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2007 Monday Morning Ramblings

Monday Morning Ramblings #3

The good news is the Trojans are 2-0.

Now, you may have noticed that there was no Saturday Game Report or Sunday Report Card this past week for the Bedford game. The main reason for this was that I was unable to attend the game. Originally I was going to ask Jason Subich to handle those duties since he was able to go to the game. However, Jason has asked to not be involved at all with this website and while I’m sad that it has come to this, I accept the decision and support it. From this point forward, 99.9% of the content of this website will be written by me. I will take over the Numberology column that breaks down the 6-AAA playoff scene and there will be no more Point/Counterpoint feature. Jason’s bio has been removed from the “About Us” page and he will no longer make weekly picks. Only Greg and Amos will submit picks from this point forward and if there is any complaint with the content or direction of this site it can be directed to me, and only me.

I am not going to get into the specifics of Jason’s decision, but it stems from last Friday’s game and some crowd reaction to the controversial call at the end of the game to go for a pass rather than attempt to run the ball and thus run the clock out. Apparently, some people close to the program feel he said something that was inappropriate. Jason unequivocally denies this but he’s tired of being a scapegoat. From most accounts, several people in the crowd were yelling things at the coaching staff, and in particular Offensive Coordinator Tony Penna, Jr. It’s funny to me that the only person that is singled out is the younger brother of the coach of the junior high football team.

To the play in question, if people in the crowd were looking for someone to be upset with, they need to realize that the buck stops with the head coach Kevin Marabito. I was glad to see him take the heat in the Tribune-Democrat story. That’s all well and good, but the decision to OK this type of unnecessarily risky play call is one of the main reasons that Johnstown isn’t yet thought of as an elite program in the LHAC and District 6. I’m all for rolling the dice when the time is right, but this was hardly the right time. I’ve heard the reasoning for running the play (some cramping and minor injuries didn’t have a running back available, nine guys in the box) but I’m not buying it. Surely someone on the roster could have been found to run the ball or at the very least, keep the ball in your quarterback’s hands. I’m not necessarily saying run a sneak, but some sort of designed play to keep the ball in his hands.

Of course, I know what those of you on the coaching staff are going to reply to me. Oh, you’re not down on the field, you don’t know the situation, you’ve never coached, etc. Yes, you’re right, I’m not down on the sideline and no, I’ve never coached. But I’ll tell you this much, there’s a reason why guys like Don Bailey and Ken Salem are fighting for district titles every year and playing in the state playoffs and it’s because they don’t take ridiculous risks like the one taken Friday night.

The sad part of this decision is that it takes away from the rest of the game, and from what I gather, the play calling and coaching was excellent. You’re only as good as your last call, and had the Bisons taken an interception back for a touchdown, or scored on their offensive drive following the turnover, no one is going to talk about the good plays called in the first half or earlier in the second half. I believe had the Bisons been able to convert that late interception into the touchdown, they would have went for two and converted and got the win. Think about the outcry had that happened.

The other topic I want to address in this column is the message board. Apparently there are current and former members of the coaching staff that cannot discern the difference between the Trojan Nation website and the Trojan Nation message board. There is a perception, a misperception I might add, with certain members of the staff that when they hear “Trojan Nation” they think of the message board and only the message board. Let me repeat, there is the Trojan Nation website, then there is the Trojan Nation message board, sounds pretty simple and basic right? Obviously not and since I don’t have the time nor the energy to teach basic computers to grown men, I’ve made the decision to shut the message board down.

I do this with mixed emotions. I understand how message boards work. Unfortunately, a few bad apples can spoil the bunch and since some former and current coaches can’t take the heat when people, rightly or not, criticize them, I’m pulling the plug. I just don’t have the time or energy to debate this with anyone and I’m not going to moderate posts and start playing that game of making some topics OK and some off-limits. It goes against what I believe in to censor the board, because I thought between some of the nonsense, there were some really good topics of discussion on the board. Also, Trojan Nation is far from the first, won’t be the last, high school football site that has (or should I say had) a fan forum.

