Northwest Ohio Huddle: TCL’s decision to leave Findlay out still confusing


Northwest Ohio Huddle

Toledo Whitmer scored a huge win over Toledo Central Catholic to assume control of the lead in the Toledo City League football race, while Eastwood’s Alyssa Shimel added a state title to her resume by winning the Division
II girls’ state golf tournament in Columbus. What else happened? Let’s get back to the TCL for a minute…

It is hard to believe but the fall sports season is rapidly coming to a close. The hot, humid weather of late summer has given way to the damp, cool weather of fall as high school fans throughout the state eagerly watch their teams jockey for position in the state playoffs. There are still two weeks remaining in the football season but the playoffs have begun in all the remaining sports.

You would think with all the excitement surrounding the playoffs that matters off the field would be secondary but the buzz around the Toledo City League’s decision to act positively on only Fremont Ross’ application for league membership and reject both Findlay and Lima Senior’s application has many scratching their heads.  Mysteriously, an explanation regarding the reasons surrounding the City League’s decision has not been forthcoming. City League Commissioner Ed Scrutchins would only comment that it was “travel.”

“It’s not so much the cost of travel,” Scrutchins was quoted as saying by the Toledo Blade, “but the time aspect involved.”

As to Lima Senior this explanation might be understandable. Lima is at least an hour and half drive from every City League member school but the travel time to Findlay is nearly the same as the travel time to Fremont.  The difference in time is less than ten minutes and is arguable that the trip to Findlay from Toledo is actually more convenient than the trip from Toledo to Fremont.

The options remaining for Findlay and Lima Senior are minimal. Their present league, the Greater Buckeye Conference, will have only three remaining members after the departure of Sandusky to the Northern Ohio League and Napoleon to the Northern Lakes League. Marion Harding is the third remaining member.

As we enter the ninth week of the football season only four northwest Ohio teams have appeared to clinch playoff spots.  In Division I, Toledo Whitmer, coming off their big, 14-7, victory over Toledo Central Catholic, has apparently clinched a spot while Patrick Henry in Division IV and Carey and Delphos St. John’s in Division VI have clinched spots as well. The list of mathematically eliminated teams continues to grow but there are many schools still in contention and the next two weeks should provide plenty of excitement.


Toledo Whitmer football: The significance of Toledo Whitmer’s 14-7 victory over league rival, Toledo Central Catholic, cannot be overstated. The Panthers are now well positioned to capture their first ever City League football title since joining the league in 2003 and breaks a string of three straight losses by the Panthers that have cost them past championships. Whitmer has two remaining league games against 1-7 Start and 3-5 Bowsher but should be considered heavy favorites in both contests.


Alyssa Shimel, Eastwood, Golf: Shimel is this week’s clear choice as the Player of the Week. Last Saturday Shimel won the Division II girls’ state golf tournament at Ohio State University. Shimel captured her championship by shooting a 36-hole total of 145 on the University’s Gray course, two strokes ahead of second place finisher Morgan Ransom of Gahanna Columbus Academy. Shimel has verbally committed to play for the University of Michigan next year.


Shawnee Shock: Fans of the Lima Shawnee volleyball team received some shocking news on the eve of the state playoffs. The Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) ruled that Shawnee had played in 23 matches which is in excess of the 22 matches allowed during the regular season.  Shawnee (10-11) was scheduled to play Van Wert in the sectional opener on October 21 but Van Wert will now be awarded a bye.

Verbal Commitments: Three young ladies have verbally committed to continue their athletic careers. Anthony Wayne’s Katie Allen and Taylor Leach, both candidates for District Player of the Year in soccer, have committed to play for Northwestern and South Carolina respectively.  Similarly, Ottawa Hills’ Kathryn Jamieson has agreed to play field hockey for Michigan State.

A Special Touchdown: In a heartwarming story out of McComb High School, junior Tyler Brown recently scored a touchdown in his team’s 47-7 blowout of league rival Vanlue. What makes Brown’s score significant is that he is legally blind and has been since birth. Brown is not ordinarily a playing member of the team. His usual role is one of team manager but McComb coach, Kris Alge, convinced Brown and his mother to allow him to play in a game and, after a couple of failed attempts to have him score,  Brown’s teammates and friends were finally able to provide him with a lasting memory by having him score a TD.

A First: Last Friday night the Galion Tigers accomplished something that they have never been able to do before: defeat Fostoria in football. The Redmen had won all seven prior meetings between the two teams but that pattern was broken as the Tigers narrowly won 14-7 to keep their record perfect on the season at 8-0. Galion is currently ranked number eight in Division IV.


Leipsic (7-1) v. Cory-Rawson (6-2), football, Friday at 7:00 pm: Leipsic stands at the top of the Blanchard Valley Conference at 7-0 but Cory-Rawson trails by only one game at 6-1. A Cory-Rawson win creates a log jam at the top of the BVC and would create the showdown with Liberty-Benton (6-2) that many expected would ultimately determine the league champion.

Northwood (5-3) v. Toledo Christian (6-2), football, Friday at 7:30 pm: In a story that seems to repeat itself every year, Toledo Christian and Northwood again meet to determine who will prevail in the TAAC football race. Neither team may make the playoffs so winning the league championship takes on greater importance.

Patrick Henry (8-0) v. Eastwood (7-1), football, Friday at 7:30 pm: The last test for Patrick Henry before they begin their quest for a state title. Eastwood comes in with a loss but they remain dangerous and should provide the Patriots with a stiff test.

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