Monday, November 22, 2010

Thank you Rob Lytle

My obsession with Fremont Ross football began on a long ago night at Harmon Stadium. The year was 1969 and the Little Giants were in a rebuilding phase under head coach Chuck Shuff. Ross had fallen on hard times after legendary head coach Mal Mackey had retired after the 1966 season. Shuff took on the job of rebuilding the Little Giants in 1968 after a very brief one year stint with John Behling as the head man in 1967. That October night in '69 saw the Little Giants get one of only two wins that year 24-22 over Mansfield Senior.

I was hooked. I wanted to go to every game and soon enough that would become reality. Everyone I knew, family and friends, talked about the Little Giants. In the next few years names like Shuff, Liggins, Lopez, Lindsay, Burkett, Brudzinski and yes Lytle, were what folks talked about.

Rob Lytle was the first truely great football player I had the opportunity to watch. He and Bob Brudzinski headlined a great 1972 Ross football team that went 9-1, and in this fans opinion was one of the best Little Giant squads I have seen, and still is to this day. Watching Rob run through and around opposing teams defenses was a thing of beauty. Watching him lead his Little Giant teams to big wins over Sandusky was a special treat.

When Rob moved on to the University of Michigan, we Fremonters had even more reason to gloat. That great player who we had the opportunity to watch for three years was now showing the entire country his talents. He came in third in the Heisman voting his Senior year in Ann Arbor and in this totally biased fans opinion should have won the trophy.

Injuries hampered Rob during his years as a professional player with the Denver Broncos but still watching him play on Sunday afternoons was special. He was one of two Fremonters, two All-Americans who had moved onto the professional ranks. Little Giant fans had reason to be proud.

What Rob did after his time in the NFL was even more special. You see, he came home. How many guys who "make it big" leave their high school hometowns in their past? How many of them move on to bigger and better things? Well for Rob Lytle, the bigger and better thing was coming home to Fremont.

Rob came home and contributed to the life of this community. He and Tracey became involved with Fremont. They worked with the schools, the kids, and more. They were, and are role models for what great community citizens should be. And all the while they were busy raising a family.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Tracey, Kelly, Erin and the entire Lytle family at this very difficult time. We hope they know that this community is grateful for being able to share the life and times of Rob Lytle with them. Thank you for that opportunity. And thank you Rob. You will never be forgotten.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

2010 football final thoughts


During the spring and summer months leading up to this season there were some questions about what the 2010 campaign would bring.

Would the Little Giants be able to overcome the off field, personality, and "me" issue that were behind the collapse of the 2009 season?

Would this years senior class be true leaders?

Would the Little Giants finish better than .500?

Was there any way in heck this team could make the playoffs?

What we fans couldn't know, and wouldn't know until the season got underway, the players already knew. Those issues that bedeviled the 2009 season were dead and buried. This team, these kids, wanted to win, wanted a conference title and were hell bent on making the playoffs. Their mantra for this season mocked the fans. 2-8 WHAT.. became their battle cry. That was a saying that I am more than happy to have waved in my face this November.

My first opportunity to catch the 2010 edition of the Little Giants was in the preseason scrimmage against Toledo Waite. As I sat there watching the purple and white roll over the Indians 35-0 in two quarters of football I thought to myself, "maybe this year won't be so bad after all".

The opener against Toledo Start had me thinking that this team would need to open it up more to beat the big boys. Sure we won, but "was this it?". We found out in week two that no way, no how was what we saw at Spartan Stadium "it". Coach Kidwell and his Little Giants stepped it up bigtime and knocked off a powerful team in future TRAC member Toledo Whitmer.

That win over Whitmer was a statement. Unfortunately it went to the heads of many. Fans and players were certain that the following weeks opponent from Tiffin Columbian would be no match for the Little Giants. If we beat Whitmer, a team that handled the Tornadoes 35-6 in week one, imagine what we were going to do to Columbian. "Tiffin Columbian better be worried" was a thread posted on the forum. Sitting at Frost-Kalnow before the opening kickoff I could hear Ross fans saying much the same thing. Problem was, no one passed that message along to Tiffin. The Tornadoes came into the game fired up and manhandled an overconfident squad of Fremonters. A lesson was learned that night. Just because you beat team A who beat team B, does not mean you too will beat team B.

Along came week four and we traveled to Metro Cleveland for our first and only road game against Benedictine. The Bengals, a team that the Little Giants had little success against in 16 previous meetings, had not started the season well. We had seen this before however, and many Fremonters were worried that the "Benny block" would once again strike. As we sat in beautiful Bearcat Stadium in Bedford on a gorgeous fall night it quickly became evident that the hold Benedictine had over Ross was coming to an end. The Little Giants rolled out to a 28-0 halftime lead and never looked back in burying the Bengals and the "Benny block" by a 47-7 score.

Ross was 4-1 as the final GBC season began with a road trip to our old rivals in Findlay. With three backs running wild over the Trojans the Little Giants held off a late Findlay charge to get some revenge by a 43-35 score and a leg up in the GBC race.

Tough wins over Marion Harding, Napoleon and Lima Senior followed keeping the Little Giants atop the Greater Buckeye. At 8-1 overall and 4-0 in the GBC Ross was on the doorstep of winning the final GBC title outright and making the playoffs. Only one team, one thing, stood in our way...Sandusky. The Blue Streaks were having their best season in some years and came into the Don a 3-1 in the conference, 6-3 overall. A Blue Streak win would give them a share of the league crown. A playoff berth, their first since 1990, was a possibility as well.

The week leading up to the 105th meeting between the two old rivals saw the most excitement for the series in some time in both communities. Rallys and bonfires took place before the game in both Fremont and Sandusky. The chatter on the Ross forum, and others, was quite colorful and energetic. The old fires of the great old rivalry were being rekindled and fans from both schools looked forward to the game on Friday night.

The largest crowd to witness a Ross-Sandusky game in years filled Don Paul Stadium on October 29th. It was good to see so many folks in blue and white on the visitors side. The turnout by Sandusky was matched by a large and vocal home crowd that was loud the entire game. In the end the Little Giants got revenge on the Blue Streaks for 2009. Ross won 21-7 and took the final Greater Buckeye Conference title outright. Both teams qualified for the postseason.

The Little Giants fell to Toledo St. Johns in the first round of the postseason despite a furious second half comeback attempt. I was so proud of the huge turnout of Fremont Ross fans in numbers and voice at Doyt Perry Stadium. Our first win in the playoffs since 1983 will have to wait for another year. It will come.

This 2010 season could not have been possible without the great leadership of a Senior class that was determined to wipe away the memories 2009. They came together, united, and wiped away the "me first" attitude that was our downfall in '09.