I make this decision because the negative posting and personal attacks that may have happened in the past have taken away from the goal of this website which is to promote the school, the athletic programs and the kids in a positive light. Let the record reflect, many of you former and current coaches that have decided to not associate with me because of such attacks, well I never once defended any personal attacks and at more than one opportunity defended you guys. It’s funny to me, because there was a point a few years ago in the message board that I was actually accused of being overly politically correct and afraid to be critical of the coaches because they would get mad and wouldn’t work with me!

Like I said, I’m not going to educate adults on what a message board is and how people can post on it and how the opinions of those that posted weren’t necessarily mine. Like I said, I thought pretty basic stuff, common sense you know? One thing I will say is that Johnstown Magazine did a brief story on the Trojan Nation website this summer. Just reading that short column should be enough to tell someone what the Trojan Nation is really all about. Here are a couple quotes from that story: “Hundreds of hours spent researching the high school’s football program culminated in an archive of records dating back to 1898. He’s recently expanded content to include information about other sports, including basketball, wrestling and baseball. But football is still the primary focus.” and “From schedules and standings to highlights and awards, Trojan Nation is a one-stop shop for sports info on the blue and black.” Of the 211 words that were in that column, guess which two did not appear…you guessed it: “message board”.

To those of you I might have alienated because you liked to go to the board, I apologize but maintaining the board is just not in my best interest since I want the Trojan Nation website to go on for a long time. Keeping the message board up appears to be jeopardizing my chances of having any relationship whatsoever with this program and I don’t want that to happen.

I offer those of you that participated in the Trojan Nation message board (by the way, that’s different from the Trojan Nation website in case you didn’t get that by now) a few resources to go to for message board type banter:

LHSports Forums: various boards on different high school, college and pro sports as well as some other topics like AAABA

Bleacher Coaches: high school sports banter, many repeat posters that you will see in the LHSports boards above

Penn Live message boards: variety of scholastic sports message boards including active boards on football and basketball. Nice feature here I that there are boards for statewide discussion as well as boards focused on west, central and east issues

Tribune Democrat message boards: Boards directed from the Tribune Democrat. There are two main forums, one that stems directly from newspaper articles and one that is an open-forum of topics

Johnstown Sports boards: the main active board here is based on Johnstown Chiefs hockey but there are forums for high school sports and AAABA, just to name a few.

If anyone has any that I’ve missed, please email me and I’d be glad to add them to these resources.

I truthfully hope that this issue is finally put to rest and that the school and the coaching staff can start working together with the Trojan Nation website in a more positive manner.

That’s all for now, and remember, the good news is the Trojans are 2-0.

 

Monday Morning Ramblings #4

Not much of a ramble this week. Sorry in advance!

Again, no game report or report card as I was not at the game. This is the first time in I don't know how long I've missed two games in a row. Please don’t worry, I’m just in the process of moving and getting our new house ready to be lived in! I plan on attending the home game against Richland this Friday.

Thanks for all the support and emails regarding the message board. I know some of you didn't agree with my decision but for right now, it's the right thing to do. Now I’m just hoping to hear from some of the coaching staff as to this change and if it’s a positive move.

I get the feeling reading the game story from Saturday's contest with Westy that it was a game very similar to the FH game from a year ago. By that I mean that the score was much closer than the actual game on the field was. I read similarities in the way Westy was able to use time of possession to keep the Trojans off the field. Then, when JHS finally was able to get the ball on offense, they sputtered. This was exactly what happened last year in Sidman.

I listened to the Pitt game Saturday and watched some of it on my DVR later in the evening and was intrigued by the Arkansas package Pitt was using. The commentators mentioned how offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh spent time with Houston Nutt and his Arkansas coaching staff to learn about some of the creative ways that they get their Heisman-hopeful Darren McFadden the ball.

