Saturday, November 3, 2007

First-round playoff thoughts

Yikes!!!!!

Three weeks into the regular season, results like we saw last night for local football teams wouldn't have been so surprising. Heck, at the time, I wasn't sure any area teams would win.

Then, Burgettstown started beating good teams. Jefferson-Morgan got on a roll. Chartiers-Houston played tough defense. Fort Cherry had burgeoning confidence. Canon-McMillan started to tackle and eliminate poorly timed mistakes. Ringgold took to the air.

Welcome back to reality.

No matter the spin, local performance last night can be summed up in one word - dismal.

Trinity and Monessen, the only winners.

Canon-McMillan, Ringgold, Burgettstown, South Fayette, Fort Cherry, Chartiers-Houston, Carmichaels, Jefferson-Morgan and Beth-Center were eliminated.

That's a 2-9 record. Add California's loss to Western Beaver today and it's 2-10.

Folks, with the exception of South Fayette, these games weren't close.

As bleak as it is, there is hope. Fort Cherry and Chartiers-Houston return most of their top players. Canon-Mac always has talent and Ringgold gets another year with Jeff Petrucci.

Hey, it can't get any worse.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hope is a wonderful thing.
Monessen should be even better in 2008 and 2009. I would assume Trinity will be OK for next season and beyond as well.

The new alignments will make some difference.

However, the Hillers and Greyhounds march on this year and I give two big shouts out to those squads and their much-maligned coaches (Dalton and Pacak). Both have overcome a lot and deserve serious coach of the year consideration.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Petrucci's first year at Ringgold started with a gleam of hope despite an 0-3 record, but it ended in blatant embarassment last night at Montour.

Jordan Fowler, Ringgold's senior quarterback, team captain and WPIAL 10th-leading passer was injured at the end of the 1st half against Belle Vernon last week and missed 3 days of practice because of a severe contusion to his lower back. Despite this, Fowler went through PT all week, endured two back injections and was at 100% come game-time, only to be informed he would not start. Reasonable enough considering he did not practice for 3 days, however when Ringgold was down 28-14 with 5 minutes left to go in the 3rd quarter and not a single series of + offense in the second half, Petrucci still refused to put Fowler in the game.

The ensuing frustrations on all sides were enough to wipe away any good memories of the Rams 2007 season.

Petrucci completely tarnished an otherwise decent season for the Rams. Worst of all he disappointed an entire team and ruined the last game Fowler and the other seniors would ever play in a Ringgold uniform.

Way to go Jeff, way to go.

Anonymous said...

Was at the FC-Rochester game. What a pathetic 2nd half from FC against a Rochester team that is clearly not as good as it has been in past years. Rochester coaches made adjustments after a 0-0 half (in which FC dominated play) and I guess FC's "stellar" coaching staff made none. Same old, same old from an FC program that needs some new blood in the coaching staff. No way that final score should have been 35-6.

Anonymous said...

Mike, how does another season under Jeff Petrucci bring hope to the Ringgold Rams football program? You must not have made it to a game this season. Petrucci is the worst play caller in the entire WPIAL. He is just another old coach which the game of football has passed. Jeff sticks to his old school philosophies of 3 yards and a cloud of dust, unfortunately for the Rams, the dust cloud is always 3 yards deep in their backfield. The game of football has changed and there is a new generation of YOUNG coaches out there... see Mike Tomlin, Lane Kiffin, etc. I do not understand why Ringgold hires some college reject (Chuck Colburn, Steve Campos, Jeff Petrucci)every year or so and thinks their credentials are impressive. What is impressive about a coach moving his way down the ladder or taking a step backwards? These coaches have not taken any steps to help these kids get exposure as far as recruiting is concerned and the Rams staff will not even give you game films so that you may self promote your own child. These coaches do not care about the kids Mike! Instead they hold their heads up high and say "I'm Jeff Petrucci, I coached at CAL U, and I know I'm a good coach, my resume says so." If these college never-been's are so good at coaching, why are they coming all the way to Monongahela, PA to bless us with their lure. I'll tell you why Mike because noone else wants them and our school board thinks they are our savior. Is there really hope for Ringgold Mike?

Anonymous said...

Dear Mike and sports staff,

Thank you for the flattering and thorough coverage you gave the Burgettstown football team this year. I do not agree at all with the letter to the sports editor. As a fan of Burgettstown football and a daily reader of your papers and blog the letter was out of line. Thanks again for creating the illusion Burgettstown football was relevant.

