The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

November 23, 2013

Blue Streaks earned every bit of it

MENTOR — All throughout the playoffs, there was a motto that permeated the entire community of Madison.

One Town.

One Team.

One Goal.


The goal — an Ohio Division II state football championship — fell short to a bigger and faster Glenville team, 40-7, at Jerome T. Osborne Stadium Friday night.

The legacy of what this team accomplished on the field this year, however, will be talked about for years.

  • A co-Premier Athletic Conference championship.
  • A school record for wins (10) in a season.
  • The first team in history to accumulate two playoff wins, a spot in the Elite 8,  and a regional runner-up trophy.

But, perhaps the most significant contribution from this run has only begun to be written.

Being a Madison resident for the past 12 years, I have witnessed many comments from residents feeling as if Madison often gets overlooked.

Much of that could be attributed to the lack of chain restaurants in town. Some might point to the slow development along the lakefront or off of Interstate 90. And some could be attributed to the division in common purpose between the two governments (Madison Village and Madison Township) that run the town.

Madison, like many communities, is constantly faced with the influx of people out of the cities and into the suburbs. It was evident Friday night as the visiting Madison was given the home side to sit on, while No. 1 seeded Glenville and its smaller following sat on the other side. In short, how can you achieve growth without losing that small-town feel?

But, no matter what disputes take place on where the town should be headed, Madison has many solid things to hold its hat on.

It is a community that is filled with people who look out for each other. It has passionate people who work hard. It supports local business. And, despite state budget cuts that have cut many teaching positions, the school system has achieved the State of Ohio’s highest possible rating the last two years.

And, of course, it is a town that loves it sports – most particularly its football.

 As superintendent Roger Goudy has often said, “Madison is one of the best-kept secrets around.”

The 2013 Blue Streaks football team has helped bring the town notoriety. It has brought a sense of unity, and despite the lopsided loss to the Tarblooders, it has shown that it can run shoulders with the very best.

As a tearful senior quarterback Austin Burkholder, realizing it was the last high school football game, said, “I just hope this team is remembered forever and the efforts this team has put forward. We worked hard and definitely earned it.”

From senior linebacker Bo Ransom, “I gotta say, this community needs to look forward to the next several years. Those sophomores, they are good too. They just need to go along for the ride.”

And from an emotional Madison coach Tim Willis after the game. “I hope as a football program that we can build off it. It was good for the community to see that if you work hard and take care of the little things that we can get here. It was fun. What it means for our community? It means a lot. They love football, they love the sport of football, and I loving coaching at Madison. Hopefully, we can continue to be successful.”

School administrators, parents, teachers and community members have praised the character of the players on this year’s team. Willis has continually praised the leadership of his seniors.

None of that was more evident than when senior fullback Ben Bruening suffered a season-ending and near life-threatening injury late in the season against Lakeside. The team and entire community showed care for their beloved teammate and his family.

Bruening’s injury was a rallying cry for this team during this playoff run for sure. At a pep rally a couple weeks ago, senior Jared Yoe quoted something that has been on posters all around town:

“If you are playing for something, you’re hard to beat. If you’re playing for somebody, you’re unstoppable.”

Well, Glenville did end up stopping Madison’s 2013 season. But, the spirit this team has shown will live on.

“I think this made a lot of people feel good about themselves,” Goudy said. “In these tough economic times and times where people are having trouble, I think it is great when the football program like this can bring a whole city to rise and celebrate their success. I don’t think, by no means, losing today changes that, because this team went deeper than any team in Madison in the playoffs. Every kid out there should feel proud, not only for what they did for this team, but the entire community.

He also thinks this success will spill over into other areas.

“Absolutely, it will. You see it in the schools. I think you’ll see it in the program in future years.

“And, now they believe!”

Negin is a freelance writer from Madison.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Kaydee Vaulting to The Rock

    When Jefferson’s Kaydee DeVivo first started pole vaulting as a freshman for the Falcons, she knew it was the event for her.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • run VanHoy racing on

    Geneva track star Hailey VanHoy had a near unbelievable run of success during her final months running for the Eagles.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Danielle Zip-ing along

    Just minutes after Geneva’s Danielle Nicholson holed out on the 18th green at the Gray Course at Ohio State University during her freshman year to win the 2011 Division I state championship, the recruitment process of where she would go to college began.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Maruna headed for Mount

    LeeAnn Maruna never really expected to play collegiate golf. She was so taken aback when the opportunity presented itself, she didn’t know how to respond. After all, the Grand Valley graduate had only been playing the game for a few years.

    July 23, 2014

  • Crate Late Models featured

    The Evergreen Lake Park Campground Crate Late Models, the premier class at Raceway 7, will be featured Friday night as they race for $1,000 to win.

    July 23, 2014

  • Norm He’s the Norm

    In the early part of the 20th century, as golf was taking off in popularity, it was not uncommon for boys to take up the game after becoming caddies.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: The journey is what’s most important

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you’ve heard over and over and over how it’s been a half-century since one of Cleveland’s big three professional sports teams have won a championship.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Murdick wins as Big Block Modifieds return

    The BRP Big Block Modifed Tour returned to Raceway 7 with 21 of the region’s fastest Modifieds turning out for the scheduled 35-lap event, the first for the Modifieds at the northeast Ohio speedplant since 2005, an event won by Todd Burley.

    July 21, 2014

  • Dale Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Chances for controlled waterfowl hunting

    Waterfowl hunters are invited to participate in special drawings for controlled hunting opportunities, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. The drawing dates and times are as follows:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kingsville gets it done

    In a rematch of a previous softball clash between the Kingsville 9-10-year-olds and those from Conneaut, Kingsville had settled thing quickly and decisively in a mercy-rule triumph.

    July 20, 2014

Little League All-Stars July 1 to 12
AP NASCAR Lastest News
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Schedule
AP NASCAR Sprint Cup Standings
AP Auto Racing Photos
West Side Shootout 2014
Ashtabula County at State Track Meet
Jefferson vs Akron St. Vincent St. Mary Regional Softball
District Track 2014
Jefferson District Softball Tournament
Bob Walters 50 Years
Geneva vs Perry Division II District Semifinal
Sports Week in Review May 12 to May 17
Sports Week in Review May 5 to May 10 2014
Sports Week in Review April 28 to May 3
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video