You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Wittenberg wants to build momentum for playoffs in final regular-season game


Senior hit day at Wittenberg is a throwback to the days when you could tackle an opposing football player without worrying about being penalized or ejected.

At practice on the Wednesday before the last regular-season game, all the Tiger seniors have a chance to get up in front of their teammates and give a speech. Then they pick a teammate to tackle — run over is more like it — in front of everybody. It looks worse than it is. The player on the receiving end knows the hit is coming, so it’s a fairly safe tradition.

The senior hit day this week lasted longer than normal. The Tigers have 32 seniors, the most in coach Joe Fincham’s 18 seasons.

“I’m telling you what, it took forever,” Fincham said. “We were freezing our tails off. I always love senior hits. I think it’s an awesome day.”

The theme of the speeches is always the same, no matter if the Tigers are 5-4 and know their season’s about to end or if they’re 8-1 like this year with all their dreams still alive.

“All of them when they get to the end, they all say it goes really fast,” Fincham said. “They say, ‘Don’t take things for granted while you’re here. While you’re a young player, don’t give up.’ For so many young people, not just in football, quitting is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and they end up regretting it.”

Fincham always hopes the speeches rub off on the young players. They must have three years ago when the current seniors listened to the 2010 seniors, one of the great classes in Wittenberg history and the last class before this one to win North Coast Athletic Conference titles as juniors and seniors.

The Tigers beat their big rival, Wabash, 35-17, last Saturday in Crawfordsville, Ind. It was their eighth straight win after a season-opening loss at Butler.

Wittenberg (8-1, 8-0 NCAC) leads Wabash (8-1, 7-1) with one game to play. All the Tigers have to do is beat Allegheny (0-9, 0-8) at 1 p.m. today to win the NCAC outright. The Gators, once the Tigers’ big rival in the league, have had only one close game all year. That was last week at home against Denison when they lost 24-21.

The Tigers don’t want to just win today. They’d like to play well to continue to build momentum for the playoffs. They’ll find out who they’re playing on Sunday and whether that game is at home.

“I think staying focused is obviously really important to us,” Fincham said. “You want to go into the tournament playing your best football. I’m not sure that we’re not right now. I don’t want to go backwards. I’d like to go into the thing excited and playing well with some flow to us.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

South Bend scores five in the eighth to top Dragons
South Bend scores five in the eighth to top Dragons

South Bend scored five runs in the eighth inning Sunday to rally for a 9-8 win over the Dayton Dragons. The Dragons bullpen — four different pitchers — surrendered seven runs on seven hits and three walks in two innings. Ryan Hendrix (1-1) took the loss. Dayton starter Scott Moss allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits and 11 strikeouts...
Reds call up former Dayton Dragons pitcher; Mesoraco dings knee
Reds call up former Dayton Dragons pitcher; Mesoraco dings knee

The Reds optioned right-handed pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla to Triple-A Louisville before Sunday’s game. They recalled right-hander Ariel Hernandez from Double-A Pensacola, adding a fresh arm to a bullpen that was forced to cover seven innings on Saturday after left-hander Cody Reed lasted just two in his first start of the season. Bonilla threw...
Arroyo helps Reds salvage disappointing homestand with win over Cubs
Arroyo helps Reds salvage disappointing homestand with win over Cubs

At 40, Bronson Arroyo gave the best performance during his long comeback, pitching three-hit ball over six innings Sunday as the Cincinnati Reds salvaged a 7-5 victory over the Chicago Cubs. Arroyo (2-2) allowed Anthony Rizzo’s two-run homer — his third of the series — and struck out seven batters for the first time since May 13,...
Reds prospect, former Dayton Dragon pitches perfect game
Reds prospect, former Dayton Dragon pitches perfect game

Former Dayton Dragons right-hander Tyler Mahle, who went into the 2017 season ranked by Baseball America as the 12th-best prospect in the Cincinnati Reds farm system, showed why on Saturday. Mahle, Cincinnati’s seventh-round pick in the June 2013 draft, threw a perfect game for Double-A Pensacola in a 1-0 Blue Wahoos win over the Mobile BayBears...
H.S. Results for 4/22: St. Henry coach gets 500th win

John Dorner, in his 28th season as head baseball coach of St. Henry, won his 500th career game in a 12-2 contest over Fort Jennings on Saturday. Ryan Luttmer was 4-for-4 with three doubles and six RBI and Rylee Deitsch was 4-for-4 with a triple and three RBI to lead St. Henry at the plate. On the mound Daylon Lange scattered four hits over four innings...
More Stories