For Lehman Catholic High School football in 2021, the optimist might say that the Cavaliers have been “clearly beaten” in only two or three of the six games the team has played. In as many as a trio of the half dozen contests, the Cavaliers, 0-6, just ran out of time, and certainly did not run short of grit and determination.
LCHS led late in the fourth quarter of three recent losses!
Based on the performances of numerous players, anyone would, at first, believe the Cavaliers were fighting for a spot in the upper half of the newly formed, eight-school Three Rivers Conference (TRC).
Heading into Friday’s homecoming tilt which also continues to celebrate the first 50 years of Lehman Catholic High School, four Cavalier players are among the league leaders. Michael McFarland is second best in the TRC in receiving yards. Quarterback Donovan O’Leary is second in the conference in passing and seventh in rushing. John Edwards is third in tackles with 68 and fourth in sacks. Ethan Stiver is seventh in tackles in the TRC.
Yet the Cavaliers have been nipped at the wire in unfortunate setbacks by a grand total of 14 points on September 3, 17 and 24. Bethel eked out a 21-17 triumph over Lehman last Friday with two fourth quarter touchdowns.
“The silver lining is that our kids have played a lot of very good football, especially through the first three-and-a-half of the four quarters in the four of six contests we could have won,” said Lehman offensive coordinator Bill Zimmerman.
“This club continues to play very hard,” he added. “A little luck will hopefully turn our way. We’ve been snake-bit so far.”
Benefiting from three major Lehman penalties, Waynesfield-Goshen marched down the field in the last two minutes to top Lehman, 27-22, on Labor Day weekend.
The Cavaliers are a pretty young club. Three-fourths of the roster is comprised of sophomores and juniors. The football program’s future is promising.
LCHS hopes to right the ship versus the Riverside Pirates, 4-2, on Friday night at Sidney Memorial Stadium. ScoresBroadcast.com covers the 7 p.m. contest with a pregame segment beginning at 6:25. Zimmerman is Jack Kramer’s guest about 15 minutes before kick-off. Riverside coach Bryce Hodge is also interviewed.
WMVR, 105.5 TAM FM, will simulcast the coverage, also at 6:25.
At halftime, Joshua Ater, the President of Lehman Catholic High School, highlights the interesting and dynamic 50-year history of LCHS, the success of its alumni, the outstanding faculty, and the several quality academic tracks and programs available to Lehman students.
A parade, bonfire and pep rally took place on Wednesday evening at Lehman. Homecoming Spirit Week activities began on Monday with a “Throwback to 50 years of Lehman Spirit” as everyone on campus searched their costume trunks and closets for their best “70’s attire.”
The homecoming dance is in the Barhorst Family Gym on Saturday at 8:30. On game day, Lehman students “fashion” a country-western theme, marked by shined-up boots, flannels and plaids, as they stage a great showdown.
A showdown on the gridiron occurs Friday night. A victory, Lehman’s first, would enable the Cavs to take a huge leap forward in the southwest region, Division VII computer rankings. Riverside is third; Lehman, twenty-third. Significant computer points are at stake for the Cavaliers. The top sixteen clubs advance to the playoffs.
Friday night’s task for Lehman is tough, to say the least. Riverside has most of its team returning from 2020, when the Pirates won a pair of playoff games and finished 8-2.
Riverside sophomore quarterback Myles Platfoot was the Pirates’ signal caller for two-thirds of the 2020 season as a freshman and is currently ranked fourth in throwing yards in the TRC.
Tailback Warren Shockey has streaked for nearly 800 yards on the ground. Flankers Landon Stewart and Deven Frilling are fourth and fifth, respectively, in receiving yards in the TRC. Frilling has picked off four passes. The offensive and defensive lines are strong and sizable.
The only losses for the D-VII Pirates have been to D-IV Northridge and D-V Indian Lake. Riverside is coming off its “best, all-around game of the season,” a 31-0 whipping of Troy Christian, according to coach Hodge.
“We have great respect for Lehman, its players, coaches and the job head coach Dick Roll does,” Hodge said. “The Cavaliers are our biggest rival.”
Riverside belted Lehman, 39-7, in 2020. Two years ago, Lehman squeaked out a 27-20 heart-stomping win, as a break or two helped the Cavaliers take a three-overtime thriller.
On Friday night, Lehman hopes to snap the losing streak and get a little bit of that “Lady Luck’ back on its side again.