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Mt Vernon Yellow Jacket High School Athletics

 

 
   

Yellow Jackets Face Athletic Mansfield Senior

Click here to listen to an interview with coach Mike Kerr

Mt. Vernon hopes to build on a solid performance last week as they host Mansfield Senior in an Ohio Cardinal Conference game on Friday night.

A week ago, the Yellow Jackets (3-5,2-2) scored 48 points in the first half and went on to pound Madison (62-20) in an “OCC” game.

Coach Mike Kerr says they made some adjustments to their offensive game plan the week before against Wooster and it really paid some dividends against Madison last Friday. “We had switch some things up and had showed some flashes the week before against Wooster. I think we cleaned a lot of that up against Madison on Friday night. The kids really bought in and executed really well on Friday,” he said.

Sometimes it can be difficult to make changes late in the season no matter how minor or how needed, but Kerr says his kids understand and bought into to those changes. “It takes that buy in from the kids. I think it was a needed change. We were doing some good things on offense before, but there was the need to tweak it a little bit. We have added a couple of wrinkles to it. The kids really got excited about it and bought into it. I think it has been a great thing for the program down the stretch,” he said.

Mansfield Senior (6-2,3-1) is a game behind “OCC” leader Ashland and must have a win to have chance to share of the “OCC” title. They put themselves in that position with a come from behind (28-21) win at Wooster last week.

Kerr says the Tygers are athletic, but they are much more than that too. He says they are well coached. “They are just athletic from top to bottom. They can really run and get after you. You look at their number of explosive plays, plays that go for over 60, 70 yards, it is just amazing. Defensively they fly all around. It is tough to get anything on them because they are so fast getting to the ball. I think sometimes what gets overlooked is how well coached they are,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “They block really well up front. They tackle very well in the back. They do all of those little things. A lot of times you just see the athleticism and get amazed by that, but not only are they athletic they are really well coached too.”

Published 10/20/17

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Mt. Vernon Building on Positives

Mt. Vernon plays host to Mansfield Madison in an Ohio Cardinal Conference football game on Friday night.

It’s the eighth week of the season and really this is a game that is all about pride.

Mt. Vernon (2-5,1-2) lost to Wooster in an “OCC” game (45-21) last week.

Coach Mike Kerr says they played well at times and they have some positive things to build on. “I thought the game was a lot closer than the score indicated. We gave some up a little early and got behind and then we battled back. We had a chance to really cut into the lead and couldn’t score. They broke off a 99-yard quarterback sneak that really iced the game. Honestly, there was a lot coming out of there that we did well that we can build on,” he said.

He says they did a lot of good things last week and they hope to be able to continue to grow as a team. “Obviously after every film there are things you want to fix. Things that you didn’t do well and things you have to get better at, but if you look at it and really dissect it there are a lot positives that we have to build on with the kids and say hey look we are still right there we just have to do these few things a little bit better,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “I thought offensively we moved the ball really well. We had over 400 yards of offense. There are some things there we can really build on.”

Madison (0-7,0-3) lost last week (45-21) to Columbus St. Charles in a non-conference game. They have suffered through a lot of problems, especially on defense this year.

They have played Mason Campbell at quarterback the last two weeks and Kerr says that has made a difference for them. “They have put him back there to kind of run the ball and they are doing a nice job with that. They have had some bad luck here and there, but if you look they have been up on a lot teams. They were up on Ashland early. They are up early and just not able to finish. I kind of feel they are similar to us in that we have had some leads and are not able to finish. I think they are better than their record indicates. The change at quarterback has done great things for them. They are trending in the right direction,” said Kerr.

Published 10/10/17

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Mt. Vernon Tries to Get Back on Track

Mt. Vernon was shutout last week in non-conference play and they need to get the win Friday night at Wooster to stay in the Ohio Cardinal Conference race.

The Yellow Jackets (2-4,1-1) trail tri-leaders Ashland, Mansfield Senior and Wooster by a game.

Last week, they were beaten by Hilliard Darby (31-0) and coach Mike Kerr says some early execution mistakes led to their downfall. “We were disappointed how things turned out at Darby. We got the ball and drove it right down the field. We had a mistake on a field goal and another mistake on a punt, we allowed a punt return for a touchdown. Again, these little mistakes, especially early on, and then it just piled on from there. It is hopefully a learning experience, something we can all learn from and get better from,” said Kerr.

Wooster (3-3,3-0) lost their three non-league games to start the season, but are unbeaten in the league after a (50-22) win over West Holmes last week.

