2009 Season and Game Recaps
December 30, 2012By Sam Knopik of Pembroke Hill High School Football
Pembroke Hill Football
2009 Season Recap
Finishing 5-5 this years Raider team fought through some adversity to win some tight ball games. Turning point finishes for our boys included a 14-12 victory overClintonand a 21-20 homecoming win overUniversityAcademy. The season ending victory over rival Lincoln Prep was made memorable by the sloppy, muddy field conditions that I’m sure our boys will never forget.
Raider Award: This award is presented to the team member who has demonstrated the greatest commitment, dedication, desire and positive contribution that has earned the respect of both their teammates and coaches. This is the highest honor that our athletic department distributes.
2009 Winner: Adam Young
The Head Coach’s Award: This award is given to any member of the football team in recognition for their selfless participation. It is believed that the strongest members of any organization are those who make the greatest efforts to serve others.
2009 Winner: Allie Kirschner
Brooks Channing Noah Award: This award is presented to the team member who has demonstrated the greatest improvement from the previous season.
2009 Winner: Adam Young
Kevin Emery Award: This award is given to the player who has made the greatest contribution to our football team’s success. Considered a Most Valuable Player trophy this award is reserved for the player who’s overall efforts in training, in practice and on the field stands above others.
2009 Winners: Jacob Gerson
Studebaker Riley Award: Given to the player who’s line play exceeds all others. His determination to persevere, without concern for personal recognition or glory, manifests itself in relentless, selfless, physical exertion. This award is given to Pembroke Hill’s best linemen.
2009 Winner: James Holcomb
Bob Hicks Award: Given to the outstanding student-athlete in recognition of his football excellence, who personifies passion for the game, intensity, leadership, and heart both in the classroom and on the field.
2009 Winner: Andy Miller
Sportsmanship Award: This award is presented to the team member who shows humbleness in victory and graciousness in defeat. He is a fierce competitor who understands the greater objective of the game: to perform in a manner that reflects well on his family, his school and himself.
2009 Winner: John Heddens
Kansas City 3A All-District Team Winners
Missouri Football Coaches Association 3A All-State Team Winners
Jacob Gerson, Defensive Back, 3rd Team
Missouri Football Coaches Association All-State Academic Team Winners
Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association Scholar-Athlete Team Winners
Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association MO-KAN All-Star Game
2009 PHS vs Van Horn: Win 47-12
The stage was set for an awesome night of football as the temperature was cool and the sun was bright. Truman High School was the host of its first varsity football game ever! The Independence School District has always used the stadium located at William Chrisman High for all of their varsity football contests. However, since the addition of Van Horn to the school district they now have to use the Truman facility for the Falcon's home football games. It really is a wonderful opportunity for the Van Horn community. No longer will they have to travel into Kansas City to play games on foreign turf. Rather they can move right up the street to cheer for their football team.
From the 4-yard line early in the second quarter junior QB Jacob Gerson fired a high pass to junior TE David Kipke who climbed the ladder and was able to drag his toe in bounds for our first score of the season. Our Kicker, sophomore Nathan Wagner had a rough start to his football career as his first two PAT attempts were blocked and he was hit hard. To his credit this gutsy kid, who is already a two-sport varsity letterman in cross-country and wrestling, hung tough to plant his third kick right through the uprights. Unfortunately, he was hit again which ended his kicking for the night.
The second quarter was an explosive one for the Raiders as we scored 35 total points before the half ended. Our next two scores would also come from Gerson to Kipke TD passes of 27 and 49 yards. The third was an impressive display of team football. David pulled in the screen pass as teammate, junior Slot Back Luke Butler pasted an initial path clearing block on the closest defender. Then as if shot from a cannon, senior Guard Nick Tinoco, sprinted in front of Kipke to pancake the next pursuing Falcon. Also aiding in the score were hard running players sophomore Slot Back Patrick Freitag from the backside of the formation who sealed off a defender and a hustling junior Center Charlie Doering who threw his TD block 30 yards down field! On his way into the end zone David employed a vicious stiff arm to hold off the only Falcon managing to get close enough for the stop.
