The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Jan. 17, 2022

Monday Mailbag: Eggerss, WBL, more

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

This week’s Monday Mailbag includes questions about the proposed Eggerss Stadium renovation project, surprise football teams and the WBL football title race.

Q: Will artificial turf be part of the Eggerss Stadium project? Name withheld upon request

A: It’s my understanding that artificial turf will indeed be included in the plans if the proposal is approved by voters.

By my count, that would make Van Wert the fifth WBL school to have turf, along with Wapakoneta, Bath, St. Marys Memorial and Defiance.

Q: The proposed renovations at Eggerss Stadium will apparently cost between $4-$5 million. That seems high. Is there a breakdown of costs and why not consider building a new field at the high school? Name withheld upon request

A: More information on costs and what the project entails will be released by Van Wert City Schools in the coming weeks.

As far as renovating Eggerss Stadium vs. building a new stadium, a 2017 poll indicated the overwhelming majority of people wanted to renovate instead of build a new stadium.

Q: If the Eggerss Stadium issue is approved, why wait until December of next year to start work? That doesn’t make any sense. Name withheld upon request

A: The bond issue won’t appear on the ballot until next May. If approved, there’s the process of issuing bonds, etc., then seeking bids for the project. That will take some time and then football season will start before you know it.

The proposal also said no later than December, 2022, so work could start a bit sooner.

Q: More than halfway through the season, which area high school football team would you say is the biggest surprise? Name withheld upon request

A: Two come to mind – Crestview and Columbus Grove.

I say Crestview because of graduation losses and a new head coach, although James Lautzenheiser was an assistant for 10 years before taking over. He’s done a great job and younger players have really stepped up for the Knights.

As far as Columbus Grove, the Bulldogs suffered huge graduation losses and it seemed like this could be a rebuilding year but obviously it’s not.

The team is 6-0 and one of the few undefeated teams around the area, along with Marion Local and Coldwater. It just goes to so that a championship culture can go a long way.

Of note, Columbus Grove and Crestview will square off this weekend.

Q: Maybe easy isn’t the right word, but who has the easier path to the WBL championship: Van Wert or Wapakoneta? Name withheld upon request

A: Van Wert has games remaining against three 4-2 teams (Shawnee, Elida and Bath), plus 0-6 Kenton. Shawnee and Elida are both what I would call more than solid defensive teams and Bath is one of the more improved teams around northwest Ohio. Each team will offer challenges and while Kenton is winless, you certainly can’t overlook the Wildcats.

Wapakoneta has Elida and Bath left, along with Celina (1-5) and Defiance (2-4).

If you go by remaining records, it would appear Wapakoneta has the “easier” path. However, I think at this point there’s a fairly decent chance the two teams will finish in a first-place tie.

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

POSTED: 09/27/21 at 3:45 am. FILED UNDER: Sports