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Lansing State Journal:Teachers stay active during summer
Golf gig: Eaton Rapids teacher Bob Ribby rakes a green that is being revitalized at the Bonnie View Golf course in Eaton Rapids.Ribby, a physical education instructor, works at the course as a summer job.Advertisement > Summer means a change of pace for Bob Ribby.The Eaton Rapids High School physical education teacher is like many, using his off-time on the golf course.But Ribby spends his time garnishing the greens."During the school year, I have to be a people person, dealing with students and parents," he said."Now, it's just nice to get outside."Ribby is part of a six-man maintenance crew, including three high school students, that handles most of the mowing and day-to-day upkeep of Bonnie View Golf Course in Eaton Rapids.Eaton Rapids' Ribby stays busy during the school year, coaching cross country, wrestling, and track and field.He appreciates the transition to summer work after a long school year."There's a lot less responsibility in the summer," he said.
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Ribby takes pigskin reinsBy BILL McLEOD Sports WriterEATON RAPIDS - If a larger than usual turnout at football conditioning drills is an indication of increased enthusiasm, the Greyhound football team should be on the upswing this season.A new coach, Bob Ribby, is at the helm of a program that has struggled for several years.The 'Hounds won one game last season - their first league win in four seasons."We've got 50 to 55 kids coming out for conditioning drills each night," Ribby said.Ribby said he believes it is possible to change attitudes about the program.While optimistic about the season, Ribby is also aware of the stiff competition the Greyhounds face this season.He is working on instilling a positive attitude in the team."We've got to be competitive, and we have to believe in ourselves," Ribby said.Ribby is a 1990 Eaton Rapids High School graduate who played varsity football for coach Bill Feraco, now the coach for East Lansing.Ribby went to MSU where he earned a spot on the Spartan football team as a walk-on.After graduating from MSU, he returned to Eaton Rapids as a physical education instructor.He served as an assistant coach for Feraco for five years before he left coaching to have more time with his growing family.Ribby is also the girls cross country coach for the 'Hounds.High praiseFeraco was quick to praise Ribby for his skills as a player and a coach.Ribby was back in action in the eighth game of the season."Bob has the formula.He will take everything head on, just as he did as a player.There will be successes this season, and he will build on those successes."Looking forwardThis year, the Greyhounds leave the CAAC D-2 to compete in the realigned CAAC D-3 "Gold Division."The 'Hounds keep their long-standing rivalry with Charlotte and they will also play Ionia, two former CAAC D-2 teams that also moved to the D-3 league.The new league realignment won't be easy for the Greyhounds and, while Ribby is optimistic about the season, he admits it will take time to develop a solid football program."Every team we are playing had a winning record or they beat us last year," Ribby said.Ribby has about 15 seniors returning and is looking at several juniors to round out the team.He hopes to leave younger players on the junior varsity squad, giving them time to develop against players with the same skill levels.Ribby said, despite the loosing seasons, Eaton Rapids fans have filled the stadium every home game and are hungry to have a winning team.Ribby will be stressing the fundamentals, making sure the players know how to block and tackle."Many returning players know where they want to play, but we are taking a good look at everyone," Ribby said."Some will be playing the same positions, and others will be playing new positions."Ribby said the team will be small up front in the trenches."We don't have a lot of size.I expect our line to average about 200 pounds. ...We are going to be in shape; you can make book on that.We're going to win by outworking them."Several players made their presence felt on the Greyhound track team, so Ribby expects to have adequate speed on the team.Eaton Rapids hosts Williamston in the season opener Aug. 24.New Eaton Rapids varsity football coach Bob Ribby keeps a watchful eye on his players during recent conditioning drills.
"It was just an old-fashioned (butt)-whooping," Eaton Rapids coach Bob Ribby said.
"Their attitude is great, they've worked hard all summer and it's rolled right into practice," Coach Bob Ribby said.
"They put in a lot of hard work and they know they have the opportunity to be better than last year." The Greyhounds have struggled for several seasons, picking up one win last year, their first in almost three seasons. Like most schools, Eaton Rapids graduated several starters from last year's team. Ribby will be looking to this year's seniors who that gained experience last season to take over. "We will be a senior dominated team this year," Ribby said. He has five captains, all seniors. "They are showing great leadership," Ribby said about the senior captains. "These guys have put in their time and they've set some goals as a team and are working hard." Ribby said the goals the team set for themselves are known only to the players and coaches. "They are good goals," he said. "They are not goals that will be reached easily, but they are achievable goals." One goal that Ribby and the team share is to put check marks in the "W" column. "We are at the point where we need to win games, that's the bottom line" he said. Ribby, known for his motivation of players and students, said there are degrees of success, both on and off the field, that he has seen since taking over as head coach three seasons ago. "You also need to look at 'are all our seniors graduating high school with good academic standings,' that's a success," Ribby said. "Are we having players that aren't getting in trouble (because of football), that they are becoming better young men, that's a success." In addition to seeing a positive attitude grow among the players, Ribby said he's seen an increase of support for the program from the parents and the community. He said the "moms' club" has been awesome in their fund raising and providing snacks and food for the players. Ribby said they had a good turnout for the weight condition program over the summer and the team is much stronger than last year. Ribby saw the benefits of the weight room at the first practice this season. He said last year, when he and another coach jumped on the blocking sled, the players struggled to move it across the field. This season the offensive line easily pushed the sled with the two coaches and an additional players going along for the ride. The Greyhounds are experienced at the skilled positions. Ribby said Alex Archambeau, a standout on the Greyhound basketball team, had a great summer at 7-on-7 drills at his wide-out position. Ribby said it will be "running back by committee" for the other backfield positions, with players who are willing to step up getting the nod.