Botkins’ boys soccer squad is aiming for another Division III state berth after earning its first in program history last year in addition to its first district and regional title.
The Trojans will have to beat tough competition to accomplish that goal.
Botkins (12-3-1) was voted the No. 2 seed in the Dayton Div. III sectional and is one of several area soccer squads that are looking to make long tournament runs. Anna and Lehman Catholic both earned high seeds in the Dayton D-III girls sectional, and Sidney earned a high seed in the Dayton D-I sectional.
Soccer teams across the state will begin tournament play next week. Like all other sports, there are significant changes this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Crowd size restrictions issued by state government officials don’t allow for stadiums to have more than 15 percent capacity, and social distancing and other safety measures are supposed to be adhered to.
With the spectator restrictions, the OHSAA announced in September ticket sales for all fall sports tournaments will be sold online only and on a presale basis only. Tickets are not available to be purchased by the general public. Schools are issued special codes needed to buy tickets online and distribute the codes to team members, who pass them out to family and friends.
The Trojans, which are ranked No. 6 in D-III in the state coaches association poll, will have to beat two tough squads just to earn a district title.
Botkins is scheduled to open tournament play on Monday by hosting No. 22 Dayton Stivers (1-3) and if victorious will host No. 16 Springfield Emmanuel Christian (6-8) in a second-round match on Thursday.
Things will get much tougher after that, as the Trojans would likely face No. 4 Xenia Legacy Christian (11-1-1) in a district semifinal on Oct. 26 at Bellefontaine High School. The Knights aren’t state ranked but beat No. 4 ranked Troy Christian 3-2 on Oct. 1. Botkins lost to Troy Christian 2-1 a week later.
If the Trojans would get past Legacy Christian, they would face No. 1 seed Greenon (14-0-1) in a district final on Oct. 29. The Knights are ranked 14th in the D-III state poll and beat Troy Christian 4-0 on Sept. 22.
Jackson Center (8-3-2) was voted the No. 14 seed in the Dayton D-III boys sectional while Lehman (4-8-3) was voted No. 19 and Fairlawn (0-12-1) was voted No. 24.
The Tigers will open tournament play on Monday at No. 8 Brookville. Lehman will travel to No. 3 Troy Christian in a first-round game on Monday while Fairlawn will face No. 1 Greenon.
Sidney (8-4-4) was voted the No. 9 seed in the Dayton D-I boys sectional. The Yellow Jackets will start tournament play on Monday by hosting No. 14 Huber Heights Wayne. If victorious, Sidney will travel to No. 2 Beavercreek for a second-round game on Thursday.
Sidney’s girls soccer team was voted the No. 5 seed in the Dayton D-I sectional. The Yellow Jackets (13-1-2) will start tournament play next Saturday when they host either No. 7 Kettering Fairmont or No. 11 Bellbrook in a second-round game. If victorious, they’ll face either No. 3 Miamisburg or No. 4 Vandalia-Butler in a district semifinal on Oct. 27 at Xenia.
Anna (13-2) was voted the No. 2 seed in the Dayton D-III girls sectional while Lehman (11-1-1) was voted No. 3 seed.
The Rockets are scheduled to start tournament play next Saturday by hosting either No. 14 Springfield Catholic Central or No. 20 Springfield Northeastern in a second-round game. If victorious, they’ll likely face No. 15 Preble Shawnee in a district semifinal on Oct. 27 at Eaton.
If Anna advances to a district final, it’ll likely face either Cincinnati Madeira or Cincinnati Reading on Oct. 31.
The Cavaliers are scheduled to start tournament play by hosting either No. 13 Twin Valley South or No. 21 Middletown Christian next Saturday. If victorious, they’ll likely face No. 9 West Liberty-Salem in a district semifinal on Oct. 27 at Bellefontaine.
If Lehman advances to a district final, it’ll likely face defending D-III state champion Cincinnati Country Day on Oct. 31. The Cavaliers lost to Country Day 6-1 in a regional semifinal last year.
Botkins (6-3-2) was voted the No. 12 seed. The Trojans will host No. 18 Newton in a second-round match next Saturday to open tournament play and if victorious will face No. 1 Waynesville in a district semifinal on Oct. 27 at Miamisburg.
Reach Bryant Billing at 937-538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.