Springfield football to play seven home games this seson

Credit: SCOTT HUCK

Credit: SCOTT HUCK

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield High School football fans will have plenty of opportunities to see the Wildcats take the gridiron this fall.

The five-time defending regional champions and state runners-up the last three years will play seven home games this season. Springfield released its football schedule earlier this month. It includes a home game with Gonzaga College High School, a private catholic school in Washington, D.C.

“It was a really fortuitous way for the schedule to work out,” said Springfield Athletic Director Mike Dellapina. “It will be a great opportunity for Wildcat fans to come out and we’re excited to be hosting these really quality opponents.”

The Wildcats played four games in Springfield last year due to scheduling issues and the Greater Western Ohio Conference rotation, Dellapina said.

The Wildcats will host D-II powerhouse Winton Woods on Friday, Aug. 23 in the season opener.. The Warriors needed an away game and chose to travel to Springfield. The Winton Woods football program has won two state championships with its most recent coming in 2021.

“They’re a really quality opponent and we’ve scrimmaged them in the past,” Dellapina said. “I know (Winton Woods coach Chad Murphy) really well and I think it will be a great opening game matchup against two really strong public school programs in southwest Ohio.”

The following week, Springfield will host Gonzaga, which plays a national schedule. The school has had several alumni play in the NFL, including 2024 No. 1 pick Caleb Williams. The game will be televised by FloSports, Dellapina said.

“They’re a very successful program and a lot of really quality players have come out of their program,” he said. “They’ve put multiple players in professional football.”

Springfield has struggled to find a Week 2 opponent in recent years, playing DeMatha Catholic (Md.) last season, as well as De Smet (Mo.) and Fairfield. Dellapina posted the Week 2 opening on several national databases to find a game and received a call from Gonzaga.

“They were willing to come to us,” Dellapina said. “They’re used to traveling to fill their schedule and they agreed to come (to Springfield).”

In Week 3, the Wildcats will play former conference rival Trotwood-Madison before heading into its Greater Western Ohio Conference play. Last season, every GWOC team except Beavercreek made the playoffs.

“It’s going to be a slugfest week in and week out,” Dellapina said.

The Wildcats lost to Wayne and Centerville in the regular season last year but defeated both in the playoffs.

“(The GWOC) certainly prepares you for the postseason,” Dellapina said. “When you play the caliber of opponents and the great coaches in our league, you’ve got to be ready to go. It definitely prepared us for the postseason. People like to use the term that iron sharpens iron and there’s a lot of iron in our conference and it’s like that in every single sport.”

Official practice begins Aug. 1. The 10-week season will begin Aug. 23, followed by the playoffs, which start Nov. 1. The state championships will be held Dec. 5-7 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.

Springfield is already off to a strong start this summer, winning the Ohio State University 7-on-7 on June 12 in Columbus.

“Our kids have been working really hard in the offseason,” Dellapina said. “They’re diving in full speed this summer. We’re just looking forward to the start of the year. We think it’s going to be a great season. We’re really excited about the opportunity to play so many home games in front of our fans.”

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