Saturday, February 1, 2014

Football Rules the League

Well, I guess we found out how much the blog readers were interested in talking about other Huron League sports during the winter months when there is no football.

I thought I would start with something different by posting a few old things I wrote back when the blog had just gotten started.

The blog was launched back on August 9th of 2009. I'm not sure what I was thinking, but it has been fun. I guess 582,721 visitors can't be wrong. Here is a quick article I wrote about the league coaches on August 13, 2009. It's funny how the league has changed a bit, but still stays the same.

Huron League Coaches

One of the reasons I think the Huron League is such a good football conference is because of it's coaches. Good coaching in high school football is a must if you want to have a good football program. Let's look closely at the Huron League in that regard. I think it is safe to say that the top four teams in the league are Airport, Jefferson, SMCC and Milan in no particular order. These schools have hard working experienced coaches who know what it takes to win. At this point they have put more time into their programs than the other coaches in the league and that experience shows a majority of the time.

Marc Cisco has been coaching at Jefferson since basically the beginning of time. Actually he has been coaching 43 seasons coming into this one. Cisco was a less than stellar 31-54-3 in his first 10 seasons. Since that time he has had only 8 losing seasons in 32 years and his record includes a 1994 State Championship. Whether you like Cisco's offensive system or not the guys wins games consistently.

Jack Giarmo has been an outstanding coach for SMCC since he took over in the late 90's. Giarmo's first season was a woeful 1-8 but since then the Falcons have been a state power in their division. Once again Giarmo plays a system that isn't flashy but it produces results. SMCC is easily the smallest school in the league but nobody ever looks forward to playing them. I can't help but think that Giarmo will win a State Championship in the near future.

When Eric Redmond arrived at Airport in 1996 did anybody really expect him to turn the Jet program around? The Jets had only had 5 winning season in the previous 40 years. Redmond took his lumps early on going 3-6 in his first two seasons. From then on Airport has basically been a team to be reckoned with in the Huron League. Some will argue that Airport is bigger than every other school in the league but why didn't they win prior to that. Redmond is an experienced coach who constantly puts the time in to make sure his team is the absolute best that they can be.

Steve Robb has been coaching at Milan the past 24 seasons. He has had great seasons, mediocre seasons and a few bad ones. He has built a program in which he puts his trust in his seniors to provide leadership both during the season and during the off-season in which his seniors basically run the weight room program. He constantly has 45 -50 kids on the team and has been a master of the two-platoon system. His teams are always ready to play and are never an easy "W" for anyone.

The other coaches are at different points in their careers when it comes to their respective schools. You have a couple of youngsters trying to build programs and you have a couple of seasoned veterans.

Joe Pruchnicki has been coaching about as long as anyone in the State of Michigan and has had numerous head coaching stops. He has taken a few schools to the playoffs and was a nice find for the Rams when they hired him 4 years ago. It's hard to imagine that someone has a smaller playbook than Marc Cisco, Pruchnicki simply writes the plays on his fingers. Pruchnicki has brought some great experience to Flat Rock and it has resulted in a much more competitive program that has gone 9-9 the past two seasons.

Jeff Stergalas takes over this season at Riverview. Stergalas himself is a product of what many call the "Cradle of Coaches" at Riverview. Stergalas is known for the great success he had at Fordson High School in Dearborn which included a State Championship with the Tractors. It will probably take some time before the Pirates challenge for a league title but the numbers are already up at Riverview and a winning season is probably right around the corner.

Many thought Rick Dorn was crazy when he hired Dan Kalbfleish over at New Boston Huron. The kid was fresh out of college and was a meager 22 years old. Kalbfleish hasn't lit the world on fire record wise since he arrived but who would against this Huron League schedule. He has changed the entire culture at Huron when it comes to football. Last year's 4-5 record was their best since 1978 and the Chiefs scored a school record for points. Kalbfleish is a tireless worker who has all of his kids in the program lifting weights year round. Look for Kalbfleish to be around as long as a Cisco and look for him to start winning. He is doing everything right and just may need a bit more experience in this excellent coaches league.

Many believe that success may not be an option for John Bodner over at Grosse Ile. The Red Devils have had success over the years but many of their athletes flock to the upteen other sports they offer on the island. This should undoubtedly be Bodner's best team he has had but how does a young coach with limited experience be successful in this gauntlet of great coaches? Bodner doubles as the track coach on the island and has been able to get his athletes to run track and play football. If he can establish some depth the wins will eventually come.

We really do have some excellent coaches in this league and a well played brand of football. I think the two go hand in hand. Only a few short weeeks until the first games of the season. I look forward to watching these coaches match wits.

*Bold indicates coach is still active at same school


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the story of what happened with Steve Robb at Divine Child?

Chris Schultz said...

Nothing specific. Sounds like it just wasn't a good match. That happens sometimes.

Anonymous said...

And then Pruchnicki went on to go doughnut that season. He ran all sorts of plays in practice, just refused to run more than 3 in a game. Didn't care about anything below the varsity level and decimated the entire program. Horrible coach but a great reflection of the level of commitment from the athletic supervision.

Chris Schultz said...

No he actually went 3-6 that season after going 4-5 and 5-4 the previous two seasons.

Anonymous said...

That happens when you have a few athletes....... But it looks as though he killed the farm system so to speak with zero emphasis on lower levels

Anonymous said...

Twitter on fire yesterday about Stergalas not going to be coaching at Riverview anymore. Just thought you'd want to look into it.