Swank on Sports




Mohawk Warriors High School Athletics



Joining us this morning on “Sports Saturday” are HS Football coaches Todd Fox of Norwalk, Scott Spitler of Lucas, Doug Haas of Wooster, Robert Mahaney of Mapleton and Judd Lutz of Tiffin Columbian. Pieces from Friday night with Brent Konkle of Mohawk, Gabe Helbert of Wynford and Scott Valentine of Ashland. Crestview volleyball coach Jody Ritchey. Plus, our regular guests Samantha Bunten of NBC Sports on the Browns and Indians and Kevin Noon, publisher of buckeyegrove.com, on Ohio State and Tulane. The show runs from 10 AM to 1 PM on www.swankonsports.com


Powers Mohawk and Seneca East Meet in the “N10”

Two of best teams in North Central Ohio face off in a Northern 10 Athletic Conference game Friday night as Mohawk is at home for Seneca East.

Both are unbeaten on the season through four games.

The Warriors (4-0,1-0), #4 in the Swankonsports.com football coaches poll in the small school division, beat rival Carey last week (35-14,) scoring three times after the Blue Devils tied it in the third quarter.

Coach Brent Konkle says it was a well played second half by his kids. “I think we played well the entire game and I think we stepped it up starting the second half. They scored on us early in the second half. We clamped down defensively and we righted the ship and got things moving in the direction we wanted,” he said.

Seneca East (4-0,1-0), #1 in our poll’s small school division, led by just one at the half, but they blasted Bucyrus (47-13) in their conference opener.

Konkle says they balanced on offense and aggressive on defense. “They are good. I think they are probably the most athletic team in our league. They were one of the top notch team teams at the beginning of the season. It’s on the calendar. They are strong offensively. They show you a lot of passing, they show you a lot of running, they put their athletes in space. Defensively, they are very aggressive, they like to bring pressure. All around they are just very, very athletic,” said Konkle.

Blane Swartzmiller leads the “N10” in rushing yards this season with 623 and he has nine TD’s. Konkle says they have to contain the running game. “We have to control the running game. I think the running game is the secret to every football game in high school. If you can control somebody’s running game. Some team’s like to pass more. We want to put them in the direction that they have to throw the ball,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “You know Seneca East is going to throw. (Chase) Foos is supposed to be back, he is their quarterback, he has been out since week two, but I know he is going to be back. They are going to be ready to be aggressive.”

Konkle expects Seneca East to blitz a lot and he believes they will be able to pick it up. “We have seen some pressure this year. Carey is very aggressive, Gibsonburg was aggressive. I think at this point we are little more experienced. We have some really good things on film as far as making corrections and stuff. They are very aggressive and that is their strength on defense. When you are aggressive you live by it and you die by it. Hopefully we win some of those battles,” he said.

Published 9/19/18

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Rivals Mohawk and Carey Lock Horns

Mohawk and Carey might be two of the contenders for the Northern 10 Athletic Conference title this season and they clash on Friday night in Sycamore in Wyandot County.

For the Warriors it was a dominating fourth quarter last week and they beat Gibsonburg (16-0) in a non-conference game.

Coach Brent Konkle says they just kept doing what they do and they were able to win that fourth quarter. “I think our senior leadership really hung in there. I think we kind of dominated the game between the 20 yard lines. We did a really good job moving the football. I thought we played great defense. Going into the fourth quarter it was just one of those things where we didn’t get anything punched in. The defense caused a turnover and we get the ball inside the five and we settle for a field goal, but it really got us moving. I think the senior leadership was the key there,” said Konkle.

When you have a lot of seniors on your team it seems they respond well to pressure, according to Konkle. “I was just talking to our principal about this and he said you had to be worried a little bit, but the kids never go rattled. It is just like we have to get this done late,” he said.

Mohawk (3-0) hosts Carey (2-1) on Friday night in the “N10.” The Blue Devils are coming off a (24-7) win over Crestview. The Cougars scored first, but the Blue Devils kind of owned the game.

Konkle says this is going to be a big challenge for them. “I know Carey is 2-1, but they had a lot of mistakes in the Galion game. I think they are a 3-0 team. I said they are going to surprise people all year long. They are big, they are physical,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “They are well balanced on offense and defense. They have a new defensive look that looks a little bit like ours. I really think they are going to be a tough opponent.”

This is a rivalry that goes back a ways and Konkle says both sides get up to play in this one. “No matter if we were in the “NCC” it was Mohawk and Carey, it was the “MAL” it was Mohawk and Carey an we are back in the “N10” it is Mohawk and Carey. It is our biggest rival. They go to the fair together, the fair happens to be this week. It is just one of those things it is a rivalry in every sport. Basketball we have great games, football we always have. It is just a tradition that is going to carry on forever,” said Konkle.

Published 9/12/18

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Mohawk Faces Another Challenge

It’s the home opener for the Mohawk Warriors on Friday night as they entertain the Gibsonburg Golden Bears in a non-conference high school football game.

