The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022

Random Thoughts: numbers and more

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

Top area high school football performances, undefeated teams, dubious claims by a central Ohio school and college football are among this week’s Random Thoughts.


How about some impressive numbers from last Friday’s area football games?

Van Wert quarterback Aidan Pratt tossed five touchdown passes in the first half of a 45-7 win over Celina. That gives him nine touchdown passes in two games, which is pretty impressive for someone who has two varsity starts at quarterback.

Van Wert wide receiver Connor Pratt was the recipient of two of his younger brother’s touchdown passes, 51 and 46 yards, both in the second quarter. He finished the game with four receptions for 154 yards and the two scores.

Crestview quarterback JJ Ward has threw three touchdown passes each of the first two games. He had three all of last season.

Columbus Grove running back Colin Metzger logged 22 carries for 173 yards and four touchdowns during a 52-7 win over Paulding.

Bluffton quarterback Nate Schaadt had 35 carries for 248 yards and five touchdowns in a 34-28 overtime win over Pandora-Gilboa, including the game winner in the extra session. He also completed 14 of 29 passes for 159 yards.

Not much has changed with St. Marys Memorial. During a 56-0 win over Defiance, the Roughriders ran the ball 58 times for 332 yards and didn’t complete a single pass in the game.

More numbers

After two weeks of play, the Midwest Athletic Conference has six undefeated football teams, the Western Buckeye League and the Northwest Confererence each have four and the Green Meadows Conference has just one.

Lima Sr. is undefeated as well but after winning the opener, the Spartans had to cancel Weeks No. 2 and 3 due to COVID.

What in the world?

Perhaps you’ve heard about ESPN’s nationally televised high school game (a blowout) between IMG Academy and Bishop Sycamore High School. If not, here’s a quick rundown.

IMG Academy is best described as a private prep boarding school and sports training destination based in Florida. The school literally preps some of the top athletes in the country for college athletics, mainly Division I, and they make no bones about it. IMG apparently doesn’t have a mascot name and does not play for any type of state championship, but they do play top-tier teams from all over the country.

Bishop Sycamore is in Columbus, Ohio but the school’s website offers sparse information. It’s not to be confused with Sycamore High School, a public high school in Cincinnati.

Bishop Sycamore is reportedly an online charter school that has been in existence for two years and the school mascot name is the Centurions. The school is not a member of the Ohio High School Athletic Association but is a member of the Texas Christian Athletic League. A check of the website confirms that.

The school somehow convinced ESPN that it had multiple Division I recruits on its football team. It does not and it certainly showed.

On national television, IMG Academy drubbed Bishop Sycamore 58-0, leaving even ESPN’s announcers to wonder how the school made it onto a nationally televised game.

Honestly, all of this seems very shady on Bishop Sycamore’s part and yes, someone at ESPN may have been asleep at the switch, but there’s more.

Apparently, the team played a game two days earlier, against a team called Sto-Rox from Western Pennsylvania. That’s right, Bishop Sycamore lost 19-7 to Sto-Rox on Friday (on the road), then traveled back to Canton to face IMG Academy two days later. Two football games in three days, one against a national power.

Since Bishop Sycamore isn’t an OHSAA member there’s nothing OHSAA can do, but someone needs to take a serious look at the school and those associated with it, including coaches and administrators.

College football

College football is back.

It’s tough to watch Nebraska. There may not be a program in the country that has fallen more than that one and there doesn’t appear to be an end in sight.

On a brighter note, Ohio State kicks off this Thursday night at Minnesota. I have a feeling that game is going to be a lot closer than some people realize.

Sunday night’s Notre Dame-Florida State game should be very interesting as well.

Welcome back college football.

If you have thoughts or comments on any of the above subjects, feel free to email me at

POSTED: 08/31/21 at 3:56 am. FILED UNDER: Sports