Wrapping up football, heading toward hoops
by Joe Scalzo - "A blog about YSU Penguin athletics, not the insides of penguins." (Contact) | 155 entries
1. The Missouri Valley Football Conference released its all-league selections on Monday and they were not kind to Youngstown State.
The Penguins had just one first team selection (junior guard Chris Elkins) and two second team picks: senior RB Jamaine Cook and senior TE Will Shaw. Senior DT Aronde Stanton, senior G Lamar Mady and junior QB Kurt Hess were honorable mention.
As I wrote before, I thought Cook, Elkins and Stanton deserved first team honors, while Mady and Shaw were worthy of second team. You can see how I voted here: http://www.vindy.com/weblogs/penguin-insider/2012/nov/19/how-i-voted-my-all-conference-ballot/
2. Here's the full list of all-MVFC winners: http://www.valley-football.org/news/default/2012-13/6303/2012-valley-football-all-conference-team/
3. In case you missed my stories from last week, here's my season-ending column:http://www.vindy.com/news/2012/nov/22/a-good-year-but-not-a-great-one/?newswatch
And my season-ending report card: http://www.vindy.com/news/2012/nov/22/ysu-report-card-the-vindicators-joe-scal/?newswatch
4. One final thought on football: Through the first 2 1/2 years of Eric Wolford's tenure, if you has asked me whether YSU had hired the right guy, I would have said "No question."
I thought he was building a program the right way and I thought this year's team was poised for a playoff run. In fact, my preseason prediction was a 9-2 record. But this year's 7-4 record was disappointing not just because of the four conference losses, but because for the first time, Wolford's team suffered a couple blowout losses.
Before the season, Wolford said missing the playoffs in 2011 was the best thing that could have happened to his team because it made his players hungry. I thought that was baloney — getting playoff experience is invaluable — but it was a nice storyline.
Wolford is a good program-manager. He's good with the media, he's a tireless recruiter and he's been around enough good (and bad) programs to know what works. But one question remains: Can he coach? And if not, can he find assistants who can?
I think offensive coordinator Shane Montgomery has been a terrific hire (the four games in October notwithstanding) and I think the two line coaches (Carmen Bricillo and Tom Sims) have been excellent the past three years. But the jury is still out on defensive coordinator Joe Tresey and several other assistants, so it'll be interesting to see what Wolford does over the next few weeks and months.
I have no idea whether Wolford is still the right guy, but I do think this job, like any job, has a learning curve.
My gut tells me he'll figure it out.
But my head is no longer so sure.