IF YOU are a high school football fan, and the Ohio Valley is saturated with such, these are exciting times.
Two of our local grid squads are thriving in the postseason. Beallsville and Shadyside will each tee it up Saturday night with a chance to reach the OHSAA Division VI Final Four.
Spicing the gridiron playoffs even more is that should the Blue Devils and Tigers both prevail, the two familiar rivals will meet in the state semifinals, with that survivor playing for a state championship.
The communities of Beallsville and Shadyside are abuzz with excitement and anticipation, as well they should. Both teams have attained great success already, with two playoffs triumphs under their respective helmets, and are poised for even more.
Coach Dave Caldwell's Devils and Coach Mark Holenka's Tigers have exuded dedication, commitment, resiliency and selflessness to reach this point. They also have exceptional talent guided by exceptional coaches supported by a passionate fan base.
Each team will have rugged assignments.
Shadyside faces the state's top-ranked Division VI squad in 12-0 Berlin Center Western Reserve while Beallsville tackles potent 10-2 Buckeye Central.
We realize our local teams will be facing acid tests. There are no slouches left in week 13. But we also realize, Beallsville and Shadyside are battle-tested and have consistently displayed the mettle to keep advancing.
We wish the best of luck to both the Tigers and Blue Devils in their regional final contests Saturday night, while expecting the two neighboring schools to vie a week later.