Last week, the Warriors (2-0) went to Bascom at beat Hopewell-Loudon (34-14) on week two.

Mohawk scored twice early and coach Brent Konkle says they are becoming a more confident football team. “I was pleased by how we played on Friday night. I think Hopewell is going to win their share of games. They are a pretty solid football team. I think we got it on track early,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “We ran the ball with success most of the game. I think that got us off to a good start. It got us some confidence that we need going into this week.”

Not that they won’t throw it when the situation calls for it, but Konkle says they are a team that wants to force you to stop them from running it. “That is Mohawk football. We have gambled and thrown the football the last couple of years. When it comes down to crunch time I think we are going to be running the football. Early in the game we had a 98 yard touchdown reception out of deep trouble, but other than that we are going to pound the football mostly,” said Konkle.

Gibsonburg is a new member of the River Division of the Sandusky Bay Conference. They have beaten Elmwood (20-14) and Woodmore (38-12) in their two games.

Konkle says they are finding what they are good at. “Gibsonburg is traditionally 8-2, 9-1. They have a new coach and he is full tilt into the wing-T, that is a little bit of our resume. A lot of teams in this area are going back to it. You can tell from week one to week two they made big strides in their offense. I think he has them going in the right direction,” he said.

Published 9/04/18

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More Intensity Needed For Mohawk

Mohawk plays at Hopewell-Loudon on Friday night in a non-conference game and the Warriors are looking for more intensity on defense.

They beat Kansas Lakota (34-8) in their opening night game.

Coach Brent Konkle liked what he saw execution wise on the offensive side of the football. “Offensively, I thought we were very solid. We mixed it up pass and run. We scored on five out of the seven possessions. I thought we were very, very efficient. So, I am very pleased with our offense,” he said.

On the other hand, on defense, Konkle is looking for a little more intensity this week against Hopewell. “Defensively, you don’t want to criticize too much when you only give up eight points, but intensity wise I was a little disappointed. I think this week we have raised the bar in practices and I think we have had some quality practices. Defensively, we were solid Friday night I just want to play with more excitement,” said Konkle.

Hopewell-Loudon (1-0) beat up Ravenna Southeast (34-13) in their first game of the season.

Konkle says they have a solid running game they will have to contend with on Friday night. “They have a very solid running game. They have a young quarterback that does a very good job of hitting his timing routes and mix in a second quarterback as well,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “So, they have a three headed attack from that aspect. The running back is very talented. The (Sam) Stickley kid, he is very athletic, very strong and he has some speed to him. So, there is a little concern there.”

Mohawk made the playoffs last season and you often build that base by what you do in these non-conference games, but Konkle says they are not worried about that yet. “We are worried about week two right now, but I definitely like our non conference schedule. I like having week one, two and three again instead of jumping around in the non league like we did the last couple of years. Hopewell is an old “MAL” rival, so I am very excited getting back into that. The opportunity is in front of us to play a very solid game this week,” said Konkle.

Published 8/30/18

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Mohawk Knows Work Lies Ahead

Mohawk has the talent and experience to have a good season, but they know it is going to take a lot of work to get there.

They open the season on Friday night at Kansas Lakota of the River Division of the Sandusky Bay Conference.

Coach Brent Konkle feels they have had a good week getting ready for Lakota and they are ready to go. “Well, we have had a great week of practice. I think our kids are very anxious to go out and hit somebody. We have been preaching physicality all week. We are just excited to be on the field (Friday) night. We have a lot of seniors and juniors with experience and they are ready to go hit somebody,” said Konkle.

There expectations for the Warriors, but Konkle says they are not taking anything lightly. “We made the playoffs last year, went 8-3, and yeah, we have expectations. Our kids have a had a little success and they are hungry for it. Our kids are humble right now, they know it is week one, it’s Lakota, and we aren’t looking anywhere else. We are raring to go,” he said.

Lakota is going to try and be physical and Konkle says they have to sort of match that physicality. “They are coming off a good season themselves. They were 6-4 last year. They were probably a play or two away of being a team down the stretch that makes the playoffs. They had a good senior class that graduated. They have a nice running back,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “They have some athletic receivers. They have a running back that had 1,000 yards last year. He is a big, physical specimen that we are going to have to tackle. It’s game one, are we ready for game speed and being physical? The key is being physical with him and just being ready to hit.”

Getting kids ready to hit in a high school football game is different than it used to be. Konkle says there is a lot more work on technique. “The game has changed as far as practices. We try not to beat people up in practice, try to be fresh for Friday night. Back in the days Wednesdays were hit days and we don’t do that anymore. We take care of contact on Tuesdays quite a bit. We do technique so much more now. We tackle bags. Years ago I thought we would never do that, but it makes sense. The NFL has changed, colleges have changed, I think it is good for the game,” said Konkle.

Published 8/24/18

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Mohawk Preparing for Opener

It is down the final stretch for high school football teams as they prepare for the opening of the season in Ohio next week.

