Undefeated and No. 2-ranked Mendon (Division 8) hosts White Pigeon tonight to determine the final St. Joseph Valley League championship. The Chiefs are 4-2 and riding a two-game winning streak. JoeInsider.com caught up with White Pigeon coach Joseph Morsaw and asked him about his program’s biggest game of the season so far.
What’s the injury situation at this point in the year?
“Our starting tight end Connor Mroz was lost early in the season with a knee injury and has not fully recovered. He was able to play on both sides of the ball last week, but has re-aggravated his injury from earlier in the season. If he sees any time on the field this week it will be a limited role.”
What are your thoughts on how to slow down the Hornets?
“Mendon has done almost the same thing for the past 20-plus years. We know what kind of looks we will get from them, but getting the reps all week long from our scout team is tough. Mendon has always fielded a solid team year after year, and this year is no different. Although they are not the large Mendon teams from the past, they have 10 180-190-pound cookie cutter players on the field. One of their big play players this year has been Kaleb McCarroll. He has been able to score on special teams, running the ball, and receiving the ball. He is a former White Pigeon player, who I was fortunate to coach, who moved halfway through his sophomore year after the death of his grandma. It was unfortunate that Kaleb had to lose a close family member and move to Mendon, but we will always think of him as a Chief.
“To beat Mendon we must show up and play the opponent across from us and not worry about making mistakes, but having 11 players every play. We have been talking about this all year long and we keep on getting close. But, to be highly successful against any opponent, we need all the players on the field living this mantra.”
What has been this week’s focus at practice?
“The focus this week has been win every day. To be successful Friday night, we need to win in practice Monday through Thursday. We have had three good practices heading into Thursday and we need to keep on building on this success until Friday.”
Who has excelled on special teams this year?
“Our special teams players have been (PAT kickers) Chase Personette (5 for 7) and Diego Guglielmi (4 for 4). Again, this was a focus of ours this year and we are continuing to strive for perfection every game night.”