Pitching with Pritch: Opening football weekend not kind

The Nebraska high school sports season is upon us. Not saying that makes me unhappy, however it seems the season starts earlier and earlier each year. 

Maybe that is my age and how many of these opening weekends I have seen through those many years, but last Friday’s home opener for the Plainsmen football team felt like the middle of summer. The heat cooperated and made it feel like it was too early, and the rains of the summer made the mosquito population plentiful. Other than those things, it was just another normal season opener. 

I can still remember when the Nebraska Coaches Association Clinic was the first week in August, and now it is in July, so times and events change. You must adjust, for some of us, it just takes time to make those adjustments. 

I have to admit I don’t follow high school sports as closely as I did when I was coaching, but I still have schools’ scores I check on because I either coached there or have friends that coach there. This past opening weekend was not kind to any of them. 

I usually know what happened with the Plainsmen. Then I check on Malcolm’s score. Even though my son doesn’t coach anymore, I still know a number of their coaches and visit with them when I go to events with Troy. Then I run down until I find Cozad’s scores, and then check the SPVA schools. Now I also check on Elmwood-Murdock and Anselmo Merna’s scores. The football Gods were not kind to any of these teams this past weekend because all of them were defeated by their opponents. 

I think I was more surprised by the results of the SPVA scores because the league went 0-6 in the opening week of play. Because of the playoff system and now because teams in the conference are mixed 11-man and eight-man, there won’t be much comparison during the rest of the season. It is early and hopefully teams will improve with each game and by the end of the season be much better than they are at the present time.

Another interesting item this year is the classification of schools. In volleyball and girls golf it is a count of the number of girls in high school in ninth through 11th grade as of last year. That put Perkins County into D2 in volleyball. The range in volleyball in D-2 was eight to 25 and PC had 21 girls. Cross country is a combined boy and girl count and there are only four classes. The range was 29-139 with PC at 72. In girls golf the range was 15-114 and it’s a girls only count. It is a pretty big spread in some of those activities and as you get smaller or even if you get bigger and move up a class, being towards the bottom of a classification is tough. 

When I coached at Imperial, the first two years we were right at the top of Class C and then the last three years I was there we were the smallest Class B school in the state. Made a ton of difference when it came district time and you were playing Lexington, McCook, Cozad etc., and they were some of the bigger schools at that time in Class B.

Some of these things you have no control over and it is better to worry more about what you can do and just forget about the things you have no control over. The new school year is here so prepare well and compete hard.

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