For the Mohawk Warriors they play at Kansas Lakota of the River Division of the Sandusky Bay Conference next Friday. They follow that with games against Hopewell-Loudon and Gibsonburg before opening play in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference September 14 against the rival Carey Blue Devils.

Coach Brent Konkle says they are itching to get going, no question. “You know with two a days it is definitely a long struggle and we try and mix things up. We are at a point now and we have a preview (Friday) night, but our kids are chomping at the bit and ready to get into week one here,” he said.

Their preview is at home Friday night against Woodmore.

Coming off an excellent season last year (8-3) and with a number of players returning to the field from that unit expectations are high at Mohawk. Konkle says they must not look ahead. “We are setting ourselves up we are going one game at a time. Right now, we are focused on Lakota,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “I think if we can take care of business week to week and not look too far ahead I am hoping to have a very successful season. You have to take from last week and get better week to week and just focus on the upcoming.”

The opening game of the season is kind of different in this aspect. Konkle says they have kind of been preparing for this game all month and especially now Lakota is at the top of their minds. “It has been in mind for a couple of weeks now. Your first couple of games during two a days you kind of throw some of their offenses and defenses out there, but now we are tuning up and it is definitely Lakota week already on Thursday a week ahead,” said Konkle.

Published 8/17/18

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Mohawk Thinking Good Things

Mohawk proved last year what kind of a football team they can be finishing at 8-3 and in third place in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference and with a lot of talent back this year could be even better.

Coach Brent Konkle says it order to have success it is going to be a battle every night for his kids. “I think our kids continue to work hard and they have expectations for themselves. Our league is pretty tough. I know what our record was last year and a touchdown here or there and it is a big difference of getting a better record or even a worse record. I think this year it is the same kind of picture with a lot of good competition in our league and it will be a battle almost every night,” he said.

Konkle says it has been a good summer, but it is time to find out what they players can do against another team. Their first scrimmage is Saturday against Ayersville. “I am very proud of my seniors. They have been with me for four years and they get it. They get how to work with a little bit of fun mixed in there when you need to. We had a great summer as far as work ethics,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “We have not had a scrimmage yet and the kids are ready to go and hit somebody other than themselves. We keep low contact in practice. We have a scrimmage on Saturday and the kids are excited about playing. I look forward to some good things this week.”

Some are saying that Mohawk might be one of the favorites for the “N10” football title. Konkle says they are looking to find players for a couple of spots and maybe they can do that on Saturday. “We have a lot back. We lost a couple of key guys and we have had maybe some unexpected kids step up and I want to see them. I think I know what I am going to get out of majority of my team in the scrimmage. When I hold them back this week they are not going to be happy. We are going to get out there and get some hits. We have a couple of questions to fill and hopefully by next Monday we will have them answered,” said Konkle.

Published 8/09/18

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South Central Beats Mohawk in Districts

Isiah Seidel went the distance allowing three hits and striking out 11 and Ben Lamoreaux had four hits as South Central downed Mohawk (6-1) in a division four district semifinal in Galion on Wednesday.

The Trojans return Friday to face fellow Firelands Conference member Plymouth for the district title. The Big Red shutout Seneca East (5-0) in Wednesday’s first game.

Seidel struck out the side in the top of the first, but he needed 26 pitches to do it. “He is just such a competitor. I think he was at a point where he had too much energy and he wasn’t executing his mechanics very well and overthrowing a little bit. We got him settled down and we were able to hold him down there. He was able to come out and throw a great game for us,” said South Central coach Ty Dendinger.

Mohawk struck first blood by scoring their only run in the top of the fourth on a double by Bryce Kirian and an RBI single by Tyler Hayman. “You always feel good scoring first it gives you a confidence boost. I was hoping we could relax a little bit defensively and feel more confident making plays with the lead, but they came right back and found some ways to score themselves and put the pressure right back on us. We lost a little bit of control on the mound and they had a couple timely hits and that’s baseball,” said Mohawk coach Eric Hoover.

South Central got in the board with three in their half of the fourth. Lamoreaux got on with an infield hit and stole a base and Tyson Cooper walked. Curtis Fredericks followed with an RBI single. After Josh Mayer walked, Grant Seidel followed with a two run single to make it (3-1) Trojans.

Dendinger says were starting take advantage of the right pitches. “Give their pitcher credit he had us off balance and he was doing anything he wanted to do the first few innings. We stayed the course and we kept preaching to be aggressive on fastballs and we got a few guys to really step up and get the big hit for us,” he said.

South Central would score another in the fifth on an RBI single by Cooper and two in the sixth on an infield single by Lamoreaux and RBI groundout by Isiah Seidel.

Dendinger felt they were more aggressive at the plate as the game wore on. “We were taking a lot of good pitches, especially called third strikes early. I talked to the guys you have to be ready. We want to hit here in these big situations and some guys came through in the clutch for us,” he said.

