In the Northern Lakes League, there is a new cross-river rivalry that has developed in recent years between Perrysburg and Anthony Wayne.
The two schools have had a near-monopoly on the league title. Only the Maumee River separates the two districts, although a segment of the AW district crosses the river into Wood County.
Over the past nine years, Perrysburg and AW have combined to win eight NLL gridiron titles, with each school taking four. The Yellow Jackets meet September 30 in Whitehouse.
AW is the defending champion entering 2022 but that means little to Perrysburg Dirk Conner.
“There is one particular league game that we have circled, and when that time comes, we’ll come to it,” Conner said. “I don’t know what everybody else is going to have, and I don’t pay attention to what everybody else is going to have.
“Our goal is to get as good as we can get. Typically, when we do that, the results will take care of themselves,” he said. “We will perform as well as our physicality and commitment to doing the little things it takes to win will take us.”
At Bowling Green, something else is happening within the football program, and it is a good thing.
A handful of second-year coach Josh Wade’s 22 seniors did not even play football last year. They were standout athletes on other BG teams and decided they wanted to contribute.
“The camaraderie between them is pretty special right now. Our kids went out and recruited in the halls some guys who play other sports,” Wade said.
“We’ve got five seniors who came back and did not play for us last year. You kind of kick yourself. You always say, ‘Man, I wish they were with us last year,’ but we are very thankful, and we’re excited about what we are seeing in camp.
“Those guys are definitely going to help us. It helps us rest some people, so they don’t have to play two ways all of the time. It is exciting.”
Often, that is how a losing program gets turned into winners, plus the Bobcats have 17 seniors who did play last year as juniors.
“The Kisor twins are coming back for us at linebacker, Evan Brandt is coming back at safety, we have Brock Hastings back out, who played basketball and baseball and I think he’s going to play defense for us,” Wade said.
“Nate Kress, who is our baseball guy, is going to play safety for us. I can’t take the credit for that. Like I said, it is the kids. They went out and got their buddies.
“It’s a lot of fun to be around right now. When we’re getting after it, it is fun.”
The Sentinel-Tribune’s high school football preview will be in the Aug. 27 newspaper.