1. Ready, set, hike!: The march to Massillon (and Canton) begins this week as the high school football season kicks off. Most games are Friday, but the Crosstown Showdown offers mid-week action. Among the highlights, Bishop Fenwick plays Edgewood in Mason on Wednesday and Middletown plays Elder at Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium. The Showdown continues on Friday and Saturday. Visit skylinecrosstownshowdown.com for the complete schedule.
2. Just for kicks: Youth soccer teams from 11 states and Canada converge on Dayton for the 34th annual Mead CUSA Cup tournament Saturday, Sundy and Monday. The tournament, which brings in about $9 million to the local economy, features 508 teams playing 864 games. Games are played on fields throughout the Miami Valley with the finals at Oak Grove Complex in Centerville and Ankeney Soccer Complex in Beavercreek on Monday. Visit www.cusacup.com for teams, schedules, locations and times.
3. OH — IO!: There’s plenty to cheer about for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Wayne grad Braxton Miller is hyped for the Heisman. The Buckeyes enter the season No. 2 behind defending national champion Alabama. There will be a bowl game this season. It all starts at noon Saturday as Ohio State hosts Buffalo at Ohio Stadium. In other area action, Cincinnati hosts Purdue and Miami travels to Marshall. The Dayton Flyers kick off the season Thursday at Youngstown State.
4. Playoff push: The Dayton Dragons’ season is rounding third and heading for home. The Dragons wrap up the regular season this week and need some help to catch Great Lakes to qualify for the playoffs. Dayton plays at Lansing today before starting at three-game showdown at Great Lakes starting Wednesday. From there the Dragons finish out the regular season at home with three against South Bend.
5. Final rehearsal: The NFL wraps up the preseason on Thursday, much to the delight of the fantasy football fans everywhere. The Bengals host Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts at 7 p.m. The Browns travel to Chicago to take on Jay Cutler and the Bears at 8 p.m.
— Greg Billing