Swank on Sports




Marion Pleasant Spartans High School Athletics



First Place on the Line in the “MOAC”

Marion Pleasant hosts Clear Fork, both an unbeaten, in what is a huge game in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference on Friday night.

To the winner goes no less than a share of the “MOAC” football title.

Both are first in their computer region, Pleasant in division five and Clear Fork is division four. The Colts have already clinched their berth, Pleasant likely will on Friday night.

The Spartans (7-0,5-0), #4 in the Swankonsports.com football coaches poll in the small school division, beat arch rival River Valley (27-14) last week to remain in that share of first place.

Coach Aaron Cook says it was what they expected. “That game is always intense and always emotional on both sides. I thought both teams came out ready to play and both teams played with that emotion and it was a great rival game like it always is,” he said.

Clear Fork head coach Dave Carroll and his assistant and brother Mike Carroll both coached at Pleasant and Cook says the coaching staff is a key reason the Colts are unbeaten. “Clear Fork first and foremost is very well coached. I am very familiar with coach Carroll. I have been around him for a long time. He does a great job. They are well coached,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “They are big, physical, and fast. They are pretty much everything you would want in a football team. It is definitely our toughest challenge to date and it should be a great football game on Friday night.”

Playmakers seem to be all over the place on the Clear Fork offense led by quarterbacks Blake Dinsmore and Jared Schaefer. They are able to get the ball to some athletic skilled players. Cook says they have to be sound one on one tacklers. “That is the way coach Carroll has built is team and he has the athletes to do it. That is where football is played anymore it is in space and that is the name of the game. Our kids are going to have to do a really, really good job of tackling in space. That is hard to do, harder to do than you think and easier said than done. That’s our goal and we will see what happens,” he said.

On defense, the Colts allowed negative 35 yards of total offense and no first downs last week in a (35-0) win over Ontario and it has been the defense that has been very consistent for Clear Fork this year. Cook says that is no surprise. “They are well coached. Mike Carroll does a great job on that side of the ball. Mike and I coached together for 15 years and I know how good of a job he does. He is phenomenal. It is a typical Mike Carroll defense. They are big, tough, physical and very sound. You are hard pressed to beat them at anything. That’s why they are good. There is really nothing to exploit. You just have to try and execute to the best of your ability and hope that your kids do that and play hard,” said Cook.

Published 10/18/17

© Swankonsports.com

Like Swankonsports.com on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter at @swankonsports

“Sports Saturday” airs live every week from 10 AM to 1 PM



Unbeaten Pleasant Plays Rival River Valley

Marion Pleasant is unbeaten and shares first place in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference with Clear Fork with three weeks left in the regular season.

They play the Colts next week, but this week is a very important opponent on their schedule in their biggest rival in the River Valley Vikings.

A big second half led to an easy win over Buckeye Valley last week. They beat the Barons (42-17) in “MOAC” play.

Coach Aaron Cook says the players did what they asked them to do. “Our kids really listened to us and adjusted very well in the second half and came out and played really, really hard. We were able to beat a really good “BV” team. We were really happy with that and the way we executed and created turnovers in the second half,” he said.

The Spartans (6-0,4-0), #5 in the Swankonsports.com football coaches poll in the small school division, got two interceptions for scores in the fourth quarter last week. Cook says those are big plays. “Our kids really did a good job of creating those. Our defensive front did a great job of getting to the quarterback and pressuring him all night. Obviously, when that happens balls tend to get thrown up in the air a little bit and our kids did a great job of breaking on it and making the best of it,” he said.

River Valley (3-4,1-3) played well last week in a (27-0) win over injury plagued Ontario. It breaks a three game losing streak for the Vikings.

Cook says River Valley always plays well against them. “This is our big rival. This is our big county rival. We have played River Valley for a very, very long time. There aren’t any finer coaches out there than Doug Green. He does a tremendous job with that program,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “They are a very good football team. I have seen this game go both ways, crazy ways, and every way, so we will be ready to play and I am sure they will be and it will be a great high school football game.”

Cook, a former player at Pleasant, understands this rivalry and knows they are going to have to come out with some intensity. “Energy and intensity those are the biggest things with these rival games because you know what you are going to get on the other side. That’s how you lose them if you don’t match them that becomes a problem. Getting ready to play on both sides is the way you have to do it,” he said.

Published 10/11/17

© Swankonsports.com

Like Swankonsports.com on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter at @swankonsports

“Sports Saturday” airs live every week from 10 AM to 1 PM



Pleasant Faces Physical Marion Harding

Marion Pleasant again is one of the best football teams in North Central Ohio and that should come as no surprise since they have as much tradition on the gridiron as anyone.

They are at home for Marion Harding this week in a Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference game.

In their conference opener, they buried Galion (45-21) in a game that really wasn’t that close.

Coach Aaron Cook was pleased with the performance. “I was really happy with our kids. I didn’t see that coming at all. Our kids just executed the game plan. Looking at the scoreboard going in a halftime and it’s 45-7 I never dreamt that we would be able to do that against a good Galion team. Our kids came out and played really, really well, so credit to them,” he said.

