The Springfield Wildcats will enjoy a working holiday Thursday. They wouldn’t have it any other way.
“We are happy to be in this position to play in the final four again,” coach Maurice Douglass said Friday after a 27-0 victory against Marysville in the Division I, Region 2 championship game. “I tell these guys every year the greatest feeling this time of the year is practicing on Thanksgiving morning. That is a special day because you have all your family members coming in and people are talking to you and asking you about how your practice was today. And then the next day you’re playing the game. This time it’s our turn to finish it and get to the final game.”
Fifth-ranked Springfield (12-1), which lost to Cincinnati Elder and Cincinnati St. Xavier in the state semifinals the last two seasons, will play No. 10 Cincinnati Moeller (11-3) in a state semifinal at 7 p.m. Friday. The game will take place at Sidney Memorial Stadium. The site was announced Sunday.
The other state semifinal will match No. 3 Lakewood St. Edward (13-1) against No. 4 Upper Arlington (14-0).
Here’s a breakdown of the history of the four remaining Division I teams:
• Springfield will make its third final four appearance in the history of the new high school and third in a row as it seeks to become the first Clark County team to win a state championship in the playoff era.
• Moeller will make its 17th final four appearance and first since 2014. It has won nine state titles, most recently in 2013.
• St. Edward will make its 11th final four appearance and first since 2018 when it won its fourth state championship.
• Upper Arlington will play in the final four for the seventh time. It won the championship in 2000.
Springfield scrimmaged Moeller three years ago, and he’s known Moeller’s second-year coach Mark Elder for a long time. Elder was the head coach at Eastern Kentucky University for four seasons before losing his job there and taking the job at Moeller in December 2019.
Douglass expects his team to be the underdog even though it’s the team with the most playoff experience in recent years.
“I like being the underdog,” he said. “Put me down as the underdog.”
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