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Big Weekend for South Central

Click here to listen to an interview with coach Brett Seidel

South Central has shown some good things so far this season, but this weekend is going to be a test for the Trojans in a number of ways.

They play rival New London on Friday and a young and inexperienced Mapleton team on Saturday, both at home.

Coach Brett Seidel says these two games are going to say a lot. “I think this is where we find out who we are. New London has played three quality opponents in Edison, Wellington and Western. We have them on Friday night and then another conference game on Saturday for a double conference weekend. We kind out who is for real and who is not,” said Seidel.

South Central (2-1,1-0) hosts New London (0-3,0-1) on Friday night. The Wildcats lost a tough one (54-51) to Western Reserve last Friday in their league opener.

Seidel says this is a team that is pretty good and improving. “I have seen them on film. Edison is a load, who beat Sandusky Perkins. Obviously, the second half against Western was really good for them as well. Tom (Howell) does a great job so they are going to continue to get better. The inexperience that they have at their positions they are going to get better as the year goes on and Tom is going to have them ready to play,” he said.

Karson Howell is the Wildcats best player right now. Seidel says they have to know where he is at all times. “I think they are aware of that as well. He torched us last year home. Hit big shot after big shot down the stretch. He has gotten bigger, he has gotten stronger. He can score in multiple ways and he gets to the rim now, so he presents a problem. He never stops moving. He wants the ball and everything is kind of geared for him. We are going to have to be locked in and ready to go and guard him as a team,” said Seidel.

Mapleton (0-3,0-1) lost to Crestview (68-41) in their first Firelands Conference game of the season last Friday.

Seidel says this is a game when they are going to have to be focused. “You kind of view it as a trap game,” he told Swankonsports,com on Thursday, “We have a team on paper that we should be better than. They only have two returners with varsity experience at all. One of their best guards is having shoulder surgery in Pharmer. The kids they do have they are going to come out and play and play hard. They don’t care what the score is. That is a trap game for us with having a rival game on Friday night against New London and them having to come back on Saturday against Mapleton. The focus mentally has to be there throughout.”

Published 12/15/17

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Young Kids Play Well for South Central

South Central split their opening two non-conference games and now they open the Firelands Conference portion of their schedule at home Friday night against the Monroeville Eagles.

The Trojans (1-1) lost to Mansfield St. Peter’s (67-63) last Friday and then beat Buckeye Central (63-39) in Saturday.

Coach Brett Seidel thought they played well both nights, especially their younger kids who were seeing their first significant varsity action. “Overall I liked our fight. I thought we tried to stay in the fight as much as possible. We had some bright spots. We had some youth that had very little if any varsity experience that showed signs that they are going to be able to help us not just now, but even more down the road as we mature and grow into this. Two quality coaches, two quality opponents. Obviously, never happy to lose, but I thought my kids played well even on Friday night,” said Seidel.

Sophomore guard Simon Blair had 31 points in a losing effort to St. Peter’s, the two time defending district champion, as he begins his second year as a varsity regular. Seidel says when the Spartans would spurt they wouldn’t give in and that was key. “Not just because it was St. Peter’s. They are well coached and who they have and how athletic they are, but just because it was the first game. You just never know what’s going to happen that first game, who is going to show up and how things are going to go,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “We have played these guys first game for I don’t know how many years we have been doing it. It just seems like if we are getting beat we go away and I didn’t feel like we did that this time. They would push it out to 10 and we would close the gap, so I was pleased with that.”

Monroeville has another new head coach in Al Mielarek. They lost their opener (62-43) to Sandusky St. Mary’s last Saturday.

Seidel expects they are going to have to execute against the zone defense in order to score. He says they have been working on it. “We are going to see a lot of zone. We are going to have to get the ball moving. We are working on zone offense right now quite a bit. Buckeye played us zone on Saturday night and Monroeville was there to see it. I have film on them already and that’s what they played the entire time, so we are going to see zone, so we have to get the ball moving. We can’t settle for the first jump shot off the first pass,” said Seidel.

There may be a lot of teams in the mix for the conference title this season and Seidel says this first one is going to be important in the race. “That is how it is in league play. Your goal each year is to win the league, that is the start of it. You have to win the first one in order to stay on top and be on top. That is our focus right now. It is one game at a time. It is a single weekend. We only have one game. So, we are hoping we can start things out right,” he said.

Published 12/05/17

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South Central Starts with Two Big Ones

South Central is a young team with some talent and they will be tested twice this weekend as they play host to Mansfield St. Peter’s and Buckeye Central in non-conference games.

Coach Brett Seidel says there are always going to be some butterflies with the anticipation of the season starting. “You never know the first weekend is always unknown. You can have your five scrimmages, but I think you still don’t know what’s going to happen when those lights come on and those stands are filled who is going to accel and who is not, who is a practice player and who is a gamer,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “So, that is kind of the disadvantage of coaching. When I played I knew what I was going to get and give, but as a coach the unexpected is always there.”

The Trojans have some talent, no question, but Seidel says they haven’t proven anything yet. “Potential just means we aren’t there yet. With the youth that we do have there is a little bit of experience and there is a little bit of skill as well. We are hoping we can put it all together and hopefully compete for a couple of “W’s” on Friday and Saturday,” he said.

It is going to be a huge test on Friday night, as two time defending district champion Mansfield St. Peter’s comes knocking. They have to potential all-state caliber players in Jared Jakubick and Elijah Cobb. They beat the Trojans in district semi-finals (79-41) last year. Seidel says this is a team that is going to be confident. “I know who they have. Who they are very skilled and very athletic and they are winners. They have been there they have been through it all. Back to back regional finals. So, this is nothing new to them and I know what they are going to bring. We know we are in for a tall order on Friday night. Hopefully, we match their intensity and make a few shots along the way,” said Seidel.

Buckeye Central has become a solid non-conference rival for the Trojans and Seidel predicts Saturday night is going to be no different. “It has been that way the last few years. We both have games on Friday nights and on Saturday it is kind of a half court grind it out down to the last possession game. We won by one over there last year and they won at the buzzer over here the year before. It has kind of turned into that kind of tournament style play in game two of the year each year,” said Seidel.

Published 11/29/17

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South Central Gets Better

South Central, a division four school from the Firelands Conference, scrimmaged at Mansfield Senior, one of the biggest schools in the area, on Tuesday and they benefitted from the experience.

The Tygers took all but the last quarter, however, South Central coach Brett Seidel feels they improved as the scrimmage went on and that was good to see. “I am just grateful we had the opportunity to come and play someone like Senior. Coach Sykes was willing at the district 6 meeting to allow us to come over here and play. They are very, very athletic, very long and they play hard. They play so hard. They are the team that has given the most effort that we have seen all season. It just made us better. I think as it wore on we were starting to compete a little bit better and get used to the speed and the physicality of it. Like I said I am just thankful we were able to come over here and get better,” said Seidel.

South Central opens the season next weekend against defending division four district champion Mansfield St. Peter’s on December 1 and Buckeye Central on December 2 in non-conference games.

Seidel says the Trojans have gotten better this preseason as they migrate towards that opening weekend. “We have had a gradual progression and that is what we have got to ask for. We have continued to get better through each scrimmage. We started in Willard, then we went to Sandusky Perkins and basically practiced with them and got a whole lot better that night and then we had a real good scrimmage with Mohawk and shot it really, really well at home,” he said.

It is unlikely that the Trojans are going to see another team as athletic as Mansfield Senior, at least during regular season play. Seidel firmly believes the experience on Tuesday night will help them down the road. “(Tuesday) night we knew we were going to be in for a challenge. We knew they were going to be up tempo, we knew they were going to be up in us and that was good for us, they were denying all over the floor and that was good for us. By about the third quarter we finally started to figure out we couldn’t run our offense from half court,” he told Swankonsports.com after the scrimmage, “We had to make sure we back cut and loosen things up and those are growing pains. There are times when we have three sophomores and a freshman on the floor. The freshmen looked really, really raw, but by the end he was getting some stick backs and crashing the glass a lot harder then he had previously. I’m encouraged.”

Published 11/22/17

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South Central Excited to Play New London

South Central meets New London in Firelands Conference action here on week 10 of the high school football season and they excited to get a chance to play together for a final time.

The Trojans (3-6,1-5) lost to second place Crestview (49-14) last week.

Coach Corey Fichiesen says in his opinion the game was more competitive than that score might indicate. “They are a very good football team and have a lot of upperclassmen, who we have been playing against for the last three or four years. So, a lot of familiar faces so we knew it is going to be a challenge. I am proud of the way we played really because, obviously the scoreboard says a little bit different, but I felt like we were right there, we were in the game,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “A few plays go our way and a few don’t go there way it is a lot different, but that is why you play the game. Again, I am just proud of my guys. A lot of my younger guys have kind of had to step into knew roles and they have taken it on. So, we are going to move onto this week and it’s a big one.”

New London (1-8,0-6) has not scored in the last three weeks, including a (56-0) loss to Mapleton last week.

However, Fichiesen says the Wildcats might be more healthy this week. “We have head there is the possibility of some kids coming back from injury for them, which would help them out big time. Like I tell me kids at this point in the year it doesn’t matter with records. You get to week 10 this is rivalry week. So, they are going to throw everything they have at us and we are going to throw everything we have at them because this is the last game for both teams. Obviously both teams are going to want to send their seniors out the right way. We are focused and locked in and hopefully we play that way on Friday night,” said Fickiesen.

No matter who plays for New London, Fichiesen says he knows his kids are going to play very hard. “That is kind of the way my kids have approached this week. I have a great group of seniors, but the biggest thing is my underclassmen. They want to send these seniors out on the right note. We have had a lot of energy this week. We are excited for another opportunity to play together. We are going to leave it all out on the field on Friday night,” he said.

Published 10/26/17

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South Central Has to Eliminate Mistakes

South Central is facing tough back to back weeks with Firelands Conference leader Norwalk St. Paul last week and second place Crestview this week.

They can’t shoot themselves in the foot like they did last week.

St. Paul buried them (56-0) last week and coach Corey Fickiesen says they made some good plays, but they made a lot of bad plays too. “They came out and showed a little bit of a different defense than we had seen the last couple of weeks, but offensively we moved the ball here and there. We were able to throw the ball, we weren’t able to run the ball at all. I felt like we moved the ball through the air decently. We just turned the ball over way too many times,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “Special teams they returned the opening kickoff and then we fumbled the next possession. With a very, very good team like that and you give them opportunities like we did and you aren’t going to be very successful. We have to get some things cleaned up heading into this week.”

Crestview (5-3,4-1) has won five of its last six games. Their only loss during that span came three weeks ago to St. Paul (38-7) and they beat New London (54-0) last week.

Fickiesen says this is another team you can’t afford to make mistakes against or it is going to be a loss. “Realistically any game in the Firelands Conference you have to play well if you want to win. It is a very good conference and Crestview is a very good football team. We have to get some things cleaned up in all three phases of the game so we can give ourselves a chance to win towards the end of the game,” he said.

Crestview features some misdirection, or a lot of it, in their offense and Fickiesen says you much keep your eyes where they are supposed to be in order to contain the Cougars. “They have a ton of guys that do a lot of different things and that is a benefit when you have 80 plus players. They have a lot of different guys that do a lot of different things, so we have to be responsible. We have to watch our keys. We have to know where each guy is and play sound, fundamental football,” he said.

Published 10/17/17

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South Central Challenges Conference Leaders

South Central produced a tremendous win last Friday night and that has injected some confidence back into the team.

However, they face a tough one on Saturday night when they travel to Norwalk to meet unbeaten St. Paul.

Last week, the Trojans (3-4,1-3) rallied to beat Western Reserve (27-24) in a conference games, stopping the Rough Riders at the goal line to get the win.

Coach Corey Fickiesen says the win was electrifying. “It was quite the game. It was homecoming for us, so it was a big night and big week leading up to it. We kind of started out slow. They got on the board early. We had some special teams breakdowns here and there. I think their biggest lead was 17-7, but then we started to get things rolling in the second half with our offense and our defense was stepping up making big plays. So, we kind of put it all together there and we pulled it our right at the end,” he told Swankonsports.com on Sunday evening, “We got a goal line stand at the one-yard line as time expired. It was great for our kids to experience that and such a big win against a good team, but more a good program overall at Western. Coach Stoll does a great job over there year in and year out, so for us to be able to beat them was big for us.”

Fickiesen says it was a good lesson for the kids that you have to play through adversity many times if you are going to win games. “We had some adversity there throughout the game with special teams breakdowns. We punted it off the back of one of our own players and it bounced into the end zone and they got a touchdown. Just some little things like that that were big errors for us and we were able to battle back and kept fighting. With the young men we are continuing to teach and you have to be able to battle through adversity, not just in football, but in life. They were able to do that, so we are pretty proud of them,” he said.

St. Paul (7-0,4-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com football coaches poll in the small school division, moved into first place by themselves in the Firelands with a (31-20) win at Mapleton. It was the first time this season the Flyers have allowed more than one score in a game.

Fickiesen says the Flyers are really good, but that is the case every year. They have to try and play like this is any other game. “It is St. Paul and they are five time in a row league champion. It is a big challenge and every year you play them it’s a big challenge, but we just have stay in the right mindset about it. We have to have that mindset of we are going to go play another football game and we are going to play as hard as we possibly can with is much effort for each other and we will see where we end up. That is how we are going to attack this week. It doesn’t matter who we are playing we have to have the same effort each week. We have to give everything we have for each other and we will see how it ends up,” said Fickiesen.

Published 10/09/17

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Defense Must improve for South Central

South Central has given up over 100 points the last two weeks and they have to a better job of limiting the other guys if they are going to get back on the winning track.

They play at Mapleton on Friday night in Firelands Conference action.

Monroeville piled up more than 500 yards rushing last week in hammering the Trojans (45-7) in a conference game.

South Central coach Corey Fickiesen says they got handled at the point of attack by the Eagles. “They are a lot bigger than us up front and it definitely showed. They pushed us around. We didn’t attack quite like we talked about all week and that’s credit to them they are a good football team with some really good kids up front and good running backs and obviously some good coaches over there. We just didn’t do what we needed to get done and now we have moved on and now we are getting ready for Mapleton,” he said.

South Central (2-3,0-2) plays at Mapleton (2-3,0-2) on Friday night in a league game. Mapleton lost to Crestview (41-16) in a conference game.

Until last week, the Mounties had scored at least 21 points in every game and more than 40 three times.

Fickiesen says they have good balance on offense. “They have they have the Pharmer kid back, who is obviously pretty good. It is his third year starting. Their offense is built around him. He runs the football well. They give you a lot of problems. They can run the football, they can throw it. They line up in some different formations,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “They make you guard people. They try to take what you are giving them. So, there are a lot of different things we have been tossing around. Hopefully we will be ready Friday night.”

Defense, and who can execute better, likely will determine the winner on Friday night, according to Fickiesen. “That is usually the case if you are able to play well on defense. The last couple of games our defense has struggled a little bit here and there, but our offense hasn’t helped them out with field position and what not. Defense, that is what we are going to be focused on this week. Making sure that we know what they like to do tendency wise and where they like to do it. Keeping an eye on the Pharmer kid, keeping an eye on #3, and just knowing where they are at at all times,” said Fickiesen.

Published 9/26/17

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South Central Must Stop Run

South Central is dealing with some injuries in the skilled positions and they have to find a way to stop the run as they host Monroeville on Friday night in Firelands Conference action.

They allowed Seth Bailey to score six touchdowns as Plymouth used the double wing, double tight offense to roll over the Trojans (56-29) in a conference game last week.

Coach Corey Fickiesen says they just weren’t very good at stopping the run at all. “It is something that you don’t get to see very often and in practice it is so hard to simulate it because it is something you kids never see. Defensively so many of your rules go out the window. We just didn’t come to play like we needed to and they were able to run the football. So, that is something we have been working on getting fixed this week,” he said.

South Central (2-2,0-1) likely will be without the services of running back/linebacker Marcus McCormick again this week. Fickiesen says they have some injuries, but that means other kids have to step up. “We do have some guys out, but at a small school during football season everyone has some guys hurt. You just have to have other kids step up and you have to keep playing. You can’t sit back and whine and complain about it or you are going to continue to get beat. Other guys just have to step up and work a little bit harder and fill some new roles. So that is what we are doing this week,” said Fickiesen.

Monroeville ran for more than 500 yards, Tche Leroux accounting for 397 on his own, as the Eagles (3-1,1-0) belted Mapleton (66-41) in a conference game. They established a new school record for points in a game in the win.

Fickiesen says they know Monroeville is going to try and run the ball on them and they have to find a way to get off blocks. “Last week we weren’t really able to stop the run really well and now we come back and play Monroeville and the one kid had almost 400 yards by himself against Mapleton. Again, we have to get those things fixed and get them fixed now so that we are ready for Monroeville. They are a great team with some big kids up front, a big, bruising, running back that also has some speed,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “They have some other kids that are quick. Obviously, their coaches have done a great job over the last couple of years of turning it back around over there and getting some things going. We are just getting ourselves focused and ready. The main emphasis is stopping the run.”

Published 9/20/17

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South Central Getting Ready For Plymouth

South Central, a winner of two in a row, opens up Firelands Conference play on Friday night at Plymouth against the rival Big Red.

The Trojans (2-1) gave up a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage, but dominated the first half in route to (44-9) win over Crestline last week. That was after a (42-0) win over Danbury Lakeside on week two.

Coach Corey Fickiesen says they have been able to get their offense in high gear. “The last two weeks our offense has kind of stepped up and played a lot better. We kind of challenged ourselves after week one that we had to get our offense rolling if we wanted to get this whole thing rolling and we have been able to do that. We have a big task Friday night to keep it going,” said Fickiesen.

After two good performances back to back, Fickiesen says his kids are growing in confidence. “When you start having success kids start believing and start buying in and practice starts going smoother and they are playing harder and that kind of leads to more momentum and we are trying to continue that as long as possible,” he said.

Plymouth (1-2) lost to Black River (38-3) last week.

The Big Red is now running the double wing, double tight offense that concentrates on running the football. Fickiesen says they are hard to prepare for because what they do is unique. “We have seen some teams that run the wing-T, the triple option, and those different things that you prepare for, but this is completely different than anything that you prepare or play against. We have really been doing a lot of film with our kids just so they get a feel of what it is going to be like with the old rugby scrum in there. You just have to try and find the guy with the football and get him down,” said Fickiesen.

Fickiesen says they have done some extra film work in order to make sure they are prepared for what they are going to see from the Big Red. “The nice thing is a couple of years ago we scrimmaged Lucas. My first two years here (as an assistant) we scrimmaged Lucas and obviously they are the ones in the area that have ran it and ran it successfully, so we kind of went back and we saw a little bit of that and now we are seeing what Plymouth does,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “You can’t fall asleep because those backs are going to hide in there and they are going to break out and bust it. They are going to run it 55 times in a row and then the one time they pass it they are hoping for a big one. So, everyone has to be locked in all of the time and focused and our kids have been doing that this week and hopefully we can do that the next couple of days.”

Published 9/14/17

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Crestline the Focus for South Central

South Central played some excellent football last week and they need to continue that as they play at Crestline in a non-conference game on Friday night.

The Trojans (1-1) throttled Danbury-Lakeside (42-0) last Friday.

Coach Corey Fickiesen says they played aggressively on both sides of the football. “We played pretty well against a pretty good team. Watching film on Danbury I was a little scared. They were coming off a big year last year and they were coming off a big win the week before, but I thought our kids came out with the right mindset. We preached all week just attack and go at them early and that’s what we did. We played well both sides of the ball,” he said.

Crestline lost to Monroeville, also of the Firelands Conference, (47-18) in their first game. They beat Grove City Christian (7-0) last Friday.

Fichiesen says the Bulldogs are going to present a challenge to them, no question. “They have some very athletic kids. Their running back is a very good player. They have a couple of receivers. The (Devon) Triplet kid can really hurt you are any time in the game. So, we have been very conscious all week in making sure we know where guys are at, what they like to do, tendencies. Week two they looked pretty good,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “They played good defense. It is definitely going to be a battle. They came here last year and we got off early on them and they came back and probably should have beat us to be honest, but we pulled it out. We are expecting to come out and have a battle (Friday) night.”

Firelands Conference play starts next week as the Trojans travel to Plymouth, but Fickiesen says they can not be thinking ahead or they are going to get caught in a trap this week. “Our focus is going to be on the task at hand this week and that is what we have been preaching. You can’t look ahead or you are going to get beat if you do that, especially a team like Crestline can sneak up on you. We have to go to their place, so our focus has been Crestline. I don’t care about the past. I don’t care about what we have in the future. We have to make sure we take care of this week. Once we do that we will move on to the next one,” said Fickiesen.

Published 9/08/17

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Trojans Need Better Execution

South Central was in the game in the fourth quarter with a very good Seneca East team last week, but lost (35-14) in the opener.

They host Danbury-Lakeside in another non-conference game on Friday night.

First year coach Corey Fickiesen says they were able to make some plays last week, but when they got down close they weren’t able to stick it in. “Seneca East is a very good football team. I think a lot of people know that and understand that. They have a lot of very good players and very good coaches. We hung around there it was 14-6 in the fourth quarter. We were right there, but we just didn’t make enough plays, especially on offense. Our defense played pretty well in the second and third quarter, but offensively we just couldn’t get things rolling to get a score when we needed it to tie it up and then they ended up scoring a couple late. We have been working on some of those things in being more consistent on the offensive end, getting the ball moving a little bit more and when we get close being able to punch it in,” said Fickiesen.

When you get in that red zone you have to execute even better and Fickiesen says Seneca East made them play faster and they were not able to do it. “The field is a little bit smaller and Seneca East has good athletes. They kind of challenged us, they blitzed everyone. They kind of said we are going to let you throw it and see if you can beat us that way. We just didn’t make enough plays offensively to kind of keep them in check. That is why they were kind of able to disrupt us a little bit,” he said.

Danbury beat Vanlue (39-19) in their opener last week and the Lakers were in the division seven playoffs last year. Fickiesen says they have some guys that can make plays. “Danbury is a very good team that I think a lot of people might think a lot of people might underestimate, but they are coming off a 7-3 season where they made the playoffs for the first time in history and they have got a lot of those kids back. They have a couple of kids on film that just kind of jump out. The Tibbles kid, number 12, is a very, very good players. Every time I am watching film I am saying wow this kid is good,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “They have a couple of other kids that are pretty good players, so we are definitely going to have to execute better than we did last week offensively and defensively. They are a little bit of a different style with the wing-T than we have been practicing against. We put some new things in offensively and defensively to kind of get ready for this week, but we are just trying to hone in and be more consistent with all of the things we do.”

Published 8/30/17

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Trojans Must Stop Run

South Central entertains Seneca East on opening night in Greenwich in non-conference play Friday night and they are going to need to be ready to stop a variety of weapons.

The Tigers beat them (54-20) last season on the way to a playoff appearance.

Corey Fickiesein is in his first year as the Trojans head coach after a couple years as an assistant. He says his team is progressing. “We are happy with were we are at right now. We still have some work to put in before Friday gets here. We have to get a couple of guys healthy, but we are feeling pretty good. I think we will be ready to go by Friday,” he said.

The first game is always different and there is some nervous energy, but Fickiesen believes their experience will help to calm them down. “Being at home is going to help us a little bit I think. Also have about 10 starters that have done this before will also help. Every year that first game there are some butterflies. There are some jitters that you have to get our early, but hopefully we can get those out early and kind of move on and settle down and play our game,” he said.

Seneca East is coming off a strong season (8-3) and has a good freshmen class coming in. Fickiesen says they have some athletic kids and some big linemen too. “They are a good team. They have very, very good coaches over there and very, very good players. We have been able to watch some of their film. They have some guys that jump off the film at you,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “They have a couple of guys that can make plays at any time. They have some big guys up front. They are a good football team and when they come over here we are going to have to play pretty well. That’s what we keep telling our kids that it is a tough match-up, but we just have to stick to our game plan. Like I have been saying the goal is always 1-0.”

There is no question the Tigers can throw it too, but Fickiesen feels Seneca East is going to challenge them to stop them from running the ball. “Last year was a little different because their quarterback ended up getting hurt right before they played us and they have a whole new game plan that we didn’t see. You never know because things can happen this week, but they have some athletes at quarterback and running back, so we are expecting them to pound it on the ground. We are also not putting all of our chips in one basket because we understand that they can do both. We are just preparing the best that we can and giving our kids a chance to play as fast as possible,” said Fickiesen.

Published 8/22/17

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Progress at South Central

Learning to be winners and having the right attitude can be the toughest thing in athletics.

It’s going to take hard work and dedication for the South Central Trojans to become a winning football program and they are starting to show signs.

Coach Corey Finkiesen says they are taking steps in the right direction. “We are definitely getting a little bit better. That is kind if what we have been preaching week by week. We just have to continually get better. We are not where we need to be obviously. Where we started to where we are now we are happy with the progress. We just have to keep pushing,” he said.

