You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

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.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

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.

Location not always a good fit for playoff teams


The distance between Ohio Heritage Conference rival schools Mechanicsburg and West Liberty-Salem is about 18 miles, northeast of Springfield. But they’re headed to Wapakoneta — at least 60 miles west, near St. Marys — for Friday’s Division VI, Region 22 high school football final.

What’s up with that?

“I don’t know where the issue or the problem was, but it seems a little silly to make two teams that are 15 minutes apart drive an hour-and-a-half to go play,” Mechanicsburg coach Kurt Forrest said Monday.

“I’d rather put the ball down in a cornfield right outside of Urbana and we’ll go play.”

The football playoffs last for five weeks. First-round games are hosted by higher seeds or the venue of their choice. Games switch to neutral sites after that.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association favors artificial surfaces after the first round. Also, facilities must bid to host games.

The OHSAA tries to find stadiums midway between schools that meet its conditions. Other factors such as multiple playoff games within a regional area and rental fees also affect its decisions.

“Among the sites available to the OHSAA to host a playoff game on Friday, Wapakoneta was the best choice for that particular game,” OHSAA director of information services Tim Stried said. “There are a limited number of facilities in the west-central part of Ohio that meet the requirements to host an OHSAA playoff game. Among those possible facilities, not all are available on a given night.”

This isn’t the only game in which the location has been questioned. In D-I, Region 2, top-ranked Colerain (12-0) and defending D-I state champ Moeller (11-1) play on Saturday night at Mason, some 20 miles away from Cincinnati.

Mason’s Dwire Field at Atrium Stadium has a seating capacity of 7,000. That’s less than the announced crowd at last weekend’s Elder-Moeller game at the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium. The magnitude of a Moeller-Colerain crowd is limited only by the venue.

Wittenberg’s Edwards-Maurer Field is the only stadium in the Springfield area with artificial turf. It has a seating capacity of 3,000.

Piqua and its Alexander Stadium-Purk Field is a closer location for Mechanicsburg and WL-Salem. But that 8,200-seat locale drew the D-III, Region 10 showdown between Tippecanoe (12-0) and Trotwood-Madison (9-2) on Friday.

Northmont also was sought to host the Mechanicsburg-WL-Salem game. Northmont athletic director Robin Spiller said the school is hosting a wrestling preview on Friday and construction of a new high school prohibits hosting another big event on the same night.

“I was surprised when they announced that it was at Wapakoneta,” Forrest said. “I’m not sure why. I know there are a lot of things that go into that decision-making process. I also know that the other schools have to be willing to host a game.”

It doesn’t matter where Alter (11-1) plays, because the Knights have no home field and always bus to a game. They landed the next best thing on Friday, playing defending D-IV state champ Clinton-Massie (11-1) at Welcome Stadium.

On Saturday, Triad (12-0) plays two-time defending state champ Marion Local (12-0) at Piqua in a D-VII, Region 26 final and Hamilton Badin plays West Jefferson in a D-V, Region 18 final at Northmont.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

NBA’s last two defending champs both have plenty to work out
NBA’s last two defending champs both have plenty to work out

A funny thing is happening on the way to Cavs-Warriors III in the NBA Finals. Or maybe it’s not. We’re only in January, after all. Cleveland is in first place in the East and Golden State stands atop the Western Conference standings, but both teams have lately dealt with questions about whether or not they have fatal flaws. LeBron James...
Archie Miller credits ‘electric crowds’ for last two wins
Archie Miller credits ‘electric crowds’ for last two wins

Dayton Flyers coach Archie Miller looked back Monday on victories against Richmond and Saint Louis, talking with WHIO’s Larry Hansgen and fans during the coach’s show at Fricker’s on Woodman Drive. Here are some highlights: On the two wins last week: “It was a good week for us. Anytime you can come off the road with a two-game...
Reds prospect Nick Senzel gets another honor after huge Dragons season
Reds prospect Nick Senzel gets another honor after huge Dragons season

In case you needed another indication Nick Senzel has a bright future, here you go: MLB.com rated the Cincinnati Reds’ most-recent No. 1 draft pick the second-best third-baseman prospect out there. The former Tennessee standout was already named the Reds’ best prospect by Baseball America after a super season with the Dayton Dragons last...
Ben Roethlisberger delivers ominous quotes about his football future
Ben Roethlisberger delivers ominous quotes about his football future

As long as the Steelers have the best quarterback in the AFC North, they figure to be contenders to win the division. But what if Ben Roethlisberger weren’t back in Gold and Black next season? Appearing on 93.7 The Fan radio in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, he said he is “going to take this offseason to evaluate, to consider all options.&rdquo...
Erin Andrews diagnosed with cervical cancer during 2016 NFL season
Erin Andrews diagnosed with cervical cancer during 2016 NFL season

Sports broadcaster Erin Andrews tapped into the toughness of the athletes whom she covers on the field when she faced a cancer diagnosis during the 2016 NFL season. Andrews was diagnosed with cervical cancer in October 2016. The Fox Sports analyst said she was determined not to miss a single game, even though she required surgery. According to a MMQB...
More Stories