The league championship was clinched against Geissen, so the regular season finale at home was more coronation than game. The Trier Stampers weren’t expected to be much of a match for the Razorbacks, coming in with a record of 3-6 and facing relegation to the fourth division. For the Razorbacks the goals were more about pride than anything.
1) A win would secure a perfect 10-0 record; a rare feat and something I’ve never experienced in 25 years of coaching. This also would be a first for our import players.
2) 38 points would put us over 400 points on the season. This means nothing important, but a nice round number (and a 40 point average over ten games).
3) We’d given up one fewer point than Geissen leading the league. A good performance could make us the top-ranked defense for the season.
4) Most important, this was a chance to celebrate our championship at our home in front of our fans. This was going to happen regardless of Saturday’s result, but it would sure be a better celebration after a convincing win, showcasing that we were deserving of a championship.
Any drama about a perfect season ended early in the first quarter. The Razorback offense struck first on a 30 yard touchdown run by quarterback Garret Coleo. The Stampers fumbled on their first offensive play, three plays later Coleo hit Micki Mayer from 25-yards for a second score. 14-0. The Stampers failed to recover the ensuing kickoff. Ravensburg quickly capitalized on the sloppy play. Again Coleo hit Mayer on the third play, this time from 15-yards and the Razorbacks were up 21-0 before Trier had taken a successful offensive snap.
The rest of the game was more of the same. The Razorbacks dominated the Stampers all afternoon. Offense, defense and special teams all showed why we were the best team in the Regionalliga Mitte. During the second half, the Razorbacks cleared the bench but still hit the 400 point mark in the 3rd quarter. The defensive goal was clinched in the final minutes then the Stampers failed to get on the board. Final score: 43-0.
It was a great ending to a great season for the Razorbacks but, for me, it was also a depressing day. Instead of being there celebrating with the team, I was home in Reno, “watching” the game on the live ticker in my bathrobe (The game started at 6 AM for me).
Unsure of the schedule and the release of my upcoming book, we had set my return date from Europe at July 18th. With my book coming out in September, I could have changed my ticket and stayed, but it became obvious weeks ago that the title would be decided at Geissen. I felt this game would be a great opportunity for our other coaches to do the jobs they’d return to next season.
From this standpoint, it was the correct move. My absence wasn’t a factor. The coaches did a great job preparing the team and the Razorbacks cruised to victory. But, watching the film and looking at the pictures of the celebration on Facebook, I badly wished I was still in Germany. A perfect season championship celebration on the field, complete with 400 free liters of beer, Champagne and cigars is not something I’ve ever experienced. It looked like a great time. Medals were awarded, championship tee-shirts were given out, a trophy was presented and Garret Colao was named league MVP. I’m proud that I was a part of this season and am very excited for the success we had, but I wish I’d been there.
For me: It’s time to start working on the book about the amazing season I spent in Germany, I will also start promoting the upcoming release of Big and Bright: Deep in the Heart of Texas High School Football in September.
For the Razorbacks: Playoffs maybe, but right now, a strange limbo. The entire purpose of Regionalliga play-offs is to choose a qualifier for entry in the GFL 2. Two issues put everything on hold for now.
First- Many teams don’t want to go to move up to the tougher GFL 2. It’s a longer season, with a heftier entry fee, more travel and tougher competition. The Razorbacks want to make the move, but even with our success this season, it was something that was debated within the program.
Second-If both teams want to make the move; the playoffs won’t begin until Mid-September. Assuming playoffs are held, the format will be strange. Two games against the same opponent, the team who scores more total points advances to GFL 2. For now though, it’s wait and see. Teams have until August 1st to declare their play-off plans.