What will 2011 bring? Plenty of excitement that is for sure. Our first year in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference. A week one contest at Sandusky. A team with lots of returning talent. The future of Fremont Ross football looks bright. We have a talented, committed coach, assistants, an involved community and fan base. Let's build on the lessons learned before this 2010 campaign and use them to make 2011 even better.

To the team, coaches and all involved in making 2010 so successful. THANK YOU. We fans appreciate your hard work and effort. To the Seniors who helped make 2010 what is was, GOOD LUCK. To the kids coming back...WORK HARD, LIFT HARD, GET READY FOR 2011. We'll be there to support you.

GO ROSS...Now and always!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday morning thoughts...11/7/10


That sums it up when it comes to last nights 45-35 playoff loss to Toledo St. Johns. Good teams take advantage of mistakes and that is what the Titans did last night in the first half. Our Little Giants dug themselves into a hole too deep and we simply could not crawl out of it.

Make no mistake, this team tried with all the heart and grit that they could muster. The Little Giants never gave up and fought back pulling to within striking distance of the Jesuits, but it was not to be. 39-29 and 45-35 deficits were as close as we could get. I just keep thinking if we had made that two point conversion after pulling to within 45-35 and it was 45-37 then maybe, just maybe..... But then if we had not dug ourselves into a hole too deep in the first half all the "maybe" , and "what if" talk would be for naught as we would be playing in week 12.

My player of the game would have to be young Tyler Wolf. That young man carried his team on his back in the second half. Tyler tried hard to rebound from the first half mistakes to bring his team back. The young man would not quit. Even when he went down and appeared to limp off the field he would not be stopped. After one play on the sidelines he was back on the field fighting hard to bring his team back. We Little Giant fans are fortunate that this young man will be leading our team for the next two years. But he is not alone. Fremont Ross has a load of talent coming back and coming up. We will be ready for the TRAC battles to come.

But last night was not just Tyler Wolf. The entire team fought hard. No one gave up, no one gave in. Brown, Reffner, Stout, Miranda, Moreno, Starks, Trautwein, McDonald, and more. They ALL fought hard all night long. You could see it on the sidelines. These Little Giants did not want their season to end. They did not get down, they did not give up, but the hole which we dug ourselves into was just a little too deep to get out of.

I am not one to question the officials. But there were some calls and noncalls last night that made me shake my head. Some fans sitting around me were a bit more vocal in their opinions on the officiating. If I were St. Johns head coach Pearson, I would be having a very frank discussion with one particular player about his attitude. Talk about the "spoiled rich kid" stereotype.

In our week 10 victory over Sandusky I was impressed by Fremont Ross fans. Well last night at Doyt Perry Stadium the folks in purple and white were simply put..AMAZING. Fremonters came in droves to BG to support the Little Giants. Thousands of Little Giant fans poured into the east side of the Doyt, easily outnumbering the Titan fans who didn't even fill one section of the home side. And just like their team, the Little Giant fans did not get down when we fell behind. Simply put, Fremont Ross has the very best fan base in Northwest Ohio and we prove it every week.

I hesitate to ask this but the question is there. Is there a Fremont Ross playoff hex? We have a tremendous football tradition, no one can deny that. But if we are honest with ourselves something happens when we get into the postseason. What is it?

So this 2010 season is now in the books. Thoughts on the season as a whole will be coming soon. But it is never too early to look to 2011.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Saturday morning thoughts...10/30/10


Last nights 21-7 victory over Sandusky was a great playoff-atmosphere win before a big, loud crowd that brought back memories of the glory days of this old rivalry.

The Little Giants survived a whole lot of turnovers to win this game. Fortunately, Sandusky had their share of turnovers as well. It hurt them a bit more than ours hurt us.

Kudos to Tylor Trautwein for winning the running back showdown with Mr. Strickland. Tylor didn't just win it, he trounced Strickland. This after we heard all week how we were not going to be able to stop the Sandusky back. Granted Strickland got a little over 100 yards but Tylor doubled that and then some. That 76 yard TD run was a thing of beauty.

The Little Giant defense did a good job slowing the good Sandusky offense. Again, we heard all week how Sandusky was going to run and pass all over the Little Giants. Some Sandy fans were predicting wins by 34-0 scores and more. Yea, not so much.

What a good crowd! Sure it wasn't the "call the fire marshal" crowds of 10 or 11,000 of days gone by but there was lots of folks standing in the endzones. Kudos to fans from both programs but especially our Little Giants fans. One request...BRING THAT ENERGY INTO NEXT WEEKS PLAYOFF GAME! I was so proud of Fremont fans last night. And how about the marriage proposal on the scoreboard. The happy couple were sitting right in front of me.. Good luck to you two.

The Marching Little Giants did a great job last night too. Our band, which has been the target of some critics this season for not being involved, were into the game last night which was good to see. Kudos to Ms. Lewis and Co.

Now it is on the the playoffs. Our sixth playoff appearance overall and first since 2006. It looks as though we will be facing Toledo St. Johns. Home or away is yet to be determined but who cares where it will be? TEAM, FANS, BAND, COMMUNITY....WE'LL BE THERE.

2010 checklist....
Beat Toledo Whitmer....CHECK
Beat Cleveland Benedictine....CHECK
Beat Findlay....CHECK
Beat Napoleon....CHECK
Beat Sandusky....CHECK
Win the GBC title....CHECK
Qualify for the playoffs....CHECK

Now there is just one thing left...
Feel that weight? It's real heavy. What is it?
That weight is a HUGE monkey on our back. He's wearing a sweater with the word PLAYOFFS emblazoned on the front. We need to get that big ol monkey off our backs. We can do that by WINNING in the postseason. No matter who we play. No matter where it is. AS A COMMUNITY, A FAMILY let's go into the playoffs next Saturday night with a head of steam AND WIN!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Let's do this together!

"The Sandusky rivalry isn't relevant anymore."

"The kids look at Findlay as our big rival now."

"Only you old fogies think Sandusky is our big rival anymore"

Maybe those thoughts, which have been expressed by folks on the forum and elsewhere have been true in recent years. But definitely not this year.

This Friday night the younger folks in Fremont get to experience what this historic rivalry means, and why. We "old fogies" meantime get to sit back and watch as the kids come to understand what the fuss is all about.

