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Life around sports worlds

September 2, 2013
By MIKE MATHISON - Sports editor ( , The Herald-Star

San Diego State Aztecs head football coach Rocky Long was asked about how devastating a 40-19 loss to Eastern Illinois was for a team that now has to take on Ohio State in Columbus.

"You wanted to talk about next weekend all along in fall camp," he told reporters after the game. "I told you about it. I told you not to. I told you how good Eastern Illinois was. I told you. I told you a long time ago, but nobody wanted to listen. I mean, one game does not make a season.

"We'll regroup. Competitors regroup after they've been embarrassed and beat up like that. Competitors regroup and they go back to work and they work on the next competition. Other people quit and say it's over."

A couple of things.

When you hear a coach talk about one game at a time, it's cliche, but, oh so true.

Coaches do not want to hear about Week 7 until Week 6 is over.

Do you get bored of hearing it?

Yes, and so do we.

But, it's the truth.

You want to take to your kids about games, talk only about the one at hand.

If coaches watch tape endlessly to get better and players watch tape endlessly to get better, do officials watch tape endlessly to get better?

Johnny Manziel is exhausting. He appears to be as high maintenance as they come.

I watched the first half of Toronto's loss to Wellsville.

The Red Knights are a good football team and will get better.

They are playing youngsters and those youngsters will make improvements each week.

The same goes for the Weir High Red Riders.

Yes, it was a 39-point loss to Indian Creek, but, there were some good things to watch.

It appears the Redskins are going to do a whole bunch of running the ball. The days of Ground Connor are back and he doesn't mind it at all.

Catholic Central showed some major backbone Saturday at Nelson Field.

In what can only be described as major momentum shifts which the Crusaders had early, lost and then got back, Central scored the final 34 points to avenge last year's Week 1 heartbreaker to the Big Reds.

In answering a major question, the Crusaders had 254 yards on the ground.

Now, this isn't exactly Ground Daley, but, if Central can run the ball like that consistently - watch out.

Big Red also answered a question or two about who they are and what they are going to do.

Reno Saccoccia likes to run the ball and that was evident again Thursday evening at Harding Stadium.

Coming this week is another team that likes to run the ball in Cleveland Benedictine and all-everything Jerome Baker, a Division I recruit.

Edison and its 1-0 record is coming off an impressive win at Oak Glen and faces an impressive Carrollton team at Cartwright Field. The Wildcats showed they can put points on the board. But, this is a Warriors team that comes into Richmond that won 55-0 a year ago.

Edison is better than a year ago and so is Carrollton.

Should be a good one.

Weirton Madonna hits the road for a 7 p.m. contest Saturday at Tusky Catholic.

I understand why it didn't, but I really wish this game would have stayed on Saturday afternoon. There is something genuine and fun about Saturday afternoon football.

The season comes down to 26 games for the Pirates and it starts in Milwaukee, a place where the Buccos have done woefully bad.

According to thanks to Baseball Prospectus, the Pirates have a 99.2 percent chance of making the playoffs. The Cardinals are at 99.6 and Reds at 95.

The Bucs started the season with an 18 percent chance of making it to the postseason.

Pittsburgh finishes the season for three-game sets at Milwaukee, St. Louis and Texas, come home for four with the Cubs and Padres and three with the Reds before hitting the pavement to finish the year at the Cubbies and Reds.

It's gonna be fun.

A 16-10 mark gives the Bucs a 95-67 record.

Those 95 wins are what manager Clint Hurdle said the Pirates would win at the beginning of the season and, let's face it, you laughed like everyone else.

Finally, I really wish those attending high school sporting events would listen to what is coming out of the mouths of other fans.

Because, if you really listened, you would never say a word.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at

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