Northwest Ohio Huddle: Several leagues starting to crumble


Northwest Ohio Huddle

There are several big stories this week in the northwest portion of the
state. Some involve on-field activities while others involve back room
maneuverings. A couple leagues are on the outs, while several programs are looking up.

There are several big stories this week in the northwest portion of the state. Some involve on-field activities while others involve back room maneuverings.

On the field, the rough start of Sylvania Southview has to be a surprise to many. After enjoying a 15-0 2008 season that culminated in their winning the Division II state championship, the 2009 version of the Cougars have suddenly lost their first two games of the season. Speculation regarding the reasons has become the popular parlor game but it is a long season and, based on the overall success of the Southview program over the past decade, it is quite likely that the Cougars will remain in the mix for a Northern Lakes League title.

In a totally different venue, the Central Catholic Lady Irish are creating quite a commotion on the tennis courts. For seemingly ever, two teams, the St. Ursula Arrows and the Notre Dame Eagles, have dominated Toledo City League girls’ tennis. This season, however, there is a new player in town and the long run of St. Ursula and Notre Dame could be at an end. The Lady Irish have already downed the Arrows in a dual match, 4-1, and face the Eagles this week. An Irish victory against Notre Dame would place the Lady Irish in the driver’s seat for the City League title and add another feather in the cap of the athletic program at Central Catholic. No program in the City League has demonstrated more marked improvement over the past ten years than Central Catholic. A loyal and generous alumni group, a hard-working administration, and a great crop of young coaches have combined to create an excitement not seen on Cherry Street in many years.

Meanwhile in school board rooms throughout northwest Ohio the maneuvering continues to determine league alignments. Round and round the maneuvering goes and where, and when, it might all end no one knows.

The demise of the Greater Buckeye Conference appears to be a certainty. Napoleon has already announced its intention to leave the conference to join the Northern Lakes
League and Sandusky is exiting to join the Northern Ohio League leaving the future of the remaining members, Marion Harding, Lima Senior, Findlay and Fremont Ross in doubt. Of these four members, three, Lima Senior, Findlay and Fremont Ross, have applied for membership to the Toledo City League but no ruling on these applications has been made by the City League board of control.

Reportedly, the City League will discuss the matter at their next meeting on October 13.

Another league that will soon fade into history is the Suburban Lakes League. The old SLL, formally comprised of Gibsonburg, Elmwood, Otsego, Lake, Lakota, Eastwood,
Woodmore and Genoa, has been hit, like the Greater Buckeye Conference, with defections. First, Lakota left to join the Midland Athletic League and then Eastwood, Genoa, Lake, Otsego and Woodmore joined together with former    NLL member Rossford to form the new Northern Buckeye Conference.

Left out of the mix were Elmwood and Gibsonburg. Elmwood has been offered membership in the new Northern Buckeye Conference but Gibsonburg has not. Both Elmwood and Gibsonburg applied for membership to the Midland Athletic League but the MAL recently voted against admitting both schools.

Stay tuned for more developments. Things are only starting to get interesting.


Scott Loy, Toledo St. Francis DeSales: Although his overall statistics might not be awe-inspiring, his timely plays have surely enabled his team, the St. Francis Knights, to jump out to their best start in many years. Knight senior Scott Loy has scored three touchdowns in his team’s two victories over Sylvania Southview and Findlay and his interception last Friday night obliterated a comeback attempt by Findlay preserved the St. Francis’ 14-7 victory.

Loy’s coach, the veteran Dick Cromwell, describes him as “our big play guy” and, so far, Loy has been just that. Although the season is still young, Loy has made a strong statement that he must be afforded serious consideration as the Toledo City League’s player of the year.


Toledo Central Catholic Tennis: Staying in the Toledo City League, this week’s premier team is the Central Catholic Lady Irish tennis team. The Lady Irish have quietly established themselves as a serious contender for the City League title and face a tough Notre Dame squad on Thursday. Win or lose on Thursday, the Lady Irish have had a remarkable season with victories over perennial Northern Lakes League power, Perrysburg, and City League power, St. Ursula. With a relatively young squad, look for the Lady Irish to continue their success for at least several more seasons.