Plymouth beat South Central twice in conference games, including (9-3) last Saturday. Dendinger says its is time from some revenge. “They have got us twice, we owe them, but they are a great team. The guy they are going to roll out there on the mound is going to be tough to hit. We are going to roll Ben Lamoreaux out on the mound and we will see how it goes,” he said.

Published 5/17/18

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Mohawk Tops Colonel Crawford

Mohawk got a key early season win on Monday when they beat Colonel Crawford (2-0) in North Robinson on Monday evening.

They had lost to Buckeye Central (2-1) last week.

Coach Eric Hoover says it was a big win for the team. “We needed to get on the board in our conference. It’s early, but you have to win some games on the road and you have to win some close ones. So, it was definitely a big one for us,” he said.

Rico Lopez wasn’t at the top of his game against the Eagles. However, Hooper says he made a lot of good pitches in clutch situations. “He didn’t pitch perfectly by any means. He had a little trouble commanding the ball early and the first couple of innings he walked a lot of guys. He went deep in a lot of counts just getting behind it seemed like every batter,” he told Swankonsports.com, “But, I don’t know if they ever got anybody past second base. They left runners on, first and second a couple of times. He did get a lot of ground balls and we did a good job of making plays and getting out of some jams.”

Mohawk is one of the better teams in the league, but not the only one. Hoover believes there are going to be a lot of surprising results in the conference this spring. “I think it is going to be very balanced, even more so than in the past. It looks like everybody is going to have one or two good pitchers. I think there is a lot of young teams out there too. There is going to be a lot of inconsistency, so there are going to be a lot of teams that might be in the top half at the beginning of the season could get knocked off by some in the bottom. It is certainly going to be interesting. It is out there for anybody to win,” said Hoover,

Mohawk is supposed to host Colonel Crawford Wednesday if Mother Nature allows, but it appears she is in a bad mood.

Published 4/04/18

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Mohawk Tangles With Pandora-Gilboa

Mohawk plays Pandora-Gilboa in the division four regional semifinals on Tuesday night at the Stroh Center on the campus of Bowling Green State University.

Convoy Crestview (22-3) faces Maumee Valley Country Day (20-5) in the other semifinal. The winners meet on Friday.

Mohawk got a stick back at the horn from Kaiden Hammer at the buzzer to beat Arlington (62-60) in the district final last Friday. Coach Paul Dunn says it was just a great play. “Their big guy had a put back there with about seven or eight seconds on the clock. We were able to get the ball out of bounds and push it down the floor and with about three seconds get a timeout. We dribbled twice trying to get our guards coming off our big guy Chris Klopp going to the basket. We threw it to Zach Hayman and Zach missed his shot and Kaiden was able to curl around to the basket and get the ball off the backboard and put it in as the clock expired. So, it wasn’t exactly how we drew it up, but it worked out for us,” said Dunn.

As the old saying goes it is not the x’s and the o’s it is the Jimmys and Joes. Dunn says they had a lot of guys play well. “We talk to our kids all of the time that big time players make big time plays in big time games. Kaiden made a big time play. A lot of kids played well. Ryan Lacey made like five threes and had 22 points. Kadien made the big play to get us out of districts and a chance to check our regionals,” he said.

Mohawk (19-6) also played in the district tournament last year and Dunn says they have a boatload of experience. “The kids that play a lot on varsity they have played six tournament games now. A lot of kids are younger, they are juniors right now. So, they have a lot of experience for being not being seniors. I think they came out Friday and were comfortable. Our saying was the hay is in the barn, so go out and enjoy what you have done,” he said.

Pandoa-Gilboa (24-1) beat Kalida (56-33) in their district final. They won the Blanchard Valley Conference this season. Their only loss came in non-conference play to Upper Scioto Valley (55-52) on December 23. If you are into comparing scores they beat Arlington (30-27) on January 5.

Dunn says he is well aware of their talent. “I was head coach at Arcadia two years ago and we played Pandora-Gilboa and their sophomore class, who would be seniors this year, and that was one of their higher thought us classes. So, I know that is a very talented group. You don’t win 20 games by luck they are a very good basketball team,” he told Swankonsports.com, “I am excited to see what our kids can do because we have been getting better these last two weeks. I hope we can give them a heck of a challenge on Tuesday.”

Published 3/13/18

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Mohawk takes on Arlington in District Finals

Mohawk is a step away from a regional tournament appearance.

They face Arlington (16-8) in a division four district final on Friday night at Fostoria High School.

Mohawk (18-6) beat New Riegel (62-51) on Tuesday, avenging a regular season loss to the Blue Jackets.

Coach Paul Dunn says they had a lot of kids step up. “We owed them they knocked us off earlier in the year. We were kind of frustrated and kind of wanted to get even with that. The kids played well. Had some kids get in foul trouble and had other kids step up. Kaiden Hammer hadn’t scored over 20 points yet this year and we were kind of hoping for him to have that breakout game and he finally did when we needed it most,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “He played great in first half and then we got our starters back in the second half. The third quarter we were able to pull away. I think we outscored them 16-6 there in the third quarter. That was huge.”

