Shots in the Darke
Are you ready for some football, NFL style? The pros (with apologies to the college players receiving NIL money) kick things off Thursday night with a great matchup between the defending Super Bowl champion Rams and the highly regarded Bills. Meanwhile, on Sunday the Bengals host the Roethlisberger-less Steelers as they open defense of last year’s AFC crown and the Browns travel to Carolina and a meeting with former QB Baker Mayfield. Think the Panthers’ new signal-caller is pumped to meet the team that threw him out with the trash?
The first full weekend of college football is over with some outstanding games and wild fourth quarter action to whet fans’ appetites for the rest of the fall. THE struggled offensively against Notre Dame but came through when it counted in the final period with a grinding drive for the clinching touchdown. New defensive coordinator Jim Knowles justified his salary as his group basically shut down the Irish offense for most of the night, giving Buckeye fans reason to hope for a stout defense throughout the year.
Alabama rolled on while defending national champion Georgia humbled a good Oregon team by 46 points. Miami (the other one in Florida!) upset Utah with a last minute interception in the end zone while the original Miami (established in 1809, well before Florida even became a state!) fell in the second half to a strong Kentucky Wildcat squad.
What in the world was going on in North Carolina? The Tar Heels barely hung on to defeat host Appalachian State 63-61 in Boone, a game which saw the two teams combine for 62 points in the FOURTH QUARTER! Over in Greenville, East Carolina’s all-conference kicker somehow managed to miss an extra point kick and a short field goal in the last few minutes as the Pirates fell to the highly ranked Wolfpack of North Carolina State. Lots of shattered nerves and angst among fans of those four schools today!
I see the college football playoffs will most likely expand to twelve teams from the current four within the next few years. After waiting for their own squabbling conference commissioners to expand the playoffs, the college presidents and chancellors on the national committee took matters in their own hands and in an hour decided what the other group couldn’t agree on over the past few seasons.
As currently proposed the six highest rated conference champions and six at-large selections with compose the field with the four highest ranked teams receiving first-round byes. There are quite a few logistical hurdles to handle but the possibility exists that 2026, if not earlier, will see the implementation of the post-season tournament!
The Treaty City Cross Country Invitational was held Saturday in the City Park with the Versailles girls placing second and the Lady Wave tenth in girls’ varsity action. The Lady Tigers’ Meredith Barga and Keira Rahm finished third and fourth respectively while Tessa Fine of GHS placed eighth out of 223 runners. In the varsity boys’ race Versailles was third with Greenville seventh. Trey Rammel led the Wave finishing a strong twelfth while Dylan Riffel and Landry Knore paced a tight pack of Versailles harriers in the 255 runner field. Counting the junior high events almost 800 runners participated in the annual gathering!
What a tremendous comeback Friday night by the Wave in a double overtime loss to Sidney by a 49-48 count! Down 35-14 with only eight minutes left in regulation Bart Schmitz’s squad caught fire, tying the game only to come up inches short on a two-point conversion attempt that would have won the game. The Wave should break into the win column this week as they travel to Fairborn to take on the winless Skyhawks.
Around the county, Ansonia and Versailles remain undefeated at 3-0 while Tri-Village bounced back from the previous week’s loss with a big win over Twin Valley South to go to 2-1. Arcanum garnered its first win of the season, heading into this week’s contest at Ansonia. Another key game sees Tri-Village on the road at Mississinawa Valley in WOAC play.
Finally, Serena Williams bowed out of the US Open Tennis Championship with a third round loss to Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic (try spelling her name without looking it up!). The GOAT enjoyed the almost embarrassing support of the crowd and constant media coverage in what most likely was her final appearance at a major tourney. She leaves behind an amazing record as well as impact on women’s tennis like no other individual. And to think that Greenville native Ric Macci was her and her sister Venus’ first coach!!
A last shoutout to JR Price and the Greenville City Park Band as they finished their concert season at the Marling Bandshell. A tradition that has brought enjoyment to countless citizens over the years, the band once again presented excellent programs. Well played!!