MANSFIELD — We've been a part of something special this football season.
This weekend, for the first time, two Richland County teams have earned a spot in state championship football games. The Mansfield Senior Tygers (13-1) play Trotwood-Madison (11-3) on Friday at 3 p.m. for the state Division III title, while the Lucas Cubs (12-2) play Maria Stein Marion Local (12-2) on Saturday at 10 a.m. for the Division VII state championship.
Football fever has swept the community along with these teams. Tomorrow, a community pep rally will take place at 7 p.m. for the Tygers and Cubs football teams. Mansfield Mayor Tim Theaker and Lucas Mayor Todd Hall will host the rally.
On Friday, Mansfield will have a district-wide day off, according to Superintendent Stan Jefferson. The school plans to provide transportation to students wishing to attend Friday afternoon's game.
The enthusiasm has gone national, with a Tyger alum all the way in South Carolina following along with these teams' historic playoff runs:
Had no idea my wife was recording, but too proud not to share. In Columbia, SC watching my hometown @TYger_Football clinch a berth in Ohio D3 state football championship. Hoping her alma mater does the same. #tygernation #theField #finish #cufriday #wearelucas #goCubs #cuSaturday pic.twitter.com/lgsfGmdIgf— Cary Hart (@Bucknut17) November 30, 2019
High school sports have a tendency to transcend beyond the field being played on. It's easy to root for a group of kids performing at the top of their ability, making memories that will last a lifetime. It's natural for everyone to want to be part of the magic.
So we want to know: What has this championship run for Mansfield and Lucas meant to you?
Maybe you're a fellow alum of Mansfield or Lucas, and it's been heartwarming to see your alma mater succeed. Maybe you're a parent of a player on the field, bursting with pride at where your student's hard work has taken them. Maybe you're just an observer with no skin in the game, marveling at how "orange pride county-wide" has reached a fever pitch.
Share your story with us, and we'll include your responses in our game coverage this weekend. And if you'd like to leave a message of support for the Tygers or Cubs, click here.
Thanks for following along with all of Richland Source's coverage of these two teams. Join us on Friday and Saturday for the grand finale of this historic season.