save some legs for those guys that play a lot of minutes throughout a 22 game season.  Anytime you can get Friday, Saturday league wins as we are still trying to go after that number one goal that we set out since day one of competing for a league championship," he said.

          Upper Sandusky (10-3,9-2) is in second place in the conference and they need a win badly to avoid falling three games behind Crawford.  Sheldon says the Rams are going to come out with fire in the eyes.  "First of all they are very well coached.  It is a team that has post and guard play.  They are very balanced when you look at the weapons that they have.  We know it is going to be a big game.  They are only two games back of us, so this is big game for them and we still have to go to their place.  Five of our last seven games are against teams that have 10 or more wins, so we have a tough stretch coming up as we wind down league play here the last month of the season," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "The good thing is we control our own destiny and I think anytime you get into the second half of the season and you control your own destiny that's where you ant to be as a basketball program.  I know our kids are excited, this is a game that got snowed out early in the year.  It will be a great atmosphere here Wednesday.  Upper's community will come over here and we are the only game in the area.  Our kids have done a good job of going one game at a time."

          A win over Upper puts the Eagles in command of the league standings with a three game lead with six games to play.  To get it Sheldon says they must continue to play unselfish basketball and do good job defensively on all five Upper players and rebound.  "One thing for sure is we have to keep controlling the boards.  We have done a good job of controlling the glass and they have several kids they do a good job driving the ball and they have several shooters as well.  So, with out defensive game plan we have to be able to control their scorers because they are able to score in multiple ways.  Offensively I think we have to keep sharing the basketball and taking what the defense gives us.  We have seen a lot of different defenses as we have gone into the second half.  We try to work on everything we could see in practice and our kids have done a good job of recognizing.  We have to be sharing the basketball, like we have been, in order to be successful at the offensive end," said Sheldon.

 

Published 1/28/15

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Crawford has to Start Doing the Little Things

          Colonel Crawford is one of a number of pretty good girls' basketball teams in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference and now they would sort of like to break out of the pack a little bit.

          The Lady Eagles (8-7,6-6) hosts Bucyrus (8-8,6-6) in an N10 game on Tuesday night.

          Crawford has lost its last two games to Wynford (32-26) and Seneca East (55-36) and coach Kyle Fenner says they need to be better at the little things.  "We have played really well, but we have had a couple of weeks here where we have played some really good teams.  We continue to battle we just have to make some smart decisions, some good decisions, and we have kind of let that in situations compound a little bit.  We have had a couple of good practices and hopefully Tuesday we get back on the right track here," said Fenner.

          They are certainly a much better team than they were last year and Fenner says they can't be discouraged when they don't win.  She says they have to keeping pressing forward.  "We have played the top teams in our league in Wynford and Upper Sandusky and Carey and we took some lumps, but we also thought we did some things good," she told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "We just have to build on that and we can't get too discouraged.  You have to stay even keel, you can't get to high and you can't get too low because it is a long season."

          There are four teams between six and nine league wins this year.  Fenner says outside of league leader Carey there has been a lot of trading of punches.  "It's been kind of crazy.  Carey I think has a three game lead, but everybody else kind of even with each other and if you take a look at the standings that is what has happened.  We have beaten up on each other, so you have to be ready when you step on the floor," she said.

          Colonel Crawford beat Bucyrus (49-46) in their first meeting this year in December.  Fenner says to do it again they have to at least contain Lady Redmen center Kelci Simms.  "They are led by Kelci Simms, their big tall center.  She is great player and she will be a challenge for us on the block.  We will have to guard from the inside out and we will have to do a great job of boxing out in trying to keep their bigs off the glass," she said.

 

Published 1/27/15

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Colonel Crawford Ready For Challenge

 

          Colonel Crawford is unbeaten and the leader of the Northern 10 Athletic Conference by a game over Upper Sandusky.

          It is two more conference games as part of the N10's 18 game league schedule this week with a visit to rival Wynford on Friday and a home game against Seneca East on Saturday.

          Last Saturday, Crawford hammered Mohawk (71-34) to maintain that lead over Upper.  Eagles coach David Sheldon has been impressed by the consistency he has seen from his team.  "I think this team has done a good job of taking one game at a time.  We have seen some adversity throughout the year.  They have responded well to that and have bounced back through the course of a 32 minute game.  We have been fortunate enough to take care of business, but there is a lot of basketball to be played and there are going to be some very good teams that we are going to play as we finish up the months of January and February," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "I have been happy with the consistency night in and night out from this group so far.  I think part of that is the togetherness of this team.  It is a big team effort and when you get kids to buy into that makes a big difference night in and night out."

          By winning their first 13 games of the season Sheldon knows that his Eagles have become everybody's super bowl.  "We are going to get everybody's best shot.  We talked to our kids about we are going to get everybody's best shot every time out when you have had the success that we have had early on and the tradition of success we have had since '09.  These kids are used to playing with that on their chest.  I think with some of the success we have had and the notoriety that we have gotten.  We are going to get everybody's best shot and it doesn't matter what they did against another team," he said.

          Colonel Crawford (13-0,9-0), #1 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball poll in the small school division, plays at Wynford (6-5,5-4) on Friday night.  The Eagles won going away (73-44) in the first meeting, but Sheldon says Wynford is improved.  "It is a totally different basketball team than it was in the beginning with them just coming out of football and buying into a new program with a new coach.  I think the kids are understanding what coach Delaney wants now.  They are a team that shoots the ball very well.  They get out in transition.  They are a very good team when they get out in transition and line up along the three point line.  They have some good athletes.  They are a very good basketball team.  They have been very successful at home so far this year.  The good thing is our kids have played in tough environments all year.  We have had some tough road games throughout the first 13 games.  We know that Wynford is going to be excited to play us.  We are looking forward to opportunity to go over to the "House of Thrills" come Friday night," said Sheldon.

 

Published 1/23/15

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Crawford Taking Them One Game at a Time

 

          Colonel Crawford has had an excellent start to the season and it has put them in sole possession of first place in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference boy's basketball standings.

          They play at New Riegel in a non-league game on Thursday and then host Mohawk in an N-10 game on Saturday night.

          Crawford was able to beat one of the other big contenders for the league title when they won at Carey (48-38) last Saturday.  Coach David Sheldon says they put a nice effort on the floor.  "It was a very good team effort by our group of young men.  It go on the road to hostile environment at Carey against a very talented basketball team with great athletes and basketball players.  It was just a team effort on the offensive end and the defensive end.  It was a great atmosphere of high school basketball.  Anytime you go on the road and get a league win that is a big win.  We enjoyed it Saturday night and now we are moving on to another tough week of basketball as we go through the grind of a 22 game regular season," said Sheldon.

          Carey is as team that has really lit up the scoreboard this year and Sheldon says they were able to slow down the Blue Devils.  "I thought we did a very good job of controlling tempo.  Carey was a team that was averaging 78 points a game and like to get up and down and turn it into a track meet.  We like to get out and go too, but we did a great job of recognizing when transition was there and when it wasn't and get into our half court offense and withstand their transition game and set up our half court defense, which has been the trademark of this team all year being able to guard in the half court," he said.

          New Riegel (4-5) is not enjoying the kind of success they have had in recent years, but Sheldon says they are still a solid team.  "They have a 6'5" kid inside that is a very nice player.  Carey only beat them by seven earlier in the year.  It's a week night on the road game after having two big win in the league the last two weeks with Buckeye and Carey.  We have make sure we come out and play," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "We look at this as our last non-league game.  Our number one goal is to compete for a league championship and number two is to get into the tournament trail these non-conference game are important when you are trying to get a high seed in the tournament, so it is big from that standpoint.  New Riegel has a strong basketball tradition and going on the road this is going to be a good test for this team to see where this basketball team is as we go on the road this Thursday."

          The Eagles (11-0,8-0), #1 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, hammered Mohawk (66-26) the first time they played, but Sheldon says he knows the Warriors will make adjustments.  "The one thing about playing 18 league games is you have to prepare for adjustments.  Mohawk doesn't have the great record that they would like to have, but when you are on top of the league like we are right now it is a Super Bowl every night for those teams.  We can make their season.  One thing this team has doe a good job with is we don't talk about who we are playing in games.  That will be league game number nine of an 18 game league schedule," he said.

 

Published 1/14/15

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Crawford to Face the Two Second Place Teams

 

          Colonel Crawford has met all challenges so far, but this may be their toughest weekend of the season as the N10 leaders play the two second place teams back to back in Upper Sandusky on Friday and Carey on Saturday.

          They beat another pretty good team in Buckeye Central (48-38) on the road last Saturday and coach David Sheldon says they continue to play well on both ends of the floor.  "It was a good win last Saturday at Buckeye they are a very talented team.  When you look at division four teams in the area they are one of the better ones.  We went over there and got a good win on the road too.  I was very happy.  Our defensive effort was very good to be able to hold two of the better players in the area in Wurm and Loy down a little bit from their scoring averages.  Offensively we shared the basketball and just made big shots.  It was a good way to start the new year.  Our break was tough over two weeks we played six games, so that was a grind.  I though our kids focus from one game to the next was very good," said Sheldon.

          They played a combination defense against Buckeye Central and Sheldon says they can do a lot of different things to slow the opponent down a little bit.  "These kids have been able to adjust.  We are a team that adjusts defensively depending on who we play.  This team has really bought in from one game plan to the next.  When people score on us these are guys that get upset and you don't get that too often.  Very good basketball teams need to have that mentality and this team has done that night in and night out so far," he said.

          The Eagles (10-0,7-0), #1 in SwankonSports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, play at home against Upper (7-2,6-1) on Friday night.  Sheldon says the Rams can score form anywhere on the floor.  "They have post play and guard play.  They are a very balanced team.  They are a team you have to guard from one through five.  They are very disciplined.  It is going to be a tough task again, but we look forward to the opportunity," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "We have had several tough tasks over the first ten games, so this is not like the first tough task we have had when you look at our schedule and the teams we have played.  It will be a great atmosphere again for high school basketball.  It's an 18 game league schedule and this is game eight."

          Carey (9-1.6-1), #4 in our poll, was the preseason choice and their only loss comes to Buckeye Central (56-53) a couple of weeks ago.  Sheldon says they are very athletic.  "They are three of the premier players in our league when you talk about Wentling, Powers and Boes.  They are kids that have been through the ringer of varsity basketball over the years..  And we get to go on the road to their place.  I have told our guys we have played we have played Friday, Saturday, Tuesday, we have played Monday, Tuesday, Friday.  These are high school kids and I guess sometimes people build up the back to back too much they just come back and are ready for Saturday.  They are good, the media picked them, Upper and Buckeye toward the top.  We know going in this could be a tough double weekend, but our kids have embraced challenges every time we step on the floor, so hopefully we come to play this weekend,' said Sheldon.

 

Published 1/09/15

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Crawford Trying to Build on Momentum

 

          Colonel Crawford stands in a share of second place in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference girls' basketball standings, just a game behind first place Carey.

          They play up State Route 602 at rival Buckeye Central (3-5,2-4) on Tuesday night in a conference game.

          They are coming off a (70-10) destruction of young Crestline on Saturday.  Coach Kyle Fenner says their hard work in the off season is paying off.  "We have gotten off to a really good start.  We feel like our kids have worked hard over the summer and have had a good start to the season and hopefully we can keep that rolling," she said.

          The win over Crestline was their only game since before Christmas and Fenner, and her players, can't wait to get back on the floor.  "It is kind of tricky because we have only played only one time I think in the last 10 days.  The kids are getting tiered of practicing with each other and quite frankly I am getting tiered of practicing too.  You try to take some time off and you try to stay sharp.  We are kind of just excited to get a chance to play (Tuesday) night," said Fenner.

          Their only loss in the league came by one point to Wynford (48-47) on December 12.

          Buckeye Central is coming off a (60-48) loss to Bucyrus on Saturday.  Fenner says they are a team that likes to pick up the pace of play.  "They like the up tempo game.  They are kind of guard oriented.  They have a real good freshmen point guard in Jenna Karl.  She shoots it well and she can put it on the floor and get to the basket too, so that is going to be a tough task for us," she told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "They are kind of athletic.  They have three or four other guards, their posts are athletic, and they go nine or 10 deep.  We are going to have to control them (Tuesday) night.  We are going to have to handle their pressure."

 

Published 1/06/15

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Entenmann, Crawford Torch Ridgedale

 

          Todd Entenmann scored 37 points, 30 in the first half, and Colonel Crawford maintained first place to themselves in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference with (71-42) win over Ridgedale on Monday night.

          Behind Entenmann's heroics Crawford was able to build a (41-22) advantage at the half and coach David Sheldon says that fast start was critical.  "Ridgedale has played some teams in this conference tough.  We were fortunate to get off to a great start.  We were up 20 at the half and we were able to get it up to 30 in the third quarter.  I thought our kids really came to play.  Todd Entenmann had a great game, in the first half he had 30 points and our guys did a great job of finding him," he told Swankonsports.com after the win, "In the second half they tried to come out and take him away and we scored 21 points in the third quarter and I would say 16 of the 21 other guys stepped up.  It's just another big league game when you play 18 league games this year."

          Entenmann has eight threes in the first half.  Sheldon says he did a good job of reacting to a change in focus from Ridgedale's defense in the second half.  "I was really happy with the third quarter because we spread the wealth.  With the motion offense you can get a good shot and Todd did a good job of not forcing it and other guys did a good job of stepping up in the third quarter.  I have said all year if you can put three or four guys in double figures it makes you tough to guard and we did that in the third after Todd had the big first half," he said.

          Crawford (8-0,5-0), #1 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, plays at Crestline (0-7,0-5) and new coach Colby Bright on Tuesday night.  Sheldon says the Bulldogs has a very good player in Nate Coffman.  "Colby is doing a great job.  He is developing a program and they have stuck to what they are doing for the first time in a long time.  The Coffman kid is averaging a double double.  He is averaging 16 points and 11 rebounds.  He is definitely the key.  We are coming off a back to back and they didn't play (Monday) night.  We told our kids that it is like a Friday-Saturday.  We have done a good job of not taking anyone lightly thus far and the most in important game is at Crestline on Tuesday night.  We will be back in the morning going over scouting, watching film, and preparing for Tuesday night," said Sheldon.

          It's three N10 games this week for the Eagles as they play Buckeye Central on Saturday, but Sheldon says their schedule slows down after that.  "These kids like to play.  They get after it in practice.  By the end of Saturday we are going to have 10 games out of the way.  We only have 12 games in the months of January and February.  I like to do that because it gives us some nice rest for the rest of the season .  We have played a lot of games early are our kids have responded well to that," he said.

 

Published 12/29/14

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Unbeaten Teams Highlight Tuesday Schedule

 

          Colonel Crawford and Bucyrus match undefeated records in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game in North Robinson on Tuesday night.

          Crawford (6-0,3-0), #1 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, beat Wynford (73-44) on Friday and Seneca East (74-49) on Saturday in league games.

          They played well at both ends according to coach David Sheldon.  "We had a good weekend when you look at the two wins I was happy with our performance.  I think the thing that I was most happy with was we are spreading the wealth.  Friday night we had three guys in double figures and Saturday night we come back and put four guys into double figures," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "So, offensively we really had a good weekend and our defense stayed where it has been.  Offensively we are starting to show we have multiple weapons not just one or two.  I have always said the more guys you have that can put the ball in the hoop you are going to have a chance to win on a nightly basis."

          With the kind of balance they have on the floor, Sheldon says it's unlikely they are going to have a an off night.  "When teams are trying to take one guy away and then other guys step up and score and that is what we have the luxury of doing.  When you do that kids have a confidence in that.  It just makes you harder to guard," he said.

          Still the Eagles are best at the defensive end.  Sheldon says they are really making it difficult for other teams to score.  "I was really happy defensively going into the weekend Wynford was averaging 70, 80 points to hold them to 44, and then the next night Seneca East to 49, our defense has been consistent all year and I think that is key to be successful on a nightly basis too," he said.

          Bucyrus (5-0,3-0) beat Seneca East (53-52) in overtime last Friday to remain unbeaten.  Sheldon says they have experienced players that know how to play in big moments.  "You always have to protect your home court in those conference races.  They come to our place they are 5-0, they are undefeated.  To their credit they have won a lot of close games and that is a good thing.  They have been in close games and they have won a lot.  They have four lettermen that are back that played a lot last year for them.  It's a rival game just like last Friday with Wynford and us.  It's one day preparation on Monday and then you play Tuesday.  We are looking forward to it and then take a couple of days off for the holiday," said Sheldon.

          Bucyrus beat Crawford at their place last season and Sheldon says they remember that.  "It is definitely going to be a challenge.  That is one thing they did get us last year and our goal every year is to compete for a league championship and you have to protect home court.  Hopefully we can do that Tuesday, but this is a team that has been playing well and they are undefeated and that says something about them," he said.

 

Published 12/23/14

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Eagles Flying High

 

          So far, the Colonel Crawford Eagles have played about as well as they could have dreamed over the first four games of the season with a win in the conference opener against Mohawk and quality non-conference wins against Mansfield Christian and Plymouth.

          The Eagles (4-0,1-0), #1 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball poll in the small school division, hammered Mohawk (66-26) last Saturday in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game.  Coach David Sheldon says they were ready to go right away.  "We came out and played well right from the start.  As a coach I was a little nervous because coming off a nice road win Tuesday at Plymouth, how are we going to respond?  I was very proud of the focus of our kids.  We came out and got off to a great start.  At halftime I think it was 41-10 and that is what we needed to do.  We were fortunate to get off to a good start and be able to ride it all of the way out to get our first league win on the road Saturday night at Mohawk," he said.

          Crawford has been pretty efficient on offense, but Sheldon says its defense where they have really been their calling card.  "This team has been lock down defensively.  They really have bought into that end of the court.  We are giving up like 35 points a game through four games.  We have taken pride in it.  That is one thing we have gotten better at since we began preseason in early November to now.  That is one thing that I have always told them that there are nights when you aren't going to shoot it well and you are going to have to be able to guard night in and night out because that is one thing you are going to be able to control," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "I have been happy with our defensive effort.  We have went against some good post players.   We have went against some good guards.  Overall we have been able to keep things in tack and play good, sound, fundamental defense.  At times we press as well and that creates some offense for us in transition.  That is probably the thing I have been most proud of so far, our defensive effort."

          Wynford (2-0,1-0) comes to North Robinson on Friday night for a game with the rival Eagles.  Wynford downed Riverdale (73-67) in their first game and they outscored Ridgedale (94-87) in double overtime in their N10 game.  Sheldon says the Royals, and the way they play, will be difficult for them.  "They are leading our league in scoring.  They have played two games and they have put 73 and 94.  They have a lot of weapons, a lot of kids that can shoot the basketball and they also have some post players around them.  They play at a fast pace and there are a lot of guys that they throw in there.  You have to play great transition defense.  You have to get back and stop their transition hoops.  I think that will be a big key come Friday night because of the way they run the floor.  They have great shooters as well.  They have been shooting the ball really well early in the year.  It will be a challenge when they come to our place Friday with their pace of the game.  This will be a good challenge to see where we are at," said Sheldon.

 

Published 12/18/14

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Crawford Doing the Job

 

          It looks like it might be pretty good race in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference this season and Colonel Crawford just might be part of it.

          The Lady Eagles (3-2,1-1) are just one basket from being unbeaten in the league after losing last Friday to the rival Wynford (48-47) in North Robinson.

          Coach Kyle Fenner says her team has been doing some good things.  "We have got off to a good start.  We had a tough game Friday night against Wynford.  The kids played hard, we just couldn't make some plays down the stretch.  Wynford made some plays and hit some shots.  We will have to learn from it and go on," said Fenner.

          This is Fenner's second year, in her second stint, as the Colonel Crawford coach, and she says they have come a long way in just over a year.  "We are a lot better team.  Obviously, we are year older, and everybody is back from last year.  We have had a good summer and the kids have worked hard.  We have to keep working hard and if we can keep doing that good things are going to happen," he said.

          Carey is probably the favorite to win the conference title, but Fenner says there are going to be a lot of games up for grabs.  "I think our league is very balanced this year and I think that is one thing that we have talked to our kids about in these league games you better step on the floor and be ready to go.  Our league last year graduated a lot of very good seniors, so it is very balanced and you have to be ready to go every time you step on the floor," said Fenner.

          The Lady Eagles will be at Seneca East (2-0,2-0) for an N10 game on Tuesday night.  Fenner says they have a super scorer in Seina Adachi and they are going to have to make her work hard to score against them.  "Seneca East, you know, they play extremely hard.  They are led by Seina Adachi, who is a great, great point guard for them," she told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "She leads our conference in scoring.  We have to make her work for everything that she gets.  We are not going to keep her from scoring we just need to control her a little bit and make her work.  She has some kids around her that pretty good too, so it we a good game (Tuesday) night.

 

Published 12/16/14

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Great Early Season Match up with Crawford and Plymouth

 

          Two of the better small school basketball teams in the area clash on Tuesday night as Colonel Crawford is at Plymouth for a non-conference game.

          Colonel Crawford looked excellent in wins over the weekend against Northmor (74-35) on Friday and Mansfield Christian (54-38) on Saturday.

          Coach David Sheldon says they played some pretty good defense against a Flames team that can really play.  "We were really happy with the way we came back Saturday on a double weekend.  Mansfield Christian is going to win a lot games.  They are a defending league champ and they have everybody back.  They won by 13 the night before over Crestview.  I was very proud of our kids effort on the first back to back week.  I think the thing that stood out is the second half we guarded.  We only gave up 10 points the second half.  On night number we gave up 35 and on the second night to give up 38 points our defensive effort was tremendous.  It was a good win.  They are very good basketball team coached by John Kurtz and it was a very physical basketball game.  We knew Saturday-Tuesday were going to be very tough on us with two defending league champions in Mansfield Christian and Plymouth, a defending league champ that won 20 some games last year," said Sheldon.

          Crawford (2-0) and Plymouth have a history having met twice in the district tournament in the last three years, Crawford won both of those, but the Big Red beat them in a regular season game last year (65-59) at Plymouth.

          Sheldon says hey the pressure is on the Big Red because this is supposed to be their year.  "This is the same team that we played when they were freshmen and sophomores when we were fortunate enough to win district championships and get to the regional and they are all now seniors.  They are really talented.  They have some special players, two 1,000 point scorers, they also have shooters surrounding them, so it is a very good basketball team.  We are looking forward to this," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "The pressure is on them they are the ones that should be running the table and going undefeated with everything they have got back.  I told the guys we are looking forward to the opportunity of going over there this is like a district tournament atmosphere and that's what you want in a non-league game.  I know our guys will come out and give their best effort.  Like Dickie "V" says we don't want cupcakes we want the top of the line teams.  It is a great way to go into league play on Saturday playing against a very good Plymouth basketball team."

          Tyrell Edmiston, a post player, and Tyson Beebe, a guard, are both 1,000 points scorers.  Sheldon says Plymouth shoots it very well, but when they miss they the Eagles have to get the rebound.  "It starts with Tyrell, but the thing about Tyrell is he is such a good passer too, so you have to be able to find other people because it's not like have guys that can't shoot, they put shooters all around him.  You have to be able to defend Tyrell inside, but also match up with their shooters outside.  The other thing we have to do is keep them from getting second shots.  We have to keep them off the offensive glass so they can't turn it into a volleyball game tipping it all around.  We have to box out and put bodies on people on every possession," said Sheldon.

 

Published 12/09/14

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Colonel Crawford Looks at Tough Start

 

          Colonel Crawford is a young team this year and they are going to find out how good they are very quickly as they play three games in the first five days of the season.

          They play Northmor on Friday, Mansfield Christian on Saturday and Plymouth on Tuesday.

          They only have two players back that played much varsity basketball last year, but coach David Sheldon has been pretty impressed with the progress they have shown this year.  "It has been a very good preseason and we have really grown over these four weeks.  We have gotten better every scrimmage.  That is the kind of growth you want to see in the preseason, especially with only two returning varsity players.  These guys that were on our JV team last year have stepped up and gotten better.  I am pleased with that.  I think they are ready to tip it off for real on Friday night.  It is always interesting to see how in game one when they turn the lights on how it goes.  I have a lot of confidence in this group and how they have gotten better over the preseason.  I think they are excited to get going and we have a bear of a schedule to start off with Friday, Saturday and Tuesday," said Sheldon.

          To be a successful team everybody has to know what they need to do and Sheldon says his players understand their roles.  "We talk about one possession at a time everyday in the program.  The most important possession right now is the first one on Friday night against Northmor.  I think the one thing this team has done over the last three, four weeks, they have bought into roles.  We have always defined roles in this program.  We set down and tell them for us to be successful this is what we need you to do as a part of this team.  This group has really done that during the preseason," he said.

          Northmor, of the blue division of the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference, comes to North Robinson on Friday night for a non-conference game.  Sheldon says the Golden Knights are young team with a very good player.  "They always play with a lot of energy and emotion.  They have a Donner boy back.  He is 6'5" and he can play it all.  He can play the point, the wing, the post and he is a really nice player.  A matter of fact he got 30 against us last year over at their place.  They are going to surround him with guys that are stepping on the varsity floor for the first time.  They even have a couple of freshmen that are really nice players playing for them.  They are sort of in the same situation as us with us only having two guys back and them having one.  Donner is a special player.  He will be one of the better players in the area.  It will be a challenge with him and it will be interesting to see with two new squads basically who steps up on Friday night," he said.

          Mansfield Christian is expecting to be very good this year and Sheldon knows they will be a big test for them.  "They won the Mid-Buckeye Conference.  They have four guys back that are very talented.  The Smith boy is back from an injury.  The Mount boy, the Brown boy, and the Cross kid have all played.  Last year, down there we win by two.  We had a dogfight down there.  They were ahead most of the third and fourth quarters and we had to come back to win.  This will be a great test for this young basketball team of mine to see where we are at and that's what we want," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "We challenge early on with some tough non-league game Friday with the Mid-Buckeye Conference champion that has everybody back Saturday and we turn around Tuesday and play Plymouth, the Firelands Conference champion, that has everybody back.  We are at a point where we want to challenge ourselves before we get into league play.  With Mansfield Christian John Kurtz does a great job.  They are going to play man to man defense, they are going to get up in you.  They are going to run their motion offense, they are patient, they do a very good job of being unselfish and you have to a great job of maintaining defensive patience versus a John Kurtz team anytime you play them."

 

Published 12/04/14

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Lady Eagles Maturing

 

          Colonel Crawford struggled for much of last year in Kyle Fenner's return to the bench, but this year they are starting to make some more significant strides forward.

          Fenner says they played pretty well for two quarters in a lost to Marion Pleasant (52-36) last Friday and then were able to put in all together in a (61-29) triumph over Northmor last Saturday.  "We came out Friday night and played a really good first half.  We executed and did things that we wanted to do, but for some reason didn't do those things in the third quarter.  We kind of let Marion Pleasant have their way with us.  On Saturday night, we went down to Northmor and had a really good effort.  So, had a pretty opening weekend," said Fenner.

          With some more experience this season Fenner says they don't have the same sort of peaks and valleys that they did a year ago.  "We have the majority of the people back from last year.  After struggling last year, we are more consistent and that starts in practice and we are having better practices this year and we are being more consistent.  We have three seniors Cassie Sager, Katie Siegel, and Kristen Teglovic, who are doing a much, much better job this year and we need that," she said.

          The Lady Eagles (1-1) will be favored when they play at Plymouth (0-1) in a non-conference game on Thursday night.  However, Fenner says they can not take a win for granted.  "It is on the road and they have two really good guards who are very capable.  They are both seniors are very capable of shooting it and getting to the basket.  We need to be ready because if we're not they will get us in foul trouble," she said.

 

Published 12/04/14

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Crawford will Field Inexperienced Team

 

          Colonel Crawford has had as much success as any small school boys' basketball program in the area over the last several years, but this year they are going to be a lot younger than they have been.

          They were (18-7) last year, finished as runners-up in the North Central Conference behind Buckeye Central, and lost to Huron in the division three district final.  That being said, coach David Sheldon says they are don't have many guys back with varsity experience.  "Expectations are always high in this program.  The guys before this group have set a tradition with the success they have had the last three years with two regional appearances and a district runner-up.  There are high expectations every time we step on the floor.  We only have two returning lettermen back.  We only have two guys that have played varsity basketball and I have always said that it is a big jump from JV to varsity with the speed of the game.  We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores playing varsity basketball in this day and age.  So, we have a lot of unanswered questions going into this season with this group," said Sheldon.

          With not as much scoring punch this year, Sheldon says they are going to have to be good defenders and rebounders to win games.  "I think we need work on the defensive end and we need to be able to rebound the basketball.  We are not blessed with enormous size and we have top make sure we rebound the basketball on the defensive end and that is going to be a key for us being successful is not giving other teams second shots," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "On the offensive end we have two lettermen back in Todd Entenmann and Dylan Gulley and we have to see how that develops it is a little early to determine that now.  There are just a lot of question marks with basically a new team taking the floor at the varsity level."

          It is a new era for Crawford with the formation of the Northern 10 Athletic Conference form elements of the "NCC" and Midland Athletic League.  Sheldon says it will be a tough grind week after week.  "It is going to be a bear.  Carey is loaded, Upper is loaded, Buckeye is loaded, Bucyrus has four starters back, Wynford has four or five lettermen back, Ridgedale was young last year.  Crestline has had good teams down through and I think they have a great coach in Colby Bright.  It is going to be a tough league playing a double round robin with 18 games it is going to be bear every night.  When you look at the top three you look at Carey, Upper and Buckeye, but Bucyrus and Wynford have a lot of kids back.  So, it is going to be a very tough basketball league," said Sheldon.

 

Published 11/18/14

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Crawford Still Has a Chance

 

          Colonel Crawford stands in 13th place in division six, region 20 of the computer standings, but they still have a chance to make the top eight and qualify for the post season for the third straight year.

          The first thing that has to happen in they must beat Carey, a team that is 10th in the same region, in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game on Friday night.

