The state football playoffs have begun and the first week’s results
have provided some surprises, but the top rated northwest Ohio teams
have performed as expected and advanced to the next round. As for other sports – Northwest Ohio wasn’t as lucky.
The state football playoffs have begun and the first week’s results have provided some surprises but the top rated northwest Ohio teams have performed as expected and advanced to the next round. Genoa, Patrick Henry and Delphos St. John’s have been the most impressiveteams in the region all season long and all three posted impressive victories last weekend.
Genoa fell behind, 7-0, for the first time all season but came raging back to post an easy 62-7 victory over a highly respected Milan Edision(8-2) squad. Next on the Genoa team’s quest for a state DIV championship is a 8-3 Orrville team.
Patrick Henry has also enjoyed a perfect season, record-wise, and has not really been tested along the way. In their first round game the Patriots coasted to another easy victory as they defeated the Northwood Rangers, 41-14. The Rangers entered the game with an upset on their agenda but the Patriots would not be denied. Hillsdale (10-1) is Patrick Henry’s nex opponent.
The talk in and around the City of Delphos all fall has been a possible state championship for the St. John’s Blue Jays and, as they have done all season, the young men from St. John’s kept that dream alive by routing a talented Arlington team from the Blanchard Valley Conference, 56-0. The Blue Jays scored early and often and completely shut down an Arlington team that had averaged nearly thirty points a game over the course of the season.
Two teams with high hopes of playoff success, Whitmer in DI and Maumee in DII, both went down to defeat. Whitmer, who entered the game with only one loss, fell to a 6-4 Canton McKinley team. McKinley demonstrated that it is not always how you start the season but how you end it as they used their overall team speed to race by the Whitmer Panthers, 34-21.
Avon Lake, on the other hand, used their team size and strength to outscore their hosts, the Maumee Panther, 56-35. Maumee went toe-to-toe with the much bigger Avon Lake team much of the night but just did not have enough in the end. It was a gallant effort by the Panthers but this time size won out. In the other DII games involving northwest Ohio teams, Toledo Rogers fell to Maple Heights, 36-26 but Toledo St. Francis and Toledo Central Catholic both prevailed and move on to the second round. St. Francis turned back North Ridgeville, 35-7, with an impressive second half while Central Catholic, downed Rocky River by an identical score.
In Division III, northwest Ohio enjoys only one remaining team. Napoleon’s strong running game marches on as they defeated last year’s state runner-up Eastmoor Academy 28-14. Unfortunately, the area’s other representatives in DIII, Sandusky Perkins and Bryan both tasted season ending defeat. Perkins fell to Tippecanoe, 28-14, while Bryan traveled three hours to lose 45-21 to Columbus DeSales.
While the excitement surrounding the state football playoffs continues in northwest Ohio it has waned substantially in volleyball and soccer. After last weekend’s action, only Huron in DIII and Hopewell-Loudon in DIV remain alive in volleyball and St. Mary’s Memorial girls’ team is the sole representative in soccer. Not a strong year for northwest Ohio in these two sports.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Meredith Wagner, Sylvania Northview: The choice this week is an easy one. Wagner, a Northview senior, easily captured the Division I girls’ cross country individual championship by easily outdistancing the field in posting a winning time of 18:03.9. Wagner finished 12th in last year’s state meet.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Genoa Area Football: In a week that has been difficult for northwest Ohio teams in soccer and volleyball, the Genoa Comets football team once again rises to the top of the field of candidates. The Comets continue their remarkable season as they mowed down still another team this week in their first round playoff game. This time the victim was Milan’s Edison High School as the Comets scored 62 points against a team that had defensively only been surrendering 14 points a game.
NEWS, NOES & NUGGETS
A State Champion: Sylvania Northview’s Meredith Wagner won a state championship last Saturday’s in the Division I Cross Country meet but she may have been the most surprised person in attendance. In spite of posting a winning time of 18:03.9 minutes and finishing nearly four seconds ahead of her nearest competitor Wagner never imagined that she might win a state championship. “I never thought this would happen,” said Wagner, a senior. “I wanted to do as well as I did last year, but I did not imagine ever in my whole high school career that I would win.”
DI Signings: Two northwest Ohio athletes, Toledo St. Francis’ Storm Stanley and Lima Shawnee’s Erin Turner, have comitted to play for Division I college teams next season.
St. Francis’ Stanley has inked his name to a national letter of intent with St. Francis University in Pennsylvania while Turner has orally committed to play volleyball for Cleveland State.
Hope For The Future: It was a rough year for northwest Ohio in both boys’ and girls’ soccer but there is indeed hope for the future. Two teams, the Ottawa Hills Green Bears in boys’ Division III and Lake in girls’ Division II, lost in the regionals in their attempts to reach the state finals but both teams figure to be back next year knocking on the door again. The Green Bears had three freshmen and five sophomores who contributed significantly to this year’s team while the Lake ladies return 18 of 20 from his year’s roster. Both teams lost in the regionals in shootouts and so were only a lucky bounce or two away from a state semi-final berth.
Player of the Year: Otsego’s volleyball team enjoyed a wonderful season posting an 11-1 record in the highly competive Suburban Lakes League which was good for a co-championship with Eastwood. Senior setter Autumn Berry was a significant reason for the Knights’ success and she was awarded this week for her contributions by being named the SLL player of the year.
Norwalk St. Paul (25-2) v. Tuscarawas CC, volleyball, Thursday at 4:00 pm: State semi-final to be played at Wright State’s Nutter Center.
Hopewell-Loudon (26-1) v. Marion Local (26-0), volleyball, Thursday at 6:00 pm: State semi-final to be played at Wright State’s Nutter Center.
Huron (24-3) v. Bishop Fenwick (22-4), volleyball, Friday at 2:00 pm.: State semi-final to be played at Wright State’s Nutter Center.
Toledo St. Francis (10-1) v. Avon Lake (8-3), football, Friday at 7:30 pm: Regional semi-final to be played at Fremont’s Harmon Stadium.
Toledo Central Catholic (9-2) v. Maple Heights (9-2), football, Friday at 7:30 pm: Regional semi-final to be played at Huron’s Memorial Stadium.
Bishop Watterson (8-3) v. Napoleon (9-2), football, Friday at 7:30 pm: Regional semi-final to be played at Findlay’s Donnell Stadium.
Eastwood (9-2) v. Ottawa-Glandorf (9-2), football, Saturday at 7:00 pm: Regional semi-final to be played at Findlay’s Donnell Stadium.
Genoa (11-0) v. Orrville (8-3), football, Saturday at 7:00 pm: Regional semi-final to be played at Ashland’s Community Stadium.
Patrick Henry (11-0) v. Hillsdale (10-1), football, Friday at 7:30 pm: Regional semi-final to be played at Tiffin’s Frost-Kalnow Stadium.
Tinora (10-1) v. Lima CC (9-2), football, Friday at 7:30 pm: Regional semi-final to be played at Defiance’s Fred Brown Stadium.
Delphos St. John’s (11-0) v. Leipsic (10-1), football, Saturday at 7:00 pm: Regional semi-final to be played at Lima Senior Stadium.
Ada (11-0) v. Carey (10-1), football, Saturday at 7:00 pm: Regional semi-final to be played at Findlay’s Donnell Stadium.