Sunday, November 25, 2012

Marion Local does it right

Looking at the state final pairings for next weekend in high school football, there's one team's entry that never ceases to impress me nearly every year.

It's not a school anywhere near this area, but if you know high school sports in Ohio, you know the name well.

Maria Stein Marion Local is back in the Division VI state final after a 34-28 win Friday over McComb and will take on Newark Catholic for the D-VI title next weekend.

Marion Local, merely as an observation from a distance, never seems to be mediocre at anything.

Football leads the way. The Flyers are making their 15th playoff appearance in school history and are - get this - 47-9 all-time in the playoffs. They have won five state championships, including three since 2006.

It's not just the gridiron. They're usually state-ranked at some point in boys basketball and girls basketball as well, and it's also never a shock to see state qualifiers across an array of other sports.

If you don't know Marion Local, it's a school tucked into the southeast corner of Mercer County, which is in west central Ohio along the Indiana border. Here's the school on Google Earth:

According to the OHSAA, Marion Local has an enrollment of only 108 boys and 104 girls in grades 10-12, yet they're seemingly regional- or state-caliber in virtually any sports endeavor.

I fully realize Maria Stein Marion Local is several hours from here, and it boasts a football team we'll probably only ever see on television.

With that kind of athletic track record, though, it's difficult not to be an admirer from afar.

- Chris Lillstrung | @CLillstrungNH


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