          One the reasons Colonel Crawford (7-2,5-2) is not higher in the rankings is their non-conference wins are over teams, Fostoria St. Wendelin (1-8) and Mt. Gilead (3-6), that haven't won many games.  Last week, they buried the St. Wendelin Mohawks (72-10), but they didn't get many points for the win.

          Coach Ryan Teglovic says they were able to get some young players some quality time.  "It's nice because you can get your guys some reps and get them out and get some young guys in.  We were able to play our young guys throughout the second half, our JV guys and our freshmen guys, and they got a lot of good reps and that helps.  Now we need a good week of practice and play well on Friday night," he said.

          Carey (8-1,6-1) has lost only one game this year and that was by one point (14-13) to "N10" leader Wynford.  Teglovic says their offense is scary good.  "They are a good football team, they are an 8-1 football team.  They have 21 seniors on their team.  They have two backs in the backfield that they get the ball two and our dangerous.  Their quarterback has thrown for over 1,000 yards already as well, so it's not like they can't throw the football.  They are good up front.  They have good speed and good athleticism.  They haven no young kids that you can just hone in on.  They are good and very balanced," said Teglovic.

          Crawford has a solid team too and Teglovic says he told the players to just do the things they are asked to do.  He says sometimes players try to do too much.  "We talked to our guys (Monday) night about just doing their job.  I think a lot of times in our society that people look at and try to control things that are out of their control," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "If they could learn to control things that they can control and do their job and do those jobs to the best of their ability every play then they will have some opportunities.  You can't turn the ball over, we have to have ball security.  You have to play with good speed.  Your have to be solid in all three phases of the game.  Just do your job as well as you can do it.  Then you just let things fall where they may."

 

Published 10/29/14

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At Crawford it is Just Win Baby

 

          Colonel Crawford remains 12th in its division six computer region and top eight make the playoffs, so they have to find their way to eighth place in order to make to the post season for the third straight year.

          One of teams in front of them is Carey and they play them on week 10.

          Running back Dalton Scott ran for three scores in the second half as the Eagles rallied to beat Buckeye Central (39-30) in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game on Friday night.  After giving up two first quarter scores to the Bucks, coach Ryan Teglovic says they found something in the second half.  "It was a good win for us on the road.  Buckeye came out and did some really good things early on and made some plays.  Our kids hung in and stayed tough until halftime.  I though we played a great second half and we played really hard.  We were able to come out with a victory and keep some playoff hopes alive," said Teglovic.

          With just two weeks left in the regular season, Teglovic says they can ill afford to lose anymore games.  "That is the case again this week and our kids know if we are going to have a chance we have to win out.  That means we have to win this week and the final week.  We have to take them one week at a time, help ourselves, and then have someone help us out," he said.

          Colonel Crawford (6-2) plays host to Fostoria St. Wendelin (1-7) in a non league game on Friday night.  Teglovic says the Mohawks have struggled, their only win coming earlier this season against Toledo Horizon Science.  He says they just don't have enough guys.  "They got a win here a couple of weeks ago.  They don't have a lot of kids.  They have a couple of kids that are pretty decent in the backfield and some size up front.  They are going through a numbers issue," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "It is the upper teens in regards to the number of kids.  You have to have a little bit in numbers.  They have kids that are working hard.  I have seen some improvement, but the numbers are hurting them."

          On the other hand Colonel Crawford has more than 60 players on their team.

 

Published 10/21/14

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Crawford and Buckeye Battle for Playoff Position

 

          With two losses each in Northern 10 Athletic Conference play, and trailing by two games with three weeks left, both Colonel Crawford and Buckeye Central would appear to be out of the conference race, but they still have something to play for, mainly the playoffs.

          Crawford is 12th in their region and Buckeye Central is 13th in theirs.  The top eight in each region qualify for the post season.

          The Eagles (5-2,4-2) hammered Crestline (54-14) last week in an "N10" game and coach Ryan Teglovic says they were able to get a lot of things done in a lot of areas.  "I thought all around we played well.  We go two special teams touchdowns.  Offensively we were very efficient in the number of plays.  Defensively except for a couple of plays I thought we made some progress there too.  I feel we are making progress as the weeks go.  Obviously, this is a good team we have coming up here and hopefully we can make more progress this week," said Teglovic.

          Colonel Crawford has made the postseason the last two years and Buckeye Central advanced to the division VI state finals in 2012, so both are familiar with what it takes.  Teglovic says this is a critical game for both sides.  "There is stuff to play for an we have a 5-2 record right now.  They are 4-3 and in division seven they have a couple of wins over bigger schools so they are in the playoff hunt too, so they are playing for some things as well.  We are both playing for some things and it's a close rivalry.  It's an "N10" game, it should be fun, lots to play for," he said.

          Buckeye Central (4-3,3-2) lost last week to Bucyrus (48-14), but they are vastly improved for last year and Teglovic says that is most evident on defense.  "They are better on the defensive side of the football.  Their middle linebacker is a nice player.  They have some speed on the back end of the defense too.  They have some guys coming back there," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "They are balanced on offense, but it seems like their approach is they want to get the ball to Cody Roberts and let him run the football.  The Loy kid is a good quarterback and they have some guys that can catch it."

 

Published 10/15/14

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Colonel Crawford Meets Crestline

 

          After a disappointing loss to the Bucyrus Redmen on week five, the Colonel Crawford Eagles got back on the winning track with a thrashing of the Ridgedale Rockets last week.

          Crawford punished Ridgedale (54-8) in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game last week. 

          Coach Ryan Teglovic wasn't completely happy, but her says they did do a lot of good things against Ridgedale.  "I thought we did some good things even when we broke down film.  Obviously there were some breakdowns, especially in the third quarter, that we need to work on and we talked to our guys about that, but overall I was happy with how we came out.  I thought we came out fast on both sides of the ball.  I thought we were aggressive and I liked that.  I thought we were more physical than we have been over the last couple of weeks.  It was nice to get back on track," said Teglovic.

          The thing that stood out the most for the Eagles last week was their aggressiveness.  Teglovic feels they were able to amp up that part of the game a little more.  "If you are passive you are in trouble.  You have to get after the football.  You linebackers have to fly to the football.  Your defensive backs have to be right behind the box in position to make plays.  That is a key and offensively too.  We want to run the football and you have to be physical.  I thought we were a lot better in that aspect last Friday and hopefully we can continue to do that," he said.

          Colonel Crawford (4-2,3-2) plays at Crestline (0-6,0-5) on Friday night in conference play.  The Bulldogs were beaten handily by Wynford (62-6) last week.  Teglovic says they do have some skilled players that can do some things on offense for them.  "They haven't got a win and when you look at their statistics you can get caught up in that and we have been telling our kids this what they do we and this is what we have to take advantage of," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday afternoon, "Crestline I think has one of the batter quarterbacks in the area and he is only a sophomore.  He is 6'4", 190 pounds.  He moves really well, he throws well.  He is an athletic kid that can make plays.  We will have our hands full with him.  They have some nice speed out of the backfield and the Coffman kid at tight end has good hands.  They are continuing to get better and we will have to go in and play well."

 

Published 10/08/14

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Crawford Moves on, Concentrates on Rest of Season

 

          Colonel Crawford lost to Bucyrus last week when the Redmen scored a touchdown with about a minute and half to go.  Now there focus is to win the rest of their games and let the cards fall where they may.

          Trailing by four points Bucyrus scored on a short touchdown pass with 1:30 to play last week to get the win (29-27) over the Eagles.  Coach Ryan Tgelovic says they just fell a little bit short.  "It was tough.  I was one of the toughest losses that we have been through in a while.  You go through those as you grow as a team.  I can't question our effort.  That is one thing that I like about this group.  We got down in the first half 17-7.  We fought back and I thought executed well in the second half, but it wasn't enough to overcome that deficit.  Bucyrus played a nice football game.  It was a tough one and we talked to our guys about that we need to bounce back here in the next couple of weeks,' said Teglovic.

         Crawford has been to playoffs the last two years and has at least shared in the conference title.  Teglovic says the group he has this year may be less experienced, but they work hard.  "I think they play together, I think there are some leaders on the team, I think they work hard.  We still have a ways to go in terms of execution at the midpoint of the season.  Some things have gotten better and some things still need to get better.  Our guys we like them we like the way they work.  It was a somber mood Saturday morning during film, but everybody was there and ready to go so we could get ready for this week," he said.

          Ridgedale (2-3,1-2) will play at Colonel Crawford (3-2,2-2) on Friday night in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game.  Ridgedale has been plagued by low numbers, but Teglovic believes the Rockets are an improved team.  "They have won two games this week and did some nice things last week against Buckeye Central.  I think they have gotten better.  They have some size up front and they have a couple of athletic running backs," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "One of them is about 6'3" and 200 pounds with decent speed.  The other back is about 6'4" and 240 pounds.  They are both athletic and so is their quarterback, number 11, he is quick.  The defensive backfield is athletic and they have some size up front.  They don't have a lot of numbers, we know that, but still it is a team we will have to prepare for and play well."

 

Published 10/01/14

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Colonel Crawford and Bucyrus Meet in Key Game

 

          Colonel Crawford, a game back in the N10 Athletic Conference football standings, will play one of the co-leaders this week when they test their metal against the Bucyrus Redmen.

          After a little bit of a slow start last week against Seneca East the Eagles (3-1,2-1) put some things together and they beat the Tigers (41-20) in an N10 game.  Coach Ryan Teglovic was pleased by how they responded to the loss the week before to Wynford.  "I liked the way we played.  Seneca East came with an on sides kick right off the bat and got the football on our 35, but the defense did well and they didn't score.  Then you have to get back on your feet and I thought our kids were able to do that.  We had a couple of turnovers the first half, but we continued to work.  I thought we got better last week," said Teglovic.

          Bucyrus senior quarterback Cole Murtiff threw a late touchdown pass to Cole Hollis last week in a (20-19) win over Mohawk.  Teglovic says Murfitt has both experience and talent.  "He is a three year starter at quarterback.  He can beat you running the ball and he can beat you passing the ball.  He has quite few targets he can throw to as well.  He is the most experienced quarterback coming back in the N10.  They are undefeated in the league and playing really well right now," he said.

          Bucyrus (3-1,3-0) has topped Seneca East (29-14) and Mohawk the last two week in games that were still in the balance in the fourth quarter.  Teglovic says those kinds of wins will give a team confidence.  "When you are able to win those close games that gives you some confidence that if you continue to play you have an opportunity to win.  They have played close games the last two weeks against Seneca East and Mohawk and they have been able to come out on top and have been playing good football," he said.

          A loss to Bucyrus would put the Eagles two games back in the N10 standings with just three games to play.  Teglovic isn't going to put added pressure on his kids.  He says this is not a must win situation.  "I don't think you can look at things that way," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "I don't look at things that way stressing outcomes and results.  For me it's about getting better this week.  That's what happened last week and obviously the outcome of the game the result was what we wanted.  I think if we continue to play and get a little better we'll see what happens this Friday,"

 

Published 9/24/14

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Colonel Crawford Has to Get Back on the Beam

 

          Colonel Crawford didn't just get beat by rival Wynford last week they were dominated by the Royals.

          Wynford ran for more than 200 yards and forced four Eagle turnovers and beat Crawford (41-10) in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game.

          Eagles coach Ryan Teglovic says Wnford played very well, but also they did not play up to their potential.  "I thought two things.  First, Wynford we should give them credit they played very well.  At the same time, I didn't think we played well, we didn't execute well.  We misaligned defensively and did some strange things on the defensive line and we turned the ball over four times.  You have to be able to do those things to beat a good football team.  Hats off to them, but we have to bounce back and play much better this Friday," he said.

          This week, the Eagles (2-1,1-1) play at Seneca East (0-3,0-2) in an N10 game on Friday night in suburban Attica.  Teglovic says their assignment is to not just win, but to play well.  "That is what we always say.  That's what is most disappointing, a loss is one thing, but we pride ourselves in getting better every week and I'm not sure we did that last week.  We have to get out there this week and be better than we were at the beginning of the year," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "That is what we have to get back too.  We have to get back to basics in going out there and getting that accomplished this week.  So, hopefully we can get out there this Friday and make some improvements."

          Seneca East has been able to score points in their three losses this year to South Central (39-24), Buckeye Central (44-28) and Bucyrus (29-14) last week.

          Teglovic says the Tigers can do a lot of things well on offense and they are going to have to play better defense than they did last week to stop them.  "They have the number one rushing quarterback in the league, actually the number one rusher in the league, he is also the number two passer in the league, the have the number one receiver in the league.  Statistically they are scary on offense.  We have to be ready and keep them from the big play and make them drive the football.  It's an 0-3 team, but they had opportunities in all three of those games, so it's a good Seneca East team," said Teglovic.

 

Published 9/19/14

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N10 Powers Colonel Crawford and Wynford Collide

 

          Colonel Crawford and Wynford are two of the teams expected to contend for the Northern 10 Athletic Conference football title this year and they play Friday night in North Robinson.

          Last week, Crawford (2-0) won their opener in N10 play as they crushed Mohawk (47-14) in game played over both Friday and Saturday due to thunderstorms.

          Coach Ryan Teglovic says all things considered they did a pretty good job in the conference opener.  "We played well especially considering it took two days and that is a frustrating thing for both teams.  You come out and great ready for the second half, you make the adjustments, and are ready to go," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, " You are playing pretty well and you want to keep playing then lightning strikes and we end up having to go back to Mohawk the next morning.  With those factors I thought overall we played pretty good football.  Obviously we still have a lot of work to do, but I was pretty pleased overall."

          With convincing wins the first two weeks of the season, Teglovic says they still have some execution issues to deal with because they can not always count on their athleticism to carry the day.  "You get back and look at the film, especially on offense it is about execution.  We might not have been stopped on a play, but we didn't do what we were supposed to do.  It comes down to the fact that we have athletes that are good enough to make plays even what we don't execute well.  You always have to get better.  We have to execute better, especially on the defensive side, offensively too, but we have to be about to execute better on defense," said Teglovic.

          The Crawford coach says that this year's Wynford team is one that has a lot of speed.   "It's a good football team that got beat by a real good Liberty-Benton team on week one.  It maybe a team that possess even a little bit more speed that usual.  They have kids in several positions that have the capability to take it the distance.  When they have that much speed on the field they can stretch you thin.  Wynford has been one of the best teams in the area for a long time and I don't see any signs of that slowing down,' he said.

 

Published 9/10/14

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Crawford Tangles With Mohawk

 

          It is kind of a new world for the Colonel Crawford Eagles, who are coming off a co-title in the North Central Conference last year and a division win the "NCC" the year before, but they are now in the newly formed Northern 10 and they start league play this week.

          The Eagles (1-0) travel to Mohawk to face the Warriors.

          Last week, Crawford scored 40 points in the first half and beat Mt. Gilead (51-24) on the first week of the season.  Coach Ryan Teglovic says they did some good things on all three phases of the game.  "Getting guys out there that have never seen varsity action.  Our quarterback for his first start did a great job.  He was six for nine in his first game and threw for a touchdown.  The offensive line played well.   The defense did some good things and was aggressive and ran to the ball.  Special teams wise we made some good returns.  We took a punt back for a touchdown.  In the three phases of the game we did some good things, but we still have things to work on," said Teglovic.

          Mohawk (0-1) was handled on week one by Marion Pleasant (48-6), but Teglovic knows that Pleasant is very good and it is difficult to scout Mohawk based on their performance against Pleasant.  "Pleasant is a very good football team year in and year out, so I don't think you can use that as a gauge at all.  We go to Mohawk and it is the opening N10 game.  They have a running back that last year gained about 1,700 yards.  When he gets the ball in open space he is very difficult to corral.  They play good, solid fundamental football and we have to keep them in check," he said.

          Continued improvement is the key for every team, win or lose on week one, and Teglovic says they have to be ready to play their best game on week two.  "You have to be ready right out of the shoot.  We tell our kids ever year that we get the most improvement between weeks one and two.  You have finally got out there and played a whole game," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "You have seen yourself on film and you finally get to see all of the things the coaches have been telling you about.  Now is the time that you have to make that improvement and there is a bit more urgency on it because it is a league game."

 

Published 9/014/14

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Crawford Looking Good

 

          After two straight playoff appearances and a co-title last year in the North Central Conference, the Colonel Crawford Eagles have become consistent winners.

          They travel to Mt. Gilead to kick off their season on Friday night.

          Coach Ryan Teglovic, responsible for the resurgence of the football program, says he thinks this year's team can be pretty good too.  "We like this team, we like this team.  They have done a great job and they have gotten better, they have done what we have asked them to do.  From that standpoint we are ready to go.  There are always those first game jitters.  Scrimmages are scrimmages and scrimmage film is scrimmage film.  Until you get out there that first game you really never know what you have," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "You think you have a pretty good team, you think you have pretty good kids, but we really won't know until (Friday) night.  As the season goes things will continue to grow and progress.  We are pretty nervous about (Friday) night and you always are game one."

          One aspect of the game that you don't get to see in scrimmage play are kicks and punts and Teglovic says that always leads to some trepidation on week one.  "It's all about coverage teams.  We talked the other night about that.  We haven't done it in a while, it is kickoff coverage, it is punt coverage.  You can run it in practice and do some things, but it is still different.  That first kickoff, that first point, when you are covering those for the first time it can be a little scary," he said.

          The Eagles have handled Mt. Gilead with relative ease the last two years, but Teglovic says this year the Indians are better and they are more athletic.  "Mt. Gilead is a team that has a lot more speed than they have had the last couple of years.  Their quarterback is quick and likes to run the ball.  The will run some veer and he does that pretty well.  He is a nice quarterback.  He did not play against us last year, but he did play the last seven or eight games and had over 800 yards rushing last year.  Their big lineman up from is about 6'4" 230, 240 and can move and is a pretty good looking kid.  We have to travel down there, it will be an interesting evening and we will have to play well," said Teglovic.

 

Published 8/29/14

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Crawford Ready to Contend Again

 

          It’s a new league for the Colonel Crawford Eagles, but they feel like they are going to be right in the thick of the football race in the new Northern 10 this fall.

          Last season, the Eagles qualified for the state playoffs for the second straight year and shared the North Central Conference title with Galion.

          This year they are helping to form the Northern 10 along with rivals Wynford, Buckeye Central, Bucyrus and Crestline from the old “NCC,”  Carey, Mohawk, and Seneca East of the former Midland Athletic League and Ridgedale, who comes over from the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference.

          Crawford coach Ryan Teglovic says they have good numbers this year on the team and so far they have had a good work ethic too.  “In the preseason the kids have worked really hard, we have good numbers out.  We had a scrimmage Tuesday against Tiffin Calvert, a playoff team last year and expect to do real well in their league this year.  I thought we played well there.  Now we need to continue to get better every day and do the things we need to do to improve every week,” he said.

          Lost to graduation was four year starter at quarterback Nate Klingenbeger, but Teglovic says they have some guys coming back that are pretty good and they are going to have really good depth.  “I wouldn’t call us a young team.  Obviously we lost a quarterback that had over 30 starts in his career.  That’s where it starts and we think we have a guy there that people might not know about, but I think he is a great replacement,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “He is very athletic.  He plays hard and I think he will do a great job filling in there.  We still have 15 seniors and 62 kids on the team, so we have good numbers and good replacements.”

          It’s a new mix of teams this year for the Eagles to contend with and Teglovic feels like there will be some balance in the N-10 this year with a lot of talent on a number of the teams.  “It’s going be a very good football league.  Out of the old “NCC” we have Wynford, one of the finest programs in the area and Bucyrus that has had some very good teams lately.  Then you add teams like Carey that has been a playoff team, they have 22 seniors this year, and Mohawk and Seneca East and those teams, so I feel like it is going to be a great football league.  There are schools that are our size and we think it is going to be a good football league,” said Teglovic.

 

Published 8/15/14

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Colonel Crawford Has to Score

 

          Colonel Crawford is used to winning low scoring softball games, but this year if they are to win they have to do it by scoring a lot of runs.

          Veteran coach Chuck Huggins says they have a young pitching staff this year and that is has put more pressure on their offense.  "We are setting here looking at a 6-8 record and we aren't used to that, but yet we understand because of a few of the injuries we have had to some key players, especially in the pitching circle we are definitely in a developing year.  It's a situation where we have kids that would normally be our JV pitchers needing to play some varsity games.  It's going to help us," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday night, "It is going to pay dividends down the road. but right now it is a little bit of a tough situation because at times we have plan on scoring double digit runs just to be competitive and that is nobody's fault it is just the way the situation has developed.  It is just one those years where we are very, very young, especially in the circle, and we just have to make sure we develop our pitchers.  How far we can go this year will be determined by how much our pitchers can improve here over the next several weeks."

          With the kind of lineup they have this year and especially the pitching staff, Huggins says the team has to be patient and they have been.  "I have always considered myself a patient type of coach.  I have really admired the kids and their work ethic right now.  They understand the situation that we are in.  Nobody points fingers.  Nobody places fault on anybody else they just realize that our young freshmen, sophomore pitchers are just working their tails off to get better, but the art of pitching is not something that just comes overnight," he said.

          With the developing pitching staff this spring Huggins says he has been forced to change his traditional approach to the game of softball.  "I am so used to coaching so we can manufacture a run so we can win a ballgame 2-1, 1-0, or 3-2 and a lot of times I can't go for that bunt or manufacture that run because I know we have to have to have a big inning either to get back in a ballgame or knowing the other team is probably going to score six, seven, eight, maybe even 10 runs in the ballgame so we have to play for big innings instead of trying to manufacture runs," he said.

          Colonel Crawford (6-8,2-4) plays Riverdale on Tuesday and then Wynford on Wednesday and Thursday in North Central Conference games, if the weather allows, which it looks like it may not.

 

Published 4/29/14

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Crawford Battles Back

 

          Courtney Tinkey had three hits and Colonel Crawford picked up its first conference win of the season in beating Galion (6-4) in North Robinson on Wednesday afternoon.

          Freshman pitcher Kerri Reynolds improved her control, walking only two, and coach Chuck Huggins says she was able to keep them in the ballgame.  "We got bumped off by them (Tuesday) and had a little bit of a sour taste in our mouth.  Things just came together so much better for us (Wednesday).  It helped that are young freshman pitcher had a lot better control.  She only had two strikeouts, but zero walks.  Anytime you can pitch a ballgame and keep your walks at zero you are doing well," he told Swankonsports.com after the win on Wednesday, "It was a much needed win.  We have been on the short end and couldn't get a "W."  Things just went well (Wednesday) night for the Eagles."

          Galion had beaten the Lady Eagles (5-3) on Tuesday in the conference opener for both teams.  The Lady Tigers scored three times in the seventh inning on Wednesday to make things tighter.

          Colonel Crawford (3-4,1-1) is to host South Central on Thursday and play at Ridgedale in doubleheader on Saturday, all non-conference games, and then returns to conference play next Monday against Buckeye Central.  Huggins says they need to continue the momentum.  "It is just one of the situations where it is early in the season and Galion was our first "NCC" opponent, but still you don't want to go two games down that quick.  I told the girls exactly that (Wednesday) night.  We need to build on this and we need to make sure that we use this a stepping stone.  It's kind of like walking up a stairway.  You walk up the steps as a team and we don't want anymore slides down.  I am very, very proud of my team," he said.

          Breaking in a new pitcher is a process and Huggins, the Lady Eagles coach since the 1980's, says when the pitcher does well, Reynolds in this case, the whole team feels better about itself.  "You don't have to be overpowering.  I say this and say this there is no defense for walks.  If you can make them put it in play we will go get it and make plays behind our pitcher, but we can't do that if there are four, five, six walks a game.  That just gives teams extra outs and extra opportunities to score.  It is true when your pitcher in on like (Wednesday) our team just came together.  She was on and our team was on," said Huggins.

 

Published 4/10/14

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Crawford Ready to Start Improving

 

          Over the first three games it was one up and two down for the Colonel Crawford Lady Eagles and that isn't bad for a team that is on the younger side, but their coach knows they can be better.

          Veteran manager Chuck Huggins has been through a lot of first weeks and he says after a win over Carey (4-2) and looses to Willard (9-4) and Plymouth (3-2) it wasn't too bad.  "It is just good getting out and getting the season started.  Obviously, Mother Nature didn't take of us very well last weekend with the bad weather and the snow that came in.  I have seen some good things.  I have seen some kids that are trying to step up and really buy into what we are trying to do and what we have always tried to do and that is a good sign for us.  We graduated a pretty good senior class off our state runner-up team last year.  For those young kids to step up and help us was definitely a good sign for us," he said.

          With the rain starting Thursday and running through at least Friday, Huggins says it is a good time to review some things.  "I certainly would have liked to have played and finished out the rest of the week playing games, but sometimes it isn't bad to have a little bad weather coming in.  You get a few games under your bet and you see some things that need improvement and you need to tweak a little bit, so I don't mind this happening it is going to give a us a great opportunity the next couple of days to just slow down a little bit and work on some things that we are not as sharp on as we can be and make sure we are working on those things and getting better," said Huggins.

          The coach knows a thing or two about softball, but he says he wants his kids to tell him what they think too.  "I go in with a practice plan and I have ideas and I know what we need to work on, but a lot of times I tell kids I'm not a mind reader.  If you tell me situations that have happened and your not 100 percent sure of and if that situation happens again we have to make sure you are ready for it," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "I let them kind of give me some feedback, coach remember this play?  Or the pitcher was pitching us this way and not really sure how to approach that.  Just things like that.  All year long I let them talk to me and tell me what they are thinking and that helps me understand where I can continue to help them."

          They begin play in the North Central Conference next week with two games against Galion.  Huggins says right now everyone is chasing the Bucyrus Lady Redmen.  "In my preseason preview that I wrote up for our team they always ask me who I think is the favorite and without a doubt it is Bucyrus.  I made the comment Bucyrus is absolutely loaded for bear this year and Colonel Crawford and Buckeye Central and Wynford and Galion and all the rest of the schools, Crestline could really gives Bucyrus a run, but the rest of us are loaded for rabbits and possum.  I don't think we quite have to overall talent that they do, but stranger things have happened.  Next week we start out the "NCC" and we are going to make sure we take it one game at a time, I know that is an old cliché, but for us coaches that is so important to do because you have to keep improving to make sure you can stay in the league race," said Huggins.

 

Published 4/04/14

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Crawford Gets it Together, beats Plymouth

 

          If the weather cooperates Colonel Crawford is going to play seven games on the first week of the season and that gives them time to start to play with consistency.

          Wednesday was a step in the right direction as they scored five times in the third inning to take the lead for good and went on to beat Plymouth (10-8) in non-conference play, the Eagles first win of the young season.

          They had lost to Carey (4-2) on Monday and River Valley (12-6) on Tuesday and coach Joe Swartzmiller feels those really could have been wins for them too.  "We kind of feel we let two slip away.  Our fielding has been pretty bad.  We have been hitting the crap out of the ball and unforced errors and unearned runs have been killing us.  The kids came out (Wednesday) night at they put a "W" on the board," he said.

          Defense has been a problem for the Eagles and Swartzmiller says that is something they have to continue to work on if they are going to become a good team because they just haven't been outside enough.  "The hops are different, the conditions are different.  We only got on the field once before our first game.  I told the umpires before the first game that it was going to be an ugly game because Carey had only been on the field one time too, so I knew it was going to be ugly fielding wise," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday night, "It wasn't too bad I was pretty pleased for the most part.  I thought after River Valley we need to be outside, we need to practice outside.  We need to get a lot of grounders outside, we need to get a lot of pop flies outside, we need to do a  lot of things outside."

          Ethan Burkhart had four hits including a double in the win over Plymouth on Wednesday.

          Can the Eagles compete in the "NCC," the short answer is yes, but Swantzmiller says the will probably be chasing Galion and Upper Sandusky, whom look good on paper.  "I think it is probably a two horse league with Galion and Upper.  I think with what they have coming back this year and what they have all around I think those are the two everybody is going to be chasing.  Top to bottom I think it is going to be very competitive.  I like to say we will be in the upper half.  If everything clicks and comes together maybe we can be competitive for the conference championship.  But, on paper and what everybody has coming back it is those two teams," said Swartzmiller.

          The Eagles are scheduled to play South Central on Thursday, plays at Mansfield St. Peter's on Friday and hosts Seneca East for a doubleheader on Saturday, although it is supposed to rain each day.

 

Published 4/03/14

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Colonel Crawford Easing Into it

 

          Colonel Crawford advanced to the state championship game last spring and they are always a factor in the North Central Conference race.  Coach Chuck Huggins likes their position headed in the Saturday opener against Western Reserve, but he is always cautious.
          He says they have been able to work on a lot of this month, but he knows there will always be something.  "I would never say we're ready.  I am happy with what we have in, but certainly not satisfied.  Now we have been fortunate enough since last Friday to be out on our field almost everyday.  I know it's been 30 degrees, but will bundle up and we got out there for a good hour, hour and 15 and work on things defensively.  We keep our pitchers and catchers and our hitters in the gym, so we kind of spread it out,' he said.

          Huggins, the Lady Eagles coach since the late 1980's, says there will always be some unknowns when you begin the season.  "It doesn't matter how many years you have been at this, whether it be your first year or my 27th year you can think you have covered every single situation, every single scenario that you can cover, but there is always something that you realize come opening day or that first week that you realize you haven't covered as much as you needed to," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "We are doing an awful lot of good things at Colonel Crawford helping them get ready for the season, but I know there are going to be situations come up.  As I say we coach on the run and that is exactly what we plan on doing Saturday when we open with Western Reserve."

         One of the question marks headed into the season is who is going to pitch for the Lady Eagles.  Huggins says that is something they are still working on.  "We are still a work in progress and I say that is a positive way.  We have some good young kids working at the game.  I told the kids way back when we started the season quote unquote all hands on deck.  Just because you haven't been a pitcher in the past doesn't mean you don't have the athletic ability and some kids can pick it up a lot quicker, a lot sooner.  We have an awful lot of kids working on it.  I am a firm believer that the cream will rise to the top and when it does we will find a good number one and number two pitcher that will be in that circle and helping us compete," said Huggins.

