Win would be breath of fresh air to Waynesboro

September 18, 2007|By MARK KELLER

There are six winless high school football teams in the Tri-State area. It would be difficult to argue against Waynesboro as the best of that group.

To say that the Indians are the best in any aspect of football is truly saying something. They haven't had a winning season since 1992, and haven't won more than two games in a year since 1996.

This year's team seems intent on changing that, but it still needs something - a victory. And coach Darwin Seiler knows it.

In fact, ask Seiler if the Indians need the vaildation that a win would bring and he'll answer before you can finish the question.


"Absolutely. You don't even have to finish," Seiler said after the Indians' 14-0 loss to Greencastle-Antrim on Friday. "Absolutely. There's no question about that."

Any coach will tell you moral victories only carry a team so far. Sooner or later, it has to deliver the real thing.

The Indians have been close to turning the trick in each of their three games this season, only to come up short.

Susquehanna Township scored on the final play of its 27-26 season-opening victory over the Indians;

West Perry turned the ball over five times, but still beat the Indians 22-13 because the Waynesboro offense couldn't take advantage of short-field opportunities;

The Waynesboro defense held Greencastle in check in the first half before wearing down in the second, and its offense just missed on two chances to tie the game late in the second quarter.

The Indians' defense is keeping the team in games at this point. Opponents have scored 63 points in the first three games, the fewest against Waynesboro since 2000 and about half what the Indians have surrendered in the first three games each year since 2001.

Offensively, however, the Indians still aren't hitting on all cylinders, at least on a consistent basis.

"We need to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball," Seiler said. "That certainly starts with the big guys up front, but that's not the whole picture either. We've got to get ourselves in the right formations, we have to execute in the backfield, we've got to read our blocks."

Once that happens, the Indians could get the win they're looking for - and a few more.

"They're athletic kids, they're good kids and they work hard. They just need some validation for their efforts," Seiler said. "And the catch-22 is they've got to go out and do it."

The first field goal Musselman's Corey Smith kicked Friday was impressive enough. The second was simply a jaw-dropper.

Smith split the uprights with a 47-yarder in the second quarter, a feat rarely seen at the high school level in this area, to be sure.

He topped himself and every other high school kicker in West Virginia history when he nailed a 59-yard field goal on a free kick less than a minute before halftime of the Applemen's 20-13 win over Central.

Smith shattered the previous state record of 55 yards, which was set by Nitro's John Hogshead in 1975 and tied by Fayetteville's Craig Williams in 1999.

The field goal came after Musselman's Ethan French made a fair catch on a punt at the Woodstock 49-yard line. With rain falling and Musselman without any timeouts, the Applemen decided to employ a little-used rule allowing for a free kick, in which the ball is either punted or placed on a tee for a kick.

Smith put the ball on the tee and didn't have to worry about an onrushing opponent, only the words of his coach.

When Musselman coach Denny Price was asked if he recalled what he said to Smith, Price said, "Yeah. 'Make the field goal.'

"It definitely was in his range," Price said. "It was raining a little bit, but he's got a tremendously strong leg."

Smith, who has verbally committed to Alabama, also averaged 45 yards on three punts in the game and all but one of his kickoffs were touchbacks.

The top four teams remain the same in this week's Super 7, with the only change seeing Martinsburg regain the one first-place vote it lost last week.

The Bulldogs beat Urbana 13-6 to avenge its only regular-season loss from last season.

Greencastle stays solid at No. 2 after beating Waynesboro, Berkeley Springs holds at No. 3 after a win over South Hagerstown and Smithsburg remains fourth after blasting Poolesville.

Boonsboro moves from sixth to fifth after a huge win over Southern Garrett, Musselman re-enters the poll at No. 6 after evening its record in the win over Central. And Mercersburg Academy jumps in at No. 7 after beating St. Albans.

Games are spread over four days due to the celebration of Yom Kippur this weekend.

On Thursday, it's Baltimore Lutheran at Williamsport; Sidwell Friends at St. James; Boonsboro at Poolesville; South Hagerstown at Linganore; Hancock at Clear Spring; and Urbana at Jefferson.

On Friday, it's Smithsburg at Winters Mill; Edison Friendship at Martinsburg; Berkeley Springs at Frankfort; Hedgesville at University; Chambersburg at Central Dauphin; Waynesboro at Trinity and Greencastle at Northern.

On Saturday, James Buchanan plays at Milton Hershey and North Hagerstown is at Musselman. And Sunday, Hun School plays at Mercersburg Academy.

The Associated Press also contributed to this story.

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