Much like volleyball, which was announced earlier in the week, both boys and girls soccer in the area have switched to a top-seed host format in sectional tournament action.
Napoleon’s girls program will need to adjust the most to the format, as the Lady Cats will now play in a 10-team sectional involving nine members of the Western Buckeye League. The last four in will play in a district tournament at Elida.
In Division III girls soccer, Liberty Center will play in a grouping that ends at Lake in the district. Archbold, Cardinal Stritch, Delta, Genoa, Huron, Northwood, Oak Harbor, Otsego, Ottawa Hills, Swanton, Toledo Christian and Woodmore make up the rest of the field.
Lake will also host a Division II district with Bowling Green, Bryan, Toledo Central Catholic, Eastwood, Lake, Maumee, Port Clinton, Toledo Rogers, Rossford and Wauseon making up the pool of teams.
Unlike the girls team, Napoleon’s boys soccer team stayed away from the WBL when it learned its tournament fate. The Cats were placed in a district headed for Toledo Central Catholic, where Napoleon will be joined by Bowling Green, Eastwood, Genoa, Lake, Maumee, Oak Harbor, Otsego, Rossford, Wauseon and the host Irish.
It’s a small change for Napoleon, who played at sectional sites in Defiance and most recently, Wauseon, in the past.
“I’ve personally liked going to Defiance,” said Napoleon boys soccer coach Chris DelFavero. “I know this is something the coaches association has been trying to pass through. Some of the teams have had to travel.
“Having not participated in that (the new set-up), I’m not sure how that will work,” DelFavero added.
A combination of two former sectionals converge in Ottawa Hills for Division III. Cardinal Stritch, Maumee Valley, Ottawa Hills, Toledo Christian, Woodmore, Archbold, Delta, Pettisville, Swanton and Van Buren — along with local Liberty Center will whittle the grouping down to four to send to Ottawa Hills for district play.
Like it was done in the spring, and will be done for volleyball, all tournament games will be played on the same days, with the dates set by the Northwest District Athletic Board.
In the end, it’s still all about winning games in the postseason.
“My take on it is when it gets to the playoffs, I don’t care where we play,” closed DelFavero. “I remember years ago when we had to go to Ashland to play and it didn’t matter.”