Pleasant has been pounding opponents with a ground game featuring a number of backs. Cook says that has always been the foundation of their program. “That’s what we do. That has always been my philosophy, it was our philosophy when I was an assistant at Pleasant, when I played at Pleasant. That is what we know and what we have always done. It is just something we try and do. We do try and be balanced. We have that ability, we just have had some success this year running the ball,” said Cook.

Pleasant (3-0,1-0) plays at Marion Harding (3-1,1-0) beat Ontario (21-17) last week. They scored two touchdowns in the second half on fumble returns.

Cook says they are a very athletic team again this year that is very physical. “Anytime you play Harding you are going to see a bunch of athletes. They are no different this year,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “They are big up front, they are physical and they present challenges athletically. It is a good football team and for us it is a step up playing a bigger school. That is obviously a challenge and makes it fun.”

Harding has some big kids, but Cook says they have to match their physicality if they want to win the game. “That is one thing we have always preached to our kids. We tell our kids all of the time too we are pretty physical too. We are going to go out and try and play a good football game and execute the game plan and see where the chips fall,” he said.

Published 9/22/17

© Swankonsports.com

Like Swankonsports.com on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter at @swankonsports

“Sports Saturday” airs live every week from 10 AM to 1 PM



Pleasant Ready to get Things Started

Marion Pleasant plays its first football game for real this season on Friday night at Fredericktown in non-conference play.

Their game last week with Greenon was cancelled due to two untimely deaths in the Greenon district.

Pleasant coach Aaron Cook says there is no question they are ready to get one in the books this week. “Our kids are excited to go play. It has been a while since we have played taking that week off. Our hearts go out the Greeon community, obviously it is very tragic what happened. Nobody wants to go through that and we completely sympathize with them. Our kids were great about it and we kind of used it as a life lesson,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “We have talked to them about just trying to focus in on Fredericktown. We gave them Friday night off. We kind of treated last week like a game week and let them go watch some high school football. Came in Saturday morning and treated like we would have after a game. They are excited to go play this week.”

Fredericktown didn’t score until late in the game and lost (27-6) to Clear Fork last week. Cook expects the Freddies to play well. “I know Clear Fork is a really, really solid football team this year, so the score with the two kick returns, it was a pretty close ball game. Fredericktown has been relevant to high school football for a long time. Coach Hartley does a great job over there. We know what we are going to get. It is going to be a great high school game. It is going to be two teams that are going to be well disciplined and go out and try and do what they do. On film, I have been impressed those kids are tough kids. Exactly what you expect from a Fredericktown team,” he said.

With their offensive line from last year back in full. Cook says the Freddies, like a lot of other teams, are going to want the football first. “I think small school football in general if you look at the most successful teams, there are exceptions to that rule, a lot of teams try and run the football. If you can run the football and play good defense it is usually a recipe for success. That is kind of what their program does. They have the ability to throw the ball. They will keep you on your toes with that. By all means they are a physical football team. They look very similar to my kids. They just look like good kids that want to play football,” said Cook.

Published 9/01/17

© Swankonsports.com

Like Swankonsports.com on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter at @swankonsports

“Sports Saturday” airs live every week from 10 AM to 1 PM




Pleasant Needs Another Win


          Marion Pleasant remains in the thick of the red division race in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference, just a game behind Jonathan Alder and Marion Harding with four games still left to play.

          Last week, the Spartans (5-1,2-1), #3 in Swankonsports.com football coaches poll in the small school division, shut out North Union (14-0) to keep themselves in the conference race.

         Coach Aaron Cook says their defense was just outstanding again and they were the difference.  “Our kids played extremely well on defense and that is something we have been doing consistently all year.  Our kids have been running to the ball and tackling very well.  Obviously we played a very good game against a talented and well coached North Union team.  It was a great high school game.  It was 7-0 late into that game and our defense came up big multiple times to get stops for us,” he said.

          Their only loss came three weeks ago to Jonathan Alder (33-16,) but since then they have two straight.  Cook his kids have continued to work hard to get better.  “Our kids have done a pretty decent job of improving from week to week.  Our completion has been pretty much consistently difficult, so every week you have to bring you “A” game.  Our kids understand that.  They have been doing a pretty good job of working and that is easy to do when you win, keeping engaged, they want to get better and they work hard.  Hopefully we can continue that process,” said Cook.

          Pleasant hosts Buckeye Valley (3-3,2-1) in a red division game on Friday night.  The Barons played very well last week in losing (28-20) to conference co-leader Jonathan Alder. 

          Cook says the Barons are a big, physical team that is pretty athletic too.  He says it will be a test.  “They are one of the biggest and most physical teams that we will play all year.  They present some problems for us with their size.  They are very skilled on the outside.  They have a great quarterback and they play great defense,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “It is going to be a challenge.  Everybody in this league has great talent and quality teams and you have to come ready to play.  Hopefully our kids will come ready to play and play a pretty good high school football game and we will see what happens.”


Published 10/04/16

© Swankonsports.com

Follow us on Twitter at @swankonsports

Like Swankonsports.com on Facebook

Click on our listen line for 24/7 audio 



Marion Pleasant Spartans news can also be heard on the SwankonSports 24/7 Listen Line