The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Aug. 15, 2022

Random Thoughts: halfway point, more

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

This week’s edition of Random Thoughts centers around the halfway point of the high school football season, championship races, Van Wert vs. Ottawa-Glandorf, Van Wert’s state ranking, David vs. Goliath and Fox Sports. 

Halfway point

With five games in the books we’ve reached the halfway point of high school football’s regular season.

The Western Buckeye League team is a jumbled mess with four teams – Van Wert, Shawnee, Ottawa-Glandorf and Wapakoneta all tied for first. 

The Cougars and Titans will play this Friday and Shawnee has a tough game with St. Marys Memorial the same night.

Tinora leads the Green Meadows Conference race by a game and Marion Local and Coldwater are tied for first in the Midwest Athletic Conference. They’ll meet in Week No. 9 in a game that could decide the conference championship and will undoubtedly produce the biggest 50/50 jackpot in all of the area. 

The NWC title race could come down to a game in Putnam County this Friday night. 

Columbus Grove

Columbus Grove lost a lot of great talent to graduation and many people, myself included, thought this would be a down year for the Bulldogs. 

It looks like we were wrong. The three-time defending champions are 5-0 (2-0 NWC) and they’ve looked good winning all five games. The Bulldogs will play at Leipsic on Friday, a game that could be considered as the NWC championship game. Whichever team wins will be in the driver’s seat the rest of the way. 

It’s not a good idea to underestimate a championship culture and that’s what Columbus Grove has. 

Cougars vs. Titans

No doubt you know Van Wert will host Ottawa-Glandorf this Friday night in a key WBL game. The winner will stay in the title race while the loser will need some help to stay in it.

The last four Van Wert/Ottawa-Glandorf games have gone like this:

  • 2020 – O-G 35-34
  • 2019 – O-G 35-28 (OT)
  • 2018 – VW 40-34 (OT)
  • 2017 – VW 19-17

What does 2021’s game hold in store? It won’t be a surprise if it’s another barnburner. A full preview will appear on Wednesday’s Sports page. 

State ranking

After last Friday’s loss to St. Marys Memorial, Van Wert slipped to No. 7 in this week’s Associated Press Division IV poll.

I do believe a couple of things helped the Cougars from falling even more. One is the fact that the Roughriders are a Division III team and the other is the fact that St. Marys Memorial is a familiar name among AP voters. Also, a one touchdown margin probably played a role as well.

David vs. Goliath

One of the more intriguing high school football games played last week featured two unbeaten teams – Division II Lakewood and Division VII Lucas. 

The game was hastily put together on Tuesday. Lakewood has close to 1,500 students while Lucas has about 160 students but Lucas won the game 35-27 and by most accounts, it really wasn’t that close. 

It was truly a remarkable win for Lucas.

Fox Sports

I don’t want to be that guy but I’m just going to come out and say it. In some ways, college football has become nearly unwatchable on Fox Sports. 

While some people may disagree, the announcers are fine but games on Fox or FS1 take forever, simply because of the endless and somewhat lengthy commercial breaks. 

I fully understand that Fox needs to sell commercials to cover the cost of carrying the games, but these games drag on for close to four hours with very little or no flow. 

Say what you will about the NFL, but those games, especially on CBS, are done in three hours and actually have flow. 

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

POSTED: 09/21/21 at 4:04 am. FILED UNDER: Sports