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Dozer The Pig Pigskin Pick Of The Week

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Hey, everybody, it’s me Dozer the pig with my pick for the week. But first, let me talk about last week. Was I not right? Did Chelsea not bounce back and kick some butt?  What a great game! That defense was amazing. Did you see Owen Nikischer? 3 picks!!!! They had to bust out the fire extinguishers because he was on fire. He did such a great job I chose him for my player of the week and made him an honorary pig. I even gave him a snout & curly tail to wear. I also offered him some breadsticks and a large pizza. But he hesitated too long so of course, I had to eat it before it went bad. I mean, it was like 30 seconds.

This week my beloved Bulldogs will host the Adrian Maples. I always felt sorry for Adrian. I mean, their name, Maples. What can you do with that? It’s a tree, how tough is that. Hard to make a mascot for that. I guess they could use the maple syrup and make things sticky. And I do like maple syrup. On my pancakes, my waffles, on french toast, my burgers, my chicken, heck even in the dirt! Wait, what was I talking about?

Oh yeah, Bulldog football! The Maples are blowing into town tomorrow. They’re 3-1 on the season, same as the Bulldogs. They’re coming off a 3 point win over Ypsi, 15-12. What, is that a baseball score? That’s a lot of runs. Their only loss came to Tecumseh by 4 points. They’re playing pretty good football right now. They have a tough defense and have only given up 44 points this season. Now the Bulldogs defense is strong too, only giving up 40 points on the season, almost half of those came in one game. So points will be hard to come by for both teams.

The Maples offense has been struggling a bit though but coming out with wins.  They’ve only been able to muster 92 points on the season but almost half of those came against Dexter. Ugh, Dexter, don’t get me started on them. The Bulldogs offense performed great last week and I’m thinking they will again this week. Old Thomas Steele is looking good.

I got the Bulldogs blowing the Maples away. They just keep getting better as the season rolls along. Gotta go, my human brother & sister, Sam & Hannah, they’re getting off their bus and I’m going to see if they have any leftovers from lunch. They better or I’m shipping them off to Dexter! Lousy Dexter!

 

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Chelsea’s Owen Nikischer Leader Of The Pack

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Senior Middle Linebacker Owen Nikischer leads his team on the field for its first home game of 2017

The first thing you notice about Chelsea’s senior middle linebacker Owen Nikischer is how much he bulked up over the summer from last season. It is very apparent that he takes his role as a defensive leader very seriously and puts in a lot of hard work as he added much muscle to his already solid 6-foot 2-inch frame.

“I worked out a lot by myself over the summer,” Owen stated. “Sometimes I work out alone, sometimes I bring others along, but I like to always improve myself and help others improve themselves if I can.”

Owen or the “Big O” as many call him has one of the most important defensive jobs on his side of the ball in football. He has to back up the linemen and also use quick judgment on every snap to determine his role on that play. The middle linebacker is usually called the “quarterback of the defense” because they shout plays into other players and has much responsibility as a defensive “jack of all trades”. And they have to be a leader and be vocal. And that’s Owen to a tee.

“I’ve been playing tackle football since the 3rd grade,” Owen explains. “And I’ve been at middle linebacker since 5th grade. I feel like I am mentally there more than anything else and I need to know all the plays and everyone’s responsibilities. I love playing my position and I love football so much!”

His passion for football shows as it seems he is in on almost every play.  He’s very vocal and quick to help another player and when mistakes are made he’s there to help correct his teammate in a very positive way.

“I honestly love being the leader of the defense,” Owen said. “It’s a good feeling helping other players and knowing they look up to you.”

Owen, who earned starting time as a Junior last season,  is coming off perhaps his most memorable game ever as he was able to read the quarterbacks eyes and defenses against Tecumseh last Friday and had 3 interceptions in the game along with several tackles.

“That was amazing for me,” Owen proudly stated. “It was something the defense has struggled with, getting turnovers this season. But what matters most is that we were able to come back after a tough loss (to Lincoln) and get the win and the defense shut them (Tecumseh) down.”

