Wow! How could it get more exciting? The soccer and volleyball playoffs
are near the sweet sixteen stage and the football season is entering
its last week of the regular season. For many seniors the end is near
but for others the most exciting part is just beginning. Hold onto your
hats sports fans. It should be fun.
Wow! How could it get more exciting? The soccer and volleyball playoffs are near the sweet sixteen stage and the football season is entering its last week of the regular season. For many seniors the end is near but for others the most exciting part is just beginning. Hold onto your hats sports fans. It should be fun.
So far the surprises have been few in the soccer and volleyball playoffs at least in the northwest part of the state. In volleyball, the only match that could be considered an upset would be Convoy Crestview’s defeat of Ottoville while in soccer most of the seeded teams remain in the hunt. Two of the more interesting developments are the Liberty-Benton’s ladies attempt to return to the regionals for a third straight year and the Ottawa Hills boys attempting to repeat as Division III state champions.
Football, football, football, can we ever get enough? One team from northwest Ohio, Whitmer is in in Division I but two other teams, Perrysburg and Toledo St. John’s have mathematical chances of making it. Perrysburg must upset Division II playoff candidate Maumee while St. John’s must defeat Toledo Central Catholic and hope for some upsets. Sadly, Sylvania Southview, last season’s Division II state champion who moved up to Division I this season, has likely been eliminated.
Toledo St. Francis, Toledo Rogers, Toledo Central Catholic and Maumee are all likely to qualify in Division II with wins this weekend. Of these, St. Francis is the only one to have clinched a spot and Central and Maumee could actually be eliminated with a loss but Rogers’ spot is fairly secure. Interestingly, the Toledo area could actually be hosting three games next Friday if Central can move up into the top four. That would be an absolute first.
Division III is interesting because two teams, Napoleon and Sandusky Perkins have clinched spots but beyond that there are five northwest Ohio teams with a possibility of filling the last three spots. Bryan has the best shot but any of the five could sneak in depending on what transpires Friday night in the various venues. Secondary points will become all important.
The residents of Genoa are already talking about a regional final matchup with Galion in Division IV. Galion has clinched their spot in the playoffs while Genoa has to only win its final game against 3-6 Elmwood to punch their ticket to the playoffs. Ottawa-Glandorf and Edison are in the same situation as Genoa while Eastwood must win and hope for some help in their attempt to grab that last spot and a likely date with top seed Galion.
The extreme northwest portion of the state has been eagerly watching Patrick Henry march their way through the season but the followers of Defiance Tinora are not ready to concede the regional title to the Patriots. Patrick Henry will enter the playoffs with the number one seed but watch out for the Rams. The other qualifying team in Division V is Hicksville but Fairview, Northwood, Liberty-Benton and Archbold all enter the season’s final weekend with a chance of grabbing one of the two remaining spots.
Finally, there is Division VI. This is where northwest Ohio always shines and that is true again this year. Five teams, Delphos St. John’s, Carey, Ada, Leipsic, and Fremont St. Joseph’s have all clinched playoff spots. Columbus Grove is in with a win on Friday and five other teams, Arlington, Cory-Rawson, Pandora-Gilboa, McComb and Edgerton, are still in the running.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jake Goatley, Maumee, Football: Maumee’s Jake Goatley is not your stereotypical quarterback. Although Goatley is undersized he still has the athletic skills necessary to lead his team to a 8-1 record and a possible spot in the state playoffs. Last week Goatley set the stage for his team for a regular season showdown with arch-rival Perrysburg by throwing for 191 yards and two touchdowns in his team’s 31-7 victory over Holland Springfield.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Anthony Wayne Boys Soccer: Staying alive is the secret to success in the state playoffs. Lose and you are out so it does not matter how you do. This past week the Anthony Wayne Generals boys’ soccer team demonstrated how true this is as they stayed alive by the narrowest of margins by winning not one, but two, playoff games through a shootout. Last Thursday, the Generals’ victim was the Findlay Trojans while this past Tuesday it was the Perrysburg Yellow Jackets. The Generals, despite suffering some heavy losses to graduation, are attempting to make back-to-back appearances in the state finals.
NEWS, NOTES AND NUGGETS
Tornado Becomes A Falcon: Tiffin Columbian female basketballer, Jill Stein, has verbally committed to play for Bowling Green State University next season. The 6-foot-1 senior was the leading shot blocker in the Northern Ohio League last season as she led her team in assists (3.3) and steals (2.9). She is expected to take on an increased role in scoring and rebounding this season for the Tornadoes.
City League Problems? Have the Toledo Public School (TPS) teams that are members of the Toledo City League ever been weaker on the football field? Through last week, the ninth week of the season, six of the seven TPS schools that are members of the league (Bowsher, Start, Waite, Libbey, Scott, and Woodward) had a combined record of 9-26 and all but Start had been outscored by their opponents. Four teams, Waite, Libbey, Scott and Woodward, were actually averaging less than 15 points a game with Woodward averaging only 1.1 points a game. The situation is not a good one and there is little to indicate it will change in the near future.
Ottawa Hills Magic: Last season the Ottawa Hills Green Bears accomplished what no other Toledo area team had ever done: captured a state championship in soccer. Graduation hit the Green Bears heavy and only the most loyal Ottawa Hills’ fans expected that they might make another run at a state title, however, another miracle might be on the horizon. Despite playing three freshmen, including the starting goalie, and five sophomores, the Green Bears are only one win away from the regionals. A state title might be optimistic but a wonderful possibility none the less.
Monsoon Season: Friday night, rain, and high school football have become synonymous in northwest Ohio. For the past few weeks, and reportedly, for this coming Friday night as well rain will be part of the action. The rain has caused considerable damage to the playing surfaces with a number of sites that might be hosting first round playoff games facing the likelihood of doing so on turf that might be less than ideal.
Howard to Florida State: Toledo Waite senior Natasha Howard, considered by many to be the best female basketball player in Toledo City League history, has verbally committed to a scholarship offer to Florida State University. Howard has been a first team All-City and all-district player for the past three years. She was also named to the all-state first team her sophomore year. According to Scouts, inc. Howard is the top rated small forward in the nation in this year’s senior class.
Perrysburg (7-2) v. Maumee (8-1), football, 7:00 pm: In any year this is a big game. These two communities lie across the river from one another and play every year for the “the Bell.” This year, however, the stakes are higher as both teams are fighting for a playoff spot. Perrysburg features a strong defense but Maumee is explosive: should be a great contest.
Toledo Central Catholic (7-2) v. Toledo St. John’s (6-3), football, 7:30 pm: Two teams with playoff aspirations meet on the campus of Bowling Green State University. Central can likely make the playoffs with a loss but could also be eliminated. St. John’s, meanwhile, have no option. They must win and hope for help from others. St. John’s must hope for a low scoring event. A high scoring affair likely means an Irish win.
Findlay (4-5) v. Napoleon (8-1), football, 7:30 pm: Napoleon has its eyes on another prize: the state playoffs but for 4-5 Findlay a tie for a Greater Buckeye Conference title is as good as it will get this season. Napoleon enters the game undefeated in the league but Findlay win could force a three way tie.