Arcanum Trojans line. (Gayen Blosser photo)

Playoffs, Pars, Pride, and Prevention

SHOTS IN THE DARKE

 

The final games of the high school football regular season are this Friday and area teams will be competing for positions in the playoffs which begin next week.

This year 16 teams from each of four regions in each of the seven divisions will qualify for post-season play. Of the 708 schools playing around the state, the 71 schools with the largest student enrollments constitute D-I with the remaining schools equally divided into the other six divisions, approximately 106 teams in each.

Locally Springfield, Centerville, and Wayne seem sure bets to play in D-I; Piqua and Troy from the MVL are among the tops in D-II; St. Marys, Bellbrook, and the MVL’s Tipp City Red Devils (Greenville’s opponent Friday night) should qualify for D-III; Eaton and West Milton-Union are safe in D-IV; Preble Shawnee, Versailles’ Tigers, and Brookville look good for D-V action; DVI is a real possibility for the Trojans of Arcanum and Coldwater; while the Tri-Village Patriots and Ansonia Tigers should make it in D-VII along with perennial powers Marion Local and St. Henry.

Divisions I through IV play games on Friday nights with Divisions V, VI, and VII seeing action on Saturdays. The better seeded teams will host games in the first and second rounds with neutral sites as the tournament continues. All games kickoff at 7:00 p.m. so if you get a chance to see not only your favorite teams in action but also other quality programs make the effort to attend!

Kenna Jenkinson, the junior GHS golfer who was medalist in the MVL this year both during the regular season and the league tournament, will be competing for the second straight year this Friday and Saturday in the Division I state tournament at the OSU Gray Course in Columbus. One of the finest girl golfers to come out of Darke County, Kenna will be looking to improve upon her finish of last year and hopefully move into the Top Ten this weekend. Here’s hoping for pars and birdies throughout the 36 holes for the talented and hard-working Kenna!

Last week the GHS Athletic Hall of Fame committee met and selected three former Wave athletes for induction into membership this year. Joining last year’s selectees Brian Matix, Class of ‘84; Jordyn Fisherback, Class of ‘10; and Softball Coach Jerrod Newland, 2003 to Present will be Aaron Shaffer, Class of ‘94; Krysten Blumenstock, Class of ‘08; and Selo Ramjattan, Class of ‘10.

With last year’s induction ceremony canceled due to the pandemic all six of the newest inductees will be honored with a banquet at The Elks Lodge at noon on Saturday December 18th and later presented their plaques and publicly acknowledged prior to the GHS boys varsity basketball game against Franklin-Monroe that evening. A great honor for these six, the ranks of the HOF now swells to 119 members!

Talk about sticking to your guns, how about the dismissal of Washington State University Head Football Coach Nick Rolovich and four of his top assistants! The highest paid public employee in the State of Washington at a cool $3 million per year, Rolovich was adamant about refusing to be vaccinated for the Covid virus for the past eight months or so even as he asked his players to do so.

With Washington requiring all state employees to be vaccinated by the weekend, his refusal led to his being released and voiding his compensation; all of this after winning the past three games and knowing that he would be leaving his team and players leaderless. There are such things as being principled but there are also such things as loyalty, family responsibilities, scientific facts and common sense that enter into the equation. I think he’s being foolish and will regret his actions later but that’s just my opinion—what’s yours?

The baseball playoffs are in the League Championship stages with the Braves holding a 2-1 game lead over the Dodgers in the NL while over in the AL the Astros and the Red Sox are even at 2-2 as this column is written. I guess that I’m pulling for Atlanta and Houston; don’t ask me why because I don’t know other than the fact the LA and Boston always have two of the highest payrolls in all of the sport!

Finally, I’m off to see the Notre Dame-Southern Cal game this weekend with the sons-in-law, trying to tailgate with the younger crowd; wish me luck and the wisdom that comes with experience!

Also, it’s Breast Cancer Awareness month—I lost my long-time office manager Jan Riegle to the disease 20 years ago and have been a strong advocate of regular checkups and screenings ever since. Her passing at the too young age of 50 was truly unfortunate—make sure your loved ones are being proactive in prevention! Until next time, stay healthy and active!

Previous Ruth Annalee (Horine) Hunt (100)

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