Out of the gate

04/30/03 Don Yeager Jr.

Welcome loyal readers to the sixth installment of “Out of the Gate,” my weekly column devoted to the last remaining undefeated team in the entire NIFL, the Ohio Valley Greyhounds.

            First of all, I have got to congratulate the Bayou Bucks for going into Lake Charles earning a hard fought victory.  This coupled with Beaumont’s loss to Tupelo, whom many regarded as the worst team in the NIFL, not only gives the Greyhounds an early inside track on the Atlantic Conference 1 seed, but also shows that the Atlantic South, not the East, is the weakest division in the NIFL.  I will not be surprised if at the end of it all the two wild-card spots go to Lexington and Knoxville or Fort Wayne.

            That said I have got to give my props to Fort Wayne for playing one heck of a ball game this past weekend.  Although the ‘Hounds never trailed, the Freedom was pesky and would not go away.  Every time it looked like OV put the game out of reach, Fort Wayne would mount a charge and get close again.  C.J. Johnson was the hero of the game as he recovered the last onside kick to seal the deal, not to mention the fact that he played really well.  The former Texas Tech Red Raider has really been a boost for our secondary, and it was great to have him back. 

            Making his home debut was former Bellaire Big Red Tom Poe.  The local standout played really well for his first game in a Greyhounds uniform and made some nice tackles and key blocks.  He was wearing #59 for the game, which crossed up our announcer and many fans.  59 was Dingle’s number, but he did not play this weekend for reasons undisclosed to me.  Hopefully “Ku” will also make his debut soon.

            I would like to send a big congrats out to Martins Ferry’s Chad Brinker.  The former OU Bobcat signed a 3-year deal with the Jets after the draft as a free agent and I wish him the best of luck.  The same goes out to former River High speedster Todd Fry.  The Washington and Jefferson product was signed by the Detroit Lions joining Linsly School’s Eddie Drummond.  The draft was interesting overall this year.  As a Cowboys fan I was disappointed, hoping we would grab Kliff Kingsbury and Onterrio Smith, but in the Tuna I must have faith.  If they sign Griese, all will be forgiven.  Browns had an interesting draft…I’m still trying to figure out why they signed two centers.  The Steelers overall did well.  Polamalu was a hard hitter at USC…I just hope the concussions he has suffered don’t put him in danger.  The Bengals did really well.  The land Carson Palmer, even though I would have taken Leftwich, and end up with Tennessee’s Kelley Washington, who would have been a first rounder if not for a neck injury, and Oregon State’s Dennis Weathersby who was a first rounder until he got shot in the back.  It seems as if the draft went well for the Bengals…but they are the Bengals so only time will tell.

            The Greyhounds have made some signings that really turned my head.  Running back Lloyd Clemmons from Michigan State will look to impress this week against Evansville.  When I heard about him on the news I knew I recognized his name from somewhere and wasn’t sure why…then they said that he was a 1500 yard rusher for the XFL’s Orlando Rage.  Looking at his practice film he looks like a pretty decent sized guy who will be able to bowl some people over.  We also signed a new member of our secondary Temple’s Chonn Lacey.  Listening to his interview, he spoke about talking a little trash and hitting guys.  Definitely sounds like something our smashmouth defense is into.  We head to hapless Evansville this week that seems to be improving, but is still, as I said before a bad team.  Here’s to another win guys.  Hounds by 36 in front of about 7500.  I see Bynes getting doubled a lot but still finishing with 3 ½ sacks.  I predict Jackson will have 15 tackles.  I will wager that Franzer will pass for 215 yards with 4 TD’s and no picks.  Hopefully if I am wrong it will only be because all of these numbers are higher (except the number of picks) 

            My time is up.  Questions?  Comments?  Suggestions?  E-mail me @:  [email protected]

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