RamFan1 said...

Mike,
Whatever happened to the D1 talent that ringgold always seemed to have produced. That program has fallen so far in the last decade or so. The rams always competed at the quad a level and were pretty respectable. Now they struggle in the lowly keystone conf. Friday nights game at montour was an embarrassment to the district. There were arguments and fights on the sidelines as players and coaches pushed and shoved. It was a joke. The rams have no enthusiasm, they never throw the ball, and Fowler never saw the field. They should have been throwing the ball 40 times a game with him not keep him on the sidelines in his last game as a senior in the playoffs. I have to agree there is no hope at Ringgold.

Anonymous said...

YOU HAVE TO BE CRAZY! MONESSEN HAS A QUARTERBACK IN ADAM CAPUTO, WHO PACAK ONLY LOOKS TO WHEN THE GREYHOUNDS ARE IN TROUBLE, AND THEN LOOKS WAY DOWN FIELD FOR MIRALCES TO HAPPEN. YOU NEVER SEE SHORT PASSES, ITS RUN,RUN,RUN,AS USUAL. IN MANY YEARS OF WATCHING HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL IN SINGLE A IF THE GREYHOUNDS ARE GOING ANYWHERE THEY BETTER START PASSING THE BALL AT LEAST 15 TO 20 TIMES A GAME IF THEY ARE EVEN THINKING OF GETTING TO HEINZ FIELD. FASTER D-BACKS CAN SEAL THE ENDS ON RUNNING OUT SIDE AND EVERYONE AND THEIR MOTHER KNOWS MONESSEN WONT RUN BETWEEN THE TACKLES. PENALTIES ARE ANOTHER ISSUE, IN THE PLAYOFFS UNSPORTSMEN-LIKE CALLS ARE A SHOW OF NO DISCIPLINE MONESSEN CANT AFFORD TO DO WHAT THEY DID FRIDAY.I WISH THE GREYHOUNDS WELL THIS FRIDAY,IF SENIOR QUARTERBACK ADAM CAPUTO CONTROLLS HIS TEAM AS HE DID IN CHARLEROI THE GREYHOUNDS WILL STAY UNDEAFEATED. GOOD LUCK HOUNDS....

GOCAL said...

Jeff Petrucci ruined Cal when we had loads of talent but he always gets a free pass because he coached Montana or something. We had so much talent at that time and he made us take a huge step backwards. I feel for you Rams Fans.

Anonymous said...

Expert that comments on FC v Rochester.
It isn't always the coaching staff. I saw that game also.
How about players giving up
when they are down 7 - 0.

mike_kovak said...

I get really tired of people always placing the blame on coaches, particularly in high school sports. Yes, coaching can make more of a difference at this level than any other, but kids quit. Kids make mistakes. Kids don't listen. And, all too often, kids are told they're great simply because they're a little better than the kids from their neighborhood.

At Ringgold, I think the best cure for the football team is some coaching stability. I do believe Russ Moore could have turned around the Rams given the way he can rally a team and get players to play for him. However, Moore is gone. Who knows what happened last year with Steve Campos?!

Let's give Jeff Petrucci a chance. At least the Rams were competitive and exciting. It's been a while since that's happened. Heck, it's been since 1999 that they had a decent playoff team.

Now, as for the coaches and players fighting, well that's not classy and reflects poorly on both sides.

And before all the Fort Cherry "faithful" get back to the decades old practice of Garry bashing, let's see what next year's team has to offer. I know for a fact that, before this year, some of the players to go through that program were far from "stellar" students or even citizens. The Rangers have a chance to be very good next year.

Anonymous said...

Mike, you can honestly say don't blame the coaches? If you would have been at Ringgold's game you would change your mind easily. Running the ball over and over with 8 and 9 guys in the box against the #2 team in WPIAL AAA and not putting your starting quarterback in the game, who proved all season he could throw the football conistantly, shows Petrucci's stupidity.

MondayMorningQB said...

Mike- Coaching is 90% of high school football. There are only so many T. Pryor's out there. Look over at TJ and see waht Chirp has done. TJ never had superior athletes nor completely dominated AAA. Along comes this new coach who instills complete discipline and actually cares about the kids he coaches. Now, TJ dominates AAA and is a factory for collegiate football. There is one reason for TJ's success and one reason only and that is their coach. They have not been on such a dominating run because of some new found size or speed. They did not hit the talent lottery Mike they hit the coaching jackpot! Gateway was always mediocre at best, bring in Terry Smith, and they are now recognized at the national level. There are a lot of Monday Morning QB's out there Mike but there are also people who truly know the game of football and Jeff Petrucci is certainly not one of them. Do you think the kids quitting or not listening is the reason Ringgold has not had a significant recruit in 15 years? It all makes sense now Mike, our best players moved to Pleasant Hills, others quit, and the rest weren't listening to the coach while he was bringing respect back to Ringgold. Who would have known? We better sign Petrucci to a long term extension before someone else gobbles him up!

mike_kovak said...

