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The Suburbanite
  • Sunday Special: Exercising patience with Green

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  • Patience is what everyone needs to have for a couple of more weeks to see how the Federal League and Suburban League shake out. Green High School officials met with both leagues last week and essentially told both the district needed more time to make a decision.
    It seems Green is trying to figure out how it would fit into a new, expanded Suburban League with two divisions and what it would look like. Suburban League commissioner Keith Walker takes exception to those who believe Green doesn’t know what to expect in a new league.
    “I think Green has a great idea of what a new Suburban League looks like,” Walker said. “It’s the same schools we’ve been talking about since this all started.”
    This much is certain: Green is not playing one league against the other. There is nothing more the Suburban League, or Federal League, can do to sweeten the deal for Green to make a decision. Both Walker and Federal League commissioner Joe Eaton agree Green isn’t doing that.
    “Not in any way, shape or form do I think that,” Walker said. “I do not think there is any malice in that.”
    Some of the things Green has to weigh on whether to make the move or stay put are:
    n Can Green get its sports programs up to speed and on par with Federal League programs? In six of the last 10 school years, Green won the All-Sports trophy in the Suburban League. Green probably won’t be in the top three of a seven-team Federal League for at least a class (four-year) cycle.
    n How long will it take for Green to be a competitor in the Federal League in football? Playing Jackson and Lake as nonconference games early in the season is a far cry from playing a league grind when the weather turns tougher against the likes of Hoover, McKinley, GlenOak and Perry in addition to Jackson and Lake.
    n What’s the financial benefit of changing? Some people have thrown around $300,000 as the impact on Green’s athletic department to move to the Federal League.
    First, I think that’s an inflated number.
     Second, even if it’s inflated three times, a $100,000 impact is worth making the move.
    Third, is that impact the same if Green is a 3-7 football team in football and the Bulldogs lose gate revenue from hometown fans?
    WHAT’S THE PLAY?
    Prior to last week’s meetings, I would have thought Green joining the Federal League wasn’t likely to happen.
    Now?
    After the meetings, it would reason to guess that Green is going to make the jump to the Federal League, otherwise, school district leaders wouldn’t need time to educate their community and board of education members on the move. Most of them are familiar with the Suburban League. If Green was staying in the Suburban, no time is needed to educate or inform anyone.
    Page 2 of 3 - SEVEN-TEAM FED?
    A seven-team league is not ideal, but the Federal League has made that work the last two school years with Boardman. It helps, particularly in football, that league member McKinley plays a nonleague game against Massillon in the 10th week of the season.
    Lake has played Boardman in the 10th week, but there were a few seasons Lake had to schedule a nonleague 10th week game, and those are difficult games to schedule. Green likely would replace Boardman as Lake’s Week 10 week opponent.
    GREEN ASKED ABOUT MASSILLON
    Eaton said Green officials did ask how Massillon fits into the Federal League’s plans. League superintendents met with Massillon Superintendent Rik Goodright this summer and expressed “issues” the league has with Massillon as a league member.
    “I don’t know those issues, and I was not at that meeting,” Eaton said. “Those have not been shared with me.”
    Principal Cindy Brown said Massillon is not a concern to Green.
    “I know there’s been speculation that we’re concerned about Massillon,” Brown said. “That’s not our concern or part of our consideration. We’re looking at what the Federal League has to offer us in the six current schools. We’re looking at the Federal League as it is right now, and we’re looking at the Suburban League as an expanded Suburban League.”
    TWO DUKES MAY GET PLAYING TIME
    Marlington’s Dymonte Thomas, who graduated from high school early and enrolled at Michigan in the spring, looks like he could play as a true freshman. One of the perks to enrolling early is getting practice time during the spring to get in the position to get on the practice field when camp opens this week.
    Thomas is going to get on the field. Head coach Brady Hoke has been working Thomas, who is up to about 195 pounds, at both strong safety and cornerback. It looks like Thomas is going to stick at safety, but he likely is to start in nickel packages.
    “We don’t want to overload him, so we’ve kept him in that nickel position,” Hoke said during the Big Ten media conference. “I can’t remember how many snaps of the nickel we played last year. It was about 60-40 of the sub defenses that’s your base defense. So it’s important for us to have a guy out there. He’s got the ability to cover a slot, he’s got the ability to blitz. He’s smart. He probably has as much energy as anybody on the field.”
    Alden Hill moves up
    Tennessee redshirt freshman Alden Hill, another Marlington graduate, is starting to get noticed with the Volunteers. Hill got a significant role in spring practice when the front-runner to start at running back, Raijon Neal, was injured. Hill gained 101 yards on 18 carries on the spring game. Marlin Lane is another upperclassman who likely is in front of Hill at Tennessee.
    Page 3 of 3 - But the fact that Hill is being mentioned in the media in Tennessee is a good step for him. It would appear that Hill has a chance to get on the field this year.
    Jim Tressel used to go into every season with the idea of having “a pair and a spare” at running back. Right now, it looks like Hill could be the spare, which often times ends up finishing the season strong because of injuries or lack of performance by others during the season.
    “I might have a name and people might know what I’m doing, or that I’m a hard worker, but I haven’t played yet,” Hill told a swarm of reporters after a recent practice.
    “Once I got the opportunities, I made the best of it. I think now that I have done it, I know I can do it, and it’s reassuring to the fans and coaches, too.”
    RIP JAMERSON
    Wayne Jamerson, a big McKinley fan and fixture at a variety of Bulldog sports events, died last month. He was 63. Jamerson was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis that left him confined to a wheelchair the last 10 years. He worked at the Timken Co. for many years before his illness.
    “He bled McKinley football. And nothing stopped him from going to a McKinley sporting event. He was at just about every event,” said McKinley graduate Renard Torrence, a friend of Jamerson’s.
    “He was just the biggest McKinley fan. Any sporting event, you’d see him.”
    DOWNING'S GYM
    Chris Downing has established himself as one of the best trainers in Northeast Ohio, and his current class of pro athletes will do nothing but enhance his reputation.
    Downing, who works out of Louisville, is training NBA first-round draft pick C.J. McCollum, his brother Erick, who plays overseas, and Reggie Corner, who is staying in shape to catch on with an NFL team.
    Reach Todd at 330-580-8340 or
    todd.porter@cantonrep.com
    On Twitter: @tporterREP