Monday, May 17, 2010

Registration Begins Saturday

Football registration begins this Saturday!  Our club is tracking 71 named players that have either played with us before or expressed an interest. We expect to have four teams - one will play in the Blue Valley League, and three will play in FCCJC.

Not all of those 71 will play - but others will sign up that we don't know about today, so we could certainly approach 70 players. I believe that we will have the largest fifth grade football club in the Kansas City area.

The first FCCJC sign-up is this Saturday from 10 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. out at the Heritage Park football complex at 162nd and Pflumm.

Coach Darius Lecthenberger sent an E-Mail to the Blue Valley league prospects this morning about their sign up process, which also begins this Saturday.

Below are the details - be sure you sign up for the league in which you intend to play.

Blue Valley League Sign Up Process (Swinford)
  1. Register on-line. On this site - there is a menu option on the left that says On-Line registration. You can pay the league fee ($210) by credit card during the registration. Be sure to list Coach Swinford as the coach.
  2. Attend the equipment checkout on Saturday, May 22nd, 8-11am, at the offices of Blue Valley Football Club, located at 6730 W. 153rd St., Overland Park, KS 66223
    1. If you can't make that equipment check-out, there will be four other equipment check-out sessions at Lakewood Middle School throughout the summer (6/12, 6/26, 7/10, and 7/17).
    2. Be sure to bring your receipts from on-line registration to the equipment check-out that you attend
    3. If you are a new player to the Blue Valley Football Club, you will need to bring BOTH a copy of your birth certificate AND a current grade report or student ID. You must have both items to register with the league, as they have both age and grade specific registration.
  3. If you have any questions at all about the process or what you need, E-Mail Coach Darius Lechtenberger at
FCCJC Sign Up Process (Adam)
  1. Attend one of the five registration Saturdays at Heritage Football Complex at 162nd and Pflumm. The dates include this Saturday, 5/22, as well as 6/12, 6/26, 7/10, and 7/24. They go from 10 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the lines can be long early.
  2. If you are a returning player, bring your FCCJC player card to registration. If you are a new player (or can't find your player card) bring a copy of your birth certificate and a grade card or student ID proving your grade.
  3. There are three potential fees that you can pay at registration
    1. Raffle tickets - these are yours as part of your registration price, available to sell to family and and friends if you prefer, or to buy outright at registration for your own use. They cost $160, and if you would rather sell them and pay later, the team will collect the money for them in mid August. Whether you buy them yourself or sell them to others, you can use them to enter a drawing for some pretty good prizes passed out in mid September.
    2. Equipment rental - if you will  be renting equipment (shoulder pads and helmet) from the league, the rental price is $65.00. If you have your own equipment, you should bring it with you to registration to be checked and verified.
    3. Physical - a doctor's physical is required. You may use your own physician as long as the physical has been performed no earlier than February 1, 2010. Or, if it is more convenient, you may use the doctor present at the registration. The fee for the registration physical is $20.
  4. At registration you will be weighed and fitted for any equipment you rent. See more specific information right here or contact Coach Adam at any time at

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

MU and Nebraska

Well, nobody said the prediction business was easy.

I could KC Star this and say well, technically, Missouri hasn't been offered a Big 10 spot yet. Nyah, nyah, nyah. So I might still end up being right about the expansion plans of the Big Ten.

But then I would be a weasel, and I'm just not a weasel.  I was wrong about whether the Big Ten would offer Missouri a spot.  They have.  And I now, despite a lackluster record predicting this stuff, boldly predict - Missouri will go. Nebraska may not, Notre Dame will not, but if Rutgers makes the jump too then the Big Ten will go for Pittsburgh or some other Big East school shortly after announcing the offer and acceptance of Missouri and Rutgers to join the Big Ten.

I don't know this - but don't you imagine that Jim Delany told those four schools that the first three to accept were in, and put a deadline on it for the leadership of those schools? I'd deny it had been offered of course, because NOBODY turns me down - but recognizing that the pressure is mine to apply right now, there would be an end of May deadline for Round 1 of expansion.  If I get all four, yippee, then I choose my 16th team during June, and I'd have plenty that would want to be that magical last school in the first and biggest and best of the new mega-conferences. If I get two or three of the schools and one is Notre Dame, then I go for 16 by going after two or three more from my second tier of candidates in Round 2.

If I get everybody but Notre Dame, there is no Round 2 for now, and I stand pat with 14 teams.

From Delany's point of view, he must imagine that Notre Dame probably won't go. Nebraska and Missouri might not go either - these are high stakes games, and if Texas decides they want to keep one or both of those schools in their little playpen, and push the Big 12 toward western dominance, Delany would realize that the Longhorns could probably make it happen with an aggressive television and revenue sharing plan.

