CLEVELAND-- And then there were four. Four high school football teams are now just one win away from a state title. This week can become a historical week for several teams from Northeast Ohio.
The high school football state championships kick off Thursday in Division III with Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary trying to defend their 2012 state title. The Irish bring a 20-game win streak into Thursday's game against Trotwood-Madison.
"You seniors, this is it, work hard every single snap," said Kirtland head football coach Tiger LaVerde.
That will likely be Tiger LaVerde's message to his Kirtland Hornets again on Friday. Kirtland is playing for its second state title in three years. They lost in the title game last season.
"Coming back for a third year and losing last year we took that as motivation for the offseason and we worked hard this whole year and that is driving us right now," said Kirtland RB Sam Kukura.
Ted Ginn, Sr. will lead Glenville to their second state title game and first since 2009. The Tarblooders are trying to become the first school from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District to win a state playoff title.
"It's always about doing what you can do for your community and your city and especially your district. You know we want to make sure we can do that," said Ginn.
In Mentor, the Cardinals are preparing for their first state football championship game in six years. They already won a state championship in boys basketball earlier this year and now they hope to bring home their first state football championship.
"That's pretty neat. That's pretty special,” said Mentor Head Coach Steve Trivisonno. “It was great getting down there in March and pulling it out and now we have to take care of our end and make this a very special year in Mentor.”
And for Northeast Ohio.