Post 243 – HS Football – Bull Session Week 15

As I was watching the 1-AA semi-final last week, I saw at how good North Dakota State is, winning six of the last seven championships.  Coaches leave and they still win. I wondered how they acquire their talent, especially with how sparsely populated North Dakota is; they are the fourth least densely populated state in the nation, behind Alaska at 1, Wyoming at 2, and Montana at 3.  Therefore, I looked up their roster and the states the players come and here are my results: Minnesota has the most with 35, followed by North Dakota at 22, and Wisconsin at 16. After that, Florida and Illinois have 8 each, Missouri 5, South Dakota and Iowa have 4 each, Nebraska 3, California and Kansas 2, and Indiana, Wyoming, Michigan, and Colorado with one each.  That’s where they get their players……….There is a lot of talk around this area regarding Eli Manning and his status with the Giants.  I do not think he is as good as his defenders say he is and I don’t think he is as bad as his critics claim.  I think he is presently a middle-of-the-road quarterback in the NFL. Yes, the line has had problems, but his lack of mobility exacerbates the problem and he needs to do a better job of securing the football when hit.  Accuracy has also been a problem and he seems to fall back at a 45 degree angle when he sees the defender coming. He will probably return to the Giants in 2019; after that, nothing would surprise me. ……….Some good nicknames are the South Dakota Jackrabbits in college sports and the Sioux City Musketeers in the USHL, a junior hockey league that has produced numerous players in the NHL.  A unique nickname is the Indiana State Sycamores……….I have been watching more Knick games of late and Iistening to Walt Frazier is a treat, with his phrases such as “pep in his step” and “matador defense.”  In addition, he can provide vocabulary lessons without being pompous or annoying……….When I think of Jeff Van Gundy, the first thing I usually think of is his hanging onto Alonzo Mourning’s leg in that Knick brawl with the Miami Heat……….The Knicks and Nets are on the right track, in my opinion; their outlook is certainly much better than it was two years ago.  For the Knicks, Kevin Knox has put together some good games and Emanuel Mudiay is coming into his own. They should improve when Kristaps Porzingis returns healthy, though it may take time for him to find his groove.  The Nets have had D’Angelo Russell and Spencer Dinwiddie. They are also without their best player in Caris LeVert……….The Rangers are in their games and have played as well as they can; I just hope they can keep it going.  Kevin Hayes has been their top position player and Henrik Lundqvist keeps rolling……….I am not totally surprised by the Devils performance this year and that is not a criticism.  They still have young players working their way in and the team is not sneaking up on anybody this year.  What I did not expect was how bad their goaltending is……….On the high school sports front, Bergen Catholic wrestles Paulsboro at the Palestra in Philadelphia on February 2, sandwiched between two Penn wrestling matches.  Bergen also wrestles national power Blair Academy at Lehigh on January 26 at Lehigh. In addition, the Beast of the East tournament is this weekend at the University of Delaware, where top wrestlers from around the country compete and I expect to see some Jersey wrestlers get the gold……….Speaking of wrestling, I enjoy a good wrestling match any time, but I always like it when a football player steps on the mat.  If two football players square off, that’s even better……….I miss having St. Anthony around during basketball season and it was always a pleasure to see a Bob Hurley-coached team execute.  Their closing leaves a void for me……….That’s it for this week and I will be back either next week or the week after for some more bull!  Merry Christmas, everybody!

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