Out of the gate

04/16/03 Don Yeager Jr.

            Hello readers and welcome to Out of the Gate, my weekly column devoted to the 2002 National Indoor Football League Champions, the Ohio Valley Greyhounds.

            Congratulations to the ‘Hounds for taking back what is rightfully theirs, the outright lead of the Atlantic Eastern Division!  I will give Fort Wayne credit for playing one heck of a ball game.  Although I wasn’t there, I listened for updates whenever I could get a chance to on 1290 WOMP AM while I was at work.  WOMP AM did a great job as usual in their coverage. 

            It was good to see that Greg Muckerson got to play.  He had a reception for four yards, but he will be much more effective in the future I’m sure.  As versatile as he was at Temple, I almost see him in the role that Franzer served last season, which obviously could bring on bigger better things in the future.

            Although Shane passed for over 200 yards, he also rushed for 46.  Corle and Schneider also put up decent numbers on the ground.  This is a team that can obviously do it in the air, but its good to see them digging in their heels and establishing the running game early in the season.  Without a balanced offense, a team cannot do it in this league.  Look at last year’s Indoor Bowl 2.  The Billings Outlaws played a tough defensive front to slow Birdie early, so Jose Davis had to use his arm and ended up passing for 166 yards and was named game MVP.  Versatility is a key factor, and with our backfield this season, we have that once again

            Looking to this week’s contest I see the Myrtle Beach Stingrays. I found out that the same group that was in charge of the Winston-Salem Energy last season heads this team up.  The Rays seem to be improving somewhat, however the ‘Hounds should be all over these guys early.  McDonalds is sponsoring a deal for fans that every time the Greyhounds top 70 at home, the fans can bring their ticket stubs to participating local Mickey D’s for a free Big Mac.  If the ‘Hounds come into this game as ready as they headed to Fort Wayne, fans can count on chowing down on Big Macs for the first of many times this season. 

            I am very happy to see that Faraji Mason has returned to the team.  He played this past weekend, and will be back full time in the summer when the school he teaches at is on summer break.  Faraji was an excellent two-way player last season and will be an integral part of the team.  He also thought that I was Wehrle one time last season when I was talking to Whitfield during pre-game last season, which I think of as more of a compliment. 

            Looking at the league statistics, OV players are all over the board and if not on top really close.  Also, the Atlantic Conference teams that are on top are the ‘Hounds and the Lake Charles LandSharks.  Lake Charles plays fellow undefeated Beaumont this week.  The Drillers were the Louisiana Rangers last season, the Greyhounds first round victim in the playoffs.  If should be a good game.  I personally would like to see the Drillers come out on top, but OV could easily face either team in the playoffs.

            My time is up for this week; hope to see you all at the dome, and have a safe and happy Easter! Questions?  Comments?  E-mail me at [email protected]

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