The Central Buckeye Conference’s Mad River Division title will be settled in eastern Logan County Friday night, but western Champaign County will still feature a rivalry game when Graham hosts Urbana.
“The kids are all ready for this one,” GHS Coach A.J. Woods said. “Big game in the county. Everyone’s excited.”
The Falcons (2-7) and Hillclimbers (2-7) are each in the midst of a forgettable season, but both teams are still adjusting to new regimes and have young players that would love nothing more than to finish ahead of their rival in the standings.
“If you go to Graham, you circle the Urbana game,” Woods said. “And playoffs or no playoffs, you always want to win the last one. It makes going into the offseason a whole lot different.”
In the Ohio Heritage Conference, Mechanicsburg is looking to finish off its perfect regular season with a win over Southeastern – a victory which would put the team in pretty rare company. The Indians have had only six undefeated and untied teams in the school’s history – records that date back to 1899.
“I think you’re going to see a group of kids that understands the opportunity that’s in front of them,” M’burg Coach Kurt Forrest said. “It’s a big deal around here that we finish this off right.”
Southeastern has question marks at the quarterback position due to injury, and that has M’burg preparing for several looks, including the option and the spread.
“They make you prepare for a lot of different things,” Forrest said. “We’re making sure that focus is on point.”
And how special would a win be for the Indians, who are seeded second in the region for the playoffs?
“Our seniors and our kids would want nothing more than to have another home game in Week 11,” Forrest said.
West Liberty-Salem will host Catholic Central with a chance to seal a playoff berth and perhaps even host a game in the postseason.
“This is where a lot of teams want to be at the end of the season,” WL-S Coach Dan McGill said. “One of the things that stands out about Springfield Catholic Central is how well they’re coached. They do things the right way.”
The Irish (4-5) are still in a rebuilding phase, but have surprised a couple of opponents this season.
“They’re sound enough to take advantage of your mishaps,” McGill said.
The Tigers (7-2) have lost a couple of tough matchups to Valley View and Mechanicsburg this season, but are looking to make some noise in the playoffs.
“This has been a resilient group of kids,” McGill said. “Every Monday, they come willing to work. They work very hard in practice.”
Triad will host Northeastern (2-7) with a chance to get to .500 on the season – something that seemed unimaginable when the Cardinals started 1-4.
The Cards have done pretty much exactly what they’ve had to do in this up-and-down season – beat the weaker teams in the conference. But Triad hasn’t been able to upset any better teams, losing convincingly to Mechanicsburg, West Liberty-Salem and Indian Lake – all playoff contenders.
Friday night’s game will be the final one for Triad’s seniors, so expect them to come out inspired and playing hard.