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Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022

Random Thoughts: game sites and more

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

This week’s Random Thoughts center around playoff football sites, site changes, Division IV games, lower seeds, a possible all-MAC volleyball final, OBJ and Ohio State game times.

Neutral site vs. halfway

Before it was announced that Van Wert and Clyde will play at Napoleon instead of Millbury Lake, a lot of people were unhappy with Lake being chosen as the original site.

The chief complaint was that it’s not halfway between the two schools and there were complaints that it wasn’t a neutral site because it was closer to Clyde.

Neutral site doesn’t always mean halfway. Sometimes halfway sites aren’t available. You can’t force a school to host a game so sometimes it’s necessary to go off the beaten path.

Having said all of that, Van Wert’s drive for Friday’s game is now about 55 minutes while Clyde will have to allow about an hour and 20 minutes.

Other site changes

Two other games, both in Division I, Region 2 will now be played at different sites. In fact, they swapped sites that were announced on Sunday.

Marysville and Toledo Whitmer will now play at Spartan Stadium in Lima while Springfield and Findlay will play at Bellefontaine AcuSport Stadium.

Again, it’s not perfect but those locations make much more sense geographically than the original ones.

Division IV

Van Wert and Clyde should be an entertaining game but there are a couple of others to keep an eye on in Division IV.

They don’t have eye-popping records but in Region 13, Youngstown Ursuline (8-3) will take on Glenville (9-3). Ursuline was ranked in the Top 10 for a decent part of the season and Glenville is a former Division I power. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that they’re now a Division IV team. The Tarblooders lost their first three games and haven’t lost since.

In Region 16, No. 1 Cincinnati Wyoming will face No. 4 Clinton-Massie. Wyoming won last year’s playoff matchup 28-9, then lost to Van Wert a week later.

Too many?

Perhaps it’s too early to say and that’s fair enough, but the question remains – is 16 playoff teams per region too many?

Out of 448 teams that qualified for the postseason, just three that were seeded ninth or lower remain alive in the playoffs. I’m guessing by the time this weekend is over, there may be one left.

Let’s revisit this question in a week or two.

All-MAC final?

It’s entirely possible we may see an all-MAC Division IV volleyball final.

It’ll happen if St. Henry beats Monroeville and New Knoxville beats South Webster. Both matches will be played Thursday at Wright State University. The winners will meet for the state title on Saturday.

Better or not?

There’s a debate out there – are the Cleveland Browns better without Odell Beckham Jr.?

I think the answer is a clear yes and a review of games he’s played vs. games he hasn’t shows it. He’s talented but just never seemed to be a good fit in Cleveland.

As Van Wert coaches Cole Harting and Bryce Crea said to me last week – the idea of Odell Beckham Jr. was better than actually having him on the team. Bingo guys. That’s a spot on assessment.

Game time

Ohio State and Michigan State has been set for a noon kickoff in Columbus and it seems like a number of people were disappointed by that. It appears a lot of fans were hoping for a night game. What’s your favorite Ohio State game time: noon, 3:30 p.m. or a night game?

As always, if you have thoughts or comments on any of the above subjects, feel free to email me at sports@thevwindependent.com.

POSTED: 11/09/21 at 4:50 am. FILED UNDER: Sports