Ohio winter sports continue to wait for its championships

Published: Mar. 20, 2020 at 10:10 AM EDT
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Nearly 40 years ago, Napoleon painted a Wildcat uptown on the intersection of Perry and Washington Streets to celebrate the boys basketball state championship.

This season's girls team thought it would have its own celebration here, too.

Instead, over the last three weeks, it's been a regional championship, followed by waiting in Columbus for the state semifinals to the school campus shut down.

"I told the kids I wasn't going to lie to them," Napoleon head coach Corey Kreinbrink said. "I told them today because everyday seems slimmer and slimmer as far as chances to play. All we can do is keep waiting and see what happens."

While the Wildcats wait, they are own their own for staying in basketball shape.

No in-person coaching.

No meeting as a team.

"The kids are very creative and hard working," Kreinbrink said. "They're finding their spots to get their work in."

It is also quiet also over at Wauseon High School's campus.

The Indians have four state wrestling qualifiers waiting for their championship tournament. But if the winter season continues in its holding pattern, the school only expects one of those wrestlers to play a spring sport.

We have about 100 athletes that have participated in fall, winter and spring sports," Wauseon athletic director Matt Hutchinson said. "So a school our size, we really rely on kids being involved in multiple sports."

This could ultimately be one of the main hurdles that will be tough to jump if the OHSAA considers keeping the winter sports championship season in a "postponed" state as the spring sports season is full-go.

Meanwhile, Hutchinson and other athletic directors in Ohio continue to work remotely, cancelling game and referee contracts through April 10.