Marysville High School defensive end Mason Reed goes through a gap drill during preseason camp this week. The Monarchs will open the 2021 season at home on Saturday, Aug. 21 against Cleveland Collingwood. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)
Within a few weeks, high school football teams in Ohio will take to the field and experience their first Friday night under the lights of the 2021 season.
Marysville High School’s Monarchs won’t be one of them.
The campaign officially kicks off for most teams on Friday, Aug. 20.
The Monarchs, however, will play their first game the following day.
MHS will host Cleveland Collingwood, with the kickoff slated for 1 p.m.
“We had open dates for Weeks 1 and 3 for the upcoming season,” said Marysville head coach Brent Johnson.
“We had options for the first week and looked into Hilliard Davidson (a former Ohio Capital Conference Central Division rival), Springboro, Springfield and Lakota East,” he said. “We didn’t have any takers.
“We sat still for a while to see if anything came up,” said Johnson. “We then reached out to any team that may have had a first-week opening.
“Collingwood said they did and we scheduled the game.”
The contest will be played on Saturday afternoon at the convenience of the Cleveland-area school.
“They didn’t want to travel two hours and then go back home on a Friday night,” said Johnson. “That would have gotten them back home at maybe 1:30 a.m.”
There is no financial incentive for Collingwood’s travel to Union County.
It’s going to be a first game for both teams and “we’ll feed them pretty well,” joked Johnson.
The Marysville Quarterback Club will prepare food for both teams after the game.
MHS was supposed to play Columbus Northland during the first game of the 2020 campaign.
A game against Findlay was on tap for the third week last year.
Both contests were canceled as the season was reduced to six regular season games due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Monarchs finished with a 6-2 record, including a 1-1 mark in the state playoffs.
Marysville is scheduled to travel to Pickerington North for the third game of the upcoming season.
Collingwood did not play any games last year.
That’s due to the fact the Cleveland City Schools canceled the entire season due to COVID-19.
Marysville hasn’t played Collingwood within any recent memory.
As such, Johnson doesn’t know anything about his team’s first-week foe.
“All I know is they’re called the Commodores,” he said. “They play in the same conference as (annual power) Cleveland Glenville and are supposed to be pretty good.
“I talked to the Dublin Coffman coaches and they told me Collingwood has been one of the better teams in the Cleveland City League,” said the Monarch coach.
Johnson said the lack of information on the Commodores makes him a bit nervous.
“I’m not sure we’re going to get any tapes on them,” he said. “Even if we did, it would be from 2019 games.
“We’re just going to have to figure out a way to scout and obtain information on them some time this week.”
Sam Harrington picks up yardage during a drill for the MHS football team. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller)