COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Next week, the high school football playoffs get under way in Ohio, and this year every team is eligible for the post season.
However, that doesn’t mean everyone is going to play.
Out of the 709 OHSAA registered 11-man football programs, 661 will play in the postseason. That doesn’t mean the other 48 will just be sitting at home.
One of those teams opting out is the Newark Wildcats. Bill Franks is in his second stint as the team’s head coach, and he is focused on rebuilding the program.
With that in mind, Franks wanted to put together a full-season schedule giving his players the most chances to get wins, and to learn and keep developing.
“We chose to go out and look and fill our schedule with the folks that were ready to kind of commit to us,” Franks said. “So we’ve got a 10-game schedule which we thought was important for our kids.”
“I just think it was kind of a group decision, just to see what was better for us,” said Newark senior Jake Sherman. “I think, at the end of the day, it’s probably going to be better for us to try and get a win week seven.”
Franks said he had a meeting with the seniors to make sure they understood the decision and to make sure they weren’t blindsided.
“We walked them through it, let them process it,” Franks said. “We don’t have an ego around here and we’ve played the Pick Centrals and Groveports and, you know, we play the very best and we just wanted to do what we felt was best for our program.”
“I think it’s a great opportunity,” Sherman said. “I’m not gonna be playing football in college, so these are my last 10 games I’ll ever play football. I’m just glad to hear we get 10 games.”