Listening in on the post-game talk from Ted Ginn Sr. and the rest of the
coaching staff to the Glenville Tarblooders, I would have thought that they just
lost the game 48-14.
Yes that was the final result on the scoreboard Friday afternoon, but it was Glenville with the upper hand against Senate League foe, Lincoln-West.
So why such harsh consternation?
"We weren't polished; we weren't focused today. We were kind of making a lot of mistakes," Ginn said. "We can't make those mistakes and see ourselves going deep into the playoffs. It's kind of hard for the kids to stay focused week after week when you're playing teams that have maybe have one or two wins. That's a problem for us, so we have to coach harder on keeping them focused. So today, even though the score was 48-14, we lost focus."
In an afternoon start at a relatively empty stadium with a little more than
an estimated 100 people in attendance, the game had all the ambience that you
would expect to see at a freshman or junior varsity contest, plus the
20-something strong of the Glenville High School marching band.
"This atmosphere plays against us. We need a different atmosphere for our kids," Ginn said. "We didn't have a film to work on. The teams won't exchange films so we've got to go and scout them. And they've got the teams set up to where you can't get there to scout because we're all playing at the same time. There's no cooperation in the league, so that plays a big part on what happens to us because we don't know what to work on."
So Glenville has to rely on pure talent, the kind of talent that almost any school in Ohio would love to have.
"We've got to get better, we can't continue to go like this," the coach said. "Our team is a team that has to be coached every week, and we have to have great scouting reports and different things like that, and if we don't do that, we could slip-up here and there."
In addition to already having one of the state's best players in Ted Ginn Jr., as well as one of the state's top juniors in Fred Lenix, among others, the talent pool was substantially increased this week for the Tarblooders when junior Jamario O'Neal played in his first game of the season. O'Neal was rated by many, prior to the season, as the state's top junior prospect and has already verbally committed to Ohio State for the class of 2005.
Jamario O'Neal racing down the sideline on a 50-yard TD reception.
O'Neal, of course, transferred to Glenville in time for his junior year from
Mansfield high school and was actually cleared by the OHSAA in time to play last
week after Ginn Sr. was named as the legal guardian of O'Neal. O'Neal
played safety on defense and he was on the receiving end of a short Ginn pass in
which he broke a tackle and then raced down the sideline for a 50-yard
touchdown, while on offense.
"Last week, he was eligible as far as what Columbus said, but he didn't play last week. This was just his first week out," Coach Ginn said. "He did pretty good today for just starting. He's not in football shape or anything like that. So we've got to get him into some shape and get him ready with the plays so he knows what he's doing and stuff like that. I guess in the next three week we'll get that done. He's going to do some things (for us) depending on how quick he picks up on things."
Of course, Ginn Jr. made his standard contribution on both sides of the ball in the game, including a 38-yard touchdown run and a couple of TD passes on offense. But he put the ball on the ground on two different occasions and that didn't make dad very happy.
"He's a bum today, he had two fumbles," said Ginn with a chuckle. "If you want to know about my son, he's a bum today. Now what's the next question?"
But on a serious note, Ginn restated his concern for the direction of his team amid the trying circumstance they'll continue to toil in between week eight and the postseason, if they're fortunate to be there at the end of the season. The Tarblooders were 5th in Division I, Region 1 after week seven.
"Sure it's always a concern," the coach said. "But we've got to just get better."
Ted Ginn running free in the secondary again.
Ted Ginn returning a punt 90 yards for a TD but it was called back due to a penalty.
Ted Ginn about to break free on a 38-yard touchdown scamper.