OHSAA announces second-round playoff sites

COLUMBUS — The Ohio High School Athletic Association has announced the sites for the regional semifinals across the state to be held this weekend. The tournament trails heats up again on Friday with Divisions II, IV and VI resuming. The other four divisions will once again compete on Saturday with kickoffs slated for 7 p.m.

Locally, three teams remain in the hunt for the state title.

On Friday, Monroe Central — which upset third-seeded and then undefeated Centerburg — will meet powerful Columbus Bishop Ready at Sulsberger Memorial Stadium in Zanesville.

It seemed like the Blue Devils’ home field would be the most logical choice, but since Zanesville High is in action on Friday, there was some debate as to whether or not manpower issues would come into play.

The Seminoles are 8-3 on the season, while the Silver Knights are 10-1. Their only loss came to Columbus Bishop Hartley in week 10.

Both Martins Ferry and Shadyside will compete on Saturday night.

The Purple Riders escaped an upset bid from Williamsport Westfall thanks to a furious fourth-quarter rally to earn the right to play in the regional semifinals.

Coach Dave Bruney’s team will now face third-seeded Wheelersburg at Hamilton Township, which is located in Columbus. Both the Purple Riders and Pirates are 10-1 on the season.

In Division VII, Shadyside had no trouble with Fairfield Christian in advancing to the regional semifinals for the fourth time under Mark Holenka’s watch.

The 11-0 Tigers will next tangle with OVAC foe Caldwell, which ousted third-seeded Malvern. That game will be held at New Philadelphia High School’s Quaker Stadium.

Steubenville Big Red and Steubenville Central are both still alive in Divisions IV and VII, respectively.

Big Red, which is the eighth seed, will now face fourth-seeded Maysville at St. Clairsville’s Red Devil Stadium.

This won’t be Steubenville’s first trip to the Belmont County Seat for a tournament game. Big Red played Thornville Sheridan there in 1994.

Steubenville will serve as the home team, despite being the eighth seed. Home teams in the tournament are based on lines of the bracket.

Steubenville Central will take on top-seeded Glouster Trimble at Zanesville’s Sulsberger Memorial Stadium. The Crusaders rolled past Racine Southern Saturday night, while the Tomcats were big winners against Beallsville.

Information about ticket sales for the three area teams will be announced later in the week. The prices will remain the same, however. Tickets purchased in advance are $7 and at the gate are $9. Schools benefit only from the tickets bought in advance.

Staskey can be reached at sstaskey@timesleaderonline.com