Coach’s Corner is a weekly feature at Outside the Huddle written by Kevin Merz, former Bishop Dwenger quarterback and North Side offensive coordinator.
Having this opportunity to express my opinions and thoughts in a weekly column has been an interesting yet fun experience so far this season.
The one thing I’ve noticed in general media coverage from the national level down to local seems to be a lack of accountability when we are wrong, and too much boasting when we are correct.
This week, I will take a look at four areas where I have been way off in my thoughts in this week’s “Coach’s Corner.”
SNIDER BEATS HOMESTEAD IN THE REMATCH
The past postseason success fooled me.
The tradition, script “Snider” on the side of the helmet and the all-black uniforms swindled me.
I put little stock in Homestead’s early-season victory over the Panthers, just assuming that they would be the playoff beast they always are when sectional play begins. Boy, was I wrong.
Carroll dismantled the Snider defense in ways we haven’t seen since, well, Homestead earlier this season. The Panthers had no answer for quarterback Jeffery Becker and company from Carroll and subsequently found itself “one and done” for the first time since 1999.
I spent so much time analyzing and predicting the inevitable Snider and Homestead rematch that I completely overlooked the Chargers (as the Panthers possibly did as well). Shame on me! We had a rematch coming from the Spartans in the sectional final, but I was looking at the wrong opponent all along! Hats off to Coach Doug Dinan and the Chargers.
NORWELL WON’T HAVE THE ATHLETES TO PLAY WITH CONCORDIA
While the Cadets were able to sneak past Norwell and set up a sectional final against Peru (where they should be a sizeable favorite), Concordia did not blow the doors off the Knights last week.
The “SAC reigns supreme” thought creeped into my head as I gathered my thoughts on paper for last week’s topic and I couldn’t see Norwell making it a close game. I was dead wrong.
The Knights would have been admirable foes across the board in the SAC this season with a smothering defense that held an explosive Concordia offense to just 17 points.
It is time to give more credit to programs like Norwell, where they proved last week they have the athletes, especially on the defensive side of the ball to make any game competitive.
BISHOP LUERS WINS THE SECTIONAL
Speaking of outside the conference, nowhere do I feel more confident on a yearly basis than Bishop Luers being able to roll through a sectional.
Eastside shut those thoughts down in a hurry last Friday. The Blazers limited the athletes at Bishop Luers to six points. Even when trailing early, Eastside seemed in control of the game from the jump.
The Blazers were more physical, controlled the line of scrimmage and limited mistakes that ultimately ended up being the downfall for Bishop Luers. Eastside should be a favorite in the sectional final against Fairfield before running into the monster that is “Eastern Greentown.” Congratulations to Eastside, shutting me up and putting itself in position for its first sectional title in over 25 seasons!
BISHOP DWENGER…NEW PAL…COLLISION COURSE
The final one is not incorrect just yet, but I’m having second thoughts.
Bishop Dwenger was not particularly sharp in its 35-22 victory against North Side at Chambers Field last Friday. Valparaiso continues to be impressive in the north, besting times by an eye-opening 32 points per game.
New Palestine is always formidable, but the more I look at Indianapolis Cathedral awaiting it in the regional, the more I side with the Irish. Cathedral is 2-2 against four nationals powerhouses – Moeller, Elder, St. Xavier (all from Ohio) and Louisville Trinity.
When the time comes for the Irish and Dragons to meet in the Class 5A southern regional round, Cathedral will have already faced four teams arguably better than New Palestine.
New Palestine will be racing by far its toughest competition of the season. The more research I do, the more I’m starting to believe there may be an inevitable matchup in the 5A title game, but it is starting to feel like that will be Valparaiso against Indianapolis Cathedral.
However as I’ve illustrated throughout the article, I’m wrong quite often, so for Bishop Dwenger’s sake, let’s hope I’m wrong once more!
Coach’s Corner appears every Monday during the prep football season at Outside the Huddle. These opinions represent those of the writer. No opinions expressed on Outside the Huddle represent those of any of our advertisers.