Northwest Conference 2022

BirdDog10

Well-known member
It's about that time of year to start arguing about football that won't be played for 2 months.

What are our thoughts on the NWC this year? Where do teams rank, What non-conference matchups do we want to see, and which teams if any will make a deep playoff run?
 

BirdDog10

Well-known member
My prediction: (Could flip a coin for 4-7, they're all in pretty similar situations IMO)

1) Columbus Grove - Going for 5 straight NWC crowns. Bring back a bulk of the league's best defense from 2021. Lost most of the offensive production for the second year in a row, but bring back AJ Schafer, Zach Reynolds, Brenton Renner, and some new faces that will contribute offensively.

2) Leipsic - According to Black Swamp Football they're bringing back 7 offensive starters, 5 defense. Kirkendall is a heck of a coach and will have another very physical team

3) Allen East - Lost quite a bit the last 2 years but their JV and Jr. High teams seem to be keeping their numbers up and producing good teams. Will give Grove and Leipsic tough games at the very least.

4) Delphos Jefferson - My bold prediction for this year. They lost a heck of a QB to graduation, but return just about all of their starters both ways from a team that's significantly improved over the last 2 years

5) Crestview - Could end up anywhere between 3 and 6. Benefitted last year from a pretty bad non-conference schedule and ended the season with 4 out of 5 losses, but to some good teams. Putting them at 5 because I'm not sure what they'll look like, and as far as I'm aware they lost quite a bit to graduation.

6) Spencerville - Athletes and numbers are starting to fall off at Spencerville, but they're very well-coached.

7) Bluffton - Lost another very good QB to graduation plus a few other good players. Not sure how many they'll have on the team, when I see them in basketball and track it seems like most of their top athletes in the school are playing soccer.

8) Ada - Still very much in a rebuilding mode, but they were able to play some JV football last year. Better coach then the previous two should have them at least more competitive than in years past.
 

scbuckeye99

Well-known member
My prediction: (Could flip a coin for 4-7, they're all in pretty similar situations IMO)

1) Columbus Grove - Going for 5 straight NWC crowns. Bring back a bulk of the league's best defense from 2021. Lost most of the offensive production for the second year in a row, but bring back AJ Schafer, Zach Reynolds, Brenton Renner, and some new faces that will contribute offensively.

2) Leipsic - According to Black Swamp Football they're bringing back 7 offensive starters, 5 defense. Kirkendall is a heck of a coach and will have another very physical team

3) Allen East - Lost quite a bit the last 2 years but their JV and Jr. High teams seem to be keeping their numbers up and producing good teams. Will give Grove and Leipsic tough games at the very least.

4) Delphos Jefferson - My bold prediction for this year. They lost a heck of a QB to graduation, but return just about all of their starters both ways from a team that's significantly improved over the last 2 years

5) Crestview - Could end up anywhere between 3 and 6. Benefitted last year from a pretty bad non-conference schedule and ended the season with 4 out of 5 losses, but to some good teams. Putting them at 5 because I'm not sure what they'll look like, and as far as I'm aware they lost quite a bit to graduation.

6) Spencerville - Athletes and numbers are starting to fall off at Spencerville, but they're very well-coached.

7) Bluffton - Lost another very good QB to graduation plus a few other good players. Not sure how many they'll have on the team, when I see them in basketball and track it seems like most of their top athletes in the school are playing soccer.

8) Ada - Still very much in a rebuilding mode, but they were able to play some JV football last year. Better coach then the previous two should have them at least more competitive than in years past.
There was a time not that long ago when Ada was at worst the 3rd or 4th best team in the league and from '06 to '13 they were either winning the league or finishing tied for it or finishing 2nd behind LCC. What happened? 2017 looks like their last good season.
 