 

Published 3/27/14

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Colonel Crawford with Guarded Optimism

 

          When Colonel Crawford has a great softball season they contend for the state championship, like last year, and when they have just a good season they make it to the regionals.

          That is what it is like when you have one of the more consistent programs in North Central Ohio.

          Veteran coach Chuck Huggins says they have good talent again this year, but they have to make sure they continue to prepare hard during the preseason.  "I am very excited, but yet a little bit leery in that I know we lost an awful lot of firepower last year with our graduated seniors.  I guess at this time of year I really, really like to fly under the radar in making sure we don't get big headed because we haven't done anything yet.  We haven't won a single ball game yet it is still preseason.  I just want to make sure we don't get overly excited," he said.

          Probably the number one goal of the program is to find someone to put in the pitching circle after the graduation of Nickyla Gaverick, according to Huggins.  "We have some kids back with some experience on the infield.  We started two freshmen last year on the way to the state championship game.  We have a nice group of four seniors and two juniors that are back and all who can contribute.  So, we definitely have some experience back.  Obviously our number one question mark will be in the pitching circle.  I have never been one to rely on one pitcher because I think it is important to your program to keep developing pitchers and make sure you have pitching each and every year," said Huggins.

          It was a cold, snowy winter and it has been a cold March so far, but Huggins says that is alright with him.  "We are all in the same situation.  It was a very, very tough winter, but the optimist in me has always thought that I would much rather have it like this with the bad weather and the cold and even stay inside right from day one and getting a lot of good fundamentals in and worked on and getting the little things down in practice inside and then go outside than to be out right from the get go," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "You get them outside and get them on the field and you get a lot of things done, but you don't get a chance to work on the fundamentals quite as much because you know there is more bad weather coming, so you get the team stuff done.  It is almost like putting the cart before the horse.  It is tough to take them back inside after early good weather, so as a veteran coach I would much rather have it like this having them inside and getting your fundamentals down and then get outside in your team concept of what you are doing offensively, defending the short game, and your cut offs, etc, etc, I would much rather have it that way."

 

Published 3/19/14

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Colonel Crawford Expects Good Season

 

          This year Colonel Crawford shared the North Central Conference title in football and finished second in boys' basketball and they expect to enjoy a good season in baseball too.

          The Eagles advanced to the district final last spring in baseball and coach Joe Swartzmiller says they have some quality kids back from that team and have added a couple to the mix.  "We have a lot of returning lettermen.  As people know we went all of the way to the district finals a year ago, so we have a lot of experience coming back.  We picked up a couple of seniors this year that are really going to help the team.  Overall, I think we are going to have a pretty good season," says Swartzmiller.

          Pitching is key to success in baseball at any level and Swantzmiller says they have a good starting point.  "I know we have one in Seth Keller.  He is a legit number one for us, but right now we are looking for two through whatever.  We won't know before we get into games and scrimmages and everything," he said.

          The Eagles open the season on March 29 with a non-conference game with Western Reserve.  They play in their first North Central Conference game on April 7 at Galion.

          Swartzmiller sure would like to get out on the field and get some work in before the season starts, but he knows that everybody in this part of Ohio goes through the same thing.  "We have been on the field one time so far and it doesn't look like it is going to be anytime soon, but everyone is kind of in the same boat," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "If your can get out before that first game that is going to help immensely.  Weather is always a factor in Ohio.  Hopefully, spring is right around the corner and we won't have to worry about this snow stuff anymore."

 

Published 3/14/14

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Crawford Responds; Advances

 

          Connor McCreary's driving layup with :51 seconds to play gave Colonel Crawford the lead for good and they sealed the win by making five of six free throws in final :34 seconds and beat Pemberville Eastwood (42-36) in the division three district semi-final Thursday night at Ashland University.

          The will play Huron (17-6) on Saturday night in the district title game.  The Tigers beat Willard (41-37) in the first semi-final on Thursday.

          After falling behind (36-35) with just under a minute play when Eastwood guard Steven Bradley stole the ball an scored, McCreary took the inbounds pass and took it the length of the floor to give the Eagles the lead back.  "We have to be an unselfish basketball team and we did that at the offensive end tonight," said Colonel Crawford coach David Sheldon. 

          After the Eagles took the lead, their defense forced two turnovers and blocked a shot in Eastwood's final three possessions.  Eastwood has 12 turnovers and Crawford added seven steals on the night.  "I am most proud of our defensive effort.  I talked all week about Schmeltz, he is averaging 20 some a game, and we hold him to five points.  That's a credit to Sager chasing him and all of the guys we put n the floor.  I thought we did a much better job in the second half of keeping them off the offensive glass.  We did a much better job of limiting them to one shot.  When the game was on the line we got big stops.  We talk all year about toughness and we did a great job with the game on the line of getting huge stops," said Sheldon.

          Trailing (20-19) with under three minutes to play in the third quarter Todd Entenmann drained a three pointer from the right wing and Logan Sager followed with triples on consecutive possessions to give the Eagles a (28-20) lead with 1:55 to play in the period.

          Jake Schmeltz has scored more than 1,000 points in his career, but Crawford went box and one on him and Sheldon felt it took him out of his rhythm a little bit.  "We had seen other teams do that and we wanted to sort of play mind games a little bit and we got him standing a little bit.  They had other guys step up and hit shots, but that's who we wanted hitting shots," he said.

          Schmeltz's only field goals were a banked three pointer in the first quarter and a layup in the fourth.  He finished 2-9 from the floor and didn't get to the foul line.

          Eastwood out rebounded Crawford 30 to 23, but Sheldon feels they got some big boards.  "We got some huge rebounds and like I said toughness.  In the second half we did a much better job in traffic and going and getting the ball on the defensive end," he said.

          Colonel Crawford (18-6) won district crowns in division four the last two seasons and Sheldon says they can't wait for Saturday night.  "It's our third straight year of being in the district championship and that's something to be proud of and we are looking forward to coming back here," said Sheldon.

          Huron missed 10 of its first 11 shots and found itself down 12-4 after one quarter, but they too did an outstanding defensive job as Willard made just 16 of 45 shots for 36% for the game and 10 of their final 35 for 29%.

          Willard's leading scorer Carson Ebert was just 3-16 from the field and 1-12 on three point shots.  Jordan Moore was Willard's, and the game's, leading scorer with 14 points.

          The Flashes (15-9) cut it to three with :45 seconds to play on Moore's lay in, but could get no closer.

          Sheldon knows they will be in for a real battle against the defending division three district champions.  "They are very athletic and they have a couple of shooters with them.  It's a very good basketball team and they were in this game last year, so this isn't knew.  They play in a very good conference all year," said Sheldon.

 

Published 3/07/14

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Crawford Knows How to Do it

 

          Colonel Crawford has had as much success in the post season tournament as any school in North Central Ohio in recent years with two straight appearances in the division four regional tournament, but this year they are in division three.

          They play Pemberville Eastwood (18-6) in the division three district semi-finals on Thursday night at Ashland University.

          Coach David Sheldon says they know how to prepare for tournament games because they have done it successfully before.  "I think this time year the mental preparation as you are seeing teams that you haven't seen all year is huge.  I have been really pleased this week with the focus our kids have had with regards to Eastwood and what we have to do to give ourselves the opportunity to win a basketball game Thursday night.  These guys have seen what the previous teams have done.  We have a scout team during tournament time and now a lot those guys in the limelight on the varsity squad.  I definitely think the past helps because these guys have been through this over the years," said Sheldon.

          He says they do things a little differently during the post season because the opponents are often unfamiliar to them.  "We are really focusing on Eastwood and that is the thing from a defensive standpoint.  Focusing on them on what we need to do to give ourselves the best opportunity to get stops every time down the floor.  There is not as much fundamental work at this time of year it's more game preparation and a lot of shooting and getting kids in and out.  That is usually what we do come tournament time.  That has been our protocol over the years.  We are just trying to keep it normal as far as past tournament experiences," he said.

          Sheldon says the Eastwood Eagles have an outstanding individual player surrounded by some athletic kids.  "He is averaging over 20 points a game, the Schmeltz kid.  He reminds me a lot of Jake Heese that played at Crawford back in the day, but he is a little bit taller than Jake.  He can shoot it, he can put it on the floor and get to the foul line," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "He is a very special player, but around him they have great athletes with size, they go 6'5", 6'4", 6'4". One of the critical keys come Thursday night is we have to limit them to one shot.  We can not allow their athletes to turn this into a volleyball game by getting second shots,  Hopefully we can put bodies in front of them to keep them off the glass."

          When Colonel Crawford (17-6) has struggled this year it is because they haven't made shots.  Sheldon says they have to get a quality shot every time down on Thursday night.  "At this time year every possession is so vital.  You don't see the 80's and 90's scores because you are running into great opponents.  One thing we have done late in the season is we have shared the basketball.  Multiple times we have had four kids in double figures.  One thing we have stressed is every time down the floor you have to get a good shot.  Even if we are running something on offense and it is not there, we pull it out and get into something else.  We have to make sure we take care of the basketball.  Eastwood is a team that plays very good man to man defense.  They will get up in you and try top deny passing lanes.  We have to capitalize on every possession of the basketball game."

 

Published 3/06/14

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Colonel Crawford Plays Old Rival is Sectional Final

 

          Colonel Crawford plays probably its most traditional rival when they face Wynford in the division three sectional finals at Lexington High School on Friday night.

          Crawford (16-6), the runner-up to Buckeye Central in the North Central Conference, has qualified for the regional tournament in each of the last two years in division four. 

          Coach David Sheldon thinks they are in pretty close to peak form.  "I thought we bounced back well on Friday over at Crestline.  After an emotional loss on Tuesday I was happy with how our kids bounced back and took care of business on the road last Friday.  I think we have played very well down the stretch of the season.  Unfortunately against Buckeye we lost one of our best players at the beginning of the second quarter and he couldn't play the rest of the game.  We are clicking at the right time of the year," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "I think our kids are excited they have been focused in practice knowing what's at hand on Friday night and playing for a sectional championship.  It's not the first time this program has been in this situation, so I think they know what it takes the focus has been on the mental and physical toughness of tournament basketball."

          In a loss to Buckeye Central (52-47) in what amounted to the "NCC" title game last Tuesday they Eagles lost one of their leading scorers in Todd Entenmann.  Sheldon says his status for Friday is uncertain.  "We aren't sure yet.  We are waiting to see.  It is sort of up in the air.  We aren't sure if he is going to be able to go or not.  With the Crestline game we had a couple of days to prepare with a chance in the lineup.  We were able to get some other guys playing time that haven't got it through the year.  We will play with cards we are dealt on Friday night," he said.

          Wynford (7-15) beat Crestview (50-37) in semi-final play on Tuesday night as Jake Glowaski scored 19 points for the Royals.  Sheldon feels his alma mater is playing pretty well right now.  "I think they are much improved.  They have won four of their last five.  They are playing their best basketball at the end of the year.  They are playing with a lot of confidence.  They are team that has really gotten better and that's a credit to Steve Mohr.  With their big two in Glowaski and Mason Davis they have a good guard and a good post.  The other kids have stepped up and played their roles down the stretch.  It is a totally different team than we saw in the middle of February or even in early January when we played them the first time.  There are no secrets they know us and we know them.  We are looking forward to the opportunity on Friday night," said Sheldon.

          The Eagles beat Wynford both times they played them this year (82-41) at home and (74-61) at home. 

          Sheldon says transition defense is always big against the Royals.  "You have to get back.  They do a great job of running the floor.  Steve's teams always have.  They do a great job of pushing the ball on the pass.  It is a game where we have sprint in transition.  They do change defenses a lot.  In this stretch where they have played really well they have played predominately man to man.  They have shown some zone looks and some junk defensive looks.  You just have to prepare for every possible defense they have shown this year," Sheldon said.

 

Published 2/27/14

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Crawford Tangles With Buckeye in Sectional Final

 

          Colonel Crawford faces Buckeye Central in the division four sectional finals at Ontario High School on Saturday night.

          The Lady Eagles (6-16) have won their last three games, including a (48-40) win over Mansfield St. Peter's on Wednesday night in sectional semi-final play.

          Coach Kyle Fenner says they have showed tremendous improvement since the beginning of the season in November.  "We were young, we were short on varsity experience, but we had kids that worked hard and played hard and came to practice everyday with attitude to get better.  We took some lumps at the beginning of the year and we played some very good teams and we have a great schedule and our conference has been really good.  We have grown up within the last two weeks.  We got a good win (Wednesday) night against St. Peter's and hopefully we can keep it going Saturday night," she said.

          Colonel Crawford took an (11-1) lead after the first quarter against St. Peter's, but found itself behind (22-18) at the half.  Fenner says they continued to battle all night.  "The have a great point guard in Tiza Jones, who was definitely a challenge for us to guard.  She had 24 points.  It was a game where we kind of got out to a lead, a big lead, and they came back and took the lead.  We could have folded, but we didn't, we found a way to come back and to fight back.  At different times we had some different kids step up and that was good too," she said.

          In both of their meetings with Buckeye Central (11-10) this year, Buckeye won by the same score (45-36), which is kind of odd.  Buckeye handled Plymouth (53-47) in the semis on Wednesday.  Fenner says the Buckeye Central is pretty good team.   "They beat Riverdale, they really handed it to a pretty good Northmor team.  We are going to have to play well to beat them," she told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "They have two seniors in Brooke Karl and Tyler Kimmel, who are very good.  It is kind of that rivalry thing where we have played each other twice.  I expect both teams to come out and play hard and play physical and be close down to the end."

          Tournament games tend to be more possession by possession, especially ones that are a third meeting like this one, and Fenner they can't make mistakes, like turnovers, and win the game.  "You have to limit turnovers and we talked about that (Wednesday) in our practice and our film session. We have to take care of the basketball and limit turnovers and we have to make good decisions," she said.

 

Published 2/21/14

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Crawford Counting on All Five

 

          For the last couple of weeks all Colonel Crawford wanted was a chance and after wins over Wynford and Upper Sandusky last weekend that is exactly what they got.

          They beat the Royals (74-61) and Upper Sandusky (61-50) for a chance to play Buckeye Central in New Washington on Tuesday night for a the opportunity to share the North Central Conference title with the Bucks.

          Right now, Buckeye Central (18-2,11-1), #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coach's poll in the small school division, leads Colonel Crawford (16-4,10-2), #4 in the same poll, by a game.

          Crawford coach David Sheldon says they a lot of good things last weekend and need to play at an even higher level in order to compete with Buckeye.  "We had a great double weekend in getting two league wins over at Wynford and Upper Sandusky on Saturday night.  On both nights we had five different guys in double figures.  Our kids are really stepping up and sharing the basketball.  I think that is a key at this time of year when you have multiple scorers that helps if somebody tries to take one option away you have to have a guy that can step up.  I have been very happy with that," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "Defensively we have been up and down all year.  That is a big key too as we go to Buckeye on (Tuesday) night.  The fist time around we held them to 48 points.  They are very explosive offensively.  It starts with Cade Kaple and Austin Wurm, but they have other guys that are really playing well for them.  Right now we are happy to play for a championship the last week of the season.  That is your goal from day one."

          With all the starters capable of putting up big numbers Sheldon says they don't have to rely on one or two guys to do the scoring.  "The balance makes you tougher to defend because you have different options you can go to.  We try to exploit what different defenses are giving us.  It definitely makes it nice when you have balanced scoring.  This is the most balance I have ever had in my eight years at Colonel Crawford with the five guys we put on the floor," he said.

          They have to play solid defense and when they have the ball in their hands they have to make sure they have good shot selection.  "Number one you have top stop Cade and Wurm.  They are their two go to guys and they have been through the wars over the years, but we have to keep in check their other kids as well.  They have other kids step up as well.  Offensively we just have to get a great shot every time down the floor.  One thing we have stressed as of late with the balance that we have we have to make sure we get a great shot.  Buckeye is a very good defensive team.  We have to make sure we make them work on the defensive end and not just settle for the first good shot and get a great shot," said Sheldon.

          This is the biggest game of the year in the "NCC" obviously and Sheldon says they relish the opportunity to be part of it.  "I told the kids after Saturday night this is why you do all of the stuff in the summer.  This is why you put the time in growing up and you get a chance to play for a piece of the championship on Tuesday night.  I have the up most respect for the program.  I think Phil Loy has done a phenomenal job in his 10 years there.  They have a great team and there is a reason they are state ranked.  We are looking forward to opportunity to play in a tremendous atmosphere with two communities right on Route 602.  I know both teams will play hard and it will come down to kids making plays," said Sheldon.

 

Published 2/18/14

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It's Just win For Colonel Crawford

 

          Colonel Crawford is the hunter right now and their goal is to get at least a piece of the North Central Conference title, in the final year of the league's existence.

          Right now, they trail Buckeye Central by a game with four conference games remaining over the last two weeks of the season.  This week, Colonel Crawford (14-4,8-2), #4 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball poll in the small school division, travels to meet arch rival Wynford on Friday night and hosts Upper Sandusky on Saturday.

          Last Saturday, the Eagles belted Riverdale (85-54) to keep its position behind Buckeye.  Coach David Sheldon says they were able to make it tough for the Falcons to score.  "We really played well.  I was proud of our defensive effort.  That is a team that scored a lot of points and we really, really guarded very well.  That was a team I was worried about being explosive.  Offensively we made shots.  it was a good night, especially being able to stay in that league hunt," he said.

          Crawford has been able to score on most nights and Sheldon says it is their defense often times that determines if they are going to win or lose.  "When we guard people we are pretty good and that has to be the mindset every night out and that what we have been stressing down the stretch to our guys and I think they know what is at stake every night from here on out," he said.

          Wynford (4-12,2-9) is not having its best season, but Sheldon says that doesn't really matter when it comes to the game between these two schools on the opposite sides of the City of Bucyrus.  "It's a Crawford County rival and you throw our records, I always say that.  They are going be excited no matter what their record is.  It's a huge game for them.  It is a game that could make their year.  When you look at the magnitude of the rivalry over the years between Colonel Crawford and Wynford.  It is a team that plays extremely hard.  We have seen them several times.  It is a team that is very good in transition," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "They have two go to guys in (Jake) Glowaski and Mason Davis.   It is always a tough place to go over and play in the "House of Thrills" and we are looking forward to the opportunity on Friday night.  I have said along the last couple of weeks that every league game right now is a league championship game for us because of Buckeye being in the driver's seat and us a game back."

          Upper Sandusky (10-9,7-4) is a basketball team that has scored some points this year and Sheldon says they have scary potential.  "They have been shooting it a lot better toward the end of the season.  They are not just the Vent kid now they have other kids now stepping up and scoring for them.  It is going to be a tough back to back double league weekend.  It is late in the year and it means a lot for what we are playing for.  It's good to be playing for something at this time of year," he said.

 

Published 2/12/14

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Crawford Must Win

 

          Colonel Crawford knows what the assignment is and it isn't an easy one.

          The Eagles trail North Central Conference leader Buckeye Central by a game with five conference games to play, including a meeting between the two leaders on February 19 at Buckeye.

          On Tuesday night, the Eagles lost to Mansfield St. Peter's (54-48) in a non-conference game.  Coach David Sheldon says they just didn't make shots an St. Peter's was successful in making it difficult to do so.  "I hate to say it, but in three of our losses this year we just haven't shot it well.  We were 19 for 52 from the field for about 36 percent.  We didn't shoot the basketball well, but gives St. Peter's credit they played great man to man defense against us.  We had it even in the third quarter and they made a run and we just could never stop that run and missed a lot of buckets in the fourth.  We changed defenses up throughout the game.  It was a tough loss.  With four games in eight days I knew we were going to be in that stretch with a lot of make ups.  Give St. Pete's credit.  That's a good basketball team and Pat does a great job with them," said Sheldon.

          In their losses this year the Eagles have not made perimeter shots and Sheldon says they don't have a reliable option inside.  "We haven't seen any zone hardly at all this year.  I think that is due to how we shoot it.  We shoot about 40 percent behind the three point line.  We have not seen a lot of zone, so mostly what we have seen this year is a lot of man to man.  The problem is we don't have that big hog inside that we can throw it to and when you don't have that inside presence it hurts you on nights that you don't shoot it well," he said.

          Riverdale (6-7,3-5) will be at Crawford (13-4,7-2), #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coach's poll in the small school division, on Friday night.  Sheldon calls for Falcons dangerous because they can make shots.  "I think Riverdale is a very explosive offensive team.  They have four guys averaging double figures.  They can really score.  They can shoot it well.  They can really get it to the rim well.  It is a very good basketball team.  Last week they played Arlington, an 11-2 team, down to a five point game at Arlington.  It is a very explosive offensive team.  We were fortunate the get a win over there the first time.  It is going to be a tough game Saturday night when they come to North Robinson," said Sheldon.

          Trailing Buckeye by a game, Sheldon knows they have to win the rest if they are going to win the final "NCC" championship.  "We are done with all of our non-league games, we have them out of the way now.  Every game right now is a championship game then you go right into the sectional tournament.  We are in a unique situation because every game we play right now is a championship game.  We can't afford any slip ups.  Buckeye is playing very well right now and they are in the driver's seat being up one," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "Our goal at the beginning of the year was, number one, to win a league championship, and two, to win a sectional championship.  We have lost a couple that we are pretty disappointed in, we aren't going to sugarcoat it, but we still have the opportunity to play for a league championship.  I would think our kids would be pretty hungry coming off back-to-back league titles in the silver division.  They know what it's like to play in championship games."

 

Published 2/07/14

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Colonel Crawford Needs Revenge to Stay in Race

 

          Colonel Crawford is the only team to beat North Central Conference leader Buckeye Central this year, but losses to Bucyrus and Galion have put them a game behind the Bucks in the standings.

          They get a chance at some revenge on Friday night as they host Bucyrus in the re-match.

          Playing on a frigid Monday night, the Eagles belted Crestline (87-36) in a conference game at Crestline.  After playing only three games this month due to the weather, coach David Sheldon says they came out and made some shots.  "it was just nice to get back on the floor.  It has been a crazy schedule.  I mean everybody in the State of Ohio has been dealing with this.  We were even able to get an hour long walk through in on (Monday) and we came out and really played well, shot the ball well all year, I have said when this team shoots the ball well we are pretty good on the offensive end," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "The other thing that I was happy with was our defense.  We held them to 36 points total.  I have stressed all year that that is the key.  We have just been so up and down defensively.  To hold them to 36 points I was happy with out defense."

          With a lot of games still to play, eight in fact, Sheldon says it was nice to get some other kids on the floor.  "The whole second half we were able to play a lot of JV kids, just give them some varsity experience, which never huts this time of year.  It was nice to rest some kids in the second half with all these games coming up," he said.

          Bucyrus (8-6,4-4) beat Colonel Crawford (48-47) on December 27 and Sheldon says that was a night they didn't make many shots and they also didn't close out the game very well.  "Number one we didn't shoot it very well and give Bucyrus credit they defended us very well with some very good man-to-man defense, which has been good for them all year.  Second of all they were able to control the tempo.  They are very patient at the offensive end.  As bad as we shot the ball we had a chance to win it in the end.  We are up three with 1:30 to go and we didn't take care of late game situations, so we were disappointed in that,' said Sheldon.

          Obviously better shooting, but also tempo, are big keys on Friday night in North Robinson according to Sheldon.  He says this is a must win. "Bucyrus is a good team they have played well all year.  It's a team that has a lot of veterans, a lot of experience back from last year, and we knew going in they were going to be a good team.  Give Bucyrus credit they are playing with a lot of confidence.  They are going to come over hear Friday with a lot of confidence and what happened at their place.  We are looking forward to the rematch.  We have told our kids that every game in the league is a championship game.  We have put ourselves behind the eight ball and we have to look at every game as a league championship game from here on out," said Sheldon.

          With a loss in the first game, Sheldon says the Eagles (11-3,6-2), #4 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball poll in the small school division, are looking forward to getting even with Bucyrus.  "You would think you would have to say much to our kids after the first time losing over there, but like I said that wasn't a terrible loss.  This is a good basketball team at Bucyrus.  They have a winning record and they have had some great wins throughout the entire year.  Like I said I give Bucyrus credit for the first time around and we are looking forward to the rematch when they come to our place on Friday night," he said.

 

Published 1/29/14

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Colonel Crawford Knows What it has to do

 

          A loss to Galion on Saturday night has knocked Colonel Crawford from a share of the lead in the North Central Conference.  They now trail Buckeye Central by a game.

          They play the Bucks in New Washington on Saturday night.

          This past Saturday night, Galion led for most of the game and they downed the Eagles (60-51) in North Robinson.  Coach David Sheldon says they just didn't make many shots and that cost them.  "We really struggled to shoot it.  We missed a lot of layups.  We didn't shoot well behind the line offensively.  We were down for most of the night and cut it to a two point lead with about two to go.  We just spent a lot of energy getting back into the game.  We always get Galion's best shot every year," he told Swankonsports.com on Sunday, "Watkins played very well, he had 19 points.  His athleticism really hurt us.  He did some great things for them in the paint.  Three of our top four scorers didn't shoot it well.  When you don't shoot it well you are going to lose some games, especially to a team that is athletic and a team that can score like Galion."

          A loss drops Crawford two games behind Buckeye in the conference race and Sheldon says they can't afford that.  "It is definitely a must win.  I mean give Buckeye credit they have taken care of business there only loss is at our place.  They have had a business like approach and have done a great job.  Nobody has been close to them.  I think their closest game has been nine points.  They are playing well.  It was my prediction at the beginning of the season that they would be one of the top ones in the league.  It's a team playing well and they play together really well.  Phil is going a great job with them as he always does.  It's a must win for us," he said.

          Colonel Crawford (10-3,5-2) beat Buckeye at home (60-48) on December 20.  Sheldon says there is no reason to believe they can't to it again.  "Buckeye is in the catbird seat is the way I look at it.  I told the guys (Saturday) night that last year we went over there and won a their place.  It's not like this is a game we can't win.  We played very well when we played them at our place.  We shot the ball very well and defended them well.  We defended them well holding them to 48 points the first time.  Our defense has just been up and down all year.  We are going to have to bring some defense on Saturday night at Buckeye.  We have to make shots.  We are a team that is mostly guard oriented and if we don't make shots sometimes it's tough for us to score," said Sheldon.

          Austin Wurm (20.6 ppg) and Cade Kaple (13.7 ppg) are two the NCC's leading scorers this year.  Sheldon says they have to contain them, but the other Bucks can score too.  "They have been multi year lettermen.  They have been very good players.  They have been through the wars before and they are having great years.  They thing about Cade is he is also a great passer.  You worry about him scoring, but he is also a great passer.  They have been playing well inside as well.  There are multiple guys that can play on that team offensively.  They share the basketball very well.  They play together as a group," he said.

 

Published 1/20/14

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Colonel Crawford Faces a Tough Weekend in the “NCC”

 

          Many times it is the tough double league weekends that determine conference champions and the North Central Conference has one on the schedule for this weekend.

          Colonel Crawford (10-2,5-1), #5 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coach’s poll in the small school division, shares first with Buckeye Central, a game in front of Bucyrus.

          They host Crestline (3-7,1-5) on Friday and Galion (4-7,3-3) on Saturday in their double.

          Coach David Sheldon says he thinks his team has gotten better this year, but there is still room for improvement.  “As a coach you are always trying to get better.  We are satisfied where we are, but we are not all of the way happy yet.  This is a great week because we have four days of practice.  There have been weeks we haven’t had that because of all of the games we have played.  We have played 12 games already.  We have talked about let’s go everyday in the gym and make yourselves better as a player and as a team,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “We have definitely improved this season, but we are not where we need to be to win a league championship or compete in a tournament run.  We just have keep getting better and fine tuning.  I think focus in January is a big thing.  We have went through two months already in November and December and it’s grind before you get to February and the home stretch.  Our focus now is the next game and trying to win a league championship.”

          With the way the “NCC” is this year, Sheldon knows they can’t afford to take any games off.  “From top to bottom I think this is as balanced the North Central Conference has been in a long time, all of the way down.  There are teams that have beaten people and competed with people.  You are exactly right, every night out you have to bring your “A” game.  If there is a night when you are not bringing it you have to find other ways offensively and defensively in a 14 game league schedule.  We end the first round Friday and begin the second round Saturday, so it’s a tough double league weekend,” said Sheldon.

          Crestline is a team that has shown improvement from last year.  Sheldon says they have some firepower.  “They have three kids that are really nice basketball players.  The Hunger kid, the Kauffman kid, and the Hurst kid.  Those kids can really play.  They beat a good Riverdale team.  They took Upper to a four point game.  With Crestline this is a good basketball team that has competed night in and night out.  So, we have to make sure we bring our “A” game.  The nice thing is it is at our place on Friday night.  We have eight league games left and five are at home and only three on the road.  We have been on the road a lot so far, so it’s nice to get home both this Friday and Saturday,” he said.

          Galion comes to North Robinson on Saturday for a rematch.  The Eagles won the first game (57-48) on December 13.  Sheldon looks for another good game.  “The one thing about Galion, no matter what sport it is, when they play Colonel Crawford they get jacked up.  I think this is a team that is going to come over here very excited to play us.  We went down to the wire at their place at the beginning of the league season.  They are very athletic and they have kids that can shoot the three from the outside.  It is a very explosive offensive team.  We are going to have to hold them in check and do the little things to win that basketball game come Saturday night.  From day one I think we have said Galion is going to be good.  Last weekend they got a big win at Bucyrus.  It’s a team that has shown they can win on the road,” said Sheldon.

 

Published 1/15/14

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Colonel Crawford Stressing Defense

 

          With wins over Riverdale and Wynford last week, Colonel Crawford has moved back into a share of first place in the North Central Conference.

          The Eagles (9-2,4-1), #4 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coach’s poll in the small school division, downed Riverdale (64-47) on Friday and then hammered Wynford (82-41) on Saturday night.

