Thursday, October 6, 2011

Maniac football and girls' soccer

Maniacs get rolled by Bulldogs 58 – 20
But their fans keep homecoming rolling

By Ron Hanes

Every football game starts with the playing of the Star Spangled Banner, so why not start a football article with a word about the incredible performance by Orofino High School junior, Katherine Alverson of our nation’s anthem last Friday night at Maniac Field?


The top ranked Grangeville Bulldogs may have still been watching the “streaming ramparts,” or making some equipment adjustments after Katherine hit that high note; whatever, they along with a lot of others, were in disbelief as the Maniacs marched the ball from their own 35 yard line for a score on their opening drive.

Orofino went on to tally 274 yards of offense and score two more times behind solid running from Cannon Lanier and Tanner Schwartz and some nicely timed passes from freshman quarterback, Drake Kuykendall.  That is the most times anybody has scored against the Bulldogs this season…including the Kamiah Kubs, who were held scoreless by Grangeville when they met in week four of the season.

Orofino’s senior linemen, Thad Goodrich, Dillon Ford and Cody Terres played solid on both sides of the ball. They were able to control the line of scrimmage most of the time on offense and  on defense, many times slowed up the Bulldog’s speedster, Justin Robie, just enough so one of the backs could get him…except for about six times!  And, those six times ended up being six touchdowns. Robie, after amassing 326 yards on 24 carries, was finally benched in the 4th quarter after taking a hard hit from Goodrich, but by then, it was too late.

A bright spot: One bright spot for the Maniacs was their kickoff coverage. That, you’ll recall, was a huge problem in week two when Asotin returned three for touchdowns against the Maniacs. Grangeville had the weapons to do that as well, or worse, but they never came close to breaking one.

There could be any number of reasons for this successful “shoring up” and one of them is #57. There was no such number on the roster so I took particular interest and noticed that #57 was dishing out some pretty good hits as well as always seeming to end up in the area of the ball carrier. Some times it takes something extra for a player to get noticed like their number not being on the roster (or hiking the ball over the punter’s head) and it is also possible to never get noticed at all. This time though, #57, Jesse McCollister, that didn’t happen.

A really bright spot: Another exceptionally bright spot for Orofino was attendance. Not only did a good sized crowd show up, they were a fired-up crowd, and even with a score that could have dampened any fan’s enthusiasm, they never gave up.

Way back, when I was a Maniac we relied totally on the band to perform the fight song. It never occurred to us to sing it, and nobody would have known the words, anyway. Last Friday night, while jotting down the stats from the Casey Miller (or maybe: K.C. Miller) post game show, I could hear the Maniac fans in the background still proudly singing, “On Orofino.”

What a way to thumb your nose at an opponent who just racked up a lop-sided victory against your team. What a way to say, “You can beat us at football (this time) but you can’t ruin our Homecoming. It sure didn’t ruin mine…..On Orofino, On Orofino. Fight, fight for your fame……fa, da daa, da, da… da,  da, daaaa….mumble mumble Go! Fight! Win!”

Maniac fans, you are fantastic! Maybe next season we can print the words to our fight song in the paper and we’ll all be able to sing along. One thing is for sure: It will be one heck of a lot easier than trying to sing the National Anthem.

Next action for the Maniacs is at Kamiah. The Kubs held Orofino scoreless when they met here three weeks ago, but the young Maniac offense has improved a lot since then. What should be a much closer game this time around starts at , tomorrow (Friday) at Kamiah High School Field. Back the Maniacs!


Lady Maniac booters twice fall behind, fight back
By Pete Crecelius

The Orofino High School girls’ soccer team dropped one, then drew one in their past two games in league play as they approach the class 3A district tournament.

Playing at Timberlake High School in Spirit Lake on Sept. 24, the Lady Maniacs took an early lead on a sixth minute goal by senior Jessica Gutenberger, but then proceeded to quickly fall behind on quick goals by Timberlake in the 8th and 12th minutes, and trailed 1-2 at the half.

Changing from a 5-3-2 to a 4-3-3 formation at the half did generate momentum as Orofino outshot their opponents 8-7 in the second half, but were unlucky to give up a third goal in the 69th minute to trail 1-3. However, our ladies showed their fighting spirit and midfielder Kate Connor scored from distance in the 72nd minute to set up a real scramble in the remaining 8 minutes. Several good opportunities came to naught and Orofino trailed 2-3 at the final whistle.

This past Saturday, Oct. 1 saw the Lady Maniacs’ final home game of the season and a special Seniors Day for elder squad members, facing a stiff test from league leader Kellogg at the OES field. A closely contested first half went scoreless, but Kellogg broke the stalemate in the 48th minute. Again, the Orofino squad demonstrated their character with a spirited display and drew when Connor scored off a corner kick in the 67th minute. The Orofino defense was stiffly tested with a potent Kellogg attack in the last few minutes, with senior goalkeeper Mikayla Moser coming up very big with a triple save moment to hold on to the draw.

Seniors Moser, Rachel Jones, and Jasmen O’Hara along with early graduating juniors, Kaitlin Lame` and Victoria Zweifel celebrated the last home game of their high school careers with family after the game. Alas, senior Jessica Gutenberger missed the game due to National Guard duty.

After the senior celebration, a ceremony was also held to retire the No. 3 jersey in memory of former Lady Maniac defender, Kelsey Anderson, who was lost to us this past summer and will be sorely missed by all who knew her.

Orofino completes their regular season league play this Saturday at Bonners Ferry in a game to establish seeding for the following week’s district tournament to be played at Lakeland High School in Rathdrum, Oct. 14 and 15, times to be determined.

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