Nowhere, and I mean absolutely nowhere, did I say don't blame the coaches. I am saying that people make them the scapegoat far too often.

Ringgold simply was not as good as Montour, no matter the first-half score and no matter the quarterback. Athletically, physically, it did not match up.

mike_kovak said...

And what else do Gateway and TJ have in common?

Coaches who have been there for years.

Say what you want about Petrucci, and I don't really feel like I'm defending him by any means, but no way did he lose to Montour. He may have had a hand in losing ... but Montour is a better football team.

Better football teams win in the postseason.

And, if you read my first post, I said that coaching at the high school level is more important than at any other level.

MondayMorningQB said...

I could not agree any more Mike, Montour was much bigger and stronger than Ringgold. Ringgold's gameplan... run it down their throats and never pass. Ringgold practiced recovering on side kicks for 20 minutes on Thursday before the game. Everyone knows Montour was gonna need to kick so many on-siders to us on Friday. By the way, Montour will get demolished before these playoffs are over, they are by no means an elite team.

MondayMorningQB said...

Ringgold's freshman team was undefeated and unscored on this year with a 29 year old head coach. Go figure.

MondayMorningQB said...

If Petrucci and Chirpak switched places in the offseason, Ringgold would have more wins than TJ next year guarenteed.

Anonymous said...

Gateway wasn't "ALWAYS" mediocre at best. A fellow named Pete Antamarino is a legendary, Hall of Fame, coach of the Gators.

Terry has done an exceptional job. And he did resurrect Gateway's program. But the Gators were among the best for a long time under Pete.

As for Ringgold. Well. . . where's Bill Connors when you need him!

Anonymous said...

Are we as parents or spectators playing or do our kids choose to play. We underestimate our youth. If they can handle their respective coaches then we all need to step back and support our kids. This is their time not ours.

MondayMorningQB said...

Mike, Have you ever seen a team that has no speed run 12 sweeps or tosses in a game and collectively lose 30 yards? That kind of play-calling is for the youth leagues. The players can give their all but if the coach handcuffs them with his play selection the outcome is already decided. I remember Chuck Colburn calling a QB sneak on 4th and 9 in the playoffs and thinking he must be the worst offensive coach in the history of high school football. Campos and Petrucci make Colburn look like Steve Spurrier. All three should be BANNED from coaching. How can you hold your head up high and smile when your teams lose year in and year out? At some point in your life you need to look in the mirror and say "I Stink!"

Anonymous said...

colburn coached cal then ringgold then albert gallatin and now he is a defensive coordinator for beth center. maybe he'll do jv next year.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please help me to see the logic?

Ringgold makes the playoffs because of a quarterback who accounts for the following:
16 TDs (11 pass, 5 run)
a 54% completion %
-top 5 of WPIAL's best
1300 yards
-10th in WPIAL and most in school history in probably the past 15 years

In spite of all of this, the kid never saw the field last Friday night. Am I missing something here?

True he sat out 3 days of practice recovering from a back injury, but he supposedly practiced Thursday and was ready to go come gametime on Friday. Regardless, Petrucci never puts him in the game.

Never in my life have I heard of such craziness.

I find it hard to believe that if Mike Yancich, Tyler Porco or any other team leader were in the same situation, that they would not play.....better yet, if it were Bean Heller, Jeremy Cole or Jamont Kinds, you can rest assured they all would have been in the game and certainly started.....the only big variable here is Petrucci in my eyes.

This should be your blog pole for the week Mike.

Jeff Petrucci is either:
a) someone whom game of football left behind years ago
b) someone who wanted to lose the Montour game
c)all of the above.

Mapod said...

It is funny how Ringgold made it to the Playoff for the first time in many years and everyone is blaming the Coach for this. The questions I ask are, was the QB still injury? As for the fighting on the field, sound likes a problem within the team? And 90% of problem with High School sports are parents. How many times a year you read how Coaches are fired cause so and so kids did not play? Even Upper St. Clair wanted to fire the coach cause a certain kids was not playing. A few years a Washington bench a few of player cause of discipline problems, I congratulated the coach on that move. It is a team sport and not one player is above the rest. With the fighting on the field with players and coaches, no wonder they lost.

