The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022

Monday Mailbag: playoff venue and more

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

This week’s Monday Mailbag features questions about the site of the Division IV regional semifinal game between Van Wert and Clyde, the Clyde Fliers, the expanded playoff format, and remaining lower seeds. Please note the location of the Van Wert-Clyde game was officially changed Sunday night.

Q: I’m sure I won’t be the only one to email this question in for you. Couldn’t the OHSAA have found a site for this game (Van Wert vs. Clyde) that was a little more in the middle? I just looked up the distance between the two teams to this location and it seems a little unfair to Van Wert. What are your thoughts? David Morris, Fort Wayne

A: Yes, it would be nice to have it centered more between the two schools but it doesn’t always work out that way.

I initially wondered if the game would be played at Findlay’s Donnell Stadium, since that’s roughly the halfway point between the two sites. However, Findlay is playing on Friday night, which makes it understandable that they want to go watch their own team play instead of hosting two other teams.

The big thing is finding a site that’s able and willing to host and that’s not easy. The OHSAA strongly prefers turf fields for the regional semifinals and beyond but the real key is finding a site that actually wants to host. It’s not an easy undertaking. In fact, it’s a lot of work and it requires a lot of people to pull it off. The number of sites willing to host has been declining for years and the threat of COVID-19 isn’t exactly helping.

The most important thing right now is the fact that the Cougars are still playing and with that in mind, does it really matter where it is?

NOTE: The game site has changed to Napoleon.

Q: Why didn’t OHSAA just say Friday’s game will be in Clyde? It’s practically a home game for them. Name withheld upon request

A: It’s actually not. It’s about a 40-45 minute drive between Clyde High School and Millbury Lake High School. That would be like saying it was a home game for Van Wert if it was played someplace like Lima or Coldwater.

However, playing it at Clyde was indeed a possibility. If OHSAA was unable to find a suitable neutral site, they would have awarded it to one of the participants and it would have been Clyde, based on the fact that they’re the No. 2 seed and have artificial turf.

With the game now moved to Napoleon, Van Wert will have a drive of roughly an hour, while Clyde’s trip will be approximately an hour and 20 minutes.

Q: How good is Clyde? Name withheld upon request

A: Really good. Clyde (10-2) is one of those teams that seems to get better in the playoffs. When they won the 2019 Division IV state championship, they were just 6-4 in the regular season. Clyde is 31-14 all-time in the playoffs.

I’m somewhat familiar with Clyde and make no mistake – the Fliers will present a real challenge for the Cougars. In my mind, this is going to be a close one.

Q: After two weeks of the expanded playoffs, what are your thoughts on the new format? Name withheld upon request

A: I’m still leaning toward 16 teams per region is too many. However, any remaining teams that were seeded No. 9 or below would disagree.

I’m sure the feeling was the same when the playoffs expanded from four to eight teams per region. You can’t please everyone.

Q: I’m just curious….how many of the lower seeds are left in the playoffs? I’m talking No. 9-16. Name withheld upon request

A: Out of 448 teams that qualified for the football playoffs, just three lower seeds are left. One No. 9 (Perkins), one No. 11 (Anna) and one No. 14 (Wooster). That’s it, which bears the question again, is 16 teams per region too many?

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

POSTED: 11/08/21 at 4:53 am. FILED UNDER: Sports