They'll come to understand why we talk about the back to back 7-0 wins in 1983.
They'll come to understand the meaning of the 28-27 win in 1969.
They'll understand our stories about the big, standing room only, sellout crowds.
They'll get it when they hear us talk about spirit jugs and outhouses on the front lawn at Ross High.
They'll get it when we talk about Mal Mackey vs. Earle Bruce.
They'll get it when the really old ones among us talk about Thanksgiving Day games.
...and more

This old rivalry that was born in 1895 and has lived through two world wars, a depression, and more, may have fallen asleep in recent times but comes to life again this Friday night. Its an opportunity for we old fogies to join our youngsters in supporting the Little Giants as they battle our historic rivals. Grey hairs and wrinkles joining youth and vigor in yelling ourselves hoarse as we make it clear to our opponents from Erie County that we are one. A family and community dressed in purple and white ,together with one purpose in mind.

Old and young, together as one Fremont. Little Giant fans united. Lets do this together.


Monday, October 25, 2010

This week in Ross football history....1980


The tenth week of the 1980 season saw the Little Giants hosting arch-rival Sandusky in a Buckeye Conference showdown at Harmon Stadium. Ross was 5-0 in the Buckeye and 8-1 on the season.

The game was a typical Fremont Ross-Sandusky defensive battle that was the norm for the era. The Little Giant defense was tough all night allowing the Blue Streaks just 72 yards of offense, all on the ground for the entire game. The Sandusky defense was almost as stout, allowing the purple and white to score just once.

The Little Giants scored on their fourth offensive posession of the night. Eric Bates punched it in from six yards out to put Ross up 6-0. Bates followed the blocking of Shawn Simms, Scott Manahan, and Bill Hicks over the left side to put Ross in the lead. Greg Bobay made the extra point kick and that was all the scoring that the Fremonters would need to win the game.

The Ross scoring drive was helped out by QB Mike Eichers 23 yard run on a first and 22 situation at the Little Giant 48 yard line. The Eicher run gave Ross the ball deep in Sandusky territory. Two plays later Bates followed his wall of blockers and put it in.

Sandusky had their scoring chances. The Streaks recovered a Fremont fumble and were threatening at the Ross 29 yard line. The Little Giant D however would have none of it and stuffed the boys in blue and white. Little Giant defender Dennis Murray had two key tackles against the Streaks in the offensive series for eight yards in losses.

When Sandusky went to the airways to try to move the ball Ross star Tony Gant was there to intercept three of Blue Streak QB Craig Cliffs passes. Gant had picks at the Ross 40, nine and 23 yard lines.

The win over the Blue Streaks gave the Little Giants their first Buckeye Conference title since 1976 season. Ross finished 6-0 in the BC and 9-1 overall, their best overall mark since finishing 9-0-1 in 1974. Sandusky finished the season at 8-2.

Eric Bates finished the night with 27 carries for 91 yards. That put him at 1,025 yards for the season.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday morning thoughts....week nine edition..the abbreviated edition from my desk at work.


Simply put, the team that was in better shape won last night.

As last nights 28-3 win over a cocky Lima Senior squad wore on it was evident that the Little Giants were wearing the Spartans down. That kind of thing does not just happen. It's the result of a good strength and conditiong program. The kind of strength program we now have thanks to assistant coach Mike Lento.

Once again the defense did a great job. Lima was stopped by the Little Giant defense several times on key third and fourth down situations. Our defense has really stepped it up this year and the coaching staff deserves a ton of credit for their hard work in addressing this issue.

Tyler Wolf was 11 of 17 for 160 yards and two touchdowns last night. Tylor Trautwein continued his great season with 150 yards on 29 carries. It appears that the injury bug that plagued us for the last few games is for the most part gone. That is great to see headed into week 10.

I thought Limas players showed absolutely no class as they entered the field last night. Some of the Spartans were taunting the Little Giants to the point where the officials had to step in between the two teams. How'd that work out for you Lima?

Now it's on to week 10 against a rival that some say doesn't matter anymore. Sandusky comes into next weeks game with a lot on the line. The Streaks are 3-1 in the GBC and 6-3 overall. A win by Sandy would give them a tie for the conference title and clinch a playoff game. Let's make sure that doesn't happen.


Monday, October 18, 2010

This week in Ross football history...1970


Week nine of the 1980 season saw the Little Giants hosting the Pioneers of Elyria. The 1960's were a decade of football excellence for Elyria and the '70 editon of the Pioneers was no different. Elyria was a defensive power allowing just 43 points in the first eight games of the 1970 campaign as they posted a 6-2 record coming into Harmon Stadium to face the Little Giants.

Ross meantime had slumped to 4-4 on the season after rolling out to a 4-1 mark after the first five games. The Little Giants limped into the game against Elyria losers of three in a row. Findlay, Lorain Senior and arch-rival Sandusky had pushed the purple and white back down to the .500 mark.

The Pioneers struck first. The vaunted Elyria defense put the points on the board three minutes into the game on a 42 yard fumble recovery. Rick Nelson picked up the Little Giants bobble and ran the ball into the end zone with 9:43 left to go in the first. The PAT was good and the Pioneers led 7-0.

Ross proved they too, could capitalize on mistakes. Rob Lytle recovered a ball that both Elyria deep receivers bobbled on a punt which gave the Little Giants the ball at the Pioneer 28 yard line. Tom Liggins bulled his way into the Red and Whites endzone seven plays later for the first of his two TD's. Bill Burkett ran in the two point PAT and the Little Giants led the powerful Pioneers 8-7.
Ted Kreilick then recovered an Elyria fumble on the Ross 14 yard line as the second quarter ticked away and the Little Giants went into the locker room at the half with that one point lead.

The second half saw a tremendous defensive effort, but not by the Pioneers. The Little Giants held Elyria to just one first down and a total of 20 yards in the second half. The Ross offense ran over the Pioneers with Tommy Liggins leading the way. Liggins scored on a 34 yard TD run to put Ross up 14-7. The extra point attempt failed and the scored remained 14-7.

While the scoring was done, the Ross offense was not. Ross ate up the clock on a long drive that started at their own three and ended at the Pioneer 19 chewing up 1o minutes of time and keeping the ball out of the hands of the Elyria offense. The Little Giants drive stalled and Ross was forced to punt. The Pioneers were running out of time and were forced to go to the air to try to come back. That proved a mistake as Little Giant defender Mike Ruland intercepted a Pioneer pass and returned it to the Elyria 40 where he fumbled the ball and they recovered the ball. That would be the final play of the game however. With four seconds left the game erupted into a fistfight that emptied both benches and required school officials, coaches, stadium officials and Fremont police to bring things under control. The officials ended the contest by sending both teams to their locker rooms and the Little Giants moved to 5-4 on the season with a 14-7 win.

For the game Tommy Liggins led all rushers with 124 yards. Bill Burkett added 75 yards for Ross in the contest. For the game the Little Giants offense ground out 218 yards while holding the powerful Pioneers to a total of 100.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday morning thoughts, 10/16/10


Sure Napoleon had lost to Lima Senior in double overtime last week 27-20. Sure, the Wildcats may have been ranked higher in the AP poll than some of us thought they deserved to be if that antiquated poll holds any water anymore anyway.

