Sports Talk: Could this be the year?

In its long storied history on the pitch, a Marietta High boys’ soccer team has never gotten out of the regional tournament and advanced to state.

Neither has Warren, or any other southeastern Ohio prep school for that matter.

Will this be the year a Washington County school will be represented at Columbus Crew Stadium in November?

Could be.

We’ll know more in the next week or so.

Unfortunately, if it is to be, it’ll be one or the other.

You see, Marietta (14-2-3) and Warren (15-2-2) are scheduled to play each other in a district championship tilt at Lucasville Valley High Saturday at 4 p.m. The winner of that match then has to win two regional matches at Logan to punch its ticket to state.

Needless to say, it’s a tough road to hoe.

The district final showdown was set up in Wednesday’s semis when two-time defending district champion Warren defeated Chillicothe Unioto 1-0, and MHS followed with a 1-0 triumph over Lancaster Fairfield Union.

During regular-season play, Warren beat Marietta 2-1 at the Devola Soccer Complex, and then tied the Tigers 1-1 in Vincent.

In last year’s sectional final in Vincent, the Warriors rallied to win 2-1 in overtime.

These two schools are about as even-steven as it gets. Both boast solid defenses, and are very capable of lighting up the scoreboard.

Warren has a scoring machine in Alex Miller, while Marietta’s go-to guy on the forward line is Max Suckel.

The Tigers have a sure-handed keeper in Eric Pierce, and the Warriors have one in Tyler Schwendeman.

Marietta has speed galore in its flatback 4 defensive alignment of Tanner Rake, Brennan Uhrig, Brent Huck and Andrew Roberts. Heck, Uhrig and Huck at one time in their careers were offensive-minded players.

Warren will also be featuring Wyatt Lynch, Kendrick Hendrix, Hayden Smith and Aaron Mazurkiewicz, who scored the equalizer in the second meeting on the pitch.

It’s a classic matchup, and it’s a shame that one of these schools won’t be moving on.

As for the one that does advance, let’s not stop in the regional.

Might as well go all the way to Columbus.

Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor, and can be reached at 376-5441 or at rjohnston@mariettatimes.com