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Friday, September 7th, 2007

Fast start always important in points race

By Bruce Monnin
Though the football season is 10 weeks long, with only about one-fourth of the teams qualifying for the playoffs, it's very important for teams to get off to a fast start.
Over the last two years, 13 of the 15 Western Buckeye League and Midwest Athletic Conference teams to make the playoffs started the year off with a 2-0 mark.
Only three WBL and MAC teams in those same two years started the season 2-0 without earning a playoff berth.
With the WBL failing to win any games in the first week, there are obviously no 2-0 WBL teams right now. While it would be extremely unlikely that no WBL team would make the playoffs, it also seems likely that as few as two WBL teams will advance this season.
On the MAC side, there are only three 2-0 teams (Marion Local, St. Henry and Parkway), and they are all in the extremely tough region 20. Marion Local and St. Henry each have a win over an opponent that should gain them big computer points (Coldwater and Marion Pleasant, respectively). Parkway has two wins but still needs that big points victory to move them up the ladder in this region.
Here is a listing of how all the MAC and WBL teams stand in the computer rankings after the second week.
As always, the computer points for the five regions involving Mercer, Auglaize and Shelby county teams can be found at http://www.bright.net/~monninb/football.htm

Team - Ranking (Computer Points)
Region 6:
Wapakoneta - 17th (2.75)
Celina - 24th (0.00)
Eight 2-0 teams would be the early playoff favorites, but the 15 teams that are 1-1 would also be contenders. Since being 0-2 places Celina behind 23 teams in the region, it is already a long road to playoff contention.

Region 10:
Kenton - 17th (2.50)
Van Wert - 17th (2.50)
St. Marys - 19th (2.25)
Lima Shawnee - 24th (0.00)
Defiance - 24th (0.00)
Elida - 24th (0.00)
There are six WBL teams in this region, but all of them are in the lower half of the current standings. As they play each other, any team that can defeat all of the others should move up nicely in the standings.

Region 14:
Ottawa-Glandorf - 10th (2.50)
Lima Bath - 23rd (0.00)
With only eight 2-0 teams, Ottawa Glandorf is near the top with its 1-1 record. It appears this may be one of the weaker regions for area teams, which is good news for the TItans.

Region 16:
Coldwater - 11th (3.00)
Ten teams in this region are 2-0 and 10 more are 1-1. This region appears to be slightly more difficult this year. Coldwater will need to recover quickly from its loss to Marion Local to stay in contention for another playoff appearance.

Region 20:
Marion Local - second (5.25)
St. Henry - seventh (4.45)
Parkway - 10th (3.85)
Anna - 12th (3.50)
Versailles - 19th (1.75)
In recent years this has been one of the toughest regions in the state in which to qualify for the playoffs. This year looks like no exception as 12 teams have begun the season with a 2-0 record and 10 more teams are 1-1. Marion Local's big win over Coldwater should earn the Flyers many points throughout the season. Meanwhile, St. Henry earned what may be the first of nine consecutive weeks of secondary points from Marion Pleasant. Parkway and Anna are two of the few teams to be 2-0 but not currently be ranked in the top eight in their region.

Region 22:
Delphos St. John's - 18th (0.00)
Fortunately for Delphos St. John's, only seven teams started 2-0 in this region, the lowest total of any region containing WBL or MAC teams. The Blue Jays are one of 13 teams that are 0-2 in this region.

Region 24:
Fort Recovery - 13th (2.15)
New Bremen - 21st (0.00)
Minster - 21st (0.00)
This was expected to be a weak region, and though eight teams are currently 2-0, they do not read like a list of historically strong playoff teams. Ansonia earned Fort Recovery some secondary points, while Minster and New Bremen have yet to get on the computer point scoreboard.
Additional online stories on this date
Andy Dobmeyer of Coldwater says it feels "pretty good" to be named Ohio's Best Bagger.
With all the agility and ease his 6'5" frame and long arms allow, Dobmeyer earned the bragging rights for that title by defeating 25 other competitors at the Ohio Grocers Association State Best Bagger contest. [More]
Given the defenses were dominating play in the first half, the St. Marys-Celina boy's soccer match on Thursday had the feel that one goal would do it for either team. [More]
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