The opening weekend of the fall sports season sparked a sigh of hope from many … that we might have learned a lesson from last year, while being cautious that politics might further increase its negative profile. In the meantime, regional football could be as strong as we have seen it for a generation.
There was an email from Brian in County Gallia over the weekend to express appreciation for starting high school sports on time…“That we maybe learned from last year that we’re not going to die if we’re out on Friday night watching football.”
“Although I didn’t know anything about Marion’s local football, I read your story about their game on Friday night to see if you would say anything, and you did.” No one was taking a bet on what the DOH did. would have to say Monday. And no one was so convinced that DeWine or “old man what’s the name” wouldn’t somehow backfire on your school, your community, and your choice. Many of us believe that this is our choice and that all will be well if we act responsibly on that choice No one else has even mentioned it, and thank you.
Brian, with your appreciation for your concern about whether schools and kids will be able to play this fall, I can assure you from what we saw on opening weekend that there are thousands of communities. throughout Ohio who share your concern. There weren’t any masks in evidence at this Marion Local / Wapakoneta game, but what there was… was a room almost full of people who thought it was good for the kids to play and for the kids to play. adults watch, according to their own personal safety choices. All of our editors reported that there were a lot of people at the matches they were covering and no one seemed to care that someone was wearing a mask. I’m sure many had been vaccinated, and many had not.
As for, as you say, “nobody even mentioned it”, there is a legitimate concern among the people we interviewed.
“I give it four weeks if there is no change in the current numbers,” said a Wapakoneta fan.
Another, a supporter of Marion Local, said: “It’s political suicide for [DeWine] if he returns. His support for re-election in that part of the state would be nil. “
So we play for now, and we wait and see, knowing that it is inevitable that the children may be asymptomatic, or not report a slight fever or a sore throat that goes away in 24 hours – that they are exhausted by daily contradictions. “Living” comes with different interpretations.
We scored nine out of ten on our Friday Night Picks page last week, and no one could have walked away from the weekend believing that what we had been suggesting about Piqua, Marion Local, Coldwater, Milton Union, St. Henry, Arcanum and Versailles (among others) was an exaggeration.
Piqua showed athletes and depth across the court in their 54-0 beating of Belmont’s visit. Running back Jasaiah Medley rushed for 94 yards and four touchdowns… and it was with a stopwatch in the second half. The Indians led by 41 points at halftime.
Marion’s score (31-6) against Division III Wapakoneta was impressive, but the offense lacked junior running back (and defensive linebacker) Drew Seitz, who will miss at least the first three weeks of the season due to an off-season surgical operation. Yet the Flyers’ defense limited the Redskins to just 51 yards in the first half, 151 for the game and just one score at the end of the fourth quarter.
Arcanum was also very good at halftime, and their match with Dohn Community only lasted an hour and eight minutes in real time. Quarterback Bryce Schondelmyer scored five touchdowns.
Milton Union, as expected, was not challenged by National Trail and won 51-0.
Versailles, as expected, had no problem with Celina, 42-0.
Coldwater handled Kenton easily, 44-14.
St. Henry squeezed Covington, 42-0.
The only hiccup we had… was Fort Loramie’s 40-7 victory over Minster, amid an obvious retooling under the direction of first-year coach Seth Whiting.
And this week, you’ll see more on the “Picks” page as we share more schools across the region pushing for post-season recognition, with or without a 16-team regional field. The point is… high school football in west-central Ohio suddenly has more depth and parity than it has had in years.
Translation: It’s going to be worth $ 6 to go out on Friday night and see for yourself, starting this week (week 2) when Milton Union and Valley View meet in a titanic early-season game at Milton Union. This game will say a lot about the Bulldogs for the next eight weeks and beyond.
Coldwater, a big preseason favorite again in Division VI, actually heads to Cincinnati this Friday to face Division I Oak Hills, whose following Coldwater schedule includes Lakota East and West, Princeton, Hamilton, Fairfield, Sycamore and Colerain.
Next week… Marion Local and Versailles meet (week 3) in Marion to talk about superiority at the start of the season in the MAC. Both were extremely impressive in their early victories. And sure… Piqua and Troy meet earlier this year, in week 3, to determine bragging rights in Miami County.
Come on… see… while you can!
Finally, we are frequently asked on the photo equipment used at Press Pros, and we will share that we almost exclusively use DSLRs and Nikon lenses.
Much of what you saw from Friday’s opening weekend was shot with the Nikon D5 and new D6 camera bodies, with an assortment of telephoto, stationary, and zoom lenses.
Has anyone suggested IPhones? Uh no!