          Coach David Sheldon says they played particularly well in the second 16 minutes against rival Wynford.  “Especially the second half.  The first half was nip and tuck the whole way.  In the third quarter they scored right away and cut it to six.  Then we just sort of went on a run.  We got decent stops, caused some turnovers, got some people back in transition, and before you know it the lead was way out there,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “We got to play most of our subs the entire fourth quarter, which was good to get them some time as well, especially after having a hard fought game the night before at Riverdale.”

          Sheldon believes the sweep of the double weekend of games was a big deal for them.  “I was happy with the double league weekend.  I said going in that going in that was a big weekend.  The thing we have been saying is we have to worry about Colonel Crawford.  That’s the number one thing.  We just have to worry about Colonel Crawford every night out and not worry about other teams, except whoever we are playing that specific night,” he said.

          After being unhappy with their defensive efforts the week before against Bucyrus and Plymouth, both losses, Sheldon says they played much better last week.  “When we talked last week I was not happy with our defensive effort.  We held our teams last week to 38 percent shooting.  Where going in we were giving up 46 percent shooting.  We held them to an average of 44 points compared to 54.  I was very proud of our defensive effort.  In practice we really got after it because we were not happy the week before with the way things turned out,” said Sheldon.

          Crawford plays at Upper Sandusky (6-5,3-2) in an “NCC” game on Saturday night.  Sheldon says the Rams do a lot of good things.  “They are very athletic and a good sized team.  They are led by a freshman that is going to be an unbelievable player in the Vent kid.  He can go inside.  He can go outside.  He is just a very nice player overall.  They are a team that can get out in transition.  They are definitely playing a different style than in the past.  They like to get out and run.  You have to keep them off the offensive glass because of their size.  Defensively they are predominantly a man to man team, but they do show some 2-3 zone.  Coach Winslow is doing a great job with that team.  I think it is a team that has surprised a lot of people this year with what they have done after losing a lot of people last year,” said Sheldon.

          In order to come away with the road win, Sheldon says they must match Upper’s intensity.  “It’s going to be a tough challenge and anytime you go on the road it’s always tough.  They were in first place by themselves going into last weekend.  They are going to be hungry to get back on the floor.  The thing I see is they play so hard and we have to match that intensity when we step on the floor Saturday night,” he said.

 

Published 1/09/14

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A Win For Crawford is Important

 

          Preseason choice Colonel Crawford suffered its first North Central Conference loss last Friday to Bucyrus and now they need to get back on the winning track as they face a double weekend in the conference.

          Bucyrus got a big defensive play in the end and they edged the Eagles (48-47) last Friday.  Crawford coach David Sheldon says they had a very chance to win the game and couldn’t cash in.  “We didn’t make shots and give credit to Bucyrus’s defense.  We had a lead late and let one get away and that is one thing we take pride in as a program if we have a lead late we take care of business and we did some uncharacteristic things.  I knew going into Bucyrus we were going to have our hands full.  Give Bucyrus credit they rose up to the occasion to get a big home win,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “It was our worst shooting night of the year and we just couldn’t get stops when the game was on the line.  We were very disappointed, but we have to learn, and as I have said all year it is a 14 game league schedule, so one league game isn’t going to hurt you, but now you have to claw your way back every night to get back in the league race.”

          Colonel Crawford (7-2,2-1), #3 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coach’s poll in the small school division, will be at Riverdale (3-4,0-3) on Friday night for an “NCC” game.  Sheldon says they need a win and they need it now.  “It is a very big game on Friday night.  Riverdale is always a tough place to play.  If you look at the league stats Riverdale is leading the league in scoring as a team.  It is a very good team.  They have lost some close games.  They beat Carey, one of the best teams in our area small school, when Carey had everybody.  One thing we talked about is we have to get better defensively.  We have been very unhappy, especially in these games where we don’t think we have guard real well.  I think to win games you have to guard because there are going to be nights when you don’t shoot it well.  On those nights your defense can control things if you play good defense.  We went back to basics this week working on fundamentals in defensive approach.  The most important game right now if Friday night when we go over to Riverdale,” said Sheldon.

          Wynford (3-5,1-2) will be down the road at Colonel Crawford on Saturday night.  It will be Steve Mohr’s return to North Robinson, the last place he coached before taking the superintendent’s job at Wynford, and then returning to the bench this year.  Sheldon says the Royals want a track meet.  “Wynford is up tempo and they are going to press you and show multiple defensive looks.  It’s a team that has won some good games.  They beat Bucyrus by double figures at their place.  I know they are coming off a tough loss last Saturday to Carey.  I know Steve will have his kids ready to go this weekend.  Overall this is a big weekend in the “NCC” because everybody has two league games.  As we get to toward the end of the first round teams start to separate and we begin to see what is going to happen,” said Sheldon.

          The Eagles share second in the “NCC” with Buckeye Central and Bcuryus, a game behind Upper Sandusky.  Sheldon says they can still accomplish everything they have planned.  “Even after Friday night our goals are still in our hand.  Our goal is to win the league and one loss is not going to put you out of this thing,” he said.

 

Published 1/03/14

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Colonel Crawford Tries to Hold onto First Place 

          A big win last week over Buckeye Central put Colonel Crawford in the driver’s seat in the North Central Conference, but there is a long season ahead and the Eagles understand.

          Colonel Crawford (7-0,2-0), #1 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coach’s poll in the small school division, downed Buckeye Central, #3 in the poll, (60-48) last week behind 20 points from senior Conner McCreary.  Coach David Sheldon was especially happy with the way they played defense.  “As I said last week it is one game out of 14 that you play for a league championship.  It was definitely a good win because it is a good team coached by a good coach in coach Loy.  Our kids rose to the occasion especially offensively.  I was happy how we started and a couple of kids stepped up in Logan Sager and Dylan Gulley played nice offensive games along with Conner McCreary.  That is what I have said all year there are multiple weapons, not just two or three on this team.  When we share the basketball we are a pretty good team offensively.  I’m happy with our offensive production and more happy with the way we guarded a very good offensive basketball team in Buckeye Central,” said Sheldon.

          The Eagles travel to Bucyrus (4-3,1-1) for an “NCC” game on Friday night,  Bucyrus wasted a big first half lead and lost to Wynford (55-42) last week.  Sheldon says they know Bucyrus will be ready for them.  “We knew it was going to be a very good basketball team this year.  They only lost one guys from last year’s team.  The thing about Bucyrus is when they play a team like Colonel Crawford or Wynford this is a big game for them.  We were able to see them last Saturday against New Riegel, but these kids have always get up fro the county schools.  This is a game that they have circled on their schedule.  Last May when coach Rose was hired he even said that in an article the we want to beat Wynford and Colonel Crawford,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “They are going to be all jacked up going to their place.  The thing that we have to do is stick to the game plan and take one possession at a time an not get too high or low and not get into the emotion of the game.  That is one thing this team has done pretty good so far.  It’s a very good basketball team.  They have some kids that can shoot it and put the ball on the floor.  We are looking forward to the challenge of going to Bucyrus.”

          Then on Saturday night it’s a big non-conference match-up at Plymouth (4-1), #5 in our small school poll, in a re-match from last year’s district title game won by the Eagles (49-48).  Sheldon says they will be facing much the same team.  “We have been very fortunate.  We have played them the last two years in the district tournament.  Two years ago beat them in the district semi-finals and last year in went down to the buzzer and beat them in the district championship and they have everybody back.  I think this is one of the best small school teams in the area.  It a great non-league game for us Saturday night to gauge where we are at.  Unfortunately we are not going to be able to play them in the tournament this year with us moving up to D-3.  This is a district tournament like opponent and that is what you want out of a non-league game.  Our focus all week long is Friday night because our main goal is a league championship, but come Saturday morning when we put the game plan in for Plymouth we are looking forward to that opportunity because it will be a district tournament atmosphere and it’s on the road at Plymouth,” said Sheldon.

 

Published 12/27/13

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Crawford Says it’s NOT a Must Win

 

           A pair of unbeaten teams that are favorites to win the North Central Conference play on Friday night in North Robinson as Colonel Crawford plays host to Buckeye Central.

          The schools are also #1 and #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coach’s poll in the small school division, with Crawford in the top spot.

          Colonel Crawford improved to 6-0 on the season with a (78-70) win over Ridgedale in non-conference play on Tuesday.  Coach David Sheldon is happy with the win, but knows they have to play better, especially on defense.  “They are better this year than they were last.  It’s a team that is young with a lot of freshmen and they have grown up into a pretty good team.  They shot the ball really well.  They hit 10 threes against us and shot over 50 percent.  We had an 18 point lead in the fourth quarter, but they never quit and to their credit they battled back to make it an eight point final.  One thing we talked about afterward is our defense has to get better before Friday night.  This is a team that has shown they can guard, but sometimes in stretches we don’t and I think that is a big key against an explosive offensive team like Buckeye Central.  We have to guard better than we did Tuesday night,” said Sheldon.

          Why is Buckeye (5-0,1-0) so good?  Sheldon has three every good reasons.  “I think the biggest thing is Austin and Storm Wurm and Cade Kaple.  I mean you have three and four year lettermen there.  They are very explosive.  They have four returning lettermen from last year and we knew this was going to be a very good team.  I have said from day one that Buckeye Central is the favorite in this league,” he told Swanknsports.com, “I think Wurm and Kaple make them go, but I think they have good complementary players around them, who do some nice things as well.  It is a team that shares the ball really well.  They are getting out and running the floor a lot more than Buckeye teams in the past and they are very good in transition.  It’s a tough task at hand Friday night, but we are looking forward to it.”

          Sheldon knows there will be a great atmosphere for this game, but he has reminded his players that it is only one game.  “This reminds me of growing up in the old school Crawford County basketball.  You have two undefeated teams from two great communities 10 minutes apart.  I told our kids the other day hat this is what you dream about playing in when you are in elementary basketball.  Since days one our number one goal has been a league championship.  This only one game of 14 league game.  There are a lot of league games left in a very balanced league where one game is not going to determine the league championship come Friday night it’s early in the season,” he said.

          Like most games between very good teams, Sheldon says this is likely to come down to a few big plays.  “Both teams are going to be excited.  Phil (Loy) does a nice job.  I think he has been there 10 years and we have been here eight years at Crawford and they have become a great rival.  Phil and I are great friends.  We are going to play hard for 32 minutes and then we are going to be back helping each other out.  It is going to come down to kids making plays and getting defensive stops.  There are no secrets when you play a good team and a team that is going to be prepared.  We are looking forward to the opportunity to play in front of a big crowd,” said Sheldon.

          Colonel Crawford (6-0,1-0) is the school that is at home, but Sheldon says that isn’t that big of a difference when it comes down to the league.  “I think last year we lost both of our games in the league at home and we won every road game.  If you are going to win league championships you have two in both home games and road games.  I definitely think it’s important.  This is the most important game this week and come Friday and our philosophy is one possession at a time,” he said.

 

Published 12/20/13

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Colonel Crawford Faces First League Test

 

          So far, Colonel Crawford is meeting expectations and those are high expectations.

          In the first Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball poll, which was released Tuesday morning, the Eagles were ranked #1 in the small school division after a 4-0 start to the season.

          That included a (61-42) win over Carey in non-conference play on Saturday night.

          Coach David Sheldon was pleased with the win over one the favorites for the Midland Athletic League title.  “We were very happy with that win.  That’s a good team.  The night before we had saw them and they beat Mohawk by 40.  I left the gym Friday night thinking wow I hope we can compete with these guys.  They are very athletic and had about three dunks the night before.  One of the keys we had going into the game was limiting their second shots and we did a good job with that.  We got some great play from Todd Entenmann and Conner McCreary, two of our guards, and Nate Klinenberger, one of our posts.  Our veterans stepped up in a big game on Saturday and I was happy to get away with a victory against a good Carey basketball team,” said Sheldon.

          The Eagles have a lot of guys that can score, but Sheldon believes that continuing to rebound will be one their keys to success this year.  “We talk about completing a possession.  You could have a great defensive possession, but is you give up an offensive rebound, a stick back, it negates everything.  We talk about completing a possession, by getting a defensive rebound.  I thought we did a pretty good job against an athletic Carey team in limiting them to one shot,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “You can also get easy shots at the offensive end if you do get offensive rebounds.  We call those garbage points.  When a shot goes up we tell our rebounders go get a path off a missed shot.  I think rebounding is a big part of the game and it’s a stat we have watched very closely throughout the seasons.”

          Colonel Crawford, the preseason choice to win the North Central Conference in its final year, plays at Galion (1-2) on Friday night in its conference opener.  The Tigers got their first win of the season Tuesday night over Northmor (64-44) in non-league play.  Sheldon says the Tigers have a lot of weapons.  “I think they are one of the top teams in our league.  The league has gotten very good if you look at the non-league records of the “NCC.”  They have played some tough non-league games playing a very good North Union team and losing in overtime to Madison on Saturday.  I think they have two very good shooters and scorers in the (Ridge) Durbin and the (Lucas) Bohach kids and then they have great athletes around them.  Armistead is a great athlete and they get Dariean Watkins back.  He becomes eligible this week is what I am hearing and that is another great athlete on the floor.  This is a very athletic basketball team.  A lot of those athletes you saw on the football field are now on the hardwood,” said Sheldon.

          With the athletes that Galion puts on the floor, Sheldon says they have to handle their transition game.  “We have to make sure we can contain their transition baskets and we have to limit them to one shot with their sputability.  It’s on the road at Galion.  It’s always a tough place to play.  I think this is a very dangerous basketball team that has a chance to be a very good basketball team over the course of the year with their athletes.  Ed (Rich) plays a lot of guys.  He is playing nine, 10 guys.  They are very deep as well, so they are going to try and run and wear you down.  We have to make sure we take care of business with our philosophy on Friday night,” he said.

 

Published 12/11/13

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Defense the Answer For Colonel Crawford

 

          If Colonel Crawford is going to continue to improve as a girls’ basketball team then defense is the answer for them and things are stating to move in the right direction.

          The Lady Eagles (1-3,1-0) notched their first win of the season last Friday night when they got past Galion (45-39) in a North Central Conference game.  Alexus Burkhart led the way scoring 13 points for Crawford.

          Coach Kyle Fenner says that game was similar to some others that they have played early in this season, but this time they were able to make some plays in the fourth quarter that they weren’t in the previous games.  “It was a much needed win.  The girls have worked hard throughout the preseason and the first three games of the season.  We just didn’t get things to go our way.  We just didn’t make plays down the stretch, but Friday night we did that.  I told our girls that we made some plays and got it done and got the win, so it makes everybody feel better,” she said.

          Fenner, in her second tour as the Lady Eagles head coach, says they have been working hard to become a better defensive team, especially man-to-man defense.  “We only had three girls back with any kind of varsity experience and only one of them was a starter.  We have had to take a step back to work on our man defense, they didn’t play a whole lot of man defense the last three years, so we have been teaching them some fundamental defensive principals,” she told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “What I have always believed is you have to defend and live off your defense.  We are coming.  We are still a work in progress, but I think as our defense gets better we will get better.”

          In their second conference game of the year they host Buckeye Central (2-2,0-1) on Tuesday night in North Robinson.  Buckeye lost (74-31) to Wynford in their first “NCC” test last Friday.  Fenner believes ball handling and again defense are going to be the keys to their success.  “They are going to play really, really hard.  Greg Moore teams always play really hard and get after you.  Defensively they are going to get after us in the floor court and we are going to have to handle the basketball.  We are going to have to be patient offensively and run our sets and get good looks.  As always we have to defend.  We have to defend and take away what they want to do and I’m sure they are going to do the same thing to us, so it should be a good game (Tuesday) night,” said Fenner.

 

Published 12/10/13

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Colonel Crawford Finding a Way

 

          When you are a good team you find ways to win games and that is what Colonel Crawford did last week and that is why they are a good team and probably a very good team.

          After blasting Seneca East (105-56) last Friday, the Eagles rallied to beat Mansfield Christian (56-54) after trailing by 12 points at halftime.  Coach David Sheldon says they were able to battle through adversity and get the win.  “I was really proud of my kids they really showed a lot of character coming back in the second half Saturday night.  We were down 14 in the third quarter and on the road in a tough place to play.  We just battled back one possession at a time and found a way to take the lead late in the game.  We really struggled in the first half,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “We played a little selfishly in the first half on the offensive end and you have to credit Mansfield Christian.  They played some very good defense and did some things against us in the first half.  I was really happy with the adversity that our kids faced they hung in there and found a way to win on the road and sometimes you have to do that in a long season.”

          It was defense and rebounding that was difference for Crawford against the Flames.  Sheldon says when you aren’t shooting well it has to be execution of the other elements of the game that need to come to the forefront.  “We didn’t shoot it really well.  We struggled shooting a little bit that night and we found a way to get some offensive rebounds in the second half and got some steals off of our defense and got some easy hoops and were able to change the momentum a little bit late in the game.  You have to give credit to our guys they found a way and battled through adversity.  That is a very good Mansfield Christian team.  They have four starters back from a team that won 17 games last year and they are going to win a lot of basketball games.  John Kurtz does a great job down there at Mansfield Christian.  They play hard and are very patient on offense and they get up into you defensively,” said Sheldon.

          Colonel Crawford visits Northmor of the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference for a non-conference contest on Thursday night.  Sheldon says the Golden Knights have some shooters.  “It’s always a tough place to go down there and play.  It is a road game during the week.  The Donner boys are back, two really good outside shooters.  It’s a good road test on Thursday before we come back Saturday against a really good Carey team, who is picked to win the “MAL,” and beat us last year at their place,” he said.

          Carey (0-1) will be in North Robinson on Saturday night.  Sheldon says that will a real battle for them.  “They have four or five starters back.  It is a team that is very athletic.  They are picked to win the “MAL.”  It’s Carey team that is always going to play hard.  They are tough kids up there.  It will be a challenge for us when they come to our place on Saturday,” he said.

 

Published 12/4/13

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Colonel Crawford a Veteran Team

 

          Colonel Crawford is poised to make a run at another North Central Conference boys’ basketball title.  They won division titles the last two years.

          This has been a shorter preseason, which has been well documented here, and Crawford coach David Sheldon says having a lot of experience returning has been a real plus this year.  “We have definitely made progress over the course of the last week.  When we scrimmaged two Saturdays ago till our last scrimmage last Saturday the nice thing we made progress.  I think we are getting our legs back from football season.  I have been happy because our guys have really worked hard.  Sometimes you worry about that coming off a long football year,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “They have really come into the gym with a great attitude and I think they are excited to get going.  The nice thing is we have a veteran team.  We have all juniors and seniors playing varsity, there are no freshmen and sophomores, so they know the expectations.  They understand what’s at stake.  It’s nice to have a veteran group with the short amount of practice we have had this preseason.”

          If there are any lingering affects from the football season that saw the Eagles earn a conference co-title and make the playoffs, Sheldon says their depth will help them.  “We go nine deep and that’s a good thing.  With the depth if we have tired legs we can rotate in some guys early and I think that will help us.  We have done a lot of full court drills this season.  A lot of drills with the ball in our hands not just running to get us in shape for game like situations,” he said.

          Crawford plays host to Seneca East in their first game on Friday night.  Sheldon says they have a new coach in Joe Nowak.  He says the Tigers will be athletic.  “They have two kids back that started for them last year in the Caudill and Hall kids.  It’s a new coach, he was part of the system a year ago.  He was the JV coach, but they have two quality kids back.  In our season a year ago we had six losses and this was one of them.  We went on the road last year there and got beat late in the year.  They are athletic.  Caudill was a quarterback too.  He is a nice athlete.  They also had a good JV team,” said Sheldon.

          There seem to be a lot of new coaches this year and there are always questions in terms of approach when that is the case.  Sheldon says the Tigers look similar.  “It’s going to be a tough match-up and you always wonder game one.  You are happy to get game one under your belt and you know what kids can do.  It’s a new coach, but it looks like they are going to do a lot of the same things they have done in the past,” he said.

They complete a double weekend at Mansfield Christian with a game at “The Furnace” on Saturday night.  Sheldon expects tough man to man defense from the Flames.  “They are going to be real good.  They are coming off 17 wins a year ago.  I think John Kurtz does a great job.  I have always been impressed when I played him at Crestview or at Mansfield Christian.  They have a lot of kids back and thing about them is they always play tough man to man defense.  They are going to get in you and they are going to try and take stuff away.  It’s their home opener when we go down their Saturday.  Anytime you go down to Christian it’s always a tough place to play,” said Sheldon.

 

Published 11/27/13

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Fenner Back at Colonel Crawford

 

          Kyle Fenner led the Colonel Crawford Lady Eagles to back to back state tournament appearances in 1999 and 2000 during a successful run as their head coach.  After taking some years off to watch her son Grant play for Shelby she has returned to the Lady Eagles bench.

          They open their season with a game at Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference member Marion Pleasant on Friday night in non-conference play.

          Fenner told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday that it was just the right time in her life to get back into coaching, plus she believes these girls will play hard for her.  “It just seemed to be the right thing to do in our life right now.  The job just came open and my son just graduated last year (from Shelby) and my next is a sixth grader and we just have a little bit more time.  It just seemed to be the right thing to do to get back into it,” said Fenner.

          Crawford won the silver division of the North Central Conference last year, but they don’t return a lot of experience from that team and Fenner says they are a work in progress.  “We’ve got to know each other.  We are young and inexperienced.  We have only one starter back, but we are working hard and making progress and getting better, so we will continue to do that every night,” she said.

          For the Lady Eagles to be successful this season Fenner says the key is for them to play well on defense and be able to get on the boards consistently.  “We have talked the girls about that fact that we have to defend every night and we have to rebound.  We are looking to get better defensively.  We are trying to learn some concepts and make sure that we defend every night.  We need our young kids to come around, especially on the defensive end and rebound every night,” said Fenner.

          There might be so growing pains at the beginning of the season, but Fenner believes by the end of the regular season the Lady Eagles are going to be pretty good.  “One thing that I liked about these kids, I guess one of the reasons I took the job was because I had these kids in class when they were in junior high and knew that they worked really hard.  I know they are going to work hard and as the season goes on we are going to get a lot better.  We are going to be better in February,” said Fenner

 

Published 11/20/13

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Crawford Gunning For Another Title

 

          Colonel Crawford has grown into one of the most consistent small school basketball programs in North Central Ohio.

          This winter they will aiming for their third straight North Central Conference title in the final year for the league.  There will be no divisions this time.

          Coach David Sheldon says they will be talented again this season and the players except to have success.  “This is our eighth year here at Colonel Crawford and we have the program where we expect to have success every year.  We were very fortunate to get to the regionals the last two years.  We have four lettermen off that team last year back, had a JV team that went undefeated, and a freshmen team that lost one.  We expect success and with that we have to work hard.  We had a great summer with our kids and in the fall for those not in a fall sport.  We are excited to get going.  It’s crazy it opens up two weeks from (today).  Our football guys just got done.  They just started this past Wednesday,” said Sheldon.

          The Eagles lost in the first week of football playoff action and without a lot of time to get ready for their opener November 29 against Seneca East  Sheldon says they are holding practice twice a day.  “We are going two a days right now.  You hear about that in football, but we have been going two a days all this week.  Just getting our football guys we are trying to get ready with the season just two weeks away.  The big thing now is just getting prepared and getting football guys into basketball shape.  With what we are able to do in the summer now our guys come in knowing what we expect in offensive and defensive philosophy,” he said.

          With as much success as they have had program wide over the last several years, Sheldon says they are have a lot of guys that are competing for playing time at the varsity level.  “We have over 30 kids in the program.  I always tell the guys it is totally different than football.  In football you have 11 offensive guys and 11 defensive guys and all the special teams, well guess what in basketball we can only play five at the same time.  We have a lot of competition just (Wednesday) the competition is really good in the gym and that just makes you better.  We have kids competing in drills.  We have winners and losers in every drill.  The competition we get against each other is really great.  We try to do everything at game speed.  It’s a great thing to have competition within competition.  Guys are fighting for spots to be able to play on Friday night,” said Sheldon.

          Just because there are no longer divisions in the “NCC” Sheldon says that doesn’t mean their goals have changed, they remain the same.  “Our number one goal every year is to compete for a league championship.  We have been fortunate the last two years to win the silver division.  Our goals are still the same to compete for a league championship, but that starts right now everyday coming into practice and getting better,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “You don’t compete for a league championship in February, right now we are trying to get better every day as individuals and as a team.  With the success we have had the last seven years we always talk about what is this team’s legacy going to be?  What is this team going to bring to the table?  We challenge our guys by saying the past is the past and now it is a brand new chapter of Colonel Crawford basketball.  This is a very balanced league as there are no longer any divisions.  The one thing about the “NCC” is it’s a tough outing every time you take the floor.”

 

Published 11/15/13

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Colonel Crawford Plays Pass Happy Wayne Trace

 

          After never being there before the Colonel Crawford Eagles are making their second straight playoff appearance as they host Haviland Wayne Trace in a first round game in division six on Friday night.

          Crawford (9-1) shared the North Central Conference title, in the last year of the league, with Galion after putting together a six game winning streak.  Coach Ryan Teglovic says they have continued to work hard and have improved each week in the last six.  “The last five games we have gotten better every week.  We have beaten some pretty good football teams in that stretch.  You know, we have won some close games too in that stretch.  I think when we won some of those close games against good teams it gave the guys some confidence.  Hopefully we can continue to improve every week,” said Teglovic.

          In putting up some big offensive numbers the Eagles have played well with the ball, but they have played well without it too.  Wins over Wynford (20-14) and Upper Sandusky (28-27) are examples.  Teglovic says he is proud of that unit.  “We have played better football defensively each week.  I think we have played more consistent and a little bit more physical football.  Not that we were bad in the beginning, but I just think that is a unit that is getting getter every week,” he said.

          Wayne Trace (9-1) is an electric offensive football team.  They average almost 50 points a game.  They scored 80 in a shutout of Holgate and three other times more than 60.  Their only loss comes to Defiance Tinora (27-16) on week eight.  Teglovic says there is no doubt about it the Raiders want to throw the football.  “They are good football team.  There only loss of the year comes to Defiance Tinora, the number one seed in our region.  They are a great football team,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “They throw the ball all over the place.  They have a quarterback that has thrown for 3,400 yards and has thrown for 40 touchdowns passes.  They have averaged about 49 points a game.  Offensively they are a scary football team with a lot of weapons.”

          There have been some good offensive football teams that the Eagles have faced this year, however, Teglovic admits not any that throw it as much as Wayne Trace.  “They are totally different.  They are a throwing football team.  Maybe the closest that we have seen is Bucyrus, but Bucyrus rushes the football and rushes the football quite a bit.  These guys are pass first all of the way.  They are going to sling it all over the field.  They are a high octane offense and rely on their big play ability,” he said.

 

Published 11/07/13

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Some Good Things Result From a Colonel Crawford Win

 

 

          It has already been a good season for the Colonel Crawford Eagles and it can become a great one with a win over Crestline in North Robinson on Friday night.

          A win gives the Eagles (8-1,5-1) no less than a share of the North Central Conference title, an Upper Sandusky win over Galion would give it to the Eagles outright.  They already have a playoff spot for the second straight year, but another win would probably put them in North Robinson again next week in the first round.

          This all became possible when Crawford edged Upper Sandusky (28-27) last week when Nate Klingenberger accounted for three scores.  Coach Ryan Teglovic says both teams gave it all they had.  “It was an excellent football game played by two pretty good football teams.  It was two teams that played extremely hard and left it on the field,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “It was a privilege to be part of the Wynford game the week before and was a privilege to part of this game.  Two good teams and two teams that went there playing hard.  I’m proud of our kids and it was just a great win.”

          After a tough loss to Galion (35-14) in their first “NCC” game of the year, the Eagles have put together a five game winning streak. Teglovic says they have done a great job of battling and consistently getting better each week.  “That was a tough loss to start off your league going 0-1 after playing a real good Galion football team that beat us that first game.  I was proud of our kids to be able to bounce back from that.  We took things one week at a time.  We able to put ourselves in position for some things by winning five games in a row against some real good football teams,” said Teglovic.

          Colonel Crawford is a considerable favorite in this game as the Bulldogs (1-8,0-6) have just one win and that comes against winless South Central.  Teglovic says Crestline has some size and a pretty good quarterback to go along with it.  “They are one the bigger teams we have played.  They are huge, a lot of big kids there.  I have been really impressed by their quarterback.  They played a couple of different kids due to injuries, but the Hurst kid is very good.  He has good speed and you have to keep him contained in the pocket,” he said.

          With another in on Friday Teglovic says his team can accomplish some pretty special things.  “We would like to come out and continue to play good football as we have played good football these last five weeks and we certainly want to do that again on Friday night in the last regular season game.  It is an opportunity for us to go 9-1 and that has only been done three other times in Colonel Crawford history.  There is the possibility of a home playoff game.  If we win we get a chance to share the “NCC,” so there is certainly a lot riding on the game,” said Teglovic.

 

Published 10/31/13

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Colonel Crawford Facing Rival in Big Game

 

          Colonel Crawford is involved in a wild race, with four teams tied at the top, in the North Central Conference with only three weeks remaining in the regular season.

          The Eagles, Galion, Upper Sandusky and Wynford are all 3-1 in the “NCC” and Crawford hosts Wynford on Friday night in North Robinson.

          Last week, the Eagles (6-1,3-1) hammered Riverdale (59-14) in an “NCC” game and coach Ryan Tgelovic says for the second straight week they played a complete game.  “I thought it was a solid game.  I thought it was something we needed to do.  We made a couple of mistakes, but that happens out there on the field.  I feel like offensively we played very well.  I feel like defensively we played very well,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “We had a kickoff return for a touchdown as well, so we did some good things in the special teams.  There are some things to work on there always are, but overall it was the kind of performance we were looking for.”

          Dalton Scott ran for 181 yards last week against Riverdale and quarterback Nate Klingenberger has been running the ball well all year.  Teglovic says they ran it pretty good last year and they have been able to continue that this fall.  “It was kind of a nock on us from last year coming in that maybe we couldn’t run the ball.  We did have a running back last year that was about two carries from 1,000 yards.  We felt like we ran the ball fairly affectively last year and we felt like we could do it this year as well.  It seems they have been worried about the passing game and when they take people out of the box we have been able to run the ball affectively,” said Teglovic.