They have made some plays, but Fickiesen says they are still making silly mistakes that are holding them back from being more successful. “Just execution overall. We still have the mishaps with the bad snaps and the dropped balls and the turnovers and the missed tackles. Just the little things that are very fixable and that is a good thing,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “You have to do those little things to beat a team like Seneca East, who is always pretty good. So, that is what we are trying to get cleaned up. The enthusiasm around the whole program is getting better. It is still not quite where we want it to be yet, but it has gotten a lot better.”

Fickiesen says they are working on the attitude of the kids everyday and that going to lead them to success on the field. He says they need to work on those little things. “It is always easier to be excited and you are winning. What we have seen the kids are kind of buying in an understanding. This could turn out kind of the way we want it to, so they are buying in a little bit. It is not all of way there yet. I think that is because of those little unfixed errors we still have, so if we can get those fixed that moral and that excitement will continue to grow,” said Fickiesen.

Published 8/15/17

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South Central Trying to Build

South Central is trying to find the same kind of success in football that they have had in other sports over the years and the numbers are starting to head in the right direction.

Corey Finkiesen was named the Trojans head football coach this summer after a couple years as an assistant. He is also the JV basketball coach at South Central, where the Trojans have enjoyed solid success the last couple of years. He hopes the football team can follow suit.

He likes the numbers and the enthusiasm he has seen so far. “It is going well. We have roughly 43 out, which for us is pretty good. We are up from my first year here when we were at 18, so we are working our way up there. It seems like the kids are pretty excited about getting back out here, which is the biggest thing. Being a long summer they worked their butts off, but to be out here on the field is what they really wanted. We are finally out here and we have a lot kids working hard. I’m excited and they are excited,” said Finkiesen.

With more kids there is more competition to get on the field and Finkiesen says that is always good. “That’s why most of the time your better teams are able to have more guys because that creates competition. People are fighting for spots rather than just getting it handed to them and that is what we needed. We needed guys to come out here and battle for positions and make each other better. It is going to help us out in the long run,” he said.

Seneca East provides the first challenge for the Trojans on August 25, followed by Danbury Lakeside and Crestline in non-conference play. They take on Plymouth in their first conference game on Week 4.

The new coach wants his kids to fly around and be fast on the field and come with good effort on every play. “We are always emphasizing just attitude. We are always emphasizing hustle. Everything you do rather if you know what you are doing or not doing it 110 percent. Kind of just changing the mindset of a lot these kids, especially the summer,” he told Swankonsports.com during a break in practice on Wednesday, “Kids are kind of lounging around and what not. You have to get up and do what is needed of you and as fast as you can go. We have a lot of young guys out here that are trying to catch up with a lot faster pace, but he we also have a lot older guys that have been here and know what’s going on, so they are able to help with that, so that’s nice.”

Published 8/03/17

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St. Peter’s Routs South Central

   

          South Central’s Ben Lamoreaux hit a three pointer in the first 15 seconds of the game, but Mansfield St. Peter’s scored on back to back possessions and had the lead before a minute was gone and they never looked back never trailing again.

          The state ranked Spartans (23-2) went on to drill South Central (79-41) in a division four district semi-final on Tuesday night at Willard High School.  They return Friday night to face Colonel Crawford (18-6) for the district title.  The Eagles beat Norwalk St. Paul (57-49) in overtime.

          Coach Joe Jakubick feels they had good focus.  “You never know what’s going to happen in games, especially what you get into the tournament.  After what happened in the second half against Monroeville I just mentioned two things that we have to have better focus and if not South Central, who is an extremely talented and dangerous team, you will be going home, it will be over.  If you don’t come out ready to play this team is dangerous.  They have offensive weapons.  You saw what they did to Wynford.  I think they shot almost 80 percent from the field in that game.  They were 10-21 from the three point line and 22-27 inside the arc.  Those are numbers that are scary.  I don’t care who you are playing and Wynford is a solid team, a team that finished above .500 and a quality team.  We knew we had to be at our best (Tuesday) night and fortunately we came out on top,” said Jakubick. 

          The score grew to (27-11) after the first quarter and (48-16) at the half.

          South Central coach Bret Seidel says they really had no answer when it came to defending the Spartans.  “The first quarter hurt us.  We came out and hit the three out of our secondary break and it felt good.  It’s a good feeling and then they hit like six in a row, pull ups, to the rim, they did whatever they wanted through the first quarter.  We had no answer for driving lanes, we had no answer for their pull ups.  They made shot after shot in the first quarter.  To play from behind against a team like that with that talent and that caliper is tough.  I really appreciate my kids.  I am proud of them because they played with class to them end.  I am proud of that,” said Seidel.

          St. Peter’s, #1 in the final Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division, scored repeatedly in transition.  Seidel says it is almost impossible to get ready from the things that St. Peter’s does.  “They leak out and we practiced that with two guys back every time, bit it is hard to replicate them getting out in transition.  We talked about it, reped it, but being able to replicate it is difficult to do,” he said.

          Elijah Cobb led the Spartans with 22 points, Jared Jakubick added 21, Tyson Kent had 18 and Mason Campbell added 14. 

          Campbell did not play last week against either Danbury Lakeside or Monroeville due to injury, but he played most of the first three quarters on Tuesday.  “Mason did really well.  He had be chomping at the bit… he had been chomping at the bit,” said Jakubick.

          With Campbell out last week, Jakubick says it allowed some other guys, particularly freshman Jonah Remy, to expand his game.  “I will say it was really good for Jonah Remy.  Jonah has really picked up some confidence and for him to play in a couple of tournament games and for us to win he had solid moments in those games.  Now given the situation when he is called in for what ever minutes hopefully he will be productive,” he said.

          South Central finished (15-10) and they were led Tuesday night by senior Jason Hale, who finished with 10.

 

Published 3/08/17

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Consistency the Key for Underdog South Central

  

          South Central is the next in line to have a shot at upsetting Mansfield St. Peter’s.

          They play the Spartans (22-2), #1 in our final Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division and number two in the statewide media poll in division four, in the D-4 district semi finals at Willard High School on Tuesday night.

          St. Peter’s has not lost to a division four school this year.  South Central coach Bret Seidel says the secret is our, the Spartans are really good.  “They definitely are not going to fly under the radar.  We are not going to underestimate these guys.  They are big, they are athletic.  They can shoot it.  They can score it multiple ways.  They are really good in transition.  They are really good with on ball defense.  Obviously it goes without saying it is a tall order,” he said.

          The Spartans are really good at getting down the floor and finishing shots.  Seidel says they need to stop that transition, but that is really difficult to do.  “I don’t know if there is any preparation you can do for it to be honest.  As much film as I have seen.  I remember from the last time we practiced, practiced and practiced before we played them and they still got out on us.  Preparing for it and talking about it still doesn’t do it justice.  They are just really good at it.  Hopefully we can eliminate half of those opportunities that they normally get.  They are obviously going to get out on us just trying to limit the number of times that that happens is important.  I think they do a lot of that off turnovers as well,” said Seidel.

          South Central (15-9) beat Wynford (84-59) last Friday in the tournament.  Seidel feels they pretty well in the second half of that game, especially on offense.  “I think our shot selection has really improved.  I still never felt everything was clicking at the same time and we still won nine of our last 12.  Coaches always have discontent.  I just feel the second half against Wynford, other than that one minute stretch of turning the basketball over and they went on a 7-0 run I felt like we were pretty good defensively, but we were are good as we can be offensively,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “We shared the basketball and because of that our shot selection was really good and because of that our shot percentage was really good.  We played really well outscoring them 45-25 in the second half and Jason Hale didn’t even score.  I still feel there is some improvement we can work on.”

          Seidel says they need to play Tuesday night with the same kind of intensity and execution that they did in the second half against Wynford.  “For us to stay close we are going to have to play a consistent 32 minutes the way we played against Wynford in the second half just for us to be in the game and to have a chance going down the stretch.  I feel like we are going to have to shoot the basketball well.  We have had a couple of good practices.  I feel like the kids are ready to go.  We are going to give our best effort,” he said.

 

Published 3/07/17

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South Central Must Contain Wynford Break

  

          South Central plays Wynford for a division four sectional title on Friday night at Lexington High School and a berth in next week’s district tournament.

          The Trojans (14-9) beat Crestline (71-51) in a semi-final game on Wednesday night to advance in the tournament.

          Coach Brett Seidel didn’t think they played particularly well, but he says they did make some adjustments at halftime that allowed them to pull away a little.  “We got lost on some assignments and you can’t do that in tournament basketball.  I feel like a couple of kids had the jitters.  We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well the entire game, especially in the first quarter and they are big.  They are big and athletic and present some problems.  The Clark kid got loose in the paint.  He had 17 in the first half.  We made a few adjustments and paid more attention to him in the second half.  We made a few more shots and got out in transition a little bit and loosed up,” said Seidel.

         Wynford (13-10) downed Mansfield Christian (47-33) in the other Wednesday night semi-final.  They finished fourth this year in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference.

          Seidel says there is no question they are a better team in March than they were to start the season.  “Well what I recognize from them is the last two years they have gotten progressively better as the season has gone on.  That is a testament to him and his program.  I thought they were playing their best basketball in February and March last year and I feel like they are playing their best basketball in February and March again this year..” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “Jack Reed in a good player he is not just a shooter, he is not just a scorer, he is a player, he does everything on the floor at both ends.  He is a leader and he plays hard.  We are expecting a very tall task and big challenge for us on (Friday) night.”

          Wynford runs the fast break very well and Seidel says they have to control that if they are going to win on Friday night.  “We can’t allow them to get comfortable, especially in their transition.  I feel like we have to find some kids in transition.  We can’t allow any kind of second shots the entire night.  I feel like we are going to have to make some shots,” he said.

 

Published 3/03/17

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Remaining Calm is Key For South Central

  

          Fourth seeded South Central faces Crestline in a sectional semi-final on Wednesday night at Lexington High School.

          The Trojans (13-9) are a mix of seniors that have been through the tournament wars and some younger kids who are getting their first taste of the one and done single elimination tournament on Wednesday night.

          Coach Bret Seidel says he believes they are going to be ready to go against Crestline.  “We have three four year lettermen that have been through this, so that experience I am hoping is going to help us.  The younger kids are pretty fearless.  Not much shakes them.  I am not really all that concerned with them.  We played the all-star game there last year and I took both of those kids with me and they got to play in that gym.  Maybe that helps a little bit mentality wise,” said Seidel.

          Crestline (5-17) ended the season with a (61-48) win over Galion last Friday in non-conference play.  South Central beat them (68-47) on January 3.

          Seidel says he knows what to expect.  “I know that they are big and they are athletic and they played very inspired basketball against Galion and I expect the same.  I think we will have to come out and take care of the basketball and we will have to eliminate second shots,” he said.

          Being the higher seeded team with the better record and having beaten Crestline once is okay, but Seidel says it doesn’t mean anything on Wednesday night.  He says both teams want to get off to a good start, but he says if they don’t they can’t lose their focus.  “Both teams are going to want to get off to a good start.  It is the first game, first quarter, first minutes of tournament play.  You want to get off to a good start.  It is key that if you don’t get off to that good start that you still stay the course.  You don’t try and get out of character and start doing things that you don’t normally do,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “Last year I remember playing Plymouth and we went down like 12-4 right away and we didn’t hit the panic button and eventually we were up 16 or 17 at one time.  It is just important to stay the course.  Early on you might have jitters and nerves might get to you and cause you to miss some shots that you normally make.  If you just stay the course and be true to what we do I feel over time we should be able to make some shots.”

 

Published 3/01/17

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South Central Tunes up With Western Reserve

  

          South Central wraps up the regular season by hosting Western Reserve in a Firelands Conference game on Friday night.

          The Trojans are out of the conference race, but it is a must win for Western Reserve, who needs it to have a chance at sharing the conference title.

          South Central won both of their games last weekend, downing Crestview (69-56) in a conference game on Friday and Sandusky St. Mary’s (80-72) in a non-conference game on Saturday.

          Coach Brett Seidel thinks they have made some progress in their offensive execution, but he is still concerned about what they are doing on defense.  “Nobody wants to back into the postseason and I know Chris is over there saying the same thing with his kids.  Obviously it does mean something.  Neither team is playing for a conference championship, obviously they might get a share if Plymouth was to pull the upset at New London.  You are playing for something because nobody wants to back into the postseason,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “We want to pick up steam and continue to get better.  I thought Saturday night we were petty good offensively.  We still have some corrections to make defensively, but I also thought St. Mary’s played pretty well and made a lot of shots.”

          Western Reserve (12-8,10-3) comes calling on Friday night to play the Trojans(13-8,8-5) and Seidel knows playing the Roughriders is a good way to get ready for the tournament next week.  “I couldn’t ask for anything else.  We want to win the game, but it is great preparation for the tournament having to execute against good defense and a team that compares with us and our personnel and what we do,” he said

          In their first meeting on January 19, Western Reserve won (58-56) on a Colton Puder three pointer with less than 20 seconds to go.  Seidel says they have to guard shooters, including Jaret Griffith, who is back in the lineup.  “We had a two possession game the last time we played them.  They rolled in a three with about 15 seconds to go, but we still had free throws we could have made to tie the game.  With Griffith back that adds a whole new detention with how they are offensively.  He is dynamic in the way he shoots the basketball.  I know he didn’t get a whole lot of minutes and didn’t get a lot of shots up last weekend, but I am guessing as he progresses with practices under his belt in game situations he will be even better this Friday,” said Seidel.

 

Published 2/22/17

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South Central Still With Issues

  

          South Central has three games to play over the final two weeks of the regular season to try and be ready for the postseason tournament.

          They play at Crestview in a Firelands Conference game on Friday night and at home against Sandusky St. Mary’s in a non-league game on Saturday night.

          The Trojans beat Plymouth (64-63) in a conference game last Friday and lost to Edison (61-45) in a non-league last Saturday.

          Coach Brett Seidel says they are still working on a lot of the same issues they have been all year long.  “We are still inconsistent.  I feel like when we give our max effort and we share the basketball we can compete against anybody.  I am still hanging on that.  There are times, not all of us, but some of us, are still aren’t completely engaged at all times.  I don’t really know the antidote to fix that.  We are just going to continue to stay the course and work hard and do what we do and hopefully that all takes care of itself,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “Plymouth is much improved and they played really well and made shots.  We were fortunate to come out of there with a win.  Edison is a very good basketball team and with their 2-3 zone I would compare it to the likes of Syracuse they do it really, really well.  They played it for the entire game.  We made shots early and later on in the game, I don’t know if it was fatigue or not, but we weren’t able to make shots.  I thought we got some good open looks that normally we would make and we didn’t.”

          Seidel says good teams are the ones that share the ball and get good looks at the basket.  “I think the most fun basketball to watch is where the ball is moving.  When it finally gets the point where it is a high percentage makeable shot with a very good shooter and the ball goes through the hoop it is fun to watch.  I have been going to the state tournament for I don’t know how many years and those are the teams I have always enjoyed watching.  The ones that have balanced scoring, share the basketball and make that extra pass and when the ball goes through the hoop it makes it look that much better,” he said.

          South Central (11-8,7-5) plays at Crestview (8-10,5-7) on Friday night.  South Central won the first meeting of the season (80-49) in January, but Seidel says they have to sort of forget that.  “That is the thing about our league it is so balanced on any given night anybody can beat anybody.  Monroeville plays us and New London tight for a half and us for three quarters and that is the bottom team in our league.  On any given night anything can happen.  Obviously my focus and understanding of that is probably a little bit different than the kids understanding.  They sometimes just see what happened last time, but I contend that Crestview is improved.  We have to be ready to go I know that is not an easy place to play over there,” said Seidel.

 

Published 2/16/17

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South Central Hoping to Reach Potential

  

          South Central has played well in some games yet they really haven’t reached their potential and that is what they are trying to do here in the final weeks of the regular season.

          They almost got the marquee win they have been looking for last Friday when they had a double digit lead on Firelands Conference leader New London, but it got away and the Wildcats won it (48-46) on a buzzer beater.

          Coach Brett Seidel says that loss was tough to take, but he was happy with the way his kids responded the next night in a win over Mapleton (79-61) in conference play.  “We were up 10 with the ball with a couple of minutes to go and we ended the game with five turnovers and two missed free throws to close it out and got beat at the buzzer.  Against the conference leader we are leading and to lose that way I didn’t know how we would respond the next night.  We responded pretty well and played pretty hard the next night.  We were able to shoot the ball pretty well and beat Mapleton, who had just beaten Western the night before,” said Seidel.

          The biggest thing they have to improve, according to the coach, is putting games away, like against New London.  “I would say closing games, that is number one and that is what we are working on.  We are working on situations everyday at practice.  We are working on defenses where they are taking our point guard out of the mix and how to combat that by making plays because that is what New London did to us down the stretch.  We are working on how to respond and still run an offense when that is happening,” said Seidel.

          South Central (10-7,6-5) plays at Plymouth (4-14,2-9) on Friday night in a Firelands Conference game.  The Big Red has won two of their last three, including a win over Galion (71-64) on Tuesday night.

          The Trojans beat Plymouth (76-43) in their first meeting, but Seidel believes if will be much closer this time.  “We have already talked about it is not going to be the same kind of result as last time,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday morning, “Right now, as much as possible we are trying to focus on process and trying to get better and trying to play better each day, each practice, each rep, every thing we are trying to do we are trying to get better at.  We are really not focused on what happened before because we know they are playing better than they were before.  They have lots of pieces that are doing what they need to do for them to be successful.  They had Western on the ropes.”

          Edison (9-6) of the bay division of the Sandusky Bay Conference welcomes South Central on Saturday night.  Seidel says the Chargers are a division three school that is athletic and plays a big schedule.  “It will be a really big challenge.  It will be a big test for us heading into the tournament trail.  Their league is very good.  They beat Vermilion, they took Huron to overtime.  When you throw Sandusky Perkins into the mix it is a very deep, and talented, and tough league that they play in.  They have really long and athletic kids that can shoot it, so and they play really, really good defense and they play hard the entire 32 minutes, so definitely a tall order for us on Saturday night as well,” said Seidel.

 

Published 2/08/17

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South Central Working on Consistency

  

          South Central picked up two wins this past weekend, and made some good progress, but there is still a lot more work to get done in the final weeks of the regular season.

          The Trojans play host to Firelands Conference leader New London and fast paced Mapleton to in a pair of conference games on Friday and Saturday nights.

          Last week, they had a big fourth quarter and beat Monroeville in a conference game (65-45) on Friday night and downed Mansfield Christian (63-52) in a non league game on Saturday night.

          Coach Brett Seidel says they needed to get wins, but they still need to be better in their execution.  “The win itself was a little bit the medicine that we needed, but obviously still not particularly pleased with how we are playing consistency wise.  I feel we are doing some good things in moments, but we are unable to carry that out over 32 minutes or four quarters,” he said.

          There is no question South Central has talent, but Seidel says they need to be sharp for an extended period of times during games if they are going to beat good teams.  “Everybody continues to tell me how talented we are and I am aware of that, but getting kids to play together and play hard over a period of time is the struggle right now.  We are just trying to get better.  I don’t want to talk about outcomes or anything.  The kids are starting to turn the corner, but the four quarters just aren’t there yet,” said Seidel.

          South Central (9-5,5-4) plays at home against New London (12-3,8-1), #4 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division, on Friday night.  New London lost their first conference game on the year last Friday to Western Reserve (60-51) and the Roughriders and Norwalk St. Paul trail the Wildcats now by just one.

          Seidel says they need to execute and play hard for four quarters.  “The whole weekend is going to be up tempo.  Obviously New London likes to go up and down and Mapleton likes to go up and down and we aren’t opposed to it either.  It should be a fun weekend of basketball.  Hopefully we can put four good practices together and compete our tails off on Friday night,” he said.

          It was (61-55) New London when the two played the first time on December 17.

New London probably has the league’s best player in Ryan Lane, but Seidel says they have other good players too and Lane gets them the ball, plus Wildcats are very good on defense too.  “The thing with Ryan Lane is he is unselfish.  He makes the correct basketball play.  He makes everyone around him better and then you throw kids that can shoot the basketball around him and that make it difficult because you can’t just scheme for Ryan Lane because he is going to find them open man and he is going to make the right play.  He is going to get his teammates some shots they can make,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “Coach Howell does a great job teaching defense.  They are probably the best defensive team in our league.  That is another key to the puzzle you are just trying to scheme for Ryan Lane, but try and figure out some ways to score as well.”

 

Published 1/31/17

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South Central’s Goal is to Get Better

  

          Unless something along the line of the Cavs comeback to win last year’s NBA title, the South Central Trojans are not going to win back to back Firelands Conference titles.

          They lost two tough ones to Western Reserve (58-56) and Norwalk St. Paul (56-49) last week and coach Brett Seidel admits that has put them in position where they pretty much need a miracle when it comes to the conference title.  “Being four games back, even three games back was a long shot.  It was a big weekend with Western and St. Paul tied with them with two losses and coming out of the weekend with four losses and with New London still undefeated that has basically put us out of contention for back to back titles,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “So, now our focus is trying to pay attention to detail and process and trying to simplify and get better for the tournament run.”

          Seidel says they really aren’t even thinking about the post season tournament, but rather about how they can get better as a team.  “Anything can happen in the tournament and that is what we starting to talk about right now.  We have not had very good luck with tournament in the previous years.  Our goal is to not focus on that outcome, but to just focus on getting better,” he said.

          South Central (7-6,4-4) plays at Monroeville (1-13,0-8) in a conference game on Friday night.  The Eagles played Western pretty tough last Saturday in losing (59-46) and Seidel says their kids better have a focused effort or they are going to be sorry.  “If you look at their scores they continue to play competitive basketball.  I think he has them playing with even good opponents.  The Western game was eight points in the second half.  It is not going to be just a walk though.  If we think we are just going to walk in and they are going to roll over that is not how it is going to work.  They compete and they play hard.  They play zone mostly, but it is keeping them in the game,” said Seidel.

          On Saturday night, the Trojans host Mansfield Christian (5-8) in a non-conference game.  Seidel says the Flames make you execute on both ends of the floor.  “Anytime you face a John Kurtz team you are going to have your hands full because no matter what personnel he has he is going to make them play very, very good man to man defense and run an offense efficiently.  Saturday night is not really our focus right now, but when we get there it is not going to be an easy task,” he said.

 

Published 1/25/17

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Roughriders Edge South Central

   

          Colton Puter’s three pointer that bounced on the rim four times before falling through with 17 seconds remaining lifted the Western Reserve Roughriders to a (58-56) win over South Central on Thursday night in Firelands Conference action.

          That keeps Western (7-5,5-2) two games behind conference leading New London, who beat Plymouth (63-46) on Thursday, and drops the Trojans (7-5,4-3) three games back.

          South Central had taken a (56-55) lead on Jason Hale’s hoop with 42 seconds left.

          After the Puter three, South Central coach Brett Seidel called a time out with nine seconds left to set up a final play.  Ben Lamereaux’s three from the right wing was in an out, but was rebounded by Michael Ponchel and he was fouled with .9 seconds.  Needing make both free throws he missed the first and purposely missed the second, but the Trojans were unable to get a tip in.

          Western Reserve coach Chris Sheldon says they persevered and that is what you have to do this year in the Firelands Conference.  “That is what our league has become this year to be honest with you.  Even in our two league losses they have come down to the last minute and really our overtime win with Crestview the same way.  It comes down to which guys are going to make the play and the last play.  The greatest thing about Colton hitting that big three was you preach to kids all of the time stay in the moment, stay in the game, he is obviously out best player right now on the floor, but he was hampered with foul trouble all night.  It is really easy for guys in those situations to sulk, to lose sight of what their goal is, what their purpose is on the bench, and stay mentally tuned into the game.  He came in and gave us four great minutes with four fouls and hits a big shot and we are fortunate enough to escape with their good player missing a free throw,” said Sheldon.

          Tyler Bartlett led all scorers with 18 for the Roughriders.  Cody Palmer added 16 and Dale Smith had 10.  Freshman Simon Blair led South Central with 13, Lamereaux had 11 and Ponchel 10.

          South Central was down as many as 10 in the first half (30-20,) but the battle back to take a (45-44) lead on Blair’s three with 6:15 left and again with 1:47 left (54-53) Lamereaux’s three.

          Seidel says Western made some big shots and they made too many mistakes.  “To be honest with you I just thought they shot it well.  That is my honest opinion.  I didn’t think we rebounded the ball very well in the second half.  They got a lot of second shots.  We had a lot of careless turnovers.  I thought our shot selection was suspect at times.  Credit them I thought they shot the ball really well (Thursday) night.  I have about every film on them and they shot it well, so credit Chris.  I thought they did a nice job of taking Simon (Blair) away in the first half.  In the second half they didn’t allow us to run anything, so we stuck with motion and our transition and felt like that was somewhat affective.  I thought we got to the rim.  We got to the front of the rim as much as we wanted to, but they made one more play that is what it came down to, they made one more play than us,” said Seidel.

          Five different Roughriders made threes on the night and Sheldon says his team has to make perimeter shots to win games.  “That is sort of what we do.  We don’t have a big hog that we can throw the ball down into the post to.  What we are affective doing is shooting the three and (Thursday) night we shot it fairly well and we hit big ones at the right time.  I think the thing that pleases me the most is we have had some guys go through some slumps here and there, but its still looks to me like we are shooting the ball with confidence and that speaks volumes on just how mentally tough we are at this point,” he said.