But it's still Napoleon.

Yearly in the preseason we read and hear that the Wildcats numbers are down. We hear that they lost a lot from the previous season. We hear that Napoleon won't be as good as they were in seasons past. Some folks fall for that kind of talk.

But it's still Napoleon.

Last night our Little Giants faced the same kind of Napoloeon team we face year in and year out. Well coached, well disciplined, hard nosed kids who come out and play hard, every play, every down. They don't get down if they fall behind because they know they will be in the game at the end. And that's where they were last night.

But at the end those hard-nosed, disciplined kids ran into a Fremont Ross football team that refused to give in. The Little Giant offense struck first in an easy drive to take a 7-0 lead. But the Wildcats refused to be rattled and battled back to tie the score at 7-7.

That's when another hard nosed group of young men took over and refused to lose. That group was the Ross defense. Ross stopped Napoleon in the Ross red zone and led by a Drew Starks pick six, the D gave the Little Giants a 14-7 halftime lead.

In the second half the Ross defense was on the field more than they should have been but held the Wildcats on all but one drive. The 'Cats used that drive to tie the score and force the game into OT. At that point our kids looked tired. Could they stop Napoleon in OT?

Ross got the ball first and sputtered a bit before Wolf hit Drew Starks with a 20 yard pass to the Napoleon 5. Two plays later Tylor Trautwein bulled his way in to put Ross up 20-14. Gabe Tayar hit the PAT and it was 21-14 Ross.

Apparently that three plus minute rest the Little Giant defense had between the end of regulation and taking the field after the score was all that was needed. A pumped up defensive unit hit the field and stymied Napoleon forcing them into a 4th and 9 situation from the 19. Once again, Starks was there to bat down a pass ending the game.

The Little Giants are now 3-0 in the final season of the Greater Buckeye Conference and 7-1 overall. It's all out there for this team and it's fans. A GBC title, and a playoff berth. But we cannot, we must not look beyond Lima Senior. The Spartans are a much better team than their record indicates. Remember this. Lima has never beaten Fremont Ross in football.....ever. Coach Darnell Collins will have his kids ready next Friday night. The Little Giants and their fans must be ready too. No looking ahead, no big heads.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

This week in Ross football history....1980


Friday night, October 17th 1980 the Little Giants faced the Presidents of Marion Harding in a Buckeye Conference tilt. The game was played in a downpour at Harmon Stadium but the rain didn't hamper the Ross defensive effort. The Ross defense however hampered Marion all night long allowing the President minus 23 yard rushing for the game.

Eric Gant started the Little Giant scoring by stopping Harding back Bill Canada two yards deep into the endzone giving Ross a 2-0 lead. Eric Bates then scored for the Little Giants on a 12 yard TD run in the second quarter to put the purple and white up 9-0.

That 9-0 lead lasted through halftime and until the 5:03 mark of the third quarter when Little Giant QB Mike Eicher scored to put Ross up 15-0. Eicher also scored on a quarterback sneak in the fourth quarter to put Ross up 22-0. Clay Keim finished the Fremont scoring on a four yard TD run. The PAT pushed the score to the final 29-0 total.

The Ross defensive effort was led by Jim Casey, Eric Gant, Shawn Simms, Orlando Carter, Dennis Murray and Bob Lotycz. Their great effort allowed the Eicher led Little Giant offense do their job. Eric Bates led Ross rushers with 109 yards on 26 carries.

With the win the Little Giants moved to 4-0 in the Buckeye Conference and 7-1 overall.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Saturday morning thoughts....10/9/10


Last nights Little Giant win over Marion Harding reminded me of the old days in the Buckeye Conference. In the "super 70's when Ross was rolling it seemed as though Marion would give us a very tough game every year. Last night was just kind of game.

The Presidents are a good 1-6 team. That may sound odd but not really. If you didn't know the records and history of these two teams last night you would have thought the Presidents were the "better" team, especially in the first half. Hardings powerful offense did what they needed to against Ross. Sims, Scott and Co. had their way against the Little Giant defense. Meantime the Presidents defense held Ross to zero first downs in the first half. The Little Giant offense was stymied by a good Marion defense. Had it not been for a great Wolf to Brown TD pass(a thing of beauty) and a fumble recovery returned for a TD, this would have been a much different game.

Luckily the Ross defense woke up at halftime and shut down the Marion running game and the Little Giants punched in a TD on a Greg Brown 27 yard TD run. Ross got hosed by the refs on the points after try but it was enough to roll up win #39 all time against Marion.

I honestly have no idea why Gabe Tayar was not kicking last night. I hope the young man is back for next Friday nights crucial contest at Napoleon. Ballenger did a good job as his replacement.

What a wild night in the GBC. After the dust settled the Little Giants find themselves all alone atop the league at 2-0. With four of our defeated opponents winning last night Ross will remain in the top eight in the playoff race.

Congrats to Ross homecoming queen Stephaine Swint and her court. It was a beautiful night at the Don capped by a win. We'll take it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

This week in Ross football history....1930


Week seven of the 1930 season saw the Little Giants continue their quest for a Little Big Seven conference title against Tiffin Columbian. Ross was 5-1 on the season after a 25-0 win the previous week over Willard.

Tiffin came into Fremont to face a Little Giant team determined to avenge a loss to their Seneca County neighors suffered in 1929. Ross rolled out to a 25-0 lead before Coach Robert Oldfather pulled the first string. Columbian got their only score after that.

The Little Giants first points of the game came at the end of a long drive that started at the Ross 10 yard line and was climaxed by a five yard Td run by Hess. The extra point attempt failed and the Little Giants led 6-0. The second Ross score came after the Little Giants recovered a Tiffin fumble at the Columbian 40. Ross drove to the Tiffin one where Hess punched it in for the score. The PAT was good and Ross led 13-0.

The Little Giants scored again in the third quarter with a drive that started on the Tiffin 31. Ross capped that drive with an O'Farrell to Brehm touchdown pass. The extra point attempt was no good and the Fremonters were leading 19-0.

The final Ross TD came later in the third quarter when a Columbian punt was very short and the Little Giants took over at the Tiffin 17 yard line. O'Farrell promptly scored for Ross on a 17 yard run. The PAT was no good and Fremont led 25-0.

The Tornadoes punched in a score against the Fremont second team to complete the scoring for the Saturday afternoon.

