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Monday, Jan. 17, 2022

Monday Mailbag: playoffs, WBL and more

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

This week’s Monday Mailbag features questions about OHSAA’s expanded football playoffs, new Western Buckeye League football coaches and the possibility of high school athletes getting paid.

Q: This may be random, but I don’t like the idea of OHSAA’s expanded football playoffs. Eight teams per region fine and in some cases, too much. There will be teams in the playoffs that simply don’t belong there. Am I the only one who thinks like this? Name withheld upon request

A: There are plenty of people who like the expanded playoff format, but you’re certainly not alone in thinking it’s too much.

There are a lot of doubters and the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association isn’t pleased with the switch. For what it’s worth, I still wonder if it’s a good idea. I have a tough time seeing a No. 16 seed defeating a No. 1 seed in any division, especially Division VII. Yes, upsets happen but I can’t help but think there will be a good share of lopsided results in the opening two rounds.

Regardless, if it proves to be not such a great idea, it’ll be tough for the Ohio High School Athletic Association to scale things back.

Q: With Kenton, Defiance and St. Marys Memorial each having new head football coaches, which one of those teams do you see making the biggest jump this year in the WBL? Name withheld upon request

A: I’d like to see more information about those teams in terms of returning letter winners, roster size, etc. but offhand, I’ll say St. Marys Memorial. That’s not exactly jump, but with Bo Frye taking over for his father I don’t see much changing for the Roughriders in terms of style of play.

Like I said last week, this should be an interesting year in the Western Buckeye League. The top half appears to be very balanced and there are other teams that should be competitive.

Q: Here’s a hypothetical question for you. On the heels of the recent Supreme Court ruling that opened the door for college athletes to get paid, what’s to stop it from happening at the high school level. Could a lawsuit against the OHSAA produce the same result? Name withheld upon request

A: Interesting question and I’ve wondered the same thing.

However, I’m not a lawyer so I can’t accurately say what would happen or if a challenge like that would be successful, but my gut says it would be a real uphill battle. If there are any attorneys out there who would like to chime in, please feel free to do so.

While I agree something more could have been done for college athletes, I’m still not sure if this is the right way to go but as I’ve said before, I’m not sure what way would be better.

If you have a question or comment for next week’s Monday Mailbag, please email it to sports@thevwindependent.com.

POSTED: 07/19/21 at 3:56 am. FILED UNDER: Sports