DESPITE THE dreary and damp weather that has shrouded the Ohio Valley, excitement abounds at five Eastern Ohio high schools, and for good reason.
Bellaire, Harrison Central, River, St. Clairsville and Shadyside have all punched tickets into the OHSAA football playoffs. That is a noteworthy accomplishment as only 192 schools out of more than 800 football-playing schools can lay claim to that feat in Ohio.
All five of our local teams are no strangers to the post-season party. In fact, the Red Devils and Tigers, both riding the wave of 10-0 campaigns, were in the playoffs a season ago.
The one unfortunate note is that two of our locals must lock horns this Friday, as St. Clairsville welcomes Harrison Central in a Division IV encounter. The Huskies will be looking to exact a measure of revenge for an earlier season Buckeye 8 setback.
Staying alive to reach Week 11 is a sweet reward for months and months of hard work, sacrifice, commitment and dedication. It also is a reflection of loads of teamwork, starting from the school administration filtering down through the coaching staff, players and community.
All those involved should feel a deep sense of pride and accomplishment for the success their respective teams are experiencing. Nor should it be taken for granted as the playoffs are not an easy hill to climb.
We wish the Tigers, Huskies, Red Devils and Pilots the best of luck Friday night and the Big Reds one night later for stellar performances and good health.
As a Red Devil-Huskies’ matchup prevents a clean Eastern Ohio sweep this weekend, we hope that four of our teams are still standing strong for Week 12. We salute all five teams on outstanding seasons and all the ingredients that made that success a reality.