The 2007 Ohio high school football season gets under way this weekend.
As always, Ohio News Network will be all over the action. ONN will have its Ohio high school preview show at 8 p.m. Tuesday night, with new host Beau Bishop alongside Jerry Rudzinski and J.J. of jjhuddle.com fame. The preview show will be repeated during the rest of the week.
ONN will kick off its season of football coverage Friday night with tape delay coverage of the game between defending Division IV state champion Youngstown Mooney and Division I runner-up Mentor from Youngstown State’s Stambaugh Stadium. The game will be shown beginning at 9:30 p.m.
Following the game, ONN will debut its Grange Insurance Sports Site show at midnight. This half-hour show, which will be repeated over the weekend, will include highlights from games across the state of Ohio.
On Wed., Aug. 29, ONN will debut Varsity Ohio, a half hour magazine show that recaps the previous weekend, previews the upcoming weekend and includes features on Ohio high school athletics. That 30-minute show will air each Wednesday at 8 p.m.
In terms of Ohio State coverage, ONN will televise Thursday night’s rescheduled evening practice at Ohio Stadium. That will be a one-hour broadcast beginning at 8 p.m. Then, on Tues., Aug. 28, ONN will debut its one-hour Buckeye Blitz at 8 p.m. That show will serve as a recap of coach Jim Tressel’s weekly press luncheon and also as a preview to the upcoming week’s game.
Ohio Games To Watch
As noted, over 700 Ohio high schools will get into action this weekend with games stretching from Wednesday to Saturday. Here is a look at some of the key games to watch:
There are a number of big events planned for the opening weekend, including the 10th annual Crosstown Showdown Wednesday through Saturday in the Cincinnati area. This has been expanded to a four-day event this year.
It begins on Wednesday, with a doubleheader at Cincinnati Princeton as Loveland meets Cincinnati Roger Bacon and Princeton hosts Cincinnati Western Hills. Princeton’s Viking Stadium will host another doubleheader Thursday as Glen Este meets Cincinnati Turpin and Edgewood faces Kings Mills Kings.
The scene shifts to Miami’s Yager Stadium in Oxford Friday as Mason meets Cincinnati Moeller at 6 p.m. and Cincinnati Colerain tackles Huber Heights Wayne at 8:15 p.m. New Colerain head coach Tom Bolden will debut in that game.
Finally, Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium will host four games on Saturday: Cincinnati Anderson-Springboro, noon; Covington (Ky.) Catholic-Cincinnati LaSalle (with OSU verbal WR DeVier Posey), 2:45 p.m.; Cincinnati St. Xavier-Winton Woods, 5:30 p.m.; Cincinnati Elder-West Chester Lakota West, 8:15 p.m.
In other games, on Thursday Clayton Northmont meets Dayton Chaminade-Julienne, while defending Division III state champion Steubenville hosts Wintersville Indian Creek.
On Friday, new Lakewood St. Edward coach Scott Niedzwicki will make his debut as the Eagles visit Strongsville. Also, Middletown visits Massillon Washington (with OSU verbal RB DeVoe Torrence), Kettering Alter visits Kettering Fairmont, Columbus Watterson hosts Willoughby South, Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit hosts Akron Buchtel and Westerville Central (with OSU verbal K Ben Buchanan) visits Dublin Jerome.
Also Friday, Coldwater hosts Kenton, Dublin Coffman (with OSU verbals OL Mike Adams and WR Jake Stoneburner) hosts Troy, defending Division I state champion Hilliard Davidson visits Hilliard Darby, Madison (with OSU verbal TE Nic DiLillo) hosts Parma Normandy, Washington C.H. Miami Trace (with OSU verbal LB Nathan Williams) visits Circleville, St. Marys Memorial travels to defending Division II state champion Piqua, defending Division VI state champion Maria Stein Marion Local visits Elida and Newark Licking Valley hosts Zanesville.
On Saturday, Cleveland St. Ignatius hosts Youngstown Boardman at Parma’s Byers Field at 7 p.m. Canton McKinley hosts Detroit Pershing, while Cleveland Glenville (with WR-DB Cordale Scott and DT Shawntel Rowell) travels to Indianapolis Warren Central and defending Division V state champion St. Henry hosts Marion Pleasant.
Also on Saturday, Fox Sports Net Ohio will televise the Charity Game doubleheader from Cleveland Brown Stadium: Chardon Notre Dame/Catherdal Latin vs. Cleveland Benedictine, 2:30 p.m.; and Avon vs. Avon Lake, 6 p.m. (Those games may only be shown in northeast Ohio; check local listings in your area.)
Ohio State High School Preview
In the July edition of Ohio High magazine, our staff made their selections for the upcoming season. We pinpointed the final four and state champion in all six divisions.
The 10-week regular season runs through Oct. 27. Thirty-two teams in each division (eight per region) will then qualify for the playoffs, which begin over the weekend of Nov. 2-3. The state championships will be contested Nov. 30-Dec. 1 at Massillon and Canton. Here is a look at the Ohio High state championship projections:
* Division I – Final four: Cleveland St. Ignatius, Massillon Washington, Dublin Coffman, Cincinnati St. Xavier. Championship game: Cincinnati St. Xavier over Massillon Washington.
* Division II – Final four: Tallmadge, Toledo Central Catholic, Columbus Watterson, Trotwood-Madison. Championship game: Trotwood-Madison over Tallmadge.
* Division III – Final four: Mentor Lake Catholic, Sunbury Big Walnut, Canal Fulton Northwest, Dayton Chaminade-Julienne. Championship game: Dayton Chaminade-Julienne over Mentor Lake Catholic.
* Division IV – Final four: Youngstown Mooney, Marion Pleasant, Kettering Alter, Amanda-Clearcreek. Championship game: Youngstown Mooney over Kettering Alter.
* Division V – Final four: Bedford Chanel, Lima Central Catholic, Gahanna Columbus Academy, Maria Stein Marion Local. Championship game: Lima Central Catholic over Maria Stein Marion Local.
* Division VI – Final four: Ada, Norwalk St. Paul, Sidney Lehman Catholic, Shadyside. Championship game: Norwalk St. Paul over Sidney Lehman Catholic.
OSU Verbals, Prospects Outside Ohio
Here is a look at where various OSU verbals and prospects outside Ohio open their high school season:
Orlando (Fla.) Edgewater (with OSU verbal Michael Brewster) opens against Olympia Friday.
Lombard (Ill.) Montini Catholic (with OSU verbal DT Garrett Goebel) hosts Sacred Heart Saturday.
Washington (Pa.) Trinity (with OSU verbal LB Andrew Sweat) opens Aug. 31 at Canon McMillan.
Klein, Texas, (with OSU verbal OL J.B. Shugarts) opens Aug. 30 against Katy.
Jeannette, Pa., (with QB Terrelle Pryor) opens Aug. 31 against Brownsville.