The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022

Monday Mailbag: playoffs, R-14, media

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

This week’s Monday Mailbag features questions about the high school football playoff format, Division IV, Region 14, plus media members dealing with coaches and athletic directors.

Q: With the new high school football playoff format this year, how many rounds will the better seeded team host playoff games? Will the better seed host all the way up to the regional championship game? Robert H., Van Wert

A: Hello Robert. The top 16 teams from each region will qualify for the playoffs later this month and the top 8 seeds from each of those regions will host opening round games. After that, higher seeded teams will host regional quarterfinal games, then teams will meet at neutral sites for the regional semifinals, regional championship games and the state semifinals.

The state finals will be played in Canton this year, so it’s possible a team could host two playoff games, play at three neutral sites then head to Canton for the championship game.

Q: According to joeeitel.com, Van Wert is No. 3 in Division IV, Region 14. Is there any chance the Cougars will finish as the top seed or No. 2? Name withheld upon request

A: Even if Van Wert beats Elida and Bath, I don’t think the Cougars can get the top seed. Bellevue seems to have that locked up.

Clyde is currently the second seed and the Fliers will host Bellevue in Week No. 10. It’s a huge rivalry game between two schools separated by about eight miles (the Battle of Route 20). A Clyde win would probably lock up the No. 2 seed for them but a loss could open the door for Van Wert. I’m not a guru with the points but it seems No. 4 Perkins is a team that could make a move as well.

Q: With you being a media person, what are your observations concerning high schools’ (coaches, AD’s, PA announcers, etc.) getting complete and accurate team information to you prior to, during, and after events?

It seems to me that schools would want to cooperate fully with the media in order to get out correct information and also to give maximum PR to their athletes in all sports, but this doesn’t always seem to be the case. Probably a touchy subject? Name withheld upon request

A: The overwhelming majority of area coaches and athletic directors are always willing to share requested information, including answering questions for stories, providing stats, starting lineups etc. and PA announcers are a huge help to radio and TV broadcasters if there are any questions about names.

Losses can be tough for coaches but again, 99 times out of 100 they’ll answer questions if asked after a game. Overall, this area is blessed with hard working, passionate and cooperative coaches and I couldn’t be happier with the way they communicate with the media.

There have been a handful of times over my long career when a coach didn’t want to share any information or answer questions before or after a game. I’ve never understood that rationale because all we’re trying to do is provide accurate information, but it does happen on rare occasions.

A big part of it is building relationships with coaches and athletic directors. Show them you can be trusted and there won’t be any problems.

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

POSTED: 10/11/21 at 4:07 am. FILED UNDER: Sports