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Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Well, as most know that were watching the Cobbler-Raider game last night, the Cobblers didn’t have luck on their side in more ways than one.    With some obvious force missing from the Central lineup, one might say the Stevens Raiders had a shoe-in.  But really, who knows whether that had anything to do with the outcome of the game, beings the Raiders beat the Cobblers just a few days earlier with all the “guns,” so to speak.    Central had some kids step up and show some power of will.   Granted, the Raiders’ defense was unstoppable last night, not allowing a single first down, which is impressive with any team, but Central never gave up and fought through the frustration and pain and finished the season hopefully proud to call themselves a Cobbler.

The Raiders will continue playoff action on Monday against the Lincoln Patriots.   Both teams are about equal in power point status, so this should be a good game.  Stevens, I believe, is on full throttle and about all healed up.   As a fan of any West River team moving on in the playoffs, I wish the Raiders the best in their drive to the Dome.   Bring it on, Patriots, because I do believe the Stevens Raiders are ready for you.

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Friday, October 22nd, 2010

After watching/listening to the big “rivalry” games last night, I couldn’t help but think of the song by Fort Minor, “Remember the Name.”   In short the song speaks of  ”10 % luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will, 5% pleasure, 50% pain…….” and so on.     That was all true in last night’s game between the Central Cobblers and the Stevens Raiders.  

Both teams have been counting on luck all season long.   They were both lucky to have a couple injured players back in action.    You hope for a few lucky breaks in every game; beit a fumble, an interception, etc.    You count on the skill of every player, whether they are highly recognized or not.  Everybody should be out there giving it their all in every game and not doing it in hopes of their “15 minutes of fame.”   The battle of wills is at a peak in a  big rivalry game.   If you’re in it to win it you find strength and determination you never thought you had.    With that there better be  some pleasure, and in the end the pain you endure throughout a hard-fought game is all worth it. 

The game did not come out in favor of the Central Cobblers, but it was a battle worth watching.   All teams in every sport have to take the good with the bad.    You lose a game, you regroup, and you come back more determined than the game before.   The Cobblers will get a chance to do just that against Stevens in just a few days.  Remember, you should be out there because you want to be, not for your parents’, coach’s, peers’ approval or recognition.  So hope for the luck, expect the skill from everyone, always play with the will to win, have some fun and endure the pain.

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Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

This is rivalry week and anything can happen, but I just wanted to give my young Cobblers some recognition beyond this season—Four for the Future!

I am confident the young Cobblers will compete well on Thursday, but want to make sure everyone realizes that these Cobblers are young, and will be a force to be reckoned with next season! This Cobbler team has many similar qualities to that from 1998. So look for these four Cobblers into the future:

Jake Sharp

Jake Sharp is a rushing powerhouse with speed and agility.  Sharp was the  leading 11AA in rusher until his injury, and was a Monster Player of the Week earlier in the season. If Sharp is healthy the Raiders had better be prepared!


Jake Sharp (Junior) running in the field while Sophomore QB JT Harper blocks.

Jake Weber

Weber is currently leading 11AA in tackles averaging 10.8 per game.  Weber is an inside linebacker with size and speed (230 lb and 4.97/40).  Next season Weber will return for his third year starting at inside linebacker.

jake weber vs washington

Jake Weber makes one of his customary tackles.

Aaron Beaird

Aaron Beaird is a Freshman lineman with size (6’2”, 270 lbs), strength and agility, the “real deal” to build both an offensive line and a defensive line. Beaird is the first freshman to start for the Cobblers since……maybe ever!


Big Aaron Beaird (#52) with the tackle.

J.T. Harper

Sophomore quarterback J.T. Harper has done a good job of leading the Cobbler attack this season.  Along with Jake Sharp, Harper gives the Cobblers a lethal one-two punch into the future.


Sophomore J.T. Harper back to pass for the Cobblers.

There you have it, Four for the Future! Go Cobblers!

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Saturday, October 9th, 2010

It looked like Central Cobblers caught the O’Gorman Knights sleeping, but it unfortunately wasn’t a deep sleep.    Shortly after Central’s first possession the Knights came alive and kept up the tempo.  Central got out of the gates quickly, but then never really finished the race.

Obviously it would be tough to beat a team like O’Gorman with only 63 yards rushing and seven first downs.   My Cobblers were playing without their number one running back, Jake Sharp, who seems to be able to maneuver around anything, and without Sharp the Central Cobblers were not able to get things moving effectively.   The Cobblers were outsized and outplayed.