The 25-6 win gave the Little Giants a 6-1 record as they went on to win the Little Big Seven title.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Saturday morning thoughts....10/2/10


What a difference a year makes. After a 43-40 triple overtime heartbreaking loss to Findlay last year the Little Giants slipped to 4-2 on the season and did not recover. Ross slumped to a 5-5 season and things looked bleak. There was talk of discord in the locker room. Players were out for themselves and there was no team play.

Headed up by some tremendous Senior leadership the Little Giants put the vestiges of 2009 behind them and ran over arch-rival Findlay last night 43-35. Let's put it out there right from the get-go; If there were any questions about Senior Greg Brown and his turnaround, his leadership, his committment to his team and about his talent, last night answered those questions. I was particularly hard on young Mr. Brown on forum posts and in this blog last year. At the time it may have been well deserved. The credit he deserves this season is also well deserved. Good job Greg. Keep up the good work.

The determination of the Little Giants last night was clearly evident in the powerhouse running of Tylor Trautwein and Trent Stout. Those young men were not to be stopped. I don't ever recall Fremont Ross having three backs with over 100 yards rushing in one game....ever. That determination was also evident on the sidelines last night. After Trautwein limped out of the game he could be seen pacing the sidelines, determined to get back in.

Last night was a what has become a typical Ross-Findlay game. Some have said that this rivalry has surpassed the Sandusky game as our top game. Last nights contest, and the past several games with the Trojans have done nothing to take away from that claim. Sandusky may have something to say about that this year however. The Blue Streaks are 4-2 on the season and 1-0 in the GBC after their win over Lima. I know we need to take it one game at a time, but week 10 could be something special this year.

Kudos go out to the fans, the band and the cheerleaders. All were into the game and pumped up last night. The sight of the cheerleaders running back and forth with the "R-O-S-S" flags after each touchdown has become a tradition I hope goes on for a long time to come.

Now back to 2009 for just a moment. After that tough 43-40 loss to Findlay, Ross hobbled into Marion where they lost 21-0 in the rain and wind. I'm still not sure if we gave that game away or if Marion beat us. But that was last year....


Monday, September 27, 2010

This week in Ross football history....1980


Week six of the 1980 season saw the Pete Moore coached Little Giants at Ely Stadium visiting the Elyria Pioneers. The Little Giants came into the game at 4-1 after losing to top ranked Cleveland Benedictine the previous week 21-12.

Eric Bates got the ball rolling for the Little Giants at the 8:33 mark of the first quarter. Bates sprinted in from 32 yards out to give the purple and white a 6-0 lead. The extra point attempt failed and the scored stayed 6-0 until the 2:41 mark of the first when Ross QB Mike Eicher bulled his way in from 49 yards out. Shawn Simms added the two point conversion and the Little Giants took a 14-0 lead over the Pioneers.

The powerful Ross defense took over and held Elyria until the fourth quarter when the Little Giant offense struck again. Eicher scored from one yard out and added the two point conversion to put Ross up 22-0 with 11:53 to go. Gary Paxson closed out the scoring by hauling in a 3 yard TD pass from Eric Bates. Bates added the two point conversion putting Ross up 30-0.

How powerful was the Little Giant defensive effort in bottling up the Pioneers? The total offensive output by Elyria amounted to 3 first downs and 15 total yards. Ross meantime rolled to 14 first downs and 301 total yards.

The Little Giants win broke a four game losing streak at the hands of the Pioneers and was head coach Moores first win over Elyria. Ross took over sole possesion of first place in the Buckeye Conference and moved the Little Giants to 5-1 on the season.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday morning thoughts... 9/26/10


The first quarter of last nights game was a bit scary. It appeared that the Little Giants would not be able to stop the Preppers offense. When University School went up 10-0 on a field goal on the first play of the second quarter, I was just a little worried.

A key fumble recovery in the endzone by the defense woke the offense up and Ross got rolling. By the end of the half the Little Giants had a 21-10 lead and did not look back. Once again led by Tylor Trautwein, the Ross offense ran over the Prepper defense. Trautwein ran for 187 total yards, including a beautiful 87 yard TD run that capped the nights scoring. Kudos to the coaching staff for making the necessary adjustments last night to turn things around early allowing the Giants to roll.

It was good to see Gabe Tayar get a field goal last night. The young man is a great addition to the program. His kicking, along with the punting of Eric Hogle are excellent.

Fortunately this game with University School was a one time thing. They brought no fans and no band. Saturday night games are interesting, but only during the playoffs. Give me a Friday night game anytime.

Now it is on to Findlay. Last year at this point we were 4-1 and finished 1-4. Things are very much different this season and we really need to go into Donnell Stadium with a head of steam and come out of next Friday night at 5-1. We can do it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Week five in Ross football history....1970


Week five of the 1970 season saw the resurgent Little Giant football program under the guidance of Chuck Shuff taking on the Presidents of Marion Harding at Harmon Stadium. Marion came into the game at 3-1 on the season but 0-1 in the Buckeye Conference after losing a hard fought 34-22 decision to Sandusky the week before. The Little Giants meantime, rolled into the game on the heels of a three game win streak, the longest since 1965. Ross was 3-1 as well, 1-0 in the Buckeye after a 28-14 win the previous week over Mansfield Senior.

Tom Liggins got things going for the purple and white in the first quarter scoring on a two yard run. Bill Burkett ran for the two point PAT and the Little Giants led 8-0. Liggins punched another TD over in the second quarter, this time from six yards out. The PAT failed and the Little Giants led 14-0. That score held up until the third quarter when Harding came back.

The third quarter was all Marion as the Presidents scored twice but failed on both extra point attempts. Roger Chase ran a touchdown in from four yards out to narrow the margin to 14-6. Later in the third Rick Huddle hauled in a 10 yard TD pass from Prexie QB Frank Gifford(I swear that's his name). As the quarter ended the Little Giants clung to a 14-12 lead.

The Little Giants got things rolling again in the final quarter. Sophomore Rob Lytle scored on a 31 yard TD run and Burkett scored the two point PAT putting Ross up 22-12. Fremont wasn't done and neither was Tom Liggins. The talented Little Giants Senior scored on a 20 yard TD run. The extra point was no good and Ross had a 28-12 lead which was also the final score.

Liggins led all ball carriers on the night with 27 carries for 120 yards. The Little Giants as a team finished with 331 total yards to 225 for the Presidents. With the win Ross moved to 2-0 in the Buckeye Conference and 4-1 overall. When the AP poll came out the following Tuesday the Little Giants were ranked 16th, the first time Ross appeared in the poll in several years.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday morning thoughts....9/18/10


Dominating? Punishing? Overwhelming?
Pick any one of those, or all of those and that would be the description of last nights 47-7 Little Giant win over Cleveland Benedictine. From the first quarter when Tyler Wolf hit Greg Brown on an 85 yard TD pass to the runback of a fumble by JJ Moreno in the fourth quarter, Ross was hitting on all cylinders last night.