Coaches always talk about battling adversity and Dunn says his team was up to that challenge on Tuesday in a number of ways. “With those guys going down. Our leading scorer Zach Hayman ends up fouling out there in the fourth quarter with 4:30, 5:00 to go. We were up 17 or 18 at that point, but it still makes you nervous when you have one of your better players come off the floor. You know everybody of going to give you their best. We put our freshman Austin Tusing in and he was able to take care of the basketball and do a great job for us. We had kids step up when we needed it the most,” he said.

Arlington downed Old Fort (62-56) in their Tuesday night semifinal. Dunn says it seems Arlington, who lost to North Baltimore in last year’s district final, is always good. He says this year’s Red Devils are balanced, but there are two players in particular they are concerned about. “Coach (Jason) Vermilion he always has a solid team. He has a ton of experience there and seems to always get the best out of his players. They have a lot of guys across the board. The highest scorer is 13 and the lowest scorer out of the top guys they play is five or six. So, there is a lot of guys that play the game the right way. They play hard on defense. His son is a sophomore, a really good shooter. We are going to have to focus on finding him. Their big guy Barry, he is tough inside. So, that is going to be our focus shutting those two guys down and try to limit the other guys around them,” said Dunn.

Published 3/09/19

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Mohawk Wants to Finish Strong

Mohawk is not going to win the Northern 10 Athletic Conference title this season, buy they hare going to finish third and they have a chance to win 16 games this year.

They play a couple of non-conference games at home this week, hosting a pair of teams out of the River Division of the Sandusky Bay Conference, Fremont St. Joe on Tuesday and Kansas Lakota (2-18) on Friday.

Mohawk chased conference co-leader Upper Sandusky very hard last Friday before falling (59-57) to the Rams.

Coach Paul Dunn says his kids really battled. “Our kids never stopped fighting on Friday. We were down 10 three times and we cam back three times. Really all three times we had different kids in there. Towards the end there we were playing five guards on the floor. I was proud of the guys that stepped up. We had a senior that has hardly played any minutes this year and he played pretty much the entire fourth quarter,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “We came out and were a little flat Saturday against Ridgedale. I kind of challenged the kids to take ownership of making sure they are ready to go. We were able to turn it on in the second and third quarter and pull away. I was happy that we did show up and get that win on Saturday.”

They beat Ridgedale (66-35) on Saturday.

Fremont St. Joe (9-11) comes to town on Tuesday night. The Crimson Streaks lost five of their last six, but Dunn says they are big and athletic. “They are very tall and they are very long. I was talking to coach Will yesterday and he said they didn’t shoot the ball very well over the weekend against Danbury. Watching their films, they have a lot of good athletes. They have guys that attack and penetrate and they start a 6’5” and two 6’4” guys. So, we are really focused making sure we are really physical with them and box them out and limit their second chances with that type of size. We haven’t seen anybody that big since we saw Crawford or Carey, so we really have to work on the rebounding,” said Dunn.

Mohawk has a chance to do some damage in the division four tournament. Dunn says they want to take some momentum into the postseason. “We definitely want to win these two games. Then we are going to have a week layover until we play again next Friday. Our kids right now they are going for some different accolades in terms of the most wins that we can possibly get in the regular season at Mohawk. We are going to do what we can to finish out strong here and send our seniors out the right way on our home floor with these last two games being at Mohawk,” said Dunn.

Published 2/20/18

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Mohawk Has to be Aggressive, but Under Control

Mohawk is in third place in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference and they have a chance to share the conference title, yes, they need to a lot of help, but it begins with them beating co-leader Upper Sandusky on Friday night.

They also would need Colonel Crawford to lose to Buckeye Central and Upper and the Rams to lose to Wynford.

Mohawk kept their hopes alive with wins over Wynford (66-55) and Seneca East (60-54) last weekend to keep their hopes alive.

Coach Paul Dunn says both games came down to them executing in the fourth quarter. “Our kids hung on and fought. We didn’t come out and play our best basketball early in the game. We were able to hang on and really just start to find a little rhythm there in the mid third quarter. We got into the fourth quarter in both games and we started to play like we are able to play,” he said.

Mohawk (13-5,11-3) plays host to Upper Sandusky (16-3,12-1), #4 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division, on Friday night. The Rams are coming off dominating wins over Seneca East (88-59) on Friday and Bucyrus (72-40) in league games.

The Rams won the first match up with Mohawk (66-52) on December 30.

Dunn says the Rams defense takes you out of your comfort a zone. “The two years I have been at Mohawk we have tried to do some different things to kind of prepare for their pressure, but it is hard to replicate what they do on the basketball floor. They try to get you to play completely out of your comfort zone. We are a team that likes to play up and down, but they put so much pressure on you for all 94 feet,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “So, we are really trying to make sure we execute the opportunities that we are going to get around the basket and finish those. That is going to be key in try to stay with them.”

