It has been a long off-season but the 2008 high school football season is finally here and we ake a look at some of the top match-ups, including top-ranked Cleveland St. Ignatius set to take on Cleveland Glenville in Division I.
We also have information on all available game broadcasts on TV and the web.
The 2008 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 preview show at 8 p.m. Wednesday night, with 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 Cincinnati Colerain and Cincinnati St. Xavier. The coverage of that game – part of the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown from Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium — will begin at 10 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.
Fox Sports Net Ohio will also broadcast games this weekend to audiences in the northeast and southwest portions of the state.
In southwest Ohio, FSN Ohio will carry Thursday night’s doubleheader with games pitting Liberty Twp. Lakota East and Centerville at 5:30 p.m. and West Chester Lakota West and Huber Heights Wayne at 8:15 p.m. That doubleheader is from Dayton’s Welcome Stadium and is part of the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown.
In northeast Ohio, FSN Ohio will feature Avon at Aurora (with OSU verbal DL Adam Bellamy) at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Also, starting this year, JJ staff members Eric Frantz, Matt Natali and
Mark Porter will join the Fox Sports post game show with a weekley
segment following each game.
Our friends at Press Box Productions will have free audio webcasts of three games this weekend. They will carry the Thursday night twin-bill from Dayton. Plus, they will cover the Friday night game between Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit and Newark Licking Valley at 7:30 p.m.
Ohio Games To Watch
As noted, over 700 Ohio high schools will get into action this weekend with games stretching from Thursday 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 11th annual Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown Thursday through Saturday in southwest Ohio. This event has been expanded into the Dayton market this year.
In addition to the Thursday night doubleheader at Dayton, there will be a doubleheader at Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium. Cincinnati LaSalle will meet Cincinnati Winton Woods at 5:30 p.m. The 8:15 p.m. nightcap will feature a rematch of a Division I regional final from last year as defending state champion Cincinnati St. Xavier meets Cincinnati Colerain. St. X won that regional final 29-14 last November.
On Saturday, four games will be on the bill at Nippert Stadium. It opens at noon as defending Division II state champion Cincinnati Anderson meets Cincinnati Taft. At 2:45 p.m., Clayton Northmont tackles Mason. Cincinnati Elder then meets Middletown at 5:30 p.m. The final game at 8:15 p.m. matches two tradition-rich powers in Cincinnati Moeller and Cincinnati Princeton, a pair of schools that have won a combined 10 big-school state titles. The game will also be John Rodenberg’s debut as the Moeller coach.
Elsewhere on Thursday: Steubenville hosts Wintersville Indian Creek.
Key games on Friday: Toledo St. John’s at Findlay, Cincinnati Glen Este at Cincinnati Sycamore, Akron Buchtel at Massillon Washington (Massillon coach Jason Hall debuts), Bellbrook at Miamisburg, Pickerington Central at Upper Arlington, Westerville Central at Sunbury Big Walnut (Big Walnut is the defending Division III state champion), Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit at Newark Licking Valley, Washington (D.C.) Dunbar at North Canton Hoover, Elida at Maria Stein Marion Local (Marion Local is the defending Division V state champion) and Youngstown Mooney at Mentor (Mooney won 21-10 last year, Coldwater at Kenton (Coldwater is the defending Division IV state champion; Coldwater won 21-7 last year.
Also on Friday: Cleveland Heights Lutheran East at Youngstown Ursuline, Cuyahoga Falls at Youngstown Boardman, Painesville Harvey at Cortland Lakeview; Cleveland Lincoln West at Garfield Heights, Dublin Scioto at Grove City and Chillicothe at Columbus Brookhaven (Anthony Thornton debuts as the Brookhaven coach; Brookhaven features top Ohio junior DE Derrick Bryant).
Key games on Saturday: Cleveland Glenville vs. Cleveland St. Ignatius at Parma’s Byers Field at 7 p.m. (Glenville downed St. Ignatius 26-23 in a playoff opener last year), Solon visits Canton McKinley (new McKinley coach Ron Johnson debuts), Amanda-Clearcreek visits Newark Catholic (NC won 33-14 last year and is the defending Division VI state champion), Strongsville at Lakewood St. Edward and Euclid at Mentor Lake Catholic (MLC won 27-13 last year).
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. 25. Thirty-two teams in each division (eight per region) will then qualify for the playoffs, which begin over the weekend of Oct. 31-Nov. 1. The state championships will be contested Nov. 28-29 at Massillon and Canton. Here is a look at the Ohio High state championship projections:
* Division II – Final four: Warren Howland, Avon Lake, Columbus DeSales, Cincinnati Anderson. Championship game: Cincinnati Anderson over Warren Howland.
* Division III – Final four: Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit, Clyde, Canal Fulton Northwest, Cincinnati Indian Hill. Championship game: Canal Fulton Northwest over Cincinnati Indian Hill.
* Division IV – Final four: Youngstown Mooney, Marion Pleasant, Pataskala Licking Heights, Coldwater. Championship game: Coldwater over Youngstown Mooney.
* Division V – Final four: Findlay Liberty Benton, Youngstown Ursuline, Columbus Bishop Ready, St. Henry. Championship game: Youngstown Ursuline over St. Henry.
* Division VI – Final four: Norwalk St. Paul, Ada, Hannibal River, Sidney Lehman Catholic. Championship game: Norwalk St. Paul over Sidney Lehman Catholic.