Cumberland Times-News

Columns

September 15, 2012

It is what it is; time to come to grips with it

No, the view hasn’t been pretty, as just three weeks and 18 games into the season involving the six Western Maryland high school football teams, we’ve seen seven games end with the 35-point running clock rule in effect. There has been one game when the winning team scored 70 points, one when the winner scored at least 60, four when the winner scored at least 50 and six when the winner scored at least 40.

Remember when a team scored over 30 points once or twice a season and it raised eyebrows concerning the perceived offensive potency of one team, or the perceived weakness of the other one? Okay, that’s really going back. Let’s just say 40 used to be considered a scoring milestone not that long ago, and a team scoring in the 50s was really an exception. Well, those days are long gone. They went the route of the larger enrollments that moved out of the area about the same time over-selective scheduling moved in.

Repeat after me. This is not the 1950s, the ’60s or the early ’70s when smokestack industry carried the day. It’s not the ’80s, or even the ’90s when there was Maryland 2A representation in the area. This is the 21st century and all of the high schools in the area — Maryland and West Virginia alike — are small schools. Like it or not, we aren’t who we think we are. More accurately, we aren’t what we used to be, which is to say a larger size, and it’s maddening when fans out there refuse to realize it’s making a huge difference in the level of play we see today.

Combine this with the refusal of some area schools to play some others since the local high school all-sports conference deep-sixed one of the “driving” reasons for its formation in 2007 — an area football conference — and we’re going to see the likes of MATHS and Silver Oak on a couple of local schedules. But don’t forget. A couple of area teams have also been on the short end of that running clock this season as well.

“We’ve always wanted to have area competition in all of our sports,” the first president of the Appalachian Mountain Athletic Conference Tom Woods said at the time, “and now that we’re all relatively the same size, the timing just seemed perfect. So we will compete against one another in all sports sponsored by both West Virginia and Maryland.”

Woods, who was the principal at Southern Garrett at the time, said it was hoped the formation of the AMAC would serve as a boost to the schools’ travel budgets, but that, “One of the driving forces of the league was to get football into an area conference. The WMIL (Western Maryland Interscholastic League) doesn’t have football.”

Well, neither does the AMAC, but we’re not here to fight that battle anymore because it is what it is — a losing battle.

Which brings us in a roundabout way to a pair of area teams that do continue to play each other — every year since 1926, as a matter of fact, Allegany and Keyser. At this time of the season, the eye test easily tells us they are currently the two best teams in the area, both being undefeated and both readying to meet for the biggest game of the season thus far, Friday night at Greenway Avenue Stadium.

The Campers have played three games and have won them all by the 35-point rule — with 50, 35 and 58-point differentials. Keyser is 3-0 as well, and if West Virginia had the 35-point rule that Maryland has, the Golden Tornado would have just one full game under its belt, having won its games by 48, 29 and 40.

Friday’s match-up should bring a packed house to Greenway, although anymore the term “packed house” is relative to the reason for declining school enrollments. Nonetheless, it proves to be a dandy, as the Campers, while always establishing the fullback, play with a great deal of offensive diversity, while the Golden Tornado appear to be a team intent on grinding up yardage with a physical running game.

It should be a great area high school football game, which, based on the barking we’ve been hearing about the games we’ve seen so far this season, is what area fans like to see. Too bad there won’t be more, but, to paraphrase the old adage about the weather, everybody complains about the schedule, but nobody does anything about it, leaving those who have tried to do what they have to do.

Mike Burke is sports editor of the Cumberland Times-News. Write to him at mburke@times-news.com

1
Text Only
Columns
  • Yates fires 804

    Derek Yates led all scoring for the week ending March 28 with an 804 series featuring a 290 game at Rainbow Lanes.
    Bobby Benton actually came in second and third for the week with a 748 on the House pattern at White Oaks and 742 on the USBC Open pattern in the Sport league. Steve Ravenscroft had a nice 740 at Rainbow and Darren Durbin and Teddy Inman rounded out the scoring with 737s apiece at White Oaks.

    April 24, 2014

  • Wildfires Wildfires

    The huge woods fire in nearby Pennsylvania shows just how much devastation can take place when a blaze breaks out during early spring. In this case, 900 acres of forest — much of it public game land — became engulfed in flames.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Restore them Restore them

    There are an estimated 47,000 deceased veterans whose remains are unidentified and unclaimed throughout the U.S. A group of senators and congressmen hope to do something to
    bring these men and women some dignity after death.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Happy Easter

    For the world’s more than 2 billion Christians, Easter is the day that defines their faith.
    The exact date of Christ’s resurrection is unknown, and even the precise locations of his crucifixion and burial are uncertain. This hasn’t stopped some people from saying they know the answer to these questions and others from trying to find out for themselves, or simply arguing about it.
     

    April 20, 2014

  • Odds are good that you didn’t know this

    Odds or Probabilities fascinate many people. There is a special website called www.BookOfOdds.com and an accompanying location on Facebook at /BookofOdds .This website lists 400,000 odds. Three of the people who are involved in this media display have coauthored a book, “The Book of Odds” that presents some of key odds, drawing from polls and statistics published in journals. The authors are A. Shapiro, L.F. Campbell and R. Wright. This paperback was published this year by Harper Collins with ISBN 978-0-06-206085-3.

    April 20, 2014

  • Trivial questions you don’t have to answer

    Every so often in this life, my mind, all on its own, generates questions that have no real answers. So I have decided to pass them on to you. I’m tired of them. If you come up with any answers, let me know. Remember when TV jealously guarded the time zone before 9 p.m. for wholesome shows that children could watch. My gosh, how many years ago was that? It seems like another world nowadays, when you can see murders, torture and rape, or those implied, every hour on the hour, somewhere on your public screen. It might be comforting then, to remember that most children nowadays are glued to their little machines with whole different worlds on them, that they can access all day long. Except that in these different worlds they also can view murders, torture and rape on demand.

    April 20, 2014

  • Think it’s not a small world? You’re wrong

    Yes, you read that right in the paper a couple of weeks ago. I covered a wedding as a newspaper reporter. I’ve retired from doing regular stories because my primary duties lie elsewhere, and I don’t have the time or mental energy for it. But I agreed to do it for a couple of reasons, one of which goes back more than 40 years. The former proprietor of The Famous North End Tavern told me about a wedding that was to take place at the Lions Center for Rehabilitation and Extended Care, where his wife works.

    April 20, 2014

  • No Bambi for you, Mrs. Doe

    Some people want so badly for deer birth control to work that they actually think it will, even on wild populations.
    I wish I had a couple bridges to sell.
    A week ago on the Outdoors page we ran the deer there do what deer  everywhere do. They eat the easiest food available such as gardens and ornamental plantings. They walk in front of moving cars. They give ticks and  parasites a place to live.

    April 19, 2014

  • We concur We concur

    We’re certain that Donald Rumsfeld, who served as Secretary of Defense under Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush, echoes what many Americans feel about the complexity of filing income tax returns.
    When he filed his return, Rumsfeld sent the following letter to the Internal Revenue Service:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Library week

    Public libraries remain one of the best uses of taxpayer dollars. They are open to all. Young or old, poor or wealthy, residents can use computers and read current magazines and newspapers. Compact discs featuring a wide variety of music and
    movies on DVD may be checked out in addition to novels and other books.

    April 13, 2014