Although I thought Pitt used the package a bit too much, I liked how they got the direct snap to Shady McCoy on both direct runs and read option type plays with T.J. Porter. It was clear that Cavanaugh and Wannstedt felt McCoy was the best offensive player on the field for Pitt during the game. Why not get him the ball in his hands on every play.

I wonder if this is something Coaches Marabito and Penna Jr. would consider with Antwuan Reed? You could run Harris or Christian in motion and spread Lehman out as a flanker like Pitt did with Kevan Smith. I think it’s at least worth entertaining in practice.

On a related note (sort of), I always thought we had the players to run a spread style offense. I guess Coach Arcurio did too, because he told the Tribune Review last year in the preseason that we were going to run the West Virginia Offense. The only JHS' offense had in common with WVU last year is that there were 11 players on the field! We didn't even use a shotgun until the Bishop McCort game (week 7). Something clearly happened in camp, and my guess is that they were unable to find confidence in someone being able to deliver the shotgun snap.

Oh well, that's ancient history, let's start getting ready for the Richland Rams under the lights of Trojan Stadium this Friday night. Last year at this time, the Rams came into this week with a 3-0 record and they were 3-1 before the clock struck midnight.

I believe the same thing will happen this week.

 

Monday Morning Ramblings #7

Not much of a ramble this week. Sorry in advance!

Again, no game report or report card as I was not at the game. This is the first time in I don't know how long I've missed two games in a row. Please don’t worry, I’m just in the process of moving and getting our new house ready to be lived in! I plan on attending the home game against Richland this Friday.

Thanks for all the support and emails regarding the message board. I know some of you didn't agree with my decision but for right now, it's the right thing to do. Now I’m just hoping to hear from some of the coaching staff as to this change and if it’s a positive move.

I get the feeling reading the game story from Saturday's contest with Westy that it was a game very similar to the FH game from a year ago. By that I mean that the score was much closer than the actual game on the field was. I read similarities in the way Westy was able to use time of possession to keep the Trojans off the field. Then, when JHS finally was able to get the ball on offense, they sputtered. This was exactly what happened last year in Sidman.

I listened to the Pitt game Saturday and watched some of it on my DVR later in the evening and was intrigued by the Arkansas package Pitt was using. The commentators mentioned how offensive coordinator Matt Cavanaugh spent time with Houston Nutt and his Arkansas coaching staff to learn about some of the creative ways that they get their Heisman-hopeful Darren McFadden the ball.

Although I thought Pitt used the package a bit too much, I liked how they got the direct snap to Shady McCoy on both direct runs and read option type plays with T.J. Porter. It was clear that Cavanaugh and Wannstedt felt McCoy was the best offensive player on the field for Pitt during the game. Why not get him the ball in his hands on every play.

I wonder if this is something Coaches Marabito and Penna Jr. would consider with Antwuan Reed? You could run Harris or Christian in motion and spread Lehman out as a flanker like Pitt did with Kevan Smith. I think it’s at least worth entertaining in practice.

On a related note (sort of), I always thought we had the players to run a spread style offense. I guess Coach Arcurio did too, because he told the Tribune Review last year in the preseason that we were going to run the West Virginia Offense. The only JHS' offense had in common with WVU last year is that there were 11 players on the field! We didn't even use a shotgun until the Bishop McCort game (week 7). Something clearly happened in camp, and my guess is that they were unable to find confidence in someone being able to deliver the shotgun snap.

Oh well, that's ancient history, let's start getting ready for the Richland Rams under the lights of Trojan Stadium this Friday night. Last year at this time, the Rams came into this week with a 3-0 record and they were 3-1 before the clock struck midnight.

I believe the same thing will happen this week.

 

Monday Morning Ramblings #8

*****Reed held to under average way under his average Friday night. This is the second year in a row the Crushers held Reed to a less than Reed-like performance. Last year he was held to just 35 yards and Friday night he was held to only 42. Amazing that in the last two games against McCort he has been held to less than 100 yards total. Whatever it is that Coach Salem and his staff are doing, it has worked because they have the Trojan offense and its star figured out.

