Sports Editor’s Playbook, Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010

Patrick Newell

– Before all else, I must acknowledge the birthday of the person who brought me into the world, my mother, who is…older than me by one additional number today. Happy birthday mom!

– The past three days, I have finalized all of the football statistics for the 2010 season, and began the process of receiving all-star nominations from the six area coaches. So far, I have had contact, by e-mail or phone, with half of the half-dozen coaches, and I am estimating we’ll see anywhere from three to six players per team selected to the squad. Of the three coaches I missed, I have left the first of what could be multiple voicemail messages. From a readership perspective, this all-star team seems to be a big favorite, and it’s kind of neat to think that a lot of people are poring through the edition on a day when families come together to give thanks. It is for that reason I am quite persistent in tracking down the local grid mentors.

– Milford Academy might want to ask for more home dates at Norwich High School in future years. The Falcons finished off an 11-1 season last Sunday on the field turf at Norwich. It was the third straight “home” game for Milford, and in those games, the Falcons scored 47, 59, and 51 points. Attendance was also up at the final game, said head coach Bill Chaplick. Perhaps the fact that admission was free to the public helped out a little.

– It’s too bad Jeff Genung shut down the Evening Sun Reader’s Forum for a day. I had general thought to add to one of our threads, one that traipsed through my thoughts this afternoon as I contemplated the Walton football team and its remarkable run into the state semifinals.
I had the opportunity to watch Walton play a game earlier this season against Bainbridge-Guilford, and saw the Warriors fall behind 20-8 in the first half. I thought to myself, “this is not your typical Walton team.” B-G drove for an early touchdown, and tacked on two home run TD runs from Dakota Vandermark. It appeared the Bobcats would hand Walton its second loss in a row. (Sidney beat Walton in week one). Walton’s offense was mistake prone, and the usually stout defense was getting ripped to shreds.
But football games are four quarters long, and Walton’s ball-control offense set the tone in the second half, and the Warriors eked out a last-minute win. Now, two months’ later, Walton is one win from reached the Class D title game. I never saw that coming, especially after my one and only viewing of the team.