BirdDog10

Well-known member
There was a time not that long ago when Ada was at worst the 3rd or 4th best team in the league and from '06 to '13 they were either winning the league or finishing tied for it or finishing 2nd behind LCC. What happened? 2017 looks like their last good season.
Bob Olwin who is now at Edon took over after Mike Fell, he was there from 2013-2017. He had some solid teams, but didn't do anything to get numbers up in the jr. high and JV programs. The guy that took over after him played for Fell and was an assistant under Fell and then Olwin's D-coordinator. He was only there from 2018-2020, and from the outside they got worse each of his 3 years as HC. They only played 3 games of the 2020 season before half of what was already a small team quit and they had to cancel the rest of their games. Don't know if it was mostly his fault, assistants, parents, kids, whoever, but they were bad bad.

They still struggled quite a bit last year because of the magnitude of a rebuild they have to pull off, but at least when I saw them week 8 last year they looked much more well-coached and respectable than they had in the prior years. They also played a JV game against Grove last year for the first time in about 4 or 5 years
 

scbuckeye99

Well-known member
Bob Olwin who is now at Edon took over after Mike Fell, he was there from 2013-2017. He had some solid teams, but didn't do anything to get numbers up in the jr. high and JV programs. The guy that took over after him played for Fell and was an assistant under Fell and then Olwin's D-coordinator. He was only there from 2018-2020, and from the outside they got worse each of his 3 years as HC. They only played 3 games of the 2020 season before half of what was already a small team quit and they had to cancel the rest of their games. Don't know if it was mostly his fault, assistants, parents, kids, whoever, but they were bad bad.

They still struggled quite a bit last year because of the magnitude of a rebuild they have to pull off, but at least when I saw them week 8 last year they looked much more well-coached and respectable than they had in the prior years. They also played a JV game against Grove last year for the first time in about 4 or 5 years
My brain really is fried from this heat. I completely balked remembering that Fell was there. I need to stay indoors haha.
 

adog

Well-known member
Bob Olwin who is now at Edon took over after Mike Fell, he was there from 2013-2017. He had some solid teams, but didn't do anything to get numbers up in the jr. high and JV programs. The guy that took over after him played for Fell and was an assistant under Fell and then Olwin's D-coordinator. He was only there from 2018-2020, and from the outside they got worse each of his 3 years as HC. They only played 3 games of the 2020 season before half of what was already a small team quit and they had to cancel the rest of their games. Don't know if it was mostly his fault, assistants, parents, kids, whoever, but they were bad bad.

They still struggled quite a bit last year because of the magnitude of a rebuild they have to pull off, but at least when I saw them week 8 last year they looked much more well-coached and respectable than they had in the prior years. They also played a JV game against Grove last year for the first time in about 4 or 5 years
Spot on. Other than that, I keep my mouth shut

On the conference this year: I think Grove continues their reign at the top but Leipsic could give them a hard push. In the middle of the league it is hard to rank as the smallest little roadblock can derail any of these teams
At the bottom, Ada will once again hold this spot but I look for them to be a little more competitive with the middle of the road teams this year. From everything I have seen and heard so far about Smith is positive so hopefully the team keeps moving upward. Maybe if the can get 1 or 2 unexpected wins, it would boost them for the future
 
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BirdDog10

Well-known member
Looking at playoffs for NWC teams, I think Grove ended up with the most favorable regional draw, they'll be the only NWC team in D6 R22, based on the last couple years I'd put them in the top 4 heading into the season. Leipsic has a pretty good shot at making a long run in D7 R26. Crestview and Jefferson have a good chance to make the postseason there but I don't see them going very far. Allen East should make it in D6 R24, but are stuck in the same region as Marion Local and Versailles. Bluffton and Spencerville.... good luck in that region. lol
 

adog

Well-known member
Playoffs he same again this year? If so I would think all but 2 from the NWC will make it in. As far as making a run? I think Leipsic may make it further than CG since they will be in the NW D7 district. CG will have to face the likes of Liberty Center and Archbold again and both are a pretty tough outs that late in the season
 

BirdDog10

Well-known member
Playoffs he same again this year? If so I would think all but 2 from the NWC will make it in. As far as making a run? I think Leipsic may make it further than CG since they will be in the NW D7 district. CG will have to face the likes of Liberty Center and Archbold again and both are a pretty tough outs that late in the season
Grove stayed in D6 Region 22, Liberty Center, Archbold, Tinora, Delta, and Bluffton all jumped up to D5 this year. Grove's region now has Carey, Patrick Henry, Wayne Trace, Colonel Crawford, and a whole bunch of teams east of Findlay
 

Basement Bias

Active member
Not sure about the kids Crestview has this year. I didn't like the ideas the youth program was asking parents about. Didn't change anything yet, but if they do I can see it hurting them in the future. I understand wanting to keep youngsters healthy for the future, but you can also go too far with it.
 

