Published Fri, Sep 16, 2011 3:15 pm Dateline
Tonight in Thornville will bring us an MVL battle between the Sheridan Generals and the Crooksville Ceramics at Paul Culver Jr. Stadium. The Generals have picked up right where they left off last season atop the MVL standings coasting to an easy 3-0 overall record, two of those wins being in-conference opponents. On the other side, Crooksville has started this season 2-1, but they have yet to win a game against a conference opponent after losing a nail-biter against Philo, 20-19. The difference in that game being one play, the Ceramics look to prove that they are no joke as they could just as easily be coming in to this game also undefeated.
Last week Crooksville was able to bounce back from the depressing defeat by steam rolling Miller in a 53-0 victory. “We were really hungry to get back on the winning track.” said Crooksville Head Coach Dave Rupe when asked about the importance of last Friday’s win. “We felt like we didn’t make the plays we needed to (against Philo). Our kids really came out focused on Friday.” But coming off of a big victory doesn’t make the next week any easier for your football team; especially when you’re playing a giant named Sheridan.
When asked what his team needs to do well to beat the Generals, Coach Rupe said, “You have to have a plan of execution that really goes down to a ‘T’. Our kinds kind of have a squint in the eye instead of the big eyes.” Both sides of the ball recognize that this is an important game in the MVL and as Crooksville is trying to stay levelheaded, Sheridan is a confidant football team without the usual cockiness that comes with it. “The one thing that I think everyone forgets about (is that it) doesn’t take a lot of motion for teams to get up for us. We have to match what the opposition brings” said Coach Culver when asked about what to expect from an almost undefeated Crooksville team.
The Generals realize that they are the team to beat in the MVL, but Coach Culver is always looking for his team to improve. With a new QB under center, by the name of Drew Murray, the Generals have sailed to an easy, undefeated start, but Coach Culver isn’t completely satisfied with his QB. “Impressed? No. He’s got no experience at all. He has struggled at times because of that lack of experience,” said Culver on Murray, “The plays he has made are good plays, but he needs to get better.” That’s quite the critique from a head coach on an undefeated starter, but his team knows what to expect when you sign up to play football for a legend like Culver.
Although the win column is looking peachy-creamy in Thornville, the Generals aren’t taking any easy days on the practice field. When asked about things to improve, Coach Culver said, “We need to get better on the offensive line; we’ve addressed that since day one. We’ve seen the things that are glaring problems. Our kicking game, extra point wise, is mediocre at best. That’s something that has to be better.”
Coach Culver is always looking for ways to better his team, but it’s hard for him to assess the team’s progression when they have led all three of their games by a count of 40-0 at halftime. When asked what his team has done well Culver said, “How are they going to handle it? I don’t know. They only get to play half of the ballgame. It’s a no win situation. I’ve been on the other side a couple of times (so) I know what it feels like (to get blown out).”
Friday night will be a better test for the Sheridan Generals as they face their biggest challenge of the year thus far with the Crooksville Ceramics coming to town. Both teams look to make steady improvements as they glance forward to week five when they are each playing very good teams. Fans in Thornville will be buzzing Friday night as they cheer on their Generals, but the Ceramics will be coming in town with a humble mindset as they look to take down the King Kong of the MVL.