          Wynford (4-3,3-1) comes off a thrilling overtime win (14-13) over Galion last week.  Teglovic has great respect for the Wynford football program.  “It’s a great football team and a great football program.  It was a big win for them last week against a great Galion team.  They are riding high.  They are playing for a lot.  We are playing for a lot.  It should be a great football game.  Obviously we have five really good football teams in the “NCC.”  From what you could see from the scores last week.  All these teams in there competing for a conference title these last three weeks are going to be very exciting,” he said.

          Wynford has played pretty solid defense all season long and Teglovic says they have to keep the Royals guessing.  “Well we have to be balanced.  We have to run the football and pass the football and try to keep people off balance.  You have to have a good game plan and execute the things we are working on all week,” he said.

 

Published 10/15/13

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Run Defense Key for Crawford

 

          Colonel Crawford is game back in the North Central Conference standings and they stand fifth in their computer region and that means they have some important games to play down the stretch.

          They are at Riverdale (1-5,1-2) on Friday night.

          The Eagles (5-1,2-1) beat Bucyrus (20-10) last week and coach Ryan Teglovic thinks it might have been their best game of the season so far.  “They have one of the better offenses in the “NCC” and they have been explosive, even in their non-conference games.  Their offense has been good and they have a lot of weapons.  I was very happy with the way our defense played,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “I thought overall it was probably our best game, not just defensively, but I thought we controlled the line of scrimmage offensively as well and we ran the ball very effectively and has nice special teams as well.”

          There have been games when they have scored more points this year, but Teglovic believes that last week against Bucyrus was their most consistent effort of the year.  “It was nice Friday night to put the three phases together.  I felt like at times the offense has played well, I felt like at times the defense has played well and the special teams, but I never felt like we had put all three of those together.  Last Friday thought we put all three of those together,” he said.

          Riverdale was punished in their non-league games, but since they have started play in the “NCC” they have been better.  They beat Crestline (48-26) for their first win last week.  Teglovic says there is a reason for that.  “Riverdale has two very good running backs.  One of the guys was out the first three games, so he is back.  He is an exceptional player.  He is a three year starter.  Since he has been back he has averaged over 100 yards in all of those games.  It just so happens that both of those guys play linebacker as well and they are pretty good linebackers.  We’ll have to stand the guys up when they have the ball and get a hat on them when they are on defense,” said Teglovic.

          Against the Falcons, a team that wants to run the ball, Teglovic knows the point of attack is going to be a big key for them.  “They run the ball affectively.  Our defensive line and out linebackers are going to have to do a good job of tackling and maintaining the line of scrimmage.  Being physical is going to be a real key for us and then our offense being able to control the football,” he said

 

Published 10/11/13

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Crawford Wants Complete Game

 

          Colonel Crawford has played well in parts of games this season, but really not for a whole game and that has to change.

          The Eagles (4-1,1-1) play at Bucyrus on Friday night in a North Central Conference game.

          Last week, Crawford responded to a loss to Galion (35-14) the week before to beat Buckeye Central (38-13) in an “NCC: match-up.  Coach Ryan Teglovic saw some good things, but really not enough.  “It was a fairly important game after the Galion game trying to get back in the win column.  I thought our kids did a pretty good job of that.  I wasn’t overly pleased with the way we played.  I thought at times we played well.  I liked the way we ended up finishing the game.  Overall we’ll take the win,” he said.

          Bucyrus (2-3,1-1) has become more competitive this year.  They lost by just one point to Wynford (41-40) when they failed to get a two point conversion.  Teglovic says they have an explosive offense.  “They have a nice team.  They can both run it and pass it.  They have thrown for over 1,000 yards already.  He is also a very good rusher.  They have a kid in the backfield by the name of White, who is a very good running back.  They have put up some really good numbers offensively.  They have done that all year.  We will have our hands full there,” he said.

          Teglovic knows they will have to play well to get past the Redmen and that means in all three phases of the game.  “What we have talked to out kids about is playing an overall solid game.  I’d like to see all three phases together, offense, defense and special teams,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday night, “At times we have been good in special teams, at times we have been good in defense, and at times we have been good offensively, but we need to be able to put all three of those things together on (Friday) night and make sure we don’t turn over the football,.”

          Bucyrus runs a spread offense with a quick tempo and Teglovic says that forces you be disciplined and quick decision makers when you are on defense.  “It’s the new style teams are playing fast and are more and more athletic and get their kids out in space and try to make plays.  That is the way offenses are going.  You have got to be very sharp and tackle well.  You have to make sure you are in the right position, in the right spot.  In order to do all of those things it puts a lot of stress on you,” said Teglovic.

 

Published 10/4/13

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Colonel Crawford Needs a Win

 

          After a setback to Galion last week, their first of the season, the Colonel Crawford Eagles need to return to winning if they are to have a chance at capturing the North Central Conference title.

          Last week, Galion beat the Eagles (35-14), but coach Ryan Teglovic felt they did some good things against the Tigers and have been working this week on things identified as areas that need to be strengthened.  “Sometimes you can come out of a loss and really learn some things and really get better in some areas and I thought we did.  I thought there were some areas that we actually improved on form the New London game to the Galion game.  Overall, I was very happy with our kid’s effort.  At times execution maybe not the greatest, but at times our executions was little bit better too.  Galion obviously a very good football team.  Dareian Watkins is a very good football player.  He carried the ball 38 times against us.  He averaged around 5.4 yards per carry on Friday night and that’s below his average, so he had a phenomenal game against us and he had 200 yards against us, but if you look inside there were some things I thought we did pretty well,” said Teglovic.

          Buckeye Central (1-3,0-1) will be in North Robinson to battle the Eagles on Friday night.  Teglovic says they can’t wait for Friday because they have some things to prove.  “It is one of those weeks where Friday can’t come quick enough.  I mean honestly we have to get some work done this week because we have Buckeye Central coming in.  I think to some extent they are starting to get healthy.  They have done some good things, so we are going to be pressed on Friday night.  We have to get a good week of practice in and sure some things up and get better.  Our kids want to get back on field.  They want to improve on some things they didn’t do so well.  We need to get back on the beam and hopefully we can get back out there and do what we need to do,” said Teglovic.

          Now, this year the Bucks have been running the ball quite a bit, but Teglovic says that may change this week due to personnel.  “They certainly have been, especially early on because both of their quarterbacks have been hurt.  Both their starter and their back up went out during scrimmages, so they were starting a freshman young man at quarterback.  He was doing a good job for them as a freshman, but you are certainly limited on what you are going to allow a freshman to do.  They have had very good success early on running the ball with the Balldoser and Roberts kids.  Those are two big, physical guys that are athletes, so it has been run first,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “Now, I believe that one of those guys has been cleared to play quarterback.  My guess is he will play a little bit Friday night.  How much more they will do in the passing game remains to be seen.  A couple of years ago when they had the Erwin kid at quarterback they were throwing it quite a bit.  We will have to see what they do.”

 

Published 9/26/13

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Colonel Crawford Faces Athletic Galion

 

          It’s the first week of the last year of football in the North Central Conference, a league that dates back to the 1960’s and play in the “NCC” is highlighted this week by Colonel Crawford’s visit to Galion.

          Last season, Colonel Crawford won the silver division and Galion the black division.  This year with eight schools in the league there are no division, so only one title is going to be available.

          Last week, Crawford downed New London (33-27) in non-conference play.  Coach Ryan Teglovic says they played pretty sound on both sides of the ball.  “I thought offensively we played extremely well and defensively we played well.  We have to shore some things up, but we got stops when we needed too.  We were good enough to get a victory over a pretty good football team,” he said.

          Galion has an explosive offense led by quarterback Darin Watkins.  Teglovic says they show very good balance.  “Their offense is averaging about seven yards a carry and when they throw the football they have completed 19 passes on the year and six of them have been for touchdowns.  That is the big thing is you have to be ready for whatever they do.  You have to be on good balance and attack them,” said Teglovic.

          The Tigers have not made the number of big plays that they did last year, but they have that potential anytime they have their hands on the ball.  Teglovic told Swankonsports.com that they have to be able to tackle in space.  “You have to tackle and you have to execute well at the point of attack.  If they get into the second level there is just a lot of space that has to be accounted for.  It’s going to be a difficult thing to do, but you have to limit the amount of space they have to run in.  If they are going to gain yards at least they have to earn it,” he said.

          Galion’s defense has not allowed more than two scores in any game this year.  Teglovic says the Tigers are athletic in the defensive backfield and that gives them ability to bring some pressure.  “On the defensive side of the ball they do a great job there.  They limited Keystone to two touchdowns and Madison to just one.  They never rush less than five guys and they have the athletes to cover your receivers and then they can put a lot of guys in the box,” said Teglovic.

 

Published 9/20/13

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Colonel Crawford Needs to Play Fundamental Football

 

          Colonel Crawford plays host to New London this week in a non-conference game that features two teams that have both won their first two games of the season.

          The Eagles beat Northmor (52-13) last week.  Coach Ryan Tgelovic saw some improvement from week one against Mt. Gilead, but they still have some things to refine.  “I think we improved a lot between weeks one and two.  I think we caught the ball a little better.  I thought we played in the secondary a little better.  I thought overall we made some strides.  We still have some areas to work on.  We had a lot of penalties.  We have some problems scoring in the red zone.  We have to get better on defense and on special teams.  It was a nice improvement from week one to week two,” said Teglovic.

          He says there have been a lot of teaching situations this week in practice.  “You want to tell kids that we did things better.  We did this better in this area.  We want to let them know about things that if don’t get better it is going to come back to haunt you.  We did some things better last week, but we have some things that we have to sure up this week,” he said.

          New London has beaten Buckeye Central (20-7) and Oberlin Firelands (35-7) in their first two games.  Teglovic says the Wildcats have some experience back.  “Like us they are getting better.  They are 2-0 coming in and won 35-7 last week over Firelands.  In week one they had beaten Buckeye Central,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “Their quarterback is back from last year.  They have two running backs back from a year ago.  They are a good football team.  They have weapons offensively.  They are physical defensively.  It’s a battle of two 2-0 teams.  It should be a good game all around for us.”

          Like a lot of game featuring teams that have been playing well, Teglovic thinks this one might come down to turnovers and which team makes the fewest mistakes.  “In a game where you are talking about a couple of teams that are playing pretty well often times it comes down to making sure you can take care of the ball.  Make sure you do the little things well and maintain good field position.  We need to continue to play fundamental football and improve the things that we didn’t do so well last week,” said Teglovic.

 

Published 9/10/13

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Some Good and Some Bad For Colonel Crawford

 

          The assessment of the coaching staff is Colonel Crawford did some good things last week against Mt. Gilead, but some bad things too.  Probably more good though.

          They railed in the final three quarters to beat the Indians going away (30-13) on the opening night.

          Coach Ryan Teglovic says there were some ups and downs.  “I thought it was a pretty typical opener.  We did some things not very well.  We did some things well.  We obviously turned the ball over too much early on, some blocking assignments were missed, we had five dropped passes.  There are some things we need to correct defensively, some technique things we need to work on.  There were some good things too,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “I thought our kids played hard.  I thought we played physical football.  Mt. Gilead came out really physical and I thought we matched that physicality.  We were diverse enough offensively and I think we can do a variety of things there.”

          Last week, Northmor hammered Crestline (42-6) and had two backs, Jake Farley and Jamie Baldridge, go over 100 yards.  Teglovic says the Golden Knights did some very good things.  “They had a nice game.  Not just against Crestline.  They did well in their scrimmages.  We have been able to see a variety of those and they have competed and competed well.  The quarterback is a very nice player.  Their halfback is a senior and a great player.  Their kids up front have been improving every week.  They have a lot of kids in the program now.  They have been in the weight room.  It is certainly a team on the rise.  I think they are a greatly improved team,” he said.

          Although they pilled up a lot of rushing yards, Teglovic says that doesn’t mean they can’t through the ball.  He says quarterback Zach Carroll is, in his opinion, is the Knight’s best player.  “Definitely I think their strong point is rushing the football, there is no question about that.  They did throw the football in a variety of ways last week   They do have some ability to do that.  They are not totally one dimensional.  I think one thing that they do very well is they screen very well even out of a full house set.  They quarterback is their best player, so I don’t think they run the ball because they don’t think he can play because I think he is a pretty good player,” said Teglovic.

 

Published 9/04/13

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Colonel Crawford Wants Balance

 

          Colonel Crawford made the playoffs for the first time in school history last year and now they want to maintain that level of performance and build on it.

          Coach Ryan Teglovic believes he has seen improvement in all areas of the team during the preseason work and scrimmages.  “I feel like in our three scrimmages we have made improvements in between each of those and that is a good thing.  Obviously we still have a long way to go and we need to make that week to week improvement.  Hopefully we can continue on that process,” he said.

          Over the last couple of years the Eagles have thrown the ball a lot more, but Teglovic says they have to run it to and they have proven they can do that.  “Last year with the passing attack that we had with Nate (Klingenberger) having 2,000 yards passing and the receivers we had we still had a running back in Spencer Tacket just short of a 1,000 yards.  We had a lot of rain last year, the last five or six games we played in bad conditions,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “They weren’t conditions when we could throw the football and we were still able to run the ball.  You have to be balanced and continue to be able to pass the ball and run the ball.”

          The Eagles host the Mt. Gilead Indians in non-conference play in North Robinson on Friday night.  Teglovic says there will be a lot of unknowns about the Indians this time.  “There is a new coach in this year, so we are not has familiar with them as we have been.  Their numbers are up.  They have 50 kids on the roster this year.  That is a lot more than they have had.  Having seen them in person I think they are physical.  They get off the ball.  They play a physical style.  On offense and defense they are going to come out and give great effort,” said Teglovic.

          The Crawford coach says week one alone produces a lot of stress for coaches due to the number of things that have not been tested in the preseason that can go wrong, especially in the special teams.  “I think week one is huge.  You just don’t ever know what to expect.  You don’t what to expect from the other team.  You don’t necessarily know what to expect from your kids.  Nobody has done special teams in a live format.  Those kinds of things like kickoff returns and punt returns always scare you a little bit game one.  Just overall the unexpected of what can happen on game one,” said Teglovic.

 

Published 8/29/13

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Crawford Wants to be Physical

 

          The Colonel Crawford Eagles have accomplished the goal of becoming winners and now comes the tougher part of remaining at that level.

          Last year, they won a division title in the North Central Conference and made the playoffs for the first time.  Winning the conference became harder this year with the reduction of two teams and the reducing to one division.

          With the regular season still a week away coach Ryan Teglovic believes their practice sessions have still been crisp.   “I think our guys have done a nice job of staying interested.  The schedule is a little bit different this year and that can definitely pose some problems.  We have started school and we don’t have a game for another week and a half.  Often times we have played a game before the school year even started.  It’s been a little different schedule this year for the kids to adjust too.  We are scrimmaging while school is going on,” said Teglovic.

          The Eagles host Grandview Heights in their last scrimmage this weekend and Teglovic says they will treat it more like a real game than the ones they have had so far.  “Probably one of the main things I’d like to see from this last scrimmage is just game readiness.  We will run that scrimmage a little bit more like a game,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “We will get our special teams guys on and off the field.  We will look to see if we have the right personnel and make sure we get the offensive and defensive units on and off the field.  Maybe try to make some halftime adjustments just to get the kids accustomed to what it will be like on game night so that first night they have some idea of what is going on.”

          Crawford will have some of the better skilled athletes in the league if not the area, plus Teglovic has liked what he has seen in the trenches over the last couple of weeks.  “I feel like we have been physical and that is with losing the amount of offensive lineman that we did.  I think we have enough guys that can play physical football and that has been a real important thing for us.  We like some the things we have seen there, but we obviously still have a long way to go.  However, those are encouraging things,” he said.

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford Has Lofty Goals

 

          Colonel Crawford won its first conference title in nearly 20 years and earned its first ever playoff berth in 2012.

          This year the Eagles, with a lot of talent back, have a chance to be just as good if not better.

          They saw their first action against another opponent on Tuesday and coach Ryan Teglovic says they played hard and did some good things.  “We had a scrimmage (Tuesday) against Tiffin Calvert and South Central at Tiffin and I liked some things that we saw.  The kids were aggressive.  I thought we did some good things in that aspect.  Obviously we have a lot to work on techniques and a lot of small things we can correct with film.  Hopefully we can improve some of those things when we go out on the field against Ontario on Friday,” he said.

          Tegolvic says they want to continue to get better as a team and take some positive steps when they play Ontario in a full scrimmage on Friday.  “It’s a nice thing to have those three preseason games because that is what we want to do all year long is to go out and compete on the game field and give a great effort.  I think we got a good effort (Tuesday) and then after that you want to go out and evaluate on film the things we want to do better technique wise and try and improve that for the next time out,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “I talked our kids (Tuesday) that the constant in there is effort and playing hard and being aggressive and those things.  As long as that’s going on everything else is just teaching and hopefully from week to week we will continue to teach and continue to improve.”

          The Eagles have taken great strides over the last half decade and Teglovic says after last year they are in a different situation this season and they need to react well.  “We are going to see how we respond to that.  It is the first time these guys have been put in that situation.  They are coming off a successful year and we have quite a few of those guys coming back, so now you are not sneaking up on people and the expectations are there for you to go out and compete well every night and that’s a different mind set.  We are going to have to see how our guys respond to that.  The expectations are a little higher,” said Teglovic.

          This is the last year for the North Central Conference and there will not be divisions as their have been for the last two years with Ontario and Lucas no longer in the league.  Teglovic says with teams like Galion, Upper Sandusky and Wynford this should be a very interesting year.  “It’s a great mix.  It’s a great league.  It has been a really good football league for the last two years.  We had four teams in the playoffs last year.  I think it has the opportunity to be as good or better this year with the amount of good football teams we have in the league,” he said.    

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford in Final Four

 

          The Colonel Crawford Lady Eagles have a date with Rockford Parkway in the division four state semi finals on Thursday evening at Firestone Park in Akron.

          Parkway (22-5) beat Edgerton (10-0) in six innings last Saturday at Findlay High School to earn their ticket to the state tournament.

          Colonel Crawford coach Chuck Huggins says they will be facing another outstanding pitcher on Thursday.  “The way I described them to the girls pitching wise, the girls always want to know about the pitcher, she is very, very, very similar to the Eagans girl from Vienna Matthews.  She will bring it in the upper 50’s and maybe top out at 60 MPH.  She really likes to go up and out in the strike zone to try and get you to chase.  She is only a junior, so she is an underclassmen like the Eagans girl,” said Huggins.

          Crawford (18-9) beat Vienna Mathews (3-0) in eight innings to win their regional title.  Huggins believes that Parkway carries a little more punch on offense.  “I think their offense is a couple of notches Vienna Mathews’ offense only because as I study their hitters they are just producing more runs right now.  They just have a notch or two more offense in their holster,” he said.

          When reviewing scouting reports and the like Huggins says the make up of the Parkway squad is a lot like many of the top level softball teams they face.  “I try to give the girls and idea of individuals.  We don’t talk a lot to our team about their entire line-up.  They have that typical burner at the top, they have that good bunter in the number two spot, three through six are really good, quality RBI kids, seven, eight, and nine are kids will try to produce runs for their team.  They are very typical in that way,” said Huggins.

          In trying to compare Parkway to other teams, Huggins was able to come up with a couple.  “Bucyrus is a lot like them when we played them.  Convoy Crestview when we played them over in the Champions Challenge in Loudonville, they were very similar.  Those are the teams that I sort of compared them to for our kids to what kind of offense we would be facing when we were out there on defense,” he said.

          Any team that reaches the state tournament is playing well and with momentum.  Huggins says that includes them.  “It starts right here at home at Colonel Crawford.  We feel it is not by a fluke or a chance.  We have a bunch of kids that have bought into what we need to get done.  We are playing our best softball and Parkway definitely is.  In the other division four semi-final on Thursday between Strasburg and Covington they too are playing their best softball.  It is going to be a great division four state tournament this year,” he said.

          This is the sixth time Colonel Crawford has been in the state tournament, but the first time they have played at Firestone Park in Akron.  Huggins says it a great facility.  “It is a true fast pitch venue.  The Akron Racers professional fast pitch softball team plays there.  I took a page out of the book they gave us the other day at the state meeting that had pictures of Akron Firestone.  I ran them off in color for the girls and we just sat and talked about them at practice (Wednesday) just to give them an idea of what they would be seeing.  I didn’t want them to get there and be in awe of it,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “I told them we are going to be in the first base dugout.  We just went through the whole itinerary just so they knew exactly how things were going to go.  I have been fortunate to take six teams to the state tournament, but all of those were at Ashland Brookside Park.  That was a nice facility don’t get me wrong, but the first time I went there and saw this facility I realized this how true a softball facility this is.  We are going to go and have fun and give it our best shot.”

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford Enjoying the Ride

 

          Colonel Crawford is one of the more consistent, if not the most consistent softball program in North Central Ohio, so it is never a surprise when they have tournament success.

          However, this year, they seemed to struggle at times, and you thought maybe this wasn’t their year.  Just then they got hot and starting to play very well beginning with the first week in May. 

          The Lady Eagles (18-9) play Rockford Parkway (21-5) in the division four state semi-finals on Thursday evening at Firestone Park in Akron.

          They advanced to the state with a thrilling, eight inning, win (3-0) over Vienna Matthews last Saturday in the regional final at Kent State University. 

          Coach Chuck Huggins, the head coach of the Lady Eagles since 1988, says they wouldn’t have had a chance to win without some brilliant defense in the seventh inning.  “It was a pitcher’s duel.  It was 0-0 and Vienna Mathews happened to be home team.  All of the sudden they have a girl standing on third base and no outs, that’s the winning run standing 60 feet away.  We had to find some magic in our defense to find a way from keeping that one run from scoring.  They bunted and we let that one go and she was on first.  Obviously we had to let her go to second because we couldn’t take a chance on any kind of bad throw.  They are standing there on second and third with no outs.  They next girl up bunted and it went back to our pitcher, with her being six-foot-one her long arms reach out to about first base.  She faked a throw and pulled it back and the girl broke towards home.  It was a beautiful play, she threw it home and the catcher tagged her out.  From there we just worked our way out of the inning by going strikeout, strikeout,” said Huggins.

          Then came the eighth inning when the Lady Eagles came up with three runs in a most unexpected way.  Huggins says he had to trust some players.  “We hadn’t had very many hits.  This girl that we are facing is a legitimate 60 MPH pitcher.  We hadn’t been making much contact with her.  I mean she ends up with 16 strikeouts in the game, so you can see that even putting the ball in play is premium.  I talked to my number seven batter before she went up, what do you feel comfortable doing right now?  I said I want you in your comfort zone.  She said coach I would love to have an opportunity to bunt.  I said you have been so close.  I said get that bunt laid down and make sure you get out of the box quick.  She laid down the perfect bunt.  We get the number eight hitter, Cassie Sager, our rightfielder, lined a perfect slap single over the second baseman’s head.  Our leftfielder hadn’t hit in more than a month.  She had been working her tail off in practice, working on her offense, working on her hitting.  I had just a gut feeling, just a hunch, that I needed to put her in and I did,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday night, “Sure enough our number nine hitter with two strikes, we tried to bunt twice and could get it laid down, I’ll be dog gone that she didn’t lace a single to right field and scored a run.  After that we got a couple of more insurance runs with a hit and an error and we are sitting there 3-0 going to the bottom of the eighth.”

          Huggins, a hall of fame coach, says he is just so very proud of his team.  “We have gotten hot at the right time.  We have had kids that have just stayed focused and believed in our program, and us as coaches, and we in turn believed in them.  It is just neat to see them buy in to understanding that all of the sudden this is possible and they kept coming, and kept coming, and we kept getting better.  Two words that I like to describe them is, yes, surprising, but what an outstanding effort from there to get our seventh opportunity to go to the state softball tournament,” said Huggins.  

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford in Regionals Again

 

          Colonel Crawford, although their record may not be as good, is making its sixth appearance in the regional semi-finals in the last seven years.

          The Lady Eagles (16-10) face Jackson-Milton (22-9) in the division four regional semi-finals at Kent State University on Thursday.

          On Tuesday night, the Lady Eagles played their final regular season game, losing (4-3) to Upper Sandusky in North Central Conference action.  Coach Chuck Huggins says that loss might do them some good.  “If there ever is a good loss this was a good loss on Tuesday night.  It was a good tune up.  Whenever we go to the regionals we always like to scrimmage.  If we are going to play on Wednesday we like to scrimmage on Monday and if we play of Thursday we like to scrimmage on Tuesday.  Luckily we had a game left, it didn’t matter in the league standings, it was just a good, good ballgame, just like we anticipate playing on Thursday.  Yes, at the end of the game we were down by one run, but it was a just a great tune up for the kids.  We got to see great pitching.  We got to see good defense and we got to do a lot of the things that we plan on doing on Thursday.  We got to be aggressive on the bases, bunt, and take advantage of the short game.  It was good to be able to play it against live competition,” said Huggins.

          Huggins is in the hall of fame and led Colonel Crawford to a state title in 1997.  He says at this time of year, you have to be very sharp if you are going to advance.  “On offense you have to be at the top of your game.  You may only get one opportunity to get that bunt laid down and get that runner over.  You may only get one opportunity to get that bunt laid down and get that runner in from third or hit that sacrifice fly or hit behind the runner and score that run.  It’s just the little things that make such a huge difference,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “Defense is the same way.  If the other team tries to do anything you just have to be at the top of your game.  We are going to have a good final tune up (Wednesday) at practice.  All of those little things that we have been practicing since way back in March have to come together.  You have to be at the top of your game at regional tine because everybody that is there is there for a reason.”

          Jackson-Milton, like Crawford, plays in a good league, the Inter Tri-County League, and Huggins says they feel like they are prepared for what they will see on Thursday.  “Both getting a chance to see them and getting a chance to talk to some different coaches.  The internet is so good anymore.  You can pull schedules up and rosters up and game stories on them.  We have got the whole gambit.  Those three things together we have a pretty good idea of what we are up against,” he said,

          Knowing what the other team’s strengths and weaknesses are can be very important.  However, according to Huggins, it is more important that they do their stuff well.  “I always tell the kids this and they believe it.  We need to take care of Colonel Crawford.  It doesn’t matter what Jackson-Milton does.  Yes, we have to be aware of who their speedsters are, who their power bats are, and what kind of pitcher we are facing.  All of those things are very important, but the most important thing is that we take care of Colonel Crawford and we make sure we are on the top of our game because if we don’t do that it doesn’t matter what Jackson-Milton does,” said Huggins.     

 

 
   

Crawford Blanks Plymouth

 

Click here to listen to an interview with coach Chuck Huggins

 

          Colonel Crawford expects to have postseason success and they are winning in late May again this season.

          Last year they were knocked off early by Mansfield Christian, but not this spring.  They belted Plymouth (10-0) in the division four district semi-final on Wednesday night at Shelby High School. 

          Coach Chuck Huggins says the got off to a great start and that was key.  “We were visitors (Wednesday) and we put six up on the board in the top of the first and that was huge.  You want to get on the board first, but you certainly don’t expect six.  The top of our lineup had 11 hits.  They set the table because the bottom of our order ended up with all 10 of our RBI.  I just thought that was huge that we were able to set the table with the top and the bottom was able to come through.  That just shows that things are jelling right now and we are coming through and jelling one through nine in the battling order,” said Huggins.

          Crawford had a number of girls contribute on offense and they did an outstanding job in field as well.  Huggins says they were up to the challenge.  “It just goes to show how important it is if you have that solid lineup it just makes it so much tougher to keep you off the scoreboard.  They really came through (Wednesday).  We had six different kids that scored runs and that’s huge.  On the other end of it I was very pleased as good as Nickyla Gaverick, our pitcher, was, she only gave up three hits, only four of those were strikeouts,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “That tells me in a seven inning game that’s 21 outs, minus four, we had to make 17 plays and we did it almost flawlessly.  So, both sides of the game are coming together and that’s a nice time of the season for that to happen.”

          Nickyla Gaverick is one of the best pitchers in the area, but Huggins says it is calming when she knows ishe doesn’t have to strike out the side every inning.  “When Nickyla knows she doesn’t have to strikeout every batter.  She knows all she has to do is keep them off balance.  That is big because she knows the defense is behind her and it doesn’t matter if the ball gets hit to the outfield, we have three solid gloves out there, or infield, the whole thing comes together,” he said.

          Crawford faces Crestline in the division four district final on Saturday at Shelby.  There is a lot of tradition in the game and Huggins knows it will likely be another thriller.  “It is going to be a great district championship.  Two very proud softball programs.  It started back when Heath Sager won a state championship at Crestline.  He still talks to this day about winning the state championship that year and not wining the conference championship because two of their losses were to Crawford.  It has just developed from there.  Three of the last four years it has been Colonel Crawford versus Crestline in the district championship.  It’s just going to be a fun atmosphere, a huge crowd.  To me it is just going to be fun to be part of it,” said Huggins.     

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford Faces Must Win

 

          Colonel Crawford trails Crestline by a game in the North Central Conference silver division softball standings and they play at Crestline on Friday night.
          Crawford (16-6.7-3) beat Crestline (5-2) on Tuesday night to get back into the race and coach Chuck Huggins says it was a win hey had to have.  “We dug ourselves a little bit of a hole early in the season.  We got dinged up and hurt a little bit.  We dropped a couple of games that we weren’t expected to drop.  It happens. So we were two back going into (Wednesday) night’s Crestline game and we were lucky enough to get them at our place.  We had a good practice (Thursday) night and now we are going to head over there to Bulldog Country and play them for the re-match (Friday) night.  If we happen to get them (Friday) night that will tie us for the lead,” said Huggins.

          The Lady Eagles certainly have their backs against the wall.  Huggins says there is no room for error.  “They already have a share that because they beat Galion (Thursday) night.  They have a one game lead with one to go, but we are one behind them with three to go.  The bottom line is we have to win out.  We have to make sure that this is the most important game on the schedule because without it the other games, while important, won’t matter when it comes to outcome of the “NCC,” he said.

