|Flashes from Gordon: Otsego coach makes the right decision (11-06-13)|
|Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff|
|Wednesday, 06 November 2013 11:09|
Random thoughts after a recent stretch of finishes that featured a walk-off obstruction, a walkoff pick-off and a walk-off safety:
INTEGRITY: Cheryl Jones easily could have been blinded by winning or simply decided to take the easy way out.
Instead, the Otsego High School volleyball coach made a winning decision when she decided to kick two players off her team for undisclosed reasons.
Jones, in her 27th season this fall, could have turned her head and ignored the violations, and allowed the players to compete in the sectional tournament.
The Knights already had cracked the state's Top 20, won the Northern Buckeye Conference championship, and were looking forward to a long run in the tournament when she dismissed the players.
The players just happened to be two of Otsego's best back-row players and two of the team's three seniors.
That left the Knights with a roster of one senior, three juniors, six sophomores and three freshmen for the tournament.
But the Knights didn't allow the situation to spoil their already successful season.
Instead, they flourished and advanced to the championship match of the district tournament where they lost a heart-breaking five-set decision to Archbold.
Otsego finished 21-5 overall and earned a wealth of experience for next season that promises to be just as successful.
Jones' season was made even more stressful because one of her family members is seriously ill. That's another reason it would have been easy for her to ignore what happened.
Otsego administrators also deserve praise for allowing Jones to remove the players from the team.
Dealing with violations of team/school rules is hard work and it isn't fun, especially when parents become involved.
Those parents often choose to ignore the problems of their kids and opt to pour over school handbooks for loopholes in district policy.
Or they threaten school administrators with legal action to keep their kids on the team.
It would have been easy for those administrators to tell Jones to ignore the rules violations with the end of the season so close.
And we all know administrators and coaches who ignore problems.
Instead, Otsego's administrators allowed Jones to discipline the players.
Depending on who you talk to, Jones already was either the most loved or the most disliked coach in the district even before she kicked the players off the team. She evokes strong opinions and there's no middle ground.
The Knights have built one of the Suburban Lakes League's and NBC's best programs during her tenure, which included a state championship in 1992.
Regardless of how anyone feels about Jones, it should be agreed she made the right decision in this situation.
DAWG POUND: Rossford's football team quietly had a solid season this fall, going 6-4 overall and 4-3 in the Northern Buckeye Conference.
The Bulldogs looked like they might be in for a long season after being hit hard by graduation and then several players elected not to play this fall. Rossford also had several key injuries during the season.
But head coach Todd Drusback and his staff did an excellent job as Rossford went 6-4, 4-3 for the second straight season.
The Bulldogs - who finished their fourth season under Drusback - have come a long way since going 0-10 in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
BILLY PACKER JR.?: Former Bowling Green High School boys basketball coach Von Graffin will serve as an analyst for about 40-60 games this season on Toledo radio station WLQR (106.5 FM).
Graffin will work with play-by-play announcer Norm Wamer.
"I'm really excited about it," Graffin said. "I'm a basketball lifer and this gives me a chance to stay in the game."
Graffin, whose BG contract wasn't renewed earlier this year, was 148-94 overall in 11 seasons with the Bobcats.
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