Sept. 19 Fred Kroner chat

Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 12:30pm

Our prep sports coordinator chats at 12:30 p.m. Thursdays. Ask him about Tori McCoy's college options, Unity's No. 1 football ranking and favorites to win state in cross-country. Submit questions of any  kind at any time and he'll be sure to respond.

Fred Kroner (moderator) — 12:29 PM on Thu, 09/19/2013

It's that time of the week again, so we'll attack the questions right away. Thanks to all who are participating.

Lyle Egelston — 12:30 PM on Thu, 09/19/2013

Fred,It looks like you get to cover one of the top games ever played in the area. Maroa-#1 in classs 2-A and Tolono #1 in class 3-A. Do you remember any game in area where this has happened before? I pick Maroa.If tolono wins i will nrver pick against them again.

Fred Kroner (moderator) — 12:38 PM on Thu, 09/19/2013

Hi Tom. This certainly looks like the week's marquee matchup. You're right, it's not often you get a top-ranked team playing another top-ranked team, especially in our area. Both Unity and Maroa-Forsyth have obviously been prominent in the rankings in recent years, but I don't recall another 1 vs. 1. It was exceedingly difficult to pick this game. In fact, I changed my pick several times. I wasn't comfortable picking either team! This is a total tossup. Both schools have outstanding high school players. Unity is playing at home, so that's something in their favor. Both schools have outstanding backs and more than just one. Maroa-Forsyth's defense has been great through three games, allowing three total TDs. Unity has given up at least two TDs in each game so far. Good defense usually prevails, so maybe I should have changed my pick one more time, but I went with Unity -- it has a bigger school by about 150 students -- and perhaps a little more depth, but I am sticking with the Rockets.

Normal West — 12:38 PM on Thu, 09/19/2013

Is Danville football more than a two-headed monster?  We are at the Vikings home field tomorrow night.  Thank you.

Fred Kroner (moderator) — 12:47 PM on Thu, 09/19/2013

Greetings to Normal West. I can see how you'd get that impression. Last week, quarterback Trent Sherfield had 419 of the team's 420 yards of total offense. In week 1, you probably remember that Chris Collier had 503 all-purpose yards when you total his receiving, rushing and returns. No doubt, they are a dynamic duo. Here's my thought: Danville clearly has some quality players up front to allow Sherfield time to throw, or to open up holes when either he or Collier run the ball. Denzel Smith is a quality receiver and a great athlete -- he was on out All-Area team last year in basketball -- and had two TD receptions last week against Centennial. He is very much a threat, too. You will see several of these same players -- specifically Sherfield and Collier -- playing key roles on defense, but there are other high-impact players. Hoey Watson comes to mind immediately. So, to answer your question: yes and no. There will be two Danville players involved in a majority of the offense from a statistical standpoint, but the Vikings have a supporting cast that's above average, both on offense and defense.

Lyle Egelston — 12:47 PM on Thu, 09/19/2013

Fred,it looks like Lanphier is a big pick over Urbana. Coach Watson says in the newspaper Beckman is the future of Urbana Football.I am afraid the future is gone. Beckman is not an all around Qb. I don't believe he has had a 4 Quarter game yet. Average Qb but can't get away fro the rush. I say 2 @ 7 for year. Still no kicking game and weak defense. Have Top running backs Patton,Cobb.both seniors and still small numbers out for team. I don;t believe Watson knows how to win except for Mammen years which are gone.Bad days ahead No winning record in sight.

Fred Kroner (moderator) — 12:56 PM on Thu, 09/19/2013

Hi Tom. Regardless of what our pickers -- including myself --- said, this is very muvch a winnable game for the Tigers. I believe Urbana will be able to put points on the board. Lanphier is allowing an average of more than 40 per game thus far and if the Tigers string together two or three consecutive scores and get a few stops defensively, who knows what affect that momentum will have on the game. In a lot of ways, Urbana was back to Square 1 last week, getting its lineup back intact after being shorthanded previously. When players are in and out of the lineup, it's hard to get that continuity you need to build from one game to another. Maybe things will be a bit more cohesive this week. I predicted five wins as realistic in the preseason, but that was figuring a win over Central, which didn't happen. I now think it will be tough to get to five wins, but four wins could be attainable if everything falls into place. There have certainly been schools over the years that have been very effective with a drop-back passer whose primary role was to throw the ball and not run it. Sure, it's nice if you have a person who can do both, but if someone is adept at one of the two phases, that's a good place to build around.

Fred Kroner (moderator) — 12:56 PM on Thu, 09/19/2013

That looks like a wrap for this week. We'll be back next Thursday for more prep-related questions. Enjoy the weekend.