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Thursday, May. 28, 2020

Monday Mailbag: September 30, 2019

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

This week’s Monday Mailbag includes questions about Monday night high school football, playoff chances for Crestview and Van Wert, a Van Wert field goal attempt and Ohio State.

Q: How did Wayne Trace and Antwerp come to the decision to make up their game on Monday night? That doesn’t seem ideal. Name withheld upon request.

A: For the answer to that question, I reached out to Wayne Trace athletic director Jim Linder. Here is his response:

“We canceled our game so late the availability of officials and letting everybody know when the game would be was the biggest part of our decision. Sunday is not an option in my community.”

What Linder said certainly makes sense. Of course the two teams hoped to play on Friday night but just couldn’t due to inclement weather. Along with that, game officials have schedules and plans like anyone else, and a lot of schools don’t like to play on Sunday.

I’ll admit that playing on Monday night is different and it’s not really ideal, but thanks to Mother Nature, that’s how things worked out.

Q: What are your thoughts on Crestview? Do they have a chance win the NWC and go to the playoffs? Name withheld upon request

A: This may sound a little odd, but the Knights actually may have a slightly better shot at qualifying for the playoffs than winning the Northwest Conference.

I say that because Crestview has back-to-back games against Columbus Grove and Spencerville, plus a Week No. 9 game at Allen East. I also don’t want to count out Paulding. I know the Panthers have struggled, but it’s not a team I’d dismiss.

If the Knights run the table during the second half of the regular season, yes, they’ll qualify for the playoffs. If they go 4-1, they probably should still get in, but probably as a No. 7 or 8 seed. Anything less than that would likely mean no Week No. 11 for Crestview.

Q: Did you see (Van Wert’s) missed field goal on Friday? If so, what did you think – good or not? Name withheld upon request.

A: I was in the press box and I thought it was good, along with just about everyone on the home side. Then again, I was at an angle and it’s sometimes tough to tell.

Eric McCracken showed me a video on Saturday that was pretty straight on. Tough call, and one could probably argue it was good. It certainly had the distance and it seemed like it inched over the left upright.

In the end, I’m leaning toward it being good, but I wasn’t under the goal post like the officials.

Q: If the Van Wert Cougars end the regular season with only three losses, what are their chances of making the playoffs — based upon previous years and upon other factors that you’re aware of? Name withheld upon request

A: I don’t like to say this, but Van Wert’s playoff chances are on life support right now. I’m not saying it’s impossible for them to get in, but it’s not looking good at the moment.

Even if the Cougars win out, it might not be enough. One of the factors is they aren’t getting any help from Bryan (1-4).

Plus, winning out isn’t a given. Shawnee is much improved, Kenton has just one loss, and Bath is becoming more competitive. Celina is 3-2, and Elida is waiting for a breakout moment.

So long story short – In virtually any other year, 7-3 would probably be good enough to qualify in Division IV, Region 14, but it may not be this particular season. Van Wert will likely have to win out and get a lot of help from other teams in the region. The best thing for the team is to take it game by game and see what happens.

Q: Didn’t you once say Ohio State would lose at Nebraska? Name withheld upon request

A: Before the season began, I said it was a possibility, because going into Lincoln and winning isn’t easy. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of Ryan Day and I thought the Huskers would be a little better than they are.

I’m becoming more of a Day believer each game, and right now, I believe Ohio State is one of the two best teams in the nation.

If you have a question for the next Monday Mailbag, simply email it to sports@thevwindependent.com.

POSTED: 09/30/19 at 4:05 am. FILED UNDER: Sports