          Western Reserve was successful in taking South Central out of lot they wanted to do on offense.  Sheldon says they game them a lot of different looks.   “I think when we were able to get our lead we got a lot of deflections on the basketball with our pressure and the different looks we were giving them.  That was really, really affective for us, especially in that second quarter when we extended the lead.  They came right out, as good teams do, and made a run right back at us to start the third.  We did for the most part make them take tough shots unfortunately there were some moments in there where we had some really poor defensive possessions,” he told Swankonsports.com after the game, “More importantly having a four point lead and the ball with two minutes to go and not able to close them out with veteran guys on the floor.  The great thing is we made those two mistakes and we were still able to come away with a win.  Hopefully we can learn from that and improve on that and we are going to have to because this isn’t going to be the last one.  This first round has just been a meat grinder and we start back over Saturday night and it is going to continue to be that way coming down the stretch here,” said Sheldon.

 

Published 1/20/17

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South Central With Big Ones Against Western and St. Paul

  

          As competitive as the Firelands Conference is this year things are probably going to change a least a couple times over the next five weeks, but right now it looks like three losses and you are out.

          South Central, the defending champion, already has two and must play at Western Reserve on Thursday and Norwalk St. Paul (7-3,4-2) on Saturday in conference games.  The Flyers just beat South Central (53-37) last Wednesday.

          The Trojans played one of their better games of the season last Friday in destroying Crestview (80-49) and coach Brett Seidel says they played pretty consistently for four quarters.  “I thought our intensity and aggressiveness was consistent throughout the game, especially in the first half, we were really good defensively, but overall it was a good team win and everybody contributed,” he said.

          Seidel says it is a tough assignment for them this week and it’s going to take a great effort.  “It is a balanced league with great coaches.  We are facing two of the most well prepared coaches this week.  We have already seen St. Paul and they held us to our season low in points.  Obviously Chris (Sheldon) does a great job with his kids.  Two great teams, two great coaches, and it will take a special effort collectively for us to come out on top this week,” he said.

          South Central (7-4,4-2) plays at Western Reserve (6-5,4-2) on Thursday night.  St. Paul also beat Western last week (56-50) on Friday. The Roughriders have been playing without their best kid in sophomore Jaret Griffith, the conference MVP from last year.  However, Seidel says they have been pretty good nevertheless.  “They are good without him.  Obviously he is dynamic and preparing for him is tough, but they still have five other very good veterans on the team and then a couple of young kids that can make shots.  They are still very skilled across the board.  We better prepare as well as we can,” he said.

          The Firelands has been very competitive this year, but New London is still unbeaten in the conference as we head to the end of the first half of league play.  Seidel says that makes these two road games this week very important for them.  “What we keep coming back to is we lost three games in the league last year and still won the league outright.  This year it is even more balanced top to bottom.  The top six teams have winning records.  I feel like anybody can beat anybody on any given night.  We are just going to take if one game at a time,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “We are not going to put all of our eggs in one basket and say if we lose one of these games this week we are completely out of it, but in essence that is what is happening.  It comes down to this week whether if we win or Western wins or St. Paul wins if you drop back three games you are probably on the outside looking in.”

 

Published 1/18/17

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Trojans in Must Win Situation

  

          After a loss Wednesday night to Norwalk St. Paul, the South Central Trojans trail first place New London by two games in the Firelands Conference standings.

          They might have to run the table if they are going to defend their conference title.

          South Central didn’t score in the games final four minutes on Wednesday night and St. Paul beat them (53-37) in a game that was rescheduled from December.  Trojans coach Brett Seidel says the Flyers clearly wanted it more.  “I would like to credit coach Smith and his kids for the way they played.  They came in with a real nice game plan and then followed it to a tee.  I thought they were a little bit more hungry than we were,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “Our mentality didn’t match their mentality.  Intensity wise they were at a different level than us.  They played really well and we didn’t because of them.”

          Crestview (6-4,3-2) comes to South Central (6-4,3-2) on Friday night for a Firelands Conference game.  Crestview has lost its last two Friday night (60-56) in overtime to Western Reserve in a conference game and (87-48) to Northwestern Monday night in a non-conference game.

          Seidel says the Cougars do a lot of things well.  “They do a lot of good things.  They play extremely hard.  They play at a high pace.  They like to get up in you and make things difficult throughout the game.  If you are not handling that kind of pressure that can lead to turnovers,” said Seidel.

          Against Crestview you must handle the ball well and Seidel says if you are able to break that pressure you have to make them pay by scoring the ball.  “They don’t ever take a possession off.  If you get out of a trap and by the initial wave, but then from behind you know they are coming after you.  On each possession you have to be alert and you have to be aggressive at the same time,” he said.

          Trailing first place New London by two games, and having already lost to the Wildcats this season, Seidel believes that every conference game from here on out is a must win for them.  “The way we look at it every game is important, especially every league game.  I would like to think we are not completely out of it.  So, all of our games from here on out are basically a must win,” he said.

 

Published 1/13/17

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Trojans Need to Beat Plymouth

  

          South Central, the defending champion, is right there in the Firelands Conference race, just a game behind New London entering play this weekend.

          They host Plymouth in a conference game on Friday night.

          In a tune up in non-conference play on Tuesday night, the Trojans buried Crestline (68-47) after leading by five at the break.

          Coach Brett Seidel says they were able to buckle down in the second half.  “We started out fast.  They responded with a dunk.  I don’t know if my kids weren’t used to seeing that or what, but they made a run at the end of the first quarter and into the second quarter.  We finally settled down in the second half and played some defense.  The played well in the first half and credit them with that.  We shored it up and rebounded the ball well in the second half,” he said.

          South Central has been scoring points, they beat Mapleton (91-73) in a conference game last Friday.

          Seidel likes what they are doing on offense, but not so much on defense right now.  “We are trying to hone in on things we are trying to work on.  We still aren’t very good at executing when we are changing defenses from a flex defense to a zone defense to a man defense.  Going from defense to defense we are lost still.  Our effort is the same in each one.  We are still trying to fine tune some things defensively.  Offensively I feel like we are sharing the ball really well right now.  We need to continue to do that.  When that happens we are pretty hard to guard,” said Seidel.

          South Central (5-3,2-1) hosts Plymouth (1-7,1-3) on Friday night.  The Big Red lost (62-35) to Western Reserve last week and is in the mist of a seven game losing streak.

          Seidel says you can forget about all of that.  “You can throw records and all of that stuff out of the window when Plymouth and South Central get together.  That is usually how it works.  You really can’t pay attention to what they have done and what we have done,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “It seems like it doesn’t matter.  I remember a few years ago when they had Tyrell.  His sophomore year we beat them and honestly we shouldn’t have been playing with them.  It doesn’t matter what has happened, there is a rivalry thing and it is bigger than just who is on the floor and it goes back aways.”

          Plymouth also upset South Central last season.

 

Published 1/05/17

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More Mental Toughness for South Central

  

          South Central has shown good talent, but they have not been able to close out wins that that talent might dictate.

          Case in point was last Thursday when they lost to athletic Oberlin Firelands (58-50) in non-conference play or the week before to talented New London (61-56) in Firelands Conference play.
          Coach Brett Seidel says they just lost their focus at key times during the games.  “It is back to back games that we have let 10 point leads slip away with two minutes in third.  They came back with physicality and aggression and we didn’t respond.  We weren’t mentality tough.  We looked gassed and that is partly my fault for not subbing the way I should be.  At the end we didn’t make enough plays and turned it over for layups and that was the difference,” said Seidel.

          In order to improve Seidel says the Trojans have to battle adversity better and they share the ball more.  “It’s really just chemistry and mental toughness.  Our mental approach and our grasping of game plans and concepts what we need to be doing with certain personnel, tendencies of the opponent, we really haven’t connected with that yet.  Our chemistry at the offensive end is suspect.  The ball gets a little sticky with us.  We are trying to do a little too much on the first drive instead of the second or third drive,” he said.

          South Central (3-3,1-1) plays at Mapleton (5-2,1-2) in a Firelands Conference game on Friday night.  Seidel describes the Mounties as an athletic team that likes to get down the floor and get shots up quickly.  “I watched them live (Tuesday) night.  I have seen them on film twice.  They are very athletic.  They shoot a lot of threes over a short time span,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “You really have to get back and get into position and get ready to guard and then you have box out because they run down offensive rebounds.  All five of them do it.  That is the key getting back in transition and finding their shooters and then make sure we check out and find that board.”

          South Central has had their way with Mapleton over the years, but Seidel says the Mounties are going to be a factor in the league this year and they absolutely can not be overlooked.  “I don’t feel like you can overlook anybody.  Mapleton has been on the rise.  You could see it last year.  Obviously they are starting to believe.  They competed well with us last year in both games, at their place and our place.  I don’t believe we should be overlooking them because they played with us last year,” he said.

 

Published 12/29/16

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South Central Must be a Team

  

          South Central lost a battle between Firelands Conference contenders last Saturday at New London and now they have to recognize what they need to do to improve.

          It was a game up for grabs until the final moments, but New London beat the Trojans (61-56) last Saturday night.  Coach Brett Seidel feels his team got away from what makes them good.  “I am hoping that we did learn.  I feel like we have played enough that we should already know what works and what doesn’t work.  We have been pretty consistent over the last three or four years of not changing anything and staying with the same stuff.  As far was what was expected and what we feel is good basketball,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “I thought we did that in the first quarter and then we got away from it in the second quarter and that really was contagious to others in the third and fourth.  I want to credit New London and coach Howell they played very hard and they made more shots than we did down the stretch and that was the difference.”

          Seidel says there was too much individual play against New London and they need to play more like a team.  “I think we understand what it is, but I don’t think we are all committed to it yet.  We still have some ironing out to do.  I am not going to say buying in, but somewhat conforming to what works and what doesn’t work.  I think sometimes we get into that we are pretty skilled, so we all think we need to do it on our own.  I think it has been proven it doesn’t work, so hopefully because of that and the results that have come because of those choices I hope that we do learn and apply,” he said.

          South Central (3-2) plays a new opponent to their schedule on Thursday night as they travel to Oberlin Firelands in non-conference play.  Seidel knows they are in for a test.  “What I do know is they beat Western Reserve and Western Reserve, so that is enough said for me to know we are going to have our hands full.  If you go into Western and beat Sheldon on his floor I understand that would be a tough game for us.  That is the way we are approaching it.  I know that they have two really good players and that their post has a very high motor.  Their guard is a very good coast to coast player and good straight line driver.  We are trying to get ready the best we can.  We need to just approach it for us.  We are not really worried about what they are going to do, but more about how we need to play and if we do that we are going to have a chance,” said Seidel.

 

Published 12/21/16

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South Central Starts Defense of Title

  

          South Central is the defending Firelands Conference champion and they tip-off defense of that title on Friday night at home against the Monroeville Eagles and then play at rival New London on Saturday night in a conference double header.

          The Trojans did not play last week at all as their game against Norwalk St. Paul on Friday was pushed back to early January due to St. Paul’s successful football season.

          They returned to action on Tuesday in blowing out Lucas (69-41) in game that was played at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland.

          Coach Brett Seidel says they played pretty well over the last three quarters of the game.  “We started kind of slow.  We hadn’t played in a week and were kind of anxious.  We had trouble catching it and had trouble finishing, but part of that is credit to Lucas.  He is doing a real nice job with them over there.  We were fortunate enough to share the basketball and make some shots and come out of there with a win,” said Seidel.

          Monroeville (0-2,0-1) lost their first conference game last week to Western Reserve (77-40) and dropped one the next night to Margaretta (68-45) in non-league play.

          Seidel tells us what they expect from the Eagles.  “On film it looks like they are playing dominate zone, 2-3 zone a lot.  I have seen them in a triangle and two.  They have zone pressed a little bit.  We are expecting that.  The two teams they have played were pretty good opponents in Western Reserve and Margaretta.  By playing the two opponents they have I would say they are not going to be afraid of us,” he said.

          With New London on the horizon, Seidel knows they need to have focus if they are going have success against Monroeville.  “Especially with New London on the back half on Saturday night at New London it is definitely kind of a trap game for us and with what happened last year with the two lopsided victories,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “I expect us to come out and play hard and play well.  It is our first home game.  I would think the kids would be excited about playing at home.  It has been a little while since we have been able to do that.  I am hoping we can come out with some energy.”

          As for New London (2-0,1-0), #5 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division, they destroyed Crestview (68-31) last week.  Seidel says senior Ryan Lane is a beast.  “Just finding someone to match-up with him.  He just does everything so well.  He is strong, he rebounds well, he defends, he shares it, he makes his shots from the outside, he can post you, he has a mid range game, he does everything, off the dribble, off the catch, he is a load.  Trying to figure our how to stop him is a match-up nightmare.  They have shooters around him and they mix defenses well.  Obviously, Tom (Howell) has them playing hard, so it is going to be a test,” said Seidel.

 

Published 12/16/16

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No Games, but Hard Work For South Central

  

          South Central came out of the opening weekend one up and one down and now they must wait a week to play again.

          Their scheduled game with Norwalk St. Paul on Friday has been moved to later in the season due to the Flyers football run.

          Last Friday, the Trojans (1-1) opened the season with a (76-58) loss to Mansfield St. Peter’s.  The game was tied after the first quarter, but coach Brett Seidel says they were never able to slow down the Trojans fast break.  “Their transition offense is hard to prepare for.  We prepared for at least three weeks constantly talking about their transition.  I remember it from last year and in the summer.  We talked about it, we addressed it, we practiced it, but it is hard to prepare for.  The second half it seemed like that was all they shot was layups.  I don’t know if they even attempted a jump shot in the second half,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “If they did they were getting an offensive rebound and sticking it back.  I know they made 26 shots from the paint.  They just looked a lot more athletic than us that night.  They all can handle it.  They all can pass it.  They are willing to share it.  They got the best of us.”

          They then picked up a in (52-51) win at Buckeye Central on Saturday night.  Seidel says they were able to make some big plays late in the game.

“Just to go into Buckeye after losing the night before and going on the road and winning on the road we are still kind of feeling our way through here and Buckeye is likewise.  To go in and beat a program like Phil Loy’s by any amount of points is a success in my mind.  At the beginning of the second half we let a five point swing take place and momentum took over.  We are fortunate enough that (Josh) Bonet made a tough shot down the stretch, very trimly, and we were able to play some decent defense, and get a board that fortunately came our way and get the win,” said Seidel.

          South Central doesn’t play until December 13 at Quicken Loans Arena against Lucas in a non-conference game.  Seidel says they will attack practice a little differently this week.  “I would rather play double weekends early and single weekends late.  I would rather the schedule be that way.  Unfortunately we had St. Paul scheduled and they made their playoff push in football, so we are stuck without a game this weekend.  Thankfully we play (next) Tuesday at “The Q” (against Lucas,) so we don’t have to wait until the following Friday.  We are going to work extra hard these next three or four days and hopefully come out in game form,” he said.

 

Published 12/06/16

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South Central With Tough Opening Weekend

  

          South Central is the defending Firelands Conference champion with at least four kids that played significant roles on that team returning to the lineup.

          They start the year this weekend with back to back tough games on the road against Mansfield St. Peter’s, the defending division four district champion, and always good Buckeye Central of the Northern 10 Athletic Conference.

          South Central returns its second leading scorer in senior Michael Ponchel, another double figure scorer in Aaron Lamereaux, plus major contributors Ben Lamereaux and Jason Hale. 

          Coach Brett Seidel says it’s going to be a big test for them and he is hoping they are able to compete.  “I think I am just curious to see how we respond, especially opening with the two programs we are opening against in St. Peter’s and Buckeye.  Just how we respond and who steps up and who leads and just how it goes.  I don’t expect to be playing our best basketball the first game in December, but I’m hoping we are able to come out and compete,” he said.

          They will also have two freshmen on the varsity in Simon Blair and Isaiah Seidel, the son of the coach.  Those kids have played a lot of “AAU” basketball when they were even younger and coach Seidel doesn’t believe they will be intimidated by varsity action.  “The good thing is the younger ones have played enough basketball outside of high school that I don’t think they would be in awe or being intimidated at all.  I expect them to play well,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “I don’t exactly how well they will play.  I don’t expect them to be playing scared.  They haven’t looked that way in the scrimmages yet, but Friday night is a different test being on the road at St. Peter’s, but I do expect them to play with confidence and play well.”

          Mansfield St. Peter’s is expected to field one of better small school units in this region this year with the return of Mason Campbell, Jared Jakubick and Tyson Kent among others.  They were a big part of the district title team last year.

          Seidel says they are just a year older and a year better.  “I would imagine they are bigger and stronger, another year of maturity, another year of experience.  They have had the tournament experience now.  The mindset is there.  They have large expectations.  They are veterans now.  I believe it is going to be our toughest test of the year,” he said.

          Buckeye Central beat the Trojans by one last year on a basket by Max Loy.  Seidel says the Bucks are tough to score against.  “Phil does a great job preparing his kids.  They are always physical and they are intentional with their defense.  They are always tough to score on.  Being a back to back night after St. Peter’s it is going to be a tough one for us,” he said.

 

Published 11/29/16

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South Central Wants to Defend

  

          Last season, South Central won its first Firelands Conference boys’ basketball title since 2001 and now they are going to try and defend it and they know that isn’t going to be easy.

          Coach Brett Seidel says there has been a lot of inconsistency in their play so far this preseason.  “It is early and there have been a lot of inconsistencies, a lot of ups and downs.  Defensively we have been good at times and bad at times.  Offensively we have looked how we want to look and then there are times when we try to do everything on our own and everything off the dribble and that can tend to be a problem.  Overall, not pleased, but why would I be at this time of the year,” he said.

          There are some kids with a lot of experience on the varsity floor that will be putting on Trojan uniforms this winter, but Seidel says there will be some younger kids too, including two freshmen.  “We have four seniors, three four year lettermen.  We are expecting a lot out of them and then we have some newcomers.  A sophomore guard up from the JVs where he played as a freshman.  I have two freshmen that are going to be playing for me too.  It’s a pretty skilled group.  We are working on toughness and selflessness,” he said.

          When it comes to freshmen on the varsity roster, Seidel says you have to get their feet wet as soon as possible because it is quite a jump from eighth grade to the varsity.  “Summer helped us out a lot and going to the Eastern Ohio Camp and couple of shootouts and scrimmages and those types of things,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday after film study and before practice, “It helped us see where they were, but also for them to see what it actually took for them to play at the varsity level.  It is a big difference between eighth grade physically, the speed is so much faster, and size has something to do with it too.  I feel like those two kids are ready to do it.”

          When it comes to defending that league title, Seidel knows it is going to be tougher than it was to win last year, but they look forward to the battle they face.  “I would like to think we are in the top tier of the league.  Getting there is hard work, but staying there is even harder.  I feel like you have to work even harder to stay there.  Now I know how hard it is to win a league title.  I would really like to sometime make a tournament run.  We are going to try and take it one day at a time and see what happens,” said Seidel.

Published 11/22/16

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South Central Has to Play With Intensity

  

          South Central plays host to undefeated Norwalk St. Paul in a Firelands Conference game on Friday night outside of Greenwich.

          It is fair to say that the Trojans would be a significant underdog in the game.

          Last week, South Central (2-6,1-4) lost to Western Reserve (35-28) in a conference game.

          Coach Wayne Hinkle says they did some good things last week, but they just made too many mistakes.  “We played well last week, played hard.  We just had a hard time stopping them.  What they do is they line up, they are still a little bit bigger than we are, they just line up and come at you, and we had a hard time stopping that a times.  We made a lot of mistakes.  We make a nice play and get a holding call or there would be some penalty that would hurt us in a drive.  We hurt ourselves a bit, but it was a good game,” said Hinkle.

          When it comes to St. Paul (8-0,5-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com football coaches poll in the small school division, Hinkle says they just play hard and fast and that separates them from a lot teams.  “The thing that jumps out at you is how fast they play.  John just gets his kids to play fast, playing fast, playing hard, and going full go all of the time.  He has built a program there and put it together.  We have to get our kids to believe that just because they are St. Paul that doesn’t mean anything they are still high school kids like you are and match their intensity some how and see what happens,” said Hinkle.

          In many games St. Paul has things under control right off the bat in the first 12 minutes of the game.  Hinkle says if they are going to have a chance at the upset they can’t let that happen on Friday.  “You have to come out and somehow right off the bat match that intensity.  John is going to play with a lot of intensity and with a lot of speed.  Their game speed is just so much better than anybody else’s.  It is something you can’t duplicate in practice with your younger kids,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “So, it makes it tough when you get out there in Friday night and it is wham, wham, wham.  You have to try it.  We still have two weeks left and this is a big one.  I hope the kids do what we have talked about all week and just see what happens.”

 

Published 10/20/16

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South Central Trying to Limit Mistakes

  

          South Central continues to hurt itself with penalties and other mistakes and they have to clean that up over the final month of the high school football season.

         The Trojans (2-4,1-2) host Mapleton (2-4,1-2) in a Firelands Conference game on Friday night.

          They lost to unbeaten Monroeville (35-0) last week in a conference game.  The Eagles are good, but South Central coach Wayne Hinkle says they hurt themselves too.  “We just hurt ourselves.  We scored a couple of times, but they got called back on penalties.  We started hurting ourselves again.  We just couldn’t get anything established and be consistent with it,” he said.

          Hinkle agrees that if they get off to a good start they are likely to play better throughout the game.  “If we get off to a good start we play better, that’s a lot of it.  Getting some confidence and feeling good about yourself early helps out a lot,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “We thought we had a good stand, made a good play, and got called for interference, which let their drive go a little bit longer.  After that we got a little gun shy, backed off a little bit and weren’t quite as aggressive.”

          Mapleton lost a tough one last week to conference co-leader Crestview (14-13) when they scored in the final seconds, but missed a two point conversion. 

          Hinkle describes Mapleton has an athletic team that likes to get to the edge with the passing game.  “They are very athletic.  The quarterback likes to throw the ball a lot.  They spread it around pretty good and it allows them to use their athletic ability.  It should be a good game.  We are both stronger on the outside and a little weaker on the inside.  I’m hoping it will go down to the wire sand we can come out on top,” said Hinkle.

 

Published 10/06/16

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South Central Still Wants to be More Physical

  

          South Central has the tendency to play exciting games, win or lose, and that was the case last week when they beat Plymouth in overtime.

          Aaron Lamoreaux ran it in to give the Trojans a (33-27) win.  Coach Wayne Hinkle says winning is what it is all about.  “It seems like we can’t win one easy we have to make it hard on ourselves, but when you win one that is the main thing,” he said.

          South Central beat Plymouth in double overtime last year.

          The Trojans had a 10 point lead in the second half and let it get away.  Plymouth kicked a 45 yard filed goal to tie the game at the end of regulation.

          Hinkle says they still have a lot of things they have to clean up in terms of their execution.  “We made a lot of mistakes that kept them in the game and gave them opportunities.  We want to do better and do away with those mistakes.  You are never going to play the perfect game, but you are always working for that,” he said.

          South Central (2-3,1-1) plays at Monroeville (5-0,2-0) in a Firelands Conference game on Friday night.  The Eagles share first place in the conference with Norwalk St. Paul and Crestview.

          Hinkle says Monroeville has some kids that want to be physical.  “They are going to be physical.  I believe they lost their star tailback.  We are not sure he is going to be running there, we think we know.  They aren’t going to change anything.  They are going to come out and be physical and run the ball and be physical on defense.  We need to come out and match that this Friday and take it to them a little bit,” said Hinkle.

          Blake Anderson ran for almost 250 yards for Monroeville in their (33-28) win over Mapleton last week, before leaving the game with a leg injury in the fourth quarter.

          Hinkle says Monroeville will not go away from what they do well on the football field.  “It is almost too late in the year to start changing things.  They are going to plug some things in there like they did at the end of the Mapleton game.  They are going to expect those kids to do the best they can.  There may not be one feature back like Anderson has been.  There might be a new one,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday afternoon, “We went over there two years ago and their running back got hurt and that is when Anderson started running so well in the second half against us.  We only hope that isn’t going to happen with these guys that are going to take his place.”

 

Published 9/28/16

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South Central Must be more Physical

  

          South Central was handled in their Firelands Conference opener last week against Crestview and they have to bounce back this week against rival Plymouth.

          Crestview got some early scores and they went onto blast the Trojans (49-7) last week.  Coach Wayne Hinkle says they didn’t respond very well when then Cougars punched a couple in.  “They made a couple of plays early and that happens, especially when you are young and it got in their heads a little bit. Once that happens with kids it is hard to get it back.  They made some good plays and we helped them a little bit,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “We weren’t in positions that you are supposed to be in and those things happen.  You have to be able to bounce back.  When they score that easy then we have to score that easy.”

          Plymouth (2-2,0-1) comes to Greenwich to face the Trojans (1-3,0-1) on Friday night.  The Big Red lost (35-21) to unbeaten Monroeville last week.  They often line up in a spread formation, but Hinkle says they want to try and run the ball first.  “I think by watching film they want to run the football.  They try and come at you and be physical and see if they can’t beat you that way,” he said.

