FINDLAY â€” Wapakoneta Redskins varsity volleyball coach Keith Rambin was flying blind.
No match film? No scouting report? No stats? No idea what to expect?
The Redskins may not have known much about the Napoleon Wildcats, but they figured it out early enough to roll to a three-game sweep in a Division II district semifinal Wednesday at Liberty-Benton High School.
Wapak rallied for a narrow 25-23 win in the first game, then pulled away to win 25-20 in the second and 25-16 in the third.
The Wapakoneta Redskins varsity football team clinched a playoff berth with its 41-14 win over the Shawnee Indians on Friday.
According to the Web site joeeitel.com, which tracks the Harbin computer points, the Redskins are unofficially fifth in Division II, region 8.
The top eight teams in each region qualify. The top four teams get to play their opening round games at home.
Wapak can clinch a home game with a win Friday night against Kenton. A win would guarantee the Redskins either a third- or fourth-place finish in the points, depending on what other teams in the region do.
LIMA â€” Armed with a new defensive scheme and a new line-up since the last time the two teams played, the Wapakoneta Redskins erased the memories of a past loss to St. Marys on Saturday night.
The Redskins won a sectional title with a three-game sweep of Auglaize County rival St. Marys Â at Lima Senior High School.
The 26-24, 25-19, 25-22 Division II sectional final win means Wapakoneta advances to the district tournament for the first time since 1997.
Avenging a regular season loss to the Roughriders didnâ€™t feel too bad to Wapak coach Keith Rambin and his Redskins, either.
SIDNEY â€” The Waynesfield-Goshen Tigers celebrated a team win Saturday night in a chess match of a game.
With injuries depleting his corps, Tiger varsity coach Gary Spencer credited his entire team for Saturdayâ€™s exciting victory over the Sidney Lehman Catholic Cavaliers â€” a game which came down to the final seconds.
As Spencer watched two-way starter Gabe Wilcox and then Cody Baker go down to injury, his coaching staff shuffled in and replaced tired or nicked up players.
SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP â€” Another hurdle cleared.
And now the big one.
The Wapakoneta Redskins came up with a pair of big third-quarter stops and pulled away to a 41-14 win over the Shawnee Indians on Friday night at Shawnee.
Wapak remained unbeaten at 9-0 overall and 8-0 in the Western Buckeye League.
The win sets up what looks to be an epic Week 10 matchup against the also undefeated Kenton Wildcats for all the proverbial marbles.
â€śI couldnâ€™t ask for a better season,â€ť Wapak center Nick Warner said. â€śItâ€™s been great. I never expected something like this out of my senior year.â€ť
BOTKINS â€” The fact that Dayton Stivers came into Fridayâ€™s sectional matchup with Botkins as the underdog didnâ€™t have Botkins head coach Kevin Lynch fooled at all.
â€śI had scouted them,â€ť Lynch said. â€śWe knew going in that it wasnâ€™t going to be easy.â€ť
The Stivers team, loaded with eight seniors, matched up well with both Botkins speed and physical style of play before finally succumbing in Botkinsâ€™ 3-2 win.
Stivers showed they had come ready to play by quickly scoring the first goal of the game and leaving the Trojans scratching their heads.
As the Wapakoneta Redskins entered Week 9 of the high school football season a year ago, they had already exceeded expectations.
The memories of a 1-9 season in 2009 were gone and a playoff berth seemed in the bag.
Then came a 46-15 loss to Kenton in Week 9 and a 28-21 defeat at the hands of the Elida Bulldogs seven days later.
Suddenly it was time to pack up the equipment and start thinking about next year.
Now itâ€™s next year.
Wapakoneta Redskins senior Andy Faller became the first boys soccer player from Wapakoneta to be named the Western Buckeye League Player of the Year when the All-WBL teams were announced on Wednesday.
Faller said he was â€śspeechlessâ€ť when varsity coach Marc Dyrness told him he had won the award.
â€śI kind of thought I was going to be in the running for it,â€ť Faller said. â€śBut I had my doubts with Bath winning the WBL. I thought one of their players was going to get it. ... I was really happy.â€ť
LIMA â€” Talk about your interesting finishes.
The Wapakoneta Redskins reversed a bizarre momentum shift in the fifth game to pull out a 3-2 win over the Bath Wildcats in a Division II volleyball sectional semifinal Wednesday night at Lima Senior High School.
After pulling out to an 8-4 lead in the crucial fifth-game tiebreaker, Wapak was called for an illegal substitution.
The error had occurred two points earlier, so two points were taken from the Wapak score and Bath was awarded a penalty point and the serve.
Suddenly it was just a one-point 6-5 lead and the Wildcats were serving.
SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP â€” The Wapakoneta Redskins varsity boys soccer season came to an abrupt end as the Elida Bulldogs pulled off a 3-0 upset win in a Division II sectional semifinal Wednesday night at a rain-soaked Shawnee Field.
In a match that more closely resembled water polo than soccer at times, players raced through and slipped in puddles as the ball skipped all over the field.
A steady rain began falling early in the afternoon and only seemed to intensify as the match wore on.