One of the big things when you play Upper is shot selection because if you handle the ball there will be some open shots, but Dunn says you have to know what shots to take. “We are doing some different drills to try and get the kids to play out of there comfort zone, but still to understand how to finish it and that kind of stressful situation and how to try and control that situation, make another pass, try and find another guy that might have a better look at the basket. That is definitely going to be our focus here the next three or four days of practice,” he said.

Published 2/13/18

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Defense the Difference for Mohawk

Mohawk has had an excellent basketball season. They stand third in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference standings, two games behind co-leaders Colonel Crawford and Upper Sandusky.

They play Upper for a second time next week.

On Thursday night, they play at Wynford and Saturday night they host Seneca East.

Coach Paul Dunn thinks defense and their ability to play fast have been keys to their success this year. “Right now, we are second in the league in defense. We have a lot of guys that have really committed to that side of the basketball. We are getting a lot of deflections, a lot of steals and it is leading to a lot of fast break opportunities. We are definitely at our best when we are in transition. We are lead by some guys that are very active on defense. Zach Haymond in leading the “N10” right now in steals and that has transitioned into about 17 points a game for him. Defense has definitely been a key to our success,” said Dunn.

Mohawk (11-5,9-3) plays at Wynford (7-9,5-7) on Thursday night. The Royals have lost their last three, including a (76-61) setback to Carey on Saturday night. The first time the teams played Mohawk won (49-43) on December 23.

Dunn would like to see this game be played a little bit faster. “I think they did a really good job of dictating the tempo of the game the first time we played. We want to definitely get that game in the 50’s or 60’s. They have some really good players. Josh Crall is leading the “N10” right now in scoring. That has to be our main focus in trying to limit him,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “Keep him as under wraps as we can and try to contain their other guys like Cole Heinlen. It was sad to hear that their big guy is going to be out for a while. Hopefully, it can be our advantage to get the ball inside to some of our bigger guys.”

Seneca East (10-6,6-6) nearly upset Colonel Crawford last Saturday, losing (54-50) at their place. Mohawk beat then (57-47) on December 28.

Dunn says they Tigers are big. “They are definitely one of the scarier teams in the league at this time of year. They start 6’4”, 6’4”, 6’5”. When they put it together and are clicking they are one of the tougher teams to defend. Defensively, they are difficult when you have those big guys down there playing they can really cause some problems. It is going to be a big matchup for us. They are in our district for the tournament as well. That is something else we have to look forward to. Hopefully, we won’t have to play those guys three times,” said Dunn.

Published 2/08/18

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Mohawk Faces Athletic Pandora-Gilboa

Mohawk made the playoffs eight straight times from 1999 to 2006, but this year marks just the second time since then for the resurgent Warriors.

They play at Pandora-Gilboa in a first round game in division seven on Friday night.

Mohawk (8-2) beat Carey (32-0) two weeks ago in Northern 10 Athletic Conference play and they handled Edon (44-14) last week in non-conference action.

Coach Brent Konkle says they are starting to get healthy again. “I think we are about as healthy as we have been in a long time. Our offensive line is really meshing together. When you get some more practices together and communicate it straightens out a lot of difficulties, so excited about going into this weekend,” he said.

Konkle thinks the play of the offensive line is going to be critical this week and he says that is something they always concentrate on. “That is where we start everything. We have good athletes up front on both sides. Our goal is to control the line of scrimmage very week. For the majority of the year we have been fairly successful at it. Every once in a while, it gets bye you at times. I think our bread and butter is up front,” he said.

Pandora-Gilboa survived the tough Blanchard Valley Conference with losses to two playoff teams in Liberty-Benton (31-20) and McComb (49-27) a couple of weeks ago. They hammered Cory-Rawson (54-12) last Friday.

Konkle says they are very athletic in the skilled positions. “Boy they are athletic. I have said this before our league does a good job of preparing us for athleticism,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “Pandora has some very good skilled kids at receiver and quarterback. They are pretty good up front on both sides, but I think our advantage is there. They are athletic and it is going to take good game execution for us to have success.”

When trying to compare the Rockets to someone they have seen before, Konkle keeps coming back to Wynford. “They are a lot like Wynford of a year ago and kind of a mesh of Wynford this year and Seneca East. They have athletic kids and their linemen are athletic as well. They don’t just have one or two guys. They have good speed on the perimeter. Their receivers go up and get the ball and their quarterback does a good job of running and throwing, a lot like Wynford’s quarterbacks always have been,” said Konkle.

Published 11/03/17

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Rivals Mohawk and Carey Scrap in Big “N10” Game

Longtime adversaries Mohawk and Carey play an important week nine game in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference on Friday.

Carey trails conference leader Wynford by a game. Mohawk is two back and both are trying to make the playoffs. Carey is fourth in its division six region and Mohawk in ninth in its division seven region. Remember the top eight in each region make the postseason.