Gerson would hook-up with Butler for a 14-yard TD strike and senior John Heddens plunged over the goal line behind stout drive blocks from seniors Adam Young, Nick Tinoco, Andy Miller, and juniors Mark Baum, Charile Doering, David Kipke and Luke Butler. Second half scores would come from runs by junior RBs Sean Fredette and Marquelle Smith. In total 10 different players carried the ball for 120 yards and 3 TDs and 5 different players caught passes for 200 yards and 4 TDs. It was a super opening night for the offensive side of the ball.
Defensively, juniors Sean Fredette CB and Arun Miriyala OLB led the team with 6 tackles each. Miriyala also recorded a sack and forced a fumble which was recovered by senior OLB John Heddens. Heddens also took an intercepted pass back 25 yards thanks to outstanding pass rush by senior D-Linemen Andy Miller and Adam Young, junior Jay Tinsman and freshman ILB Harold Edwards. Harold took every snap at ILB for the Raider "D" and has the potential to be a very special player before his career is over. More than his ability, his work ethic and fearless spirit are the main factors in Harold's early opportunity to play at the varsity level. In fact, the whole freshmen class has a unique competitive spirit. So much, in fact, that the seniors invited them to dress for the game this week. Traditionally, we do not dress our freshmen for away games. However, in light of their outstanding practice efforts the seniors wanted to show their appreciation in this gesture. Good thing too because most of the 9th graders had the opportunity to gain a few snaps before the night was over.
Overall 14 different players garnered defensive statistics, including kicker Nathan Wagner who recovered a Walter Bixby and company forced fumble on a kickoff coverage.
The 2009 Pembroke Hill Raiders are off to a strong start and look forward to seeing you all next Friday as we host the tough Hogan Prep Rams. The game will serve as the PHS All-School BBQ and we hope you can be a part of the festivities. The Rams are coming off a very impressive Week 1 victory of their own. Last season they defeated us in a hard fought 7-8 ball game on their way to an undefeated regular season and an 11-1 record.
2009 vs. Hogan: Loss 14-39
While it rained all afternoon the PHS BBQ Game would see nothing but sunshine as the weather cleared in time for kickoff. Senior Captain Adam Young reminded me during warm-ups that "the sun always shines on Pembroke Hill!"
The offensive squad got us going in the second quarter as they moved the ball the distance of the field behind great run blocks of James Holcomb, Andy Miller, Nick Tinoco, Mark Baum, David Kipke, Luke Butler, and Young. It was impressive to see a red mass of humanity move the pile forward down after down. The final 1 yard plunge over the goal by John Heddens was followed by a successful 2-point conversion attempt by Gerson closing the gap to 12-8 Hogan.
Sophomore, Patrick Freitag, Junior Chaz Ellzey, and Senior John Heddens led all defenders with 10 tackles each. Ellzey, Heddens, Gerson, Miryala and Andy Miller all contributed to sacks or tackles for loss. Charlie Doering also recovered a mishandled Ram handoff to give us a boost in the 1st half. Charlie has done an outstanding job this season. His aggressive defensive play has forced the staff into moving around the field in order to take advantage of his talents. Offensively, he has proven to be a reliable anchor to the center of our line play.
Other offensive highlights include a 10-yard TD strike from Gerson to Junior David Kipke. Sean Fredette would lead all rushers averaging 10 yards per carry! Sophomore Matt Murray, Juniors Paul Black, Marquelle Smith, and Zach Schmidt also hauled in passes on the night.
The Raiders came up on the short end of the scoreboard but our staff was impressed with our team's fight and toughness. It has not gone unnoticed and I have appreciated the comments from others at the game who also made note our players' spitfire, never lay down attitude.
2009 vs Smithville: Loss 6-27
Smithville came to town and took care of business in the second half of our week 3 match-up. Entering the half down 14-6 the Raiders struggled to slow down the Warriors of Smithville who put up two more second half scores winning the game 27-6.
Offensive highlights of the game included a strong TD run by Marquelle Smith in the second quarter and 6 receptions for 68 yards by David Kipke. John Heddens led all rushers with 47 yards and also had 3 pass receptions Luke Butler, Paul Black and freshman Dylan Sen all caught Jacob Gerson pass attempts.
Jacob Gerson and Zach Schmidt led all defenders with 11 and 9 tackles respectively. Nick Tinoco pulled in a timely interception as well in the second half.
While it was a disappointing finish we were able to find several areas of improvement for our ball team. Most significantly I was impressed with how our players responded to the theme of "Respecting Work" after the Smithville game.
