Bob Huelsman
Bob Huelsman

Bob Huelsman is a former high school teacher, coach and administrator, serving for more than three decades at Covington High School, in Miami County. In his 13 years as head basketball coach at Covington, Huelsman won 228 games and five times guided the Buccaneers to the regional round of the state tournament. Currently, he serves as the associate athletic director at Newton High School, and treasurer for the Southwest District Athletic Board. A former member of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Control, Huelsman’s broad background in athletic administration has won the respect of his peers statewide.

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I heard it for years when I was coaching, and now I have a chance to suggest something that would make a difference in the competitive makeup of Cross County Conference football.  I hope someone’s listening.

Back in the day when I coached football for the Covington Buccs, I would hear this voice come from somewhere in the crowd bellowing, “Do somethin’, Huelsman”!

You see, I was the offensive coordinator and calling the plays, and if the Buccs weren’t scoring or chewing up large junks of real estate, someone wanted somethin’ done. Obviously, the guy calling the plays is an easy target, and it comes with the territory.

Now, I have a chance to do somethin’, and I plan to do just that. I hope the Cross County Conference (CCC) is open to  my suggestion. I don’t pretend that this idea is unique, but the time has come to do somethin’!

I hope they agree that the time is right.

For years, the football played in the CCC (ten team league) has not been very strong. Yes, they will have two good teams a year– not necessarily the same two, but two, nonetheless. They play 9 conference games, bloating their record beyond their strength, by beating the below average teams.

These teams get a false sense of how good they are. They have a good record, have beaten many teams 40-0, and make the playoffs, only to find out firsthand that they are like fool’s gold.

Covington had one of their better teams this year, in my opinion, maybe just as good as Coldwater. But they entered into this playoff game untested, intimidated, and unprepared for what they would face.

What worked against Mississinawa Valley didn’t work very well against Coldwater.

Defensively, they hadn’t faced a quarterback all season that could pass the ball 45 yards downfield like Coldwater’s QB.

Now, at the conclusion of this year’s season, the Buccs are 0-7 in the playoffs against the MAC. They have been outscored during this stretch by 253 to 71. Coach Miller can only do so much. No one works harder. He has developed football players, but his hands are tied when it comes to scheduling.

Now, it is time to develop a schedule that will get teams prepared for what they might meet in the playoffs.

My suggestion to the CCC is as follows:

Suggestion #1:
Add two teams to the league for football only (Ft. Loramie and Lehman Catholic). Split into two divisions for football. Covington, Bradford, Ft. Loramie, Miami East, Lehman, and Bethel would be in the East Division. In the West Division would be Arcanum, TV South, TC North, National Trails, Ansonia, and Mississinawa Valley.

Your schedule than could look like this:
Week #1   OPEN                              Week #6   Divisional Game
Week #2   OPEN                              Week #7   Divisional Game
Week #3   OPEN                              Week #8   Divisional Game
Week #4   Cross-Over Game          Week #9   Divisional Game
Week #5   Cross-Over Game          Week #10  Divisional Game

This setup gives more flexibility to schedule to your strength. This is good for the weaker teams as well as the stronger teams. This option would improve the image of the CCC, improve your chances of getting into the playoffs, improve your preparedness for the playoffs, and give your players a more level playing field.

Suggestion #2:
The CCC puts into place something similar to what the Midwest Athletic Conference (MAC) now has in place. Based on previous success, the #1 team in the CCC would not play the #10 team; the #2 team would not play the #9 team: #3 does not play #8; #4 does not play #7; and the #5  does not play #6.

The MAC put this in to generate more computer points for their teams, but also to ease the burden on the football teams that were struggling in their conference. If adopted, this would open another spot on the schedule, and teams would have their first two games open to schedule out of conference rather than just one.

The time is now for the CCC to act–not tomorrow, not next month, not next year, but now. I am answering the call to do somethin’. I hope someone listens!

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