Dismal start leaves City League teams facing uphill climb to playoffsWritten by Norm Wamer | | firstname.lastname@example.org
In November, 192 Ohio high school football teams will begin the quest to win one of six state championships. If the nonleague portion of the season is any indication of who might be participating, it might not be a busy time in the Toledo area.
Ohio high school football standings are largely dictated by computer points. While league champions usually go to the state playoffs, it’s not necessarily guaranteed. You must finish in the top eight in one of Ohio’s 24 regions (four regions per division) to be playing football in week 11. Computer points are accumulated through a complex system involving who you beat, what division they are in and who the teams you beat defeated as well.
This weekend starts the league portion of most schools’ schedules. The more games your league won in the nonleague portion of the schedule, the more computer points you can accumulate over the last seven weeks of the regular season. With all that being said, the Toledo City League is in trouble.
Many thought this year could be a very good year for the City League, but it has been anything but. Week 2 of the season was a disaster, as the league’s 12 schools went an anemic 1-11. The other two weeks were a little better, but the City League had a combined 10-26 record through three weeks, which includes a 3-0 record for Central Catholic. Clay was the other team with a winning record (2-1), leaving the other 10 schools at 5-25. The City League also played the Northern Lakes League 16 times and the NLL captured 11 of those games, led by Sylvania Southview and Maumee going 3-0 each and Anthony Wayne 2-1. Southview impressively beat Bowsher, Rogers and Start, and Maumee knocked off Waite, Woodward and Bowsher, albeit not the City League’s best, but still 3-0. Anthony Wayne stunned Rogers and Clay and lost a tight game to Central Catholic.
This week’s games could actually end up deciding who wins both the City League and the Northern Lakes League. City League favorites Central Catholic and St. John’s tangle at Central, and Sylvania Southview visits Anthony Wayne in the NLL. Even if Central Catholic and Southview lose these big games and don’t win their leagues, they are both in great shape to make the playoffs. After three weeks, according to the best unofficial state Web site for computer points standings, joeeitel.com, Central Catholic is No. 1 in Division II, Region 6, while Southview is No. 3.
The other City League teams are, for the most part, long shots. Clay is ninth and the Eagles have Central Catholic and St. John’s on their schedule, but the other five opponents have a combined 2-13 record and won’t net many computer points. The next highest are Rogers and St. Francis, which are tied for No. 18 and have a ton of work to do. By the way, one will lose in Week 4 because they play each other.
In Division I, Region 2, the best of the four City League teams is St. John’s, which is No. 18 and has little margin for error the rest of the way. The only other two area teams that are in the top three spots in their regions are Fremont Ross, which is No. 3 in Division I, Region 2, and Genoa, which is No. 2 in Division IV, Region 14.
To be fair, we have more than half of the season left, but a lot of teams have dug big holes, and if they don’t start climbing fast, it will be time to get ready for basketball season.
Norm Wamer is program director of Sports Radio 1470 “The Ticket” WLQR-AM and co-hosts “The Front Row” weekday afternoons from 3 to 6 p.m.