The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Jan. 17, 2022

Monday Mailbag: Van Wert, Knights, more

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

This week’s Monday Mailbag features questions about Van Wert football, Crestview’s projected finish in the Northwest Conference, Paulding in the Green Meadows Conference and the Ottawa-Glandorf Titans.

Q: It was nice to see Van Wert picked to win the WBL and it’s the right pick. How far do you see this team going in the playoffs? Name withheld upon request

A: The playoffs are a long way away and the focus right now is on Bryan.

Make no mistake, the Western Buckeye League is most likely going to be a meat grinder this year. Whichever team wins the title – Van Wert or anyone else – will have truly earned it.

Q: Don’t you think you’re selling Crestview short this year? The Knights will finish higher than fourth in the NWC. Name withheld upon request

A: We shall see and if they do finish higher, that’s great.

There were some bright spots in the scrimmage against Van Wert, some things for the Knights to build upon and if the Knights can get some early momentum going, it should be an interesting season.

Most people seem to agree that Spencerville and Leipsic are the top two teams. Bluffton could make a sizable jump in the standings and even though a lot of outstanding talent was lost to graduation, it’s difficult to look past three-time defending NWC champion Columbus Grove.

Q: How do you think Paulding will do in the Green Meadows Conference this year? Name withheld upon request

A: If you’re talking about football, it’s going to be a challenge but I also believe the Panthers will be competitive.

As far as all sports, the Green Meadows Conference is a good fit for Paulding and I believe the athletic department, student-athletes and fans are going to enjoy less time on the road. Trips to places like Bluffton, Allen East and Ada will be replaced with trips to Fairview, Ayersville and Hicksville.

C: I think you are underselling the O-G titans this year at fourth.

This is a team that went 7-2 last season and beat the Division IV state champs, Van Wert. O-G has an offensive line that will average 260 pounds. Both running backs return and the defense is going to be downright nasty.

The question mark is the quarterback but with this offensive line and two returning running backs O-G may only throw the ball about 10 times a game. I think OG is a sure top three team and maybe the favorite to win it.

The Titans shut out Division I Perrysburg in a scrimmage and played even with St. Henry this past week. I am looking forward to the O-G vs. Van Wert game this year as that matchup has been very even the past five or six years or so.

Thank you for your hard work doing these previews, I really enjoy reading them and am looking forward to the high football season. Name withheld upon request

A: You may well be very correct that Ottawa-Glandorf will finish higher than fourth. Who knows, there may be co-champs or three or four teams that share the title when the regular season ends.

Like most, if not all WBL teams, the Titans have some holes to fill, but coach Ken Schriner knows the talent he has on hand and he’s the master of adapting to it.

I do believe they’ll lean a bit more on the running game this season.

As far as scrimmages, I don’t read too much into those. Almost all coaches go into those with a mindset of working on particular things, including situations and figuring out starters in certain spots, along with rotations.

Of course it’s nice to see your team do well in scrimmages but I think fans put more stock into winning them than the coaches do.

September 24 is when O-G and Van Wert will meet and I’m already looking forward to it. The last four matchups have produced a one-point game, a two-point game and a pair of overtime games. This year could very well be just as exciting.

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

POSTED: 08/16/21 at 3:55 am. FILED UNDER: Sports