State Football Quotes: He said what? Here’s what the coaches think…

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The Ohio High School State Football Finals

Coldwater is Lucky; Private Schools still have an advantage; Underdogs; Farm kids, Kenton RBs and more. Read what this weekend’s championship coaches have to say on
football, life and lifting that state title trophy.


Quotes you need to hear before the 40th annual Ohio
State Football Championships this weekend:

What The Coaches Think…

* “We’re proud to be a part of (the Midwest Athletic Conference). There is a lot of pride that once you get into the postseason you are going to hold up your end of the deal. It feeds off itself. And the regular season is a grind. It really is. Every week you have to somehow find an edge to beat the other team. As coaches you’re always looking at every little thing and anything you can do. And the other coaches in the league are all so good that you know their going to find something to exploit. The MAC teams that make the playoffs usually don’t have any weaknesses because the ones that survive have been tested.” – Marion Local head coach Tim Goodwin on the Midwest Athletic Conference, which is ending two teams (Coldwater is the other) to the state finals for the eighth time in nine years. Marion Local plays Buckeye Central in the D-VI final. Coldwater plays Kirtland in D-V.

* “They’ve (Coldwater) lost to Ursuline the last few years and we’ve lost to Ursuline two of the last three years. The big difference (between Coldwater and us) is that they are on the other side of the state and they haven’t had to play Ursuline until the final, whereas Ursuline is in our region. I’m telling our kids this is a great match-up for us. (Coldwater) is fortunate to be on the other side of the state. We could have seen them a couple times in the last few years had it not been for Ursuline.” – Kirtland head coach Tiger LaVerde when asked if Coldwater’s experience (been in three straight state finals and five in six years) would have an impact on the D-V final.

* “The private schools still have an advantage because they can control their enrollment and get players from a wider (geographic) range. We have a town of 5,000 and that’s where we get our kids from. If you’re from Youngstown you can pick and choose and I don’t know how big Youngstown is but it’s got a lot more than 5,000 people in it. When you can control your enrollment and get kids from a bigger region it’s almost like an all-star team. In saying that, though, it’s a great challenge in playing them and seeing if you can go beat them. It’s a great debate. In our area nobody would go from Coldwater to St. Henry or Marion to Coldwater. That’s just the way it is. We respect you but you go to your school – and stay there.” – Coldwater Head Coach Chip Otten on the Private vs Public debate.

* “We’re definitely the underdog. This is (Mooney’s) 11th time in the state championship game and this is just the second time in the history of our county (Clark) that a team has made it this far. If I wasn’t in the position I am now and I was a betting man I would say Mooney was the definite favorite. (But) we’re setting out to prove (people) wrong. We have to embrace the underdog role. Very few people think we belong on the field with Mooney.” – Springfield Shawnee Head Coach Rick Meeks on facing seven-time state champion Youngstown Mooney in the D-III state final. Shawnee is in its first state final.

* “Some people said to me that that was the best thing that could happen to us and I wasn’t sure about it at the time. But it may have taken some pressure off and given us an edge. There’s no shame in losing to Mentor Lake Catholic. What it did more than anything for our kids was the realization that we were pretty good. We should have beat that team. Honestly I would have preferred that we won the game but we didn’t and here we are playing for a state championship.” – Avon Head Coach Mike Elder whose team’s perfect season was derailed by a Week 10 loss to Mentor Lake Catholic. Last year Avon was 10-0 entering the playoffs and lost in the first round. The Eagles face Trotwood-Madison in the D-II final.

* “We’re actually 100 (pass) and 100 (run). And what I mean by that is we’re going to throw the ball 100-percent of the time and then were hoping to run it once we catch it. We’re going to throw the ball every down and try to get it out to our receivers. Once they catch it they have to be the best running backs we have. We’re a little different on our philosophy.” – Kenton Head Coach Mike Mauk when asked about his offense’s balance. The Wildcats average 45.9 points and 508 yards per game.

* “I think you have to get pressure on him but pressure that contains him. A few teams have gotten pressure on him but then he scrambles around and keeps the play alive. If you can get pressure that keeps him in the pocket and off-balance and doesn’t allow him to do what he wants I think that’s the first key. You have to have coverage too, but you can’t cover receivers for 6-7 seconds. You have to get pressure.” – Norwayne head coach Joe Harbour on how to defend Kenton quarterback Maty Mauk, the nation’s all-time leading passer who has thrown for 4,992 yards and 63 TDs this season. He’s also rushed for 1,718 yards and 23 TDs.

* “We’re very fortunate and our guys understand that. When you walk the halls here there are some very famous names and people who are influencing the NFL and college today. Everyone who has been a part of this tradition and success feels privileged to be a part of it and feels a great responsibility in playing up to that tradition.” – Youngstown Mooney Head Coach P.J. Fecko whose team is going for the program’s eighth state title. Mooney graduates include the DeBartolo family (own the San Francisco 49ers), Bob Stoops (Okalahoma head coach) and Bo Pelini (Nebraska head coach).

* “Our kids are farm kids. They work hard and do what you ask of them. They don’t complain.” – Buckeye Central Head Coach Jason Ratliff on his Bucks who play Marion Local in the D-VI state final.

* “It gave them structure and a vision. If you don’t have a vision what can you shoot for? You’re just playing. I think (taking about it) gave them a little more incentive to finish the deal.” – Trotwood-Madison Head Coach Maurice Douglass who has not shied away all year from saying that his team was on a mission to get back to the D-II state final. The Rams lost to Maple Heights in last year’s final and this year have professed since Day 1 that getting back was the goal.

* “I think the kids channeled last year the appropriate way. Things do come to an end. We played a tough schedule, the kids worked hard and we just didn’t get enough points to get in. But our kids channeled that appropriately. It wasn’t frustration but it was like ‘OK. Lets get back in the weight room, lets channel this positively.’ Nobody around here was pointing any fingers, ” – Cleveland St. Ignatius head coach Chuck Kyle on his team’s ability to rebound from seeing a 22-year playoff streak snapped last year and make it back to the D-I state final, which is the program’s 12th.

* “Our kids know their good. They know they have 10 state championships. We played them one year they won the state championship and it was like playing the Green Bay Packers. We know their kids are used to winning and they have that tradition. They have those alums they have to answer to and that makes you play harder. But I feel like our kids are going to be a little battle-tested going in there. We’ve had our backs against the wall the last 10-11 weeks. I think the excitement of playing Ignatius, though, adds even more to our first trip to the Division I championship game.” – Pickerington Central head coach Jay Sharrett whose team has rallied from an 0-2 start and won 11 straight en route to their first D-I state final. Pick Central was D-II runner-up in 2006.

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