In June, I wrote about Edwardsville High School Head Football shifting over to the single-wing under new Head Coach Mark Bliss last year. A letter from my 8th grade English and home room teacher (whom all the boys had crushes on) caused me to think about Edwardsville football and how they are doing in this their second year with the single-wing.
A couple of searches located the Tigers’ 2009 schedule and performance to date. As members of the Southwestern Conference, they always face a tough schedule. This year the pre-season rankings had the East St. Louis Flyers at #1 in Class 6A (last year they were Class 7A state champs). USA Today ranked the Flyers at #10 in the country. The Belleville East Lancers were ranked #10 in Class 8A. Last year they made it to the second round of the playoffs and their coach thinks this is the best set of players he’s had at Belleville East. The Belleville West Maroons were ranked #8 in Class 8A. Yes, this is the Belleville West that has been in the news recently because one of its students was beaten by two others when he tried to find a seat on a school bus. I told you this was a tough conference.
The tigers started out their season with a 56-6 win over Roosevelt High of St. Louis, Missouri. Next they beat Chicago Corliss 46-0. Then conference play started. The Belleville East Lancers beat them 27-7 and last Friday they lost to East St. Louis 48-15. Now they have to win them all to have any hope of making the playoffs.
Some may blame the problems on the shift to the single-wing, but if one considers the number of points scored by the Belleville East and East St. Louis offenses, it is unlikely that the Tigers could have won regardless of what offense they were running. They need a defense.