Owen, one of the Bulldogs top leaders in tackles,  will be playing basketball this year also. In the fall he works at the Dexter Cider Mill. He plans to go to college after he graduates whether it’s to play football or not. His passion is sports but he knows a higher education is good for him. And although his senior football season is 4 games in he knows there is a lot of football left to play and that’s where his focus is right now.

“We are a good team, “Owen stated. “I feel really good about this team and think we have a great shot at going far.”

Owen is the son of Craig and Sue Nikisher and has two brothers, Ryan and Zach.

 

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Chelsea Defense Shuts Down Tecumseh 24-0

 

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Chelsea’s Owen Nikischer had 3 interceptions for the Bulldogs+

The Chelsea Bulldogs bounced back in style from a tough loss last week as they blanked the Tecumseh Indians 24-0 on a very warm night. The Bulldogs seemed to be clicking on all cylinders as the offense came alive and a defense that gave up 19 points the previous game, gave up no points and forced six turnovers.

After going 3 and out on their first drive the Bulldogs were able to get the ball back after senior middle linebacker Owen Nikischer made an interception. 5 plays and a minute later it was Bulldog quarterback Thomas Steele busting into the end zone for the score. Both teams battled back and forth with their tough defenses but the Bulldogs were able to put together a 10 play drive midway through the second quarter with Steele again bursting into the end zone from 6 yards out to put the Bulldogs up 14-0.

With the Indians driving near the end of the second quarter, it was Nikischer getting his second pick of the night and stalling the Indians drive and sending the Bulldogs into the half up 14-0.

After the half, the Indians received the kick but at the 10-minute mark of their first post half drive, it was Nikischer again getting his third pick of the night to give Chelsea great field position which led to another score, a 25-yard pass from Steele to Aaron McDaniels.

“Getting those interceptions, that just felt amazing!” Nikischer stated excitedly. “It’s something the defense has been struggling with, getting turnovers and being able to get those 3 really changed our intensity.”

After a Cullen Lindsay field goal to put the Bulldogs up by 24, they were able to hold on and keep the Indians off the board and get their third victory of the season, and their second on the road.  The Bulldogs were led by Thomas Steele with 56 yards rushing while Jack Smith got 48 for the Bulldogs on only 6 carries. Aaron McDaniels had 47 yards on 12 carries.

The Bulldogs stingy defense, which held the Indians to just only 192 yards total offense, was led by Blake Engler with 11 total tackles and Andy Xiao with 7. The defense also forced 3 fumbles.

“I’m so happy we were able to come back after last weeks loss and get the win,” said Nikischer. “We were able to come back and answer.”

Chelsea will head home next Friday the 22nd to host Adrian Maples. Kickoff is 7 p.m.

 

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Dozer The Pig Pigskin Picks

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Hey, everybody, it’s me, Dozer the pig!  Ok, so last week after the Chelsea loss I was so upset and bothered by it I couldn’t even eat. I had no appetite whatsoever. Worst 5 minutes of my life!

I do not like to see the Bulldogs lose ever in any sport! But it happens but I still don’t like it. The worst is when they got to the state championship game in football & they got robbed! Lousy little blind ref! Call the hold you pipsqueak zebra! I’m still fuming over that. Hey, us pigs, we never forget! Especially when it’s dinner time. Which for me is all the time.

Anyway, let’s put that stinking Lincoln loss behind us and move forward. This week we hit the road and go take on the Tecumseh Indians. They are 2-1 on the year and are playing decent football. They beat Lincoln by 1. But that doesn’t mean anything. Heck John Wilkes Booth beat Lincoln by 1 once. What, too soon?

Anywho the Redskins, I mean Injuns, I mean Scalpers, I mean Indians are looking good. They are coming off an 11-7 win over Adrian. That sounds like a baseball score against the Detroit Mud Hens, I mean Tigers pitching. But after last week’s defeat, I know Head Coach Bush was not happy. So he will get his team on the right track.