MondayMorningQB said...

When an entire team other than the coach's kids are swearing and screaming, refusing to go in the game, and downright ignoring the coaches there is a big problem. No FOOTBALL TEAM has a sideline like the Rams. Every coach should be gone, not just Jeff Petrucci, every coach. They have zero discipline and that alone will lose most games for you. Noone is fired up, noone expects to win, and noone needs the blind leading the blind. As for you MAPOD, comparing a parent/political situation involving Jim Render to the Ringgold situation is plain ignorance. Let us look past the same old popular answer of parents complain, kids don't listen, and the coach is always right. I'm sure if your child was assaulted by a teacher with 30 years of district experience that would be ok too? The difference is people like you "follow" football and people like the MMQB "know" football! Some parents will always complain, some kids will never listen, some school boards will always make poor decisions, and sometimes a coach is completely out of line and needs removed. We are the 10% MAPOD and this needs done at Ringgold.

MondayMorningQB said...

Squeaking into the Triple A playoffs 2 straight years representing the Keystone Conference is not something that garners respect.

mike_kovak said...

Whether Petrucci is the man for the Ringgold job is not for me to decide, but this football team will NEVER get back to any form of respectability without some coaching stability.

Look at the top programs around Washington County, the Mon Valley and throughout the WPIAL, most of them have stable positions.

Personally, I don't care who coaches at Ringgold or anywhere else for that matter. I don't know Jeff Petrrucci other than a couple phone conversations I've had with him and I don't know and don't care what his W-L record was at Cal U, Belle Vernon or anywhere in between.

So I ask this to the posters, who do you want to see as Ringgold's football coach? And, what would make this person the right hire?

Mapod said...

MMQ it amaze me that I have heard none of this during the year. And if my child was assaulted by a teacher I would not go to the school board but I would press charges. And no it is not ok.
Team with winning program are not cause by good coaching only. It starts in the youth league and middle school programs. They have off season conditioning year around. They have kids and parents dedicated to the build of a program. Look at CM Guy M. went there and is building a program. It was not over night sucess it took time. It is not something that is done over night. Trinity used to be a joke until Dalton came in with new ideas with the youth league that most did not agree with. They both started off season volunteer conditioning programs both the kids and parent agree to. Who knows why Ringgold does not get good coaching it could be the salary is not enough. The school board have the final say but the AD is the one that does do the hiring. I know when Daulton came to Trinity alot did not like his idea, special when the youth program left the Brownshouse in Washington or stop the Washington game. But he has gotten Trinity to the next level in football. This is what happens when the parents and kids buy into the program. If he leaves he will be missed.

MMQB said...

Ringgold does not pay anything so you are correct the pickings are slim. First, I would look inside the district and find someone who went to school at Ringgold and give someone yound and inexperienced a chance. It cannot get any worse so what would it hurt. Also, I would eliminate all coaching salaries for 1 year so you know you are getting someone who cares about the kids, cares enough to do it for free, and use the saved money on new equipment because the players could use some bulking up. No more coaches who hang out at practice for 3 months and make 10 grand. When you make it a volunteer job any coach who applies must be pretty serious about the Rams to do it for free.

Anonymous said...

Lloyd Price should coach the Rams Football Team. He will bring stability and he knows the game. Price has no intentions of leaving and would coach for years.

My bet is Lloyd Price takes over the program and will coach for the next 25 years.

If you dont like Lloyd Price you dont like success.

Chuck Smith said...

I CAN NOT BELIEVE THE COWARDLY PEOPLE THAT COMMENT TO THIS MESSAGE BOARD THAT DON'T HAVE THE COURAGE TO SIGN THEIR NAMES TO THEIR CANCEROUS ATTITUDES. WHY DON'T YOU APPLY TO THE VACANT HEAD FOOTBALL COACHING POSITION AT RINGGOLD..... OH, NEVERMIND WE WOULD REQUIRE YOU TO SIGN YOUR NAME ON THE APPLICATION. YOU CAN BE PART OF THE PROBLEM OR PART OF THE SOLUTION.

MAY GOD BLESS YOU,

CHUCK SMITH
RINGGOLD SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER

Lamont Lyons said...

Chuck why don't you just resign with the rest of your current board members because the district is a shithole and it only starts with you and your comrades!!