          The Trojans must compete at the point of attack better than they did last week and because if that doesn’t happen Hinkle says Plymouth is going to keep running they ball at them.  “Our kids inside have to realize that.  We have to be able to pick it up and be a little tougher and be a little more competitive them we were last week,” he said.

 

Published 9/20/19

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 South Central Wants to Continue to Move Forward

  

          South Central picked up its first win of the season last week against Crestline and they open Firelands Conference play Friday night at Crestview against the Cougars.

          The Trojans rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Crestline (26-21) last week and coach Wayne Hinkle says they just kept working hard and that was the difference.  “I thought the kids did really well.  They came out at the top of the page and played well, had a little lull in the middle of the game, but stuck with it and came back and played hard at the end and got a win.  The main thing was we got a win.  We needed a win and the program needed a win.  We got that win under our belts, that first one, and that’s good,” said Hinkle.

          You can talk improvement, you can even talk execution, but Hinkle says nothing improves confidence like putting one in the win column.  “There is nothing better than a win.  The week before we were close, but we still lost and close doesn’t count.  That winning feeling when you come off the field with a win over your belt things just feels much better.  Practice has went better,” said Hinkle.

          Crestview (2-1) throttled Sandusky St. Mary’s (42-0) last week.  Hinkle says they are deep and he expects a battle.  “They are a nice team.  They have a lot kids out on the team this year.  They have played some good games already.  They are just a good team,” he told Swankonsports.com, “The last two years we have had really good games with them and we are hoping to keep that trend going.  Friday night should be a good, hard fought game and hopefully the Trojans come out on top.”

          South Central has won the last two games against Crestview, winning (31-30) in double overtime last year and (27-20) in 2014.

          When it comes to winning again this week, Hinkle says the formula is really no different for them.  “We just have to do what we have been doing and get better at it.  We are getting better every game, every week,  Our offensive lineman, who are in the first year in their position, are getting better every week.  We need to keep improving and play hard.  We need to cut down on penalties, we had way too many of those last week,” said Hinkle.

 

Published 9/15/16

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South Central Needs to Improve up Front

  

          Last year, South Central seemed to have the ability to win close games, but they hope that last week isn’t a sign of things to come.

          Rittman scored in the final minute of the game last week to beat the Trojans (19-14) and give them their second loss in as many games this year.

          Coach Wayne Hinkle says it was tough to take.  He says they have to be better finishers in those situations.  “Those are a little tougher to take when you were probably expected to win.  We really thought we could win that game.  We just didn’t finish things off.  Down at the goal line we didn’t finish things off and score ourselves and we didn’t finish off by allowing them to score.  We have to keep getting better and finish things when we get them started,” said Hinkle.

          A big key for the Trojans, according to Hinkle, is to get better in the trenches, especially along the offensive line.  “We need to get better inside on our lines, offensively more than defensively.  Our offensive line has to get better.  They need to hold their blocks a little longer,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “They need to be more together.  Sometimes they aren’t doing things perfectly together and that hurts us a little bit.  The biggest improvement we need to make is on the offensive line.”

          South Central (0-2) hosts Crestline (1-1) in their final non-conference game of the season on Friday night.  The Bulldogs beat Grove City Christian (10-7) last Friday.  Hinkle says that will give the Bulldogs some extra confidence and make them harder to beat.  “They are going to be tough.  Crestline football is always tough.  They got a win last week, so that is going to be big for them.  They will have a little more confidence.  It’s our first home game, so we have to play well and get a win for ourselves,” he said.

 

Published 9/06/16

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South Central Needs to Plugging Away

  

          South Central plays Rittman in a non-conference football game on Friday night.

          Right in the game at halftime last week, they were pushed around in the second half by Seneca East and lost to the Tigers (54-20) on the opening week of the season.

          Coach Wayne Hinkle says they kind of lost their focus in the third quarter of the game.  “They came out and had a couple of big plays right off the bat and that hurt us real quick and we just didn’t rebound fast enough to get back into it.  I thought we finished off scoring there at the end and doing some nice things there at the end of the game.  In the early part of the third quarter, and the middle of it, we kind of lost it,” said Hinkle.

          Seneca East was a more physical football team and due to circumstances they ran the ball a little more than would have been expected and that was bad news for the Trojans, according to Hinkle.  “We just need to keep playing.  It was a tough game for us.  They were just so much bigger than us size wise.  They had some injuries, so it made them change what we had seen them do.  I really thought if they ran the ball we were going to have some trouble,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “It ended up with their quarterback getting hurt that’s what happened.  We just need to keep getting better, keep playing, and do what we do best.”

          Rittman won their first game of the season, beating Richmond Heights (47-8) last Friday.  Hinkle says this is another team that is going to try and run the football against them.  “We expect them to run the ball a little bit too with some option and run the quarterback a little bit.  They have two running backs that run the ball well.  They will spread you out and try and do some of that stuff.  Defensively they run a 4-4 or 4-3.  It’s the stuff we see every game almost.  Teams try to spread you out and run it or spread you out and throw it.  Size wise they are about the same size and that is nice.  We get to play against some kids that are our size,” said Hinkle.

 

Published 8/31/16

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South Central Ready to be Challenged

  

          South Central plays at Seneca East in non-conference play to open the high school football season on Friday night.

          Coming off a season when they won twice in overtime, but have to replace their best player due to graduation, veteran coach Wayne Hinkle says even with some injuries he likes their progression.  “I liked the way the kids have improved, worked to improve, and have improved,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “Went backwards somewhat last week with injuries, but there are some other kids that can step up and take some responsibility there with the kids that are missing.  We had a good scrimmage on Friday, the kids looked pretty good, and I think they are ready to go.”

          With that opener on the horizon from Friday, Hinkle says it has the Trojans ready to go to war with someone other than the guys wearing the same colored jerseys.  “After two weeks of 7:30 in the morning and coming in every day they are ready for a change,” he said.

          When it comes to Seneca East, Hinkle looks for the Tigers to try and throw the ball a lot.  He says they will be a challenge physically.  “They are big and athletic and strong.  They went to the playoffs last year, so that will always be a little bit of a boost.  They aren’t going to change much.  They are going to come at you through the air and line up and try and beat up on you a little bit with their size,” said Hinkle.

 

Published 8/23/16

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Trojans Want to Get Better Step by Step

 

          South Central football coach Wayne Hinkle is trying to be patient with his group this year and put together a plan for success.

          Swankonsports.com visited Greenwich on Tuesday, the second day of two day workouts in preparation for the 2016 season.

          Hinkle says they have 33 kids and they have been putting in a good effort.  “One thing is we are up in numbers a little bit.  Each year we have gotten a few more players and that is good for us.  (Monday) was the first day of practice and (Tuesday) we were much better.  That is what we have to do keep getting better each day.  Try to make practice better each day.  That’s not going to happen in reality, but you have to talk about it and hopefully they try and do that for you,” said Hinkle.

          There are some inexperienced kids that are going to see some playing time for the Trojans this fall and Hinkle says they want to make sure those players understand their responsibilities.  “The old saying is you are getting better or you are getting worse, you don’t stay the same.  You have to make sure you are looking ahead and working ahead.  We are young right now.  Especially offensive line wise, we are moving some kids around that have never played there before and some young kids.  So, we are going a little slow, but we are looking good right now.  They are paying attention and they are getting better,” he said.

          The offensive line must work together to be successful and Hinkle says with those kids, especially the younger ones, he wants to be basic and the beginning and then build.  “It’s important for them to break things down.  We make it slow, so they understand.  When they get older you can throw things at them and tell them this and that and everything,” he told Swankonsports.com after practice, “When they are first starting out you can break it down and make it easy for them, so they can make some adjustments on their own when they need to.  We are not on the field, we aren’t holding their hands.  They need to be able to see things and react to them.”

          Cameron Conway was one of the better power backs in the area last season, but the Trojans lost him to graduation.  Hinkle says they have to find some new guys to turn to.  “You have to go with your strengths.  Last year, he was our strength, this year we have some other strengths and we need those people to step and do what they do.  You never replace anybody really.  Especially at our level you just move around and somebody else steps up.  It’s not always going to be the same position. We are going to miss him, love to have him back,” he said.

 

 

Published 8/03/16

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South Central Locks Horns with Colonel Crawford

 

          South Central and Colonel Crawford have combined to win 32 games already this season and they meet in a second round game in division four on Friday night at Sandusky High School.

          The Trojans (17-6) are the outright Firelands Conference champions and Colonel Crawford finished third in tough Northern 10 Athletic Conference behind unbeaten Upper Sandusky and Buckeye Central.

          South Central held on to beat Plymouth (72-68) on Tuesday night in a first round game and coach Brett Seidel says they almost let it get away.  "We hit a three and went up 19 and I called timeout and reminded them we need to finish the game playing defense.  We went out and they got a double deflection, it hit two of our kids, and they hit a three and it just snowballed momentum for them.  From there they hit shots, we took quick shots, turned the ball over and didn't play defense and box out," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "We really didn't do anything the fourth quarter.  Credit them, they didn't give up and played really hard in the fourth quarter.  We were fortunate to come out of there with a win."

          Colonel Crawford (15-7) has been to the regionals twice in the last four years and to the district final the other two.  Seidel says they have a very balanced team that is outstanding on defense.  "I am just hoping they are not as good as they look on film.  They have got pieces.  They have got bigs that are skilled.  They have a really good go to guy that can do a little of everything in (Owen) Adams.  They have a shooter running the point for them, a shooter in the corner that knocks down shots, and a defensive mined approach with Kirkpatrick and Bute.  They have a complete team and obviously they are really well coached.  We know we are in for a very, very tough game on Friday and we know we are going to have to play our "A" game," said Sediel.

          When you have two good teams like this, Seidel says you have to play a compete game if you are going to win.  "It comes down to we are going to have to make shots, number one, and number two we are going to have to get stops and rebound the basketball at both ends.  They are very good on the glass at both ends and we are going to have to make sure we concentrate on that," he said.

 

Published 2/25/16

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Firelands Conference Champ Open Tourney on Tuesday

 

          South Central has done something they haven't done in almost 15 years.  They won the outright Firelands Conference title and now they want to be able to take that success to the post season.

          The Trojans (16-6) play Plymouth (6-13) in a first round game in the division four post season tournament on Tuesday night at Sandusky High School.

          They lost their final regular season game at Western Reserve (63-60) in Firelands Conference play last Friday night.  Coach Brett Seidel says they didn't make good decisions down the stretch.  "I thought for most of the game we were pretty much in control, but in the fourth quarter they found some rhythm and the freshman they have hit about three or four threes.  Tough threes, pull ups from deep," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "They made their free throws down the stretch and we didn't execute at the end of the game like we can.  I got teed up.  There were lots of variables.  We ended up getting outscored by eight in the fourth quarter, 24-16, and that was the game."

          Plymouth is a sub .500 team but they have some big wins this year, including their first meeting at home against South Central.  Seidel says the Big Red can do things at both ends of the floor.  "They have a lot of perimeter shooters.  They rebound the basketball at both ends very well.  We have to make sure we come ready to play," he said.

          Plymouth won (65-56) at their place and South Central returned the favor (74-51) in Greenwich this month.  Seidel says really all of the pressure is on them and they need to be in top form.  "They are the lower seed plus they have already beat us, so they have that going for them as well.  That is added to their confidence.  So, we know that we are not in for an easy game with them having that 0-0 mentality and they have already beat us in the regular season," he said.

 

Published 2/23/16

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South Central Wants to Finish Strong

 

          South Central has already secured an outright Firelands Conference title, but they don't want to let the foot off the gas pedal.

          They play at Western Reserve in their final regular season game on Friday night.

          Last week, they won two overtime games, edging Crestview (66-64) to win the conference on Friday night and getting past Sandusky St. Mary's (71-69) on Saturday night in a non league contest.

          Coach Brett Seidel was pleased with both the outcome and the fact that they had to play well to win.  "We played the way we wanted to.  We had to battle some adversity.  To win in overtime against good teams that is kind of what prepares you for tournaments," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "That is really encouraging.  We haven't really had it going in the right direction at this point in the season for the previous six years of my career.  To see the kids starting to see how things go and starting to build on that it has snowballed in the right way for us."

          With a good Western Reserve team on Friday, Seidel says his kids are still engaged and not already thinking about next week.  "Usually at this time of year lots of kids are looking ahead.  They are looking for baseball gloves, ready to get out the track shoes or whatever, their done.  It is a long grueling season anyway.  In seeing them in practice and just in conversation with them, they want to make this last as long as we can," he said.

          South Central (16-5,11-2) plays at Western Reserve (13-7,9-4) on Friday night in a Firelands Conference game.  South Central won the first match up (49-43) last month.  Seidel feels the Rough Riders play better on their home floor.  "That is the only focus right now is Western.  Obviously by the looks of their scores and the looks of their film they play a lot better at home.  They shoot it well at home.  That was one of the things they didn't do well at our place.  We know we are in for a very tough test and will have to be able to play well in order to win at the end," said Seidel.

          The fact that they have had to play some strong teams at the end of the season helps to prepare them for the tournament and Western Reserve is certainly that for sure, according to Seidel.  "It is going to prepare us hopefully for next week.  You don't want to be coasting or back into the tournament.  You want to be going full ahead forward.  We are hoping to continue to play well.  Hopefully shots go down for us (Friday) night and we get a chance to win," he said.

 

Published 2/19/16

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South Central Wants it Now

 

          South Central has two opportunities to become outright Firelands Conference champion, but they don't want to wait.

          They want to win it Friday night at home against Crestview, not wait and try to win at Western Reserve next week.

          Coach Brett Seidel, seeking his first conference title as a coach, says they want to take care of business this week.  "We have two games to play in the league and one tough one out of the league, but we don't want it to come down to that last game, we want to lock it up Friday night and be able to celebrate at home.  That is our goal right now.  That is our mindset," he said.

          Crestview (9-9,6-6) took South Central (14-5,10-2), #4 in the Swankonpsorts.com boys' basketball poll in the small school division, to overtime in their first meeting for losing (76-69) to the Trojans.  Plus, they just beat Western Reserve (71-68) last Friday.  Seidel says the Cougars are a very good offensive team.  "They are very dangerous.  They have shooters and they have a very fast point guard with the ball in his hands.  When they are making shots, with the pressure they apply, it can be a long night," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "We are obviously not taking them lightly because they did take us to overtime.  We were fortunate to hit a shot with 10 seconds left to tie the game and force overtime.  We know this is going to be a tough one."

          With the way they play, Seidel says Crestview scores in bunches and they need to make them guard them, especially in the paint.  "We can't settle.  They score with momentum and they score in bunches.  We can't let it snowball by playing into their hands by attempting too many jump shots we need to try and get to the rim each time down, especially if they are on a small run.  We need to make sure we get to the rim or the free throw line," he said.

          South Central travel to Sandusky St. Mary's (18-1), #1 in our poll, on Saturday night for what shapes up as an interesting non-conference match-up.  Seidel says they need to at least contain the Panthers Trenton Zimmerman.  "He is very experienced.  He is 6'6", he is athletic, he does everything well, and that is part of the problem.  It is not a black hole when he gets it.  He runs the floor really well, he shares it really well.  He rebounds really well, he alters and blocks shots, he steps out and shoots it, he has a face up game, he has a great right hand hook, so he does a lot really well.  He is the center of them and we have to key on him," he said.

 

Published 2/11/16

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South Central Needs a Win

 

          South Central clings to a one game lead on New London and Western Reserve in the Firelands Conference standings and a win over visiting Plymouth on Friday night is a must for the Trojans.

          After a (58-51) set back to New London on the road last Friday, the Trojans (13-5,9-2) responded to beat Mapleton (78-69) last Saturday.  Coach Brett Seidel says they were good on offense against the Mounties, but not so much on the other end of the floor.  "Against Mapleton I thought we were pretty fluid offensively and shared the ball and because of that shots went down.  We weren't great defensively.  Obviously we are still trying to correct the box outs and the defensive rebounding.  Overall, it was good to get that taste out of our mouth," he said.

          With three games left, Crestview and Western Reserve are the others, in conference play, Seidel says they have to have great focus in each game.  "We are approaching every game as if it is a championship game right now.  We need to approach it with that kind of effort and attitude.  Our approach in practice right now is to try and keep the kids hungry and fresh," he said.

          Plymouth (5-12,5-6) has likely pulled the two biggest upsets in the conference this season and one of those was when they beat South Central (65-56) at their place.  Seidel says to avoid that happening again they have to play their game.  "Don't take anything away from them, they shot it well, played well, played hard, and were more physical and hungry, ball pursuit, conditioning, all phases of the game really," he told Swanonsports.com on Wednesday, "At the same time I don't think we were intentional with anything we did that night.  As we got behind we panicked and stated doing things that were out of character.  Just being more intentional with what we do playing the way we are supposed to play."

          Plymouth had one of their games where they didn't play that well on Tuesday night when they lost to Mansfield Christian (54-29) at their place.  Seidel says the Big Red tries to get the ball into the hands of their three point shooters.  "I watched them (Tuesday) night and most of their sets, for the most part, are trying to get their three point shooters a shot, Collins and Chaffins and a few others are pretty deadly from out there.  We have to make sure they are chased off their spot and have to put it on the floor," he said.

 

Published 2/04/16

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South Central Can Put New London on the Ropes

 

          Firelands Conference leader South Central can not put New London on the canvas with a win on Friday night, but they can inflict a standing eight count.

          The Trojans (12-4,8-1), #5 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, could put Wildcats down by three with four league games to play.

          Last Friday, South Central laid waste to Monroeville (86-30) in a conference game.  Coach Brett Seidel says his kids were ready to prove that a 45 point win earlier over Eagles was no fluke. "I really couldn't figure out what they would do.  They played well and beat Plymouth, they played with Edison, they played with Western, competed with Clyde, and had a bad loss to Crestview in there too.  I really couldn't figure out what we were going to get or what we were going to see," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "I kind of challenged the kids, you know, we beat them by 45 early in the year, so I kind of challenged the kids that it wasn't going to be that way.  The kids responded and really shared the ball and played well on the defensive end.  We had a 50-14 lead at the half."

          The next night, the Trojans traveled to Mansfield Christian to play the improving Flames.  Seidel says they did enough to come away with the win (57-48) on the road.  "We have to play at Mansfield Christian against a very good team, well coached team and a tough place to play.  I thought we were sloppy with the basketball, that was due in part to their defense, but I thought we were sloppy with the ball handling at the end of the game, but we were able to close out a victory there too," he said.

          One of the Trojans key wins this year was over New London (57-51) about a month ago.  Seidel says against the Wildcats you have to make sure you recognize what defense they are in.  "They change defenses so much.  They have about eight different defenses from 1-3-1 to 2-3 to man-to-man full court to man-to-man in the half court, diamond.  They throw a little bit of everything at you defensively.  Being able to be organized is the key.  It always seems that Tom's kids are never out of position either.  As much as they change defenses, you would think one would get lost, but they just don't they are always in the right position.  Playing at their place is going to make it even tougher," said Seidel.

          New London (9-4,6-3) shares second with Western Reserve.  Even though a Trojan win would but them in good shape, Seidel is not about to count his chickens before they are hatched.  "We are kind of just taking it one game at a time right now.  We have six games to play, four on the road, and two at home, and five of those are league games.  We have five steps.  We don't want to make three steps and share the league, or win the league by one.  We want to take it one game at a time and make it a five step process and hopefully go over there and play well on Friday night," he said.

 

Published 1/29/16

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South Central has to Dig Deep

 

          South Central has worked all season to get to the top of the Firelands Conference standings and now the goal is to work just as hard to stay there. 

          Coach Brett Seidel knows they have a target on their backs now and it is about having the right mental approach.  "I think we have had that target since the beginning with what we had back on paper and our experience.  So, not a whole lot has changed other than we are on top now rather than just predicted to be on top.  This is new territory for us, so we are just trying to figure it all out.  The mindset that we need to approach practice each day is our challenge right now," he said.

          Basketball is a long season, 13 weeks of regular season play, and then the tournament.  Seidel says they want to keep fresh.  "Every season when you hit late January and it is a grind.  The weather is bad, it is cold out.  You are in your third month of practices.  The kids know everything and you are trying to fine tune things are get better in rebounding, or whatever it is.  It is kind of a grind on the kid's mind.  They sometimes need a day off every once in while.  We have shortened practices to try and do what we can to remain fresh and hungry," said Seidel.

          Monroeville (2-12,1-7) is at South Central (10-4,7-1), #5 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball poll in the small school division, on Friday night in Firelands Conference play.  Seidel stresses this is a different team than they beat (79-34) at Quicken Loans Arena on December 1.  "They are doing a lot of different things than they were in December.  They are playing man to man now.  They are playing less kids now.  I don't know how many kids he played at the "Q," I'm guessing 15.  So, he is playing less kids.  He is playing half court man a lot more.  There is a little more discipline in their offense," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "Before they shot a lot of threes.  They shoot less threes now.  They are starting to take care of the basketball a little better.  They have played good against good teams.  They played with Western.  They played with Edison, beat Plymouth, and we know we are in for a challenge."

          The Trojans then travel to Mansfield Christian (6-5) on Saturday night for a non-conference game.  Seidel knows it will be a tough one.  "You can always count on coach Kurtz to figure things out by the end of the year.  He lost some very important pieces to his team from last year to injury and transfer, but now he is starting to get them to play the way he wants them to play.  They are playing really well.  I saw them at St. Peter's and I saw them against New London and they are very good," he said.

 

Published 1/21/16

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First Place Goes to South Central

 

          After trailing by 10 points after the first quarter, South Central outscored Western Reserve (41-25) the rest of the way and they downed the Rough Riders (49-43) Thursday night to take first place to themselves in the Firelands Conference.

          South Central (9-4,6-1) cut the Western lead to seven at the half (28-21) and took the lead on a Michael Ponchel basket and free throw (34-31) with 4:27 to play in the third quarter.

          "They came out shooting it well.  We had some ill advised shots I will call them.  I thought we got in a hurry and their pressure really got to us in the first half.  I thought in the second half we came out and we were tough.  We were tougher and still ran our offense through their pressure.  I don't feel like either team shot the ball well, but I would say that is kudos to both defenses.  I felt like it was a grind it out like game.  Very tournament like.  Very happy for my kids, hoping to build on this," said South Central coach Brett Seidel.

          Freshman point guard Jaret Griffith scored 11 points for Western in the first quarter as the Rough Riders took at (18-8) lead, but he didn't score after that.  "They just turned up the intensity for a physicality standpoint.  They turned it up a notch in how they were defending us, getting into us.  We really didn't rise to the challenge.  If you look at the second half, they go an get it on the offensive glass.  In their drives to the basket we don't match their physicality on on the ball defense and they get it to the rim.  You go down to our end and they get physical with us and we can't get it to the front of the rim. On top of it every shot we take is one and out.  We aren't going and getting it off the glass like they were.  It just comes down to they had more will power.  It wasn't that we didn't play hard.  It wasn't that we didn't execute," said Western Reserve coach Chris Sheldon.

          Ponchel led South Central with 18 points, while Brayden Wilhelm added 15 markers.

          There weren't a lot of easy shots in the game and the Trojans shot just 30 percent from the field and Western Reserve 32 percent.  "We were aggressive, but we still missed layups.  We still got our wide open threes that we like and didn't knock those down either.  I think there is still room to build, still room to improve," said Seidel.

          With the defense played by both sides Thursday night there were a lot of lose balls and Sheldon says it seemed that the Trojans got to most of those.  "At the end of the day to win big basketball games it comes down to how physical you are and do want to go make those 50/50 plays.  They did, we didn't," he told Swankonsports.com after the game Thursday, "It is not like you look at the stat sheet and they are making a lot of threes, which they are known for doing.  They literally took at drove it to the rim and that is how they beat us.  It is a combination that they are more physical that us, they are stronger than us, and it shows.  We are still underclassmen.  They are a majority of upperclassmen, and that is the difference in winning basketball games on a big stage."

          Leading (43-38) with just over a minute left in the game, the Trojans made five of seven free throws down the stretch.  "We had some kids step up and make some free throws late, but not early.  I think throughout the game the ball didn't go in the basket basically for either team, but for us especially I thought.  We struggled from the field and from the line.  I am very happy with our kids effort.  They were very tough in the second half," said Seidel.

 

Published 1/14/16

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A Win Gives South Central the Lead

 

          South Central and Western Reserve, the Firelands Conference co-leaders, face each other Thursday night in Greenwich with first place to the winner.

          Both schools had been unbeaten in league play until last week when South Central lost (65-56) to Plymouth on Tuesday and Western Reserve lost (52-50) to Norwalk St. Paul on Friday.

          South Central coach Brett Seidel says they realize the magnitude of this game.  "We both stubbed our toe last week, taking nothing away from Plymouth and St. Paul, but obviously those were not games we were expected to lose.  In the same sense I don't think anyone in our league is out of it yet.  New London is playing really well too.  (Thursday) night is a big game," he said.

