It seemed like just yesterday Sam Bourquin and the Akron Beacon Journal's Michael Beaven were talking about summer scrimmages, now for tonight, it's week 10 of the high school football season.
Beaven joined Sammy B on a "Feel Good Friday" to talk about the Week 10 matchups, as well as some of the teams fighting for a playoff berth.
One of the key AkronCity Series games will be Ellet, led by coach Joe Yost, against the Bob Sax-coached Garfield Golden Rams.
"Jataris Grant is one of the key players for Garfield," Beaven said. "He's a good athlete, and he's good in the open field."
Other teams looking to impress this season in Week 10 before the playoffs include Mogadore, Stow, Hoban, and Buchtel.
There are currently four undefeated teams in the Akron area, with Stow, Hoban Buckeye, and Woodridge all unblemished.
For Stark County, Josh Wier of the Canton Repository says that the Perry GlenOak matchup ought to be a good one, in addition to the "War of 1894" between Massillon and McKinley.
"That game can go either way for sure," Wier said of the battle between the Tigers and the Bulldogs.
The War of 1894 will be taking place yet again at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, and with the Massillon Tigers and McKinley Bulldogs getting ready to tussle, both coaches expect to see 100% effort from their young men Saturday afternoon.
Nate Moore, the head coach of the Tigers joined 1590 WAKR to talk about the rivalry, his team battling through adversity throughout the season, and what it's going to take to stop McKinley's playmakers.
Moore said that by containing McKinley dual-threat QB Dominique Robinson and limiting touches for other Bulldog playmakers, the Tigers should be alright.
"The quarterback is a good athlete, he has a good arm, so we have to stay disciplined defensively," he said.
For McKinley, head coach Dan Reardon says his team is playing good football and will have to maintain focus in a rivalry game and not let the emotion surrounding it cloud them from executing.
It's Week 10 of the high school football season and Massillon and Canton McKinley are ready to hit the gridiron this weekend once again.
Chris Easterling from the Massillon Independent joined the Sam Bourquin Show to break down the matchup and talk about what's at stake for both teams in addition to bragging rights.
McKinley has their playoff spot locked up, while Massillon needs a win to keep their season alive. The Tigers are coming off a tough loss to the Irish of St. Vincent-St. Mary, while McKinley is coming off a win over the Green Bulldogs.
Easterling says that both quarterbacks Seth Blankenship of the Tigers and Dominique Robinson of the Bulldogs will dictate this game, and whoever makes the most crucial throws and the fewest mistakes will lead his team to a victory at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
It will be a clash of the titans in Week 10 of the high school football season as Archbishop Hoban High School and Cleveland Benedictine will tee it up on the gridiron Saturday night.
Benedictine coach Joe Schaefer joined the show to talk about the matchup with Hoban, saying that they have athletes to defend all over the field.
The Bengals are 9-0 on the season, along with the Hoban Knights, so both teams will be facing a huge test prior to the playoffs, which start next week.
Schaefer said his team has been doing well along both lines, offensively and defensively, and that play in the trenches is crucial to his team's success.
For Archbishop Hoban, Tim Tyrell says that defensively, his team needs to be sure to keep everything in front of them and stay disciplined with all of the athletes at the quarterback, receiver, and skill positions for Benedictine.
The Louisville Leopards are riding high heading into the final week of the high school football season after their defeat of the previously undefeated Salem Quakers.
Head football coach John DeMarco joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the 48-10 dominating win, his team coming together, and the seniors who got a chance to exit Leopard Stadium for the final time as winners.
"We wanted to jump on them (Salem) early, turn mistakes into points, which we did," DeMarco said.
The Leopards are in first place in the NBC conference heading into their final game of the 2015 season against Canton South. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Heading into Year 2 of the David Blatt era, as well as the second year of the LeBron James "return"era, the Wine and Gold have large expectations before the ball gets tossed into the air Tuesday evening.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will tip off the 2015-16 season tomorrow night in the Windy City to take on the Chicago Bulls.
Our "Cavaliers Roundtable" consisting of Sam Bourquin, Brad Russell, Jasen Sokol, Ray Horner, and myself broke down the Cavs, their free agent moves, injury concerns, and who they could potentially face in the NBA Finals.
New additions include Richard Jefferson, Mo Williams, and Sasha Kaun.
Ray thinks this team might be the deepest in Cavaliers history.
"I think they really fortified themselves," Horner said. "You worry about the health of these guys, Irving, Varejao, Love, they haven't played a full season, so you worry about the health."
Both Brad and Jasen think that the Cavaliers will be challenged the most by the Bulls, with Jasen saying health is a key factor for them.
"They are the Cavs' biggest rival in the East, they have to stay healthy too to compete with Cleveland," he said. Brad feels that Fred Hoiberg being named the head coach after replacing Tom Thibodeau will constitute some growing pains for the Bulls.
"There's a lot of question marks there," Russell said.
As far as the West, Sammy B says the Spurs "scare him to death" with the additions of frontcourt players David West and LaMarcus Aldridge, while Aaron thinks OKC can get it done with Kevin Durant.
You can follow the Wine and Gold along their journey on 1590 WAKR throughout the regular season and the playoffs.
The Green Bulldogs with have a tough task on their hands Friday night as they prepare to face the Canton McKinley Bulldogs in a Federal league battle.
Head football coach Jon Wallace joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about his Bulldogs and how they will prepare to slow down Dan Reardon's bunch.
The Bulldogs are 3-5 on the season and are still mathematically alive in the playoff chase. Coach Wallace says the out of conference slate coupled with the Federal League schedule has been a good challenge for his team.
Green and McKiinley will hit the gridiron at 7 p.m. from Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.
Week 9 of the high school football season will feature a battle of two solid and well-coached teams who are looking to fine-tune their game before the playoffs begin.
Ron Johnson, the head coach of Salem joined the Sam Bourquin Show to talk about the undefeated Quakers' matchup with the Louisville Leopards tonight.
Johnson says his team has improved week in and week out, and that they'll be ready for the Leopards under the Friday night lights. The 8-0 Quakers and the Leopards (7-1) will play at 7 pm tonight.
The Quakers are coming off a win over Alliance last week.
Athletic infractions and $10,000 in fines have been handed down to the Akron Public Schools, as a result of the Ohio High School Athletic Association's investigation into problems with eligibility at APS.
Tim Stied with the OHSAA says that 16 ineligible athletes were found at five of seven APS high schools.
"We had seven kids that didn't meet the academic requirements to be eligible," Stried tells WAKR's Sam Bourquin, "and there were seven kids that had transfered in that ended being eligible retroactively, but these schools had never requested an eligibility ruling for them in the first place."
The five high schools, according to an OHSAA document, are Buchtel, East, Firestone, Garfield and Kenmore.
Stried says they started looking into APS after realizing the district didn't run standard eligibility questions by them.
The Akron schools have instituted a new eligibility checking plan under new athletic director Joe Vassalotti, which will help knock down the OHSAA fine from $12,500 to $10,000.
Stried says he's confident that the Akron schools understand what needs to be done, and should be OK moving forward.
The Akron Zips men's and women's basketball teams are getting ready for the 2015-16 season with the expectation of being competitive in the MAC.
The Akron Public Schools are looking at implementing a new plan to ensure 100% compliance with the OHSAA regulations.
This proactive approach stems from a ruling during the 2014-15 school year when the OHSAA had determined the APS committed infractions as it relates to eligibility.
APS Athletic Director Joe Vassalotti joined the Sam Bourquin Show Monday to talk about the plan and how to better educate parents, student-athletes, and others about the eligibility rules.
"We want to be transparent and do things right here and follow the bylaws of the OHSAA as exactly they should be."
Vassalotti says that among other items, building athletic directors will be checking eligibility earlier, as well as making sure student-athletes grade point average is where it should be.
He says by being 100% compliant, student athletes get the concept of doing things the right way.
"We need to follow through to make sure all paperwork is turned in in a timely manner, and ultimately we want them out there competing with their teammates."