Black Swamp Football

2020 Features

Grove underclassmen playing for “family” mentality created by seniors

COLUMBUS GROVE – Spend any amount of time around the Columbus Grove football program and the word – family – comes up frequently.
“I think we all need to play as a family and not as a team,” said junior running back Colin Metzger. “Playing as a team each person comes in individually … the seniors are like family at this point because of how much we’ve played together and been together.”
Metzger is one of the Bulldogs’ underclassmen that are following the lead of a senior class that is on a mission.
Grove’s next journey will take them to the Division VI state semifinals on Saturday at Sidney High School against state power Coldwater.
To get there, the Bulldogs dispatched a talented Fairview squad last Saturday in the Region 22 championship game 42-21.
The triumph was savored by Grove headman Andy Schafer.
“That game and that win last Saturday was so special,” remarked Schafer.

Playoff observations

A handful of teams from the Black Swamp Football coverage area remain alive going into the regional semifinal round of the very different 2020 playoffs.
Along with Toledo Central Catholic in D-II, Ottawa-Glandorf (D-V) joins Archbold, Columbus Grove and Fairview – all D-VI representatives – as the remaining quintet playing playoff football from the Black Swamp area.
A grand total of 104 Buckeye State teams are prepping for playoff action this weekend. Division I is down to eight teams total while Divisions II-VII all have 16 teams remaining – four from each region.
Here are some observations as we head into the regional championship round for D-I and regional semifinals for the other six divisions.

Northern 8 pioneering 8-man football

The momentum is growing and a different way of playing football is likely to continue to grow in small schools around the Buckeye State. A year after 8-man football put a footprint on a few gridirons around the state, Ohio’s first 8-man league has come to fruition. Holgate, Danbury, Stryker and Toledo Christian have joined forces to form the Northern 8, the first of its kind in the Buckeye State. 

Football a way of life for Yunkers

Like many from this area, Blake Yunker grew up with football in his blood — but with just a tad more than most. His father, Paul, played on some great Swanton teams coached by Hall of Famer Dave Hansbarger. Paul later went on to serve as head football coach at Evergreen, Ottawa Hills and Bryan. He was one of 14 siblings in the Yunker family. Paul is currently the athletic director at Fairview.

Football comes full circle for Lichtenbergs

Football has brought life full circle for the Lichtenberg family. The early stages of their love for the game started in Cincinnati and the Queen City soon will be graced by another Lichtenberg great. Rising senior Brady Lichtenberg of Toledo St. John’s heads into his final season ranked as one of the best quarterbacks in the Buckeye State and the Midwest.