You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Last Shawnee vs. Central game tonight

The Wizard Contest is a decades-long tradition in Springfield, but few things measure up to the longevity of the Shawnee-Catholic Central football rivalry.

The Braves and Irish have been playing since the 1960s. One Central grad said the rivalry goes back as far as the 1950s.

Except for a short stretch when Central played Northwestern in Week 1, the Shawnee-Central game has always taken place in the season opener. This is Catholic Central coach Steve DeWitt’s 37th season, and he said he has coached against Shawnee every season. His first game in 1977 was against Shawnee.

The tradition ends tonight when the Braves and Irish meet on the first Friday night of the 2013 season. Catholic Central informed Shawnee on Monday it would drop Shawnee from the schedule in 2014.

“That’s kind of a regret,” DeWitt said, “but almost a necessity.”

The decision surprised Shawnee coach Rick Meeks, but he said, “I wanted to get out of the contract a few years back. I didn’t want to play them. It’s a no-win situation for us. If you win, you’re supposed to. If you lose, everyone’s shocked that they beat us.”

Neither school has found a replacement. Shawnee already has one new local team on its schedule in 2014. It will start a home-and-away series with Springfield next fall.

The rise of Shawnee’s program, which played in the state championship game two years ago, and the falling numbers at Catholic Central fed into the decision. Still, it wasn’t an easy decision for Central. Irish AD Dan Shay told News-Sun contributor Kim Byrum-Skinner, “it’s a huge loss for both schools in gate receipts.”

The Irish begin the season with only 17 players on the roster. It’s the smallest team DeWitt has ever fielded. Shawnee, by comparison, has 55.

“If I spent all my time worrying about it, we wouldn’t get anything accomplished,” DeWitt said. “The kids, with the energy they bring to practice every day, just allow us to move on and get a lot done during practice.”

The picks

Shawnee at Catholic Central: After losing four straight in the series (2005-08), the Braves have won three of the last four games. This is the first chance for the Irish to put their 2-8 performance in 2012 behind them. Pick: Shawnee 28, Catholic Central 13.

Kenton Ridge at Northeastern: The Cougars have beaten the Jets three seasons in a row and in eight of the past nine season openers. Kenton Ridge finished 6-4 in 2012, but three of their losses were to playoff teams. Pick: Kenton Ridge 33, Northeastern 27.

Other picks: Trotwood 42, Springfield 18; Tippecanoe 45, Graham 13; Tecumseh 35, Fairborn 21; Urbana 41, London 21; West Liberty-Salem 28, Greenon 10; Northwestern 28, Southeastern 24; West Jefferson 31, Mechanicsburg 22; Dayton Christian 45, Greeneview 18; Triad 40, Indian Lake 28; Madison Plains 31, Cedarville 10; Ohio State 52, Buffalo 10.

Contest note: The Wizard voting form appears in Sunday’s News-Sun. This year, you can also email your picks to Emails must be received before 7 p.m. Friday.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in

H.S. Results for 4/27: Monroe tallies two grand slams in win

Faith Hensley and Alexis Arnold each had a grand slam in leading Monroe to a 16-1 win over Valley View in softball on Thursday. Hensley went 2-for-3 and Arnold 3-for-4 on the day. Sam Schwab added two hits and three RBI and Alyssa Wagner notched her 11th win. Hannah Powers drove in Valley View’s lone run. It marked the 12th consecutive victory...
NFL draft: 3 Ohio State defensive backs taken in first round
NFL draft: 3 Ohio State defensive backs taken in first round

Ohio State had three players taken in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft -- all defensive backs. Here is an overview of the trio:  ▪ 29th cornerback and 56th defensive back selected from Ohio State in the common draft era (since 1967) ▪ Last CB: Eli Apple, first round, 2016 by the Giants ▪ First CB: Ted Provost, seventh round...
Tom Archdeacon: Steubenville offender gets second chance at Central State
Tom Archdeacon: Steubenville offender gets second chance at Central State

One of the more controversial, polarizing — and, some say, mischaracterized — football players in the nation has joined the Central State Marauders and is vying for the stating quarterback job. How the venture ultimately plays out will make the story of Trent Mays one of second chances or second guesses. Five years ago, Mays — a budding...
Bengals draft Washington WR John Ross at No. 9
Bengals draft Washington WR John Ross at No. 9

The Cincinnati Bengals selected Washington wide receiver John Ross with the ninth pick in the NFL Draft. The 5-11, 188-pound speedster lit up the NFL Combine with a record-breaking time of 4.22 seconds in the 40-yard draft. Ross was the third receiver selected in the first nine picks after Tennessee took Western Michigan’s Corey Davis at No....
Springfield’s Smith on cruise control at Wayne’s midseason showdown
Springfield’s Smith on cruise control at Wayne’s midseason showdown

It’s known as the 19th annual Wayne track and field invitational. But to Springfield High School junior hurdler Dyier Smith, it’s a preview of the season-ending state meet. “This is an important meet because this is known as a mini state,” Smith said Thursday after posting the second-best finals qualifying time in the 110-meter...
More Stories