The Road to 4,000: with three regular season games left, Reed is 417 yards shy of 4,000. He would need to average around 139 a game to reach this milestone through week ten. Each Monday we’ll update where he is in regards to this accomplishment.

*****When is a rivalry not a rivalry? Although JHS holds a slim 15-8-1 all-time record in the series through 24 contests, that figure is misleading. Since the Trojans have joined the LHAC in 2001, McCort has six of those seven games. Before the 2003 Trojan Stadium opener win, you have to go back to 1973 to find the last Trojan win over the Crushers. There might be some parents of current players that weren’t born then!

The point is, a rivalry is only a rivalry when there is equity in the series and since 1989, this hasn’t been the case. In the ten games played since 1989 between the two schools, Johnstown only has one win and a tie to show. Granted the series wasn’t played every year, but still, you like to have more than one win against your rival in that timeframe.

It’s like when a reporter asked Martina Hingis if there was a rivalry brewing between her and Anna Kournikova back in the 90s. Her response: “What rivalry? I win all the matches.”

*****Had it not been for the upset loss to Richland, McCort would be champs of the city once again. In the last three season they beat Richland, Westmont and Johnstown. One could argue that they are kings of the entire county. Going back to ‘04, they have only lost four regular season games to schools in located in Cambria County.

*****I had no idea what a nice receiver Dane Domonkos is. This guy hustled all over the field and made sure he had time to change to his kicking shoe in time for field goal and extra point attempts (is there any reason he just can’t play in soccer shoes?) He is the third in the line of Domonkos brothers kicking for the Crushers, but the first in my memory to actually play an every down position.

*****A lot of people point to Marco Pecora as the premier QB in the LHAC, but Jordan DeFrancis can’t be that far behind. He has a great arm and I think his skills at the position are underrated.

*****Super Sophomores: How about the play from Jordan Jefferson and Richard Agurs as of late?! These two guys have to make Coach Marabito feel good about the future at JHS. For the second week in a row, Jefferson made a great move and scored a long touchdown on a catch and Agurs finally broke out on offense like we knew he could, but he’s been playing fine defense this year too. In a sequence of less than ten plays Friday night, he caught a touchdown pass, made the tackle on the ensuing kickoff and intercepted a pass on defense. Numbers 9 and 81 are making their mark on the program and have two more years after this.

*****Things don’t look too bright as far as the playoff scene is concerned. We’ll get into more with numerology but pretty much the worst that can happen did. We lost and Somerset won so they gained 120 points and hold onto the fourth and final playoff spot. Looking at rest of schedule, 7-3 is a very good possibility. Forest Hills is a team that the Trojans should and in my estimation will beat. Cambria Heights and Penn Cambria are wins too. It’s a tough road to hoe, but 3-0 is probably a must if the Trojans want to get to the postseason.

*****Enjoyed the “Wildcat” look or major formation as it was referred to in the Tribune Democrat. Very nice, creative way to move the ball and get more touches to Will Harris and give Reed some running room. It’s clear from the series that the Trojans ran it that the shotgun snap isn’t a problem. This begs the question: would running the regular, doubles and tight doubles formations out of gun be a possibility. Doing this could by Shawn Lehman a few more seconds in the passing game and it really won’t take that much away from Reed and the running game. He’s already taken toss pitches five to seven yards deep in the backfield anyway.

 

That’s all for this Monday, but check back each day this week for coverage of the upcoming game with Forest Hills.

 

Monday Morning Ramblings #9

*****Road to 4,000: with two regular season games left, Antwuan Reed stands at 3,758 yards with his performance Friday night against Forest Hills. That puts him 242 shy of the 4,000-yard mark. He’ll need to average 121 yards per game for the remaining two games to make that goal. I think he could break the record this Friday night at Cambria Heights though.

