2015 football season had a few drawbacks
It’s the second season for high school football, fun for a group of teams and not so much fun for the group that is collecting equipment on Monday.
But here’s a look back at the regular season that was with a few thoughts:
First, going to a high school game this year seemed like an excursion to a Patriots game. The games are long. We mean really long, approaching or exceeding the three hour mark in a lot of case.
What happened? A couple of reasons. First, a lot of teams don’t seem to want to huddle any more. Locally, Nashua North, South and Bishop Guertin preferred the up-tempo approach.
That did a couple of things. It cuts off the seconds you use to huddle up, giving teams more plays, but also a lot of these teams would throw the ball. The days of three yards and a cloud of dust (or field turf) on the ground are basically over for a lot of programs .
The problem? Early in the season especially, teams just weren’t experienced at it, causing a lot of penalties.
But here’s the other issue: the referees weren’t experienced enough at it either. The game became too fast for a lot of crews, and they were throwing flags right and left.
From these eyes – knowing it’s a hard job and often a thankless one – officiating in the state was horrendous this fall. At one game, the refs even lost track of what down it was. There had to be luncheons to go over a call, taking a ridiculous amount of time. Points of emphasis were basically refs looking to make a call. Word was there were a lot of inexperienced officials in the state whose training was minimal. That makes sense, because for some games, when there was a more experienced crew, the game flowed. In any event, whether that’s true or not, the work of high school refs this year was sub-par at best.
I was asked the other night on ESPN New Hampshire’s Friday Night Lights wrapup show what was the best performance these eyes had seen this year in person. That’s easy, it would have to be Nashua North’s Devin Leonard’s 252 yard rushing night against Nashua South, but basically the second half when he had 224 of them.
Leonard’s performance changed a season. The Titans trailed 21-7 at halftime and won going away, 47-27, and Leonard and the work of his offensive line was the difference.
Speaking of game plans, can anyone beat Goffstown? Well, we discovered the secret to the Grizzlies’ success, at least at home. Two weekends ago when the Cards were at Goffstown, after the Grizzlies left the field following their pre game warmup, the macho metalica music faded. While the Cards were still out there warming up, Barbara Streisand and Lionel Ritchie’s duet from the 1980s, "Endless Love" came over the loudspeaker to try to lull the Cards to sleep. Great stuff.
Also, the way the press box is set up, with a side porch for visiting coaches, there’s a speaker right next to that porch. A little tough for coaches to hear through the headsets? You bet. Ahhh, gamesmanship. NFL, where are you?
-How’d you like the new playoff format, with the wild card set up? At first, this space was against it, preferring the old National Hockey League style "fight your way out of the conference." But it seemed to keep a lot of teams in it and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Still missed the conference winner being able to hoist a plaque, though.
Tom King can be reached at 594-6468, tking@nashua telegraph.com.