Football success cuts into winter schedule

By KEVIN LYNCH Staff Writer Published:

The success of the West Holmes football team is a double-edged sword for other sports. The Knights' basketball team, for example, has already had to reschedule two games.

And West Holmes wrestling coach Jeff Woods is waiting for some of his people to finish football so they can get into the wrestling room so he can evaluate his team's talent and prospects for the coming season.

But, like basketball coach Jim Lindeman said, it's a good problem to have.

"Because we are so senior-laden, and even the few juniors who are going to play, have been playing big minutes over the last two, three years, it definitely will be a smoother transition into what it is we're going to do this season," Lindeman said. "It would be one thing if we were really young and inexperienced, but having all these seniors and guys who know what we want to do, day-in and day-out, it shouldn't be a problem. In fact it's great for the kids, and it's a good thing for us."

This is something that has been building up for years. Last season's basketball team enjoyed a great run that ended with a disappointing loss in the district finals. The baseball team then went to state in the spring.

"It's definitely special. You don't have classes like this come along very often from an athletic standpoint," Lindeman said. "What I think makes them all the more special is just the type of men they've become. These are guys who are going to become leaders in the community, wherever they end up over the next 20 years. They're going to pop up and be successful in whatever field they choose. They're great character kids, and that translates with athletic ability, with them working really hard in each sport. They put in the time and it's paying off for them. They deserve the success they've had so far."

Woods says he's behind the eight ball when it comes to weight certification for his wrestlers.

"Usually you have a week or two for weight certification so you can get guys down to weight," he said. "This year, we're going to be walking guys out of football practice to get their weight. We'll be stuck with whatever the kids weigh, that's what they're going to be wrestling.

"This is going to be one of those years where we get better every week," Woods added. "I'm hoping football goes all the way to the state finals. To me, all that matters is sectionals, district state anyhow. I couldn't tell you what my record is. After 23 years, I forget things. It's all about state placers and state qualifiers, anyhow. It's going to set us back, but it's not going to kill us. Hopefully, we can start peaking at the right time. These guys aren't going to get much of a break going from one sport to another. I might have to take that into consideration on some of the practices."

Yea, right, coach.

The success enjoyed by the West Holmes football team this fall reached far into the community.

Brent Snyder, a member of the West Holmes school board who is also the proud papa of West Holmes quarterback/defensive end Gabe Snyder, shared his thoughts after Saturday's tough loss at Fawcett Stadium.

"The support was obvious as the season went on," Snyder said. "The community saw the abilities the team had. They saw the culmination of a lot of effort from the coaches and the players. The community rallied in support. I think it gave a lot of enjoyment for everybody to come out and watch and see a very competitive West Holmes football team.

"As a parent, you just hope for the best outcome of each play," Snyder added.

"When you see things happen that aren't the best things, fouled up plays, you just hope they keep their heads up and come back on the next play. Unfortunately, for about five possessions consecutively, we made too many mistakes. But for those mistakes, I thought we played right with them."

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