The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jul. 2, 2022

Random thoughts: OHSAA and much more

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

The 2017-2018 high school sports winter season is complete and the spring sports season is underway, although Mother Nature has made things challenging so far. It’s a good time to briefly look back at basketball, look ahead to spring sports and to share some other thoughts.

High school basketball is in the books

The girls’ basketball season came to an end nearly two weeks ago with four public schools winning state titles – Pickerington Central, Toledo Rogers, Columbus Africentric and Minster.

The boys’ season ended last Saturday with two public schools (Marion Local and Cincinnati Deer Park) winning two titles, while two parochial schools (Cincinnati Moeller and Akron St. Vincent St. Mary’s) won the other two championships.

Attendance was down significantly at the Boys State Tournament, as interest seemed to wane. Why? Perhaps the biggest factor was fans being unhappy with how things transpired.

Take Division III – Africentric, Canal Winchester Harvest Prep and Lutheran East have limited fan bases, and some people compare them to All-Star or AAU teams. Then there’s Deer Park, a school with NINE transfers on the roster. Nine. I’m sorry, but that’s not right, and it’s not a good look for anyone.

In Division IV, Marion Local, Pandora-Gilboa and Berlin Hiland fans showed up in full force, but coming from small communities, they couldn’t fill the Schottenstein Center. Willoughby Hills Cornerstone Christian has no fan base compared to the others. The Patriots came out of nowhere to play Lincolnview in the 2016 State Tournament, and they were back last week with what amounted to another All-Star roster. I’m not alone in saying something doesn’t seem right.

All of this leads me to my next point.

Public vs. Private?

It’s hardly a new concept. Other states have it and for years (decades actually), some fans and others have called for separate playoffs and championships in Ohio – one for public schools and the other for private/parochial schools.

It’s been voted on a handful of times by OHSAA member schools but failed each time. The debate sparked the new Competitive Balance rule, which addresses transfers on the roster. It just went into effect with the fall sports season, so it’s too early to say if it’s working, but I have to believe it will help a little.

Competitive Balance, along with a potential rule could level the playing field. OHSAA member schools will vote on a proposal that calls for transfer students to sit out the second half of the regular season and the entire postseason. Currently, transfers must sit during the first half of the season and are allowed to participate in any and all playoff games.

I believe this rule change will be approved in May, but not by the wide margin that some people think.

Be careful what you wish for

Back to separate playoffs. Think about this – let’s say at some point OHSAA member schools voted to split the playoffs. What would happen? One possibility is the OHSAA would remain as is, with separate tournaments for public and private/parochial schools. The other possibility is the private/parochial schools would leave OHSAA and form their own association. Keep in mind if they did that, they wouldn’t be bound by OHSAA rules regarding transfers, eligibility, etc. My point is, if you think things are bad now, they could get much worse.

Rain, rain go away

Due to a wet, blustery week, it’s been tough for schools to get things going this spring. Van Wert’s baseball team picked up a nice 14-0 no-hit win over Spencerville on Tuesday, and Crestview’s softball team rallied to beat Elida 7-5 the same day. But that’s been about it. Outdoor conditions forced schools to postpone other games, including Wednesday’s Lincolnview at Van Wert baseball game, which should have been a dandy. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say games scheduled for today will be postponed or canceled, and Saturday could be shaky as well.

Spring is great, but it’s not exactly kind to baseball, softball, track and field and tennis.

Major League Baseball

It’s Opening Day, except for the Cincinnati Reds. Today’s home opener against Washington was called off yesterday due to the expected forecast, meaning the two teams will begin the season tomorrow. Here’s a thought for MLB: don’t schedule season openers in cold weather cities such as Cincinnati.

The Cubs won’t have any weather problems as they open the season today in Miami. If you’re an Indians fan, they should be fine weatherwise in Seattle, but you’ll have to stay up to enjoy the game. That’s because the Indians and Mariners won’t play until 10:10 p.m. EDT, which makes no sense, especially for the season opener. Major League Baseball could have shown more consideration toward Tribe fans.

Two more random thoughts

Isn’t this year’s NCAA Tournament fun? While Virginia’s loss to UMBC ruined many brackets, it kind of foreshadowed exactly what kind of tournament it would be.

I wish the NFL Draft would hurry up and get here. While it’s fun to speculate on the draft, it gets old. And being a month away, there will be plenty more chatter. Just remember this: ESPN and the NFL Network talk about it constantly to boost ratings, and NFL teams throw up smokescreens (lie?) about their plans, so as not to tip their hand, position for potential trades, and keep fans interested. Nevertheless, if you’re a NFL fan, it’s still fun.

Feel free to share your thoughts on any of the above subjects or your own thoughts at sports@thevwindependent.com.

POSTED: 03/29/18 at 7:26 am. FILED UNDER: Sports