Scott and St. John's Jesuit get a headstart Thursday night when they kick off the 2010 high school football season with a 7:30 p.m. non-league matchup of City League members at Rogers.
St. John's, which was 7-4 overall (4-3 CL) last year, concluded the 2009 season with a win over Bowsher in the City League postseason Hall of Fame charity game. Ninth-year coach Doug Pearson's Titans were picked to finish third in a preseason poll of the CL's 11 head coaches, but they return more personnel at the skill positions than either Central Catholic or Whitmer, which were tabbed for the Nos. 1 and 2 spots, respectively.
Scott, which is trying to improve on a 2-8, 2-5 finish from 2009 under second-year coach Mike Daniels, was voted 10th in the coaches poll.
The season gets rolling in earnest Friday night with a full slate of games throughout Ohio and Michigan, and Week 1 concludes with a few area games on Saturday.
Highlighting some of the top first-week matchups, the head coaching era of Mike Blochowski at St. Francis de Sales begins Friday when his Knights kick things off at 7 p.m. at the Glass Bowl against veteran coach Jim Mayzes and three-time defending Northern Lakes League champion Southview (7-3, 6-1 NLL).
Blochowski served 17 seasons as an assistant under 26-year Knight head coach Dick Cromwell, who retired that post after a solid swan song last year. The Knights, who advanced deeper in the 2009 playoffs than any other CL, NLL, SLL, or TAAC squad, finished at 11-2 (6-1 CL) with a loss in the Division II regional championship against eventual state runner-up Maple Heights.
That defeat closed the book on Cromwell's overall 34-year coaching run in Ohio at 251-119-2, a career that included 11 CL titles, 13 playoff appearances and state championships in both D-I (1984) and D-II (2001), and left him as the winningest coach in City League history.
Mayzes' Cougars, who were 15-0 and D-II state champions in 2008, were NLL co-champions with Maumee last season. Mayzes also guided Southview to a D-II state runner-up finish in 1999.
Defending CL champion Whitmer (9-2, 6-1) opens at home Friday night against perennial Northern Ohio League power Tiffin Columbian (7-3, 6-1), which was runner-up in its league last season.
Central (9-3, 6-1), which had its string of four straight CL titles broken last year, plays host to Bowling Green (3-7, 3-4 NLL) Thursday night. Rogers (9-2, 6-1), the City League's fourth team to reach the playoffs in 2009, begins with a challenging test at Anthony Wayne (7-3, 5-2 NLL).
The three other CL-versus-NLL openers Friday and Thursday night at 7 o'clock are NLL co-champ Maumee (9-2, 6-1) at Waite (3-7, 3-4), Perrysburg (7-3, 4-3 NLL) at Bowsher (4-7, 4-3), and Northview (3-7, 2-5 NLL) at Clay (4-6, 2-5).
Rounding out the first-week slate for CL teams Friday at 7, Start (2-8, 2-5) plays host to Fremont Ross (5-5, 1-4) of the Greater Buckeye Conference, and Woodward (0-9, 0-7) travels to Mansfield Senior (4-6, 2-5) of the Ohio Cardinal Conference.
The two NLL teams that do not open against CL foes are Rossford (010, 0-7), which plays at three-time defending Suburban Lakes League champion Genoa (11-1, 6-0), and Springfield (3-7, 2-5), which goes on the road to Oak Harbor (4-6, 3-4) of the Sandusky Bay Conference. Both games are Friday at 7 p.m.
Lake (7-3, 4-2 SLL), which will be without its high school building for two years after the June tornado that ravaged the Millbury campus, will begin on the road Friday night against Swanton (2-8, 1-7) of the Northwest Ohio Athletic League. The Flyers will play their first game on their new field turf at the school campus on Sept. 3 against Lemoyne Road nonleague rival Northwood.
Northwood (7-4, 6-0), winners of three straight and seven of the last nine titles in the Toledo Area Athletic Conference, kicks things off Friday night against Lakota (4-6, 1-6), which played its first season in the Midland Athletic League in 2009 after exiting the SLL.
Elsewhere in the SLL Friday night, Eastwood (9-3, 5-1) plays at Clyde (6-4, 6-1), which is favored to win its fourth straight SBC crown; Elmwood (3-7, 2-4) plays at Hopewell-Loudon (9-3, 5-2 MAL), which was the D-VI state runner-up in 2007 and 2008; Gibsonburg (3-7, 1-5) goes to Ottawa Hills (5-5, 4-2 TAAC); Otsego (0-10, 0-6) plays host to Evergreen (4-6, 2-6 NWOAL), and Woodmore (4-6, 3-3) plays at Port Clinton (4-6, 2-5 SBC).
Rounding out the schedule for TAAC teams, Cardinal Stritch (1-9, 1-5) plays at Fremont St. Joe (9-2, 6-1), which shared the MAL title in 2009 and is expected to repeat this year; Toledo Christian (6-4, 4-2) hosts Delta (3-7, 3-5 NWOAL) at Springfield High School; Danbury (1-9, 0-6) plays at Upper Scioto Valley (6-4) in Central Ohio; Edon (2-8, 2-4) opens at Antwerp (4-6, 2-5) of the Green Meadows Conference), and Hilltop (7-3, 4-2) plays at Edgerton (7-3, 4-3 GMC).
Patrick Henry (13-1, 8-0), which has won or shared the past eight NWOAL titles and reached the D-V state semifinals last season, kicks things off north of the border on Saturday with a matchup against St. Charles (Mich.) at Eastern Michigan University.
Rounding out the slate for NWOAL teams Friday night, Archbold (6-4, 5-3) hosts Hicksville (9-2, 6-1) of the Green Meadows Conference; Bryan (8-3, 7-1), which made its first playoff appearance in 2009, travels to Van Wert (5-5, 5-4) of the Western Buckeye League; Liberty Center (7-3, 6-2) hosts three-time defending GMC champion Tinora (11-2, 7-0); Montpelier (0-10, 0-8) hosts Ayersville (1-9, 0-7 GMC), and Wauseon 5-5, 4-4) hosts Fairview (7-4, 5-2 GMC).
In Michigan Friday night, defending Southeastern Conference Red Division champion Bedford (7-3, 6-0) tries to avenge a season-opening 2009 loss to visiting Carleton Airport; Blissfield (8-3, 3-2) of the Lenawee County Athletic Association opens at Sand Creek; Erie Mason (0-9, 0-5 LCAA) travels to New Boston Huron, and Whiteford (6-4, 5-2) of the Tri-County Conference plays on the road at Pittsford.
Contact Steve Junga at:
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.