They were given several passages concerning the theme of "respecting work" and then asked to reflect on what those passages said to them. Examples included:
"Everyman is to be respected as an absolute end in himself, and it is a crime against the dignity that belongs to him as a human being, to use him as a mere means for some external purpose." -Immanuel Kant
"Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don't turn up at all." - Sam Ewig
"Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pateur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein." -H. Jackson Brown
"Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?" -Martin Luther King
2009 vs KC East: Win 28-8
Prior to our Week 4 game versus East I shared with the team some of the reflections of their teammates.
Isn't it wonderful to know that our players are surrounded by peers who are so plugged in to what is important? Above all things I think out team improved from week 2 through 3 and into week 4 by taking the time to be reflective about respecting work and the role others who work play in their lives. We ended this discussion by reminding us all that talk is cheep and actions are required to truly make a difference.
As we came out of the locker room at the half against KC East the team knew they had their work cut out for them. Despite dominating the first half of play in terms of yards gained, time of possession and earned first downs, East had tied the game in the last 25 seconds with long bombs and a two-point conversion.
The offensive line, led by captains Andy Miller, Adam Young and James Holcomb, took over the 3rd quarter with strong devastating blocks leading the way for 220 rushing yards. Jacob Gerson led all ball carriers with 84 yards including a 34 yard TD run. Marquelle Smith added another rushing score and John Heddens ran for two.
Seven players caught Gerson passes. Luke Butler, Paul Black, David Kipke, Marquelle Smith, John Heddens, Patrick Freitag, and Dylan Sen all contributed to 126 passing yards.
2009 vs Clinton: Win 14-12
We had a gorgeous night for the 2009 Clinton Homecoming game. The floats were on display on the track during our warm-ups and we were all impressed with the entries. My personal favorite was the one which showed a 7-foot cardinal kicking a Pembroke Hill helmet through the goal-posts.
The Raiders took the opening series 70 yards for our first score on a 1-yard John Heddens TD plunge. (John seems to be doing a lot of plunging this year, I may need to come up with a new action verb for next week.) John would go on to lead all ball carriers with 59 yards on 10 carries.
Our second score would come after big play yardage gainers by Marquelle Smith and Andrew Seligson. Marquelle took a pitch 15 yards to move us into Cardinal territory and then Jacob Gerson hit Seligson on a slant route which Andrew took 41 yards and allowed us t set up shop on the 5 yard line. Miryala would scamper in for the score on the next play and Wagner booted another one through the goal posts.
Wagner's second kick was right on the money. In fact, watching the kick from our brand new end-zone camera reminded me of the 1990 Gulf War of the missile that goes right down the factory chimney. You can see the ball coming right at the camera.... Violent shaking.... All black... Good stuff.
The offense would go on to have a very successful night controlling the clock and gaining first downs however, that would be the end of our scoring. David Kipke, Luke Butler and Seligson, and Marquelle Smith all contributed to Gerson's 100 yard passing night. James Holcomb, Mark Baum, Charlie Doering, Andy Miller and Adam Young would plow the way for 160 ground yards and 2 TD's on the night. However, it would have to be the defense to hang on and pull through the victory as we nursed an 8 point lead.
Paul Black, Patrick Frietag, Andrew Seligson, Zach Schmidt and Jacob Gerson all played stellar pass defense holding the Cardinals to just 40 passing yards. Black also pulled in a critical interception to end an advancing Cardinal drive deep in our territory.
2009 Schlagle: Loss 22-29
The past three seasons have seen nothing but exciting football games when the Raiders and the Stallions hook-it-up. There have been games decided with goalline stands, last second turnovers, onside kicks, and hook-and-laterals. This year's contest was no different. We talked to our team all week about being prepared to play four quarters, with a very good chance the game will come down to the very last play....
The Stallion return team was ready for an obvious onside kick attempt but we have executed this play so many times the past 5 seasons I was thinking more about our next offensive play call. In a super effort the Schlagle player smothered the ball and the game ended.
Defensively, Nick Tinoco led all tacklers with 16! Nick has done a fantastic job for us this season and is really becoming a very solid linebacker. Chaz Ellzey made a tremendous hit in the 2nd quarter to force a timely fumble which was recovered by Paul Black. Overall 17 players garnered defensive statistics including underclassmen Michael Burcham, Mason Everett, and Matt Murray.