Once again the determined running of Tylor Trautwein impressed. The young man ran through, over, and carried along, Bengal defenders time and again. His four touchdowns were fun to watch. The running of Trent Stout, and Matt Egbert were big contributions to this win as well.

Tyler Wolf is just a Sophomore folks. That young man had a stellar night. His poise and leadership will only continue to develop. Kudos to Coach Kidwell for his ability to develop good QB's for our program. When all is said and done, Wolf could very well be the best QB to come out of Fremont Ross.

The Little Giant D. WOW. What a difference a week makes. The Ross defense shut Benny down. Miranda, Moreno and company did a tremendous job last night. That Drew Starks pick of a Bengal pass in the second half was well deserved. He nearly had one just a little before that, so when he actually did get the int. it was nice to see, and it snuffed out a Benedictine drive.

If Benedictine thought that the second half was going to be a turnaround for them Tylor Trautwein took care of that with his 92 yard return of the kickoff for a TD. Very nice.

Gabe Tayar missed on two FG attempts. He JUST missed on a 51 yard attempt as the first half ended. His kicking, along with Eric Hogels punting kept Benedictine bottled up in their end of the field most of the game.

I was sitting next to the scouts from Cleveland Central Catholic. The Ironmen host Benedictine next week. The CCC scouts were raving about the Little Giants and I can say that Fremont Ross football recruited several new fans last night as a result. It was enjoyable listening to them rave about the Little Giants.

And how about Bedfords stadium. What a beautiful facility! The only downside was the scoreboard. I had no idea what the clock read the entire game. Behind the visitors side there were deer grazing in a field. The place was very nice.

Our series with Benedictine ends for now. But what a way for it to end. Let's now focus on keeping next weeks opponents from University School at 599 wins. They'll be shooting for win 600 next Saturday night at the Don.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Week four in Ross football history....1970


Week four of the 1970 football season saw the Chuck Shuff coached Little Giants on the road. Ross was at Arlin Stadium in Mansfield to take on a good Tyger team. Mansfield was 2-0-1 on the season and coming into the game after a scoreless tie with Mansfield Madison. The Tygers were ranked in the top 20 in the AP poll. The Little Giants came into the game at 2-1 after a 14-0 win over Toledo Bowsher. Ross was 2-1 for the first time since 1967.

The Little Giants struck first on a 6 yard Tom Liggins TD run. The PAT was no good and Ross had a 6-0 lead which held through the end of that first quarter. The Tygers put the only points of the second quarter on the board on a 1 yard run by Greg Warndorff. Ray Webb punched the two point PAT over and Mansfield took an 8-6 lead in to the locker room at halftime.

In the second half Liggins went back to work for the Little Giants. In his trademark workman-like effort, the Ross back scored on a five yard third quarter TD. He added the two point PAT to put the purple and white up 14-8. That 14-8 score stood until the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth stanza Liggins put Ross up 22-8 on a 3 yard TD run and by scoring the 2 point PAT. Ray Webb wasn't quite finished for his Tygers as he scored on a 12 yard TD run to pull Mansfield to within 22-14. The PAT failed and the Little Giants led by 8. Just as Webb wasn't quite finished, neither was Liggins. The Fremont back scored on a five yard TD run in the fourth to put Ross up 28-14. The PAT failed and that was the final score.

In the battle between Webb and Liggins the Tyger back had 14 carries for 119 yards. Liggins toted the ball 30 times for 85 yards. Liggins also had several key third and fourth down conversions for his Little Giants, keeping drives alive.

Mansfield was hurt by two big personal fouls, one of which allowed the Little Giants to kick off from their own 45. The Little Giants meantime kept their cool and did not suffer from any major penalties.

Mansfield had 287 total yards of offense to 211 for Ross. The Little Giants has a 172-162 edge on the ground while the Tygers had a 125-39 edge through the airways.

The win put Ross at 3-1 on the season. The first time since 1965 that the Little Giants had won three in a row. Mansfield fell to 2-1-1 on the season.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Saturday morning thoughts...9/11/10


Last week at this time I was writing about how well our Little Giants played on both sides of the ball. The offense clicked against Whitmer and the defense held their own against a tough Panther squad. What a difference a week makes. But things like this happen, we'll be ok.

Columbian was just a much more physical team last night. No one expected that after last week, but that may have been the issue. Despite our words to the contrary I believe many of us believed that since we did so well against Whitmer, that we would blow Columbian away. Well someone forgot to tell the Tornadoes about that.

We can't discount the emotion on the other side of the field. Coach Colatruglio had been an assistant for Coach Kidwell at Hopewell-Loudon. You know that was additional incentive for him and his kids in Tiffin as well.

We'll be ok folks, I truly believe that. Our offense is good. Tylor Trautwein is one hell of an athlete and proves it on every play. That kid makes something out of nothing when he carries the ball. And Tyler Wolf is a good QB that is only going to get better. He busted his behind trying to keep us in the game last night. That young man is tough, don't doubt that. And you cannot discount the kicking of Gabe Tayar. That young man quietly is contributing every week.

Yes, we still have worries on the defensive side of the ball. But progress is being made. Are we there yet? No. Will we get there? I believe we will.

Tiffin sure got a great addition to their program with the transfer of young Mr. Golladay from Reynoldsburg. He is fast. Tittle at QB for the Tornadoes did a good job too. He sure has the last name for football to say the least.

Let's put this game behind us and focus on this next Friday night. Another Benedictine on the horizon. The only difference is that this one is in Cleveland. This season is far from over, let's stay focused and positive.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"I know Fremont Ross"

Recently we had some work done on our home by a contractor. Last evening he stopped by to make sure everything was satisfactory and to pick up the check. As we sat in our living room discussing the work, he spotted my 2010 Fremont Ross football program and his eyes lit up. "That's from Fremont Ross, you're from Fremont?". I proudly told him that of course I'm from Fremont. His response was "I know Fremont Ross!".

I asked the contractor if he was from Fremont and his response was no, he wasn't from Fremont, or from Ohio. He was born and bred in Michigan but "everyone knows about Fremont Ross. It's a good football school". He then went on to list a number of Little Giants with Michigan connections including his favorite college football player of all time, Rob Lytle. He spoke at length about Lytles time as a Wolverine and the enjoyment he got watching the former Little Giant play for the maize and blue. He also talked about Tony Gant and Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson.

He knew about the Ross-Sandusky rivalry and asked how the Little Giants were doing this year. "How's that Brown kid doing? You know he is coming up here next year." I promised to keep him filled in on how Ross does this year and how Greg Brown does as well. He asked who we were playing this week and after I told him we got back to a discussion of the work done on our home. As he left he reminded me to keep him updated on the 2010 Little Giants and said, " Beat Tiffin!" which I thought was pretty neat.