Insane92

Well-known member
Not sure about the kids Crestview has this year. I didn't like the ideas the youth program was asking parents about. Didn't change anything yet, but if they do I can see it hurting them in the future. I understand wanting to keep youngsters healthy for the future, but you can also go too far with it.
What are you hearing?
 

BirdDog10

Well-known member
Eliminating tackle completely by playing flag, playing flag with pads, and playing tacklebar. This was for 5th & 6th. They already are flag only for younger than 5th.
Most of the MAC doesn't have any tackle football until jr. high. As long as you can somehow keep from losing kids to soccer that way, I think they're better for it. I don't think any kid should be playing tackle football before 5th grade either. I've seen the tacklebar thing though, and I'm not sold on it. Seems like it would teach bad tackling technique more than it would keep kids safe
 

Basement Bias

Active member
Most of the MAC doesn't have any tackle football until jr. high. As long as you can somehow keep from losing kids to soccer that way, I think they're better for it. I don't think any kid should be playing tackle football before 5th grade either. I've seen the tacklebar thing though, and I'm not sold on it. Seems like it would teach bad tackling technique more than it would keep kids safe
My thoughts are that 5th & 6th need to have some type of tackling. The NWC teams, Crestview especially, do not have the physical attributes of the MAC big boys. Part of why Parkway will always struggle. As for younger, I'd say something between flag and tackle. There needs to be a progression to getting them used to pads. Start with flag and progress into pads and then pads with full contact by 5th & 6th grade. I will say that biggest factor is that the 5th & 6th grade coaching needs to be appointed from the high school head coach & work along middle school coaches. The main reason MAC starts at Jr High is because the HS coaches can monitor the MS staff & it's all under the school's watch. They can verify the proper technique is taught & by their methods & schematics.
 

BirdDog10

Well-known member
The main reason MAC starts at Jr High is because the HS coaches can monitor the MS staff & it's all under the school's watch. They can verify the proper technique is taught & by their methods & schematics.
So if the MAC schools wait until jr. high because they can trust the coaches they've hired to teach technique properly, why would it benefit NWC schools to have youth football ran by a bunch of dads outside of the control of the high school coaches?

I completely agree it helps schools tremendously when the high school head coach directs what happens at the lower levels, but that's rarely the case with youth football. Even if the high school coaches wanted to be more involved with the youth programs, the reality is most have trouble finding enough good coaches for jr. high and high school, leaving the youth coaching up to a bunch of (more often than not) unqualified dads
 

Basement Bias

Active member
So if the MAC schools wait until jr. high because they can trust the coaches they've hired to teach technique properly, why would it benefit NWC schools to have youth football ran by a bunch of dads outside of the control of the high school coaches?

I completely agree it helps schools tremendously when the high school head coach directs what happens at the lower levels, but that's rarely the case with youth football. Even if the high school coaches wanted to be more involved with the youth programs, the reality is most have trouble finding enough good coaches for jr. high and high school, leaving the youth coaching up to a bunch of (more often than not) unqualified dads
I'm saying it's either you have it & run it as I mentioned or you don't. For Crestview it's going to have to be the have it & run it. They don't have the genetic make up of the Coldwater & Marion Locals. That is what allows those schools to start at junior high compared to earlier. Note also I didn't state dads being coaches. That is very key. If you have to, you must vet them thoroughly. The HC like it or not has to run the program top to bottom & have enough trusted coaches to go through the ranks.
 

dhsdog06

Well-known member
Look at the entire football roster. We aren't talking about the basketball team or baseball teams. Coldwater had JV players playing against Delphos that were bigger than Crestview's varsity.

