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Sunday, Jul. 14, 2024

Monday Mailbag: Celina, Harbaugh, more

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

This pre-Thanksgiving Monday Mailbag includes questions about Celina football, heavy favorites, and Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Q: Are you surprised with Celina continuing their playoff run? What are your initial thoughts on the game? Scott Miller, Celina

A: Hi Scott. Yes, I’m pleasantly surprised with the Bulldogs and their deep playoff run. It’s always nice to see any team from the Western Buckeye League advance this far in the postseason.

The transformation of this program is amazing. Celina was just 1-9 in 2021, then improved to 6-4 last season and 8-2 (now 12-2 this season). As I’ve said before, head coach Brennan Bader and his staff have done an incredible job (he should be named Division III Coach of the Year), and the kids have bought into the program and have done what they needed to do to get to this point.

I didn’t see Friday’s game first hand but I kept tabs on it, along with several other games. I know there were some anxious moments in the fourth quarter but Braylon Gabes sealed the deal with a 65-yard interception return.

Let’s face it – the No. 6 seed Bulldogs have been the underdog in at least two of their playoff games, and going up against powers such as Trotwood-Madison and Badin isn’t exactly an easy proposition. Celina is probably considered the underdog again this week against Bishop Watterson, a program that has eight state semifinal appearances (none since 2010 though). Obviously, this year’s team is no slouch. Like Celina, Bishop Watterson has found ways to win this season.

I could be wrong, but perhaps Celina is enjoying the underdog role. It’s worked out well for them throughout the 2023 season.

Best of luck to the Bulldogs this Friday night.

Q: It seems as though at least two of this year’s state football champions are set in stone – Glenville and Marion Local. What can be done about that? Name withheld upon request

A: I’ll agree that Glenville and Marion Local are heavy favorites to win their respective divisions, but nothing is set in stone. Upsets can and have happened before.

Otherwise, I’m not quite sure what you’re asking. I know there’s some question about Glenville being in Division IV. Marion Local has bounced between Divisions VI and VII for a few years now, but that’s simply because that’s where they are enrollment wise.

Q: What are the chances Jim Harbaugh is back as Michigan’s head coach in 2024? Name withheld upon request

A: I could be very wrong on this, but the odds appear to be the same as you or me winning the lottery before then.

POSTED: 11/20/23 at 4:44 am. FILED UNDER: Sports