          Western Reserve (8-3,5-1), #5 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, is about seven points from being unbeaten.  Behind freshmen point guard Jared Griffith, Seidel says they are a team that will stretch the defense.  "They have a very balanced team and they also make shots.  They are very hard to guard because they can spread you out," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "They have a very good player in the freshman, who can do a lot of different things with the basketball in his hands.  They are hard to guard.  We just have to make sure that we never let them get comfortable and box out on every possession."

          Western Reserve has always prided itself in its defense and Seidel says they play good defense and they are getting better at it.  "They are a good defensive team the they have progressively gotten more physical and tougher.  Chris (Sheldon) has done a great job, like he always has in toughening the kids up.  They are playing very nard nosed defense right now, so it is going to be a challenge," he said.
          One would think that this game is going to be pretty close and Seidel says they are going to have to make shots under pressure and they need to rebound the Western misses in order to have a chance of capturing first place.  "We have to remain disciplined and box out.  I think second chance points are key.  They take jump shots and if they don't make those jump shots we have to make sure we don't give them a second opportunity.  This may sound very simple, but we are going to have to make some shots.  When those good shots come we are going to have to make some shots," he said.

 

Published 1/14/16

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Trojans Play Their Biggest Game of the Year

 

          The great John Wooden once said "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do" and that is a lesson that the South Central Trojans need to learn this week.

          On Tuesday night, they suffered an upset to Plymouth (65-56) in a Firelands Conference, Plymouth had won only once going into the game, and that loss dropped them from a share of first place in the conference with Western Reserve.

          They can't get that night back, but what they must do is play their best game on Friday night against the emerging Crestview Cougars.

          South Central coach Brett Seidel says the fact of the matter is Plymouth was the better team on Tuesday night and now they need to get back to their game.  "We are ready to get back on the floor.  Obviously, Plymouth played a very good game and I would like to just credit them.  I can make excuses all I want, but the bottom line is we got out played," he said.

          The Trojans (7-4,4-1) are at Crestview (6-4,3-2) on Friday night.  Crestview is much improved this year and Seidel says they are going to make things very tough for them with their ability to make three point shots and especially their press.  "Anytime you play at Crestview it is a challenge.  It just seems like the acoustics there are louder than anywhere else.  I know it is going to be a loud environment.  I know it is going to be a fast paced tempo.  It is going to be chaos," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "I have never seen a team play as hard as Crestview plays.  They are relentless in their pursuit of the ball.  If their shots are going down it is going to be a long night."

          When you play a team that presses all over the floor for four quarters you are going to have turnovers.  Seidel says the big deal come Friday night against Crestview is what kind of turnovers they commit and how that affects the Cougars scoring chances.  "We talk about live turnovers and dead turnovers.  When you turn it over live it is turning it over for layups while the play is still live.  A dead turnover is throwing it out of bounds or traveling.  We just can't afford to snowball it.  Once we make one mistake we can't compound it.  Fouling them on an and one and then turning it over again.  The combination of mistakes in a row is what we are trying to avoid.  A team that plays like this and plays as hard as they do you are going to make mistakes," said Seidel.

 

Published 1/08/15

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South Central Not a finished Product

 

          South Central is experienced and talented, but they still have a lot of improvement to make if they are to become a solid basketball team.

          Coach Brett Seidel says they sometimes try to be too good and that gets them into trouble.

          The Trojans lost (62-50) to unbeaten Edison last Wednesday and Seidel says they let the Chargers go on two extended runs in the game and that cost them a chance to win.  "When you play teams like that you have to do all of the little things to have a shot.  We tried to do they great plays still and didn't value the basketball.  We had 11 turnovers in the first half.  Some of that is due to them.  They are very athletic and speed you up and turn you over, but some of that was just careless decision making," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "It was a game of runs.  They made a 9-0 run at the end of the half to go up five and they extend that with another seven, eight point run to begin the second half.  Those two stretches there cost us the game.  We have to learn how to close the half and open the half a little better."

         South Central (5-3) plays in the Seneca East Holiday tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday.  In their first game they play Tiffin Calvert (4-1) and then will play either Seneca East or Crestline in the second game.

          Seidel says Calvert will be a big challenge for them with some athletic kids that can play they game.  "They have two all district players.  One is very good.  His name is Ritzler, which is a pretty common name for Calvert.  They have about five or six guys that can play basketball.  They are very skilled.  They are 4-1.  They just recently lost to Ottawa Hills, which is their only loss.  We have seen them live, we have seen them on film, and they still try to do the same things.  They run some motion and some 2-2-1 and some man to man.  They do a nice job," said Seidel.

          With the expansion to a 22-game schedule there seem to be more of these holiday tournaments.  This is the second year in a row the Trojans have played at Seneca East and Seidel believes it is a plus.  "It is a good experience for the kids.  We played there last year and won it.  The competition has stiffened a little bit this year with Calvert coming in and I'm hoping for us to play well (Tuesday) night," he said.

 

Published 12/29/15

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South Central Beats Lucas; Prepares for unbeaten Edison

 

          Bryden Wilhelm poured in seven threes on his way to a game high 25 points as South Central drilled Lucas (62-44) in non-conference play on Tuesday night.

          Now, they travel to Edison, of the Sandusky Bay Conference, for one of their toughest challenges of the year, on Wednesday night.

          South Central led (13-2) after the first quarter and (29-10) at halftime on the way to the win over Lucas.  Coach Brett Seidel says they played some sound basketball for about 24 minutes.  "Taylor (Iceman) is doing a very nice job with them.  They play very hard.  They try to limit your possessions, which works against us, but I though our defensive intensity for three quarters was good.  We kind of wavered in the fourth quarter a little bit.  For three quarters I thought we played pretty good defense.  Now, (Wednesday) we go to Edison and play a very talented, very athletic team," said Seidel.

          That is now five wins in a row for the Trojans and Seidel says they do some good things, but they have to be a lot better.  "We are finding ways to win, but we are still very inconsistent.  We are still trying to make the fancy pass and not making the solid play yet, at all times I should say, we are doing it sometimes.  We are shooting the ball well, but we are still trying to be too fancy with the ball," he told Swankonsports.com after the win over Lucas Tuesday, "We are still not great defensively at all times.  We gave up 14 offensive rebounds (Tuesday) night and that's not a good thing.  We have some things that need corrected, but there are also some positives."

          Edison (4-0), #1 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, beat Clyde (51-41) in Sandusky Bay Conference play on Tuesday night.  Seidel says this is a very good team.  "They have state tournament type athletes and 10 seniors, so they are very experienced.  Their guards have played all four years.  They harass you.  They are very good on ball defenders.  We will have our hands full (Wednesday) night," he said.

          South Central (5-2) is pretty good too and Seidel says to stay in this game and have a chance to win they must be aggressive on offense and consistent on defense.  "I think we just have to take it possession by possession and try to be aggressive.  They do a lot as far as on the ball and denial and are aggressive.  We have to attack that and make some shots and be ready to play defense on every possession for 32 minutes.  I think if we do that we will be there in the end," he said.

 

Published 12/23/15

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South Central Must be Ready for Mapleton

 

          South Central shares the Firelands Conference lead with Western Reserve after three games of the 14 game double round robin in conference play.

          They play at home against Mapleton (1-6,0-3) in a conference game on Friday night.

          The Trojans have won three straight games, all three in conference play, the last being over New London (58-51) on Saturday night.  The Trojans shot only 32 percent from the field, but coach Brett Seidel says they found a way to win.  "I think New London is a very good basketball team.  They are very well coached and can mix defenses on you.  That makes them hard on you.  It is hard to get into a rhythm and once you get into a rhythm they switch defenses," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "They are very good at every single one of their defenses.  So, to come out with a win when we are shooting only 32 percent from the field is a positive for us."

          Last year, South Central got off to a slow start, just like this year when they lost to Mansfield St. Peter's (71-67) and Buckeye Central (44-43) on the first weekend, and a year ago they lost only three games the rest of the season.  Seidel says they aren't thinking about streaks.  "We are just concentrating right now on defense.  Working on our shell drill and just trying to get better each day and hopefully the results take care of themselves," he said.

          Mapleton has one of better players in the conference in junior guard Gage Barone.  Seidel says he was a factor early in their loss to Rittman (72-45) on Tuesday.  "We saw them (Tuesday) night actually, just got back with coach Durham.  He scored their first 10 points on two threes and two pull up jumpers.  The led 10-0 coming out of the gate against Rittman," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday evening, "So, he is very good, but they have other pieces around him.  Chase Davis is a very good athlete and causes some problems.  It is a conference game, so it is going to be a tough game for us."

 

Published 12/16/15

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Trojans Beat Back New London

 

          Brayden Wilhelm made three three pointers in the second half and South Central hung on to beat New London (58-51) in a Firelands Conference game on Saturday night in Greenwich.

          Wilhelm led Trojan scorers with 14 and Michael Ponchel added 13 for the winners.

          South Central (3-2,3-0) shares first place in the conference with Western Reserve, who beat Mapleton (71-42) on Saturday night.

          Coach Brett Seidel says they were able to beat a very good team on a night they didn't play all that well.  "We still shot 35 percent from the floor, 31 from three.  I just don't feel like we played all that well, but I would have to say that's a credit to them and the frantic defense that they bring.  They bring 2-2-1, 1-3-1, 2-3, man to man," he said.

        After Wilhelm hit his second three in less than a minute the Trojans held a 13 point lead (40-27) with 2:46 left in the third quarter, but Seidel says they couldn't put the Wildcats away.  "They are never out of it.  We would get it up to 13 and they would hit a three.  We would get up 13 and we turn it over two or three times and they are back in it," he said.

          New London  (2-2,1-2) closed the third by scoring the last six points to make it (40-33) after three.  South Central took a (48-35) lead after another Wilhelm three with 5:20 left in the game, but New London coach Tom Howell called time out and implemented pressure all over the floor.  "No offense to them, but I don't think a lot of it was the pressure, it was just decision making.  We just threw it away.  I don't think they actually made plays accept on a couple of missed shots, I thought that bothered us.  When we were organized I thought we handled their pressure okay just the decisions late were awful," said Seidel.

          South Central held a (54-47) lead with 2:28 left, but missed three straight free straight free throws in an attempt to put the game away.  "We missed some free throws.  I thought in the first half we had numerous very good looks form three and on layups and we did not make them.  New London is so scrappy and they are going to scratch and claw and fight and that is a credit to Tom (Howell,)" said Seidel.

          Ponchel made four of six free throws in the final 1:27 to clinch the win for the Trojans.

          New London's Ryan Lane led all scorers with 18 points on the night.  Nate Thomas chipped in with 11. 

 

Published 12/12/15

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South Central Knows There is a Long road Ahead

 

          After two wins in conference play last week, over Monroeville and Norwalk St. Paul, by at least 35 points each, South Central has taken the head in the Firelands Conference.

          Well, if you go by halves that is.  They are (2-0) and New London, Plymouth, and Western Reserve are (1-0) after wins last Friday.

          South Central (2-2,2-0) plays at New London (2-0,1-0) in their only game of the week on Saturday.

          They pretty mush destroyed Monroeville (79-34) and Norwalk St. Paul (70-43) in conference action last week, but coach Brett Seidel says he knows there are going to be a lot tougher games ahead.  "We are not comfortable yet.  We know the season ahead is rugged, especially this Saturday against a New London team that plays extremely hard.  They are going to throw multiple defenses at us.  We are going to have to be organized and ready," he said.

          In three of its four games, South Central has been able to put the ball in the hole pretty efficiently.  Seidel says they need to become better rebounders so they can get more shots.  "I think you can't ever get good enough at rebounding and that is our biggest thing right now hitting the offensive glass. Being able to find and hit bodies, rather than just turning and watching the ball.  The big problem we are seeing on film is we are just turning and watching the ball too much rather than tagging a body and pursuing the basketball.  That is probably the main focus we are working on.  Continuing the share the basketball is the other one," said Seidel.

          Ryan Lane led New London in both of their wins last weekend with 20 against Crestview (70-60) and 22 more against Wellington (64-60) on Saturday.

          Seidel says Lane is very good and he is not the Wildcats only scorer.  He says they have a lot kids that can light it up.  "Ryan Lane is really a very good player inside and out.  He can do a lot of really good things off the dribble, off the catch, post you up, hits the glass on both ends.  He is kind of a tweener, about a 6'3" kid, that causes match-up problems," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "(Coach) Tom (Howell) has his kid up as a freshman, he can play, he can make shots off the catch and off the dribble.  They have kids that can score, they have a lot kids that can shoot the three, so we are going to have our hands full."

 

Published 12/09/15

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South Central Goes For Conference Lead

 

          For many South Central is the favorite for the Firelands Conference boys' basketball title this year and they have gotten off to a good start in conference play.

          After two tough losses in non-conference action to Mansfield St. Peter's (71-67) and Buckeye Central (44-43) last weekend.  South Central enjoyed the opportunity of playing at Quicken Loans Arena, the home of the Cleveland Cavaliers, on Tuesday and blasting Monroeville (79-34) in a conference game.

          Coach Brett Seidel says his kids were excited to play and had something to prove.  "We talked last week about kids being resilient and bouncing back.  I put a little more pressure on myself, but the kids did not.  They went out and played loose, had fun, and had a good experience there at The "Q," he said.

          The Trojans held Monroeville to 22 percent shooting from the field and Seidel says they did a good job of running their offense as well.  "They don't press as much as they used too.  They played a lot of match-up zone.  I felt like our kids really shared the ball and were successful in finding the open man," he said.

          South Central (1-2,1-0) plays at Norwalk St. Paul in a conference game on Friday night.  It will be the Flyers first game of the season and Seidel knows for sure that St. Paul coach Mike Smith will have his team prepared.  "Mike Smith is a coaching legend in our conference.  He has been there a long time, he knows what to do, he knows what is coming.  If you give Mike an ample amount of time to prepare he is going to have a really good game plan ready," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "That is what he has had.  He has had three weeks to prepare for us.  That is what they have been doing.  So, I expect it to be a very tough game for us with us being on the road and them playing their first game at home and it being a conference game.  It is going to be tough for us to go there and get a win."

          This would be a key win the Trojans to get on the road when it comes the conference chance.  Seidel says they have already proven the can win away from home.  "We are still trying to feel our way through right now.  We are starting to get there and find our identity and what things look like.  Being able to go on the road to the "Q" and get a win boosted our confidence with playing on the road.  It isn't our first game on the road and it is their first game, so that is to our advantage," he said.

 

Published 12/03/15

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South Central Needs Better Focus

 

          South Central is the popular choice to win the Firelands Conference this year, but coach Brett Seidel is a little disappointed in what he has seen in preseason play and knows this have to get better in a hurry.

          They host Mansfield St. Peter's and Buckeye Central, two pretty good teams too, in non-conference games on Friday and Saturday nights, and Seidel know they are going to need outstanding efforts if they are going to come out on top.

          Seidel admits he as pretty unhappy with what he saw is scrimmage action last weekend.  "We had kind of a rough weekend with our scrimmage.  It didn't go as well as I thought we should have played.  But, the kids are still working hard in practice and seem to be focused and some energy each day.  I thought that we had progressed a little bit more than we had," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "I just didn't feel like we were engaged the entire time.  We didn't share it as well as I'd like us to.  Everything just seemed kind of forced."

          The high school boys basketball season starts a week earlier on the calendar that it usually does and that means that Thanksgiving is the middle of that first week.  Seidel says yes he is concerned about that when it comes to his troops.  "Focus is a definite concern.  You get a break Tuesday night through Friday.  The kids are off school and their is family coming in and tends to keep you up later at night whether it be just with family or video games or whatever it may be.  They think they can make up for the lack of sleep the next day because they don't have anything to wake up for.  So, that is a definite concern," said Seidel.

          Seidel didn't get into specifics, but he knows that this week is going to be a big challenge for the Trojans.  "We know we are in for a rough weekend.  We get the buzz saw right out of the gate with two very good programs coached very well," he said.

 

Published 11/24/15

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South Central Firelands Conference Favorite?

 

          Plymouth has been the dominate power in the Firelands Conference the last couple of years, but the Big Red graduated quite a bit and perhaps South Central, the runner up last year, is the likely front runner this year.

          The Trojans only conference losses last year came to Plymouth.

          Coach Brett Seidel says they have excepted that favorites tag.  "With the number of guys returning for us and the experience that we have and the numbers with experience that we have I would say we would probably be the favorite," he said.

          There is some experience back for the Trojans and Seidel feels they have grown since last year.  "They have had to grow and mature with year more of age, but mentally they are also showing growth.  We lost some pretty good pieces last year to graduation with Steven Goetz and Dallas Yost.  Yost is playing college ball and he was a pretty big part of what we were last year.  So, I was kind of unsure who was going to fill what role and who was going to step up," he told Swankonsports.com, "Over the summer we saw glimpses of great balance.  So far this preseason we have taken some strides.  We scrimmaged at Madison with a couple of bigger schools there and we competed.  We are still missing one of our good players who broke his foot in football."

          Yost ran the point last year for South Central, but Seidel feels that Hunter Adams can step into that role this year for the Trojans.  "We did have Hunter Adams play the point the year prior when Dallas was here, Dallas's junior year, but we thought that Dallas was a better fit for us and what we wanted to do last year.  So, I think Hunter will slide into that spot pretty well.  Dallas scored a lot for us too.  I feel we have enough around Hunter that can put the ball in the basket," he said.

          In terms of offense, Seidel says this is a bunch that can run the floor and he thinks that is going to be a real key for them.  "That is going to be very important for us this year.  I feel that most of the guys that we have, the experience and skill level that we have, we should be able to run and get out and beat the shell defenses down the floor.  When you get into the half court you do have to execute perfectly and wait for a good shot rather than run the floor and get an easy shot," he said.

          Maybe the biggest key, according to Seidel, is going to be shot selection.  He says with a lot of scorers that is sometimes a difficult process.  "With six guys coming back that are able to put the ball in the basket the want to share the basketball is kind of the biggest piece.  If we share the ball I feel like we can get a good shot every time down, but when there are six guys that fell like they can score there are less passes and they are ready to take their shot because they don't know if it is going to come back.  That is my biggest thing right now if we can share the basketball and not care who gets credit and play unselfish I think that we will have a decent year, but if we aren't able to do that, and we are trying to get ours, it go to be a long one," said Seidel.

 

Published 11/18/15

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South Central faces First Place St. Paul

 

          South Central has pulled some wins out of the fire this year, but they are going to have to play their best magic trick this season Saturday night as they travel to Whitney Field to take on Firelands Conference leading Norwalk St. Paul.

          Last week, the Trojans (3-5,3-2) lost to Western Reserve (34-21) in a game that was tied at 21 after the third quarter.  Coach Wayne Hinkle says that was one they could have had and let slip a way.  "That was one that we just let get away a little bit.  We didn't finish it off.  We had some tough plays on some on side kicks that we didn't field very well.  We gave them too many opportunities and we didn't take care of our opportunities to win the game," said Hinkle.

          St. Paul (7-1,5-0), #2 in the Swankoonsports.com football coaches poll in the small school division, is very good again this season and they have not been challenged really in a conference game.  Hinkle says if you are going to stay in the game with them you have to make plays when the opportunity is there.  "We talked this week about really playing hard and playing together and hanging onto the ball the best you can.  Anytime we get an opportunity, if they give us one, or we make one on own, we have to take advantage of that," he said.

          St. Paul is very good on offense and outstanding on defense.  However, Hinkle says the thing that strikes him about the Flyers is the expectation level of the program.  "John (Livengood) has been there for a long time and has a program installed and kids know what to expect.  They have been good so people want to come and play," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "You know what you are getting yourself into when you go there.  You are going to have to play hard.  You are going to have to go at it and you have to compete if you want to play."

 

 

Published 10/22/15

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South Central and Western Reserve Both Want to be Physical

 

          Western Reserve and South Central both want to run the ball and be physical and it will be the team that does that the best that will win when they meet in Firelands Conference action in Greenwich on Friday night.

          South Central (3-4,3-1,) along with Monroeville, have been the biggest surprises in the Firelands this year and last week's (33-13) win at Mapleton was likely the Trojans best effort of the season so far.  "We played really well, especially the second half.  We came out and played really good defense and the offense clicked.  It was fund to win an easy one or an easier one anyway," said coach Wayne Hinkle.

          When it comes to adjustments last week, Hinkle says it was more mental for them.  He says the kids had to believe in what they were doing.  "We tried to get kids to understand that what we were doing was gong to work, it will work, and you have to do what we want you to do.  That was the big thing.  I think we relaxed a bit in the second quarter.  In the first quarter we controlled it and we came out in the second half and played the game like we started out," he said.

          Western Reserve (2-5,2-2) is also coming off what was their best effort of the season, a (43-14) win over Plymouth last week.  Hinkle says they want to be physical and that's what the Trojans want to be too.  "They are big up front and they have been in the few years I have been associated with the Firelands Conference," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "They have big, thick offensive lineman that really get after you and they want to run the ball.  We want to do that too, so it will be whoever is the most physical again this week is the one that comes out on top."

 

Published 10/14/15

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South Central Doing the Best they Can

 

          South Central, despite numbers problems, has done a pretty good job this season and they are just one game behind the co-leaders in Firelands Conference.

          They lost to one of those leaders, Monroeville, (20-6) in a conference game last week.  Coach Wayne Hinkle says they had some breakdowns in the red zone.  "We just couldn't finish things off.  We drove the ball.  We turned it over twice inside the 9-yard-line and once inside the 15.  So, we moved it, we just couldn't finish things off and score the points," he said.

          It was their first conference loss after two thrilling wins and Hinkle says he never faults the effort of his kids.  "They do a good job.  We are still short on numbers a little bit.  We are playing 13, 14 guys and that is about it.  I know there are other teams that are in that boat also.  It just seems that is also we can get out there right now.  They are playing really hard and you really feel bad for them when things don't go like you want them to go," said Hinkle.

          South Central (2-4,2-1) plays at Mapleton (3-3,2-1), a (34-27) winner in overtime against Crestview last week, in a Firelands Conference game ion Friday night.  Mapleton has a lot of young players, but Hinkle says they also have some experience in the trenches.  "They are pretty decent.  Their older guys are their linemen.  If you have a good offensive line there are a lot of things you can do and their offensive line is pretty good," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "The skilled kids aren't as good as they were last year, but when you have that really good offensive line your skilled kids can be a little weaker.  They are playing well, playing hard, and they are doing really well over there."

 

Published 10/08/15

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South Central Finding a Way

 

          You would be hard pressed to find a football team that has played back to back exciting games like the South Central Trojans have these last two weeks.

          After a one point (31-30) double overtime win over Crestview, the Trojans scored twice in the last three minutes to beat Plymouth (27-23) last Friday.

          Coach Wayne Hinkle says it has been heart pounding and something her hasn't experienced in his more than 20 years of coaching.   "Not quite like this and if I have it has been a while.  It has been really nice to get those two wins those last two weeks and keep things on a roll for us here at South Central," he said.

          It has not always been the intended starters doing the job either.  Hinkle says they have had to have some kids step up and they have done that.  "We have had some injuries and we have had some other reasons for kids to be out and the kids have stepped up these two weeks and really played hard and made some things happen," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "Had a backup quarterback last week, he gets maybe 25, 30 plays during the week, and he stepped up and played well last Friday.  Kids are really doing a nice job filling in.  We really preach next man up and you go with what you've got."

          South Central (2-3,2-0), in a share of first place in Firelands Conference with Norwalk St. Paul and Monroeville, plays host to the Eagles (4-1,2-0) on Friday night.  Hinkle says Monroeville is playing some excellent football right now.  "They are not a bad team.  They run the ball really well and play hard.  They are off to a really good start.  To be 4-1 you have to be doing something right.  They have good kids and good coaching.  They are on a good roll right now," said Hinkle.

          In order to slow down the Eagles, Hinkle says they have to contain that run game.  "They want to be physical a little and they want to run the ball.  When you get those two things together they do want to smash a little bit.  They do have some good skilled kids.  They have a couple of them that run the ball hard.  They are just a good football team right now," he said.

 

Published 9/30/15

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South Central Wants to Catch Some Momentum

 

          After losing their first three games of the season, South Central won their Firelands Conference opener, in dramatic fashion, last week, and they hope they can get a boost from that.

          Hurt by injuries early in the season, South Central lost all of their non-conference games, the closest of which was a 14 points loss to Rittman (34-20) on week two.

          Last week, coach Wayne Hinkle called for a two point conversion after the Trojans scored in double overtime and his team beat Crestview (31-30) on the opening week of conference play.  "You have to put it in their hands and they have to execute the play.  You have a play you have worked on all year long, since early practice anyway.  They came through and executed it and we won the football game.  That's nice to get that win," said Hinkle.

          High school football is a lot about momentum and Hinkle says they hop to get a boost from what happened last week.  "That's what we are hoping.  That's what you always look for, you are hoping a win will do that for you," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "After the three big loses that we had early it was big to get that win.  Hopefully, that will get something started for us.  we have another league game coming up that's important.  We hope to just build on that win and go from here."