          The first thought is all the Lady Eagles need a copy of Tuesday night performance, but Huggins says that is easier said than done.  “Especially in high school baseball and softball when you think of just the angle of the bat.  When the kids make connection with the ball if it is just a couple of inches this way or that way it’s a matter of a couple of feet one way or another it is the difference between a base hit or a line drive that gets caught,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday night, “There are just so many different things that can happen during a softball game you never really know.  It would be nice to put a carbon copy together.  We have some ideas on improving what we did and I’m sure Crestline has been working their strategy too.  It’s just a fine line and when you get two good programs together between victory and defeat.”

          Huggins says one thing is clear, the game will feature two of the better pitchers in the area and they need a solid effort from Nickyla Gaverick.  “We got one (Wednesday) night from Nickayla.  She had 11 strikeouts and 3 walks.  Natalie Sayer had a nice night for Crestline.  Those are two of the premier pitchers in the Mansfield area, in the Crawford County area.  It’s just fun to watch those two go after each other.  Sayer had a couple hits against Gaverick and Gaverick had a couple hits against Sayer.  As far as Colonel Crawford is concerned that is exactly the key to our success right now.  We have Nickyla back, and I don’t want to say she is 100 percent, but maybe 90 percent and her 90 percent is certainly good quality pitching.  We are looking for another top quality pitching performance from her,” said Huggins.

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford Battling

 

          Colonel Crawford is fighting injuries, but it appears this softball team has a lot of fight in it.

          After losing a couple of starters, two of their better players, they railed to beat Riverdale (16-6) on Tuesday and keep themselves in the race for the title in the silver division of the North Central Conference.

          Those injuries contributed to their only league loss last week to Buckeye Central (14-12) and now Thursday they face one their bigger challenges of the season when they face black division leader Bucyrus (9-3,3-0), #4 in the Swankonsports.com softball coach’s poll in the small school division, in an inter-divisional match up.  Hall of Fame coach Chuck Huggins says this is a rivalry game.  “I have always said it takes two good teams and two good programs to make a rivalry.  That certainly is Bucyrus because they are a very, very good ball team.  I said from the beginning of the season that that black division is going to be a monster out there and they aren’t disappointing anybody.  They have gotten off to a good start.  With it being a Crawford County team and a “NCC” team it’s a going to make it all the more exciting.  It’s going to be a good game for the area,” said Huggins.

          On the injuries was suffered by one of the area’s top pitchers in Nickyla Gaverick.  Huggins says they have done a good job rallying to the cause.  “We were nicked up a little bit and had some injuries.  One of the main injuries we had was to Nickyla Gaverick.  We have talked about how important pitching is and she tuned an ankle and we had to do without here for a couple of games.  I told the kids last Monday when we beat Buckeye up there it was a good win and it even made it more so when they came down to our place and bumped us off on Wednesday.  We have responded well,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “We came back against a very respectable Riverdale team and beat them pretty handily.  The other thing I like about this team is they are really buying into what needs to be done in practice to get better.”

          Huggins is the only softball coach the Lady Eagles have ever had and there aren’t many roads he hasn’t traveled.  He says he likes the approach this year’s team has shown.  “Especially the player that holds the ball every single play and that determines a lot of things in a softball game.  The other injury was to our starting centerfielder, who has been with us for three years.  She tore an “ACL” the other day and just had surgery (Wednesday) and we are going to miss her.  It’s just part of the way sports works and that is the cruelty of sports.  The kids have really stepped up to the challenge and have really come through.  It gives the next person an opportunity and step up and show what they can do also.  We have had some younger kids definitely do that,” he said.

          On Friday and Saturday the Lady Eagles are in Loudonville for the “Champions Challenge” and Huggins knows the competition will do them good.  “With the MVD tournament getting weathered out last week we didn’t get a chance to play Clear Fork.  We knew that was going to be a great game for us.  We are definitely looking forward to getting over to the champions challenge and playing Convoy Crestview.  You know the opponents, win or lose, we are going to play some good competition.  We have always felt like to become a better softball team you have to play better competition.  We make sure we get some of those games.  You don’t get to pick all of your opponents, but you can certainly pick your non-league ones.  We like to play those types of teams.  I know over the years it has paid dividends come tournament time,” said Huggins.   

 

 
   

Growth Important for Colonel Crawford

 

          It’s been a perfect start to the season for the Colonel Crawford Lady Eagles softball team.  They have won all four of their games so far this year.  However, there is still progress to be made.

          Crawford (4-0) beat Plymouth (7-0) in a non-conference softball game on Wednesday evening.  Still, coach Chuck Huggins can see a number of areas where improvement can be improved.  “It is always nice to get off to a good start.  It certainly beats the alternative.  I’m optimistically positive.  It’s a goof feeling that I know that we aren’t even close to being as good of a ball team as we can be.  We pitched a shutout (Wednesday).  Nickyla had a no hitter.  That is always our number one goal every night is to try and get that shutout.  It came our way (Wednesday), but there are still a lot of things that I see that we need to clean up,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win on Wednesday, “What it takes is just getting out there and getting innings in, getting used to each other and know who is going to be where.  You can practice it in the gym all you want, but when the umpire says play ball and it’s live it makes a whole lot of difference.  You can not emulate game speed and you can not emulate game situations.  You can practice them, but it is still different when the game actually takes place.”

          A key to this year for Crawford is the pitching of senior Nickyla Gaverick. One of the best in the area.  Huggins says she is a kid that is always in the moment.  “She is certainly in control.  Nickyla Garverick is just one of those kids that doesn’t have time to really, really work on the game of softball in the off season because she is a very sought out talent in our school with her volleyball abilities and her basketball abilities.  We don’t want to stretch her out too thin and tired her out.  When she walks into the gym after a season of volleyball and a season of basketball and she is throwing strikes at about 60-62 MPH.  We looked at each other and she is probably the only kid in our school that could do that.  She just has that kind of athletic ability.  Nothing rattles her.  It doesn’t matter what the score is, it doesn’t matter what the count is, she is just completely in control out there.  She is really, really starting to settle in now and get her off speed pitches to bite,” said Huggins.

          Colonel Crawford plays South Central on Thursday and Seneca East in a doubleheader on Saturday.  Huggins says this an important time of the year for them because they are trying to figure out what their best lineup is.  “I am just a firm believer.  I can never think of a year in all my years of coaching that the lineup has looked the same opening day as it does come district, or regional, or state tournament time.  We are fortunate enough that success has bread success in our program and kids are right there fighting for positions and that’s good.  I really try to take these non-league games and look at our kids to see exactly what we have and give everybody a good fair shot at it, just let them play it out on the field.  We mix up the lineups and the batting orders and we even do that sometimes in league games too.  I just think it is more fair and it gives the kids a big opportunity to step in and help our program,” said Huggins.    

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford Fine Tuning

 

          Colonel Crawford is always in a position where they are reloading not rebuilding and the Lady Eagles are always a factor in the North Central Conference softball race.

          Veteran coach Chuck Huggins says although they haven’t been able to get on the field as much as they would have liked they are trying to make sure they are prepared for every possible situation.  “You never know.  There are always those unknowns, those uncertainties out there.  Myself as a veteran coach I still like to make sure I have a checklist and make sure we have everything covered before we get to that first game, but you never know.  There are always those things out there that you are not very familiar with.  We got back outside (Tuesday) night even.  We were on the black top.  We didn’t get a chance to get on the field of course with all of the snow,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “Everybody is in the same situation as we are.  We have to deal with Mother Nature and the snow and the weather.  I can remember years like this in the past where we had to deal with the same things.  When they say play ball on Saturday for our opener against Western Reserve.  We will be there and be ready.”

          Fundamentals are very important in girls’ softball, especially in the small ball game.  Huggins says they work on those a lot.  “We really broke things down on black top (Tuesday) for them.  We did a lot of good drills and then we got together and did some situational work to help the younger kids learn the game and to make sure our upperclassmen and continuing to get better.  Just working on all of the little plays that you run when you need to stop a run or you need to manufacture a run.  It was just good for the young kids to see how much there is out there in the game that they still have to learn.  It was good for the veterans to go over things and keep sharp in there skills and be reminded from last year and the years before about what we want to get done,” said Huggins.

          Bunting may seem easy on its face, but Huggins, who has taught a lot of players the skill, says it’s not.  “It is a very complex skill to do it correctly, especially against top notch pitching because those pitchers know where to pitch the kids to keep them from making good contact or to be able to control where the bunt goes.  Those are the kind of things that we are trying to teach our kids on offense as to what we need to do to manufacture runs and get that bunt laid down.  On the same terms that runner is just every bit as important.  If you are trying to get a runner over and they are not at the top of there game they could get thrown out.  A lot of things could happen if you don’t execute the short game,” he said.

          Colonel Crawford has won more titles in the “NCC” than anybody, but this year Huggins thinks everything is up for grabs.  “I made the comment and I mean this sincerely.  Our silver division is wide open.  There are legitimately four teams that could win it.  Of course, you always start with Crestline, Buckeye Central had a nice young team last year and Lucas tied with us last year for the “NCC” championship.  There are four teams right there and Riverdale is always that unknown team because they are out west and we really don’t get a chance to see them.  I know it doesn’t affect us, but we still have to play the black division teams one time.  That division is a monster.  They are going to have a heck of a time.  It is going to be fun to watch who comes out in the big division also,” said Huggins.   

 

 
   

Crawford Must Defend Height

 

          Colonel Crawford is back in the division four regional tournament and this time they want a better result.

          Last season, they lost to Edgerton (46-40) and Tuesday night they play Ottawa Hills in the semi-finals at the Stroh Center at Bowling Green State University.

          Crawford (20-5) edged Plymouth (49-48) last Friday night when the Big Red missed a shot in the final moments of the game.  Coach David Sheldon says it was an exciting game.  “That’s what high school basketball is all about.  It’s tournament time.  It came down the last possession.  I’ve talked during the whole tournament run every possession is so important.  Fortunately we were able to get a stop at the end.  Last year we got a shot at the end to beat St. Mary’s and this year we get a defensive stop at the end to beat Plymouth.  Give Plymouth credit it was a great high school game.  Troy’s kids were prepared.  We were fortunate enough to move on to the sweet 16,” said Sheldon.  The Eagles coach thinks his team’s tournament experience is a plus in these tight games.  “Our kids never panicked.  We have been in this before.  This isn’t new.  I think that is a big factor because games have high and lows.  We had the lead and then they made a run and we made a run and it went back and forth.  Our kids just never panicked.  We always talk about next play, next play, next play, and that’s the most important play.  I think that is big factor when you talk about a 32 minute game this time of year,” he said.

          Ottawa Hills has tremendous height and Sheldon says those players all have skills.  He says they have to keep them off the offensive glass.  “First of all they have great size.  They go 6’9”, 6’6”, and 6’4”.  Those are their three best players.  The 6’6” kid, Beans, is their best player.  He is a clone of Austin Smith, who played for me in 2009.  He is a lefty that can go inside and out and they have bigs inside.  We have to limit their post scores with some things guarding the post, helping inside.  I think one of the major factors is we have to box out.  We have to put bodies on bodies on every possession.  We can’t allow then to get second and third shots,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “We have to use our strength to move them away and not allow them to get offensive rebounds.  We have to try and get them to go over our backs.  Defensively they are going to show man and 2-3 zone.  They will also press a little bit with a 2-2-1.  It is a very good basketball team.  Whenever you get down to the last 16 in the State of Ohio when there are over 200 schools in division four you know you are going to face a good basketball team.  We will give it our best shot on Tuesday night.”

          The Eagles have some size themselves with Klingenberger and Jury, but Sheldon says they have not faced this kind of height.  “We haven’t seen this size all year.  We have seen maybe one big, but not three different bigs like this.  It really doesn’t remind me of any team we have played this year,” he said.

          You don’t want to make big changes to your approach at tournament time, but Sheldon says they will make some minor changes in order to hopefully contain Ottawa Hills.  “We are going to make some minor tweaks on how we guard the post and change defenses throughout the game to show them different looks.  It’s a thing where you have to make minor tweaks and we have always done that here at Colonel Crawford. We adjust defensively to who we are playing.  I am not one to be stubborn and say this is the way we are going to play.  I am one that says we are going to break down film and see what is the best way to defend the team at hand.  The kids have been focused and that’s a great thing.  (Sunday) we were in classroom for 45 minutes discussing what’s happening.  That is a great thing about this basketball team.  They study the scouters and films to understand what the game plan is going in defensively,” said Sheldon.

          Being their second trip to the regionals in as many years, Sheldon hopes that gives then a leg up in the contest.  “I think it is huge.  My five starters were all on the floor last year.  We go down to the wire with Edgerton.  We have the lead with two to go and lost it at the end to an undefeated team.  We are not going to be aye struck by going up to the new Stroh Center.  We have been there, it’s not new, we have been through this routine before.  We have tried to keep the same routine all year.  Ottawa Hills have never been there.  This is a first for them playing in this arena.  They are going to be a little star struck I hope.  I think it is huge having that experience.  My kids have been on this floor and they know what this is all about,” said Sheldon.      

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford One Step For Regionals

 

          Back to back district titles come around about as often as Oscar quality Sylvester Stalone performances. 

          Colonel Crawford (19-5) meets Plymouth (14-11) in the division four district final Friday night at Willard High School.

          In the semi-finals on Tuesday night, Crawford beat back a challenge from Norwalk St. Paul (70-65) to advance.  Coach David Sheldon says their experience allowed them to remain calm under pressure.  “It was a great high school basketball game.  We knew it was going to be a tough game.  That was a game that could go either way.  We got a lead out of the gate in the third quarter.  I just told our guys that you have to take it one possession at a time St Paul is going to make a run.  To St. Paul’s credit they did make a run.  We just never panicked.  We got a lead late and were able to maintain it.  Fortunately we made enough plays to advance to the district championship on Friday night,” said Sheldon.

          The starting lineup for the Eagles all has a boatload of tournament experience based in their performance the last several years.  Sheldon says his kids are hungry for another district title.  “Our five starters have been in this situation before last year.  I look back at that Upper Sandusky game was huge, that last game of the year.  It was for the championship of our division and it was a game that went down to the wire.  We held on and I think that experience helps going through the tournament lhaving a game like that late.  Our kids are hungry right now and they are very focused basketball team whether we are in the classroom, talking about an opponent or on the court,” said Sheldon.

          Plymouth has won eight straight games and Sheldon says despite being only three games over .500 they are a very dangerous ball club.  “I think you throw the records out the door at this time of year.  The have won eight in a row.  They went through a stretch in the middle of the season where coach Keene had to give some discipline out.  I think after that these guys have really stepped up and have responded to Troy,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “It is a team that everybody knows revolves around Tyrell and then Beebe, those are their two top guns.  I think what has really helped them is the Crager kid has really stepped up, the Bailey kid, they have the Collins kid off the bench and Roberts.  Tyrell and Bebbe are their best, but the other kids have stepped up during this stretch of eight games.”

          Crawford has won the silver division title in the North Central Conference and the sectional title and Sheldon says they are ready for the next goal.  “We are happy to be playing Friday night that was a goal.  Our third goal of the year is to get back to that district championship and we will see what happens on Friday night,” he said.

          One of Plymouth’s big weapons is the press, but they didn’t use it in a semi-final win over Buckeye Central (43-37) on Tuesday night.  Sheldon says he isn’t sure what Plymouth will employ.  “They have done well pressing.  The first time we played them in late December we did very well against the press and got some easy hoops.  You have to prepare for everything.  They have shown zone.  They have shown man.  They show a lot of formations on offense.  We will prepare for everything and see how it goes Friday night,” said Sheldon.

          The Eagles have good guard play, a number of guys that can handle the ball.  Sheldon says they like it when they see pressure.  “Every time we see the press our eyes light up and think it a chance to score with numbers, whether it’s four on three or three on two.  If you break the press you are going to have good numbers attacking the rim.  We want to score anytime anyone presses us,” he said.    

 

 
   

Crawford Counting on Experience

 

          Last year, Colonel Crawford won the district title and advanced to the regionals and they believe the tournament experience they return might allow them to do it again.

          They face Norwalk St. Paul (18-6) in the division four district semi-finals at Willard High School on Tuesday night.

          The Eagles (18-5) are silver division champions of the North Central Conference.  They took a first quarter lead (15-1) and went on to down Mansfield Christian (57-47) in the sectional final last Friday night at Ontario High School.  Coach David Sheldon says it was not just a tournament win, it was a quality win because the Flames challenged them.  “They did, which is good for a tournament game.  We want a little test and we got that from Christian.  I think the world of what John Kurtz has done over there.  You look at what he has done with that program.  That’s a good team.  They went 17-8.  Everybody talks about their injuries, but heck they won three of their last four coming in.  We got on them early and hung through the rest of the game and got a sectional championship.  It was a good win and we are excited to go over to Willard on Tuesday night,” said Sheldon.

          When you look at the rosters of the teams, Sheldon thinks they are very similar.  “I think they are very comparable to us.  They have two bigs inside, 6’4”, 6’4”, sort of like us, with Griffin and Harwood.  You know, Griffin is a load.  He is a good player around the rim, he is a good offensive rebounder, and they have three guards, it starts with Sortino, they have a great shooter in Sauderback, and Smitty’s kid that runs the show for them at the point,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “They run a couple of different offenses with the dribble drive and the three around two.  They are very good basketball team.  They are very well coached.  I have the utmost respect for Mike Smith.  He’s done a great job.  A guy with over 300 wins.”

          Sheldon doesn’t think the win will be determined by some brilliant strategy.  He says it’s going to be who makes the big plays in thee end.  “It is going to be a game where it comes down to guys making plays.  We are going to know what they do and they are going to know what we do and it is going to come down to kids making plays.  The farther you go down the tournament trail that’s what it turns into,” he said.

          St. Paul features the dribble drive offense and Sheldon says that is something they have seen before this year during the regular season.  “In their dribble drive they try to drive it hard into the lane and they have shooters around outside.  The nice thing is this isn’t the first time we have seen this offense this year.  We have played against several teams that have run the dribble drive.  It’s going to come down to some toughness points too.  We need to keep them off the offensive glass and limit their transition points,” he said.

          How much does being there before really matter?  Sheldon hopes in matters a lot.  “It’s a team that’s on a role right now.  They are playing well with a lot of confidence, but the nice thing is my five starters have been in this situation before with the experience of last year’s district tournament.  I think that helps to have a little taste of the tournament.  Tournament basketball is so important, the atmosphere, and every possession is so important, so I like the experience we have taking over there on Tuesday night,” said Sheldon.    

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford Ready For the Tournament

 

          With one goal under their belt, the Colonel Crawford Eagles are now set to accomplish some more in the postseason.

          A second straight trip to the regional tournament would be a nice one.

          They face Mansfield Christian (17-6) in the division four sectional final on Friday night at Ontario High School.

          Colonel Crawford (17-5) earned a silver division title in the North Central Conference with a win (45-39) over Upper Sandusky last week.  Coach David Sheldon liked the effort and felt it was a good barometer on whether or not they would be ready to play this Friday.  “I felt last Friday we really made a big step with the win at Upper.  Upper is a very good basketball team and (Tuesday) night they beat Shelby in the division two tournament.  That was a huge step I thought because we had been so up and down.  We played every possession with a sense of urgency, which I have been trying to preach all year with this group,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “They came in Monday and there was some excitement.  There is nothing like tournament basketball.  My five seniors have all been through the ringer.  They were all players on that team last year that made the run.  The biggest thing is we have to execute and play together.  Coming off a 17-5 year a lot of guys say I should be happy, but we think we have had an up down year.  I think last Friday was a big step.  I have seen the focus this week in practice.”

          This is a team that is heavy with seniors and Sheldon believes that is a good thing, especially at tournament time.  “They realize this is there last hurrah.  Some of my guys are going to go on to play college athletics, none of them in basketball, but I have a golfer, a tack guy, a baseball guy and they realize this is the last time they are going to put the shoes and the jersey on.  We talk about every possession being the most important one and the next play.  I think they realize that seeing the light at end of the tunnel.  Hopefully, it doesn’t end too soon,” he said.

          Mansfield Christian has lost Bryce Ernsberger and Ryan Smith to injury, but Sheldon says they found a way to play well.  “Everybody has talked about their injures, but they have won three of their last four.  It is a team, even with a couple of injuries, is playing every well.  Credit John Kurtz, I always says when we play a John Kurtz coached team, they defend.  They play great man-to-man defense.  They are going to be up in you.  They deny things, they take things away and they get after you.  Offensively I really like the Young and Mount kids.  They have really stepped up and had great end of the seasons for them,” he said.

          The Flames have had an outstanding year and Sheldon knows they are going to come into the game expecting to be successful.  “They are playing with a lot of confidence.  They play extremely hard.  In this latest streak when they have won three out of four those injured kids have not been there.  I think they are a team that has been hungry and they have played great all year.  It’s going to be a battle Friday night when we go over to Ontario to play them,” he said.

          It is often a more physical game in the tournament with fewer fouls called.  You have to sort of survive and move on and Sheldon says they understand that.  “You have to be strong with the basketball.  That why I go back to last Friday night being so important because Upper is so physical defensively.  We sort of got a taste of what it is all about last Friday.  Mansfield Christian is going to do the same things they have a way they get into you, deny pass lanes, and hand check and stuff.  They let you play a little more in the tournament and you have to have the mental approach that you have to be strong every time you step on the floor at both ends,” said Sheldon.     

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford Knows What’s at Stake

 

          It’s been their goal all season and now the Colonel Crawford Eagles have a chance to accomplish it by winning the North Central Conference silver division title.

          They need a win at Upper Sandusky on Friday night or a loss by Buckeye Central at home to Wynford.  Right now, the Eagles and Bucks are tied for first place in the division with 10-2 records.

          Crawford coach David Sheldon says they been able to win the games they have absolutely had to over the last month of the season.  “We have been fortunate after the loss to Buckeye in January that we have taken care of business in the league.  Credit Buckeye as well they have taken care of business as well. It comes down to Friday night whether we share the league title, don’t have anything or you have it by yourself.  There are three outcomes that can come from Friday night.  At the beginning of the year back at the beginning of November our ultimate goal was to win the silver division and it comes down to Friday night when we go over to Upper Sandusky,” said Sheldon.

          Colonel Crawford did lose to their second Midland Athletic League school in less than a week when Seneca East blasted them (57-43) last Saturday.  Sheldon says they just had a lot of trouble putting the ball in the basket.  “Last Saturday at Seneca East we were 12-51 from the field.  We just couldn’t throw it the ocean.  We really struggled to make baskets on Saturday night.  We got hurt inside.  We gave up some offensive rebounds at the defensive end.  On nights the shots don’t go you have to get compete defensive stops.  We weren’t able to do that,” he told Swamkonsports.com on Thursday, “This has been a team that has bounced back every time something has happened.  I look at the New Riegel game and we bounce back and win by 30 some over Wynford.  Now coming off Seneca East we will see what happens on Friday.  This is a week I shouldn’t have to say much.  I mean you are playing for a league championship.  I reminded the guys that when you were growing up that’s what the ultimate goal was to play for a league championship and then a tournament championship.  These guys have it hand.  They have a chance to go back to back wining the silver division last year.  It just comes down to us being ready to go Friday night and playing basketball.”

          Sheldon says the shooting woes were do to just unlucky shooting and the fact that they didn’t try to get the ball inside against the Seneca East zone.  “We got good shots, but we probably didn’t get enough post touches.  Seneca East stayed in a zone all night.  When they are in the zone its hard to get post touches with them packing it in.  Our all district guard Conner McCreary goes 2-11 from the field.  He is shooting over 40 percent on threes for the year.  I think it was a combination, we got good shots, but sometimes we settled for things instead of trying to go inside-out throughout the night,” he said.

          The pressure will be on Crawford (16-5,10-2) on Friday night.  Sheldon says they are ready to execute against a very disciplined Upper Sandusky (12-9,8-4) team.  “When you look at the great players they are gammers in the big games.  We are going to have to have some guys step up and play like that for us.  Upper is a very disciplined basketball team we all know the style they play.  They are going to make sure they get a good shot every time down the floor.  Defensively they are going to be all man and get into your stuff and try and take things away.  It is not a complicated team that you are playing that is going to run a lot of stuff or change up defenses.  We know what we are going to see.  I think in games like this it comes down to being mentally tough for 32 minutes.  They make 10 to 12 passes and then on the offensive end you have to make sure you get a good look every time down the floor because of the limited possessions,” said Sheldon.

          Buckeye was able to break the trend when they got behind Upper Sandusky last week, yet railed to win.  Sheldon says that is not their plan of attack.  “Give Buckeye a lot of credit.  I watched that film and they were down 13 early.  What Phil’s kids have done all season is they didn’t panic.  They played one possession at a time.  They just chipped away at it.  Against Upper you can’t panic, you just have to go one possession at a time and get the most out of every possession at the offensive and defensive end,” he said.

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford Has to Fight Back

 

          Colonel Crawford received their worst pounding in more than two years Monday night from New Riegel, but that did not affect their standing in the North Central Conference.

          Monday night in non-conference play New Riegel whipped the Eagles (67-36), handing them just their fourth loss of the season.  Crawford coach David Sheldon was disappointed in his team’s effort against the Blue Jackets.  “They are very good basketball team.  They are 17-3 for a reason.  We sort of took some punches early from them and didn’t respond really well.  It was just an old fashion butt kicking that is the best way to say it.  We had turnovers and lack of hustle plays.  It was a very disappointing loss.  It was a tough one to take, just the nature of it,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “We are going to go back to work (Tuesday) and we are going to show clips from (Monday) night and show things that didn’t go right and things that have to get better for us over the next couple of weeks.  There isn’t much good to says about (Monday) night except you move on and learn.”

          Losses are all bad, but some are worse than others.  The really bad ones are the ones you don’t learn anything from.  Sheldon says they aren’t going to let that happen.  “The nice thing about film is it doesn’t lie.  We will have a half hour film session (Tuesday) and talk about some of those things and point things out and hopefully correct them on the floor.  Give New Riegel credit too, they just came out and manhandled us for 32 minutes.  I’m very impressed by how hard they play and the togetherness they play with.  Rhinehart, I think he is the best player in the district.  When we come to all district voting this Sunday I wouldn’t be surprised if he is district player of the year,” he said.

          Colonel Crawford (14-4,9-2) plays perhaps its biggest rival in the Wynford Royals (8-11,5-5) in North Robinson on Friday.  This has not been the best season for the Royals record wise, but they played well in their first meeting with Crawford leading most of the game before falling (58-49) in late December.  Sheldon knows Wynford will give its all.  “I think it’s going to be a tough challenge.  It is going to be a good gut check time for our team to see how we respond after (Monday) night at New Riegel.  The last time Wynford had us down through three quarters.  They were up seven on us and we made a run late in the fourth quarter to come away with a victory.  The thing about Wynford is I love how hard those guys are playing for Tim.  These kids play hard and they are trying to do the things he wants.  They are going to come over here all excited because of the county rivalry.  We are going to have our hands full,” said Sheldon.

          Tied with Buckeye Central for the silver division lead, Sheldon says they understand this is the most important game of the week.  “That is what we are going to talk about.  We took a whoopin’ (Monday) night, but guess what our number one goal is to win our division and that is still in hand.  That is still in front of us.  Our number two goal is to win a sectional championship. So, goals are still ahead.  Hopefully our kids will take that to heart and we move past this and we come ready to go Friday night,” he said.     

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford With Important Games

 

          Colonel Crawford is still tied with Buckeye Central for first place in the silver division of the North Central Conference and they are itching to get back on the floor.

          They play at Crestline in a silver division game on Saturday night and then finally get to play Midland Athletic League power New Riegel on Monday in a game that has been postponed twice.

          Coach David Sheldon is a little concerned that his starters have not been on the floor very much lately.  “Last Friday we played Lucas, but our starters only played half of the game, so it’s been like two weeks only playing half of a game.  We practiced last Sunday assuming we were going to play Monday and then the snow storm came in and we didn’t get to play Monday.  It’s just been a lot of practices.  We have got a lot of shooting in.  We broke down some fundamentals in defense, some things we are struggling with.  We are actually playing some quarters.  (Wednesday) night we played a quarter assuming some situations just to get the kids going up and down a little bit,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “It’s been just trying to change things up.  Practices at this time you just shorten them down a little bit because coming up Saturday we have four games in eight days, so it’s not like we aren’t going to play, it’s just been the way the schedule worked and with the weather canceling the New Riegel game a couple of times.  It’s just trying to stay sharp and a lot of shooting during the week during practice.”

          Crawford (14-3,8-2) isn’t expecting any favors from the rest of the “NCC” Sheldon knows they are going to have to win the rest of their games, which is the same theory Buckeye Central coach Phil Loy is employing.  “I agree with Phil, I think the same of Buckeye Central.  Their three toughest league games left are all at home.  The tough thing with us is we still have to go on the road to Upper, we have a rival in Wynford here.  We have to make sure we take care of us every night.  To Phil’s credit they have been playing very well over there at Buckeye Central.  We are not assuming any help we just have to take care of things ourselves.  There are some tough games left on our schedule with Wynford and then Seneca East and then at Upper.  This thing is far from being over from our standpoint.  We have some tough games coming up and some we have to go on the road and play too.  Buckeye has been playing well as of late.  I think they have won eight of their last 10.  The main thing is for us to go out and prepare for our opponent, no matter who it might be,” said Sheldon.

          The assignment on Saturday night is to beat Crestline (3-15,1-8) at their place.  Sheldon says Crestline has been a tough venue for them.  “They have struggled with a new coach coming over.  They are excited playing in their new gym now, so we get to play over there Saturday night in the new facility.  It’s a game where we have to come in and defend and extend the floor on Saturday night.  Then offensively take advantage of what we can.  We have never really played very well over at Crestline.  Hopefully with the new gym we can change our tune there.  Like I said we have to worry about Colonel Crawford number one before we get into anything else with other teams,” he said.