Kerr says they have definitely turned their season around. “I think most people outside of it were surprised when they went 0-3, I was, and then they have kind of turned it around. That is another great coaching staff. Those kids respond to that. They have done a really good job. We have watched film on them. They really get after it and are aggressive,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “On both sides of the ball they have some really good athletes. So, it was just a matter of time before they turned it around. They definitely have the ball rolling right now.”

Wooster has lost running back Trey Mathis for the season to injury. However, Kerr says they have rebuilt there are offense and can do some scary things with the ball in their hands. “I think maybe early on they were trying to figure that out and what their identity was going to be a little bit. They have figured that out. Their quarterback is solid, he is really good. He extends plays and keeps plays alive. I think they have kind of put the ball in his hands a little bit more than they probably would have if everybody was healthy. Again, they are finding their identity and getting more confidence every week, especially on offense,” said Kerr.

Published 10/05/17

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Mt. Vernon Faces Triple Option

Mt. Vernon is making steps toward becoming a good football team and that was evident even in a loss to the Ashland Arrows last week in Ohio Cardinal Conference action.

They play Hilliard Darby in non-conference play on Friday night. They used to be in the same division of the Ohio Capital Conference.

Mt. Vernon held a fourth quarter lead last week and coach Mike Kerr saw a lot of good things from his players. “I think there was a lot of good. We were up with eight minutes to go in the fourth quarter. We got down early and our kids never quit. We clawed back and got it to 21-20 and really had some momentum. Like we have talked about before one or two plays can really swing a game. We thought we had made that play and then they converted a big third and 30 on us and the momentum swings again and we weren’t able to recover from that. It was a great game,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “Ashland, obviously, is a great football team, and we were right there. Just a few plays here and there and we win that football game and those are the things we have go to fix.”

Mt. Vernon has started to become a more consistent team on offense. Kerr says they have tweaked some things. “I think the offense has evolved. We have got some pieces and we starting to use them a little differently and I think the kids have responded. We have kind gone away from some of the stuff we started with, we are still basically the same, but we have put a little more responsibility on the quarterback to read and make adjustments at the line and things like that. I think that has really given him some freedom. I think the kids are playing a little freer on offense. I am really excited about the direction the offense is going and hopefully it continues for the next five weeks,” he said.

Mt. Vernon (2-3) travels to Darby (2-3) on Friday. They lost (21-0) to Dublin Jerome last week.

Kerr says you know what you are getting with the Panthers. “I watched film in them and they are the same Darby that you see each and every year. They are that triple option on offense. Their offensive line comes flying low and hard. They are well taught on offense. They know how to read it and what to do. Defensively the same thing. They are in that four man front like they have been in for years. They know exactly where they are supposed to be at all times. They are just a well coached football team. The kids play hard for those guys. I could watch this year’s film, last year’s film or the year before and you see the same team doing the same stuff. It is really a credit to what those guys do over there,” said Kerr.

Published 9/27/17

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Mt. Vernon Challenges Ashland

Mt. Vernon is a pretty good football team that not many people are talking about. They will start if they win this week.

They play host to Ashland in an Ohio Cardinal Conference game on Friday night.

Last week, they stopped a Lexington two point conversion with just over a minute to play and beat the Minutemen (15-13) in a league game.

Coach Mike Kerr says their defense really did an excellent job. “Our kids really played well and played hard with great effort and really maintained focus through the game. When it came down to it our defense made a couple of huge plays and helped us though that game. We are really happy right now,” he said.

The Yellow Jackets (2-2,1-0) are really pretty close to being unbeaten having lost to Marion Harding at the horn (14-10) and to Buckeye Valley (17-9) on week three.

Kerr says they need to keep getting better. “I told our kids we are three or four plays from being 4-0. It is all about learning and learning from our mistakes and not making the same mistakes again. It is a few plays here or there that go one way or the other and that is really what has separated us in all these games,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “Luckily on Friday night we were able to make those plays where against Buckeye Valley or Marion Harding we didn’t make those plays. That is part of growing up. I am really proud of our kids and proud of where we are. I think we will just continue to get better and clean those things up.”

Ashland (3-1,0-0), #4 in the Swankonsports.com football coaches poll in the large school division, beat Uniontown Lake (21-7) last week. Their only loss comes to unbeaten Clyde (22-19) on week two,

Kerr says they are very good. “They are pretty impressive as they normally are. They are always well coached. You know they know what they are doing. They have some pretty special athletes. A 6’6’”, 6’5” throwing the ball up and they are running the ball a little bit more this year and that defense is really getting after it. We are really impressed with them on film, they look really good,” he said.