2009 vs. University Academy: Win 21-20
Holy cow! There are good games and then there are GOOD games. This one goes down in Pembroke Hill football history as a GREAT game. I think the energy level for the 2009 homecoming game was jacked-up a few notches when the parents discovered that we were a contestant for the Fox4.com Game of the Week. The online poll quickly climbed out of reach and we prepared for the onrush of media attention almost as heavy as Super Bowl Sunday!
University Academy showcased a Wyoming University bound quarterback, Darren White. It should be noted that whenever a single player can influence an opponent's game plan he is noteworthy. Make no mistake about it, the Pembroke Hill defensive game plan focused one thing: slow down Darren White...
Following our first score and 2-point conversion, (I figured if this was going to be a shoot out we needed to get as many points as possible), University Academy's White threw an interception to Patrick Freitag. The Raiders then managed the clock effectively to march down the field for our second score of the night right before the half.
In the second half we marched it down the field again ending with Chaz Ellzey scoring on a 1 yard wedge play followed by a Nathan Wagner PAT which gave us the margin of victory. Unfortunately, UA's talented QB never played a snap in the second half, presumably going home ill at halftime. While UA lost a tough game without their sparkplug they are poised to make an effective run through their district competition and the playoffs. The UA-Pembroke Hill match-up has turned into to healthy rivalry. Class of '09 graduate and former player Dexter Pearson called me later that night, "15-14 last year, 21-20 this year. Could this be the making of a new rivalry?" Yes Dexter, yes.
Following the game we took part in one of my favorite traditions here, family picture night. Thanks to Mr. Mike McRobert who set up shop on the 50-yard line under the lights as all of our football families lined-up to get their pictures taken. We use these pictures for our end of the year slideshow and they are always great. If you would like to see Mike's pictures of the game, and families: www.McRobert.LifePics.com, Event Code = football. Look for the folder labeled PHS Football 2009, after you open that folder you'll find a folder labeled "PHS vs University Academy" and "PHS 2009 Football Family" which is where the pictures are located. The Fox4.com highlights can be seen at: http://www.fox4kc.com/videobeta/watch/?watch=199c0657-9611-4cf8-a829-05858c805e05&src=front
2009 vs. SPX: Loss 6-20
Finding yourself on the winning side of the first week of district play is huge. Unfortunately, we now have an uphill climb if we hope to return to the state playoffs after a disappointing 20-6 loss to St. Pius X.
David Kipke, Dylen Sen, Sean Fredette and Luke Butler all hauled in Jacob Gerson passes. Jacob would provide our only score of the game in the 2nd quarter with a 30-yard run up the middle. His TD would even the game at 6-6. Linebacker, Nick Tinoco led all defenders with 9-tackles, however, the Pius running game would prove too formidable over the stretch as they would add two more scores before it was over.
Heading into the SPX week I discussed the impact that inspirational messages could make in a young person's goal setting and vision. I shared with the team a quote I have on my desk, now taped to an old paper weight. I found this quote when I was a 10th grader as I was piddling around in the library, similar to what many of our students do when they should be studying in the library.
I took that scrap and placed it on my wall. I read it every day. I took it with me to college and read it everyday. I see it on my desk and I read it everyday.
By Friday they were to have sent me a copy of a motivational message they use or would find and consider. I have included a smattering of those below. Next week I'll share with you all what we are using these messages for in the future.
Illness has hit our team hard this week. We have missed as many as 20+ players from practice this week with varying degrees of severity. Untimely as it is, we face a very strong 4th Ranked O'Hara team tomorrow night. I hope you can make it to the 7pm kickoff... and you know we are looking forward to singing with you after the game.
"Nothing in this world that's worth having comes easy"
"Rely on your own strength of body and soul. Take for your star self-reliance, faith, honesty and industry. Don't take too much advice - keep at the helm and steer your own ship, and remember that the great art of commanding is to take a fair share of the work. Fire above the mark you intend to hit. Energy, invincible determination with the right motive, are the levers that move the world." --Noah Porter
"The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes."-Benjamin Disraeli
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain
"I'd rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not done." --Lucille Ball
"Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go." - T.S. Elliot
"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out." --Robert Collier
"If you don't invest very much, then defeat doesn't hurt very much and winning is not very exciting." -- Dick Vermeil
"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." -Helen Keller
"When your legs get tired, let your heart does the rest." --Terrance Howard
"The only one who can tell you 'you can't ' is you. And you don't have to listen."
