Archive for Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Baldwin High football a team of power

November 2, 2010

The score already had taken root deep in the brains of the Baldwin High football players before they made it off the field at the end of a first-round, Class 4A playoff game last November: Bishop Miege 62, Baldwin 0.

After Monday’s practice, Bulldogs coach Mike Berg recounted the conversation: “Our kids said, ‘Coach, we’re going to make sure this doesn’t happen again.’ ‘OK, what are we going to do about it?’ ‘We’re going to start lifting Monday.’ They started lifting that Monday.”

Consequently, their goal of lifting a state-championship trophy has an air of credibility to it. The Bulldogs (8-1) aren’t the favorites to emerge from the East side of the 32-team bracket, not with Louisburg in the mix, but they have what it takes to compete. Their quest begins tonight at home against Blue Valley Southwest (3-6).

The Bulldogs have power. Power lifters. Power blockers. Power runners.

On a board at the school are the names of the top 10 athletes through the years in the power-clean (lifting from the ground to the chest). Six are current members of the football team.

Senior and third-year starter Landon Ausherman, a 6-foot-2, 230-pound fullback/middle linebacker, ranks at the top with a 340-pound power-clean. Jesse Austin, Josh Hoffman, Jesse McDaniels, Jake Mendez and Ryan Rogers join him on the list.

Tyler Schneider doesn’t go around bragging about it, but if you ask him the ultimate high school jock question — How much you bench? — he has an answer: 375 pounds.

Not all power lifters know how to make that strength work for them on the football field. They fall in love with what the weights do for their physiques and forget that attitude is just as important. Not a problem with this rugged bunch. Baldwin runs the wing-T to perfection by paving the way for ball carriers with physical blocks.

Asked what he likes about playing power football, McDaniels, a senior and third-year starter, said: “Getting to destroy people. Getting to shove it down their throats. Just the way it feels. It feels good when you’re punishing people.”

It didn’t feel so good a year ago when the Bulldogs were on the other end of the punishment eight times in 10 games. That’s why they went to work with such tunnel vision.

Berg tracks attendance for 100 summer events, awarding a point for each participating member. The events include weight workouts, running workouts, fundraisers, seven-on-seven leagues and football camps. Those who participate in at least 70 of the events receive an Iron Man T-shirt. All but five of the 45 players wear Iron Man T-shirts.

It all adds up to a relentless running game. Hoffman has rushed for 1,146 yards and 17 touchdowns, averaging 9.79 yards per carry. Rogers has averaged 7.02 yards per carry and rushed for nine touchdowns and 779 yards.

They know much of the credit belongs to the blockers, Austin, McDaniels, Schneider, Keenan Coffey, Dayton Valentine and Tyler Brenn. Load up on the run and receiver Asher Hannon is liable to get open in the end zone for a TD reception.

The Bulldogs have a long way to go for a state title, but they already have come a longer way from 62-0.


sportsfan 9 years, 9 months ago

“Getting to destroy people... It feels good when you’re punishing people.”

wow. This is scary even for football-speak


Highstreet 9 years, 9 months ago

Naw. High school kid parrotting something heard or saw. What he's saying is, is that winning is a lot more fun than losing.



AncientBaldwin 9 years, 9 months ago

Of course its more fun. Id rather see the term "I love to deliver a pancake block, or a crushing block." The other words were a tad barbaric considering our league has the horribly sad distinction of having one of our member teams (Spring Hill) players lose his life in their last game. I really was troubled that a talented young man only made national news for being the first (and hopefully only) loss of life In High School Football in the US this year.

Now our young man at BHS didn't mean anything as dreadful as that, of course not. Coach Berg keeps a classy team on the field. It could have been said after the game while he was still amped up from competition, I don't know. I sorta suspect Coach may have a chalk talk about what you do and don't say to the press, if more is said of it. I do know they are instructed to do no interviews after a loss, and with obvious brings intense emotions into an intense contest, and we must remember, these are still kids...we all probably remember saying things when we were that age that we wouldn't say now.

So in a long winded way...more than likely an innocent statement that fell victim to bad timing with the news from Spring Hill.

p.s. Whats this Next. crap? are you appointing yourself de facto board moderator? Then again, a self absorbed person is never lonely :)


AncientBaldwin 9 years, 9 months ago

One thing I meant to say but forgot. I have a very heavy heart for the family of the deceased young man, his team and school. I also hurt for the player from the opposing team who delivered the hit. I feel for him a lot. What normally would have been a good play will likely stay with him throughout his life. I pray that all those affected by this tragedy find peace in their own, best way.

Go Bulldogs, and stay healthy. It would be a nice tribute in the remaining playoffs, to have a black band or the number of the lost player on the jerseys of the participating teams.

Sorry to have drifted off topic on this, but having 2 sons that also played just brought that very close to home for me. My youngest stopped playing due to a mild concussion in his freshman yr because the effects from it scared him a lot. I was glad he made that decision.


AncientBaldwin 9 years, 9 months ago

Ok...Last time, I promise, but I found what I hoped to find....from the Louisburg Herald Online:

Spring Hill Broncos’ head coach Anthony Orrick said after the game that Nathan hit the ground “pretty hard with his head” during a routine play, then came to the sideline. “He sat down on the bench,” the coach said. “He then stood up, but his legs went underneath him, and he collapsed there.”

Nathan had suffered a concussion earlier in the season that, combined with other injuries, kept him out for several weeks, Orrick added.

As a dedication to Nathan Stiles, football players from five Frontier League schools — Paola, Louisburg, Baldwin, De Soto and Eudora — are planning to wear No. 44 stickers on their helmets during the playoffs.

That's the Class I knew we had.


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