I'm not talking about basketball or baseball either the statement I'm about to make.

Crestview has had more football players play snaps in the NFL in the last 20 years than the entire MAC.

Does that make them better? Of course not.
 

Basement Bias

Active member
I'm not talking about basketball or baseball either the statement I'm about to make.

Crestview has had more football players play snaps in the NFL in the last 20 years than the entire MAC.

Does that make them better? Of course not.
The whole point is to win state titles in a competitive mindset. Yes, high school athletics are more for character than that even. I could care less about D1 athletes or NFL players. That is never what building your program is about, especially in rural schools. It's having deep playoff runs every year with very few off years. The MAC has done it with winning titles. Crestview has not done so as much but they do have less history of play. Now they did have some solid years with Coach Owen's & beating defending champ Minster. As you said, the NFL resume doesn't mean crap. There are South Dakota kids in NFL from 8man & 6man football.
 

theterribletowel

Well-known member
The whole point is to win state titles in a competitive mindset. Yes, high school athletics are more for character than that even. I could care less about D1 athletes or NFL players. That is never what building your program is about, especially in rural schools. It's having deep playoff runs every year with very few off years. The MAC has done it with winning titles. Crestview has not done so as much but they do have less history of play. Now they did have some solid years with Coach Owen's & beating defending champ Minster. As you said, the NFL resume doesn't mean crap. There are South Dakota kids in NFL from 8man & 6man football.
You made the argument that the mac schools have a genetic advantage over the athletes at Crestview. I pointed out that the Crestview school district has had more division 1 athletes than the vast majority of the mac. You are simply put factually incorrect. Crestview and Columbus Grove historically have had a genetic advantage over the NWC.

The whole point is winning state titles in a competitive mindset? What does that even mean? You will be a lot more content if you support your kids through youth sports and stop worring about how the football program is structured. Crestview will continue to compete just fine as an athletic program. Successful hardworking kids who end up being productive members of society.
 

Basement Bias

Active member
You made the argument that the mac schools have a genetic advantage over the athletes at Crestview. I pointed out that the Crestview school district has had more division 1 athletes than the vast majority of the mac. You are simply put factually incorrect. Crestview and Columbus Grove historically have had a genetic advantage over the NWC.

The whole point is winning state titles in a competitive mindset? What does that even mean? You will be a lot more content if you support your kids through youth sports and stop worring about how the football program is structured. Crestview will continue to compete just fine as an athletic program. Successful hardworking kids who end up being productive members of society.
It means you build from youth through high school to win a championship with your system ran throughout. You better check again on MAC D1 athletes, especially considering the MAC in college. I'm speaking specifically to football since we are on a football board. I could care less about other sports. No reason Crestview football cannot make deeper runs in D7 compared to the competition they face. They should be representing the NW region in the state semis or at least getting to the opportunity to do so. They have the athletes to do it on a consistent basis. Division 7 is no different than 1A & 2A in Indiana up until you play the MAC representative. Now Division 6 is a different animal with the multiple programs that float between 5 to 7 from the MAC & Archbold or Liberty Center. The youth I work with in Indiana in football have the same ability or even less than the Crestview youth I work with in other sports. The difference has been culture & schematics between the programs. My stepkids go to Crestview so I get to watch it firsthand. All the pieces of the puzzle are in place, they just need to be put together correctly!
 

adog

Well-known member
Grove stayed in D6 Region 22, Liberty Center, Archbold, Tinora, Delta, and Bluffton all jumped up to D5 this year. Grove's region now has Carey, Patrick Henry, Wayne Trace, Colonel Crawford, and a whole bunch of teams east of Findlay
I looked at Leipsic region again and totally forgot LCC & McComb are both inn that region. Vikings may have a tougher time i the playoffs than I thought
 