Ashland runs the empty backfield, five wide offense, and Kerr says they try to get you in one on one situations and if that happens they have to make the plays. “That is what’s tough about their system and a lot of the systems these days is they try and get you into those one on one match-ups. I think our kids are pretty confident in those. We have worked on that since day one. We know that is the direction that football is going and you have to be able to make those plays. Those are the defining plays of the game lots of times. If our kid makes that tackle we might win. If their kid makes our guy miss they probably win. It’s a tough battle, but our kids are excited about the challenge. We are looking forward to it. We have a lot of confidence going in, but also understanding it is a big task ahead of us,” said Kerr.

Published 9/20/17

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Mt. Vernon Must Contain Stover

Mt. Vernon plays its first game as an official football playing school in the Ohio Cardinal Conference on Friday night as they host the Lexington Minutemen, the defending league co-champ.

The Yellow Jackets (1-2) lost last week to Buckeye Valley (17-9) and coach Mike Kerr says it was a game they could have easily won with a little better execution. “We had a few chances in that game. If we executed a couple of different ways, a couple of different plays here and there, we probably win that football game. We try and tell our kids we are only a few plays away from being 3-0, but that is why those little things are important,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “We have to execute every play. The defense played outstanding. At halftime, we had given up three points, so in six quarters we had given up six points. Then they kind of got out on us a little bit in the second half by running the football. I thought we had done a nice job, but they were able to kind of handle that a little bit.”

Kerr believes they are just about ready to turn the corner and become a good football team. “I think we are a good football team and our kids are just learning how to win. They are learning that every play is important and every practice is important. It takes those things to beat a good football team. I think we are going to be. I believe in these kids. I think they are great group of kids and we have some great leadership. They are just learning to win and once we understand it takes that sustained effort we are going to be a good football team,” said Kerr.

Lexington (1-2) won its first last week with a (48-35) win over Orrville in non-conference play. They had lost to Ontario (21-20) on week one and Shelby (41-7) on week two.

Kerr says Cade Stover is a big time athlete and the Minutemen have some strength on the offensive and defensive lines. “Those kids are so well coached and know where they are supposed to be on both sides of the ball. Obviously, the Stover kid is a heck of an athlete and he is kind of the one guy that we see that jumps out. They have some other kids, especially their offensive and defensive lines, we are impressed with them. It is going to be the team that makes the least mistakes is probably going to be the team that wins on Friday night,” said Kerr.

When it comes to defensing Stover, Kerr says you have to keep in front of you and don’t lose containment. “We have been focused on that in practice all week that this kid is a heck of an athlete. He is still learning to play quarterback, so he doesn’t always see the reads in the passing game, but he is always a threat, so we can’t take a play off or lose coverage. Even when he does make plays back there and if teams lose coverage he will throw it 30, 40 yards. We have to be real disciplined and we have to keep him in front of us all night. He is a heck of an athlete and a big, strong kid. We have been focused on knowing where he is at all times and never giving up on a play because we know he won’t give up on a play,” said Kerr.

Published 9/14/17

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Mt. Vernon Picks it up

Mt. Vernon turned it around last week and blanked Newark with excellent play on both sides of the ball and special teams.

The Yellow Jackets destroyed Newark (31-0) and they play at Buckeye Valley of the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference in non-league play on Friday night.

After a tough loss to Marion Harding (14-10) on week one, losing with less than 10 seconds on the clock, coach Mike Kerr says they played much better in all three phases of the game last week and it showed on the scoreboard. “We talked a lot about eliminating mistakes and just making sure that we didn’t beat ourselves. Not just both sides of the ball, but also special teams. I thought the kids responded and I think they played well both offensively and defensively and our special teams took a big step forward too. I was really proud of all three phases of the game,” he said.

Shutouts are hard to produce in high school football unless you are just a lot better than the opponent. Kerr says his kids on the defensive side of the ball take a lot of pride in what they do. “Our Defense really takes pride in what they do. They are a tight knit group and they hold each other accountable and they really get after it. It’s a fun group to coach and they are playing really well right now at a high level. It does give us a lot of confidence going forward and a lot of excitement. They see a challenge in front of them to keep this going, so I am excited to see where it heads,” he said.

Mt. Vernon plays at Buckeye Valley (1-1,) who is coming off a (37-6) win over Bexley last week to even its record.

