ON THE SIDELINE: WEEK 3
MOVING ON UP: Another win, another milestone for Webster City head coach Bob Howard.
The Lynx 8-7 win over Ballard on Friday was career victory No. 344 for the Hall of Famer, which moved him into a tie for sixth on the state’s all-time leaderboard with Pat Mitchell of Cedar Falls. In his 44th season on the sideline, Howard is 344-102.
“It’s validating I guess and it’s fun when the alumni players know they had something to do with it. And when they congratulate you, that’s neat,” Howard said. “Of course time flies and it’s hard to believe it’s the 44th year.”
Next up: West Hancock legend Bob Sanger, who is fifth with 358 wins. Sanger’s career spanned 52 seasons.
CHARLIE ON THE SPOT: Probably lost in the hoopla of Webster City’s 81-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter against Ballard was the fact that Charlie Stansfield took over at blocking back and performed well.
Stansfield replaced Jack Van Diest, who is still dealing with a hip ailment, and he played a pivotal role in helping the Lynx move the ball on the ground.
“Charlie did really well,” Howard said. “He was blocking on Chase’s traps up the middle, so that was big.”
FRESHMAN SIGHTING: Howard said in the preseason that he expected to keep freshman off the varsity field this season.
That thinking has been altered.
Freshman Keegan Hisler was on the field defensively at moments in the second half and he more than held his own. He had one tackle against Ballard.
ELITE D: The Webster City defense has allowed just seven points through three games, far and away the best start for any defensive unit in the Bob Howard era.
By contrast, the 2016 Class 3A state runner-up team, widely considered the best defense during Howard’s run, allowed 59 points in the opening three weeks. The 2015 team that went 11-1 allowed 51 through three weeks.
The closest any WCHS team under Howard has come to this group was in 2010 when the Lynx allowed 31 points in Weeks 1 through 3. That team went 8-2.