"The power of one is above all things The power to believe in yourself Often well beyond any latent ability previously demonstrated. The mind is the athlete, The body is simply the means it uses." -- Bryce Courtenay
"Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn't have it in the beginning." -Mahatma Gandhi
"The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions." - Confucius
"It is not the hours we put in on the job, it is what we put into the hours that counts." --Sidney Madwed
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace." -Jimi Hendrix
"When I express my love for football instead of my unexplainable duty to play the sport, then I will become a football player."
"Boards don't hit back" - Bruce Lee
"The hero is no braver than the ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
2009 vs O'Hara: Loss 13-35
I don't know if I have ever been as satisfied as a coach. That seems like an incredible statement considering we lost by 22 points! What we desire as coaches is to see our players rise to a challenge, be competitive, and play with pride. If you were in attendance Friday night you saw an amazing performance by our boys.
While we struggled to put points on the board with an offense that had as many as four players making their first varsity appearance or playing out of position, we managed to hold onto the ball for the first 6-minutes of the game. Here is where I began to worry. In the three game films we had on the Celtics they had scored on the first play of the game. I began joking with the sideline official that he better get ready to run as they had a penchant for opening play scores. The official replied to me that there was yet another game he had called earlier in the season where O'Hara had put points on the board on the first snap. Oh, boy.
I guess we forgot to tell Mark Baum that fact because he absolutely unloaded on the unsuspecting Celtic fullback on the first snap. 2nd down did not fare much better for them before they decided to try out their passing game on a young sophomore, Josh Smith. Josh made his first varsity start and despite pretty good coverage gave up a 7-yard slant route. It would be the last pass completion on his watch the rest of the night. (Coach Griffiths is very excited about his new project at cornerback.)
O'Hara would punt the ball back to us three more times in the 1st half. The half would end 8-0 after the Celtics managed to move the ball on a short field to score with :30 left to play.
We knew that O'Hara would be rip roaring coming out of the locker room and we had to kick the ball off to them. After earning two first downs it was looking like we were wearing down. However, after forcing the outstanding O'Hara QB out of the pocket his scramble attempt was brought to a halt on the Raider's sideline by a crushing Charlie Doering tackle that ended with Baum recovering the fumbled ball... Begin Pandemonium
Defensively, Nick Tinoco would also recover a Celtic fumble. Jacob Gerson would lead all tacklers with 9, most by bringing down the dangerous O'Hara QB. Josh Smith and Zach Schmidt saw a lot of action at the cornerback position. It would make sense that an offensive coordinator would try to pass the ball deep against defenders smaller than their receivers. However those two would not give up any deep passes despite filling in at new positions. Zach usually a starting OLB did a super job playing through pain all night.
While again we would not manage a scoring drive of our own we stymied another O'Hara possession. Every minute they did not add points to the board was a minute we could strike back with one-big play. As the 4th quarter began O'Hara indeed had a two-possession lead 14-0. On a 4th and 8 from the 18 yard line Jacob Gerson rolled right and found freshman Dylan Sen with a 10-yard strike. Sen took the ball made two players miss and dove into the end-zone for our first score... Holding. Now it was 4th and 21! So, we rolled Gerson left where he found a backside Patrick Freitag in the endzone for a big-time score. Nate Wagner would bang the ensuing P.A.T. kick off the left upright but through the posts to bring us back within 7-points with little more than 9:00 left to play.
As the clock wound down with our 2009 playoff hopes dashed I could not help but feel as proud as one could be for a group of players. Whatever role you have been called to in life, I hope you have the opportunity to see your efforts to prepare and mold something special come to pass. My moment was last Friday.
We end the season tonight against Lincoln College Preparatory Academy. This has been a fun rivalry the past 5-seasons with LCPA leading the recent series 3-2. I can guarantee an exciting competitive night of football and I hope to sing with you after the game. Thank you for supporting our players in your classes; their effort to be successful in and out of the classroom is really what makes our school so special.
2009 vs. Lincoln Prep: Win 20-8
We won our last game of the season in the most awesomest mud game I have ever been a part of... Good Times.