The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Sports

Four new schools were admitted into the Ohio High School Athletic Association this year — St. Clairsville East Richland Christian, Granville Christian, Cincinnati Oyler and Cincinnati Riverview East Academy.

Every year, it seems more and more Christian schools are joining the OHSAA. However, Oyler and Riverview East are charter schools.

An administrator with Toledo Technology Academy once told me that students at his school are not interested in playing athletics. Sounded like the reasoning was they were either too smart or overly interested in academics to play sports.

While that may be true for some, a number of those students have sought opportunities to play at other schools while attending TTA.

If you provide them the opportunity to represent their own school, I believe you will find these students to be even more interested in athletics. “Build it and they will come,” I say.

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Veteran football coaches Mike Donnelly, Jerry Rutherford, and Michael Vicars are

pic-Rutherford
         Jerry Rutherford

no strangers to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Rutherford’s Eastwood teams and Vicars’ Genoa teams may be bitter rivals on the field, but off the field they remain strong advocates of the faith-based organization.

When the two football teams square off on October 1 at Eastwood’s Freedom Field for what could become another Suburban Lakes League showdown, don’t be surprised if both teams huddle afterwards for a word of prayer again this year. That will likely happen no matter what happens on the field, Vicars says. 

“I’ll tell you what, the Eastwood-Genoa rivalry thing is definitely high spirited and it’s a big, big rivalry. No question about that, just because Eastwood has had such great success,” Vicars said.

“My point is not only is it a great rivalry, but it’s a tremendously respected rivalry. I think a big reason for that is some of the FCA involvement. It’s been very typical to play a great, tough game, even if the game is a blowout, for both teams to be very respectful of each other. Especially after the game, both teams will get together. Not only do we do it in football, but we do it in basketball and baseball as well.

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How do you teach the game of football to kindergartners and first graders?

Very patiently, says Northwest Ohio Fellowship of Christian Athletes Campus Director Matt Medina.

“If you’ve been around my baseball teams, you know that we always teach everything the exact same way. From whatever grade to the time they get into college, you always want to keep it the same way,” Medina said. “The difference is in how it is structured and how they are playing the game. Of course, when they play flag football they are still playing football.”

The FCA and Maumee Bay Turf Center are teaming up to form an NFL Flag football league for kindergartners and first graders. Sign-ups will continue through August to see how much interest is there.

“I, personally, want to see what the interest is. We’re not interested in taking away from the soccer programs. When soccer is coming to an end is probably when the flag football is going to get going, so we don’t take anything away from the soccer,” Medina said.

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