Sunday, September 8, 2013

An open letter to Lycoming Football Fans that Coaches and Players should not read

Williamsport, PA -  Ok Lycoming football fans, how are you feeling today? Saturday's game at Brockport was a shock to many, feelings of Ground Hog Day come to mind. And the return trip home from Rochester, NY that was to be satisfying revenge from last year's shocker became longer and quieter than expected.

So after sleeping on the replays of the game and looking for some explanation of eight quarters without a touchdown against the Golden Eagles, there has welled up in side of me the great potential this 2013 team still can become. Like a neon sign blinking in the dark night, I keep seeing the sign flashing "Great Potential, Great Potential, Great Potential."

Some of you will think I have lost it! Others will pooh pooh this open letter. But those with an open mind will see that the 2013 team still has the potential to be one of the greatest teams in some time. I am an accountant by trade and have the need to analyze data. So here is what the data tells me.

One statistic tell me why we lost that game. It sticks out like the rainbow man seen on TV sporting events long ago. It flashes in front of me like a truck with its high beams on as it barrels down the highway. I have seen this same thing before in my 17 years of following Warrior home and away games. This secret always points to the  lack of experience of our offensive line. This is not a criticism of the player on that line, it is just what I have seen looking through the data and observing years of Lycoming Football.

The offensive line is always the unsung heroes of any good team. You do not appreciate them until you lose them because of graduation. And of all the positions on a team, the offensive line is a team dynamic. I mean each player must know his neighbor like a brother. Experience with each other is the only cure to a new offensive line which must become a well oiled team working together. We lost some great experience last year. And not having #90 Greg Kovacs Sr TE from Philadelphia, Pa. / Father Judge HS in the lineup did not help us either. I hope he gets back soon. But I see great potential in this years offensive line.

Now if you were to guess how many times our quarterbacks were sacked Saturday, what would be your number? Three, five, seven, or nine? Tyler Jenny was sacked six times and lost a half a football field in yardage in the process. And #13 Matt McGinley went downed once. Also Jenny was intercepted two time, something that was rare in the whole 2012 season. Most of this was due to the relentless pressure Brockport put on our quarterbacks because of an inexperienced line.

So you are saying to yourself, we did not have a very good running game Saturday. Well, you are mistaken, #23 Jr. RB Craig Needhammer averaged 7.2 yards per carry and almost broke the magic 100 yard mark tallying 86 yards on 12 carries. With those stats, maybe Needhammer should have carried the ball 30 times. The line opening holes for Craig, so is it possible that the OL just needs work on their passing play drills? We shall see.

Back to talking about potential. I still believe that #7 Tyler Jenny is going to be a great quarterback for Lyco and he has a trio of receivers who are arguably the best I have seen as a group for the Warriors. #4 Sr. Matt Atkinson who not only is a wide receiver but can take snaps from center as he did last year, can run the option. I thought we would see that option, but it never appeared in Rochester which leads me to believe there are plays that will be unveiled when we are playing MAC football.

Continuing with wide receivers, #10 John Sibel was our second leading receiver last year and against Wilkes and had four catches for a career-high 81 yards. He averaged 13 yards per catch against Brockport. He has sure hands and we need to get the ball to him more. Last of the trio is sophomore #8 Ryan Umpleby who as a freshman posted three catches for 43 yards at Delaware Valley. That was a big part in our team win against a very strong opponent the last few years.

I'm sure Jenny is not feeling very good after the loss to Brockport, but from what I can gather, he is they type of player who will bounce back quickly. The team will be making many adjustments this week and the team moral will be focusing on the start of MAC league play. Once the team figures out that they have plenty of talent in all positions, you will see what this team can be. I believe we will see the change quickly.

But make sure you don't tell the players and coaches that we have a potentially great offensive. Don't tell them that we have a great quarterback in the making. Don't tell them our running back is one of the best in the league. Keep quiet about the wide receivers we are blessed with, we don't want that to get out. And for sure, don't let anyone know how good our offensive line will become and how quickly that will happen. My oh my, what would happen if the word go out? It would be radical. It would be enlightening. And I have only talked about the offense in this article.

Just wait until I talk about the defense and special teams which is coming soon to a computer near you. But please, keep it hush hush. Keep it under wraps, keep it in a bottle and make sure the lid is tight and secure. This thing could explode into something never seen in some time. It might be contagious, it might spread like a virus and affect this team beyond what anyone would have expected. So please, keep this "Great Potential" thing under wraps!