*****Spotted in the press box: Tony Bambino as a coach for Forest Hills. Bambino is a member of the Class of 1987 at Johnstown and the son of Bob “The Rabbit” Bambino, a star running back from the late 50s and member of the WPIAL championship team of 1958.

*****I have to say I’m a little disappointed in the crowd that showed up at Trojan Stadium Friday night. That few people showed up to a game that big because of the threat of rain?!? I’m going to have to stop putting the weather forecast on Tale of the Tape Friday!

*****Great job by everyone from Kevin Marabito down through the staff and of course the players. I feel that Friday was a complete victory. Sure there were some issues, but rarely does a team play a perfect game. Mistakes and penalties were at a minimum and discipline was high. The team also shows its conditioning by not getting tired in the later parts of the game. This has been the case all year, but really showed on Friday when you look at how the Trojans separated themselves from Forest Hills in the second half. Sure, we’re clearly the better team this year but we didn’t let them back in the game.

Credit the game planning and in particular the coordinators. After giving up a few big plays in the first half, Neil Cobaugh’s defense really played lights out. Nothing Forest Hills tried worked. The unit picked off four passes, taking one back for a score, and pressure sophomore quarterback Zack Glessner all evening. They settled down after giving up the big run to Mehall very early on. They were a poor call away from keeping the Rangers from scoring that second touchdown and they held them to a field goal also. This unit may be peaking at just the right time. And what can you say about pitching the shut out in the second half.

As for the offense and Tony Penna, Jr., great job getting Will Harris the ball on multiple carries and taking some pressure off Reed. Reed still got his usual numbers but was able to do it on far less carries, thus keeping him healthy for this stretch run. The passing game is still playing catch up, but they are showing some improvement and the long screen to Jefferson was executed very nicely. A few of the long passes were a hair off, but something to keep working on and not scrap.

Wrapping up this point goes back to the boss. Marabito appears to have the team focused for this three-game season. For Johnstown to make the playoffs, not only do they really need to win outright, but they might need some other things to happen. We’ll get more into that with Numberology on Tuesday but the team really needed this win big. A loss here may have mathematically eliminated them from the postseason. The Forest Hills game was far and away the toughest of the three left on their schedule. This was a must-win and the team got it done. Coaches get far too much blame for losses (and I’m as guilty of doing this as anyone!) so they should get credit in the good times too. This group puts a lot of time and effort into this program, both on and off the field, and the fruits of those labors are showing.

The challenge this week is to keep the team on an even keel against this Cambria Heights team. On paper, this is a “running clock” blowout type of game but the coaches face the obstacle of getting a team motivated to play and beat a winless team like they know they should. It’s a fine line because you don’t want your team overconfident and taking an opponent too lightly but you know in your heart (and head) that you’re far and away the better team.

*****How great was it to see LaRod shine at Heinz Field in Pitt’s upset victory over Cincinnati? I know Shady is a great back in the making but #34 didn’t lead the team in rushing the last two years for nothing. I was happy that he got over the 100-yard mark and those won’t charity yards either. Wannstedt put him in the game in the most crucial series of the day and he scored the go-ahead touchdown. This kid has stepped up and been a team guy and taken the lesser role. He’s gotten spot duty and returned kicks in recent weeks and has done it without any sulking. Anyone that knows this kid should not be surprised. He’s always had a great attitude and it’s great to see him get some glory in a very rough period for the Panther program.

*****Well, the Trojans and the Panthers did their job, but the Steelers screwed up my trifecta on the weekend, losing on a last second field goal to Denver. Oh well, can’t win ‘em all! But it’s late as I stayed up to watch the game so I should be going.

GO TROJANS!

 

Monday Morning Ramblings #10

*****Road to 4,000: well, 47 is the magic number for Antwuan as he fell a little short of the total he needed to eclipse the 4,000 yard mark Friday in Patton. His 195 yards put his career total at 3,953. If you have no other reason to come out Friday night to the game, let this be enough as this young man looks to break this mark on his senior night and final game at Trojan Stadium.

