For the neutral site football playoff games that begin next weekend, the OHSAA has decreed that the two divisions for the smallest schools will both play on Saturday night. This has major implications for what comes and when to Sidney Memorial Stadium. It’s essentially certain that nothing will be assigned here on Friday, Nov. 11, with a Division VI or VII encounter definitely appearing the next night.
Potential matchups in that mix include Marion Local vs. Versailles and Allen East vs. Tri-Village in D-VI and Fort Loramie vs. Mechanicsburg or Minster, and Riverside or New Bremen vs. Ansonia in D-VII.
Some of those same candidates could return for regional finals a week later, when D-III would become a Friday night possibility if Wapakaoneta vs. Tippecanoe materializes. A state semifinal in almost any division on Thanksgiving weekend could again appear here, especially since Sidney is willing to host on that weekend while some other sites aren’t.
The OHSAA makes these assignments based on facilities and proximity of participants. They’ve made it clear that Sidney Memorial Stadium is a preferred site. SMS is a fan favorite, mainly due to seating closer to the field since there is no running track around the perimeter of the football field.
There are 28 regions in the state with qualifiers seeded 1-16 based on regular season computer points. The top three seeds statewide won 82 of 84 games on opening weekend, with top seeds unblemished after a single loss a year ago.
Bowser and Rogers
Sidney product and short yardage specialist Isaiah Bowser tallied his 11th TD this season in last Saturday’s 25-21 Central Florida win over Cincinnati in Orlando. Isaiah had been both recruited and offered by Cincinnati before a coaching change five years ago muddled that situation. He then chose Northwestern and initially thrived there before transferring to UCF.
Like former high school teammate Bowser, converted defensive tackle and now starting center Devan Rogers was quite visible on TV last Saturday as his Toledo Rockets won a big one at Eastern Michigan 27-24 to enhance their chances of playing for the Mid-American Conference title.
Both UCF and Toledo will be bowl bound in December. Isaiah is concluding his eligibility while Devan can return for 2023. Both are finishing Master’s Degrees, according to Sidney coach Adam Doenges who remains quite proud of both.
I was in the Fort Loramie pressbox for last Friday’s 43-20 playoff opening win over St. Henry, and was hopeful of seeing retired four time state champion coach Tim Boeckman during the evening. My good friend actually found me since he had to come to the pressbox to claim the $456 winning share of the 50-50 raffle. Tim’s grandson is a St. Henry wide receiver.
Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross has been a local sports media member for 47 years, and has served on multiple OHSAA committees.