Jon Bon Jovi’s “Blaze of Glory”, “Ghost” starring Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, “Cheers”, “The Cosby Show”, and “Roseanne”. You might be wondering, what do all these things have in common? These were the most popular pop culture songs, movies, and tv shows the same week as this week, but twenty eight years ago in 1990, the last time the Green Bobcats started off a football season 3-0.
The 1990 iteration of the Bobcats were coached by Danny McDavid, who is still the Bobcats baseball coach today and who is an assistant under the head football coach for the West Senators, Ben Johnson. Green finished the 1989 and 1990 seasons both with undefeated regular season records thanks to their impressive running game that featured all-state running back Rob Maynard, full back Shane Salyers, and an incredible offensive line force led by all state offensive lineman Steve Adams. The quarterback of the 1990 Bobcats? None other than Dusty Salyers, who coached the Wheelersburg LL softball team that won this year’s 2018 Little League Softball World Series and whose son, Trent Salyers, is a senior all-state quarterback for the Wheelersburg Pirates this season.
The 1990 Bobcats outscored their first three opponents 97-19, which is actually considerably less that the 2018 Bobcats who have outscored their opponents 174-28 through their first three games including their incredible 86-14 victory over Hannan High School in week two. The McDavid coached Bobcats finished #1 in the Division V Region 19 rankings of that season and were ranked 7th out of all the teams in Division V in the 1990 end of season AP poll. The Bobcats were not ranked in the Division VII AP Poll after the first release following the end of week three but were ranked unofficially fourth in Region 27 of Division VII according to Joe Eitel, who is famous for using the same algorithm that the OHSAA uses in order to officially rank the teams of each region. The OHSAA official list comes out following the completion of all week four games, which will paint a clearer picture in terms of where the Bobcats stand in their pursuit of a playoff bid.
Although there is much excitement around Franklin Furnace about the possibility of a playoff bid, head coach Ted Newsome is hoping his team will focus on each game from week to week, rather than think about the season down the road. “We’re happy to be 3-0” said Newsome, “But we don’t sit around and talk about it all the time. We’re kind of past that, our players and coaches. We’re not giddy about it. We’re proud, but we feel like we haven’t achieved anything just yet.”
Offensive lineman for Green, Steve Smith, says that he and his teammates are excited about their impressive start. “It feels awesome” said Smith, “Being the new breed of the Bobcats, it’s a great feeling. It’s something we’re going to take with us until we graduate.”
The Green offense is very similar to that of the 1990 team in the fact that they like to run, run, and run some more. In their 86 point performance against Hannan, the Bobcats did not throw the ball one time, while also having three 100 yard rushers in Mackie Kingery, Alec Smith, and Lonnie Smith. “That was fun” said Alec Smith emphatically, “I wanted to go higher, but coach wouldn’t give me the ball. We didn’t try running up the score, all our backs just ran really well that day.” Kingery’s answer in reference to the 86 point performance was a surprising one, “Honestly, I didn’t look at the scoreboard till the fourth quarter. And then, I was surprised. We just went out and played football and that just so happened to be the result.”
At this stage in the season, even prior to conference play, the Bobcats look and feel as if they are primed to challenge for the SOC I crown this year from the defending champs, the Oak Hill Oaks. As of today, Green is the only undefeated team in the SOC I prior to conference play as county opponents Notre Dame, Northwest, and East are all winless at this stage in the season.
The Bobcats open their conference season this Friday at home in Franklin Furnace against the East Tartans and are hoping to improve their record to 4-0, just as both the 89-90 Bobcat teams did. Alec Smith knows he and his team are better than they were last season, a year in which Green was not able to finish due to injuries suffered and low player participation, and he knows his team will give the Tartans a fight this Friday night in their home conference opener. “I think that we’ll go out there and perform well” said Smith, “We are a lot better than last year, and I’m looking forward to going out there and performing in front of the fans.”
Newsome is urging those in the community to come out and support his team this Friday night in their conference home opener against the Tartans. “We want everybody out in ‘The Furnace’” said Newsome, “We’ve got an incentive for kids to get free admission into the game, and we’re having a green-out. We’re pretty excited to see everybody decked out in their green and cheering on the Bobcats, and hopefully we can do them proud Friday night.”
Kickoff for this Friday night in Franklin Furnace is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT