Friday night football kicks off busy, but also fun time of year

By Vince Koza - Contributing Columnist

High school football officially begins Friday night.

I love it!

Really do!

I will be honest that I try to enjoy the off-season as much as possible, because once high school football kicks off, I am really busy until the boys’ state basketball tournament in March.

But that’s a good thing.

I remember when I first covered a high school football game here in Lima as a young news/sports reporter for WLIO-TV back in the fall of 1980.

First off, the high school games didn’t start until 8 o’clock.

Secondly, it was the only game I covered that night.

Just one game, and had to leave that game at halftime to get the highlights back for the 11 o’clock newscast.

Uh, we had to develop the film back then.

My how times have changed, huh!

For one, the 8 o’clock starts became 7:30 p.m., and this season, every conference went to a 7 p.m. start, except the Midwest Athletic Conference which stayed at 7:30 p.m.

We went from covering one game then, to a handful, and then eventually we devoted 15 minutes of the 30 plus minute newscast to a Football or Hoops Friday night.

We would show highlights of 10-12 games, and then it became even more.

Then, came WOSN/WTLW-TV, and an entire show dedicated to high school football highlights and scores.

And now which school doesn’t get at least a highlight or two on a Friday night?

Our local TV stations do a fantastic job showing us the highlights.

Then, there’s so many Limaland radio stations broadcasting high school football games, including my opportunity to do it on 93.1 the Fan.

Oh, and let’s not forget the Limaland newspapers that fill up their space daily writing about high school sports.

And the websites dedicated to high school sports, too.

And did you know that on 93.1 the FAN, we love broadcasting a high school football or basketball game every Friday night and then following it up with a scoreboard show.

Isn’t the media coverage of high school sports in our area unbelievable?

I have been to all ends of our wonderful state, and I can tell you that Limaland is so fortunate to have so much media coverage of high school sports.

And we are so fortunate to have so many great Limaland teams to cover — no matter the sport.

I look forward to Friday night.

And the next Friday.

And the next Friday after that.

From now until the boys’ state basketball tournament, its going to be fun.

Enjoy the ride.

Other koza thoughts:

• I think there are several good high school football teams in our area —again! Marion Local is a four-time defending state champion, while Coldwater has won three state titles in a row. Oh, and a third team from the Midwest Athletic Conference — Minster was a state titlist squad too, a year ago.

Lima Senior is going to be very good again. Last year the Spartans made the postseason for the first time since 1999.

Watch out for Lima Central Catholic, and Spencerville and Delphos Jefferson and … well that’s my point.

It’s going to be a fun fall!

• Finally, a shout out to the Allen County Fair and its commitment to harness racing.

Tuesday night, there were 11 races and Wednesday night, followed it up with seven more. It has been a tough couple of years for harness racing at county fairs, but thanks to 3 percent of the slots revenue at state Racinos, it is getting better and better.

And harness racing at the fair has me pumpin’ about the Little Brown Jug which this year is scheduled for Thursday Sept. 24th.

I will be there, baby!

By Vince Koza

Contributing Columnist

You can comment to Vince Koza at

You can comment to Vince Koza at

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