Five passengers set sail that day, For a three hour tour, a three hour tour.
(10-31-18) The Orange Lions will make an almost 200 mile road trip, almost four hours one way to play St. Marys in the opening round of the OHSAA D IV state football playoffs this Saturday night at 7pm.
8 Bryan (7-3) at 1 Bellville Clear Fork (10-0)
7 Pepper Pike Orange (7-3) at 2 St. Marys Memorial (9-1)
6 Huron (7-3) at 3 Van Wert (8-2)
5 Sparta Highland (9-1) at 4 Lorain Clearview (9-1)
For the Roughriders it will be a big advantage over the team from Pepper Pike, a big home field advantage with a big crowd, same routine and the comforts of home.
For Orange, win or lose they will be on a bus for at least 8 to 9 hours (both was, added travel expenses for fans, etc.
Adam Bechlem, Head Football Coach
We are excited to be practicing for and the opportunity to play in a week 11 game this weekend. While the distance between our schools does present some travel challenges, we gladly accept the opportunity to solve these issues. Our road trip will just start a little earlier than most and end a little later.
Paul Lucas, Principal
I would say that the 200+ mile distance does present challenges for a first round game; for the players & coaches, the members of the band, parents and school administrators. In order for the students and staff to be in the best frame of mind during the trip, we have arranged for charter buses to transport the team and band. I believe all the Orange stakeholders are prepared, and the players and coaches have a positive mindset that will overcome the length of the journey. It’s unfortunate that all four Cuyahoga County division IV schools have been placed in this region, but I’m not sure there is any regional configuration that will be ideal for all involved schools.
Are there solutions to solve or possibly help with a travel issue like this?
- Adjust Start time to earlier in the day
- Look for a neutral site that is travel friendly for both teams
- Adjust match-ups, not making it a fixed formula of final rankings (1 vs 8, 2 vs7, 3 vs 6, 4 vs. 5)
- Split the region, four qualifiers from the eastern section, four qualifiers from the western section
- This region would play all first round games at neutral sites
Region 14 goes from the Indiana stateline to two counties away from the Pennsylvania stateline, that’s a BIG area to cover.
It is safe to say that any adjustment to the norm will be greeted with criticism. This one change might be worth the time to consider. Safe travels to the Orange, team, coaches and fans.
Another issue for another day….
The State finals is another travel concern, playing in Columbus is a ;rime location for teams from all corners of the state, while Canton (although a good host) forces travel issues from teams on the western side and southwestern parts of the state.