Hey, Galion, are you ready for some midnight madness football-style? Of course you are.
To celebrate the opening of 2015 football practice, the Galion Tigers are hosting their own version of Midnight Madness on Aug. 1. That’s the first official day of practice for the new season, according to OHSAA regulations.
Galion fans are invited to join the team for the event beginning at 10 p.m. on Friday, July 31 at Unckrich Stadium. Food will be available and games will be played during the lead-up to the official start of practice at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 1. The Tigers will practice until 2 a.m. at the stadium.
Galion Youth Football (GYF) players are invited to participate in the activities. Organizers said the GYF players will lead the Tigers onto the field for the first workout of the season.
Speaking of Galion Youth Football, the registration deadline for the 2015 season is July 24. Visit www.galionyouthfootball.com to download the necessary forms. Uniform fitting for GYF players will be conducted from 6-7 p.m. on Sunday, July 26 at Unckrich Stadium. For information, text Scott Eckert at 419-632-5671.
The varsity Tigers will travel to Fredericktown to play their first preseason scrimmage on Wednesday, Aug. 12. The scrimmage begins at 10 a.m.
The remainder of the preseason schedule includes a Saturday, Aug. 15 home scrimmage against Centerburg at 10 a.m., followed by a jamboree game on Friday, Aug. 21 at Shelby, beginning at 6 p.m.
Galion kicks off the regular season on Friday, Aug. 28 at Bucyrus. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Prep football watch list
As the countdown to kickoff of the 2015 football season winds down, pundits around Ohio are starting to weigh in about which teams will be in the mix when the OHSAA hands out hardware the weekend of Dec. 3-5 at Ohio Stadium.
Ohio prep sports website JJHuddle.com is in the process of releasing its region previews for the upcoming season and has listed several local programs among its teams to watch and keep an eye on.
Some of you are asking, “Don’t those two phrases mean the same thing?” Not in the land in which we ink-stained wretches dwell. But let’s move on, shall we?
In Div. V, Reg. 16, Galion and Marion Pleasant each received a nod from JJ Huddle as teams to watch. The Tigers are enjoying a run of three consecutive seasons with playoff appearances and the Spartans are the defending Mid Ohio Athletic Conference Red Division champion.
To no one’s surprise, defending Div. V state champ Coldwater is tabbed as the team to beat in Reg. 16.
Wynford and Colonel Crawford are two of the teams to watch in Div. VI, Reg. 20, according to JJ Huddle. The Royals won the Northern 10 Athletic Conference title in 2014 and advanced to the region finals. The Eagles finished 8-2 last season and placed 11th in the final computer rankings. Fellow N10 member Carey is listed among the teams to keep an eye on.
Defending region champion Defiance Tinora is listed as the team to beat in Reg. 20.
The MOAC is well represented in the teams to watch and keep an eye on categories in Div. VI, Reg. 21. Region finalist Centerburg is the lone team to watch, while Northmor, Cardington-Lincoln and Fredericktown are among those to keep an eye on.
Div. VI state semifinalist Lucasville Valley is regarded as the team to beat in Reg. 21.
Buckeye Central, the state runnerup three seasons ago, is among those we should keep an eye on in Div. VII, Reg. 24, according to JJ Huddle.
We enjoyed a week with my family in Florida, doing nothing for the most part, except having a good time. It was good to be back in the South for a little while and catch up with my loved ones.
Now, Southerners are equally as sports-crazy as folks in the Midwest, and I enjoyed picking on my relatives who are Alabama, Florida State and Florida fans — all in fun, of course.
So here’s what I learned during my visit.
No. 1 — Alabama football fans will never, ever — I mean never, never, ever, ever — get over losing to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl. I don’t even think if #RollTideRoll wins the national title this season that Bama fans will let it go. Blame Paul Finebaum, I guess.
No. 2 — Florida fans only hated Urban Meyer when he resurfaced at Ohio State. After the Buckeyes won the College Football Playoff National Championship, Gator fans now really, really hate Meyer. In fact, is there a stronger emotion than hate? It’s downright ugly, kids.
No. 3 — Tampa Bay Rays fans are a carbon copy of Reds fans. Just substitute the player, manager, GM and owner’s names, because the complaints are exactly the same.
No. 4 — My Buccaneers might be pretty good this season. Or not. #GoBucs
Andrew Carter can be reached at 419-468-1117, ext. 2048. Connect with him on Twitter @ACGalionSports.