2023 has been a year of excellence for area football teams!
The Ohio High School Athletic Association released its playoff pairings this week, and every team in the region has made the opening round of 16 for this Friday night.
Leading the way is Avon. The perennially strong Eagles have posted another season of excellence, wrapping up their 9th straight Southwestern Conference title. They have gone 10-0 in the regular season despite upping their strength of schedule this year. The 10-0 record includes wins over Canton McKinley and Div. IV defending state champ Glenville. Avon wrapped up the regular season with a 45-0 shutout over Avon Lake to once again claim the Silver Rail trophy, the Lion’s Club award emblematic of these neighboring cities separated by railroad tracks.
In the Great Lake Conference, Rocky River has posted a 9-1 record. Signature win came over arch-rival Bay, 28-21, to claim the Helm Trophy and also break the deadlock at the top of the GLC West. The win gave River the 2023 title.
Right behind is Bay Village. The Rockets always field a contender and this year is no different. Bay enters the playoffs at 8-2 with only the heartbreaking loss to River separating them from a title. Signature win came over Westlake, 44-28, to capture the Little Brown Jug. This was the 72nd year the teams have played for this trophy. Bay holds a 36-34-2 advantage.
Westlake ends the regular season with a 7-3 record, one of the school’s best in years. The Demons slipped only against GLC powers Buckeye, River and Bay, but posted a string of exciting victories, including 27-7 victory over Elyria Catholic in the regular season finale.
Avon Lake ends the regular season at 6-4. The Shoremen were stung in the season ender against Avon, 45-0, but posted a winning season to make the state playoffs for the 25th time and 21st season out of the last 26.
Avon, Avon Lake and Westlake compete in the OHSAA Div. 2, region 6 bracket. Local teams also making the playoffs in this division include North Ridgeville and Olmsted Falls.
Bay, and Rocky River appear in Div. 3 region 10 along with Buckeye and Lutheran West.