          On Monday night it is the New Riegel Blue Jackets.  Sheldon says it seems like they have been waiting to play them forever.  “I feel like I have been preparing for them for two weeks.  All last week even playing Lucas we are working on New Riegel stuff.  Then we came in and practiced Sunday thinking we were going to play Monday and didn’t get to play.  I feel like if our guys don’t know New Riegel they aren’t going to know anybody because we have had so much time with the cancellations.  I am really looking forward to that game on Monday night.  They are going to get a seed over in their sectional.  It is a great tournament style opponent to go on the road and play.  I think it’s a great test for us to see where we are at.  They have the Rhinehart kid, who is a load inside.  They have some guards that can shoot it.  It’s going to come down to some good execution on our part and not turning the ball over and we have to defend in the half court against them,” said Sheldon.

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford at Form

 

          With the help of Ontario, Colonel Crawford has regained a share of first place in the silver division of the North Central Conference and now they need to keep winning.

          Last Saturday, while Ontario was beating Buckeye Central, the Eagles beat Bucyrus (51-37) to move back into a share of first after at 7-2 in the league after Buckeye had beaten them the week before.

          Coach David Sheldon liked the unselfishness he saw on offense and their overall play on defense against Bucyrus.  “I was really happy that is a tough place to go over and play.  Bucyrus kids get all jacked up when they play a county school, you know, us or Wynford, and they have been playing good basketball.  You talk about only four kids scoring, every time our posts touched it, Jury or Klingenberger, the put two or three guys on them, they double or tripped teamed them.  They did a great job of passing out of double teams and our guards got good looks,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “They tried to take away our posts and Austin Adams and Conner McCreary step up and have 21 and 20.  I was really happy with the unselfishness of our post players.  Defensively I was tremendously happy to hold them to 37 points.  We made some adjustments on the way we guarded them from the first time and real happy with the defensive performance at their place.”

          Crawford (13-3,7-2), #5 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball poll in the small school division, hosts Lucas (0-14,0-8) on Friday night in North Robinson.  In their first meeting the Eagles won 85-14.  Sheldon says they have to come in with a sense of focus.  “Since we got beat by Buckeye we have told them every game is a championship game in our league.  Right now we are tied with Buckeye in the silver division and that’s they way we have got to look at it.  Every league game is a championship game.  Lucas has had it’s struggles this year.  We have to make sure we come out and take care of Colonel Crawford on Friday,” he said.

          On Saturday night, Crawford heads for New Riegel (14-2), #4 in the Swankonsports.com poll, for what looks like an exciting non-conference contest.  Sheldon says the Blue Jackets and more than 6’3” Brandon Rhinehart.  “Every year it’s a great non-league game for us.  The Rhinehart kid is averaging 23 a game and he is a load inside.  It is a basketball powerhouse.  They don’t have football and year they turn out great basketball teams.  We are really looking forward to going over there Saturday.  It is going to be a great non-league game in preparation for tournaments.  They have beaten some very good basketball teams.  It’s a great challenge, but it’s a great game this time of year, that’s what we want to play at this time of year,” said Sheldon.

          With the depth in the silver division of the “NCC” being down this year, Sheldon is looking forward to the challenge.  “They have kids that can score from all spots.  They are team you have got to guard.  They are explosive.  They have shooters around Rhinehart.  It will be a great atmosphere over there at New Riegel and it will be a good test for our kids to see where we are at in early February,” he said.

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford Has to Find a Way

 

          Colonel Crawford needs to dig deep because after an upset loss to Buckeye Central last week they are not in first place for the first time since the North Central Conference went to divisions last year.

          Last Friday, Buckeye went to Crawford and beat the Eagles (49-42) to grab first place in the silver division standings.  Crawford coach David Sheldon says sometimes they just couldn’t buy a basket.  “We just didn’t shoot the ball well we were 13 of 43 from the field for 30 percent.  I think there were a few factors in that.  First give credit to Buckeye they defended us well, second we just missed some shots and third some of our shot selection wasn’t the greatest,” he told Swankonsports.com Wednesday, “We just struggled to put the ball in the hoop.  Second of all I think Buckeye played one of their best games of the year.  Give them credit, they shot an unbelievable percentage from two points and they did what they need to do to win.”

          It was just one of those nights for the Eagles when all of their players had sub par nights.  Sheldon says that usually ends up in a loss.  “We talked after the game that not one of our guys played well.  On some nights you might have a couple kids have off nights, but we just didn’t play well.  I don’t know if our guys just thought we could show up and win.  I think it is a little bit of a wake up call for them as we head down the stretch. We are going to need a little help in the silver division.  We still have some good games coming up.  Number one we have to worry about Colonel Crawford getting better.  We look at every league game now as a championship game,” he said.

          Colonel Crawford was able to battle back and get a win (65-55) at Riverdale on Saturday night.  Sheldon says they passed the first exam of the mental test they are facing.  “We talked Saturday morning about how is this team going to handle adversity?  This is the first time we have lost two games in a role in three years in our program.  We are going to see how tough this team is now mentally because its our longest road trip.  We went to Riverdale.  They got one of their kids back, the Frye kid that was suspended.  They were at full strength.  We shot the ball well on Saturday.  It’s amazing what happens when you make shots in this game.  We had a 15 point lead in the fourth and ended up winning by 10.  I give them credit for bouncing back and getting a league win after a tough loss,” said Sheldon.

          The Eagles (12-3,6-2), #5 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball poll in the small school division, take the short trip to Bucyrus to meet the Redmen (3-11,2-6) in an “NCC” game on Saturday night.  “They have been playing well.  Last weekend they took Galion to a two-point game.  They were up 12 on Ontario.  It is a team that has been playing well, they just haven’t gotten over the hump to get some wins.  Anytime Crawford-Bucyrus it is a Super Bowl for Bucyrus.  This is a big game for them.  It’s a county rival.  The last time they came over here it went OT.  We are going to have our hands full Saturday going over to their place.  The nice thing is this is the first time we have had a whole week of practice and only one game.  The whole season with all of these games.  It is a week we have gotten back to fundamentals.  It is things you forget about when you have two games a week to prepare for,” said Sheldon.      

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford Needs Win to Maintain Lead

 

          Colonel Crawford was everybody’s favorite to win the North Central Conference silver division this season, but the Buckeye Central Bucks are making things interesting.

          Right, now Crawford is 5-1 and Buckeye Central 4-1 in conference play this year. 

          The Eagles lost their first conference game of the year on Saturday night when black division leader Ontario beat them (67-62) in North Robinson.  Eagles coach David Sheldon says they had their chances, but Ontario made the big plays.  “I thought our kids played hard.  We were right there.  It was a two point game with 30 seconds to go.  It was back and forth all night.  We just couldn’t get a couple of stops.  They really hurt us inside the three.  They were 21 of 31 inside the three.  One of our focuses was they were good shooters and we didn’t want to help off of shooters.  We gave up some penetration drives to the point guard and then Mack inside really hurt us,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “I was happy with our kid’s effort.  They really played well.  That’s very athletic team.  They are probably one of the best D-3 teams in this area.  I couldn’t fault our kid’s effort we just came up a little bit short.  We talked about some lessons we learned on Monday when we came back.  Our number one goal is to win the silver division and we have a big game this Friday if we want to do that.”

          With only two losses this season there hasn’t been much time for these discussions, but Sheldon feels they did learn from the setback to Ontario.  “One of the tings that we talked about is every possession is so valuable.  There was a stretch in the first half when we had three straight turnovers and they converted points off of all of those turnovers.  There were some times when we didn’t have communication on defense in some of our coverages.  There was a possession when we are up one in the fourth and the inbounder just throws the ball off our guys and scores.  It was just little things in those possessions and when you are playing a good team they multiply,” said Sheldon.

          Buckeye Central (6-6,4-1) is at Colonel Crawford (11-2,5-1), #4 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coach’s poll in the small school division, for a big one in the silver division.  Crawford won the first meeting (50-43) in New Washington.  However, Sheldon says the Bucks are a lot better.  “They are very much improved.  They have Kaple back and he is playing really well for them.  Wurm is having a great year.  He is their top scorer, but Kaple makes a big difference.  He can play every spot on the floor.  The other guys around him are maturing and just playing a lot better than they were earlier in the year.  They still have a young team.  They have really grown up.  They’ve had some great wins and played some great basketball.  This is a totally different basketball team than we faced early in December, but I think we have grown.  This is a basketball team of ours that has gotten better.  We are looking forward to the match-up and the rivalry when they come to our house on Friday night,” said Sheldon.

          With a win Sheldon believes his team not only puts some space between them and Buckeye, but can make a statement.  “We never want to lose don’t get me wrong.  Our focus this week in practice has been really good.  They know what is at hand.  We want to win a silver division title like we did last year.  This is a big game if want to do that.  Even though we beat them and Buckeye still has to play Ontario.  We want to sort of try to win that thing outright.  We sort of want to make a statement going into the tournament.  We really think we are the one seed.  We have beaten everybody in our bracket.  We beat Christian by 22, St. Pete’s by 18 and here is another opportunity against Buckeye, another very good team in our sectional.  There area lot of things riding on this game Friday night.  I am pretty confident that our kids will come ready to go and be focused on what we need to do to win the game,” said Sheldon.       

 

 
   

Leaders Meet in the “NCC”

 

          Perhaps the toughest ticket in North Central Ohio this weekend won’t be to the new movie “Zero Dark 30,” but instead to a high school basketball game between Ontario and Colonel Crawford in the Village of North Robinson.

          The two schools lead their divisions in the North Central Conference.  Both are unbeaten in conference play and neither play on Friday night.  Crawford coach David Sheldon says that doesn’t bother them.  “I don’t think it messes with us at all.  We had a game Tuesday night and it’s nice having that extra day before we play Saturday.  It’s nice having three days to prepare for Ontario.  There are a lot of times we only play a Saturday game throughout the year with the girls playing Friday night.  I don’t look at it as a difference.  We are used to having Saturday games.  We come in Saturday morning and have a shoot around and walk through,” he said.

          Ontario (8-3,4-0), #1 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coach’s poll in the small school division, is very athletic this year.  Sheldon says they run the floor, they have shooters and they get on the offensive boards.  “I think there are three things that stand out.  They are just so athletic.  They get a lot of points off their press getting you to turn it over.  I think they are very good in transition offense.  They can get out and go.  They have shooters.  They can line up around the three or they can throw it inside.  I think they get to the offensive glass.  It is the most athletic team we will face all year.  They have great athletes over there.  They have shooters.  It’s a great basketball team.  I think it is probably the best D-3, D-4 team in the area.  When you look at their losses they play the toughest schedule for a D-3, D-4 tea in the area.  Their losses being to Willard, Lex and Norwalk.  We have a lot of respect for them.  We are looking forward to the challenge when they come to our place.  Joe’s kids are going to know what we do and we know what they do and it comes down to kids making plays.  It’s going to be who handles the ball and ultimately who makes plays.  There aren’t a lot of secrets when the two of us play each other,” said Sheldon.

          Colonel Crawford (11-1,5-0), #3 in our poll, has focused on running the floor too.  Sheldon says they aren’t going to back away from that philosophy.  “I just think we have to make sure we get a good shot every time down.  If we went out to the track right now they would beat us in every sprint.  They are better athletes.  I think we want to push the ball don’t get me wrong, but we have to make sure we get a good shot every time.  We just can’t force a shot in transition.  We have to get good shots and we have to get post touches.  One of our emphasizes this year has been post touches.  We want to get the ball inside.  We have made more free throws than or opponents have shot because we are attacking the rim.  Our goal is to go inside out,” said Sheldon.

          In the game between two very good teams, Sheldon hopes they get a little of a home court advantage.  “I told our kids the atmosphere we play in on Saturday night is what basketball is all about.  It’s going to be in our small little gym.  It is not like we are going to the O-rena, it’s going to be a packed house here.  Our place reminds me a lot of Ontario’s before they got the new arena.  I remember many years when you had to be there for the JV game to watch Ontario-Wynford.  I still love playing in our house the old school style,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “It’s not the plush arena, but we enjoy playing here.  It will be 100 degrees in our gym as it always is with the pool and everything.  We are looking forward too it.  We are both leading our divisions and there will be two champions when everything is said and done.  This is a great basketball team.  This is one we would have to see in a district tournament or in a regional.  There is no coach in this area that I have more respect for than Joe Balogh.”    

 

 
   

Crawford Faces St. Peter’s

 

          Colonel Crawford remains unbeaten and in first place in the silver division of the North Central Conference after two more wins this weekend.

          The Eagles stomped on Lucas (85-14) on Friday and Crestline (62-32) in games within their division over the weekend.  Coach David Sheldon says it allowed them to do some things like get some younger kids some significant varsity minutes.  “We were happy the way we got off to fast starts.  Friday night we get off to a 29-2 start after the first and then Saturday we get off to a 20-2 lead after the first.  That is what you want to do in games like that is set the tone,” he told Swankonsports.com on Sunday night, “We were able to play a lot of kids both nights.  We cleared the bench and let them play the whole fourth quarter both nights.  It’s good because those are the guys that are going to have to step up when we lose are four seniors.”

          Colonel Crawford has a 5-0 league record and has already started to pull away its division.  Buckeye Central and Riverdale each have two wins.  Sheldon says they are in solid position.  “It was a productive weekend, two more wins in the league.  We have played everybody within our division so far and we are undefeated, so it’s a good first round.  It’s crazy we are halfway through the year already, but there is a lot of basketball to be played before we get to tournament time,” he said.

          The lopsided victories also allowed Crawford to rest senior Austin Adams, who has been nursing an injury.  “Our starters only played two and half, three quarters both nights.  We were able to rest Austin Adams, a three year starter for us.  He did not play Friday or Saturday.  He just had a nagging injury.  We sat him out this part week and just got him in the swimming pool to keep him in condition.  We went in Sunday night and worked him out and he looks like he is 100 percent.  Which is good we have some big games this week and we wanted to get back to full strength which I felt we are for this week,” said Sheldon.

Colonel Crawford (10-1), #4 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coach’s poll in the small school division, plays host to Mansfield St. Peter’s (6-4) in a non-conference game on Tuesday night.  Sheldon feels the Spartans are greatly improved.  “I think St. Peter’s is very good.  They are the last team we play right now in our sectional.  We have played everybody else.  This could make a difference come tournament time.  It is a team that has everybody back from last year.  They have played very well this year and the games they have lost have been very tight ones.  It is going to be a tough non-league match-up come on Tuesday night.  I have a lot of respect for their team and coach Durham.  We are looking forward to a tough game.

          The Eagles play black division leader Ontario on Saturday night in a big “NCC” game, but Sheldon says they are not looking past St. Peter’s.  “A couple of possession here and there and they are 9-1.  It is a very good team.  It’s the last team in our sectional that we haven’t played and that can make a difference come seeding time when we get ready for March.

 

 
   

Crawford Looking to Maintain

 

          Colonel Crawford was expected to be head and shoulders above everyone else in the silver division of the North Central Conference and so far they have been.

          They play Lucas and Crestline, neither has won a conference game, in their two silver division games this week. 

          Last Saturday, Eagles beat Plymouth (55-48) in a non-conference game that Colonel Crawford coach David Sheldon feels could be a preview of a game in March.  “It was a really good game.  We looked at that as a district tournament game because if we were fortunate enough to get to the districts that is a team we could see.  It is a team that has a lot back from last year’s district team we played,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “It was a game we got up big early and Plymouth made a run in the third quarter and we withstood that run and came out with a victory in the fourth.  It was a high energy game and I was happy with our kids play, especially on a back to back weekend, playing on a Friday night at Galion and coming back with an opponent like Plymouth we were happy to get out of that with two wins.”

          Sheldon says he was very happy with the way his team responded to the run that Plymouth made at them in the second half of the game.  “Even if you are up early or down, with us being a solid basketball team, you know runs are going to come.  Basketball is a game of momentum where there are runs back and forth.  Give Plymouth credit when we got up they made a great run at us.  With Edmiston and Bebee they have a really nice solid team, but give our kids credit they withstood the run,” he said.

          Crawford (8-1,3-0), #4 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coach’s poll in the small school division, is at Lucas (0-7,0-3) in “NCC” play.  Sheldon wants to take care of business early.  “Let’s not kid ourselves it is a team that has really struggled record wise.  The kids play hard, but they have struggled.  This has been a week when we have focused a lot on Colonel Crawford.  We had three of our former All-Ohioans, alumni, in and several other alumni coming in and beating on us this week.  We have probably seen one of the best teams we will see all year in our alumni.  Lucas is a team that runs a dribble drive and they mix up defenses.  When you go down to Lucas you have make sure you come out of the gate strong.  It is going to be a game where we have to set the tone early.  Our number one goal is to win the silver division.  Right now we are on top of that and we don’t want any slip ups along the way like going down to Lucas on Friday night,” said Sheldon.

          Then on Saturday night, the Eagles host Crestline (2-6,0-2) in a conference game.  Sheldon is a little nervous when it comes to the Bulldogs.  “I think it is a team that has gotten better.  Watching some films they have gotten better from the beginning of the year.  They are getting used to the new system.  They took Riverdale to a 12-14 point game last week.  They have two lettermen back from last year in the Armstrong and Reynolds kids.  They took us down to the wire last year at their place.  It will be a tough back to back because they don’t play a game until Saturday.  All week they are focused on us.  We have to come back Saturday morning at get prepared for Crestline.  They always get excited to play us.  After this weekend we have played everybody in our division,” said Sheldon.   

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford Still Pushing

 

          Colonel Crawford is a basketball team that nearly everybody thought would be really good this year and they are.  However, their coach and his players know they can still improve.

          They meet Galion in an inter-divisional game in the North Central Conference on Friday night.  The Tigers (2-3,1-0) have been wildly inconsistent this year, but Crawford coach David Sheldon feels they are going to see the best out of the Tigers this time.  “I compare them to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  They have played some really good basketball against some good teams.  I saw them play against Lex and Bucyrus and they played really well.  Then there have been some games when maybe they haven’t came out.  We know we are going to get their “A” effort (Friday).  They always get up to play us,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “Every year it seems like one of their best games is against Crawford.  We know it’s going to be a tough game when we go over there on (Friday).  This is a league game and our number one goal is two win a league championship.  It’s going to be a tough game because they are going to be all jacked up to play us like they are every year.”

          Galion has two very good players in Ridge Durbin and Austin Prosser.  Sheldon knows they have to control them.  “Ridge is leading them in scoring.  I also think the Prosser kid is really good.  I think Durbin and Prosser are their two best players.  We have to limit their touches.  Every shot they get we have to have contested.  They are a very quick and athletic team.  They scare me on the drive.  They are very good at putting the basketball on the floor and they have some three point shooters.  It’s a tough match up for us with some of their personnel and our personnel.  We also like our chances of throwing the ball inside as well,” he said.

          The Eagles (6-1,2-0), #5 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coach’s poll in the small school division, has played some solid ball this year.  However, Sheldon believes they have yet to reach their potential.  “I don’t think we have put four quarters together yet.  We are 6-1 right now and I don’t think we have played our best basketball.  We have had spurts where we have played well.  Last week, at Wynford we score 30 points through three quarters and then we score 28 in the fourth.  We have not put four good quarters together yet.  We want to be playing our best basketball in February going into March.  Our kids know we still have a lot of work left to do to become a very good basketball team.  We are happy with were we are at, but we have a long way to go to be where we want to be,” said Sheldon.  He says they players understand that too.  “They have high expectations.  We set down before the year and every one of them has high expectations.  The good thing is every day they come into practice and are working hard.  I am happy with this group and how we are and our practices have been some battles.  Our kids aren’t satisfied.  They realize we haven’t played our best basketball yet.  The kids are still hungry to get better every day,” said Sheldon.

          League games are always the focus, but Colonel Crawford has an interesting game on Saturday night too when they host the Plymouth Big Red (4-2) out of the Firelands Conference in a rematch from last year’s district tournament.  “I think Saturday night is a district tournament atmosphere.  This is a team that we could see in the district tournament come March.  It is a team a team we beat by five or six in the district semi-finals last year.  It’s a great non-league game.  It will be test like if we were fortunate to get to a district tournament in March.  Tyrell Edmiston is one of the best post players around.  He is an unbelievable athlete.  They have the Bebbe kid that can shoot it.  Their point guard, I really like the Bailey kid.  It’s a good team and they are playing well.  They beat St. Paul by 20 last week,” said Sheldon.   

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford Battling Injuries

 

          Colonel Crawford was able to win a couple of games over the weekend, but not without a cost.

          They suffered two injuries, but the had enough depth to secure wins over Buckeye Central (50-43) and Bucyrus (59-53 in overtime) in games played on Friday and Saturday.  The Bucyrus game does not count in the league standings.

          Coach David Sheldon says they were able to get off to a quick start against Buckeye before an injury to one of their more experienced players in senior Austin Adams.  “Friday we got up about 15 in the second quarter.  Then in the third quarter we went through a dry spell, had some turnovers, and only scored six.  We hung in there to get a nice road win over at Buckeye.  We lost Austin Adams with an ankle at the beginning of the third quarter, a three year letterman.  Saturday, he tried to go and really just couldn’t,” he said.

          Sheldon says in the overtime game with Bucyrus they had another injury and really had to call on their bench.  “Saturday again came out and got up 10 in the second quarter and then the Jury boy goes to hospital with stitches.  We dealt with a lot of adversity, but our kids fought through it on Saturday.  We had a chance to win it regulation and didn’t make it.  We came out strong in overtime and got a win over a county rival.  The Bucyrus kids came in all jacked up.  Give Nate’s kids credit,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “The Purcell kid played really well.  Logan Plummley hits four threes for them, he hadn’t made, maybe one all year.  With the injuries that is a credit to our seventh and eighth men, who had to come in and play a lot of minutes on Saturday.  They stepped up and filled in really well.  Anytime you can get two wins on a double weekend that is a good weekend, especially with all of the games we are playing right now.”

          Crawford has some firepower and Sheldon knows it’s on defense where they have to show their most improvement if they are going to fill their potential.  “Last week we changed up defenses a lot on Friday and Saturday.  We didn’t stay strictly man to man.  I have been a man to man guy a lot over the years, but now we just started changing up defenses a lot just to see of that would help us with our defensive struggles.  That has helped throwing different looks rather than staying in one defense.  I think Saturday night we ran four different defenses throughout the game.  We have sort of changed up our philosophy a little bit.  We still have to get better.  The defensive end of the floor is definitely the end of the floor where we have to make the most improvement as we progress through the season,” said Sheldon.

The Eagles (4-1,1-0), #5 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coach’s poll in the small school division, plays host to the Riverdale Falcons (1-3,0-1) in a silver division game.  Riverdale lost their conference opener to Wynford (47-40) last week.  “The Holderman kid has played varsity basketball since his freshmen year.  He is a very nice player.  They have the Fox kid.  Early in the year they lost to Carey by three points and last week took Wynford right down to the wire.  I think they felling their way back after Craig Taylor took back over as coach.  He has done a great job over there and they are going to come in here ready to play.  I told our kids every night people are going to be shooting for you.  It was nice to get up on Buckeye last week, but this is another league game within our division where every game like that matters because our goal is to win our division,” said Sheldon.

Then in another non-conference game with a conference opponent Crawford travels to Wynford (4-2) for a Saturday night game.  Sheldon says the Royals play very hard for coach Tim Ehresman.  “You get to go over to the “House of Thrills” and it’s a county rival again.  You know those Wynford kids are playing so hard.  I really like this team of Tim’s this year.  They are playing so hard for him.  The Carter kid is a load inside.  Powers and Fortner are the guards.  They are good players.  They have gotten off to a great start.  I think they are playing with a lot of confidence.  It will be a tough back to back, especially going on the road to Wynford. It’s a good way to start Christmas with a little Crawford vs. Wynford action.  It will be a great crowd an atmosphere with everybody home for the holidays.  That is what high school basketball is all about tin Crawford County,” said Sheldon. 

 

 
   

Tempo Big in Crawford-Buckeye Match-up

 

          Colonel Crawford is a big favorite to repeat as silver division champions in the last year of the North Central Conference, but they have to prove that on the court.

          Carey will be in Crawford’s league starting next year and Blue Devils beat the Eagles last Saturday (64-57 in overtime) in a non-conference game. Crawford coach David Sheldon says they just didn’t do the job defensively against Carey.  “It was a tough loss for us.  We went up there and we are down one after the first half.  We come out and go up one going into the fourth.  We have the ball with the lead with a minute and half to go.  We turn it over and foul and we got two great looks at the end of regulation to win it and they didn’t go,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday. “They capitalized in the overtime and got a couple of buckets early and had us on the back of our feet.  The thing I was most unhappy with was our defense.  This group has got to get better defensively.  We are really struggling on the defensive end getting stops.  Our offense production has been very good, but the defensive end is area we have to improve if we want to become a better basketball team.  We have really challenged this group all week as we prepare for Buckeye and Bucyrus.”

          Colonel Crawford (2-1,0-0), number #4 in the Swankonsports.com basketball coach’s poll in the small school division,  is at Buckeye Central (2-2,0-0) in the North Central Conference opener for both on Friday night.  Sheldon says the Bucks give 110% when they are on the floor.  “Phil (Loy) has these guys playing well.  They play so hard for him.  Austin Wurm is their premier player, but all of the kids are giving him a lot of production.  The thing I see when I watch a few films of them is they play so hard.  Offensively, defensively, they run through walls.  They are getting things done.  They are off to a great start.  It’s going to be a tough challenge as we go over the Buckeye on Friday night,” said Sheldon.

          Buckeye can be methodical and Sheldon says they want to make the game be more high scoring.  “We want to speed the game up.  We definitely want to get it going up and down.  They are more of a half court team, but they get out in transition well.  If they get in the half court they are a little bit patient at times.  We definitely want to have the tempo high and going fast the entire night, but when it is going fast we have to take care of the ball as well,” said Sheldon.

          Crawford has a longer bench and Sheldon hopes through tempo they can get into the Buckeye bench a little bit.  “The have Kaple injured now for them.  We probably do have more depth, but the thing is they play hard the entire time for 32 minutes.  They were down 10 in the fourth quarter to St. Pete’s and come back and pull off a victory right at the end.  I mean they never quit,” he said.

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford Must Play Solid Defense

 

          Colonel Crawford has one notch in the gun and now the Eagles face two tough games this weekend.

          They downed Mansfield Christian (63-41) in their first game of the year on Saturday night.  Coach David Sheldon was pleased, but knows they have to get a lot better.  “I was real happy with how our kids came out.  We have a lot of improvement to do.  We are talking about being a better basketball team every time we step in the gym whether it be in a practice or a game.  We have leaps and bounds to go to get to where we want to be.  You are happy to come out with a 22 point win, especially when the night before Mansfield Christian won by 37,” he said.

          Crawford is one of the deeper teams in the area, especially for a small school, and that showed last week.  However, Sheldon says they also did some fouling due to bad technique.  “There were some good things we had 10 guys in the scoring column and that sort of shows the depth we have this year.  We have a lot of guys we can play.  We still need to cut down some mistakes.  We did a lot of fouling, just playing with our hands and not moving our feet defensively and sending them to the foul line too much.  Overall anytime you can open up with a 22 point victory that’s a good thing,” said Sheldon.  He says that depth can come into play in a single game or as it relates to the long 22-game regular season.  “You never know about what injuries or sickness could come over a two, three month period of a basketball season.  I think what our depth does is wear people down.  We have been picking people up full court and by the fourth quarter I thought Mansfield Christian was very exhausted.  That is an advantage that we have when our kids understand when they are in there for four, five minutes playing all out because there is going to be a breather.  No one on our basketball team is going to play 32 minutes a game,” said Sheldon.

          On Thursday night the Eagles host Northmor (1-1) for a non-conference game.  The Golden Knights beat Centerburg (63-59) in their first game and then lost to Galion (64-54) in their second.  Sheldon this is a team that can do a lot on offense.  “They love to shoot the three.  Against Galion they shot 32 last Saturday.  They love to drive.  They push the ball tremendously in transition.  They like to get quick shots.  They have guys that can really shoot it.  Wiseman, Doner and Kaucher are three guys that are back that were very good last year.  This was one of our five loses last year,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “We went over to their place and lost last year.  It’s going to be a tough challenge Thursday night and I think our kids are looking forward to it.  Having someone on our schedule this is one that beat us last year.  This is what we like out of a non-conference team to test us with league play starting next week.”

          Defense is the key says Sheldon.  He says they have to keep Northmor out of the paint and get a hand in the face of shooters.  “You have to play good one on one defense because they can kick it out to shooters too.  It’s a double edged sword because they can get to the basket and they can also kick it out to shooters.  We have worked on lot on the one on one driving by keeping the ball in front of you and then closing out hard to shooters,” he said.

          The Eagles travel to Carey of Midland Athletic League on Saturday.  Of course this will be a league game starting next season.  

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford Understands High Expectations

 

          Colonel Crawford was the winner of the silver division of the North Central Conference and made it to the regional tournament last year.  They are expected to do at least as well if not better this year.

          Coach David Sheldon says they have been working very hard this preseason as there is great competition for playing time.  “We have gotten through a tough preseason.  We scheduled three division two and two division three scrimmages, so we will not have played a division four school until this Saturday.  There is excitement.  Anytime you are getting ready to tip it off there is excitement and I think our kids are excited to get it going.  We have big expectations for this year.  Our preseason has been very competitive in practice.  With all of the talent we have from one all of the way down to 14 it has been very competitive and ugly at times in our practices.  That’s good thing because competition within you team helps your team get better not only for this year, but for the years to come as well,” said Sheldon.

          He says they players and the coaching staff realize that they have a rare opportunity to accomplish some things this year.  “We have talked a lot about there being a bull’s eye on your back.  Every night you are going to get every team’s best effort because it’s a Super Bowl for a lot of teams on our schedule.  We have to come ready to go every night, but I have also told my kids I would rather have the target on my back then being at the bottom of the barrel rebuilding.  That is a good thing that we have established here with our JVs last year 17-3 and even our freshmen last year went 14-4.  So, we are happy to have that target on our backs,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “We have five seniors and we are relying a lot on their leadership.  This is their last hurrah.  Sometimes kids don’t realize that you don’t get a chance to do this again.  Some day when you are 26, 27 years old and you look back and say man I wish I had one more opportunity to play with my teammates in that Friday night Saturday night experience.  Our motto with our guys is what is this team’s legacy going to be?  When we get to the end of March what is this team going to leave Colonel Crawford with the 2012-2013 season?”