Mohawk throttled Bucyrus (42-14) in an “N10” game last Friday, breaking a two game losing streak and both were tough losses to Seneca East (24-21) in the final minute two weeks ago and Wynford (7-0) the week before.

Coach Brent Konkle says it was nice to get back on the winning track. “Coming off of a win last week got us on the right track. I think we are as healthy as we have been in a long time, so I am looking forward to a good game on both sides. Hopefully, both sides bring their “A” game because I think it is going to be a great game to watch,” said Konkle.

Carey (7-1,4-1) played last Saturday and beat West Middlesex, Pennsylvania (28-18) in a non-conference game.

Konkle says this is not your father’s Carey. “They have really evolved offensively. They are no longer in the wishbone. They are very athletic. The quarterback is very athletic,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “They have a couple of athletic receivers. Up front they are always physical and tough. It is a typical Mohawk-Carey match-up as far as physicality.”

Mohawk (6-2,4-2) and Carey and both in Wyandot County and about 15 miles from each other. They are longtime rivals, both having been members of the Midland Athletic League. Konkle says they play like it. “Being that rivalry, it is always that physical game. I think they have some better athletes on the perimeter than they have had in the past, so there might be a little bit more of a passing game on their part. We have evolved a little bit that way, but it is going to come down to hitting it up the gut and making tackles in space,” said Konkle.

There will be intensity in this game, but Konkle they have to execute well too. “I think we have great leadership. Your juniors right now are pretty much seniors in my mind. We have a lot of juniors that played last year as sophomores. I think we are senior oriented right now and hopefully it pays off for us at the end,” he said.

Published 10/20/17

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Mohawk Getting Ready for Talented Seneca East

After a tough loss to Wynford last week, a win at unbeaten Seneca East is critical for the Mohawk Warriors on Friday night.

Mohawk and Carey trail Wynford and Seneca East by a game in the tough and balanced Northern 10 Athletic Conference.

In a tough, grind it out, defensive battle last week, Wynford outlasted Mohawk (7-0) to hand the Warriors their first loss of the season.

Coach Brent Konkle says it was a great game. They just made too many mistakes on offense. “I thought our kids showed up to play. We were well prepared. We forced a very good Wynford team into five turnovers and had a goal line stand in there as well. I thought our defense played tremendous. Offensively we shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times. Give Wynford a lot of credit they played well on defense. They play hard, so it was a good game. A great high school football game,” said Konkle.

Mentally it may be a tough week for the Warriors they have to sort of forget last week while at the same time learn from it and become better at executing their stuff. Konkle says they must do both. “We watch film like normal on Saturday morning and get over it. I might have watched a little more film this weekend, both old and new. You have to get over it, but you have to fix mistakes and there are mistakes we made. I think we are correcting them now. I am very positive about that,” he said.

Mohawk (5-1,3-1) plays at Seneca East (5-0,3-0) on Friday night. The Tigers blanked Upper Sandusky (41-0) last week, scoring 28 points in the first quarter of the game.

Konkle says they are playing a team that is very talented. He says they are going to show the Tigers some different things. “They are leading the league in both offense and defense, so they do things well on both sides of the ball. They are a very talented team and I said this after the game and no due respect to anybody,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “Wynford is the best team we have played and Seneca East is going to be the most talented team we play. Hopefully, we can go out and read our keys and be sound and throw in a couple of wrinkles and get out of there with a win. It is a tough place to play.”

Published 10/04/17

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Mohawk Knows it Will be a Battle

In what might be one of biggest games in the “N10” this year and clearly the biggest game for the Mohawk Warriors in some time will be on Friday night when Mohawk hosts Wynford.

Those two schools share of the conference lead with Seneca East.

The Warriors beat Upper Sandusky (31-8) in an “N10” game last Friday, scoring 20 points in the second half.

Coach Brent Konkle says his kids kept their noses to the grindstone. “We got off to a slow start. We had three turnovers the first quarter, but I think our defense rallied up. I don’t think you see a 2-0 or 4-0 score very often in football, let alone an 11-0 score at the half. Give our kids credit they were just battling the whole time. If we made mistakes we always rallied up in support on both offense and defense. I was proud of that,” said Konkle.

Wynford (4-1,3-0), #3 in the Swankonsports.com football coaches poll in the small school division, lost (49-0) in their opener to Liberty-Benton, but they have won four in a row.

Konkle says if they expect to win the conference title a win on Friday night is a must. “I wasn’t one of those people saying Wynford wasn’t any good I can tell you that because I know the tradition they have there. They are the best team in the “N10” right now. They are still undefeated and they have not lost an “N10” game in the league’s existence, so right now they are the team on top,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “My take on that is you have to beat the best to be the best. We are looking forward to the game (Friday) night. I hope both teams come with their “A” game. It is going to be an exciting game to watch and an exciting game for our kids to play.”

