From My View For April 29
I had a blast re-writing the 2015 Blue Eagles 14-0 WVSSAC State Championship season to remember. I didn’t have the opportunity to cover all 14-games they played. But I did see quite a few that included all 4-playoff games.
This was a special bunch of boys that worked their tail-off to get that 14-game perfect season. To be able to win 14-games and win a state championship you have to have a little luck along the way especially since they stopped 2-area teams that won over 30 regular season teams (Shadyside and St Marys) without a loss. They also beat a very good Williamstown twice; an undefeated River Pilot and Wheeling Central team; as well as a 5-1 Class-2A Weir Rider Team.
The way they came back from what looked like a sure loss to Weir to win on their Senior Night, was just simply amazing, as well as the 2-Williamstown games what a team. Sure, they were loaded with seniors, and had a nice group of underclassmen. But, when you have athletes like that on one team with so many play-makers you still only have 1-ball to share.
Also having a sophomore Head Coach that was at the time the youngest Head Football Coach in the state in charge, there were sure to be some fire-works and an up-hill battle. However, Sims had plenty of help, he had one of the best offensive minds in Dave “Doc” Chapman who learned from Dave Cisar, Defensive Coordinator John Smith who learned from the master Bob Ripley, as well as coaches Moke Riggs, Kent Pilant, Travis Emch and Eric Conner to lean on.
I never had to worry about getting stats as RJ Goode was on the staff to do stats and had them to me first thing Monday morning when I wrote the stories. Also, on board were Athletic Director Brian Castilow, Dr Ed Emch and Pastor Mike Shank.
But the players still had to execute what the coaches told them to do. Of course, there were injuries, but they worked them out and no one was out for any length of time. On offense the Eagles had a pair of talented running-backs in Trey Anderson and Chase Street who rushed for over 1,000-yards on the season, and a very smart quarterback in junior Nick Priem. They had numerous play maker receivers, and on defense and special team play.
I believe in every game that I can remember there was always someone different stepping up in all 3-phases of the game, many were underclass-men like Brooks Parsons that stepped up their game too. I loved watching RJ keeping the team spirit and school pride on the sidelines and in the stands. However, the best was all the Blue Eagle student body ready to keep the school spirit and pride along with the outstanding MHS Cheerleaders, who showed the school spirit all over the town every week and through-out the 14-game season.
My Editor at the time Amy Witschey and her sisters and brother was at every game, along with hundreds of die-hard loyal fans, it was breath taking. There were many plays I will remember the rest of my life, but to see the Eagles come back to beat Weir on the last seconds of the game and the 2-catches by Kyle Ritz will go with me forever, like the grab Steve Rogalski had in their state championship title game a few years earlier.
It looks like the state of West Virginia and Ohio maybe getting ready to start back up some-time in early May, but not the schools that the many seniors who didn’t get to live-out their last few months of school, I feel for you. I hope something can and will be done for them to get their graduation ceremony, I really do. Also, I feel for all the athletes in baseball, softball, tennis and track especially the seniors. Good luck in whatever endeavors you seek.
I want to stress that Mother’s Day is approaching, and I wish all mothers, including Mother In-laws, the best day ever.