Home Team: Thomas Worthington Cardinals
Visiting Team: Marysville Monarchs
Venue: Hamilton Field (Worthington, Ohio)
Game Time: 7:30 p.m.*
Fellow Attendees: None
*Kickoff was at 7:30. As I spent the day working in Toledo, I got to the game shortly after 8:00, with the score tied at 0 and about ten minutes left in the 2nd quarter. I then left with about 6:30 left in the game and Marysville leading 21-7, as their coach apparently has no idea how to call an offense with a lead in the fourth quarter and seemed perfectly content to let his quarterback continue to throw incomplete passes until midnight or so. I had seen enough bad football at that point to know that Thomas wasn't going to mount a comeback.
I knew before the season when I looked at Troy's schedule that I probably wasn't going to follow the Trojans to Trotwood for their game tonight. With Brandi at her yoga class until late, though, I didn't feel like skipping a week of high school football entirely. Football-wise, I'd prefer to go see Kilbourne of the two high school teams here in Worthington, but they weren't at home. And of course, it isn't just about seeing good football--if it were, I could have stopped going to Troy games following Ryan Brewer's senior season in 1998 and not missed a whole lot. Thomas is more local to where we live, so after I got back from Toledo, I threw on a sweatshirt and walked over to TWHS to check them out.
The walk was nice. I had seen the stadium from outside, obviously, but this was my first time going into it. It's pretty nice, especially for a team with no football tradition to speak of, at least not recently (I went back to 2000; their best record since then has been 5-5). They also had a pretty decent crowd when I got there--although I soon learned it was their Homecoming, and much of that crowd dispersed following halftime. I think I may have ended up sitting in a reserved section, but no one ordered me out or even looked at me funny, so I could be wrong.
The TWHS mascot is the Cardinal, which suggests to me that their uniforms should be just red, or maybe red and black, but they are in fact red and blue. That's a problematic combination for me, although the shade of blue they use is brighter than that of the Piqua Indians and is instead more Dayton Flyers-ish. Still, no bueno.
And yeah, they're bad at football. That was no surprise, given their 1-5 record coming in, but I was surprised by just how bad they are. For instance, my own beloved Troy Trojans are going through a rough season of their own, but if the two teams played each other, I'd pick Troy and the running clock. And it's not like Marysville was a whole lot better—they also were 1-5 coming in. I saw ten minutes of the first half, and in those ten minutes, the two teams combined for four interceptions.
Anyway. I don't mean to denigrate the kids, so the less said about the actual football, the better. What I will say is that I have a hard time figuring out exactly why Thomas has such a rough time in football. It's a good-sized school (they're in Division I this year after competing in Division II last year), and as I mentioned, it seems like they have a pretty good amount of support. Their coach is only in his second year, so maybe he'll be able to build them up, although the early results aren't encouraging (their one win this year is already better than their winless season last year). Either way, with the right guy in place, I don't see why Thomas couldn't at least be decent at football.
Of course, I'm a fan of the entire high school football experience, and I had heard really good things about Thomas's band, so I was looking forward to seeing them perform. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, it was Homecoming, so all the band did at halftime was stand in place and play a tune over and over as the Homecoming Court was announced. They were performing their competition show in full after the game, and I was interested in sticking around to see it, but it got to a point in the fourth quarter where I just couldn't take any more. The Marysville band sounded really good, though.
So now I've checked out Thomas Worthington and (mostly) satisfied my curiosity about the Friday night experience there; I don't really see myself going back. In the future, on the rare occasions I decide to skip the trip back to the Miami Valley to see the Trojans, I imagine I'll just stick with Kilbourne.