Kerr says the Barons are very physical and have an excellent running game that they are going to have to try and contain. “They are obviously big and strong. I think they might be the most physical team we have seen and that would include our scrimmages and everything. Up front on both sides of the ball they really come off the ball hard and our strong kids. Their running back might be the best one we’ll see. He is really good. So, we have to contain him,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “Defensively they are really sound in everything they do. They don’t blitz a lot or anything like that. Those kids know exactly where they are supposed to be and they are there all of the time. We have to make sure we do a good job of maintaining blocks and hopefully winning a few one on one match-ups.

Published 9/05/17

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Yellow Jackets Have to Get to the Perimeter

Mt. Vernon has to find a way to use their athletes as they play at Newark in a non-conference game on Friday night.

Last week, Marion Harding completed a TD pass with four seconds left and beat Mt. Vernon (14-10) in the opener for both.

Yellow Jackets coach Mike Kerr says really they just made too many mistakes to win the football game. “It was a tough one, it really was. We did a lot of good stuff, but we just had too many mistakes and eventually those mistakes caught up with us. We were hoping we could hang on for about four more seconds, but eventually those mistakes caught up with us. It was a heartbreaking loss, it really was,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “We thought we at times did enough to win, but when you make that many mistakes you are going to put yourself in a position that you don’t need to be in and it came back to bite us. We have been focusing this week on cleaning up those mistakes and looking forward to getting together with Newark this Friday.”

Kerr says the kids were disappointed they didn’t win, but there was no pouting in practice this week. He says they got down to business. “We have a lot to improve and it exposed a lot of mistakes that we made. Now we are aware of them and we can correct those things. I think we have this week. I think we have really come in with the sense of we know what we need to do now. So, we have had a great week of practice. Our kids have really bought in. The kids aren’t hanging their heads at all they have worked extremely hard. So, I think they are ready to get this thing turned around,” he said.

Newark lost to Zanesville (23-19) last week in their first game.

Kerr says the Blue Devils are a physical team at the point of attack and they have to find a way to get some of their athletes to the perimeter in hopes of making big plays. “They are always very physical. They are huge up front, both offensively and defensively. They have that running back that is about 214 yards shy of breaking the school record, so he is quite the dynamic playmaker. Defensively they bring a lot of pressure, so we have to handle that. We just have to handle them up front and get the ball on the edges and get the ball to our playmakers I think we have a real chance,” said Kerr.

Published 9/01/17

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Mt. Vernon Gets First Tournament Win

 

          Mt. Vernon, the Ohio Cardinal Conference champion, opened up tournament play in division one in the central district, with an (11-6) win at home against Worthington Kilbourne on Wednesday night.

          They will now play Olentangy in district play next Tuesday.

          This is Mt. Vernon’s first year in the Ohio Cardinal Conference.  They were members of the other “OCC” the Ohio Capital Conference and coach Rob Gross says they are familiar with their opponents.  “We had kind of flip flopped our schedule.  In the past we had played Madison and Lexington and all of them, so now we scheduled the New Albany’s and the Hilliard Darby’s that way we could get noticed a little bit and obviously play some of that competition.  The funny thing is playing Kilbourne (Wednesday) night they were actually in our conference last year and Olentangy that now we play Tuesday they were in our conference last year.  I think in a way that is good for the kids, especially guys that we on varsity last year because they do recognize some of the kids and are familiar with the schools,” said Gross.

          On Wednesday, the Yellow Jackets (19-3), #3 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll in the large school division, scored eight times in the bottom half of the first inning.  Gross says when you do that kind of thing early in the game it takes the pressure off.  “Some of it you can attest to good pitching over the last week with Clear Fork and the cold weather and those kinds of things.  It was nice to respond.  We didn’t play our best game the other night against West Holmes.  We were actually down 2-0 in the game against Kilbourne (Wednesday) night and we came out and responded and put up an eight spot on the bottom of the first inning.  That helps in a tournament game to kind of settle everybody down,” he said.

          One of thing about these Yellow Jackets is they don’t get tense and Gross says they know how to win.  “I am proud of our guys.  Respond is a term that I have used all year.  There have been a lot of games, I can think of both Clear Fork games, a Lexington game, just in the last couple of weeks where we have been down and our guys don’t seem to panic,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday night, “They just kind of stay with the approach that our pitchers are going to keep us in the game and just give us a chance.  We have kind of been a team for the most part, I would say three fourths of our games, that we tend to have one big inning.  Sometimes that is good, but sometimes when we get that big lead you can let off the gas.  We actually did it (Wednesday) we got 11 runs in the first couple of innings and just kind of sat on it.  I am not going to complain about scoring that many runs.”

 

Published 5/11/17

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