Findlay’s Freshman Sensation: A young man from Findlay High School is quietly establishing himself as one of northwest Ohio’s best cross country runners and, quite possibly, as one of the best in the state. In just a few short weeks of competition on the high school level, Findlay freshman Matt Wallen has placed second in the Celina Rotary Invitational and third in a five team event hosted by Tiffin Columbian at Hedges-Boyer Park, the site of this week’s heralded Tiffin Carnival. Even though he is still adjusting to the rigors of high school competition, Wallen bears watching as the season progresses.

How Good Are They?
In just two weeks two northwest Ohio football teams, Genoa and Maumee, have been absolutely awesome. Both teams are 2-0 but the story is in how they have done it. Genoa has defeated two opponents, Rossford and Oak Harbor, by a combined score of 111-0, while Maumee has enjoyed similar success by defeating their opponents by a combined score of 116-0. Look for more of the same from Maumee this week as they play a winless Toledo Bowsher. Genoa, meanwhile faces a Port Clinton squad that is also undefeated.

Uncommon Success:
It has been over 15 years since the Lakota Raiders have beaten rival Elmwood in football but that all came to an end this past Friday when the Raiders rode a 44-point first half to defeat the Royals 58-14. For the game the Raiders piled up 531 yards in total offense and limited the usually powerful Elmwood ground game to only 60 yards.

End of the Road:
The Elgin High School girls’ golf team is facing an uncertain future. Formed ten years ago, the Elgin team currently has only four members, all seniors. Lady Comets coach Melinda Mosley is hoping that some young ladies step forward in the next year to keep the program going. Budget cuts resulted in the elimination of the junior high program and since then the participating numbers at the high school level have diminished.

Knight Signing:
After his sophomore year St. Francis Knight post player, Storm Stanley, announced that he was committing to play basketball for Bob Huggins and the West Virginia Mountaineers. Suddenly, and with no explanation, Stanley began his junior season in high school by withdrawing his commitment to West Virginia. Speculation ensued regarding where Stanley might eventually enroll and now that speculation can end because the 6’11” Stanley has committed to play for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.


Central Catholic v. Notre Dame, girls’ tennnis, Thursday, September 10, 4:00 p.m.: Pits the two remaining undefeated teams in the City League against each other for the top spot in the league heading into the end of the year Tournament. The upstart Lady Irish are looking to establish themselves as the new City League power.

Northview (2-0) v. St. John’s (2-1), boys soccer, Thursday, September 10, 6:00 p.m.:
Early season match-up between two teams expected to battle for district
DI soccer honors. State ranked Northview will invade the unfriendly
confines of the Titan campus looking to send an early message to other
contenders that they are the team to beat in northwest Ohio.

Perrysburg (3-1) v. Findlay (2-0), boys soccer, Thursday, September 10, at 7:00 p.m.:

A possible district final preview as two of the district’s perennial
powers meet. Is the young Perrysburg team ready for the big time?

Southview (0-2) v. Start (0-2), Friday at 7:00 p.m.:
As hard as it is to believe, Southview enters this game looking for their first victory of the year. Start, meanwhile, despite returning a veteran squad is also seeking their first victory as well. Something has to give. Look for a high scoring affair that is decided in the closing moments.

Arlington (2-0) v. Liberty-Benton (1-1), Friday at 7:00 p.m.:
Which is the real Liberty-Benton team: the one that lost to an Elida team that had not won a game in a year or the team that overwhelmed Van Buren? The undefeated Arlington team would like to take a major step toward the top of the Blanchard Valley Conference by claiming a road victory against the Eagles.

Bellevue (0-2) v. Clyde (0-2), Friday at 7:30 p.m.:
Game between two teams that are likely in for long seasons, however, this neighborhood battle is always the subject of some major puffing. A win for either team would provide the victor with a claim to a successful season.

Genoa (2-0) v. Port Clinton (2-0), Friday at 7:30 p.m.: Both teams enter the contest undefeated and both teams feature high scoring offenses, however, Genoa also features a defense that is perfect on the season as they have not surrendered a point. Genoa is looking to establish themselves as a state power. A victory here would add considerable support to their argument.

Tiffin Carnival, Saturday, all day, Hedges-Boyer Park, Tiffin, Ohio:
The nation’s second largest high school cross country event will bring
together most of the top talent in the state for a full day of great
competition. Beginning early Saturday morning and continuing into the
evening, the event provides cross country fans an opportunity to see
some fantastic competition in a great setting.

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