Central has a couple more games to get Sharp well enough to play.  In the meantime, I hope some of the other players can step up and help out.   I do believe they have more potential than they’ve showed.

I can’t help but recall the Central team back in the late 90s coached by Cooper.   That team had a couple of “stars,” but, for the most part, an average bunch of athletes.   They went undefeated in 1999 and lost a hard-fought, semi-final game in the playoffs.   That team played with heart, determination, and wanted it so badly.  How bad do you want it now?  Do you think in your heart you deserve it?   Dig a little deeper because it isn’t going to be easy.  It’s not supposed to be.

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Saturday, October 9th, 2010

So close…………but like we all know, close doesn’t matter in a football game.  It’s all or nothing.    The Raiders played a tough, hard-fought game against the Lincoln Patriots, but came out on the wrong side.   Without the help of injured QB Hayden Hast the Raiders had a few players step up and play a little harder, which a good team will do.   I don’t want to take anything away from the hard work of QB Brock Atkinson.   He  stepped into some big shoes and is doing well.    He did throw an interception at a crucial time in the game, but even the best do that.   Brett Favre comes to mind right away, as does Tom Brady, and the list goes on. 

It was unfortunate, however, that the Raiders did not have their kicker, Tom Schleusener, present at the game.  He was helping the Stevens Raiders soccer team make it to the championship game.   As we all know, field goals can make or break the outcome of the game at any level, and it appears that’s what happened here.   Sure, another touchdown would have changed the outcome, as well.    I’m sure there’s a backup kicker being groomed as we speak, but it’s always nice to have your number one present for the big games.   It’s also nice that Schleusener has the opportunity to spread himself out for both soccer and football.   Every soccer game is important, and so is every football game.   However, by the varsity level a choice needs to be made.   This is just one man talking, though……..just thinking out loud.

The Raiders have a tough game next week against No. 1 ranked Sioux Falls Washington.   They’ve shown they can compete, with or without key players.  If everyone steps up it could be an exciting game.  Good luck to you.

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Is that Peter Martin Calling??

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Does anyone besides me remember the old Cantina at the Casa Del Rey? There is a new Walgreens located where the old Cantina used to be. It was 1994 in the old Cantina when I watched the Raiders play in the Dome against the Yankton Gazelles, errr I mean Bucks, for the 1994 state championship.

Funny how I remember that game and that night so distinctly still. Of course, there were good tunes playing in the background at the old Cantina….I can almost still hear one of my favorite Sheryl Crow tunes. I think the memories are so fresh because that state championship game was the best high school game I have ever seen—-bar none.

The game ended in a tie and eventually the Gazelles won in triple overtime 34-31. That was the last time any Rapid City 11 AA team has been to the Dome, and was during the era when the ESD teams could actually compete against the Rapid City and Sioux Falls schools.

All of the above makes me wonder how this year’s Raider team compares to the team from ’94. The comparisons, as you will see, are remarkably similar.

Let’s start off at the top with the coaches. The 1994 team was led by Mick Wysuph, who was later inducted into the SD Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Mick had the ’94 Raiders believing in themselves that season and made that team tough as nails. The 2010 Coach of the Raiders is Mr. Paul Ferdinand. Ferdinand has taken a moribund program and turned it into a state contender. Just like Wysuph, he has the Raiders playing tough and believing in themselves, case in point last week’s come from behind victory over the Pierre Governors. Ferdinand has done this the old fashioned way, from the ground up, and with a good sense of humor added in for good measure.

There were three all state players for the Raiders in 1994: Quarterback Peter Martin, Wide Receiver Derek Oldert and Linebacker Scott Sebbo. Martin, of course, went on to play for the USD Coyotes. By the way, Martin was phenomenal in the game I watched at the old Cantina. How does Hayden Hast (currently injured) compare to Martin? That is tough, but I think Hast has many of the same attributes as Martin did.

Similarly, I think Alex Litzen is as good or better than Oldert was. Fortunately, the current Raiders have two outstanding linebackers in Alex Schnell (currently injured) and Kris Klapprodt. In that respect, the current Raiders have an advantage over the ’94 team.

Given the similarities between the two teams the conclusion I come to is that the Raiders need to get Hast and Schnell healthy if they hope to repeat the performance (maybe even win the championship) like the 1994 team. Hopefully the Raiders take a lesson from the Sturgis Scoopers and make sure both Hast and Schnell are near 100% before returning to action. If you doubt that logic note that a healthy Clint Wilson and the Scoopers skunked the Aberdeen Central Golden Eagles last week (28-0).

