St. Marys Adds Thurgood Marshall To Schedule

By: 
JAKE DOWLING
Sports Editor

St. Marys has found its week 1 opponent for the 2020.

Roughriders football coach Doug Frye shared Tuesday morning that the program has picked up Thurgood Marshall for two years and will host the Cougars in next year's season opener. 

A Division III, Region 12 team for the last two seasons, Thurgood dropped to Division IV this season because a decline in enrollment and plays in Region 16. The Cougars — who typical has a number of Division II and III schools throughout their schedule — are 2-5 this season and play their home games at Dayton's Welcome Stadium. The last time Thurgood qualified for the playoffs was 2013.

The partnership with Thurgood is a home-and-away deal and Frye added that the Roughrider program may look at another school long-term.

He said he and athletic director Jim Hollman scoped a roughly 45-mile radius to find a school to fill that week 1 opening, but the problem was trying to get a home game for next year — which he added was the reason why many schools did not want to jump on St. Marys' schedule.

The Roughriders having been trying to find a week 1 opponent after Sidney dropped St. Marys from its schedule in May 2018. The Yellow Jackets moved to the newly-developed Miami Valley League this season and much like the Western Buckeye League schedule, the MVL has nine league games and one non-league contest. Before, the Greater Western Ohio Conference, the conference Sidney used to be in, had two non-league games.

The Yellow Jackets will instead play Bellefontaine, who has opened its season against Wapakoneta the last few years, in 2020. Frye said Wapakoneta has added Holland Springfield — a Division II school in Region 7, for one year. That game will be a home game for the Redskins.

Frye said there has been discussions with schools from the Midwest Athletic Conference and the school wanted to avoid having to play a school that as hours away. 

Welcome Stadium is a one hour and seven-minute drive from Memorial High School.