Rich Hill Tiger Varsity Football 2016 End of Season Report
Success is not always measured by wins and losses. Retired General Colin Powell said that,“There are no secrets to success: Don’t waste time looking for them. Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty to those for whom you work, and persistence.” This season the Rich Hill Tigers did not have the wins to show their success, but they did make some changes that resulted in successes in moving toward those wins. These changes began before the last school year was out. “I knew that we needed to make some drastic improvements and that means starting at the top and working down. I had to make some changes to our routine to better fit the players,” Wolfe said. The assistant coaching staff was totally revamped with the additions of Steven McSperitt and Eddie Long. When asked about his new assistants Wolfe answered, “Being able to bring in two guys that I had confidence in was huge. Both of them brought different aspects to the team that enhanced what we are trying to do as a program. We developed a strong off season workout and it showed results that are getting us to where we want to be.” There were also changes in the offensive and defensive schemes. “The basic philosophies didn’t change, but the implementation of the offense and defense were adjusted to our personnel and their abilities more this year,” Wolfe commented.
The season started off with a brutal schedule, facing the #4 Ranked Lincoln Cardinals followed by the #6 ranked Lockwood Tigers. “This was probably about as hard as a beginning schedule as any 1A team in the state,” Wolfe explained. The Rich Hill Tigers did take the opening drive down the field and scored a field goal against the Cardinals before losing 52-3. They also showed the ability to move the ball up and down the field versus Lockwood. Several times the Tigers got inside the 10 yard line, but were unable to score. They lost the game 33-0.
The next two games showed continued improvement as the Tigers lost by less than a touchdown in both games. Appleton City hung on to an 18-13 win, and then the Blackhawks escaped with a 20-19 victory in which the Tigers missed a field goal and a couple extra point attempts.
The next game was homecoming and Rich Hill got to experience its first and only win by defeating the Osceola Indians 32-15. “Coach Carney is a close friend of mine. He’s not only a top shelf coach, but also as much as an upstanding man as I have ever known. I have so much respect for him. It was a privilege to have been his defensive coordinator for a couple of years at Stockton,” said Wolfe. The following game was an intense game against the Drexel Bobcats. It was a match of opposite offensive styles. Drexel’s run heavy offense versus the pass heavy Tiger offense. The Bobcats came from behind in the 4 th quarter to get the win 48-32. Rich Hill then faced the #7 ranked Midway Vikings on Senior Night. A few early miscues gave the Vikings a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. The Tigers did make some nice drives and put up 21 in the loss, final 44-21. The following week against Archie was one of those games where everything goes right in practice, but in the game Murphy’s Law ran rampant. “It got to the point where we couldn’t do much right,” lamented a disappointed Wolfe. The game was a lopsided 52-8 loss to the Whirlwinds.
The final regular season game was against the Liberal Bulldogs. The winner would move up in the seeding and get to travel to Lockwood, the loser would have to face Midway. This game literally came down to the last play of the game. Rich Hill was driving to score, needing 6 to tie. After a fantastic drive, and getting inside the 10 yard line, the Tigers faced 4 th down and goal. Unfortunately, they were unable to score and the game ended 28-22 Bulldogs. The final game of the season was a playoff game versus the previously played Midway Vikings. The Tigers again showed their ability to move the ball up and down the field through the air, with some runs added in, but the #1 team in the district, and now #6 team in the state, was too much and the Tigers came up short 44-24.
Coach Wolfe had this to say about the season, “We had a great offseason of weights and conditioning, the players really bought into the hard work we had lined up for them. Once we got into the season, the injuries just devastated us. We did not have two weeks in a row where we lined up the same guys on offense or defense in the same spots. Every time someone went down we had to shuffle several players to get the best fit with the 11 on the field. This lack of continuity slows a team’s development. Another year in the conditioning program will hopefully reduce the non-concussion injuries. Our young men played their hearts out almost every game. The progress we made this year with the players attitude and commitment to hard work was huge. By the end of the season we had seen much improvement. This lays the foundation for the future of this team. We established the base of an identity for our team and now the challenge is to continue improving in that direction. We lose some key senior players, which will hurt a lot. We will have a few freshmen, along with some new players of upperclassmen coming out. They have already started weights and conditioning. My assistants and I are very excited and look forward to what next season will have in store for us. We will be returning 11 lettermen.”
The following 9 players received All-Conference recognition:
1 st Team: Aadin Humble Wide Receiver, Houston Bridgewater Defensive End
2nd Team: Aadin Humble Defensive Back, Jacob Querry Defensive Back
3 rd Team: Myles Becker Defensive End, Jordan Bolser Wide Receiver, Dalen Lewis Defensive
Back, Jacob Querry All Purpose Back, Taron Mumma Quarter Back
All-Districts, All-State and Academic All-State will be released at a later date.
The following are season accomplishments and stats for all 10 games:
First in Passing; Taron Mumma with 1,791 yards and 14 Touchdowns.
Four of the top eight receivers; Jacob Querry 447 yards, Aadin Humble 371 yards, Dillon
Tourtillott 317 yards and Jordan Bolser 290 yards.
Two of the top Defensive Ends; Houston Bridgewater with 77 tackles, 20 tackles for a loss, 1 caused fumble and Myles Becker with 59 tackles, 11 for a loss, 4 recovered fumbles, 3 caused, 2 of which were returned for scores, 1 interception.