By Joanna Chadwick
It just felt right being in the press box at South’s Carpenter Stadium tonight. Sure, it was hot, there’s a ridiculous number of stairs to climb.
But it was high school football at its best.
Carroll beat Heights handily, scoring 41 unanswered points in its 47-16 victory. My story will be up soon at VarsityKansas.com, but I thought I’d share some quotes that didn’t make it into the story.
In Carroll coach Alan Schuckman’s postgame talk with his team, he emphasized to them that “we will be a much better team next Friday night.”
There’s no doubt about that. The Carroll defense played extremely well, but the offense was way too inconsistent. While hot in the first quarter, the running game and the passing game fell off drastically.
Yet Carroll has so many offensive weapons that I have no doubt this will get turned around.
Schuckman was asked if the Eagles were trying to make a statement, probably in reference to the fact that Heights handled the Eagles the past two seasons.
“it’s not about making a statement,” he said. “It’s about seeing where we’re at. We’re playing a quality team like Heights, one of the top teams in 6A. We wanted to see where we’re at, and we got a good indication of that.”
As for Heights, the Falcons looked like they were a young team with inexperienced players. Well, that’s true.
But this team will be fine. No doubt.
“I think we can still be a really good football team,” Heights coach Rick Wheeler said. “This is just a little sharper, a little more vivid, a little more colorful than if we had been in the game and got beat. We have a lot of film to look at. You have an opportunity every year to make great improvements in Week 2. That’s what we hope to do is rebound. That’s our biggest concern. We’re a little fragile. I hope we don’t splinter apart and it takes too long to get back together. I hop we rebound quickly. I still believe this team can be really competitive.”
Toma King didn’t play in the game, due to a completely torn ACL. Wheeler said he had been cleared to play tonight but Wheeler chose not to until King gets a better brace.
“We had two, potentially three starters out,” Wheeler said. “I’m not making excuses. We put our best players on the team, and Carroll handled us.
“Now, Carroll, the last two years, we put it on them a little bit and they bounced right back. We’ll find out what we’re made of, and I promise you, we won’t quit.”