          With some solid experience returning to the team Sheldon says this has not been a preseason when there has been a lot of teaching on what they want to do on the floor.  “I am excited to get these guys out on the floor.  We talk about taking the show on the road.  Our community is excited with the success we had last year.  Every night, home or away, we have a great following, which we are very fortunate and blessed to have here at Colonel Crawford.  When you have six lettermen back they know what it is like to play on Friday nights.  It’s not like we are going out there with a brand new team.  They are used to going out there and playing in big games.  These guys have played in big games their whole career here.  I probably have less nervousness than previous years because of the returners we have back.  We have a long way to go.  We are not a great basketball team right now, but we want to be a great team in February and March when we are competing for league championships are a tournament run,” said Sheldon.

          Mansfield Christian will be the first opponent for the Eagles this year as the Flames visit North Robinson on Saturday night.  Sheldon says Christian plays outstanding defense.  “The one thing about Mansfield Christian John Kurtz does a great job.  They are going to get up in us and try to take away passing lanes.  He is a big man-to-man player.  He has the Ernsberger kid back from lat year.  The Smith kid is coming off an injury from last year is a real nice player.  They play hard and they are going to come over here and give us their best effort.  We were fortunate enough to beat them last year in the sectional championship.  Right there is a target, they ended their season with us.  This is their chance to come back over here and make a statement.  The first three days of practice we have been focusing on Colonel Crawford.  Beginning Thursday and Friday we will start looking at Mansfield Christian,” said Sheldon.

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford Knows They are the Favorite

 

          Last season was an outstanding year for the Colonel Crawford Eagles, but that was last year.

          Coach David Sheldon says he has been impressed by the work ethic he has seem from his kids every since they lost last year to Edgerton in the regional tournament.  “We are happy to be where the program has grown in my seven years as I start number seven.  We had a very successful year last year making it to the regional basketball tournament and winning our division in the “NCC.”  Coming back we have six lettermen.  We lost two kids that played a lot on that team in Matt Metcalf, an All-Ohioan and Jordon Shell.  We have six core pieces coming back and over 40 points a game that those guys averaged.  The kids are excited.  I think the neat thing is we were disappointed last March losing up at BG,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “These guys went to work right away.  They have had a great off season spending a lot time on their own in the gym.  We always said don’t be satisfied.  That’s a credit to our kids.  It’s very competitive with six lettermen back there is not a lot of movement for seven, eight and nine.  Our JV team was 17-3 and right now our practices are very competitive with guys trying to crack their way into a piece of that varsity puzzle.”

          Even with a lot of talent back Sheldon knows they will have to work hard to replace Metcalf and Shell and that other players will have to accept knew roles on the team.  “I think the biggest thing is Jordan Shell for the last three years has been our point guard and we are going to have a new point guard.  Our new point guard is going to be Conner McCreary.  Conner his freshmen and sophomore year played the two and three and now he is going to move over to the one.  He is coming off being an all-district player.  It’s an adjustment he is going from being a wing to now leading our show as our point guard.  I always talk about our point guard as being a coach on the floor.  I think that is a big adjustment with a brand new point guard.  Conner has played the point too when Jordon wasn’t out there.  Matt was just a do all kind of kid that led us in rebounding and scoring.  I think definitely we have some people that can step up and hopefully try to fill his shoes,” said Sheldon.

          Ten days ago in the playoff football game Nate Klingenberger injured his ankle.  Sheldon says nothing is broken, but they are going to be very patent with Nate and let him mend.  “Nate is probably two or three weeks away from coming back.  He hurt that ankle pretty bad.  The good thing is there was no major fracture.  Nate is a letterman and had a heck of a summer for us.  He made the Vegas all-star team and got to go out in July and play on a Vegas all-star team.  He really came into his own in the month of June and was able to do some things.  It is not like we are playing for a league championship right now or a tournament run.  We want to get him all the way healthy.  We know what Nate can do and we want to get him healthy before we let him go,” said Sheldon.

          Colonel Crawford won the silver division last year and Sheldon knows they are the favorite to repeat and that means they have to play well every night.  “In the black division I think Joe (Balogh) is really good at Ontario.  He has a lot of guys back off a team that got to the district tournament.  Behind them Upper has three of their starting guards back.  I think Joe by far is the favorite in the black.  I think Joe Balogh has one of the best, if not the best program, in this part of Ohio.  In the silver division, it’s us as the favorite.  When you are the favorite everyone wants a piece of that.  We have the most guys back of anyone in the league.  That is a different position than we have been in the past.  Now it’s every night you have to have your “A” game because everybody is going to want a piece of you.  I think Buckeye will be strong they have Worm and Kaple back.  Riverdale has Holderman and the Frye kid.  Crestline has three starters back,” said Sheldon.        

 

 
   

It’s All New to Colonel Crawford

 

          Colonel Crawford is in uncharted waters.

          The Eagles (8-2), #5 in the Swankonsports.com football coach’s poll in the small school division, have qualified for the postseason playoffs for the first time in school history.  They play at Glouster Trimble in a division six playoff game on Friday night.

          Trimble is located in Athens County in Southeast Ohio.  It will be a long trip for the Eagles, but coach Ryan Teglovic says it is one they are very excited to make.  “We told our kids several weeks ago that we didn’t care where it was we had to travel, but we would like that opportunity to get into the postseason for the first time.  Regardless of where we are going we are honored and privileged and very excited to be playing on week 11,” he said.

          Sometimes when teams accomplish a goal they become satisfied, especially this first time they are able to do it.  Teglovic hopes they aren’t done winning.  “This is the first time that we have been here.  The focus now is this is the first time we have been here and you don’t know when you will get back.  You have to make the best of your opportunity,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “We have an opportunity to not just play in a playoff game, but an opportunity to win a playoff game.  That needs to be our focus right now.  We need to get beyond being satisfied and go out and compete and hopefully get a playoff win.”

          Trimble won the Tri-Valley Conference this fall and stands at 9-1 on the season.  Teglovic says they are led by a talented quarterback.  “The film we have watched the last several days.  They have a very nice quarterback.  He is a dual threat.  He is close to 1,000 yards in passing and in rushing.  He is a very athletic.  They are a 9-1 football team.  They have good size up front on both sides of the ball.  They will be a tremendous challenge for us,” he said.

          Teglovic says Trimble can do a lot of things on offense and they run a defense that has eight players near the line of scrimmage.  “They are pretty different from what we have seen.  Defensively they run a lot of 5-3.  We don’t see a lot of teams that run the “53.”  That is a different scheme for our offensive line to take a look at.  Offensively they are pretty multiple with a lot of different things.  They run an unbalanced.  They are pro and twins and a couple of other formations as well.  There are some trick plays in there.  They do a variety of different things on offense,” said Teglovic.

          Buckeye Central made it all the way to the state finals out of this region in 2011.  Teglovic says Buckeye coach Jason Ratliff address his players about keys to success last week.  “I think the way to do that is to focus in on that game 11.  Coach Ratliff of Buckeye Central was kind enough to talk to our kids after our game on Friday night.  That was really what he talked to our kids about to focus in on week at a time.  It is very much like the regular season you focus in on Trimble on week 11.  Hopefully, who knows what can happen if you can keep your kids focused in on one week at a time.  You want to execute what you do and try to get better every week who knows what can happen,” said Teglovic.   

 

 
   

Crawford Wants to do Some Special Things

 

          Colonel Crawford is on the verge of doing some things they have never done or least not done in a long time.

          The Eagles (7-2,4-2) will win the outright silver division title in the North Central Conference and earn a division six playoff berth with a win over Buckeye Central on Friday night.  They have not won an “NCC” title since 1993 and have never played a playoff game.

          Last week, they clinched no less than a share of the division title with a win (27-7) win over Riverdale, who at the time was tied for first place in the division with Crawford.  Coming of a bitter defeat against Wynford (48-7) coach Ryan Teglovic felt they turned in a good effort against the Falcons.  “I thought it was a good night for us in a lot of ways.  First of all we beat a very solid Riverdale football team that was competing with us for the silver division championship.  They still have an opportunity to share that with us, but we were able to at least we were able to clinch a share with a victory the other night,” said Teglovic.

          Crawford had put up some pretty impressive passing numbers over the first eight weeks of the season.  Teglovic feels they adapted pretty well to last week’s rainy conditions.  “To do it in those conditions with a spread team with the rain that we had all night.  I think Nate (Klingenerberger) was seven of 11 throwing the football for I think it was 180 yards and with the other kid we had in there we ended up with more than 200 yards.  I also thought our defense played well too,” he said.

          Already with a piece of the division title, Teglovic says they really aren’t in the mood to share anything.  “It’s not something we would like to share.  We would like to get this win on Friday night against a Buckeye Central program that has had a lot of success recently.  They have a great coaching staff over there.  They have 11 seniors on that football team, so they are coming in with a lot of pride.  They are going to come in and give us their best game.  We are going to have to be able to play because there is a lot on the line.  Not just trying to win the league outright, but also trying to assure ourselves of a playoff position,” said Teglovic.

          Crawford hosts Buckeye Central (2-7,1-5) in North Robison on Friday night.  Teglovic says the Bucks have a strong running game that features a couple of backs.  “They have some size up front for them and they have two really good running backs in Michael Adkins, back from last year when he did a fantastic job in the playoff run.  He is a big, strong kid, who runs hard.  I think maybe they are a little scarier in the backfield this year because they have the Trapp kid that has ran the ball well, especially over the last couple of weeks from the halfback position.  Last year in the running game you might have been able to focus a little more on one kid in the run game,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “This year I feel they have two really good running backs.  They have shown the ability to throw the football.  The McDonald kid, back from last year, has had some good catches for them.  The junior quarterback Jones has made some throws for them in the passing offense.”

          In 2001, Buckeye Central beat Colonel Crawford (30-27 in overtime) on their way to a runner-up finish in division six.  Teglovic hopes they can start such a run on Friday night.  “It’s game 10, so it’s the last time Buckeye Central is going to put the pads on.  Hopefully, not for us.  Typically week 10 you get a good effort from both sides.  It’s a good atmosphere, it’s a backyard rivalry.  It was a fantastic game against them last year.  We expect that type of environment on Friday night,” he said.  

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford Must Play With Heart

 

          Colonel Crawford got it handed to them pretty good last week by rival Wynford, but they still have a lot to play for this week when they host Riverdale.

          Last week, the Eagles (6-2,3-2) got blitzed by Wynford (48-7) in an inter-divisional game in the North Central Conference.  Coach Ryan Teglovic says it was simple Wynford handed it to them physically, plain and simple.  “We obviously got beat up up front.  I mean physically I felt they got after us and got after us like a team hasn’t done all year.  Sometimes you come out of those games that you get your butt physically whipped the big thing is to step up the next week and wipe the dust off and hopefully get back in it,” he said.

          On Friday night, Crawford plays host to surprising Riverdale (4-4,3-2) in a game in the silver division.  The Falcons share first place in the division with the Eagles.  However, they were waxed pretty good by Bucyrus (33-7) last week.  Teglovic says they run the ball well and that is something they didn’t stop last week.  “They have a lot of skilled kids back.  They have their quarterback back and really both running backs back from last year, plus another running back that is a sophomore this year that is pretty good.  Then on top of that they have a good tight end that is a heck of a player too,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “They do a lot of things well offensively.  They pound the ball.  They are best when they run the football off tackle.  It’s going to be a great test for us. We are going to have to play a lot more physical.  We are going to have to sure up the run defense.  That is going to be a key this week.”

          Teglovic feels that Riverdale will be a physical challenge for them and they have to suck it up and be ready to play football.  “You come back to work this week and you stress being physical, you stress being fundamental, you stress pad level, you stress playing with some heart, playing with intensity, and playing with some pride.  We are playing for an “NCC” championship on Friday night.  Riverdale comes in at 3-2 in the league and we are 3-2 in the league.  Whoever wins this has a tremendous advantage in winning the silver division championship.  We’ve got something to play for and so do they.  It’s about coming out and playing hard,” said Teglovic.

          Right now, Colonel Crawford stands fifth in division six, region 23 of the state playoff computer rankings.  The top eight qualify for the postseason.  Teglovic says if they play to their potential they can claim some pretty special things.  “I thought we had a pretty good practice on Monday.  We had a good talk with the seniors after practice on Monday.  They seem focused and locked in.  There is an understanding that all over our goals and still in front of us.  Last Friday night, outside of the fact we got beat badly by a good football team in terms of bearing on our season it really doesn’t have a lot.  We can come out here and play well Friday night we can secure an “NCC” championship.  If we can play well there and the next week we still have a good opportunity to make the playoffs,” said Teglovic.       

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford Excited to Play Wynford

 

          In a game that could end up being very important for them in their league race and a possible playoff berth, the Colonel Crawford Eagles travel to Wynford to play the rivals Royals on Friday night.

          Both teams are 6-1 on the season.  Wynford trails Galion by a game in the black division of the North Central Conference.  Colonel Crawford shares first place with Riverdale in the silver division. 

          Last week, Colonel Crawford responded to its only loss of the season (50-38) to Galion to beat Bucyrus (47-10) in “NCC” game.  Coach Ryan Teglovic was proud of his kids.  “It was a big game you always wonder how you are going to bounce back form the Galion game, which was really an emotional game.  I thought our kids played hard, but they suffered a loss against a good Galion football team.  You always wonder how you are going to bounce back from those types of football games.  I felt our kids bounced back really well.  Bucyrus even drew first blood against us by getting the first touchdown on their first drive of the game.  For our kids to then respond from that and the tough loss from the week before I thought they did a great job,” said Teglovic.

          Crawford has had one of the most explosive offenses in the area the year, but what about the defense?  Teglovic says they have been pretty pleased there too.  “There are some things we can do better.  That is what we work on every week on both sides of the ball.  There are always things that you can do better.  I was pleased with our performance last week.  I think we did some good things against what I thought was a pretty good offense.  Going into last week it was an offense that averaged 27 points a game,” he told Swankonsports.com, “For our guys to come in and be able to hold them to 10 points I was pleased with how our guys performed in that game.  Really with the exception of the Galion game, and parts of the Lucas game, we have been very pleased with the defense.  Lucas and Galion will present a lot of teams with problems.  We’ve got work to do defensively, but overall I’m pleased with our performance.”

          Gabe Helbert took over this season as the head coach at Wynford after eight years as an assistant.  Teglovic says he has turned out another pretty good team at Wynford.  “Gabe has been there for a while and they are still Wynford and they are still doing good things.  They still have great athletes over there.  The Brown kid is a fantastic athlete.  He averages 7.6 yards per carry.  I’ll tell you he is doing a great job.  You look at the Williamson kid that has stepped in at quarterback has like only one interception on the year.  He has thrown for over 800 yards his first year at quarterback.  You have the Hartz kid at receiver and he is very explosive.  He is averaging a lot of yards per catch.  They have a lot of weapons over there and they are always good defensively.  They play a sound 4-3.  They do what they do and they do it very well,” said Teglovic.

          What’s it going to take to beat Wynford?  Teglovic says nothing special, just the same things it takes every week.  “It is the same thing every week.  You execute, you perform things you have worked on all week.  You do your responsibility.  You do it to the best of your ability and you trust they guys around you are going to the same thing.  That is in every phase of the game.  I think it’s going to be a good football game.  The team that goes out and executes the best will win,” he said.

          Of course, Wynford (6-1,3-1), #3 in the Swankonsports.com football coach’s poll in the small school division, had their 63 game regular season win streak snapped two weeks ago by Ontario.  Teglovic says they certainly think they can beat Wynford.  “They certainly bounced back very well last week against Upper Sandusky.  You have to give their kids and their coaching staff credit for that after that tough loss to Ontario and beating a good Upper Sandusky team.  I think our kids have a belief they can win and compete.  Two years ago we went over there and played very well.  I think mentally our kids have that belief.  I think now it’s just going out an executing,” said Teglovic.

 

 
   

Crawford Must Bounce Back

 

          Colonel Crawford lost its first game of the season last week to Galion and now they must bounce back as they host Bucyrus in another inter-divisional game in the North Central Conference.

          Last week, the Eagles (5-1,2-1), #3 in the Swankonsports.com football coach’s poll in the small school division, took a 35-12 lead at Galion, only to lose 50-35.  Coach Ryan Teglovic says once Galion got going they couldn’t stop them.  “We did start well and play with a lot of emotion and sometimes it’s difficult to sustain that.  We knew we were playing a good football team.  They got the momentum late in the second quarter.  After they got the momentum we just couldn’t get in back,” he said.

          Galion’s David Ney rushed for 259 yards in the game.  He had an 82 yard kick return and a 79 yard run for scores.  Teglovic says he killed them on big plays.  “What gives everybody problems is David Ney.  He is a fantastic football player and a hardworking kid and does a great job.  He had well over 200 yards rushing.  Big plays, I guess, most of all.  We have to try and get better this week and try to cut down on big plays,” said Teglovic.

          Bucyrus (3-3,1-2) comes calling on Friday night and Teglovic knows that getting back on the winning track is very important for them.  “It’s an important game, that’s why I told you that last week that the Galion game was a big game, but every game from here on out was a big game.  It’s going to be about us continuing to get back up Friday night and prepare to play, prepare throughout the week, practice well, and be able to focus in on every week,” said Teglovic.

          Riverdale (3-0) actually leads the silver division standings right now by a game over Colonel Crawford.

          Bucyrus has a new coach this year in young Aaron Eckert and Teglovic says they are kind of explosive.  “Offensively they play very well.  They are averaging about 27 points a game.  They have a young quarterback that is athletic.  They have the Purcell kid that is up in the area as far as receptions.  They have a couple of guys back on their offensive line as well.  They have a great kicker, probably the best kicker in the league.  He had two field goals last week.  This is going to be a big test for us this week,” said Teglovic.

          Bucyrus has some athletes and Teglovic understands that once again they are going to have to be able to tackle in the open field.  “A lot of teams have gone spread run.  That is one of the trends here in this day and age.  Offenses spread you to run the football.  It is key that you tackle well in the open field,” he said.  

 

 
   

Crawford to Face Biggest Test

 

          Colonel Crawford survived last week and they remain unbeaten going into a big game at streaking Galion on Friday night in North Central Conference action.

          The Eagles (5-0,2-0), #3 in the Swankonsports.com football coach’s poll in the small school division, had to come back Saturday to finish off the Lucas Cubs (48-34) in an “NCC” game.  The offense was again outstanding, but the Eagles allowed more than 300 yards in the ground and that has Crawford coach Ryan Teglovic at least a little bit concerned.  “We did give up quite few yards rushing.  They had more than 300 yards rushing and anytime you do that it’s not a good thing.  I think there are some things we can do a little bit better.  I think overall you have to give Lucas credit.  We knew they were a good rushing team coming in.  Their kids play hard.  They have two very good running backs.  They rushed the ball 64 times on us, so give them credit for just coming out and playing smash mouth football.  It was good for us to see and I think,” said Tegloivic.

          Colonel Crawford quarterback Nate Klingenberger has enjoyed a super season so far for the Eagles, as he is one of the area’s leaders in passing.  Teglovic says their passing game has been very affective this year.  “We have a quarterback that has thrown for over 1,200 yards in five games.  He has a completion percentage of about 65 percent and has thrown 14 touchdowns with one interception.  He has thrown to a variety of different guys too.  We have one receiver with over 500 yards and we have another receiver with over 300 yards.  So, it can come from different guys.  We feel we have protected well up front on the offensive line,” said Teglovic.

          Galion (4-1,2-0), #4 in the Swankonsports.com football coach’s poll in the small school division, has put together four straight wins including “NCC” victories over Upper Sandusky (28-0) and Bucyrus (41-14) the last two weeks.  Teglovic says the Tigers have speed to burn.  “They have great speed offensively and defensively.  That is what impresses you most from them.  They have playmakers on the offensive and defensive side of the ball regardless if it is Darien Watkins playing quarterback or Prosser playing quarterback,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “They both have great speed.  Ney is one of the best backs not just in the area, but the state.  They have a tremendous amount of athletes.  This is the best team we have played we know that.  I think our guys are ready for that challenge.”

          Galion has produced a number of big plays, scoring plays of over 40 yards this season.  Teglovic says they must play fundamental defense and be sure tacklers.  “We have to tackle well.  I think we have to try and take away their strengths the best we can and make the uncomfortable on offense.  That’s easier said than done.  They have a variety of ways to beat you.  Tackling is going to be extremely important.  I think switching up our looks and those kinds of things,” he said.

          Teglovic understands that when you have two very good football teams things get magnified, but he says they have to keep things in prospective.  “It’s a big one, but with our guys I hope we are getting into the mindset of not lifting up one game anymore than another.  I think last week can show you the importance of that.  Every week that we go out is really important.  We have put ourselves in position to play for some things in the second half of the year.  Every week we go out to me is going to be the same amount of importance.  I think our guys understand that and hopefully we are going to be business like in our approach,” said Teglovic.        

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford Doing What They Should

 

          Colonel Crawford has won all four of their games so far and they seem to be getting better each and every week.

          Last week, they blasted Crestline (54-20) in a game they lead (47-0) by a large margin at halftime.  Coach Ryan Teglovic says they continue to run on all cylinders on both sides of the ball.  “Offensively and defensively we executed very well.  In the first half we were able to throw the football well.  Nate was 10 for 11 in the first half throwing the football.  Spencer Tacket had 111 yards running the football in the first half,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “Defensively we gave up two first downs in the first half.  The quarterback escaped form a us a couple of times, but give credit to Nick Reynolds.  He is a nice player and played hard through the game and I thought he just did a nice job for them.  Our special teams played well as well.”

          The Eagles have shown very good balance between running and passing on offense all year.  Teglovic says that is because they have quality personnel.  “Why aren’t all coaches balanced, well it comes down to personnel.  It comes down to the players you have at those positions that you want to be balanced with.  We are fortunate right now to have guys at the running back position, guys at the receiver position, guys at the quarterback position, and guys at the offensive line that allow us to be able to do that.  It’s a great luxury for the coaching staff,” he said.

          Colonel Crawford (4-0,1-0), #3 in the Swankonsports.com football coach’s poll in the small school division, will be at home in North Robinson Friday night for the Lucas Cubs (1-3,0-1) in North Central Conference action.  Teglovic says the Cubs have a running game that is difficult to stop.  “The Swainheart kid and the Harris kids both present you with a lot of problems.  It’s an unconventional offense that you don’t see a whole lot.  It’s an offense that their coaching staff does a very good job of teaching.  You throw both of those backs into that offense and it can be a scary thing for your defense.  They keep the ball in their hands and try to grind it out.  They do a nice job.  They are 1-3 right now, but they were in position to win the Fredericktown game.  They have moved the ball well all year and we are going to have a fight on our hands,” said Teglovic.

          These are teenagers after all and Teglovic says the coaching staff is working hard to keep the players focused this week for Lucas.  “You are concerned always about that.  We talk about that probably every day.  They probably get tied of hearing me talk about it.  The most important game is always the one that you are going to play.  I feel like our guys have done a good job of being focused.  They have practiced pretty well and they continue to respond.  Even if that is the case we are going to continue to talk about it,” he said.     

 

 
   

Crawford Not Looking Past Crestline

 

          Colonel Crawford might have one of the best teams in school history, but they need to continue to prove that on the football field.

          Dreams of conference titles and playoff berths can be dashed pretty quickly if you aren’t careful.

          After wins over Mt. Gilead (42-12), Upper Sandusky (34-6) and New London (33-13) the Eagles are 3-0 and really haven’t been challenged this season.  Coach Ryan Teglovic says they have played hard on every play and they have been able to do a number of this on offense.  “I like the way our kids have played from an intensity standpoint.  They play hard and I think we play physical football with some guys that are fairly inexperienced.  You always wonder how that is going to come into play on Friday night,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “I have been pleased with the way we have physically played the game on Friday night.  We have practiced pretty well and we have practiced better.  I have been pleased with the balance we have had offensively with the numbers we have put up there.”

          They travel just down the road to Crestline (0-3) for their North Central Conference opener on Friday night.  Teglovic says you always enter that first league game with some butterflies in your stomach.  “They played their best game last week.  You are always nervous heading into that league opener.  It’s like week one overall.  Week one overall you are always nervous about getting that first one under your belt and you are nervous about getting that first league win under your belt,” he said.

          Crestline played its best game of the season in a loss to South Central (20-19) last week.  Teglovic says the Bulldogs quarterback Nick Reynolds is top quality player.  “They have a quarterback that in Nick Reynolds that is very good player.  He is a leader and a great kid.  He can beat you with his arm and beat you with his feet as well.  They spread things out and they are big up front on the offensive line, so they can be physical up there.  When you have a quarterback that is a dual threat that makes it dangerous for us,” said Teglovic.

          When Reynolds gets out of the pocket Teglovic says he will force the Eagles defense to be good decision makers, just like he is.  “We have talked to our guys about staying in rush lanes and those things.  Overall, what Nick does is he makes good decisions.  If things aren’t open down field he will pull things down and make some things happen with his feet.  We will have our work cut out for us in containing him,” said Teglovic.

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford Moving Forward

 

          Colonel Crawford has been established as the clear favorite for the silver division title in the North Central Conference and the Eagles look to complete their non-conference schedule at 3-0 with win this week at New London.

          Last week, Crawford hammered Upper Sandusky (34-6) to keep their record unblemished. Coach Ryan Teglovic says he was proud of the improvement they made from week one.  “I thought it was our best performance of the year against a pretty solid Upper Sandusky football team.  I thought both sides of the ball we played very well,” he told Swankonsports.com, “I thought we made a lot of improvement between week one and week two, which is certainly what you are looking for.  I thought the kids executed really well.  The coaches did a good job preparing the kids and overall it was a good win for us.”

          Quarterback Nate Klingenberger completed 21 of 31 passes for over 300 yards and three scores against Upper.  Teglovic says that was a very good improvement.  “We said week one we were less than 50 percent passing the football.  We wanted to make sure that we completed a higher percentage.  We completed 21 of 31 passes.  Nate threw for more than 300 yards.  His decision making really improved.  On week two I thought he did a great job of making plays even when there wasn’t a play to be made.  The offensive line continued to do a good job.  We had several receivers step up and make some grabs in the game as well,” said Teglovic.

          In order to enjoy a good season, Teglovic says the players have to focused on every task at hand.  “It is a very big game for us here on week three.  We have an hour trip.  You always worry about how they are going to respond to that and how you are going to respond to a big win the week before.  We want to make sure that we focus on every game.  We have to make the same improvement this week that we did last week,” he said.

          New London (1-1) beat Oberlin Firelands (27-7) last week to pick up their first win of the season.  Teglovic feels the Wildcats have some talented players.  “New London has some good athletes.  They have a three year guy at one of their running back positions.  They have another kid that plays tight end and also comes in plays some wildcat quarterback.  He is a tremendous athlete.  They have another good receiver in the Held kid.  They have pretty good size up front.  They do some good things and they are playing well right now and will be tough challenge on the road,” said Teglovic.

          Of course this is a big game for Colonel Crawford in terms of the playoffs.  The non-conference games always are.  Teglovic says they have had discussion with the players about the importance of the game.  “Those are things that are being said in the community and we figure we might as well talk to the kids about that.  It’s a big game in that sense and every game is that kind of game.  As big as the Upper Sandusky game was last week, this game is just as big and every week from here on out we hope to be playing for something,” said Teglovic.   

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford Not Satisfied

 

          Colonel Crawford took apart Mt. Gilead in their first game of the season, but they understand that can’t be their best game of the year and they need to strive to be better.

          Crawford rolled up more than 400 yards of offense in dismantling the Mt. Gilead Indians (42-12) last week.  Coach Ryan Teglovic says they did some good things, but there can be some things they need to improve a bunch for them to be the football team he thinks they can be.  “Defensively we stopped the run well and gave up a couple of big plays in the pass game,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “There were a couple of misalignment mistakes that we can take care of.  Offensively we put up 470 yards of total offense.  We felt like we could have played even a little better, especially in the pass game.  We need to complete a few more passes.  We were only 12 for 25.  Overall a petty good first performance.”

          Teglovic says they certainly have some teaching points this week, but it is better to get those in a win, rather than a loss.  “It’s a lot easier to take those lessons in a victory.  The kids have worked hard for three, four week here.  They busted their tail off and you like to reward them on Friday night, so it’s nice to get those guys a win,” he said.

          This week the Eagles play a conference opponent in a non-conference game when the meet the Upper Sandusky Rams (1-0) on Friday night.  There were not a lot people talking about the Rams before the season started, but Teglovic says that is different now.  “I think the whisper probably got a little louder when they beat Carey.  Carey is perennially a good football team.  Upper has a lot of good players back from last years team.  It definitely starts with their quarterback, who is also their MIC linebacker.  He is just a fantastic athlete.  He is a big, strong, great competitor.  He has a lot of good kids around him too,” said Teglovic.  Upper beat Carey (26-12) in their first game last week.

          After looking at film of the Mt. Gilead game, Teglovic points out some areas where the Eagles need to get better if they are going to beat a fine Upper Sandusky team.  “We would like to limit big plays a little better defensively.  We need to be better on the kickoff team.  We need to complete a higher percentage of passes.  We need to improve those things this week,” he said. 

 

 
   

Colonel Crawford Ready to Take Next Step

 

          Colonel Crawford is a football program on the rise, but are they ready to take the next step?  We begin to find out when they travel to Mt. Gilead for a non conference game on Friday night.

          Coach Ryan Teglovic says they have worked hard to make sure they have covered every aspect of their preparation.  “I like the way our kids have worked.  I like the way most of the time they have paid attention to detail.  They are trying to improve and trying to pay attention to what the coaches say and watch film and do the little th