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Notes, quotes and history from road map to The Ralph

Some additional notes gathered while writing my story for Football Friday:

I called Jamestown coach Tom Langworthy with the primary reason of asking what a return to The Ralph would mean for a proud program that hasn't been there since the state championship season of 2000:

"It would mean a lot to us. It's been our season goal since last year's postseason banquet. It was the goal we set after being one game away last year. A lot of kids came back with that in mind and it would mean a lot to compete for a sectional title.

"It would mean a great deal with the proud history here, and our players know about that. They respect that history and they want to get back to that level. None of our kids have ever been to the finals. That proud history is very highly regarded, but our kids want to make their own memories as well.

"Kenmore West is very talented and physical, and they play very hard. We're looking forward to a physical, competitive game. I think it's going to be a close game and we're looking forward to the opportunity.

"For our team, one of the defining moments of the season was the loss at Orchard Park. We really came together after that, we've really pushed team and what it means to have a team philosophy. There's a lot to play for and our players are very excited about the opportunity."

I gave a call to Ken West coach Rich Harris as well but I couldn't get a hold of him; that's why I didn't put the Jamestown quotes in the story. The approach I would have taken to the story was contingent on having both coaches talk about what a trip to The Ralph would mean. 

Jamestown's history speaks for itself, but there's been a drought. Ken West has only been to The Ralph once, losing in 1996.

While any trip to The Ralph is huge for a football program, seems to me that the Jamestown-Ken West matchup will result in one of the best Ralph stories this year -- plus, it appears to be an evenly-matched game.

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Here is the team-by-team Ralph history for those trying to get there:

AA: Orchard Park -- all-time best 17 trips, all-time best 11 titles, last trip was last year in 31-28 loss to Clarence in the championship; last year was first trip back after a run of eight straight ended in 2009 (NT 54, Lancaster 7), so that's nine out of the last 10 years (they've also made 12 of the last 15). Niagara Falls -- no trips.

A: Sweet Home -- 12 trips (5-7), including six straight and four straight titles, including last year's 44-15 victory over Williamsville South. Bennett -- no trips. 

Williamsville South -- seven trips (4-3), the last was last year's 44-15 loss to Sweet Home. North Tonawanda -- eight trips (3-5), last time was the 2009 54-7 win over Lancaster.

B: Alden -- five trips (2-3), last trip was last year's 14-12 win over Lackawanna. Pioneer -- three trips (3-0), last trip was 2001 14-7 victory over Iroquois.

Depew -- four trips (1-3), last trip was 2007 21-14 win over East Aurora. Cheektowaga -- two trips (1-1), last trip was 2009 27-13 win over Alden.

C: Fredonia -- four trips (2-2), last trip was last year's 12-10 win over Southwestern. Southwestern -- eight trips (5-3), last trip was last year's 12-10 loss to Fredonia, Trojans have made it three straight years.  

Cleveland Hill -- six trips (4-2), last trip was in 2007 when it beat Falconer, 16-14. Akron -- no trips.

D: Maple Grove -- 12 trips (5-7), including 10 of the last 14 years, last trip was 2010 loss to Randolph (21-20). Portville -- five trips (1-4), last trip was 2007 loss to Randolph (30-0). 

Randolph -- 12 trips (7-5), including the last two (and 3 out of last 4; 5 out of last 8), last trip was last year's 21-14 loss to Silver Creek. Frewsburg -- four trips (1-3), last trip was a 1994 loss to Randolph (34-0). 

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Some more on the Monsignor Martin Association. 

If St. Joe's beats Timon, the order of finish is clear no matter how Canisius-St. Francis ends up. St. Joe's would be seeded first as the regular season champion; St. Francis would be second (even if it loses because it won the head-to-head meeting with Timon); Timon third (even if Canisius wins because Timon wins head-to-head); Canisius fourth.

Cardinal O'Hara (0-4 league), which is traveling to Ohio power Steubenville this week (the Big Red beat St. Joe's in Week Seven), will be the fifth seed for the playoffs. St. Mary's is the No. 6 seed, which was determined at the beginning of the season because the Lancers were not playing a full league schedule (it only played, and beat, O'Hara).

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See you tonight at Prep Talk Live.

---Keith McShea

(@KeithMcSheaBN on Twitter)

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About Prep Talk

Keith McShea

Keith McShea

Keith McShea has covered high school sports at The News since his hiring in 1999. The 1995 University at Buffalo graduate and Long Island native (North Babylon Bulldogs) covers — and live blogs — everything from scrimmages to state championships & helps head The News' All-Western New York selections.

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