Mohawk (5-0,3-0), also #3 in our poll, is as good this year as they have been in a while, especially on defense. However, Konkle knows that defending the Royals is going to be a real challenge. “They mix things up and the quarterback Wyatt Smith is really talented. They have 10 and 11 in the backfield and a good offensive line. Tradition is strong over there and they are used to winning. Those kids have been winning since they were freshmen. They just do a great job of mixing it up and getting after you. It should be an exciting game,” he said.

Published 9/29/17

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Mohawk off to Good Start

Mohawk shares first in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference with Wynford, Seneca East and Carey and the Warriors are unbeaten overall this season.

They play at Upper Sandusky (1-3,0-1) in a conference game this week.

Coach Brent Konkle says he thinks the key to their success this season has been their play in the trenches. “Offensively and defensively we have a lot of experience back on the offensive line and defensive line. My philosophy, and a lot of people’s philosophy, is things start up front. I think we are doing a tremendous job game planning and understanding our game plan every week. I am proud of our kids up front,” he said.

The Warriors, like most teams, has suffered some injuries this season, but Konkle says no matter who is on the field his teammates have confidence in him. “Just like other teams we have went through some injuries and we have had some young guys step in, but the confidence of the team everybody has faith that everybody is stepping and doing the job. We have great senior and junior leadership and the confidence right now is really carrying over,” he said.

Wynford has won every “N10” football title, but this year it appears to be more balanced and Konkle says there are a lot of good teams. “We have played Crawford and Buckeye, we have only played two league games. Crawford is, I think, pretty good. Right now, they are going through their meat grinder with Wynford and Seneca East and they have played Carey. I think it is a very balanced league. I think Seneca East is good, I think Carey is good. Not to mention Wynford last because they are always the first one on the list,” said Konkle.

He thinks that good competition they have seem, and will see, is going to make them a better football team. “I think we started out with a good non-league game with Margaretta and got good confidence there. Upper is going to come in and battle. They have played some of the tough teams, they have played Carey. You have to be prepared week to week,” he said.

Upper Sandusky was throttled by Edison (42-0) in a non-league game last week. The Rams lost their only league game to Carey (31-16) a couple weeks back. However, Konkle says they have some guys that can make plays and they are going to be aggressive. “They have run the ball well. One kid had 300 some yards one week. I think their quarterback, the Vent kid, is pretty good, he is one the better athletes we have seen this year,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “They score some points, they are willing to take some risks, they chuck it deep. They have a good running game. Defensively, they bring the house at times. They are really aggressive on defense. If we block them we could have some big plays, but they could have big plays.”

Published 9/21/17

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Mohawk Edges St. Joe


          Mohawk used small ball to beat Fremont St. Joe (5-4) in a division four sectional final on Thursday evening.

          The Warriors, the number one seed in the district, needed some late inning heroics.  Austin Harper scored on a suicide squeeze bunt by Parker Brown in the bottom of the sixth.  Then in the top of the seventh the Crimson Streaks were able to get a runner to third base, but Wyatt Cook struck out the final two batters to win the game.

          Coach Eric Hoover says the game might not have been pretty, but they will take it.  “That’s what I told the kids after the game.  We did not play very well at all.  Good thing it didn’t come down to ascetics because it wasn’t pretty.  At the end of the day we got it done on the squeeze play.  We executed perfectly and we were able to get that run in the sixth inning and hold them off in the seventh,” he said.

          Making such plays such as squeeze bunts are not new to the Warriors.  Hoover says they work on it a lot in practice and his kids are confident they can do it.  “Close games come down to those plays.  We didn’t field the ball very well (Thursday) night and put ourselves in a situation.  We executed that last year in the district final game,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “We had a walk off suicide actually in the district final game last year.  My kids that were part of it or were at the game last year knew it was coming, so they were confident in executing it.  You have to be able to do that in close games.”

          Mohawk (18-5), #2 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the small school division, plays Tiffin Calvert, a (1-0) winner over North Baltimore on Thursday, in a district semi-final next Wednesday at Clyde High School.

          They beat the Senecas (2-1) in a district final last year.

          Hoover believes they will see Calvert’s ace in lefty Peyton Deats next week.  “You kind of have to go with your best in the semi-final and hopefully you can advance to the final and take your chances.  I am sure we will see Deats and he is outstanding there is no doubt about it.  A hard throwing lefty that has great movement on his fastball and has great off speed stuff.  He is going to Kent State if that tells you anything, that’s pretty good.  It will be a challenge and we are going to go in with a game plan and do the best we can,” said Hoover.

          Deats is headed in the “MAC” next year for pitching at the division one college level, but Hoover says they have seen a lot of him and know what to expect.  “We have seen him in that past being as close to Tiffin as we are.  We faced him a couple of times as a freshman and we did see him in the district final game last year in relief he came in and pitched the last two innings.  That is who we got that suicide squeeze off of.  We have seen him and the kids are familiar with him a little bit.  It will certainly be a challenge, but our kids will be ready to go,” he said.


Published 5/12/17

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