Sport Editor’s Playbook, Thursday, Oct. 14

Patrick Newell

As busy as my local sports schedule was on Wednesday night (plus attending a game), I didn’t have the opportunity to call all of the football coaches. Hard to believe we’re in the last third of the local football season, and some sports teams such as girls’ tennis have finished the regular season or are finishing this week. The grid preview this week looks at the area team’s playoff possibilities, and five of the six teams are still entertaining playoff hopes.

– As someone who played four years of high school varsity golf, I am partial to the Norwich results, and Wednesday, head coach Bob Branham happily reported that his team clinched the STAC Central Division title. It’s the first title for Norwich since the late-’90s, and the consistent scoring for Norwich this season is as good as I can remember. Other than a couple early-season road matches on the made-to-score-well courses, Genegantslet and Ely Park’s par-34 nine, Norwich has steadily produced totals in the 200 to 210 range. A 214 at the difficult Conklin Players Club clinched the division, although that respectable score is one the highest for NHS this season – and even that is not sum is all bad. Just two or three years ago, Branham would have gladly taken that team score as the current crop of veteran players were mere youngsters. Eric Walling and Jacob Kelly have provided steady low scores throughout the season, and are already medalist tournament qualifiers. Frankie Somich clinched a medalist tournament spot as well on Thursday after Norwich added to its win total, and with 13 victories, matched the highest total by a Branham-coached team.

– Last year, Greg DuVall went unbeaten during the regular season in wrestling and was named Athlete of the Week. A few months later, DuVall is again our athlete of the week, only in a different sport. Check out that story in Friday’s edition.

– Greene’s field hockey team went 20-0 last year, and had a ridiculous advantage over the opposition in goals scored versus goals given up. It was something like 76 goals for and only four against. This season, the Trojans are on a similar pace with around 50 goals scored and only two allowed. For those keeping track, Greene also has a 32-game winning streak.