The idea of Lake High School hosting a home football game this fall wasn't exactly a priority earlier this summer.
On June 5, a tornado left residents in Millbury and the surrounding community more concerned about lending a hand to neighbors in need of assistance as a result of the devastation left behind.
It also left the residents with trying to pick up the pieces after the high school was among the structures severely gutted by the intense storm.
However, time has allowed the community to address some of those concerns, which included finding a temporary facility for school and building a new football stadium.
Lake supporters are expected to show up enmasse for the Flyers' home opener tomorrow night against Northwood.
“I think this game means more to this community than it being just another football game,” Lake athletic director Aaron Tobias said. “It means a lot to a lot of people. It means a lot to get back to some normalcy for the kids.”
Tobias is in his first year as athletic director after serving as an assistant athletic director under Dave Shaffer.
Shaffer has been the school's liaison between the school and contractors involved in the rebuilding projects. Tobias said the two will return to their previous responsibilities once the rebuilding projects are completed.
Meanwhile, the Flyers, who previously played on a grass field, will now play on a synthetic surface called “Xtreme Turf,” one of the latest man-made surfaces being used for athletics.
“There are a lot of new things for us and some of the things we've never had before”Tobias said, referring to the newly installed turf, which was completed only a few weeks ago.
The tornado also required the replacement of the bleachers on the visitors' side of the stadium, as well as rebuilding the press box. A new scoreboard and new lights have also been erected.
Lake opened its season with a memorable 20-6 triumph on the road at Swanton and the Flyers are looking to continue that momentum against the Rangers (1-0).
“We're expecting a big crowd,” Tobias said. “It's going to be an emotional night for us.”
To address a potential high demand for purchasing tickets for the game, Tobias said Lake officials have approached selling tickets for the home opener the way it would for a home playoff game. They sold tickets on Tuesday and Wednesday night in front of Lake Elementary from 6-7:30 p.m. and will resume with the procedure tonight.
Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students.
Danbury cancels; Woodward adds
When the football season started, first-year Woodward coach Ron Rice was looking at a season schedule that included just eight games.
With two additions this week, the Polar Bears will now have a full 10-game season.
North Baltimore was left with a last-minute opening tomorrow night when its opponent, Danbury, was forced to cancel the matchup. The Polar Bears will step in to fill that void.
Also, Woodward athletic director Connie Stanford has announced the Bears will fill what had been a Week 4 opening.
The Bears will travel Sept. 18 to East Cleveland Shaw for a2 p.m. game.
Danbury cancelled its scheduled meeting with North Baltimore because of a lack of depth on the roster, according to Lakers athletic director Drew Davie.
Danbury, which opened the season with 16 players, would have gone into the contest with only 13 players. Davie said injuries suffered in their season-opening 42-20 loss to Upper Scioto Valley resulted in two of three injured players being sidelined with concussions.
“It's just not enough kids,” Davie said, adding that six of the team members are freshmen. “The goal is to continue to play. We're not shutting down for the season. We'll continue with week three.”
Davie expects the Lakers will have everyone back on the field Sept. 10 when they're scheduled to host Fostoria St. Wendelin.
Genoa and Oak Harbor, who began playing against each other on the football field in 1924, meet again tomorrow.
In 1965, the Celestial Ball trophy for the Comets-Rockets contest was introduced and any team winning three straight games in the Ottawa County rivalry retires the trophy and a new one is introduced the following year.
Genoa has a chance to permanently keep a trophy for the first time since it last collected one in 1974 — the middle year of winning five in a row under coach Jim Firestone.
The Comets are riding a 30-game regular-season winning streak under Mike Vicars, whose only regular-season loss as Genoa coach came in his first game against Oak Harbor in 2007.
Both teams won their openers this year as the Comets beat Rossford 57-6 and Oak Harbor defeated Springfield 21-12.
5 picks for Maumee
Maumee opened its season with a convincing 31-7 rout of Waite on the road.
The Panthers had five interceptions and four sacks led by defensive back David McCrum. The sophomore had two picks.
Junior quarterback Jake Schneider completed 10 of 14 passes for 187 yards, and threw three touchdown strikes in his debut. Senior Eric Long rushed for 90 yards on eight carries, and caught a TD pass. Senior Robbie Cole had four catches including a touchdown.
Clay won its opener 14-7 against visiting Northview thanks to running back Kyle Steveson's nine-yard touchdown run in overtime.
The Wildcats' chance to tie or win was lost when Clay's Ross Achter intercepted a pass to end the game.
After Northview had gone up 7-0 early in the fourth quarter, the Eagles tied it with under seven minutes left on quarterback Josh Utter's two-yard option keeper and Jimmy Dunsmore's extra-point kick.
The Eagles missed a shot to win on the final play in regulation when Dunsmore missed on a 30-yard field-goal try.
The Perrysburg boys and girls cross country teams both took home team titles at the Norm Bray Invitational in Fremont.
The Yellow Jacket boys led the pack with 52 points followed by Bowling Green (61), and Maumee (67).
Perrysburg was led by Bryant Byrd's fourth-place finish (16:27). Maumee senior Ryan Kraus took the individual title with a time of 16:14. His teammate Willy Fink was just one second behind to finish runner-up.
The Perrysburg girls outdistanced Notre Dame, 23-32, by capturing the top three individual places.
Kaitlyn Llewellyn won with a time of 19:18. Andrea Alt was second (19:35) and TaylorMonheim was third (19:43.08). Notre Dame's Lexi Aughenbaugh took fourth (19:51) and Jessa Veluscek was fifth (19:56).
HALL OF FAME
Bedford to induct 3, team
Three athletes and one team will be included in the Bedford High School Alumni Association's hall of fame inductions set for Oct. 23.
The individuals entering will be Arnold Strzelecki (Class of 1951, track and field), who excelled in the 100 and 200-yard dashes, the broad jump, and half mile relay; Doug Harper (1964, wrestling, who was 50-0 in winning a 98-pound state title in 1984 and 51-0 in taking the 103-pound state crown in 1985; and Shayna Munson (1999, volleyball and basketball), who twice earned all-state first-team honors in volleyball.
Going in as a team will be the 1975-76 Mules wrestling squad of coach Bill Regnier which captured the school's first state championship in any sport.
All of the inductees will also be honored at halftime of the Oct. 22 home football game against Monroe Jefferson.
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