The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Jan. 24, 2022

Monday Mailbag, Van Wert, OSU, more

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

This week’s Monday Mailbag features questions about COVID-19 and the current high school football season, Wapakoneta’s game plan, Van Wert’s past vs. present, and complaints about Ohio State’s defense and head coach Ryan Day.

Q: Is the high school football season in danger of being canceled? It seems like more and more games are getting canceled each week. Name withheld upon request

A: With COVID-19 numbers on the rise, I suspect games will continue to be canceled but I don’t believe the season itself will come to a halt.

Last week, nearly 50 high school football games in Ohio were canceled due to COVID-19. Many of the non-COVID affected teams quickly scheduled each other for games but still, that’s a significant number of games.

So far, the only area games wiped out have been Lima Sr. vs. Mansfield in Week No. 2 and Edgerton vs. Ayersville last Friday. The Spartans missed a game while Edgerton hastily scheduled Cardinal Stritch as a replacement and lost 32-30.

Let’s not fool ourselves – teams even closer to home may very well miss a game or two or at the very least, they may find themselves scrambling to schedule a new last-minute opponent.

Q: It seems like Wapakoneta had Van Wert’s number on Friday night. I know the Cougars won the game but the Redskins rolled up a lot of yards and points. Was that a blueprint for other teams to follow? Name withheld upon request

A: I’m sure future opponents will watch game video but trying to replicate what Wapakoneta did is another matter. How many teams have a quarterback like Wapak’s Braedan Goulet? He was the main factor in his team’s offensive success on Friday.

With St. Marys Memorial and Ottawa-Glandorf on tap, I believe the Cougars will make the necessary adjustments, even though those teams have different types of quarterbacks.

Q: I’m curious. How do you think last year’s or this year’s Van Wert football team would stack up against Van Wert’s great teams of yesteryear? Name withheld upon request

A: Interesting question. I wasn’t around to see those teams of the past (I assume you’re talking about the teams from the 1950s) and it’s sometimes difficult to compare teams from different eras, simply because the styles were different and the rules (especially pass blocking) were different.

Perhaps someone out there can weigh in on your question.

Q: Ohio State couldn’t stop anything Oregon did on Saturday and it seems like the defense will be a problem all season long. Why doesn’t Ryan Day pull the trigger and fire Kerry Coombs immediately? Name withheld upon request

A: You’re right, the Buckeyes really couldn’t stop the Ducks on Saturday. It wasn’t fun watching their backs gain about nine yards a clip and it certainly wasn’t fun watching their receiver run wide open all afternoon.

The defense is indeed an issue right now. There’s been no pass rush to speak of, the linebackers appear to be below average and the secondary is a huge question mark.

As far as firing defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs immediately, that’s a knee jerk reaction but for the sake of argument, let’s say it happened.

Then what? The job would most likely go to someone already on staff. Would that really make a difference? If not, where would you find an outside replacement that could come in and fix things within a few days?

Don’t get me wrong – I tend to agree that Coombs seems to be in over his head as a defensive coordinator. He’s a great position coach and recruiter, but I’m not sure he’s meant to be a coordinator at the major Division I level.

Firing him at this point won’t fix the problem but if things don’t improve, it’s something that will likely be addressed at the end of the season.

Q: Ohio State was a disgrace on Saturday. It’s time for Ryan Day to go, now! Name withheld upon request

A: Once again, a knee jerk reaction.

The guy just lost his first regular season game. Before Saturday, Day was 24-0 in the regular season. He had to lose a game at some point, right? Plus, let’s not lose sight of the fact that Oregon is a very good team.

I do wish his offense was a bit more balanced but outside of that, it’s tough to argue with what he’s accomplished so far.

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

POSTED: 09/13/21 at 3:54 am. FILED UNDER: Sports