Twenty four hour from what may be the most anticipated football game in the state this week, coaches Chip Otten and Tim Goodwin are anticipating themselves. Another classic, and why not…another record 50-50 drawing.
Of the handful of emails received this week about Friday’s Marion Local/Coldwater game – from Youngstown, from Norwalk, from Wheelersbug, et. Al., two of them actually asked about the football game.
The others? “How much are they predicting for the 50-50 drawing this year,” asked a reader from southern Ohio. A winner of the pot in 2012, he’s making plans to at least buy a few lengths of tickets even though he will not attend in person this year.
The pot he won was about $10,000. The pot last year was $13,000. And estimates this week, given the interest from outside sales, is that this year’s take-away could be as much as $15,000.
“That would be a good one,” said Coldwater coach Chip Otten on Wednesday. But Otten and the Cavaliers, 2-0 after wins over Kenton and Delphos Jefferson, have other things on their mind.
They’re not favored, mind you. The four-time reigning champs in Division V has scrambled through training camp and the first two weeks to replace 27 seniors from last year’s state champion team – and a number of starters on both sides of the ball. And how ironic is it that a four-time consecutive champion is actually an underdog?
“Well, the kids know it’s Marion,” said Otten. “And we’ve been in situations like this before. But we’ve had a good week of practice. The heat’s been an issue so we’ve scaled back a little to keep them healthy and fresh for Friday night. We’re excited to play.”
Likewise, Tim Goodwin is looking forward to another game with huge state-wide impact. Regardless of who wins between the two Mercer County powers, it will send shock waves through their respective divisions to those who might consider the prospects of challenging one or the other come the post-season.
And yes, Goodwin is motivated by the fact of how last year’s game ended…a 43-yard field goal by Coldwater kicker Kyle McKibben that won it, 17-14, as time ran out in regulation.
“We may have overachieved a bit,” says Goodwin. “But the way we came back to tie it on our last score, I was disappointed that it didn’t go into overtime because I was confident we had the momentum necessary to win it.
“I think it could come down to special teams again this week,” he added (A problem for the Flyers – one of the rare ones – in their first two games).
And no, there is no appreciation for the fact of a thrilling finish, irrespective to who won.
“No, I think about it, but it’s too soon to appreciate it for just being a great football game,” Goodwin adds. “We would rather have won.”
Which sets up the classic of 2016, Friday, at Marion, in front of God-knows-how-many people. In truth, most will in fact be there for the football. But ALL who are there will have a few length of 50-50 tickets in their pocket hoping to go home either rich…or richer.
“I’ve never won a 50-50 pot in my life,” says Bill Skeens, who shared his identity but asked not to have his residence revealed. “Never even been close. Usually they’re for $150 and you put in $5 dollars. But if it’s $15,000…well, that’s another story. I might send $50. It’s better odds than the lottery.”
For their part, Otten didn’t mention if he’d have money in the pot. Goodwin admitted that wife Dawn would probably have some tickets.
But it’s safe to say…Otten would give $15,000 (figuratively) to win again in the manner he won last year.
Goodwin? He’d probably give $15,000 not to lose in the same manner – and literally, at that.
Enjoy the money, whoever it is. He’d rather win the game!