          This week, the Trojans (1-3,1-0) take their act to Plymouth to face the Big Red (1-3,0-1) in a conference game.  Hinkle says he expects the Big Red to try and be physical with them.  "They seem to have brought things in a little bit, want to run the ball a little more and be physical it looks like to me from what I have seen so far.  It will be a challenge for us.  We will just have to buckle our chin straps and get ready to go for just a good high school football game," he said.

 

Published 9/22/15

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South Central has to get Healthy, Execute Better

 

          South Central has started the season with two losses and they need to find a way to execute better if they are going to win week three at Cardington.

          That is where their current coach Wayne Hinkle coached for a long time.

          Rittman beat the Trojans (34-20) last week and Hinkle says they have been hurt by injuries and a lack of execution.  "We were short a couple of kids because of injuries.  When we have low numbers like we do and we lose a couple of kids that hurts, but I thought our kids played hard.  We are just not reaching that level that we need to be at yet.  We really need to pick it up a little bit more and play a little bit harder and just make some things happen that we are not doing at this moment," he said.

          Week one, Seneca East outscored South Central (55-28) and Hinkle thought they took some baby steps last week.  "I think we improved a little bit, but was are not improving as much as we want to.  Again it makes hard when you have a couple of starters out," he told Swankonsports.com, "The kids are wanting to improve.  They want things to happen for them, but they are not going out there and making the plays.  We need to have somebody step up and make something happen for us."

          South Central (0-2) has been struggling to find football success over the years, but Hinkle says they are not about to give up.  "Football is just like life and when you get some success maybe you are able to duplicate that a little bit more.  We have had some opportunities to have some success the last two weeks it just hasn't happened for us.  We are going to keep plugging away and going after it, keep coaching the kids up, and hopefully that will show up in a win for us," said Hinkle.

          Coaching against his old team, is a little different?  Hinkle admits that is.  "It is a little more exciting.  Maybe a I get a little more intense.  I did spend nine years there are head football coach and 14 overall as a teacher and principal at that school district.  I have a lot friends and ex players that come out, so there is a little extra incentive there.  The kids have no tie to that.  We need to improve this week and go out and give everything we've got and at the end see what happens," said Hinkle.

          As far as execution is concerned, against Cardington (1-1) Hinkle says they are going to see a lot of the same things they have been seeing.  "It's the same things we have been seeing the last couple of weeks.  Their offense is going to be in a spread.  On defense, they are probably going to be buttoned up on us a little bit to stop the run.  We are going to see a lot of the same things we have been seeing.  It's good football down that way.  I coached down there 20 of my 25 years and they are going to come out ready to go," he said.

 

Published 9/07/15

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South Central Cautiously Optimistic

 

          South Central made some progress last season on the gridiron winning three times in Wayne Hinkle's first year as the Trojan's head football coach.

          Hinkle, the former high school principal in Greenwich, says his kids kept the noses to the grindstone during preseason camp.  "We have worked hard and we have gotten better every step of the way.  With the first scrimmage we set a base.  We were better for the second one and improved for that third one.  We are looking to work on things this week and do the same thing for week one," he said.

          In 2014, the Trojans wanted to run the ball first.  Hinkle feels to win high school games you have to have a running game, but he says they may be able to open it up a little more this fall.  "We are looking at things.  We are still going to run the ball.  To be able to win you have to be able to run the ball," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "We have kind of looked at some other things and opened it up a little bit and may be more multi dimensional than just running the ball."

          One of the teams South Central beat last year was Seneca East (39-24) and that is who they play in their opener on Friday night at home.  Hinkle says the Tigers will be out for revenge and they have some athletes they will have to deal with.  "We kind of got them last year, so I expect them to come out and try and get that win back.  They are a big team.  They have some good size and some nice athletes.  We are looking for them to be just as competitive as they have always been," he said.

 

Published 8/25/15

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South Central Moving Forward

 

          South Central is trying to get out of the bottom division of the Firelands Conference and looks like they are making some strides toward that end.

          The Trojans were (3-7) overall and (2-5) in the conference a year ago.

          Coach Wayne Hinkle, now in his second year, says he thinks they are going to be better prepared for the season than they were a year ago.  "I'm real happy with what we have seen.  For one thing we have got our numbers up a little bit.  We are headed in the right direction anyway with 27 this year.  The kids have come back and worked really hard and actually retained a lot of what we taught them last year, so that has put us ahead a little bit of where we were.  Enthusiasm and hard work is really paying off for us at this time of year," said Hinkle.

          South Central scrimmaged Lucas on Monday.  Hinkle says they have grown some more because of that scrimmage.  "We look at that first scrimmage as just setting our base, where are we at?  Where are we at this time?  We know what we have to do to improve.  The practices this week that intensity has picked up a little bit after that scrimmage.  I think we are making some nice strides for the next one," he said.

          There are more numbers this year than last, but the Trojans are still a team that can't afford injuries.  Hinkle says they suffered due to those injuries in 2014, but they might benefit a little this year.  "It is football and there are going to be some injuries.  Last year was really bad because we had bad injuries to our good kids and that is tough.  You don't like bad injuries to anybody, but when it happens to two of your top 11, two of your top five, that really hurts you," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "I have to say one thing last year we came back and won two games after losing those kids and playing with 18 kids.  They really did well last year, learned a lot.  What is helping us this year is those freshmen and sophomores that played last year are now sophomores and juniors.  That year of experience and maturity really helps."

          South Central kicks off the season on August 28 against Seneca East in non-conference play.

 

Published 8/14/15

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South Central Must Play Well on Both Ends

 

          South Central plays Buckeye Central for a ticket to the district tournament next week in the division four sectional finals at Norwalk High School on Friday night.

          The Trojans (18-5), runners-up in the Firelands Conference, #4 in the final Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, hammered Lucas (75-43) in a semi-final game on Wednesday.

          Coach Brett Seidel thought they put the hammer down when they had too.  "We got off to a fast start.  We kind of let them hang around at the end of the first with a couple of easy buckets.  It was important to get off to a fast start and we did that," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "They had been hanging around with everyone they had been playing, including a very good Hillsdale team.  They were down seven with a couple of minutes to go against them.  It was important not only for us to start fast, but finish and try to deliver the knockout and I thought we did that early in the second half, in the third quarter, we did that."

          Buckeye Central (15-8) likewise handled Danbuy Lakeside (61-29) on Wednesday.  Seidel says they have been tested during their regular season schedule.  "They are one of the better teams we have played all around all year.  They play in a great league, the N10 is very competitive, top to bottom.  I know they have played a great schedule and been very competitive and winning in that schedule.  We know the task at and hand is very tough, but we are going to try and come and play our best basketball," he said.

          In order to score against the Bucks, Seidel says they are going to have to be able to handle some contact.  "They are very well coached and they play defense in a physical manner.  They apply very, very physical ball pressure.  You have to work for every shot that you get.  It's a tough task and it's a tall order for us.  I'm hoping that the kids rise to the challenge," he said.

          South Central must be able to defend Friday night and Seidel says they need to be able to run their offense to the degree that they can get good shots.  "We have to contain Wurm and Loy.  The other thing is trying to execute offensively against their tough defense.  Against their hard nosed defense we are going to have to get some shots that are makeable for us.  I think rebounding in the biggest key at both ends of the floor," said Seidel.

 

Published 3/06/15

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Lady Trojans and Lady Tigers in Districts

 

          South Central, who advanced to the district final last year, faces Seneca East in the division four district semi-finals on Thursday night at Shelby High School.

          South Central (24-0), #3 in the final Swankonsports.com girls' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, beat Buckeye Central (79-50) in the sectional title game last Saturday.  They also downed Crestview (60-49) to win an outright Firelands Conference title last Thursday.

          Coach Becky Hintz says they are at the top of their game and feeling pretty good about it.  "My girls are playing really well right now.  They get along so well on an off the court and I think that is a big part of our success," she said.

          Seneca East (18-5) is paced by Northern 10 Athletic Conference leading scorer Seina Adachi.  Hintz says she does it all.  "They are a very solid team.  Of course, they have Adachi, who is a very good player.  She can handle the ball well.  She is just a great all around player.  We have to make sure we key in on her and be the best we can defensively," she told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday.

          Having played, and beaten, Crestview twice this year with their explosive scorer Renee Stimpert, Hintz says they will approach Seneca East much the same way.  "Honestly I believe they are a lot like Crestview.  She is the same type of player as Stimpert.  We just have to do the best we can defensively.  It's not going to be an easy game by any means, so we just have to be able to play our best game," she said.

          South Central beat Seneca East (81-75) in a regular season game.

 

Published 3/05/15

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South Central has to do Things Better

 

          South Central finished second in the Firelands Conference this year and has enjoyed its best season in a number of years, but they need to get back to their mid-season form if they are to be successful in the tournament.

          The postseason for the Trojans begins Wednesday night with a division four sectional semi-final game against Lucas at Norwalk High School.

          They were able to break a two game losing steak with a (54-50) win over Crestview in their final regular season game last Friday.  Still coach Brett Seidel says they could have done a lot of things better.  "I didn't think we played particularly well, but as always that has a lot to do with the other team.  I think Crestview is playing better.  They played well that night.  They are very big and long and athletic and they were physical that night.  We had trouble getting to the rim on them.  We took a few more threes than we would like to take.  In the very end we were able to execute down the stretch and come away with a win," he said.

          Lucas (4-16) seems to be a couple of plays from maybe twice as many wins and Seidel says they are playing as well now as they have all season.  "He has them playing very competitive basketball.  I have watched them a few times now and they are playing well and competing well.  They are in all of the games they are playing.  Their record is deceiving," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "They were actually only down seven with a few minutes to go against Hillsdale and Hillsdale is having a great year.  So, we know what we are in for.  It is not going to be any cake walk.  Obviously the last time we played them it wasn't anyway.  We had to make free throws down the stretch to beat them the first time we played them."

          South Central (17-5), #4 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, beat Lucas (55-48) last month.  However, Seidel says they have to be a lot better on Wednesday night.   "First of all we didn't make shots.  We didn't execute defensively real well with what we talked about and what was involved in the scouting report.  Obviously the Gerich kid is very good and we let him go and he did whatever he wanted to do.  In the second half we would push it out to 13, 14 points and we could not continue with that.  They would get a bucket and just hang around and before we knew it, it was down to one point or whatever it was.  Just execution at both ends of the floor and finishing around the hoop.  Shots we usually make, we didn't make," said Seidel.

 

Published 3/04/15

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South Central Must refocus

 

          It has been an outstanding year for South Central this season, only loosing five times, but two of those losses have come in their last two games to Plymouth and Sandusky St. Mary's.

          The Big Bed shredded them (68-50) to prevent the Trojans from a chance at sharing the Firelands Conference title and then Monday night Sandusky St. Mary's rallied to beat them (83-77) in a non-conference contest.

          Coach Brett Seidel says things have still be pretty positive at practice this week.  "It has been a tough week on us.  I don't feel like my kids are down on themselves.  We tried to explain to them that we lost to two very good teams, the top two teams in the district.  I felt we had a chance to win against St. Mary's.  Overall, our kids aren't completely down on themselves, we have accomplished a lot.  This Friday is very import to us to get back on the right track playing against a team that is playing very well right now," he said.

          South Central (16-5,11-2), #4 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, plays at Crestview (6-15,5-8) in a conference game.  The Cougars are coming wins over Lucas (51-39) on Monday and Western Reserve (62-48) last Friday.  Seidel says the Cougars are not a team they can look past and beat.  "They are big, they are athletic, they rebound at both ends really well.  They are coming off of a win and they have sprinkled in some wins with the losses they have had as well.  They have been right in some games including a loss to Plymouth that they were up for part of the game, so we know the challenge at hand," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "This is the most important game to us right now because it is the next one.  That is how we have been throughout the season.  We are not overlooking them.  We are trying not to back into the tournament, trying to get some momentum going."

          In pointing out some of the things the Trojans need to do in order to get back on the winning track Seidel chose to concentrate on defense.  He says they must defend the post better and be better rebounders.  "We didn't defend the post real well either night.  I thought that both teams were able to catch it deep and obviously Crestview is big and athletic as well.  So, preventing them from getting deep post touches is vital for us.  Rebounding the basketball we didn't do that very well in either game.  We drill that everyday in practice, but we are trying to reinforce that you have to discipline yourself to box out on every shot.  Those two things are going to be vital for us to be successful defensively," he said.

 

Published 2/27/15

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Shot Selection and Rebounding Keys For South Central

 

          South Central trails Plymouth by a game in the Firelands Conference standings and they can move a share of first place if they can beat the Big Red in Greenwich on Friday night.

          South Central (16-3,11-1), #3 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, has enjoyed an outstanding season.  Coach Brett Seidel says they have played some excellent ball coming into the game.  "The last time going into playing Plymouth we had won eight in a row and it is the same this time we have won eight in a row again leading into Plymouth, so it is a big game," he said.

          In the first meeting Plymouth won (77-58) at their place.  Seidel says Plymouth was a big part of their sub par performance, but they also need to show a little more patience on offense.  "We did play poorly the first time, but I would like to think it was as a result of them and their defense and rebounding.  They are a very good team and have very few weaknesses, so as far as pinpointing one thing that we need to do, or can't do, to win this game there really isn't just one," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "We are just going to have to play a complete game at both ends of the floor.  That being said we played a very fast game the last time we played them, taking a lot of one pass shots.  Obviously with Tyrell (Edmiston) underneath you are one shot and done.  We have to try and make them guard us a little longer than we did the last time."

          Not getting behind by a bunch early might be key for the Trojans and Seidel says they have to compete on the boards with the Big Red.  "I think if you can limit their second shot opportunities and get a few of their own that will help in handing around.  I think if you hang around I think your mentality changes because their is a big mental side to it with as good as they are and as many games as they have won and the team that they lost to.  So, it is a huge mental side to be able to stay with them," he said.

          Plymouth (18-1,12-0), #2 in our poll, would clinch an undisputed title with a win over South Central, repeating what they did last year.  The expectations put some pressure on Plymouth, but Seidel says they know how to handle it.  "I would like to think the pressure is on them.  They were the unanimous favorite.  That was decided by everybody and anybody you talked to.  The thing is they have four guys that have at least three years of experience.  They have three four year lettermen (Edmiston, Bailey, Bebee) and Collins is a three year lettermen.  So, they have a ton of experience and they a ton experience in big games.  I don't think they really feel it, or look at it, as pressure," said Seidel.

 

Published 2/20/15

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South Central Can Accomplish Some Things

 

          A win over Crestview Thursday night can give South Central a couple of things, win an outright Firelands Conference girls' basketball championship and secure an undefeated regular season.

          It can be difficult to perceive with a team that is having a season like South Central, but coach Becky Hintz says she believes her team is peaking here at the end of the regular season.  "I think we are playing our best right now.  I think it is great we are playing this game to close out the regular season.  Crestview is a great team and it is definitely going to prepare us going into the tournament," she said.

          South Central (21-0,13-0), #3 in the Swankonsports.com girls' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, beat Crestview (62-55) on January 10, handing the Lady Cougars their only loss of the year in the process.

          Hintz says Crestview (19-1,12-1) is more than just the scoring of Renee Stimpert.  "They play team ball really well.  Stimpert, of course, she gets her points, but she also gets her teammates involved and that is one thing that I have seen this year," she says.

          Hintz knows that Crestview will adjust to what they did the first time they played and they will have to adjust too.  She says they are going to have to be the ones that make the hustle plays.  "This game is going to be a little different.  We just have to be ready for whatever they throw our way and do the best we can.  Play the best defense we can.  We have to do the little things right.  We have to box out and control the boards, go after loose balls, and just hustle all of the time," she told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday.

 

Published 2/19/15

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South Central to Play Athletic Mapleton

 

          It has been a two team race in the Firelands Conference this year with Plymouth leading South Central by a game in the standings and they play in Greenwich next week, but there is some business to be taken care of by the Trojans in order to make next week important.

          They play host to Mapleton in a conference game on Friday night and that is a game they are going to have to win.

          Last Friday, the Trojans downed New London (66-56) to remain in second place in the conference.  Coach Brett Seidel says it may have not been their best performance, but it was still a pretty good one.  "I feel like we were kind of in survive and advance mode there.  Not taking anything away from coach Howell because they do have a couple of 6'6" kids and their guards don't turn it over and they take care of basketball and are very fundamental.  They played pretty well and we didn't shoot it particularly well probably because of them, but we won and it was a double digit win," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "They had gotten better and at this stage we have won multiple different ways we have had come back wins, we have had blowouts, and we have had nights when we were not playing very well and were still able to win."

          Mapleton (6-11,6-5) is coming off a pretty good weekend, one of their best this year, with two wins in the conference over Western Reserve (81-78) on Friday and Monroeville (71-67) on Saturday.  Seidel says the Mounties definitely have some weapons.  "They have three great players.  The two Barone's and very, very skilled and they can shoot and score in multiple ways and then they have the big kid inside that is very talented and very skilled with his back to the basket.  Now they have a couple of their role players who are starting to score.  One of their role players who signed with Ashland University for football, Conner Black, went for 27 the other night, so now other guys are starting to put the ball in the hoop.  They are really, really tough to defend.  That is going to be our focus all week being able to stop them" he said.

          South Central (15-3,10-1), #4 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball poll in the small school division, has been having its best season in more than a decade and Seidel says they can not look past the Mounties and be thinking about playing Plymouth next week.  "That has kind of been our mentality all year one game at a time, just trying to focus on one game that is is the most important no mater who we are playing.  So, Mapleton is our only focus right now we are not trying to use that "P" word this week in hopes that we get an opportunity to play in a big game again we have to take care of business on Friday," he said.

 

Published 2/10/15

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South Central Takes on Improved New London

 

          South Central is one of the better basketball teams in North Central Ohio that nobody is talking about, but the Trojans continue to prove that they are pretty good.

          After beating Monroeville (82-46) in a Firelands Conference game last Friday, they beat a very good Mansfield Christian team (75-56) on Saturday night in non-league play.

          Coach Brett Seidel says they really have developed into an unselfish team and that has been a plus.  He says against Mansfield Christian guard Dallas Yost was pretty much unstoppable.  "The kids are really starting to share the basketball and don't care you gets the credit and when do that we can be pretty good.  We played pretty well on Saturday night.  Dallas Yost was very good.  He was probably two assists or a travel or two from a triple double.  He had 28, 8, and 11.  He was kind of the man on Saturday night.  Everybody else contributed, it wasn't just him, but he made everybody else better that night," said Seidel.

          At the beginning of the season South Central had great potential and they have done a good job of fulfilling that, yet Seidel says they can still be a lot better team.  "I thought that Saturday night was one of the best games that we had played, but we still had a few key guys that didn't play very well.  We also didn't have everybody doing their assignments, boxing out and doing some little things," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "We didn't play for 32 minutes still.  Is it one of our better games?  absolutely and I don't want to take anything away from Mansfield Christian because they are very good and well coached, but we still have some things that we can correct and that is a good thing."

          South Central (13-3,9-1) has to keep winning in order to keep pace with first place Plymouth, they trail the conference leaders by a game, and this week's assignment is New London (8-8,5-5) at home on Friday night.  Seidel says after some time on the varsity floor the Wildcats have become a pretty good team.  "They had some inexperience, they graduated several seniors last year.  Whether they are juniors or seniors or not they still had very little experience.  The Hamilton kid is back for them and that helps too.  It probably took him a while to get used to it because he didn't play at all last year, but he lettered as a freshman.  They are definitely playing well.  Tom (Howell) always has them fundamentally prepared.  They always play great defense and play hard," he said.

 

Published 2/05/15

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South Central Must be Able to Adapt

 

          South Central is enjoying a fine year this year and they face an important stretch of games this weekend with Monroeville in Firelands Conference play and Mansfield Christian in non-conference action.

         Last week, the Trojans (11-3,8-1) beat Western Reserve (63-55) on Thursday and Norwalk St. Paul (59-50) on Saturday.  Coach Brett Seidel says they did what they needed to do to win.  "I would like to think we are getting better.  We are still not playing for 32 minutes, but I would also like to give credit to the two coaches that I faced last week and that's Mike Smith and Chris Sheldon and they both do a wonderful job with their program and a wonderful job preparing their kids and I think we got their best shot on both of those nights and were still able to hold on for a win.  I don't want to take anything away from them, but I feel a couple of my players didn't play their best, but again credit to them for making that happen," said Seidel.

          Monroeville is kind of a hard team to figure because they have been radically changing their approach to the game.  Like last week for instance in a loss to Crestview (69-46) and win over Western Reserve (51-50) in conference action.  Seidel says they played two totally different styles.  "To be honest they played Thursday and Saturday, and I have both tapes. and they are completely different in both games," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "The Thursday night game they pressed and were the same Helter Skelter, kayos type play and lost by 20 to a team they had already beat.  Then Saturday night they played a match-up 2-3 zone and slowed down and were a little more deliberate offensively and came away with a "W" so I am guessing, and I am probably going to guess wrong, that that is probably what we are going to see (Frdiay) night."

          With the lack of consistency, Seidel says they have to be able to adapt to what they see on the floor.  "We are preparing for what they did to be successful, but we know what they have been about for the first 12 games of the season, so we are prepared for that too.  The good thing about my team is I do have kids that can adapt and can make plays no matter what defense we see," he said.

          Mansfield Christian (9-4) comes to town on Saturday night and Seidel knows that even though this is not a league game it is important too.  "Definitely Saturday night is a big game when it comes to seedings and drawings and obviously it is always good to beat a good team non-conference," he said.

 

Published 1/30/15

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South Central Needs to Play well Again

 

          This has a chance to be the best year South Central has had in boys' basketball in a long time, maybe more than a decade, but they have to keep getting better.

          Thursday night's game against Western Reserve will be an illustration of that principle.  The Trojans hammered Western (72-54) on December 12 it what was one of South Central's best efforts of the season. 

          After losing their first conference to Plymouth (77-58) January 9, the Trojans responded by beating Crestview (72-52) last Friday night.  Coach Brett Seidel says he was proud of how they responded to the loss to Plymouth.  "We talked about rebounding as far as bouncing back from the bad defeat against Plymouth and we did.  We didn't get off to a good start against Crestview, but I would like to credit them for that," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "We got things rolling and we had some kids make some shots and it always helps when the ball goes through the hoop.  That definitely led to more defensive pressure at the other end and we came up with a win.  Going against Chris Sheldon (Thursday) night is always a tough task."

          South Central (9-3,6-1) hosts Western Reserve (4-7,3-4) in a conference game on Thursday night.  The Rough Riders have won their last two games over Norwalk St. Paul (56-52) last Friday and Crestview (65-64) on Monday night.  Seidel says Western has to be feeling better about themselves.  "A lot of this game is confidence.  You give those kids confidence they are going to start playing with confidence.  I know this would be a big win for them, so I know they are going to come in ready to play," he said.

          South Central has not had much success against Western Reserve over the last decade and Seidel knows they are going to have to have another solid performance if they are going to beat the Rough Riders again this time.  "The thing about us beating them up there it was the first time in 12-13 years.  Also, we played well and we shot it well.  It was probably one of our better games that we have played all around.  For us to be successful again we are going to have to have one of those efforts," he said.

 

Published 1/22/15

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South Central Ready to Battle Back

 

          This has been a turn around season for the young South Central Trojans, but they had to learn a hard lesson last week.  Plymouth is pretty good, but you can't change what you do just because you are playing the Big Red.

          Plymouth handled the Trojans (77-58) last Friday night in an early season Firelands Conference showdown, ending the Trojans eight game winning streak.  This Friday the Trojans play Crestview and coach Brett Seidel says that has to be where there focus is.  "We have approached it by telling the kids it is just one game and we need to respond to it and rebound and comeback and try and get back on track this week.  It was tough not having a game the very next night and to have this taste in our mouth for a week and I hope we are ready to get it out of our mouth," he said.

          As far as learning from the loss last week, Seidel says they were not sharing the ball as much as they had been all season and they took too many quick shots, which fell right into Plymouth's game.  "Number one they are very good.  Number two they made jump shits and we didn't.  Number three we tried to play fast," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "Getting up down is way we play, but we shot a lot of one pass shots and didn't really create for others and when you have Tyrell (Edmiston) down low rebounding the basketball those one pass shots turn into one and dones.  So, we were playing offense for 10 seconds and defense for 30-40 seconds and they were executing and we weren't."

          South Central (8-3,5-1) is at home on Friday night for the Crestview Cougars (1-8,1-3) for a Firelands Conference game.  The Cougars appear to have more talent than their record would indicate and Seidel says they better be ready to play.  "They are definitely a basketball team you can't overlook.  When they do put it all together they have bigs, they have a fast point guard an they have shooters around them.  When they put it all together they are as good as anybody in the league.  it is definitely a team we can't overlook and think they are going to go in and lay down for us because it is not going to happen.  We know it's a tough game like every league game is," said Seidel.

 

Published 1/16/15

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South Central Establishes Control

 

          It a battle unbeaten teams on Saturday, Anna Hitnz scored 33 points and South Central downed Crestview (63-55) to take the outright lead in the Firelands Conference standings.

