Time To Find Out What We're Made Of
September 13, 2010By Luke Martin of Columbus East High School
All week long the O's have been told what they can’t do, instead of what they can do. Ever since their loss to Columbus North, it seems like every O's fan has packed their bags to negative city.
Though, it is a long season O's faithful. A season is not decided in week two, especially in the state of Indiana. It doesn't matter if you are 9-0 or 0-9, you make the playoffs in this state.
That should give the O's confidence in being able to bounce back from a tough emotional loss, but how about the fact that East has a chance to win their seventh straight conference championship.
I know many will say, "Well the Hoosier Hills Conference is just that bad," and I will have to agree. No doubt the conference isn't that strong, but has the conference really changed?
I don't think the conference has changed, just Columbus East. The O's have gotten a talented era of players to come through, and that is something that won't happen to every program.
It says a lot about Columbus East head coach Bob Gaddis and how he has been able to maintain the number one spot in the HHC for six years. Name another team in the state of Indiana that has been that successful over that many years?
It is very rare to see a team dominate one league for that long, and that speaks very highly of all the players that have suited up for the O's. All the players have put in the hard work, practice time, summer workouts, and everything else that goes into making a program successful.
"Doing the little things right," is something Coach Gaddis always tells his teams, and the ones that have been successful have done just that.
Now the 2010 team has a chance to add their names to the list of great Gaddis teams, but they are now put in a spot, the senior class especially, that they have never been in before.
The O's suffered some humility last Friday night to their arch rival, and it was the first time this senior class lost to North. They all got the taste of what it feels like to be beaten by your arch rival, something they have never tasted before in their careers.
Now they have to be able to bounce back, and use that tough taste in their mouth to motivate them to get better.
It starts Friday when the O's take on the Seymour Owls at Stafford Field, a game in which will tell us a lot about this O's team.
Here are my three keys to victory for the O's.
1. The Hangover?
-I talked about this earlier in the week, and it is something that has to be brought up again, that being the O's suffering from the "North Hangover". Any team at any level has went through a hangover, and it is something that is solely on the players shoulders. The coaches can only do so much.
It is up to the players if they want to have a successful season, and if they want to be one of the best teams to ever play for Gaddis.
They were embarrassed Friday night, but the game was an embarrassment not because of what North did, it was what the O's were not able to do.
Columbus East had multiple dropped passes, many that were going for touchdowns, and had multiple mental mistakes. The O's did not even come close to playing their best game, but sometimes things just don't click for an odd reason.
That happens in the game of football, that being things just not clicking. Things may click for the rest of the season, but sometimes there is just an off night for a team. That is what Friday night's game was for the O's.
I know it was on the biggest stage of the regular season, but that is just the way it works out sometimes.
Though, I would choose to figure out my flaws now than in week 10, when you’re sitting at home after a sectional loss.
Everyone has been talking about how the O's will have the bounce back, and the week of practices has been very encouraging.
We will find out what kind of competitors this Columbus East team has Friday night.
2. Andrew Wilson continuing great play
-This kid is simply amazing and if anyone thinks he won't be one of the best running backs East has ever seen, they simply don't know football.
Wilson has all the tools in place to have a great career at Columbus East, and he showed what kind of running back he can be Friday against North. All week long, people were bringing up how North didn't let Seymour run wild on them. Did you notice which team they were comparing East to, Seymour?
Wilson only got the ball 13 times and ran for over 130 plus yards. That is overshadowed by a great game by Kobi Cook, but shouldn't someone be getting those types of numbers when you’re getting the ball over 30 plus times?
Wilson makes the most of each carry, and he is the perfect north to south runner Gaddis needs. Wilson just has "the right stuff" to be the best running back Gaddis has ever had.
I keep telling Wilson that I need him to break a big run for a TD, and I think he is going to be able to do that Friday against Seymour. He is a running back that runs with a purpose, and he is not happy with what happened last week.
He is as motivated as anyone on the team, and I am already feeling sorry for the defense of Seymour. They are going to have to try to stop an unbelievably determined running back.
3. Defensive line needs to improve
-Last Friday night was not a good night for the O's defensive line, The 'Dogs ran, ran, and ran some more against the O's. East was unable to stop the North running game consistently, and Cook was able to get into the open field, something I said they couldn't allow him to do.
Though, this is the group that has just been hacked at all week long. I know the players will say they deserve it after the brutal performance a week ago, but they now have a chance to start making strives into the right direction.
East looked good in the first week of the season against Greenwood, and I believe they took steps forward after week one.
After week two, the O's took multiple steps back. Now they have to go back to the drawing board and re-group, but I think the issue is simply continuity.
No doubt this defensive line isn't very big or physically intimidating, but this group has only played two varsity games together. When your most experienced defensive end spent most of his time as a running back, that says a lot about how much work this defensive line had to do entering this season.
They aren't surprised that they have been struggling, but I am sure they didn't expect Cook to burn them for that many yards, either. Now they just got to put that night behind them, and they got to start making steps forward Friday.
Seymour won't be an offense threatening team, but they will play a discipline style of football. It forces their opponents to do the fundamentals well, and Seymour was able to capitalize on Jeffernsonville's lack of being fundamentally sound.
The Columbus East defensive line will just have to be fundamentally sound to beat Seymour, and that is why we will learn a lot about this defense tomorrow. If East struggles to stop the Owls running attack, then it may be time to press the panic button.
Just give this defensive line some time to play together as a group. They have some young talent in Caleb Carson, Max Fischer, and others who are just going through learning cycles right now.
Give this team time and they will be successful, and they will show what kind of defensive line they can be against Seymour.
-This will be a field day for the O's offense, and they aren't going to have any problems in beating Seymour. The Owls are playing the O's at the wrong time, and the O's are going to be one fired up squad Friday.
This team has been waiting for this Friday night since the clock hit triple zeros against North. They are tired of hearing all the negative talk about the O's, and they are ready to keep the O's HHC championship steak alive.
Look for Andrew Wilson to have a big night, Gunner Kiel will be playing pitch and catch with all the wide receivers, and the Columbus East defensive line will step up and have a big game.
Look for the O's to beat the Seymour Owls in a blowout at Stafford Field Friday.
Columbus East- 56
*Make Sure to watch "The Luke Martin Show" tomorrow on Comcast Channel 3 from 11am-6pm*
Luke Martin is a senior at Columbus East High School and would like to be reached for comments on his coverage. He can be reached at email@example.com
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