I know he wasn’t happy because I called him. Here’s what he told me: “How did you get my number? Don’t ever call here again.” And as he hung up I heard him say,” How the heck does a pig use a phone anyway?” I’m sure he wasn’t annoyed I called, it was because he was busy working on a game plan and not the fact it was 3 in the morning,

Last weeks game had some bad moments in it. Missed tackles, dropped passes, division in the ranks. Everyone pointing fingers, blaming others. Look! You win as a team, you lose as a team. You go out there and do your job and you do it right, you do it well. Don’t worry about how it looks on hudl, wrap the guy up, you bring him down.  Thomas gets you the ball, it hits your hands, you catch it, don’t worry about getting hit, that’s the game. And if you got a problem with the coaches then quit! And same goes for parents, think you can outcoach them, man up and do it! Go coach somewhere. Obviously, you can tell I was mad about all the negative things being said after the game. My barnyard isn’t that far away, I hear everything!

You’re Bulldogs! Time to regroup. The season is already a third of the way done but there’s plenty of football left to play. We can still win the Conference. And go all the way. You all need to believe and achieve. Be a team. There’s no i in team unless you spell it wrong like stupid Spike the pig from Dexter would!

So I’ll be watching the game with my goat buddies Chester, Salina, and Chelsea. We have a very hi-tech entertainment system in the barn. We may be animals but we have style. Oh, no horses allowed. I can’t stand horses!

I got the Bulldogs bouncing back this week and stepping up all areas of the game and winning big. Go Bulldogs! Now I have to go, my human family just got Thompson’s pizza and I’m about to take advantage of that. I hope there’s no pork on it this time!

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Chelsea Sophomore Garrett Steele Showing He Can Run With The Pack

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Chelsea’s Garrett Steele brings down a Lincoln player for a loss 

Most high school football teams try to play all seniors if they can, because of their experience. But many high school coaches realize that skill and passion for the game can come before age and seniority. And Chelsea’s varsity football teams sophomore safety Garrett Steele has both of those attributes and more.

While it’s not rare for a sophomore to play on the Bulldogs, it’s not common either. And Steele just doesn’t play here or there or in “mop up” duty, he starts in the defensive backfield.

“Coach Bush and I had conversations about me playing varsity but there was not a specific date,” the 15-year-old stated referring to Chelsea Head Coach Brad Bush. “It’s a great honor being in this situation and everyone is very supportive of one another.”

Steele has been playing football since he was in 7th grade and it shows as the 6 foot 175-pound safety shows a skill set far beyond his age. He can read receiver sets and is able to shed blocks and picks to pick up and lock down his man. He has shown flashes of brilliance in coverage and is a hard hitter and has made several big stops for the Bulldogs so far this season. He is third on his team in tackles with 17 in 3 games including 1 tackle for a loss and one pass broken up.

Garrett shares the backfield with his cousin Braden who is a senior. His brother Thomas, who is also a senior, is the Bulldog quarterback.

“Getting to play on a team with my brother and cousin is an unbelievable experience that I will never get again,” Garrett said.  “I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys to play my first varsity season with.”

Garrett loves football but he also plays baseball but his major sports passion is hockey. He currently plays AAA travel hockey for the Oakland Jr Grizzlies.

“I love hockey so much and I’d really like to thank Coach Bush for being so supportive of me playing hockey and football at the same time this season, ” Garrett stated.

Being the youngest on a team with players mostly 2 or 3 years older than you could cause much division in most football locker rooms but Chelsea isn’t like that. All the players get along really well and everyone has been very supportive of Garrett and he feels no extra pressure on him because of his age or grade.

“Whether you’re a senior, a junior,  or a sophomore playing on varsity has a lot of pressure but that’s why we play the game,” said Garrett.