Sometimes we forget that Fremont Ross football is not just a local thing. Folks from all over follow the Little Giants. Sometimes they are people you would never expect, like a contractor in Michigan with no ties to Fremont at all.

Let's not let him down tomorrow night....


Monday, September 6, 2010

Week three in Ross football history....1980


Week three of the 1980 season saw the Little Giants welcome the Fighting Irish of Toledo Central Catholic to Harmon Stadium for a non-conference contest. Ross came into the game at 2-0 after wins over Tiffin Columbian and Toledo DeVilbiss. The Irish came in at 1-1.

The Ross defense had a good game in pitching the shutout, allowing Central just 108 total yards, but the Little Giant offense was hampered by 12 penalties for 145 yards.

The two teams battled to a scoreless halftime tie. Ross drew first, and only blood at the 6:13 mark of the third quarter. Little Giant QB Mike Eicher hit Scott Logan with a 76 yard TD pass to put Ross up 6-0. The PAT was no good and that was all the scoring on the night as Coach Pete Moores Giants moved to 3-0 with Lorain Admiral King on the horizon in the Buckeye Conference opener.

The Little Giants had 273 yards of total offense to 108 for the Irish.
Ross had a 161-47 advantage on the ground and 112-61 through the air.

Shawn Simms had two big QB sacks and Brent Foos picked off two Central passes, his fourth and fifth picks of the season.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saturday morning thoughts....week two edition


...and I could not be happier.

Last nights 22-16 Ross win over Toledo Whitmer was another classic Little Giant-Panther battle. It seems that every time these two programs meet, the game is one to remember. The 2010 edition did not disappoint. An overwhelming majority of fans had tabbed the Panthers to win this game, myself included. Some expected a Whitmer blowout. Well, someone forgot to tell Coach Derek Kidwell and his team about that. The Little Giants were ready and played one of the best games this long time Fremont Ross fan has seen in years...on both sides of the ball.

Make no mistake about it, Whitmer is good. The Panthers are a tough team that have size and speed. Whitmer rolled into the Don after spanking Tiffin Columbian last week 35-6. The Little Giants were ready and matched up with the Panthers just fine.

I kept hearing after last weeks game that the coaching staff "held back" in the win against Start. I wasn't sure if that was really the case or just hype. It wasn't hype. Tyler Wolf had a great game against a big defensive unit. That young mans grit and determination in leading his team last night was admirable. Skyler Refner had a great game and deserved the "Wendys player of the game" award from the guys at WFRO. That catch and run by Marquan McDonald was fun to watch as well. Carter, Miranda and the Little Giant defense had a great game against a good Whitmer offense.

The Senior leadership that some of us talked about in the preseason is clearly evident. Greg Brown, Tylor Trautwein and Co. are doing a great job leading this team. Leading by example, I might add. Two games into the 2010 season it is evident that this years team is different. There seems to be more unity. Gone, at least so far, are the issues that determined the fate of the 2009 team. Let's keep that unity and move forward.

Last nights game was a preview of what life in the Three Rivers Athletic Conference will be like. Tough games against quality opponents before big crowds. What we in Fremont are used to. And we'll fit in with the TRAC just fine, last night proved that.

Now it is on to Frost Kalnow Stadium and a meeting with neighborhood foe Tiffin Columbian. The Tornadoes spanked Mansfield Madison last night 33-0. Tiffin will be ready for us, they always are. I know we'll be ready for them.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Week two in Ross football history.....2000


Week two of the 2000 season saw the Little Giants travel to Toledo to take on the Titans of St. Johns Jesuit. The game was played on a very hot Friday night before a big crowd at Rogers High. Ross came in 1-0 after beating Toledo Central Catholic 20-6 while the Titans came in 0-1.

The buildup to this game lasted all week with St. Johns students showing up at Ross High with t-shirts that said, "you'll work for us". That kind of hype combined with the fact that the Titans had beaten the Little Giants the previous season 33-0 ignited a fire inside the entire Ross team that St. Johns players would not soon forget.

The Little Giants were led by Kelly Lytle who got things underway in the first quarter with a 47 yard TD run. Brian McCords PAT was good and Ross led 7-0. The second quarter was more of the same from the Little Giants. Lytle rambled for 45 yard TD run as the quarter began and then bolted for a 20 yard score midway through the stanza. McCord PATS after both Lytle scores put the Little Giants up 21-0. While Lytle was running all over the Titan defense, the Little Giant defensive effort was outstanding, stopping every St. Johns posession before they could get any momentum.

St. Johns attempt to regroup at halftime was futile The Little Giant offense continued to roll and the defense continued to smother the Titans in the third quarter. Aaron Hines scored on a 6 yard TD run at the 9:28 mark of the third. The PAT was not good and Ross led 27-0. That score remained the same until the 9:13 mark of the final quarter when Little Giant QB David Rhodes connected wth Derek Carnicom on a 29 yard TD pass. After the McCord PAT Ross had a 34-0 lead on the shellshocked Titans. But the Little Giants weren't quite finished. With 3:13 left in the game Tyrus Hamilton scored from one yard out. McCord put the kick through the uprights and Ross led 41-0.

How dominating were the Little Giants on this hot late summers night? Ross rolled to 437 yards of total offense while holding St. Johns to just 54. Kelly Lytle had 16 carries for 229 yards on the night as he led the Little Giants to a 2-0 record and St. Johns slipped to 0-2.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday morning thoughts...8/28/10


When is the last time the Little Giant defense won a game? Well they won last nights game at Spartan Stadium. Ross chugged to a 17-0 victory over the Spartans before a quiet crowd dominated by folks in purple and white. The Ross defense allowed the Spartans just three first downs and a total of 115 yards of offense. Twice the Spartans were in the Little Giant red zone, knocking on the door and twice the Ross defense stiffened and held, posting their first shutout since a 47-0 win over hapless Lorain Southview in the fifth week of the 2007 season.

The Little Giant offense finished with 217 total yards in a less than stellar evening. It seemed as though the first game jitters had set in, but coach Kidwell said that he didn't need to open up the playbook to beat the Spartans. We hope that's the case because a very powerful Whitmer Panther squad visits the Don next Friday night, coming in fresh off a 35-6 win over Tiffin Columbian. We're going to need a similar defensive effort and a much more open playbook to beat what may be the best DI team in Northwest Ohio, maybe in region two.