BirdDog10

Well-known member
I looked at Leipsic region again and totally forgot LCC & McComb are both inn that region. Vikings may have a tougher time i the playoffs than I thought
LCC will stay one of the top 4 teams in that region, McComb though in see falling off. Leipsic brings a ton back from last year, they’re my early pick to win R26
 

Clockkiller

Active member
It's not always about whether you have midget football or not. Go back to the 90's with DSJ. Literally they were and unbelievable powerhouse in the late 90's to early 2000's. Their kids played midgets. It had no effect. Winning is an addiction, but getting kids to buy into the extra work it takes to be great is the hard part. You're going to have your stud athletes that can just show up an excel. That isn't what makes a long time consistent football program like ex. MSML. It's players 8-60. They buy into the team concept, lift weights and get faster, and compete! Cause they know the hardwork pays off. It's the work their doing when no one is looking that drives great programs. If you get your studs to be those people-watch out! You know have examples for younger kids. The system is set. The strongest thing I see in small school powerhouse teams besides great athletes is a hard work ethic, don't make mistakes, and always compete!
 

BirdDog10

Well-known member
The MAC has 39 football championships, the NWC has 1, yet NWC people all over the NWC somehow think that continuing youth football (and driving away countless kids from the sport in the process) is going to help us level the playing field with the MAC....

Just saying, if someone has that astronomical amount of success in a sport, I might think to try and copy what they do a little bit. Ask anyone from there, one of the biggest contributors to their numbers in high school is the fact that they do not drive kids away by letting them play tackle football until their bodies are mature enough to handle it, and they have coaches in place that they can trust to teach them the technique and work ethic. Go ahead though, keep banging the same old drum that teaching undeveloped 10-12 year old's bad technique taught by a bunch of dads who all think they know better than the varsity coach is the key to competing with the MAC
 

BirdDog10

Well-known member
It's not always about whether you have midget football or not. Go back to the 90's with DSJ. Literally they were and unbelievable powerhouse in the late 90's to early 2000's. Their kids played midgets. It had no effect.
And how is the youth football program helping both Delphos high schools today? St. John's can barely hit 40 on their roster, Jefferson is lucky to stay above 30, and the 2 schools combined for 13 wins from 2018 - 2021.
 

Basement Bias

Active member
The MAC has 39 football championships, the NWC has 1, yet NWC people all over the NWC somehow think that continuing youth football (and driving away countless kids from the sport in the process) is going to help us level the playing field with the MAC....

Just saying, if someone has that astronomical amount of success in a sport, I might think to try and copy what they do a little bit. Ask anyone from there, one of the biggest contributors to their numbers in high school is the fact that they do not drive kids away by letting them play tackle football until their bodies are mature enough to handle it, and they have coaches in place that they can trust to teach them the technique and work ethic. Go ahead though, keep banging the same old drum that teaching undeveloped 10-12 year old's bad technique taught by a bunch of dads who all think they know better than the varsity coach is the key to competing with the MAC
The key point you made was "bad technique taught by a bunch of dads who all think they know better than the varsity coach". This is why the NWC has struggled as well as others. I've been a part of 5th & 6th grade as well as 3rd & 4th youth football. The first group we had with the HC selecting non dads to run the program were Seniors last year who lead the team to the state championship game. Unfortunately they blew a lead and lost by 6pts. The 3rd & 4th we dropped bc we felt it was too young. However 5th & 6th is not. This 5th & 6th had many stipulations as well and was very controlled in game play bc of fundamentals. If we would have waited until 7th & 8th grade, we would not have done any better than semi state as that has been proven numerous times. We have a good shot in the next 2 years to get back in the finals again. Hopefully both years.
 

Clockkiller

Active member
There numbers in general have dropped off the chart. DSJ specifically. It's a small school, that's not even close to being D6 anymore. Their not gonna roll out the 100 man rosters anytime soon if ever again. My whole point is midget football don't make or break a program. Especially if a HS football coach is involved but not controlling.
 
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BirdDog10

Well-known member
My whole point is midget football don't make or break a program. Especially if a HS football coach is involved but not controlling.
I don't think having one or not having one makes a program either, but I've seen way too many programs do way more harm than good
 
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