Sports Editor’s Playbook, Sept. 6, 2012

Patrick Newell

* Two area quarterbacks with the most common surname in America – Smith – had uncommonly good days in our season-opening football games last weekend. Friday, Matt Smith of Sherburne-Earlville posted the best individual passing numbers we’ve seen from a Marauders quarterback in some time. Making his first varsity start under center, Smith completed 8 out of 11 pass attempts for 180 yards and four touchdown passes. Head coach Mike Jasper said Matt Smith made every throw you could ask for from a high school quarterback. He threw precise slants, out routes, crossing patterns, and even aired one out lofting a long TD pass to an in-stride Devven Ferris for the last of his four TD tosses. Four TD tosses by a Chenango County quarterback doesn’t happen that often, but twice in the same weekend? That’s precisely what Oxford senior signal-caller Jody Smith did against the vaunted Walton defense. Smith had two TD passes apiece to Andrew Golden and first-year varsity receiver Cameron Heggie. In all, Smith was 12-for-23 for 205 yards. Most importantly, Smith did not throw an interception, and is already well ahead of his pace from last year when he led Chenango County with 13 touchdown passes.

* Bainbridge-Guilford football coach, Tim Mattingly, really likes his group of players this year. Not just their ability and potential as a football team, but how this mature group of young men go about their business during practice and in games. “They’re just quiet, hard-working guys, and I don’t have to get after them at all,” Mattingly said. “”I haven’t had a group like this before. There is great leadership and they just push each other. There isn’t any rah rah type of stuff, they just know what they have to do, and they execute it.” If Mattingly does have an occasion to “get after” the team, he isn’t worried how they will react. “They’re the type of kids where you could ride them hard, and they will respond. They go 100 percent hard in whatever drills we are doing. It isn’t easy because there is a lot of game planning and work that goes into each week, but these guys believe in what we’re doing, and they have the potential to be a heck of a team.”

* The Fall Sports Preview appeared in Thursday’s edition in a special 10-page supplement to our regular newspaper. Due to space limitations this year, we weren’t able to place our usual number of headshots for football players as well as the other sports teams. Next year I’ll just have to ask for more sports pages, and that suits me just fine.

Follow Patrick Newell on Twitter @evesunpat