The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022

Monday Mailbag: football and volleyball

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

This week’s Monday Mailbag features questions about upsets from Week No. 1 of the high school football season, NWC volleyball, Pigskin Pick’Em’s guest selectors and Ohio State’s quarterback situation.

Q: What was the biggest surprise from this weekend’s area football games? Shawnee over Lima Central Catholic has to be considered a shocker. Name withheld upon request

A: In my mind, there were several surprises.

Yes, many people consider Shawnee over Lima Central Catholic to be an upset. I picked the Thunderbirds to win but I’m not shocked that Shawnee got the victory. After all, the Indians have nine starters back on each side of the ball. Still, it probably does go down as a bit of a surprise.

I’m surprised by Eastwood’s margin of victory over Ottawa-Glandorf and I’m a little surprised by Defiance’s 7-0 win over Napoleon on Thursday. The Bulldogs had a number of key fourth down stops in that game, including at least two inside the five. It was a good victory for a team looking to rebound from a handful of down seasons.

It was tough to get a read on Saturday’s “Delphos Bowl” but I’m somewhat surprised that Jefferson defeated St. John’s by two touchdowns, 28-14.

Based on opening night results, the 2021 high school football season should be an interesting one in northwest Ohio.

Q: I know you don’t get many volleyball questions, but who do you like to win the NWC volleyball championship this season, Crestview or Lincolnview? Name withheld upon request

A: It’s tough to say right now but with all due respect to other Northwest Conference squads, I would say there’s an excellent chance it’ll come down to those two teams. Both are blessed with great players and great coaching.

If it does indeed come down to those two teams, we’ll have to wait until October 12 to find out. That’s when they’ll meet at Crestview and it will be the NWC finale.

Q: What happened to the Guest Selector part of Pigskin Pick’Em? I enjoy seeing your picks but it was also fun seeing others pick games as well. Name withheld upon request

A: I agree, it was fun picking against a different person each week.

It ultimately boiled down to this – while a number of readers enjoy seeing the picks, it was sometimes difficult to find people to actually do it each week and I believe there were a couple of main reasons for that.

Some people were reluctant because didn’t like the idea of picking the wrong team and looking bad (no one looked bad, it was a fun competition), while others didn’t like the idea of picking against their own team or picking against a team they had some sort of connection with, i.e. a relative playing, coach is a friend, etc.

When you take part in a feature like that, you have to pick who you think it’s going to win, not who you want to win. There have been plenty of people who disagreed with my picks and they let me know, sometimes in friendly terms and sometimes in not-so-friendly terms.

If enough people express interest in picking games, I’m certainly open to bringing back that part of the feature.

Q: With CJ Stroud being named as Ohio State’s starting quarterback, which of the other quarterbacks will be the first to transfer elsewhere? Name withheld upon request

A: Good question and I hope the answer is none of them but we both know that’s probably not realistic.

Stroud, Kyle McCord and Jack Miller were fighting for the starting nod, then Quinn Ewers arrived last week.

I don’t think Ewers is going anywhere, at least for now. He just got there and has some catching up to do, but it seems unlikely that he’ll pack up and leave.

That leaves McCord and Miller and I won’t be surprised if one of them transfers out and it’s probably whichever one isn’t named as the backup quarterback. While head coach Ryan Day announced Stroud as the starter against Minnesota, he didn’t say who the backup would be.

With that in mind, I don’t think either of them will go anywhere this season. However, things could be different in January.

Of course, there’s always the possibility that Stroud doesn’t work out as planned and one of the others steps in and takes the job.

Stay tuned.

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

POSTED: 08/23/21 at 3:51 am. FILED UNDER: Sports