*****Playoff chances are very slim right now. Although I don’t believe the team is mathematically eliminated from postseason play, there are a host of scenarios that have to take place. Of course, first and foremost the Trojans have to take care of their business on the field with a win over Penn Cambria and I don’t doubt that will happen. It’s the other eight or nine things that have to happen that make the 6-AAA bracket unlikely for the Trojans this year.

We’ll have a more in-depth breakdown of this in Numberology which will probably be published on Tuesday.

*****One of the things I’ve neglected to keep up with this season is the Countdown to 600 page. I suppose that keeping up with the daily content of the site, my three to five postings on my PennLive blog and my new responsibilities with the Our Town newspaper this year have kept me away from this but we all know what excuses are like!!!

I will update not only Johnstown but all the other teams on the list once the Trojans’ season is complete.

*****Another thing I haven’t kept up with as much as I would have liked was the Fall Roundup. I will look to post a wrap-up post within the next two weeks as well as get all the fall schedules updated before I move on to working on the winter sports schedules.

Next year I plan on reaching out to each and every varsity coach in the program and have more consistent efforts in the fall roundup. I will do my best in the winter and spring sports season to do this as well.

I’ve always said this is primarily a football site, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like to highlight the achievements of the other sports programs at our great school.

*****Sorry, not much of a ramble this week as I wasn’t able to attend Friday night’s game in Patton. That is the reason there was no Game Report or Report Card this weekend.

Fear not, I plan on attending the Penn Cambria game.

You should too, for at the least this senior class deserves the community’s support in what very well may be their last game as Trojans.

See you Friday!

Monday Morning Ramblings #11

*****As always, the hardest column for me to write is the Monday Morning Ramblings following the final game of the season. This one is especially bittersweet with the Trojans not getting a chance to play in the postseason. That’s not to say it wasn’t a good season, a lot of programs in our area would love to have a 7-3 campaign. However, it’s disappointing not to be able to continue playing. The coaches and players have put a lot of time into this season, as they do every year, and, well, for lack of a better phrase, it sucks that they can’t play another week.

This was something I saw happening a long time ago to either Johnstown or Somerset. These two squads are the only Class AAA teams in the LHAC and therefore, the only AAA teams they play during the regular season are each other. They are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to compiling points throughout the season because the other 6-AAA teams play a schedule with more AAA teams. I always felt one year there would be a team that deserved to play in the playoffs but would be shutout because their schedule didn’t let them compile enough points, even when winning. I just never thought it would be the Trojans.

There are a couple of ways to look at this season. I truly believe the team was a few plays away from being a 9-1 team. When you look back at how the teams that beat Johnstown finished the season, well, I can accept the McCort loss. They are a great team. But the loses to Somerset and Westmont really sting. I guess you could say that the team should have been 10-0 because they beat Richland and the Rams were able to beat McCort but I don’t. If that Richland/McCort game is played nine more times, the Crushers win those nine times. Personally, I feel the Crushers are the odds-on favorite to win the AA district title.

*****The program is definitely in the right direction. Although Bob Arcurio was definitely a polarizing figure to many Johnstown followers, you can’t deny the groundwork that was laid when he came back to Johnstown in 2002. Counting this season, since 2002 the program is 41-23 and this is the first season they’ve missed the postseason in that timeframe. The previous six years (five of which were still in the WPIAL) were 11-45 with no playoff appearances and only one season with more than three wins.

But there still is work to do. Two things that need attention are the competitive balance of the series with McCort and the ability to win at Price Field against Westmont. First, the Crushers, as I mentioned after the loss this year, a rivalry really isn’t a rivalry when one team dominates it. A goal for the program should be to get that series to .500 from the point where JHS joined the LHAC. The Trojans are 1-7 against the Crushers since 2001. Granted a lot of those games were close and not blowout, but close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.