So he might be left with only Rutgers, and then he's at a nice even twelve teams and has added the NY/NJ market to his television share. That is a no-lose situation, even though the big prizes turned him down. He would presumably look east for further expansion at some later time.

But I don't think Texas really cares to stop Missouri from leaving. So MU is probably gone, the Big Ten will get two or three of these four they've offered, and the college conference landscape is clearly on the move.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Logical Progressions of the Option

When we went to the "true" triple option in 2009, logical necessity quickly established the Midline option as another version of the option we would run.

Our regular option dives at the B gap (the hole between our guard and tackle) and reads what we call the #4 man.  I've written many paragraphs in our playbook and even made videos about the numbering system on our password protected site about this option. In the interest of brevity for this article, lets just say that the #4 man is very often the defensive tackle.

Here's a drawing of our standard (inside) option play:

Notice that the fullback runs to the gap between the guard and center. Against this five-man front, we get to 'option block' the defensive tackle that is circled T4 above. If our offensive tackle gets past him to the inside, then we can hand the ball to the fullback.

But what happens if the defense lines up in a 4-4? Here's a picture of our offense lined up against that sort of defense:

We could run the same play - E becomes the #4 man. But with a defensive tackle over our guard AND the  defensive end over our tackle, it becomes more difficult to read the B gap effectively. If, for example, the defense slants to the outside, chances are that the defensive tackle will jam up the hole between our guard and tackle. Our quarterback could make a perfect read of the defensive end, hand the ball to the fullback, and we'd still not run a successful play, because the defense overloaded the gap to which we were trying to run.

Necessity being the mother of invention, the Midline option is a better call against this defense. For the midline, the dive path and dive read key change. Instead of running between the guard and tackle, the fullback runs just outside of the center. Instead of reading the #4 man for the dive, we read the first down lineman to the option side of the center. Here's a drawing:

By shifting the dive key read to the first man to the option side of the center, the option block shifts to the play-side guard. If he can get inside and out to the linebacker, he does, and that becomes a 'give' read.

If you look at both option plays, you'll notice that we prefer to call the option that allows our fullback a two-hole window. In the first drawing, there is no player lined up over the guard, potentially opening both the A gap and the B gap. In the second drawing there is no player lined up over the center, leaving both A gaps potentially open.  We call these two consecutive open gaps 'the bubble.' We prefer to run our dive to the bubble, wherever it may be.

Let's really complicate things: Imagine that our our opponent decides to put a defender directly in BOTH of the gaps to which we'd like to run. Here's an eight-man front that seems to take away both the inside and midline dive options:

By playing linemen in both the A and B gaps, this defense attempts to take away both dive options. So while the center is technically uncovered, it is unlikely that our guard will ever get inside his opponent, and the fullback would appear to be taken away for the Midline. Likewise the B gap is occupied as well, complicating our regular option. But there is a bubble in this defense. Between our tackle and our A back there is an open  gap. That is the C gap, and the Veer option attempts to exploit that gap.

The Veer option play we created was the direct result of playing against an eight-man-line during a pre-season scrimmage last summer. By shifting the option dive path to the C gap, we could once again run to the bubble and force player B4 to make a decision - fullback or quarterback.

By the end of last season we had three different versions of the option play available, and managed to use all of them to one degree or another in our games.

But in our Black squad's seventh game we ran into a different sort of problem. The defense wisely changed its scheme from down to down. They played a 5-3 defense as shown in the first diagram above, but also would periodically shift to an 'eagle under' look, where their defensive tackles would line up on our guards, rather than our tackles. The veer option would have been a great alternative against that eagle-under defense. But we didn't know which defense we would be seeing when we broke the huddle. THAT was a very frustrating day, and our boys at nine-years-old, in our first year running the true triple option, just couldn't understand quickly enough who to block.

I knew that we could run some option successfully, but I couldn't know until we lined up which one. So it seemed to me that an "Option On Me" scheme would be most effective. In "Option On Me" systems, the quarterback calls whichever option he wants to run at the line of scrimmage.

If he sees an eagle under look, or an even front shaded to the inside, or a gap 8 defense, he can call for the veer option. If he sees a wide tackle six or a four-four, he can call for the midline. Against nearly all odd fronts he can call for our standard inside option.

We will work on this system both with and without a huddle this summer. I'm excited to see if we can do it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Meeting Venue Changed

We've been kicked out of Prairie Trail Junior High at the last minute. Our meeting location tonight is now the Meadow Lane multi purpose room.