          Coach Becky Hintz says they did it together.  She says the win over the Lady Cougars was all about teamwork.  "Our girls knew how important this game was and they were determined that they were going to win.  They played hard and they played together as a team.  They got the job done together," she said.

          Crestview is led by explosive scorer Renee Stimpert, who broke the school's single game scoring record earlier this season against Hillsdale.  Hintz says the did a pretty good job of limiting her points and then rebounding the misses.  "It came down to little things like rebounds and stuff like that.  We really wanted to focus on out rebounding them and getting that backside rebound, especially when Stimpert and some of those other guards would shoot those threes we wanted to make sure they didn't get second shots," she told Swankonsports.com, "They got just one shot and then we are down at the other end.  We really had to step up our defense and know where Stimpert was all times and also take away that backside shot off the skip pass."

          Stimpert scored 26 points in the loss.

          South Central (10-0) plays at Loudonville (4-5) on Tuesday evening.  Hintz says the goal is to keep the momentum going.  "That is one thing we talked about we aren't even halfway done.  It's one game at a time and you have to focus on the next team and knock them off one game at a time," he said.

 

Published 1/13/15

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South Central Plays its Biggest Game in More than a Decade

 

          An eight game winning streak has brought the South Central Trojans into a showdown with Firelands Conference co leader Plymouth on Friday night in what is likely the biggest boys' basketball game for the Trojans since anyone cared about Brittany Spears.

          The Trojans lost twice on the opening week of the season five weeks ago to Mansfield St. Peter's and Edison, but now coach Brett Seidel says they are playing with confidence.  "The first weekend of the season seems like a season ago.  We are sharing the basketball well and playing hard at the defensive end.  Every once in a while a shot goes down and that makes us look even better.  The kids are really playing well right now," he said.

          They still have some perimeter shooters, but Seidel says this Trojans team has the ability to score in a variety of ways.  "Last year we lived and died by the three and that was it.  Last year I think we averaged 23, maybe 24 three attempts per game and now we are only averaging around 15 and making about six of them.  So, the percentage is fairly good for three point shooting and the attempts aren't there as much.  We are trying to get to the basket more and we have some kids that can get to the rim off the dribble," said Seidel.

          And unlike last year, Seidel says they are playing pretty good defense, maybe not all of the time, but most of the time.  "We still don't have consistent effort by all five on the floor at the same time.  We still don't have 32 minutes of consistent effort.  Sometimes we have missed assignments.  At the halfway point you don't want to be playing perfect quite yet.  For the most part of the effort is there most of the time and sometimes we get mixed up," he said.

          South Central (8-2,5-0) takes the short trip to Plymouth (7-1,4-0), #3 in the Swankonsports.com boys' basketball coaches poll in the small school division, on Friday night.  Seidel says the Big Red has experience and talent all over the floor.  "They have three, four year starters, so that experience alone makes them good.  They have a tremendous athlete in Edmiston.  They have toughness. Bebee is a scorer.  Bailey knows his role and accepts it.  And then they have a very good coach," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "With all of those combined it will be no easy task.  Their only loss is at the buzzer to state ranked Colonel Crawford.  It is not going to be easy, especially in their gym."

          These are clearly the two best teams in the Firelands Conference this year and if South Central is to win Seidel says they must rebound the ball.  "We are going to have to rebound well.  One of the things they do is they offensive rebound very well.  So, that is going to be a very big focus of ours to just limit their shot attempts," he said.

 

Published 1/07/15

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South Central and Monroeville Play at the "Q"

 

          The Cavaliers and Lebron James host the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night, but the opening act is going to be a Firelands Conference game between South Central and Monroeville on the floor of Quicken Loans Arena.

          South Central should be a pretty good team this year, but they lost their first two games to Mansfield St. Peter's and Edison in non-conference play.  However, last Friday Dallas Yost scored 22 points and the Trojans shot 54% at Western Reserve in beating the Rough Riders (72-54) in their Firelands Conference opener.  Coach Brett Seidel says they regained their shooting touch.  "It definitely covers a lot of things up when you put the ball in the hoop.  We were 11 for 15 from three.  The kids were moving the ball and the shots were going down," he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday. "It definitely helped their confidence.  It had been 13 years since we beat Western Reserve period, let alone at their place.  Winning on the road against a Chris Sheldon team definitely helps get the monkey off our back.  Hopefully we can start playing with more confidence."

          The Trojans have a lot of guys that can score and now that they have settled into the season, Seidel hopes they can continue to put points on the board.  "Through the preseason we had shot the ball really well.  In the first two games we didn't shoot the ball well and that really uncovered a lot of other mistakes we are making with turnovers and defensive errors and missed box outs, but when the ball goes in the hoop it covers all of that stuff back up.  If the kids remain confident and play consistent I am thinking that we have enough players and shooters that not everybody is going to be off on the same night again," said Seidel.

          Jeremiah Diebler, son of Keith Diebler, brother of Jon Diebler, is now the coach at Monroeville.  Seidel says they run the system that has become synonymous with the name.  "Same name, same system.  That is what we are seeing on film.  It is kind of Helter Skelter.  They are in range as soon as they cross half court.  They like to press, make or miss or turnovers they are pressuring you.  If we handle the basketball we should be okay.  That is going to be the emphasis.  They really get after you.  They play hard and he has them competing at a high level.  How well we take care of the basketball is the difference," said Seidel.

          Of course, it a bigger floor than at Monroeville, where the game was originally scheduled, and Seidel says that probably helps them.  "I would guess that that is a help.  That was my thought when we scheduled the game to be honest.  In all the six years that I have been coaching I have never won at their place.  To not to have to go into that gym and not having to play against that havoc they put on you is definitely to our advantage in my opinion.  I would like to think the 94 foot floor is going to benefit us," he said.

 

Published 12/17/14

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South Central Must Handle Expectations

 

          Before the season started many people, including this reporter, thought South Central would be one of better teams in the Firelands Conference, and they still might be, but they didn't look that good last weekend.

          They lost to Mansfield St. Peter's (48-43) and Edison (53-48) both in games they could have won.

          Coach Brett Seidel says perhaps he put too much pressure on his team.  He says they didn't shoot it very well either night.  "Our two best players have to contribute a little more than they did the last time.  They combined for 6-for-28 shooting performance and that is not what we had seen all summer or in scrimmages.  I think I probably put a little too much pressure on us with too many expectations with the returning lettermen just expecting greatness out of the gate and when that didn't happen we tried harder and the more we tried the father we sank," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "I would say it is probably my fault as well.  We didn't play well especially at St. Pete's or Edison, we couldn't close out either game really in the fourth quarter.  He definitely have do a better job of taking care of the basketball down the stretch."

          As far as not making shots is concerned, Seidel says it was both not getting good shots and not making them.  He says they have be more confident in pulling the trigger.  "I would say it is a combination of both.  They weren't making shots and actually one of them didn't take very many shots.  We are trying to get them both to be a little more assertive and a little bit more aggressive from the start," he said.

          South Central (0-2) opens conference play at Western Reserve (1-1) on Friday night.  The Rough Riders played two overtime games last week, beating Margaretta (61-59) on Friday and losing to Wellington (65-56) on Saturday.

          Seidel says they are going to have to pick up their platy if they expect to win on the road in the conference.  "Obviously Chris runs an excellent program over there, so it is not going to be an easy task.  They have a couple of good guards and they all play hard.  He has them playing well right out of the gate against Maragretta and Wellington.  It is not going to get any easier for us and we are going to have to come ready to play," said Seidel.

 

Published 12/12/14

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South Central Meets St. Peter's

 

          The South Central at Mansfield St. Peter's game on Friday night has some interesting twists to it. 

          Former St. Peter's head coach Pat Durham is now the varsity assistant at South Central, so he is going to have some knowledge of the St. Peter's personnel.  Plus, St. Peter's lost the player that would have been the leading scorer among returnees in David Hall, who transferred to Mansfield Senior.

          Trojans coach Brett Seidel, who was an All-Ohio player at South Central when Durham was its head coach, says they have good talent, but he isn't sure how good they will be as a team.  "We have kind of went vanilla we haven't put a whole lot more in.  We tried to put everything in the first week and continued to review and fine tune.  It is all a mystery right now of how good we can be.  It is kind of a mystery for St. Pete's as well having a new coach, and having their old coach on our staff, and some graduation and moving of players and what not they have different personnel.  It is a mystery with the opening game, but hopefully we come out and at least play hard," said Seidel.

          Last season, the Trojans depended quite a bit on making perimeter shots, which led to some inconsistency.  Seidel believes they can do a little more in the paint this year.  "I talked to Chris Sheldon last year and that is what he said to me.  We started out of the gate 5-2, but we were making shots, making threes, once they started not going down for us and we didn't play as hard we didn't find other ways to score," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "With Jason Hale he is 6'5" sophomore and he has matured quite a bit and he provides some interior scoring.  We are pretty long across the board, we don't have any other big guys.  We have 6'2", 6'2", 6'2" and they can all get to the rim, so hopefully we have found other ways to score other than just the three point shot this year."

          Joe Jakubick is now the head coach at St. Peter's and they will have some guys back that played a lot for them last year in Richard Shawn and Adam Blunk.  But, Seidel says it's Hall they remember the most.  "It's a different lineup, a different coach, and I am hoping for a different result.  David Hall banked in a three against us last year and then banked in the game winner at the buzzer in overtime.  My kids remember him.  So, hopefully different result as well this year," he said.

          Seidel says he really doesn't know how much Jakubick and his staff know about the Trojans, but he says they will know enough.  "I don't know if he has any film on me from this year or he just has last year's film.  I know we were pretty good against St. Peter's last year on the opening night.  I imagine he has access to that film at least.  We have all eight guys back, so he has definitely seen who they were and what they can do," he said.

 

Published 12/03/14

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South Central "FC" Favorite Again

 

          South Central finished 24-2 last year, losing to New Riegel in the division four district final, and this year should be another pretty good year for the Lady Trojans basketball team.

          They blew through the Firelands Conference last season, losing only to Monroeville in early December.

          Coach Becky Hintz says with some solid talent back there is great potential for another solid season this year.  "I think we will have another great year as long as everything goes well and we stay healthy.  We have three of our five starters back and all three of those starters that are back are very strong," she told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, "Then we have a couple to step into the shoes of our starters that we graduated last year.  So, we should have another great year."

          South Central is still going to be able to score some points this season and Hintz thinks they will be better on defense than they were last year.  "Defensively I think we should be a lot more improved.  A little bit more quicker.  Definitely defensively we should be better," she said.

          However, in order to score you have to have the ball.  Hintz says they have to become better rebounders.  "We have been working on that.  We need to crash the board a lot more.  We are not as tall as we were overall last year.  So, we definitely have to be able to crash the boards well," she said.

          South Central starts the regular season with a non-conference game at West Salem Northwestern on Saturday.

          Their first conference game is at Norwalk St. Paul on December 6.

 

 

Published 11/26/14

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South Central Has Potential

 

          South Central has a lot of guys that can shoot the ball and if they play together they can end up being a pretty good basketball team, but that remains to be seen.

          Coach Brett Seidel says they have to get a lot better, but they have shown some good signs.  "We have had one scrimmage and that was against Willard and Gibsonburg and both of those teams were chosen to win their league.  We had good competition and we faired pretty well.  Willard got us, but we beat Gibsonburg a couple of quarters.  We were able to compete with Willard for the most part.  We still have a lot of growing to do, a lot of learning to do, but we are coning along," said Seidel.

          Former South Central head coach Pat Durham is now the Trojans varsity assistant and Seidel says he remembers what he taught him.  "Like an old coach of mine Pat Durham says talent just gets you so far and potential just means you haven't done anything yet.  That is kind of where we stand from last year when we only won seven or eight ball games," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "Yeah, we have eight lettermen back, but what does that mean?  What does that look like?  We are just trying to figure out what we do well and try and get better at that and try and get better at the game in general."

          A key to the Trojans success this year, according to Seidel, is their willingness to think team first.  "Well, the thing that we have changed so far that has been better is the selflessness.  Last year I thought it was a very selfish, we individual type of play.  I feel like this year, and this summer, an this year I already see a lot of selflessness taking place.  That I think has been the difference so far.  I think that is what is going to change results from last year, just playing as a team," he said.

          South Central opens the season December 5 at Mansfield St. Peter's and they host Edison the next night, both in non-conference play.

 

Published 11/19/14

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South Central Wants to End Season on a Good Note

 

          South Central has been a better football team than anybody thought they would be this year and they would like to end the season with a win.

          Leading at halftime last week, the Trojans imploded in the second half to lose to Western Reserve (57-30) in Firelands Conference action.

          Coach Wayne Hinkle says they let Western have too many big plays in the third quarter.  "It got away from us there a little bit in the fourth quarter.  That was probably the worst quarter we have played all year.  They are a good team, even with their record being 1-7, they are still a pretty decent team and had some really good sized kids.  Things were clicking for them at not for us at that time," he said.

          A win against New London on Friday night would give the Trojans (3-6,2-4) four wins on the season and Hinkle says this been a good year for the program, especially considering where they have been.  "I think this year has been a step in the right direction.  We had a bad year last year, we went 0-10, so coming in this year anything would be better," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "We were able to win some games and stay competitive.  Our numbers were really hurting at times only having 20, 22 total, 20 dressed most of the time, it was a little hard to practice and get better at times, but I would say the kids played hard and have done a good job of buying in to what we want to do."

          New London (3-6,3-3) is coming off a (34-6) thumping at the hands of Plymouth last week in league play, that broke a two game winning streak for the Wildcats.  Hinkle says it should be a good game.  "They have a nice team and from what we see on tape they do some very nice things.  It is going to be a tough one for us.  There are really no easy ones in the conference.  I think it is a pretty balanced conference up here and everyone seems to play hard against each other," he said.

 

Published 10/28/14

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South Central Likes Underdog Role

 

          South Central has already done some things this year that nobody thought they would do and they would like to do more.

          Predicted to finish at the bottom of the Firelands Conference, the Trojans rushed their record to (3-4,2-2) with a (34-31) win over Monroeville last week.

          They led (25-0) at halftime and went on to stop the Eagles, preventing them from winning their first game of the season.  Coach Wayne Hinkle says they did what they had to do.  "When you can hang on an win that is the most important thing.  We talked about coming out fast.  We knew that Monroeville would be looking for a win and be fired up a little bit." he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "We wanted to take that away from them early.  We did that, but then we kind of let them back in.  When you let a team like that back in it is hard to beat them."

          Hinkle thinks one of the most important things about the team this year is they have done a good job of forming a unit and coming together as a team.  "We have made so many improvements.  I just think the biggest thing is to come together and play as a team and not jut rely on one person or whatever.  We are playing all 20 kids and just being a unit instead of relying on one or two people," he said.

          The Trojans host Mapleton (5-2,4-0) this week in Firelands Conference action.  Last week, Travis Pickering ran 182 yards and four touchdowns in their (42-12) rout of Crestview.  Hinkle says the Mounties have a lot of weapons.  "They are a nice team.  They have a nice running back, nice receiver, their quarterback does a nice job for them.  They are pretty strong up from.  It's going to be a tough game for us.  We just have to come out and play our game and hopefully some good things will happen for us," he said.

          Mapelton is the favorite in this game and they are expected to win.  Hinkle wants his team to go out and play free and easy.  "That is what we are kind of hoping for, again, to go out and play hard and let the chips fall where they may and get after it and hopefully win a home game.  It seems like forever since we have won a home game.  We are looking forward to that too," he said.

 

Published 10/14/14

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South Central Going in With a Plan

 

          South Central last week beat Crestview for maybe the first time ever and now they play longtime rival Plymouth in a Firelands Conference game outside of Greenwich on Friday night.

          Jacob Carney scored with less than two minutes to play to lift the Trojans to a (27-20) win.  Carney ran for 58 yards and passed for 179 in the game.

          Coach Wayne Hinkle says they made big plays when they had to make them in the late going.  "It was a good game for the kids and really a good game for everybody to watch when you come back late and score like that.  We had to score twice in the fourth quarter to win.  The first one we scored with about seven minutes left.  We went for two and didn't get it so we are down a point, so we have to score again.  We were able to score with a little under two minutes and come out on top, the kids did a great job," he said.

          South Central (2-3,1-1) was winless last year and Hinkle says the win over Crestview was big for the player's confidence.  "There are times when you need them and that was one that we really needed for the confidence.  We thought we let one slip away a couple of weeks before when we played Cardington.  Then we come out an play St. Paul and you don't do to well there.  So, your confidence is down a little bit.  When you can get that win it really does help.  This week's practice has gone a lot better.  It is neat to see that they are really feeling good about themselves right now," said Hinkle.

          On Friday night, the Trojans host one their biggest rivals in the Plymouth Big Red (4-1,1-1) in a Firelands Conference game.  Plymouth averages over 40 points.  Hinkle says they have to possess the ball and tackle very well so they can stop the big play.  "They score on a lot of big plays and we don't.  We try to control the ball," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "So, we hope we can control it and then make a play so they don't get a big play.  We have worked this week on what we feel their big play people are and we will try to contain them the best we can."

 

Published 10/03/14

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South Central With Huge Challenge

 

          South Central has played better football this year than a lot of people thought they were going to, but they have a tremendous challenge this week as they host defending Firelands Conference champion Norwalk St. Paul in the conference opener for both.

          Last week, South Central (1-2) lost when Cardington scored a fourth quarter touchdown and beat the Trojans (20-16) in non-conference play.  Coach Wayne Hinkle says losing is bad, but it wasn't the worst thing that happened last week.  "Those are hard to take and even harder to take was we lost a couple of players due to injury.  Cam Conway is going to be out for the year now with a broken leg and we lost Carson Kinney, a very good lineman, for a couple of weeks with a bad ankle.  So, those things really hurt.  Not only do you lose a game, but you lose some players and that really hurts you," said Hinkle.

          South Central, who relies on its ground game, gut only 114 rushing yards against Cardington and Hinkle says when they have injuries it is hard to make up for them with replacements.  "We don't have a lot of depth and when you lose some kids like that it really does hurt you.  We will take what we have though and we will go back at this week to get those kids ready to play and do our best," he said.

          St. Paul (2-1) comes into the game off a (14-7) loss to the Huron Tigers in non-conference play last week.  They dominated the Firelands Conference last year and were the preseason choice to repeat this fall.  Over the last three years St. Paul has beaten the Trojans by a combined score of 127-20 and a lot of those Flyers points have been scored in the first half of games.

          Hinkle says St. Paul has a quality to its approach to football and to stay in this one they must play with tremendous heart and desire.  "They have that tradition of football they have been playing for years.  Coach Livengood has been there for years and he does a great job of getting his kids prepared," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "They only know one way to play and that is hard and aggressive and they do that very well.  To be able to compete with them you have to be able to match their intensity and speed and play hard every play."

 

Published 9/18/14

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First Quarter Big for South Central

 

          After getting bounced last week, South Central needs a strong start to the game as they play host to Cardington in a battle of 1-1 teams in non-conference play on Friday night.

          Columbia hammered the Trojans (50-7) last week and coach Wayne Hinkle says they took it to the Trojans, especially physically.  "They were a very good team, let's put it that way.  Maybe better than we thought.  They came out and played really well and sort of out muscled us a bit and we had some injuries that really hurt us too," he said.

          Hinkle says they have to get better in the trenches and be able to respond when they get the ball in scoring territory.  "We have to get better up front on the line and know where you we are supposed to block and when we are supposed to block those certain people on what plays and finish those plays off," he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, "We moved the ball against Columbia we just couldn't finish the drives.  We are working to make sure we finish the drives and score touchdowns."

          Cardington (1-1) blasted Riverdale (54-13) in its first game, but lost to powerhouse Marion Pleasant (40-0) last week.  Hinkle says this is a game they have an opportunity to win if they play well.  "They are not a bad team.  They are young.  It is a new football coach there like it is here.  It's an opportunity for us to show we are better than we were last week and we'll see what happens," he said.

          South Central was winless last year and has no better than a 6-4 record in any season over the last 20 years.  Hinkle says they need to play well early in the game.  "I think it is probably really important confidence wise and that, whoever gets off to a good start.  It will help with that confidence level," he said.

 

Published 9/09/14

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Trojans Turing it Around

 

          South Central went all last season without a win, but this season they won on the opening night and have injected a spirit of enthusiasm into the program and the whole Greenwich area.

          The Trojans took a three touchdown lead in the first half and went on to outscore Seneca East (39-24) last week in Attica.  Coach Wayne Hinkle, also the high school principal, says the win just made everybody feel good.  "It was really nice to get off to that kind of start, especially with what the program had been through the last year without a win.  Getting that first win is always great.  It is good for the program, good for the community, good for the school," said Hinkle.

          Offensively the Trojans were able to do a lot good things, especially on the ground, according to Hinkle.  "The quarterback played well.  The receivers caught the ball and he threw the ball well.  We were able to run the ball, which we thought we could do," he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, "Cameron Conway had 27 carries for 155 yards and Michael Jenny had 22 carries for 85 yards.  Those kids were workhorses and did a pretty good job for us."

          In the trenches Hinkle says they were able to do the job at the point of attack and that was the key to running the ball.  "The guys up front did a wonderful jog getting their blocks and staying on those blocks and opening some holes for those guys," he said.

          South Central will be at Columbia (0-1) on Friday night.  The Raiders lost to Independence (40-35) in their first game, but they have been in the playoffs in three of the last four years.  Plus, they have dominated the Trojans winning 51-7, 40-0 and 32-8 over the last three years.

          Hinkle says again Columbia has a lot of excellent players.  "We are going to see a nice football team with good size and good quickness.  It is going to be a challenge.  We told the kids it was an opportunity.  We feel like this every week it's an opportunity and what you do with that opportunity is the difference," he said.

 

Published 9/04/14

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South Central Doing Things the old way

 

          High School Principal Wayne Hinkle is now also the football coach at South Central and he thinks he can help to lead the Trojans out of the doldrums.

         Hinkle says he likes the way the players have adopted to his style of play and way of coaching.  "I have liked the way our kids have bought in to what we are trying to do.  It is a new offense and defense for them.  They have really bought in well, working hard, and making improvement everyday," he said.

          There are a lot of schools that have went with more a spread or wide open approach to offense, but Hinkle says he is a little old school.  "It will probably be more traditional football type offense, not what I call basketball on grass.  We run two backs in the backfield, quarterback under center, pro and con looks, with some twins every once in while, certainly more traditional," said Hinkle.

          If you are going to go with a traditional two back offense you have to get good play from your offensive line and Hinkle believes those guys are coming along nicely.  "It is all knew for them, but we are teaching it to them.  Getting in that first scrimmage and seeing the mistakes they made.  There was really vast improvement from scrimmage one to scrimmage two and I think they really understand more after that and they are coming along really well," he said.

          With the way things worked out staff wise at South Central the previous coach Aaron Brokaw did not teach there.  Hinkle says with him being in the building everyday is a big plus.  "I am really happy with their approach.  We don't mention it much.  We just talk about where we are, where we've been, and where we are going.  That's the way we are looking at it with improvement everyday.  I think being here with them in the building is a lot better also," he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, "The last two years the coaches weren't here in the building.  We can talk to them and if things aren't going well we can get to them right now and if things are going well we can pump them up for that.  I think that is a big part of it too because they feel more comfortable because we are here all of the time."

 

Published 8/22/14

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South Central Picked For Good Season

 

          Western Reserve has been the dominate power in girls’ basketball in the Firelands Conference and before that Plymouth and before that Crestview, it has been a while for South Central, but this might be the year for the Lady Trojans.

          With daughters Anna and Alli Hintz among the top players in the conference, coach Becky Hintz has been able to put together a strong team for the 2013-2014 season.  “The girls are working really hard.  They are working together as a team.  In just in the few scrimmages that we have had and a preview we have already seen the results of their hard work paying off,” she told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “They aren’t done, they are going to continue to work hard.  They have to take one day at a time, one practice at a time, and one game at a time.”

          A panel of media experts, now there is an oxymoron, selected South Central as the clear favorite to dethrone Western Reserve as conference champion.  Eight of the 10 voters picked the Lady Trojans for the top spot.

          Coach Hintz says they can score the ball, but they still need some improvement when it comes to defense and rebounding.  “We need to improve on our rebounding.  We have spurts were we rebound real well.  We just need to be more consistent on that end.  Of course, we always need to work on our defense,” she said.

          When you have the favorites tag like South Central does you have to ready each and every time out.  Hintz says they need leadership and they have some players that are stepping into those roles.  “Last year we had some issues with nobody wanting to step up and be a leader and this year they are starting to see that is very important that they need to take leadership roles and I think that is a big key,” she said.

          South Central opens the season at home on Saturday night against West Salem Northwestern in a non-conference match-up.  There opening conference game will be December 5 at defending champion Western Reserve.

 

Published 11/20/13

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South Central Needs Better Execution

 

          South Central’s football program hit rock bottom last Friday when a loss to Crestline broke the Bulldogs 19 game losing streak dating back to the third week of the 2011 season.

          Crestline earned the win (28-22) last Friday night at Hudson Stadium in Crestline.

          Coach Aaron Brokaw says his kids just didn’t take advantage of the situations they were given last week, especially in the first half of the game.  “Our kids played harder than I think they played in the first two weeks, but we just left too many points on the board in the first half.  Crestline played hard too.  They have been searching for a win for a while now and unfortunately they got it against us,” said Brokaw.

          The coach says that they just making too many mistakes to put points on the board and most of those errors are coming up front.  “We have to be a lot better on offense. W e have a couple of running backs that are running pretty hard right now and we are doing a better job taking care of the football, but we have had just too many missed assignments up front.  Hopefully we can get tart worked out here in practice or Saturday night is going to be another long one against St. Paul,” he told Swankonsports.com on Sunday night.

          Things are not going to get easier for the Trojans as they visit Firelands Conference favorite Norwalk St. Paul on Saturday night at Whitney Field in Norwalk.  The Flyers (2-1) lost (48-14) to Huron last Friday and are likely simmering a bit.  Brokaw says he is steaming a little bit too.  “They are a good team and they return a lot of guys from last year.  Hopefully our guys start getting in a little bit of an angry mood after getting their business handed to them for three straight weeks because frankly I am in a bad mood,” he said.

          In their first three games this year against Seneca East, Columbia and Crestline, the Trojans have taken the ball down the field.  Brokaw says Saturday night they have to push it in for scores.  “That is something we haven’t been able to yet their year.  I think every first possession we have had this season we have driven the field and for whatever reason have not finished off a drive.  On Friday night we left our first possession on the one yard line and our second possession on the eight yard line.  We have to be able to put it in and finish drives off,” he said.

 

Published 9/16/13

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Same Tune For South Central

 

          For South Central it was too many turnovers and not enough defense in a thrashing by Seneca East last week.

          The Tigers were up by four scores and went on to bury South Central (54-21) in the opener.  Coach Aaron Brokaw says it was not a very good performance by his team.  “We did not play very sound football Friday night.  Take nothing away from them they are a good football team.  They gave us an old fashion butt kicking,” he said.

          Turnovers have been a thorn in the side of the Trojans and something that Brokaw has harped on in his 11 games as their coach.  He says it was a problem again last week.  “It was something that we thought we had taken steps in the right direction.  We only had one turnover in three scrimmages and we had six on Friday night.  It’s hard to beat anybody when you turn the ball over that many times,” he said.

          Brokaw still feels the potential is there for this to be a better season than last year when they were 3-7.  “The season isn’t over after one week for us.  We have a difficult task this week with Columbia Station.  Like I told the kids the biggest improvement you are going to see in a team is usually between week one and week two because they have finally seen what it is really like on Friday night.  Our kids weren’t very happy with their performance on Saturday during film.  Hopefully we are going to get a great week of practice,” said Brokaw.

          Columbia Station is the assignment for Friday night and Brokaw knows it will be a tough one, they bet the Trojans (40-0) last year.  “They are very good football team again.  They return nine starters on defense and eight or nine on offense from the playoff team that they had last year.  Their quarterback is a big kid about 6’4” and 190 pounds.  He is really athletic and throws a nice ball.  He is the centerpiece of their offense,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “He is also their free safety on defense.  They have a couple of undersized defensive tackles that are just quick and very low to the ground.  They are going to be problematic for us if we don’t fire out better than we did last week.”

          One of the keys for this week for the Trojans will be to contain the Columbia offense to that pocket and not let them break containment.  “We definitely don’t want to flush this guy out of the pocket.  He is faster than anybody we have.  You hate to say you want to have somebody beat you throwing after what happened to our secondary last week, but I think that is probably our best bet to hope he has an off night throwing and we can keep him from running too much,” said Brokaw.

 

 
   

South Central Faces Explosive Seneca East

 

          South Central is making progress, but they are going to have to make a lot when they face experienced Seneca East in their first regular season game on Friday night.

          The Tigers are picked to finish second behind Carey in the Midland Athlete League.

          For the Trojans, second year coach Aaron Brokaw saw a lot of good things in their final scrimmage of the year.  “I doubt you will ever be where you want to be as a coach, but we have made a lot of progress through the preseason.  Our guys played really well defensively in our preview against Cardington.  Offensively we have to work on being a lot more consistent.  We take too many plays off.  Hopefully we will get that ironed out before this weekend,” said Brokaw.

          For one thing Brokaw believes their defense is going to be vastly improved from a year ago.  “On our defensive line, guys that were rotational players there last year, have done a nice job.  Our linebackers have all looked pretty decent.  The biggest thing is our secondary has really started to put things together.  They are seeing things a lot more clearly and being able to react and make plays on the football and come up and make tackles.  We were lacking that last year and in our first scrimmage even,” said Brokaw.

          On offense, the progress has been slower and Brokaw still feels they need a lot more consistency when they have the ball.  “We are heading in the right direction.  We still didn’t finish as many drives as we should have in our in our preview against Cardington, but we did finish a couple of drives and we think we can build on that,” he said.

          Seneca East has some athletes and Brokaw believes they are going to try and spread them out, just like they did last year.  “Seneca East is a four and five wide receiver offense.  They have a quarterback, I believe, is in his fourth year starting.  He is a pretty good athlete.  Hopefully, we can get some shots on him and then he will think twice about stepping into some of his throws,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “They have some decent receivers.  The backs, it is kind of hard to tell right now, they have rotated a lot of guys in the preseason, so we aren’t really sure what we are going to get out of them.  Defensively, they really like to crowd the box and play a lot of man coverage in the secondary.  We are hoping we are able to exploit that a little better than we were last year.”

          Seneca East won last year in Greenwich 20-0.  This time Brokaw would like more pressure on the quarterback.  “We would like to get a little pressure on him.  They do run some option, so we have to make sure we are playing assignment football, so that when they are running the option we are getting to him,” he said.

 

 

Published 8/28/13

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South Central Trying to Take Steps

 

          South Central has been a football program that generally has finished in the bottom half of the Firelands Conference and has not won more than six games in any year in the last 25.

          Second year coach Aaron Brokaw wants to make them winners and the numbers tell you will a tough assignment.

          Brokaw has says the players are putting out the right kind of effort.  “We have a lot of kids that are eager to get better and have really bought into the process.  Anytime you are around kids that really want to do things the right way it always makes coaching a lot easier,” he said.

          The Trojans were 3-7 a year ago and Brokaw doesn’t want to establish a number this year that he and the program would be happy with.  “We really haven’t put it in terms of numbers with this group.  We are looking to get better every day and we figure if we do that the numbers will take care of themselves.  We are trying to turn things around.  I really don’t believe in putting a number on it,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “We could improve from the team last year and if our schedule’s better we could end up with the same record.  I don’t want the kids to get caught up in the wins and loses every week.  I just want them to go out and compete hard and work at what they are supposed to be working at every day.”

          If they are going to win more games and have more success Brokaw says they must limit the turnovers and put the ball in the end zone when they get it in the red zone.  “First and foremost we have to be better at taking care of the football.  We fumbled the ball way too many times last year.  We cut our interceptions in more than half from the previous year, but we fumbled I can’t even think how many times.  We have to finish drives.  I think we had seven or eight drives last year over 12 plays that we didn’t get any points.  Those two things alone we make us a much better football team this season,” said Brokaw.

 

 
   

Power Run Important for South Central

 

          South Central and Mapleton meet in Firelands Conference action on Friday night.  The Trojans have just one win in the conference, while Mapleton is winless.  So, it’s a game about pride.

          In a loss (40-6) to Monroeville last week South Central (2-6,1-4) really couldn’t get anything done.  Coach Aaron Brokaw says he was surprised they were not more competitive.  “We were a little surprised about how that game went.  We had a real good week of practice and we thought that was game we had a real good chance at.  On offense we started out and we didn’t put the defense in very good position again.  We just couldn’t make plays when we needed to,” he said.

          Mapleton (2-6,0-5) has been able to score points this season, but they have not been able to stop anyone.  An example would be their loss (42-28) at Crestview last week.  Brokaw says the Mounties have some depth issues.  “Offensively they are a pretty sound football team.  They have a nice pass game.  They are able to run the ball well.  Their offensive line does a pretty nice job.  They are pretty low on numbers this year, so they get pretty wore out and that has been some of their problem in the second half of games,” he told Swankonsports.com, “They have played with everybody through two quarters, three quarters.  It’s the fourth quarter that kind of hurts them.  We have not put together a complete game yet this year either, so it should be a pretty good game.  Hopefully, our offense won’t sputter out again.  We can do a little something that will keep us in the game.”

          Turnovers have been an issue for the Trojans this year.  Brokaw says they are going to try and keep the ball in their hands and force Mapleton to stop them from running the ball.  “They have had some issues with the power run game, especially later on in games when they start to get tired.  Their interior of the defensive line is a little bit smaller, their defensive ends are pretty good.  They have a couple of young sophomores at linebacker that are decent.  I think having a nice mix of run and pass for us would be good trying to keep ourselves in manageable situations instead of second and longs,” aid Brokaw.  

 

 
   

South Central Making Strides

 

          South Central beat Crestview for the first time since the Indians were a powerhouse and now they are preparing to face another next door rival as they host Plymouth in a Firelands Conference game on Friday night.

          Last week, the Trojans (2-4,1-2) forced seven turnovers and they handled Crestview (22-7) in conference play.  Coach Aaron Brokaw says they still didn’t take advantage like they should have on offense.  “Like we talked last week, I thought our defense has been playing pretty well all year.  Offensively, we haven’t capitalized when we have had opportunities and we have put them in bad spots,” he told Swankonsports.com on Sunday night, “Friday night, we still wasted a few opportunities on offense. Our defense played lights out the whole game.  I think we forced five fumbles and two interceptions.  We had good field position all night long.  We came up with 22 points, we would liked to have a few more.  It had been a while since we beat Crestview.  It was definitely good to get a victory.”

          On offense, Brokaw says they need to stop shooting themselves in the foot.  If they can execute better they have the opportunity compete with the better teams on the schedule.  “We are still turning the ball over, one is too many for us.  The last three weeks we have only had one turnover each night.  We have gotten that to a manageable situation.  Problem is we still getting that one at a bad time.  Last Friday night, we were in position to close it out inside the ten with about eight minutes to go and that would have put us up three scores.  We fumble and they go down the field and make it a one possession game.  Fortunately our defense gave us a couple of more opportunities.  We responded and got that extra touchdown for a little bit of breathing room,” said Brokaw.

          Plymouth (3-3,2-1) visits on Friday night and Brokaw says the Rig Red has a big play book on offense and they have the talent to execute those plays too.  “They have put up some points in quite a few of their games so far this year.  They do a lot offensively formation wise.  I mean they are all over the place.  That is definitely going to take some time to prepare for.  We are working on that right now.  Defensively, they are pretty sound.  They have some big guys up front.  They have a couple of young skilled guys that are sophomores that have done a real nice job for them this year.  Coach Genders has that program headed in the right direction.  He is one of the coaches in the conference that I have gotten to know a little better than the others and I have a lot of respect for the way he does things over there,” said Brokaw.

          The Trojans have been playing some pretty good defense, but Brokaw they don’t do a lot of stunts and things, so they are not going to put in a lot of stuff for Plymouth either.  “We don’t do all that much on defense.  We don’t want to be predictable.   We want the guys to be able to play fast, so we don’t have a huge package that we are throwing out there each week on defense.  We can take a little bit of time this week to look at the extra things that they are doing and make sure we are sound in the way we are defending that.  Ryan Tanner is our defensive coordinator.  He does a heck of a job and he will have those guys ready to go,” said Brokaw.        

 

 
   

This a Game South Central Can Win

 

          The South Central football team is coming off a tough two game stretch, but now they play a game they have a chance to win.

          The Trojans lost back to back games to arguably the two best teams in the Firelands Conference in Western Reserve (48-7) and Norwalk St. Paul (31-6) to fall to 1-and-4 on the season.  This week they play at Crestview (1-4,0-2) in a conference game.

          First year coach Aaron Brokaw says many of his kids invested a lot of energy in the St. Paul game, but he told them there are other fish to fry.  “Our seniors especially put a lot of weight in the St. Paul game.  That was something they really wanted to beat them.  We talked a lot Saturday about the fact that the point where the program is at right now to realistically believe that you are going to beat St. Paul, it’s good to think that way, but you can’t let it be your whole season,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “We have to take steps and we have to beat teams that are where we are at right now.  Then later on down the road think about knocking off the elite of the conference like the St. Paul’s and Western’s of the world.”

          Crestview won the conference title last year and has been one of the top teams in the conference over the last 15 years, but the Cougars are dealing with a lot of youth this year.  Brokaw says they still count on the power running game.  “They are a lot like us in many respects.  They are breaking in a number of new starters.  They are young.  The one thing they have that we don’t is they are staying with the system that they have run in the past.  They are running the ball with play action.  They have a little bit of spread stuff, but they want to run the ball.  They have a couple of nice backs that are juniors.  The Hill kid and the King kid are decent runners.  Their offensive line has more size than I think it did last year.  They do a decent job.  They are inexperienced and they are trying to find their way right now, just like we are,” said Brokaw.

          Most high school games are decided this way and Brokaw understands the Trojans have to win the battle in the trenches.  “That is one thing coming out of Western that we weren’t happy with.  Coming out of the St. Paul game we gave up a decent amount of yardage rushing, but our defense played a lot better.  Offensively we didn’t put them in good position.  We didn’t capitalize offensively when we had an opportunity too.  Most of their yardage came on a couple of runs they broke through.  We had a couple plays when we took ourselves out of position.  For the most part we were happy with the way our defensive front played.  Our defensive backs have gotten a lot more aggressive since the start of the season until now,” said Brokaw.

 

 
 

South Central Kids Getting it

 

          South Central won its first game of the season last week and the first game in the career of head coach Aaron Brokaw. 

          The Trojans built a lead and hung on to beat the Crestline Bulldogs (20-19) in a non-conference game.  Brokaw says they had to dig deep to get the win.  “It was a little closer than we would have liked for to have been, but the nice thing is our kids had to battle for 48 minutes.  That is something they haven’t done in the past.  It’s a good teaching tool.  We are able to move on from that.  We got a lot more out of it having to play that way,” he said.

          Brokaw says they had a very good week of practice last week and that was a huge factor in the win over Crestline.  “I thought last week during practice some of the things we have been working on offensively during the summer and the first part of the season started to look a little crisper.  Some of the kids are starting to see the big picture.  Hopefully that continues to click for them.  We are still too careless with the football on Friday nights.  We have to take care of it much better,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday.

          South Central (1-2) will need to take their game to another level in their Firelands Conference opener on Friday night.  Western owns wins over Black River (28-26) and Margaretta (28-14) this year, but they were drilled by defending division four state champion Norwayne (41-13) last Friday night.  Brokaw says Western has some big kids.  “They have a couple of big offensive lineman that fire out pretty well.  I don’t know how much defense those guys play.  They are 300 pounders though and they are pretty nasty.  They have a fullback that is about 260.  He doesn’t concern me as much as they have a couple of wingbacks that are pretty shifty.  If we let them get outside on us we could be in trouble,” said Brokaw.

          Brokaw was an assistant at Lexington before taking the South Central job and he understands the importance getting a leg up in league play with a win.  “It’s a whole new season when you start the conference.  It doesn’t really matter what you did in the non-conference schedule.  Conference championships are at the top of the priority list.  Most times if you take care of the conference championship you’ll take acre of larger goals you have for your program.  It’s definitely important to get off to a hot start in you conference schedule,” said Brokaw.    

 

 
   

South Central Needs More Effort

 

          Over the first two weeks of the season the South Central Trojans have yet to cross the goal.  You can’t win football game doing that.

          Columbia Station beat them (40-0) last week and Seneca East shut them out (20-0) in their first game.  Coach Aaron Brokaw says last week they didn’t give themselves a chance to win.  “We just put the ball on the ground too many times last week.  We got off to a rough start.  Columbia returned the opening kickoff and then on our first play of offense we had a mistake between our quarterback and fullback and we fumbled.  We just turned the ball over too many times and couldn’t get anything going on offense,” said Brokaw.

          Crestline (0-2) is at South Central for a non-conference game on Friday night.  The Bulldogs have struggled this year too.  Northmor beat them (49-35) in week one and Ridgeway Ridgemont handled them (48-14) last week.  Brokaw says they have some firepower.  “They don’t have a whole lot out as far as numbers this year, but they do have some pretty good athletes.  Their quarterback, who doubles as their free safety, is a real nice athlete,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “They have been throwing the ball around a little bit, but they also have a sophomore running back that isn’t running too bad either.  They are a little bigger up front, but they don’t appear to move as well as they last two teams did.  Defensively, they are running a 3-3-5 stack defense.”

          This would be one the games on the schedule where the Trojans would have a chance to win and need to take advantage of it, but Brokaw is more worried about how they play.  “Anytime you have a chance to win, you want to.  The biggest thing right now is we thought we played pretty well in the opener.  Last week we were pretty disappointed in the way we played.  The important thing right now is everything is new.  We just want to see the kids compete and we want to see their best effort.  If we are in a situation where we can win, yeah, we want to win.  We have to get the top effort out of our guys every time.  We have to learn how to play with maximum effort.  As the head coach that falls on me too.  I have to get the guys ready to go,” said Brokaw.   

 

 
   

Just a Little Bit More For South Central

 

          South Central was just a couple plays away from a win on week one, now they need to find a way to get over those hurdles.

          It was a 20-0 loss to Seneca East last week, but two of the Tigers touchdowns came with less than two minutes to play. 

          First year coach Aaron Brokaw says they really had a golden opportunity to score early in the game, but let it slip away.  “I thought we played pretty hard at least for the first 46 minutes.  It was 6-0 with about two and half minutes left in the game and they ended up scoring two touchdowns on us late.  We opened the game with about a 65-yard drive and got stopped on the two-yard-line.  After that we had a couple of opportunities when we were inside the 20, but we were never able to finish drives.  That is definitely something we have to this week offensively,” said Brokaw.

          There are a number of teams that can move it between the 20s, but scoring can be a whole different thing.  Brokaw says they had some breakdowns at critical times.  “The first drive against Seneca East we just got kind of lazy in our technique.  Later on in the game they started to do some stuff different that we hadn’t really seen that much of.  That first drive we let them get the best of us,” he said.

          On Friday night, the Trojans travel to Columbia Station (0-1.)  Brokaw says they will face some athleticism.  “They are a very athletic team.  They are pretty small in comparison to us, but they definitely have the speed advantage.  They lost a close one with about a minute left to Cleveland Central Catholic last week. Hopefully, we are going to see two hungry teams battle it out on Friday night,” Brokaw said.

          The Trojans don’t have great speed, but Brokaw says they did a pretty good job controlling the speed with Seneca East by using good angles.  He hopes for more of the game this week.  “We thought we did a pretty good job with that for the most part last week.  Seneca East was the same style of team that Columbia Station is.  We did a pretty good job containing their speed until the very end of the game.  We are hoping that our kids will have the same kind of success this week and execute just a little bit better,” said Brokaw.  

 

 
   

South Central Wants to Pound the Ball

 

          South Central hopes to be physical when they take the field in suburban Attica on Friday night against the Seneca East Tigers in a non-conference game to open the season.

          First year coach Aaron Brokaw takes over a 1-9 team and he says they have a lot of work to do if they want to be competitive against most of the teams they play.  “We got off to a hot start in our scrimmage.  We forced a three and out, scored on our second play of offense, and forced another three and out.  After that we couldn’t get anything going offensively and we gave up some long drives.  We really didn’t finish off the scrimmage like we started.  We were a little bit disappointed by that.  We did show that we can do the kind of things we are trying to do this year.  We just didn’t sustain it long enough,” he said.

          He says right now they lack consistency and they are working hard to be ready to execute on every play no matter what the situation.  “That is one of things we are preaching to the kids really hard this year.  We don’t have a ton of big play makers that can take it the distance, so we are really preaching that we need to be the best unit on the field.  We don’t need the best one or two athletes on the field at one time, but we need to have the best unit on which ever side of the ball we are on,” he said.

          Seneca East took out South Central 45-13 in last season’s first game.  In scouting them twice, Brokaw says the Tigers are sound, but they don’t have overwhelming athletes.  “Well Seneca East has a returning quarterback.  I don’t think he is all that big.  He looks like he is maybe 5’10” and 170 pounds or so.  He throws a nice ball.  He is not afraid to hang in there and take the hit.  He is definitely the key to their offense,” he told Swankonsports.com, “The also have a nice running back, he’s a 220 pounder.  They are running the spread.  He doesn’t have a lot of speed, but he is hard to tackle.  I’m not really sure about their receivers.  They looked good in one scrimmage and mediocre in the other, so a little hit and miss with them.”

          Brokaw describes Seneca East as a small and quick defense that can run to the ball.  “Defensively they are a 4-4.  Their outside linebackers have decent speed.  They are quicker up front than we are, but they are a lot smaller, so hopefully we are able to impose our will on them up front, at least that’s the plan,” he said.

          With Seneca East again featuring the spread look Brokaw knows they are going to have to be good in space and he hopes their scrimmage schedule has prepared them for that.  “That is one of things we have really been working on in our scrimmages.  In our scrimmages this year four of the five we got a look against were some sort of spread offense.  We have seen a decent amount of it and we have practiced against it a lot in the preseason, so hopefully when Friday night rolls around they are showing us anything that is too much of a surprise from what we have seen from the past couple of weeks,” says Brokaw.

 

 
   

South Central Has a New Coach

 

          Former Clear Fork player and Lexington assistant coach Aaron Brokaw takes over as the new coach of the South Central Trojans.

          He has a rebuilding job on his hands as the Trojans were just 1-9 a year ago.

          He says the biggest goal he has is to change that attitude of the players on the roster.  He says they must believe they can win games.  “I have liked the way our offensive line has worked.  Our kids have a pretty good work ethic.  The biggest hurdle to overcome is the lack of success they have had in recent years or probably a little bit longer.  It’s just refiguring their minds so they are able to win and go into contests and think they have a chance and not be defeated before the game starts,” said Brokaw.  The most wins for a South Central team in any year in the last 25 is six.

          Brokaw says the kids are starting to believe they have a chance to gain some success.  “We have a nice group of seniors, but it’s a transition for those guys having played under a completely different group of circumstances throughout their high school career up until now.  It’s a little harder sell with those guys, but they are coming along.  The younger guys have really bought into what we are trying to do, so that’s exciting going forward,” he said.

          Brokaw says with the personnel they have this year they are best suited to run the ball and that is what they are going to feature, but they also want to be a threat to throw it.  “Offensively, hopefully, we are going to throw the ball a little bit more than in the past.  We are not quite where I would like to be pass game wise.  We are working on that.  Running game wise we are going to be mostly based out of two back, two receiver sets with some pro style stuff.  That is about as fancy as we will get this year,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “Maybe a year or two down the road we might get into some spread stuff.  Up front we have some guys that are pretty big, so hopefully we can be a little bit physical and hang our hat on running the ball and have a nice play action package to keep the defense honest this year.”

          Defensively, Brokaw believes they have shown improvement, but they have to concentrate on getting better.  “We will be primary a 50 defense.  We will be able to get into some different looks in different situations.  I think we might have a pretty good front seven.  Our secondary is coming along right now.  They made progress between our first scrimmage and our second scrimmage.  We have some work to do.  I think we have gotten better after each scrimmage and hopefully that is the case after Friday going into week one,” said Brokaw.

          South Central hosts Cardington in their final scrimmage on Friday night.  They play Seneca East of the Midland Athletic League in their first game on August 24.

 

 
 

 

South Central in the Thick of it

 

          The Firelands Conference has been hard to predict this spring and that has made it exciting.

          One of the reasons for that unpredictability has been the performance South Central Trojans (5-5,5-1) on the baseball diamond.  The Trojans have beaten Crestview (3-0) this season and Western Reserve (2-1) this year.  They completed a series sweep of Monroeville with a win (11-7) on Wednesday night.

          First year coach Jerry Czernewski says he couldn’t be more pleased with what he has seen this season.  “I am extremely happy with the way the guys have been playing.  You know, we started out a little slow, but starting to get it together,” he said.

          The best part of the Trojans this year, according to Czernewski, has been their approach and the effort they put into the way they prepare for each game.  “They have been working hard.  They came out with the goal right off the bat to win the conference.  So far, they have been trying to do their best.  I am extremely happy with the way they work,” he said.

          South Central plays Mansfield St. Peter’s on Friday and travels to Buckeye Central, of the North Central Conference, for a doubleheader on Saturday.

          Czernewski says his team is enthusiastic, but they need to be more focused sometimes and that is probably due to their youth at least a little bit.  “They are just lacking a little experience, especially on the defensive side.  We get a little lackadaisical sometimes, so we are trying to keep them motivated and keep them focused.  That’s my main concern right now,” he said.

          Plymouth leads their conference standings at 7-1, New London and Crestview are 5-3 and Mapleton is 4-4.  Czernewski knows that really the meat of their conference schedule still remains to be played.  “The last half of conference season here is going to be pretty tough.  We have Mapleton, Plymouth and New London and they are all playing pretty good baseball right now,” said Czernewski.  

 

 

 
   

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