Garrett thanks his family for all their support (Mother Gretchen, Father Tucker, brother Caden, sister Savannah)  but most importantly his quarterback brother Thomas for all the support and leadership he has shown him all summer and for the start of this season.

The Bulldogs are a third of the way through the season and stand at 2 wins and 1 loss overall and travel to Tecumseh Friday to take on the Indians.

“I feel we are starting to figure things out defensively and offensively and once we do we will be a team others won’t want to play,” Garrett asserts.

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Chelsea Falls To Lincoln

 

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Thomas Steele scrambles for a Bulldog touchdown 

 

It’s been 3 years since the Chelsea Bulldogs have lost a game at Jerry Niehaus Stadium, the place they call home. The last team to defeat them there was the Lincoln Railsplitters with a 28-21 victory midway through the 2014 season. And they did it again this year on Friday night defeating the Bulldogs 26-14.

“I feel blessed,”  Lincoln quarterback Cam Thompson said after his team’s victory. “I’ve never beaten Chelsea in a varsity football game.”

Lincoln took the opening kickoff right down the field by mixing up the plays and using just a few minutes off the clock. Chelsea did just the same, driving the ball successfully down the field and having quarterback Thomas Steele finish the drive running off left tackle for the touchdown to tie the game at 7.

The Chelsea defense was keeping Lincoln dual threat quarterback  Cam Thompson contained as Ronnie Buford was all over him in the first quarter. But after a Bulldog fumble gave Lincoln great field position they capitalized on it very quickly to take the lead on only 2 plays in 20 seconds. The Bulldogs blocked the extra point and found themselves down by 6  heading into the second quarter.

The Bulldogs moved the ball down the field again and had to settle for a field goal attempt. But Lincoln was able to get a hand on Andrew Lewis’ 35-yard attempt. The Bulldog defense did its job again as Buford was able to tip Thompson’s pass with a huge leap on third and long causing a quick 3 and out. But Lincoln was able to get the ball back after an interception and took over at the Bulldogs 44 yard line. Lincoln was able to move the ball in the end zone as Thompson scrambled 14 yards for his second touchdown of the night. The 2 point conversion was no good as Owen Nikischer sniffed out the play and was able to bring Lincoln down in the backfield, well short of the conversion. Chelsea would go into the halftime down 19-7.

The Bulldog defense was strong in the second half with Braden Steele picking Thompson off and returning it to Lincoln territory setting the Bulldogs up with a good opportunity.  The Bulldogs would move the ball but give it back to Lincon after going for it on fourth down and 9 but Thomas Steele came up just short of the first down on his run.

With time winding down in the fourth quarter Lincoln’s Jacob Campell picked off a pass and returned it 26 yards for the score and with the extra point the Railsplitters had a dominating 26-7 lead.

The Bulldogs kept fighting though as they drove down the field 70 yards on 8 plays and Thomas Steele made every defender miss as he scrambled to the end zone from 11 yards out for his second touchdown of the night.

“They outplayed us”, Chelsea Head Coach Brad Bush stated after the game. “The turnovers and the lack of execution in the red zone hurt us. I’ve said that I think these guys (Lincoln) are the most talented team in the league, I don’t think they’ve played up to their capabilities last week but they simply outplayed us no question.”

Lincoln goes to 1-2 (1-1 in conference) on the season while the Bulldogs go to 2-1 (1-1 in conference) against three very solid teams.

Cam Thompson led his rail splitters with 141 yards on the ground and 40 through the air. while Steele led the Bulldogs with 127  yards on the ground and 103 through the air. Nehemiah Mite led the Bulldogs with 6 tackles while Buford and Braden Steele had 5 each.

“Practices,  the first two weeks we took things for granted,”  Thompson said referring to his teams first two losses. “We came out and said we got to finish, we got to get it done. I feel confident about the rest of the season, we just have to go 1-0 every week. That’s the goal.”

Lincoln will host winless Dexter next week while Chelsea will travel to Tecumseh for a 7:15 kickoff against the Indians.

 

 

 

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