October 28, 2006

Maroons manhandle Elks, 62-0

The Menominee Maroons pounded the Elk Rapids Elks today 62-0. It was Elk Rapids' first trip to the playoffs in school history. Back in the late '70s and early '80s (not to mention '89 and '90) when the Elks had solid teams, the playoffs either didn't exist or qualifying was too tough. When ER added soccer in the late '80s (maybe 1989?) the football program began to suffer. Perhaps it was lack of focus, direction, or vision. The team suffered throughout the '90s and well into the 2000s. However, after the 2005 campaign, the coach was fired and a new coach brought in.

Ed Schindler arrived as the new Elk Rapids coach. He played high school football at Frankfort under the legendary Tim Klein. Schindler told the Record-Eagle that he knew he wanted to be a coach when he left his former high school, Evart, and went to Frankfort. He said he went from being on a football team to being a part of a program. Prior to arriving at ER this season, he had success in turning around two other programs.

I consider the turnaround happening at ER similar to when Ben Steele arrived at Vestaburg in 1998 when I was the athletic director. Steele had success as a coach and came in and turned the "program" around. Previously, there hadn't really been a program. The Wolverines were playing football on a high school team. The first couple of years were filled with controversy (cutting the junior varsity team, changing some rules, enforcing rules and expectations, etc.) but in year three, the Wolverines made the playoffs. They lost to perennial power Fowler, 47-7 in 2000. They made the playoffs again in 2002, but lost. They annually make the playoffs; however, it was 2005 before they finally won a playoff game.

A solid coach who has a program, vision, and focus can really change things quickly.

Congrats to ER for finally making the playoffs. Heck, congrats for finally getting over .500! If history is any indication, with a new coach and buy-in, things will be continuing to move forward for you. Keep movin' the chains!


Anonymous said...

As a former "Maroon" I am happy for my alma mater, but isn't it cool that a team from downstate gets a chance to cross "da bridge", travel west on US 2, and go to Menominee's historic Blesch stadium and make a memory! Now kids from the Lower Peninsula might start a chant: "2, 4, 6, 8, this is the year we go Up-State"! Who knew?

Nice writing Rick....one of these days I'll update my OWN blog!
Signed, Shelley Burley, "Class of '78"

Tuna Can said...

UP Power! UP Power! Congrats the Elks and their first playoff game since Ford was in office. Unfortunately, they ran into the UP Buzzsaw. Go Maroons!

Signed, Brett Favre, A Menominee Fan from across the state line