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The end is near
October 25, 2010 - Robert "Bubba" Kapral
This weekend will prove a bittersweet one for local prep football fans. It is Week 10, which means many a helmet and shoulder pad will be put away after this weekend. For a handful of teams, however, it is just the ushering in of the second season -- the OHSAA playoffs. Bridgeport and Shadyside are already printing playoff tickets. We also expect the Bulldogs and Tigers to be joined into the local playoff party by Martins Ferry, St. Clairsville and Monroe Central. As always Steubenville will begin its quest for a fourth state crown under venerable Reno Saccoccio. Playoffs not withstanding, the final week of the season is spiced with traditional rivalries. Barnesville hosts Union Local. The longtime western Belmont County series has been spiced with the addition of the Milk Jug Trophy last year. Meanwhile, Harrison Central hosts St. Clairsville in hopes of retaining the Coal Bucket. The king of all Ohio Valley prep rivalries is SPARKY as Bellaire and Martins Ferry renew acquaintances, like they have done more than 100 times previously. With both teams enjoying sparkling seasons, the game should be a spirited affair as days of old. Come Sunday, however, the majority of prep grid partisans will be in football withdrawal. The minority will be abuzz as their favorite school is prepping for the playoffs. The postseason is the time we all should be on the same sidelines -- rooting for the local team.
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