Go Raider Nation!!!!

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My Boy Kurt! Into the Danger Zone!

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

While my previous posts on alternative training for football players has drawn rave reviews (thank you Mr. ER#!)—here is my hit parade for this season:




I think it only fair to say “I told you so”!

Of course, I am talking about my boy Kurt and his latest efforts on Dancing with the Stars!

Check this out: Click Here to Watch Kurt’s Latest Effort

Even the old guy was gushing over Kurt’s twinkle toes. It took a former football player to make that happen.

I will not be silenced, and I will not be banned (he, he, he). Look for more alternative training methods for football and more as I keep my trained buzzard eye on Kurt.

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I’m Baaaaaaaack! Football and Dance

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

Ok, I was resigned to just sit back and accept my beatings over my previous posts on Football and Yoga and Football and Pilates. I could not help it if the Neanderthals wanted to bury their heads and their hatches in my back. Old SB3 knows her place, and I guess it was on the sidelines.

However, last night I realized that my place is not in the background, but right up front waiving my alternative training option flag. I will not be silenced any longer!

What causes me to get back in the race? Come on! Was I the only one that watched Kurt Warner last night dance his way onto the Cha Cha stage? Sure old Anna Trebunskaya helped, but this was clear evidence to me that football players and dance go hand in hand, just like Football and Pilates and Football and Yoga.

There is plenty of evidence beyond Dancing with the Stars (does anyone besides old SB3 remember Jerry Rice’s twinkle toes?) to support the case that football players should consider dance as a mechanism for improving their gridiron skills:

Example #1: Kansas State/Cleveland Browns

Example #2: Warren (I ain’t no) Sapp

Example #3: Louisiana Tech

Let the carping begin, but I won’t be silenced! It’s time for us to look at alternative training methods so football players‘ injury rates decrease and performance increases.

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Why not Yoga?

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

We have one week of football under our belts and most teams are looking pretty good.   There are always  some teams coming out of the gates a little rusty, but that’s to be expected.    I can’t help but think, though, that with a little help from Yoga  in the off season those rusty moments would be no more!

Please don’t go judging me, or anyone else who is a firm believer in the benefits of Yoga.    Given all the recent discussion about concussions–alternatives for football training need to be explored.

If you think teams need to hit and hit during practice to be successful on Friday, you better read the article about coach John Gagliardi and his success with alternative training methods. Click Here 

Last week I gave evidence that Pilates was a viable option for football training, and big Mr. Editor put the article as a feature in a pink box, nice.

Undaunted, I present here evidence on the benefits of Yoga and football:

Example #1–Terrapins

Example #2–Donald Driver

Example #3–Lobos

So, why not Yoga? Yoga works the entire body and mind, and that may be an x-factor that could help west river teams compete against east river teams.  

I hope the West River teams, being behind in their technique and all, according to one particular blogger, will take note and join the Yoga force.  It’s good stuff!!

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Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

With the start of football season rapidly approaching, the thought of off-season conditioning always crosses my mind.    What do the big linemen do to get themselves football ready?  Eating in excess comes to mind.   Lots of weightlifting should be a given.    Does a potential starting quarterback train differently than, say, a tightend or a linebacker?   Do they maybe work on their speed and agility more than the big dudes?  

I bet not a one of these players has EVER thought of trying the best-kept secret around……….PILATES.     What is THAT you ask???  Exactly!!   No, it’s not just for GIRLS.    Only the most-secure-with-my-manhood men take Pilates.    Take a peek in a class sometime and you will see the best chiselled, fine specimens there…….looking GOOD!!   I’m certain they can beat the socks off the protein drinking, carb eating, creatine popping kid in the 50 any day.   AND they will most likely be 20 years older!!  

Yes, boys, with age does come wisdom.  Us “old farts” doing that weird, but yet difficult form of exercise known as Pilates will kick your……..   SOOOOOO get your coaches on board and tell them to start you boys on the BEST form of exercise around.  It’s going to get you in football shape and make you look AWESOME!!   Isn’t it said that the better you look, the more confident you are?    Who doesn’t want to be more confident on the football field???  Intimidate the heck out of your opponent and start taking Pilates.    It does the body good!!

Don’t just take my word for it, if you want a leg up this season guys you should enroll in a Pilates class today.

Example #1

Example #2

Example #3

Maybe Pilates is the x-factor west river teams need this year to compete with east river????

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