Week 9 Coach of the Week
Dino Garr, Rye: It took a year, but Garr and his team had the game they wanted last weekend, earning a rematch of last year’s Class A final with Somers. As I’ve said a lot, Rye had a better team last year for the majority of the season (both better than this year’s edition, and better than Somers last year), but it wasn’t enough. So why Garr deserves his due after the Garnets beat Somers 21-9 in Saturday night’s Class A semifinals is this: Right now, thanks to plenty of foresight, Rye enters November better than it was at this point last year.
It took some effort, and plenty of restraint from Garr and his coaching staff (more on that in Friday’s paper). But the coaches went with a young starting lineup on defense and resisted the urge to player players both ways. They began to sprinkle some seniors in on defense against Beacon and increased their workload against Somers. That and some terrific playcalling led to the Garnets’ victory. The defense played perhaps its best game all season, and the offense drove the ball when it needed to, both for points and to kill the clock.
Garr and his team might need to be even better on Saturday to beat Yorktown. But if their in position to win, it will be because of what they did all season — not just their effort for one night.
Mike Meade, Woodlands: There are championships that are mild surprises, and then championships that came from nowhere. Consider Woodlands’ 28-20 defeat of Rye Neck in the Class C final as the latter. The Falcons, who were once 2-4, have since outplayed Bronxville and Rye Neck, the top two teams in the field, and avenged regular season losses to both teams. Meade’s team turned away from the pass and ran the ball right at the Panthers with Jonathan Stewart and co., and that simplicity helped send Woodlands to its second state playoffs in three years. For the second straight week, Meade and his staff pitched the equivalent of a perfect game.