Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Maniacs overpowered by Kubs, 42 – 6

Where’s the beef?

By Ron Hanes

It didn’t take long for the young Orofino Maniacs to find out what it is like to play in the CIL. For you non-football fans, that stands for the Central Idaho League. And, especially when you consider it’s size, with only three schools: Orofino, Kamiah and Grangeville, the respect this league receives state wide is amazing; rightfully so. Ask any of the coaches from the larger 3 –A programs from McCall to Bonners Ferry and they will tell you the same thing. Most of them cannot remember the last time they beat a smaller CIL opponent. One big reason for all the respect for our league: KAMIAH!

They were not any bigger, faster, or quicker. They didn’t run any fancy offense, and they rarely even threw the ball. So, how did the Kamiah Kubs offense rack up 42 points against the Maniacs defense? How did they stifle an offense that was a scoring machine one week ago against Kellogg? (Orofino had only 85 yards on the ground and less than 150 yards through the air).

For the answers, I went looking…where else, but the Fair Barn. And, that’s where I found Coach Kuykendall shopping the pigs, sheep and, undoubtedly, “the beef.” He was looking over the quality of the animals, but I think he, like some others, was probably looking harder at the names of the kids who raised them and who might need a little “help”. He’s a funny guy, our coach. He doesn’t get enough out of spending his time and money on the kids in the football program; as many are aware, he gives some pretty hefty support to the 4-H program as well.

“Sure!” Coach responded when I surprised him with a request for an interview.

“They were a lot more physical than us, but we’re real happy with some of the things we saw, and we know we will keep getting better. Tanner (running back, Tanner Schwartz) had some great runs and a few things worked for us. Kamiah’s line just totally disrupted our offense. We couldn’t run the middle, and they were too quick for us outside. Drake (Coach’s son, and quarterback for the Maniacs) had defenders hanging off him almost every time he threw the ball. Anytime you are starting a freshman and four sophomores this may happen…They were just a little more mature overall and therefore more physical.”

The Maniacs went into Friday’s contest dinged up, with their senior lineman, Thad Goodrich, on the sidelines. He should be back for next week, though, and that should help beef-up the Maniac’s line. And, speaking of beef, while on my way to the OCI parade, I happened on to a big part (well, two big parts) of the future of the Maniac football program: freshmen linemen, Cody and Austin Fugate.

The six foot-plus twins already tip the scales at over 520 pounds (combined weight, of course). They tell me they have a buddy, another freshman, who goes by the name, Alaska (Tyler Batterman) and is as big as them and also plays ball on the JV team. I can’t wait for this to all come together, and I’m sure the Orofino coaches can’t either… And, neither should the Orofino fans. Next action for the Maniacs is at home against the St. Maries Lumberjacks. Game time is tomorrow at OHS field.

In my opinion

The athletes who are playing football currently for Orofino (the high school and the COMMUNITY) are exceptional kids and really deserve a little more support from their community. So, why wait?  A lot of you fans will be there when the championship games are played, but where are you now when the kids really need the encouragement? “Little Kamiah” showed up with as many fans as Orofino at our own home field last Friday…maybe more, by game’s end. Perhaps that is why they win so consistently. Why not support your team, and all the high school athletic programs, and your community, by attending a game?

So, where’s the beef? It’s hanging some where in a locker probably by now, or maybe starting to show up on the dinner table at Coach’s home or any of the other awesome supporters of the 4-H youth  livestock programs. If you need to hire a contractor, purchase groceries, book a room, or anything else, why not look to those who do their share to support our youth here, locally. There is a list of these livestock purchasers in this week’s Clearwater Tribune.

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