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2013 regular season features many local bright spots

matt examiningsports

As another regular season comes to a close tonight, I thought it would be fitting to highlight some of the bright spots of the 2013 campaign.

The runaway story of the season has been written by the Triad Cardinals. Payton Printz, who has battled cancer twice during the last few years, has his team just a win over winless Springfield Catholic Central away from the school’s first perfect regular season.

Even a season-ending injury to the team’s best player Tre McIntyre in Week 6 could not derail the Cardinals from their quest to stay unbeaten.

It also is impossible not to notice the job Tim McGill and his staff have done over at Riverside. The Pirates barely had enough players to field a team over the past couple of seasons, but the Pirates can finish no worse than .500 this season.

Going into tonight’s finale against Ft. Loramie, the Pirates still have a mathematical chance to make the playoffs. While the chances of that scenario playing out are extremely slim, just to be in that position says a ton about the progress Riverside has made this fall.

Bellefontaine has experienced an impressive turnaround as well under first-year head man Toby Smith. The Chiefs won just one game last year, but can end this season with a 5-5 mark with a win over Stebbins tonight.

All of the Chiefs’ losses this season have come against teams that will play in the playoffs next weekend. The records of the teams they have lost to are 9-0, 9-0, 9-0, 8-1 and 7-2. No local team has played as tough of a schedule as Bellefontaine has played. With an outstanding junior class returning next year, the Chiefs have high expectations for 2014.

West Liberty-Salem tasted regular-season defeat for the first time since 2010 with losses to Mechanicsburg and Triad. However, it has still been a very solid first campaign for Dan McGill and his Tigers. They likely will be headed back to the postseason next weekend.

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