September 28, 2006

Turn Out the Lights, The Season's Over: After losing its first four high school football games by a combined score of 164-0, the Oscoda Owls won't lose another game for the rest of the year, thanks to Head Coach Kyle Tobin. After the final 44-0 loss, he begged the school board to cancel the season for safety reasons.

posted by rcade to football at 11:30 AM - 14 comments

The school's 8 - 41 record (including this years games) for the past 5 seasons suggest that they have either been poorly coached, or overmatched (perhaps facing schools much bigger than them?) for some time now. The coach has an apparently outstanding record, so maybe this is truly in the best interests of the players on the team. A shame for those that would like to finish the season, however.

posted by mjkredliner at 11:42 AM on September 28

I think the coach may have his own agenda here. He brags about his impressive resume. Maybe he just doesnt want an 0-11 season on HIS rap sheet when he interviews for his next job. We have a school here about the same size, and we have freshman and sophmores starting varsity. If his team is not talented enough to win, he cannot do a whole lot about that, but he can teach them the fundamentals of the game. I'm assuming his team is wearing pads, maybe i'm wrong. Losing 4 games by an average of 40 pts sounds like a team having a bad year. I'm sure there are thousands of schools across the country each year that have those types of years. We are 1-5 this year and have taking our share of ass kickings, but we were a game away from the state semis 2yrs ago. Try rebuilding once in a while instead of quitting.

posted by louisville_slugger at 11:50 AM on September 28

From the rcade's last link: The game, which was originally scheduled for Friday night, was postponed one day as a courtesy to the Oscoda team. The Owls, thin in numbers to begin with, were banged up from last week’s meeting against Ogemaw Heights and several players needed their doctor’s permission to play. According to Oscoda Athletic Director David Allen, that permission was only received late Friday. The school has only 500 kids in it. They didn't have a JV last year. It sounds like a wise decision. The coach can still have practice and teach them about football.

posted by bperk at 12:22 PM on September 28

I think the issue here would be whether the previous coaching staff sucked so badly Tobin feels there's an excellent chance of someone getting severely injured. Also, even if they've won eight games in the past five seasons, that could have been through pulling up every bit of talent in the school and starting it at the varsity level. That's a mistake for two reasons -- you run the risk of the young talent being injured by older and more mature players, and you demoralize the rest of the young kids by dooming them to lousy seasons. The fact that it's a school of 500 kids is pretty much irrelevant. That's pretty close to average for their conference (school information here), and tons of schools across the country field full teams with as few as 300 students. The lack of a JV program is damning. Still, I played sophomore, JV and varsity ball all at the same time (we had a huge school), and we had only 17 guys on the sophomore team. Of course, we weren't getting manhandled.

posted by wfrazerjr at 01:51 PM on September 28

The coach can still have practice and teach them about football. Why would they want to do that? Why would someone spend all that time at practice without any incentive. They have no games to play so there is no point in practicing. Plus, it seems that there were players who didn't want the season to end. Why they would want to continue to play under the coach that cancelled their season is beyond me.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 01:54 PM on September 28

Why have practice at all then?

posted by yerfatma at 02:06 PM on September 28

its hard to get motivated if youre on a lame duck team to play hard. If the situations as bad as he said it was (# of players, no jv) i guess i can understand where he is coming from. at the same time, i can see the other side because my high school hasnt had a good season since the early 80's, but is still the most popular sport at the school for players and spectators

posted by nyfan at 02:21 PM on September 28

The solution might be to try a JV and Freshman schedule only for the next year or 2. By then the program might be sufficiently built up to field competetive teams. Here in southern NH we have had a recent case in which a town built its own high school, and withdrew its students from the HS in a neighboring town. This is the solution they adopted, rather than throwing their kids into varsity immediately. The HS in my city recently split into 2, but each was still sufficiently large that the 2 football teams could compete right away, though not do very well. After 2 years, both teams are now competetive, but not quite to championship level. Games between the 2 are wars, though. It also sounds like the coach is not getting his kids into the weight room or into other sports during the off season. Track & field is a great conditioning sport for football, and it's a good sport for building self confidence as well.

posted by Howard_T at 02:24 PM on September 28

Man, it appears to be no fun to play football these days. Who gives a shit if they win a game? Incentive? How about - hey, shit, football looks fun. Except it likely isn't any fun with the fucking subculture. Gah. If it just means kids getting hurt, then by all means - cancel the games. But don't cancel football just because you're not going to win anything. Me and my loser buddies are going to go get some Areosmith tickets now.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 03:43 PM on September 28

Sounds like they need to schedule teams that they can compete with. If you don't have to play a region schedule, don't. Try that for a few years to build some confidence and then move back to region play. It happens in Georgia a good bit.

posted by dbt302 at 03:58 PM on September 28

That area of Michigan is pretty desolate, so they have no choice but to play a regional schedule.

posted by NoMich at 04:14 PM on September 28

I think it was the right call by the coach. Set up to where you get the players that will be returning next year to start a conditioning program and do what you can next year. It must really suck for those seniors though.

posted by kidrayter2005 at 08:30 PM on September 28

Yep - start them off as JV only for a few years., then implement a points system where you are awarded points for participating in other sports, and working out in the weight room. Make the point requirement high enough to require significant weight room commitment. Don't get the points, don't make the team.

posted by chmurray at 03:23 PM on September 29

Tobin was just on the Dan Patrick show and said a few things that I found interesting. -Apparently they had 35 or so kids sign up for football only to have 22 show up and play. -They have over 30 players on their JV team. -They brought up 3 players from the JV team and one got hurt in the first game. -He wasn't concerned until he watched the gamefilm and noticed passive play and missed assignments. Things which he called, 'very dangerous'. - On a couple occasions he mentioned that his team didn't work hard enough in the offseason to compete. -Coach Tobin was not to be the head coach but took the position this summer after the would-be coach quit. Other than that he didn't offer anything new, but I did miss the very start of the interview.

posted by tron7 at 03:27 PM on September 29

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