To the other point and Westmont. Playing Saturday afternoons at Price Field has been a trap for a lot of teams, not just Johnstown but it seems like the Trojans struggle greatly. They’ve only beaten the Hilltoppers once at Price Field since they joined the LHAC and a few times, JHS had the better team.

*****The quest to 4,000: Antwuan did it in great fashion with a 330 yard performance that puts his career total at 4278. He now holds the top two single game rushing marks with the game against Richland first and this game second. LaRod’s 328 against Central back in 2003 is third. It’s a shame that he didn’t get a deeper playoff run to see if he could give LaRod’s mark a run for the money. But there is no shame in being the second all-time rusher in school history at a place so rich with tradition as Johnstown. A program that’s been playing football over 100 years and we have been able to enjoy the top two rushers all-time in the last six years. Hopefully those two will be teammates next year at Pitt as is the plan.

*****Going on the preceding theme, here is some food for thought: Johnstown has had D-1 talent at running back the last six seasons and they only have one district title to show for it. I am not saying this to make a shot at anyone, I only bring it up to show how important the team aspect of things are. It’s great to have talented players at individual positions but the whole of the team is the big thing and can be the reason that you get upsets late in the year and unlikely suspects playing deep in the season.

*****On that note, I think the total team looks great and even though there are some great loses and big shoes to fill, there is an outstanding nucleus coming back. The entire O-Line will be back and there is great sophomore talent at wide receiver with Agurs, Stephens-Howling and Jefferson. QB and RB need replaced as Lehman and Reed move on but the QB battle could be really interesting. Does Jordan Jefferson move back in the mix? Jon Sicilano will battle with incoming sophomore John King. Will freshman to be Gervon Simon be moved up to the varsity for a look? Who knows? But it will be interesting to see how things shake out. As for RB, Quadir Christian and Quatrell Rose will most likely battle for those spots. I look for some big things from the Trojans the next two seasons and beyond. Another guy that didn’t get much mention this year is sophomore linebacker Tyler Boyd. What this guy might lack is size he makes up for in desire. Also, he is a student of the game that apparently has a study ethic second to none.

*****Even though the team didn’t make the playoffs this year, it should be mentioned that for the final three weeks of the season they were basically in a do or die situation. To have even a remote possibility of getting in, they had to go 3-0 and that is exactly what they did. Props are in order to the coaching staff and the players for remaining so focused to the task at hand in the midst of great adversity. Great job guys, you made us proud.

*****Thanks to Kevin Marabito for participating in the Coach’s Corner at various times throughout the year, next year I hope for it to be a weekly staple on the site. Also thanks to Brian Subich and Adam Campagna for getting my info on their teams as well as Cyndi Ahlborn and all the work she does for the kids and the program and the information that she shares with me. Thanks also to Georgia Lehman and the info she provided as well as the resource and connection to the boosters. Your input this year was invaluable, I only wish we could have done more for you guys.

And thanks to you the viewers of the Nation. There were some rough patches with the site this year and whenever I got discouraged and even had an inkling of doubt as to whether I wanted to keep going, I thought of you and how checking out the site and how it’s become part of your routine. I’ve received emails from all over the country from alums that enjoy checking up on the team via the website. We hovered around 10,000 hits per month throughout the year and there would be an awful lot of people I’d let down if I didn’t keep plugging away.

*****I will get the Countdown to 600 standings updated before Thanksgiving but I’ll take this opportunity to let you where Johnstown stands. With the 7-3 mark in the 2007 season, the Trojans are 591-369-56. A great season next year could put the Trojans over that historic mark but if that doesn’t happen they should definitely eclipse the 600-win mark at some time in 2009. Last year it was the 1,000th game so this is just another in the long line of great accomplishments of this storied program.

*****That’s all for now, it’s on to basketball and the winter sports season. I hope to see you at Doc Stofko gym at some point this season.

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