The running of Brown, Stout and especially Trautwein kept the offense moving. Trautwein is one tough kid. #25 was dragging several Spartan defenders along with him as he gained additional yardage on a number of occasions. Stouts helmet came off as he scored his TD and I was impressed as he just got up, very workman-like as if to say, "it's just another play, time to move on". Also very workman-like last night was Greg Brown. The future Wolverine was hammered by Spartan defenders every time he got near the ball. Greg kept his wits about him, got up, walked back to the huddle and played ball. It might be noted here that Ross was penalized just three times last night. None of those were personal fouls. Start was flagged just one time.

Sophomore QB Tyler Wolfs first varsity game was a decent effort. I believe the young man will only get better. One thing about having a former Mr. Football and former QB as your head coach is that you can be sure you're going to have good QB's . I believe Wolf will compare well with the likes of Opelt, Ottney, and Foos by the time his days at Ross are done.

Other notes...
The Marching Little Giants halftime performance was a good one. They never fail to deliver on the field. We get that Ms. Lewis doesn't care that the band is at a football game otherwise, and it shows as the band generally just sits on their hands during the game when their involvement would be appreciated.

There were significantly more Fremonters at Spartan Stadium last night than the home fans. Despite that fact the Ross fans were real quiet. That will have to change next Friday night when Whitmer comes to the Don for a playoff-atmosphere type game.

44 million dollars in the hole, no sports, closing buildings. That's the situation in the Toledo City School District. We are all aware of the plight of public education in the Glass City. You couldn't tell it from the beautiful new building at Start. I realize that building was built mostly by tobacco settlement money but wow, what a facility...the school, not the stadium.

So now it's on to the home opener at Don Paul Stadium next Friday night against Whitmer. We all..the team, the band, the fans... are going to have to turn up the intensity to beat a very good Panther team. Are you ready? Can we do it?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Week one in Ross football history...1960

Louisville(KY) Bishop Flaget 25
Ross 7

Saturday night 9/10/60 the Little Giants made what is to this date, their longest road trip. Ross traveled to Louisville, KY for the first game of that season, losing to the Braves of Bishop Flaget High School 25-7. The game itself was not the best performance in the history of our program but the history behind it holds a few treasures of Little Giant lore.

In the 1960 preseason the OHSAA decided to allow teams to play an 11th regular season game. Ross already had seven home games scheduled for Harmon Stadium so the athletic dept wanted to schedule a road game. Thanks to connections that head coach Mal Mackey had, Ross found a week one game with the Bishop Flaget Braves.

Mal Mackey grew up in New Albany, Indiana, a suburb of Louisville. Through connections Mackey was able to set up the contest between the Little Giants and Braves. Once the game was set decisions had to be made as to how to transport the team to Kentucky. The decision was made easy by generous Fremont businesses and industries, as well as once again, Mal Mackeys connections.

Prior to the 1960 season many of Ohios more prominent programs had taken on out of state opponents. Those trips were all made by train or bus. The News-Messenger reported that Fremont Ross became the first Ohio high school to have its team fly to an out of state game. The Little Giants boarded chartered planes used by the Purdue University football team to fly to Louisville. It is worth mentioning that the Purdue athletic director at the time was Red Mackey. Does that last name sound familiar? Connections help.

The game was scheduled for the 14,000 seat stadium at Louisville Manuel High School, and played in a light rain. Flaget drew first blood on an 8 play 51 yard drive capped by a 12 yard TD run by Sophomore Sonny Alexander. Ross took over after the score and committed the first of two first half fumbles. The Braves took advantage and punched in their second score to lead 13-0. Ross closed the Flaget lead to 13-7 thanks to two Brave penalties. The Little Giant scoring drive was a 64 yarder capped by 2 yard touchdown run by Maurice Gnepper.

After Flaget took a 19-7 lead the Little Giants moved the ball to the Brave 24. Two Ross pass attempts fell short and the half ended 19-7 Bishop Flaget. The Braves put the final points of the game on the board capping a 56 yard drive to go up 25-7 in the second half.

Jim Ohms led Little Giant runners with 68 yards on 10 carries. The Little Giants completed no passes to 4 completions for Flaget. Ross outgained the Braves on the ground 199-163.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saturday morning thoughts 8/21/10

It's been a loooooong time since I've taken the time to post some thoughts but this muggy Saturday morning is as good a time as any to get back at it. This brief scrimmage edition of my Saturday morning thoughts looks at last nights Jamboree at Don Paul Stadium.
As I pulled into the parking lot at the Don it was heartening to see so many people already in their seats. Fans from four schools, Ross, SJCC, Lake, and Toledo Waite, were all there to watch their favorite squad in preseason action. I bought my $5.00 worth of 50/50 tickets not caring if I won at all. I knew the money was going to a good cause, the recovery of Lake High School from the devastating tornado damage suffered in June. I dropped some cash at the booster store buying a new Ross flag to fly from my home up here in Michigan, as well as some new shirts. I also bought one of the jamboree shirts to benefit the Lake recovery effort. Sales looked brisk and that was a good thing to see as well. When the 50/50 was drawn, the Fremonter who won showed his Little Giant class by donating his winnings to the Lake Schools.

Moving onto the Ross-Waite scrimmage the word dominant comes to mind. The Little Giants allowed the Indians to cross the 50 just two times. In two quarters Ross rolled up 35 easy points. The offense Coach Derek Kidwell has chosen to run this season was put on display and was very effective against a weak Indian defensive effort. Greg Brown put the first points on the board with a 55 yard run for a TD in the first quarter. Brown was then on the receiving end of a 65 yard pass from T.J. Wolf for the second Little Giant score. Trent Stout and Tyler Trautwein both had good nights with strong runs. Trautwein, as well as Jared Ballenger scored TD's. I must admit I do not have the young mans name but our kicker this year is an exchange student from Brazil and he did a good job last night. His kickoffs were crisp and he made all but one PAT.

Back to Greg Brown for a moment. Most of last season and into the postseason, the young man was the subject of a lot of criticism for his attitude both on and off the field. Fans from Fremont as well as other communities(including myself) were hard on the young man for what was seen as selfish behavior. Well last night the future Wolverine provided some proof that he has grown up and moved beyond that kind of attitude. The Greg Brown I witnessed last evening was a TEAM leader. I saw him working hard, slapping his teammates helmets, encouraging them. He seemed to be getting up when plays were complete, going back to the huddle, without the actions that created so much controversy last season. It's early in the season to be sure, but what I saw last night was the kind of Senior leadership out of an incredibly talented young man that will be needed for a successful 2010 season. Let's hope it continues.

All in all a successful night at the Don all the way around. Good luck to the Indians, our friends at SJCC, and best of luck on a great season and continued recovery to the good folks up in Lake Township. I'll see my fellow Little Giant fans at Spartan Stadium next Friday night!