Thursday, September 08, 2005

The First Blog: Predictions, musings, other stuff

Everybody else has a blog, so why not me?

That's what I asked myself before creating this blog. Not really. I don't know yet what "blog" is short for, but I thought it would be a good way for me to better connect with those who visit PrepNation.com -- and a good forum for me to dispense with some of the sometimes random, sometimes interesting, other times merely inane information darting around in my brain.

That's what blogging is all about, right? No, really. Is that what blogging is all about?

Well, for me it will be, at least.

What kind of information (and other material) to expect from this blog:

1) My current thoughts and analysis of high school football (and basketball) from a national perspective.
2) Game tapes from HS coaches around the nation are already starting to fill my mailbox. I'll share with you what I see -- top teams, top players (some you might not have heard of yet), top coaches, most unusal Friday night occurrences. You name it.
3) My thoughts and, frankly, my venting on current events -- mostly sports, but not always.

Sound interesting? Well, it does to me. So, maybe I'll be the only reading it, but that's OK.

First, a little more about me. Stuff you won't find in the "About Us" section of the Web site. I am 33 years old, and am frightened to admit that I'll be turning 34 on October 15. Even more frightening, I will be getting married on October 29. I guess next month I grow up, eh?

Speaking of the wedding, my life, and so forth. I try to keep the front page of PrepNation.com updated and fresh on a daily basis. However, the wedding, my travel for work and to follow my college alma mater -- the Iowa Hawkeyes -- sometimes limits me. I generally have my laptop with me on the road, but dial-up connections are a bee-ahtch when it comes to doing some serious Web work. So, please, bear with me in advance. I've had PrepNation.com for five years now, and I love it and wish it to grow bigger and better, but it's not a source of income for me. Therefore, my job, my life and now my wife (that rhymed) all must come first.

One thing I'd like to include every Wednesday or Thursday is a prediction column for the upcoming weekend's games involving National Prep Poll Top 25 teams. One game is already underway as I write this -- Jenks vs. No. 6 Tulsa Union -- and it is a hummdinger from what I am hearing, but it will not be included in this roundup. Here goes:

No. 4 Southlake Carroll vs. Plano East: This is not your older brother's PESH. Nope this group is not the same collection of Panthers that "doggonitt, these kids" battled back and forth back in the day with Tyler John Tyler. (If you don't remember that game in the 1994 playoffs,
read this). Anyway, no, Plano East hasn't contended for a state title in a real sense for a few years, but this might be as talented a group as coach Johnny Ringo has had there. Obviously, the pass-happy Dragons will test even the best secondary, but Plano East has a pretty good one, featuring Division I prospects Victor Ibewuike and P.J. Grundy. The Dallas Morning News -- far and away the best daily preps section in the nation -- published a story on the PESH secondary and its challenge to slow down SLC. It's a good read. But, PESH's real problems are on offense. My pick is: SLC 41, PESH 19. (That 41 points is below SLC's average point output since they've been a 5A school, by the way.)

No. 9 Cleveland St. Ignatius at No. 18 St. Joseph's Prep: As I posted earlier this week on the national board at
TexasHSFootball.com I was pretty surprised by Prep's upset of Neshaminy a week before. The Hawks would be well-served to attack Iggy the same way they did Neshaminy. That would be to go to the air early and often and not try to slug it out in the trenches. I think Ignatius will have more size, better athletes and more depth, so I would be surprised if Prep beats the Wildcats. But, maybe this is the year that Prep lives up to the lofty expectations often heaped upon it. My pick is: St. Ignatius 31, SJ Prep 21.

Paradise Valley (Phoenix) at No. 19 Hamilton: First of all, kudos to Hamilton for playing a tough non-conference schedule. Huskies coach John Wrenn knows his team is the big dawg in Arizona, and they aren't afraid to go out and prove it. Last week, Hamilton layed a whooping on Red Mountain, always a contender in Class 5A. This week, they get Paradise Valley, one of the up-and-coming programs in the Phoenix Metro. It will be interesting to see how Hamilton quarterback Colby Harris continues to perform. The senior passed for four touchdowns in last week's 41-14 win after replacing junior stud Brad Gruner, who tore his ACL in Hamilton's first series of the game. I think he'll do just fine. My pick is: Hamilton 29, Paradise Valley 12.

Midlands No. 8 Columbia Hickman at National No. 20 Rockhurst: I have lived in the Kansas City metro for the better part of the last eight years (I say "better part" because for eight months during the period I lived in West Palm Beach, Fla. But the "better part" was spent here in KC), so I know that Rockhurst is always good. But, some years Rockhurst is VERY good. This should be one of those years. Coach Tony Severino has at least four Division I prospects in his senior class, and folks, the Hawklets just don't lose when their talent level is this high. Hickman is the defending Class 6 state champ and is led by Missouri recruit Aaron Cawlfield. Jeremy Plowman (PrepNation.com Basketball Editor) saw Hickman play last week. He says they're still pretty good, but not good enough to beat this Rockhurst team. I agree. My pick is: Rockhurst 31, Hickman 14.

Enough predictions.

Just got word that Jenks upset No. 6 Tulsa Union, 48-44, in yet another CLASSIC edition of perhaps prep football's best rivalry. Haven't got all the details yet, but it appears the teams traded long touchdowns in the closing minutes, with the Trojans having the good fortune of being the last team to have the ball. At least the last team to have it with more than several seconds left on the scoreboard. Wow. What a treat for those who filled Tulsa's Skelly Stadium and watched Oklahoma Cox Cable to watch this one. You know what this means though -- Union will probably beat Jenks in the playoffs. That's how it has turned out the last few years, at least. Either way, great job by both teams and congrats to coach Allan Trimble and the Trojans!

Wow. The Patriots-Raiders and the Jenks-Union game both finished before I finished this blog. The next ones won't be this long. I promise.

All I have left to do is wish you all a happy weekend and welcome you to (PLEASE) feel free to leave comments about my blogs on this site. Pretty please. Let me know someone actually read it. Oh, and this weekend the site updates will be a little later because I will be on the road to my native Iowa for a family get-together and the annual Iowa-Iowa State grudge match. Go Hawks! Beat Iowa State! Pretty please.

1 comment:

PrepNationSports said...

Jamie,

Great job on the blog!

Keep it up,

Jamie

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