Football: 2023 regular season review
Now that the playoffs are here it's time to take a look back at the 2023 regular season starting with my preseason predictions.
Out of the 44 teams in Mahoning, Trumbull & Columbiana counties I correctly picked correct records. They include:
Austintown Fitch 6-3
East Liverpool 6-4
SWING AND A MISS : With that being said, I missed 10 records by one game. One of my biggest "misses" was LaBrae. I predicted the Vikings 2-8 (after a 1-9 record in 2022) and the finished 5-5 and a playoff berth.
Another "swing and a miss" was West Branch. I had the Warriors at 5-5 (again after a record setting 2022) and they finished 9-1 & currently on a 9 game winning streak heading to the postseason.
Western Reserve was 3-7 in John Armeni's first season and finished 8-2 and the playoffs. I had the Blue Devils going 4-6.
"INDIANS" PLAYOFF BERTHS: - Southern Local & Girard have the longest consecutive playoff streaks. Both Indians are in the playoffs for a sixth straight year. In the playoffs for a fifth straight season are Poland, Brookfield, & South Range.
PLAYOFF DROUGHT: Champion has not been to the playoffs since 1994.
PLAYOFF TEAMS: Since the OHSAA expanded to 16 teams in each region (exception of Covid year in 2020) the 28 teams are the most the area has sent to the playoffs.
Since 2000, there have been 394 area teams advanced to the playoffs.
8-MAN PLAYOFFS : Sebring is in the playoffs and play Stryker Saturday in the first round.