2 games, 2 Winners: A Closer Look with Mark Miller
Both our Stark County teams, Canton South and Massillon, won last Friday and will play again this week in the state semi-finals! Let’s hope they continue on and play next weekend in the State Finals at Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
The perfect weekend started last Thursday with the 79 th WHBC All-County Banquet. It was a glorious event! Coaches, players, parents and administrators from every school in the county showed up to honor the All-County players as selected by the coaches, as well as four special awards – Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, the Jim Muzzy Award and the Jim Johnson Award. (See the WHBC homepage for details.)
It is always fun for me to see the players out of uniform. We get to see what they look like without a mask in front of their face. We also get to meet some parents and talk to the coaches when most are done playing and the pressure of competition is off.
Congratulations to all those honored, and also to some that weren’t selected. Stark County football is so good that naturally some very deserving individuals get left off. Even though us media guys don’t vote, we discuss who we think the picks will be and compare our notes with those actually chosen by the coaches, who do a great job by the way. They take it very seriously as they know how important it is to the players. Some that could have very easily been picked in my mind are: as Coach of the Year – Scott Garcia (GlenOak) and Nate Moore (Massillon). I thought Poochie Snyder (Canton South) was the clear favorite for Player of the Year but certainly Brendan Zurbrugg (Alliance) was deserving and Dorian Pringle (Massillon) was to me the best defensive player in the county. One player I thought the coaches missed on is Conner Satterfield from Northwest. We did a few of his games and he could have made the all-county team as a linebacker or a running back. Certainly one of the best all-around players in the county.
Speaking of which, maybe that award should be given. It is not unusual for high school players to play both offense and defense and even play an important part in the kicking game. For example, Zurbrugg was the quarterback, kicker and punter for his team. Poochie was the QB, punter and played defense when called upon. Other really good all-around players this year included Nate Baker (Lake), Dan Boron (Central Catholic), Keith Quincy (McKinley), Carson Basham (Perry), Carson Colucci (Fairless), Nick Petro
(Sandy Valley), Anthony Fuline (Jackson), and the list goes on. One other thing before I sign off. If you were not at the Canton South-Struthers game and you did see
the play I am about to describe on Kenny Roda’s social media post, you missed one of the very best high school football plays I have ever seen, and I’ve seen many, many game over the last 63 years. In the 3 rd quarter of a close game Poochie Snyder dropped back to pass, he was flushed out of the pocket so he scrambled, was cut off and danced around to avoid several tacklers, stumbled but regained his balance and just before crossing the line of scrimmage threw the ball to his receiver as he crossed the goal line 40+ yards down the field. I may be off a smidge on the details but I did not exaggerate, this play doesn’t need it, it was that great! Go Wildcats and go Tigers!