Fall sports recognition

November 15, 2018

Last week I was fortunate enough to cover the Fall Activity Awards Night Ceremony in the east gymnasium of SCHS.

The evening was impressive on many levels. First, a good majority of the student participants were in attendance. This has not always been the case.

When the coaches call name after name to receive their varsity letters, it is nice to see a small parade of student-athletes heading towards the front of the gym rather than looking around when the names are called and not seeing anyone stand.

Kudos to the students for caring enough about their sports to show up and for the coaches encouraging their athletes to attend the event that is centered around their on the field/court/course accomplishments.

Another note of interest was that I had selected each major award winner in my mind before the evening began based on my coverage of the fall sports. I agreed with each and every selection made by the coaches.

There was not a bit of favoritism there. Everyone who deserved a major award was presented accordingly.

Finally, it was so very nice to see so many parents and family members in attendance. I am sure that the athletes and coaches appreciated and noticed your attendance. I surely did!

All in all, it was a very pleasant evening. Congratulations to all the award winners this fall and here’s wishing you good luck in your upcoming winter sports seasons as well.

IN DEFENSE OF THE DEFENSE: The Nebraska football team put on another offensive clinic on Saturday in the first half, bolting to a 38-21 lead at intermission behind their freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez and an offensive coaching staff that is putting together a thing of beauty.

Judging from several social media posts, many Husker fans were quick to temper the enthusiasm of the offensive explosion. Most pointed out that the defense had allowed 21 first-half points, a total of over 500 yards of Illinois offense as well as a 93-yard touchdown drive in the 4th quarter in very easy style against the Nebraska starting defense.

Those are no impressive points, I believe in Erik Chinander’s defense. Charlie McBride engineered some amazing defensive squads back in the 80’s and 90’s at NU but even his men couldn’t keep up with the breathtaking pace of the Nebraska offenses in 1983 and 1995 for example.

When the offense has scoring drives of two to three minutes, the defense barely has time to catch its breath. That was the case in Lincoln Saturday against the Illini.

Another thing to remember is that the defense is VERY thin at several positions.

This defense will need depth and lots of it to keep pace with the offensive juggernaut that Scott Frost is putting together. The process was one step at a time and still is.

Frost wanted to prove that his UCF offense could succeed in the cold-weather Big Ten Conference. He did that Saturday at the 54 points in frigid conditions would attest.

Now, attention must be squarely cited on the defense before this program is ready to make the next step towards conference championships and, eventually, a trek towards the national playoffs.

All I want for Christmas is our two front defensive tackles; five stars each would be even better.

Doug Phillips is a freelance writer for the Schuyler Sun. Reach him at SCHsports@lee.net

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