Football Friday Fall Out and Cavaliers thoughts

Hello Sports Fans!

Last evening was Friday night, which means another night for high school football in Northeast Ohio! It was rainy and wet but I still meandered on up to Stewart Field to see Solon take on Brunswick in an NOC Valley Division matchup. Coming into the game, Brunswick had defeated the Comets during the past two seasons.

Prior to the game, there was a lot of hype around this matchup because of the history between the two teams and the circumstances around it. This was only going to be the fourth time the two schools had ever played each other (the first was in 1967) and Solon was riding into the game with an undefeated record.

The constant rain really played a key role in this game. Neither team was really able to take the momentum and both teams had difficult utilizing their game strategies. The field surface at Stewart Field is fieldturf and not natural grass so mud did not play a factor in this matchup. Both teams had trouble holding onto the football at times and some of the drives put together by Solon took a long time to develop.

Another key factor in this game was the officiating. For a game with poor and rainy elements, it seemed as if the officials through flags on every other play. There was a cheer that went up during the third quarter when the officials actually did not throw a flag during an offensive series. This matchup was important to both teams but the constant penalties slowed the game down at certain times. On a rainy night between two very talented teams, it seemed like it would have made more sense to let both teams play.

So far, Solon has proved they are an excellent team and are among Northeast Ohio’s best. Many friends and former colleagues of mine have asked me how this team compares to the State Runner Up Solon Comets team in 2000. Both teams are very similar in terms of meeting expectations, challenges and playing as a team when needed. In 2000, Jay Price proved he could find receivers and drive the ball down the field when necessary and Jake Voigt has shown that same ability throughout this season. The 2000 team saw Scott Greenberg mow down opponents to gain some extra yards while Kyle Hammons takes more of an agility and speed approach to get the job done. Both teams also possess a strong coaching staff and leaders on the field.

What really made the 2000 Solon Comets unique was the friendship amongst the players. My sister graduated with the seniors on that team and something she always mentioned was how all of the players on the team had been friends and playing sports together since the third grade. As a result, that team was motivated to win and knew the true definition of teamwork.

As for the 2009 Comets, it seems the players get along and have a strong bond amongst each other. I’ve been out of high school since 2004 but based on what I have seen at games, the leaders step on when needed and the players seemed to have a strong friendship amongst each other.

When it comes to this year’s state playoffs, we will get a chance to see how talented this 2009 Solon Comets team is. Back in 2000, the Comets had to play a Glenville team that was just in the beginning stages of becoming the state powerhouse they are today and a St. Ignatius team that had beaten Solon the previous year. Glenville was a tough test for the Comets even in 2000 and in 2001 as Solon had to face Pierre Woods, Donte Whitner, and Troy Smith on the other side of the football. Glenville has built its program up tremendously since that time and has become one of the best high school football programs in the state. Ignatius is always a threat and their 2009 squad has lived up to every challenge its faced as well. Many of the senior Solon players in 2000 knew how tough Ignatius could be going into that game because of the playoff battle between the two teams the year before.

Moving to Cavaliers basketball, rumors are circulating that Zydrunas Illgauskas could be on the trading block. Z is towards the end of his career and moving him would make sense. Owner Dan Gilbert and GM Danny Ferry really want to build this team for years to come and if Z retires as a Cavaliers, the team will get nothing for him. Z had a suberb season last year and would be a great defensive threat next to Shaquille O’Neal. However, with Jamario Moon on the team now and with the resigning of Anderson Varejao, Z could be seeing less playing time in a Cavalier uniform.Varejao was a disappointment in last year’s playoffs but the Cavaliers obviously have faith in him to resign him.

Z has been an important key to this Cavaliers franchise for a long time and seeing him get traded away would be sad. Z has been active in the community and has stayed with the Cavaliers through the good times and the bad. NBA basketball is still a business and with Lebron’s contract expiring at the end of the season, a tough decision could be on the way for both Gilbert and Ferry.

That’s enough for now. Keep it real.



~ by jeffrsabo on October 10, 2009.

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