Two weeks ago, two teams that should play every year renewed their rival status. The Miami Trace Panthers & Washington Court House Blue Lions played. Steve Gardner was there and sent OPS this story on the rise of Miami Trace back to were they belong.

The season just ended too quickly! That was the sentiment expressed by panther fans after Miami Trace ended their season with a 28 - 20 defeat of county rival Washington Court House last Friday night.

The Panthers, who finished 8 - 2, didn't have a realistic shot at the playoffs because several of their wins were against lesser opponents with little or no computer point value. But, the feeling persists that something big is on the horizon and Trace supporters can't wait for 2004 to arrive.

The buzz suggests that, with another year of growth and maturity for QB Miles Schlichter (Yes - He's the nephew of former Trace and OSU star Art Schlichter) combined with fellow "SUPER SOPHS" RB Dominique Smith and WR Matt Marting, Trace could very well be unstoppable next year.

OPS NOTES**Steve Gardner has a very close hand in sports in the Washington Court House area. He is the play-by-play voice of Miami Trace and Washington Court House High School Football and Basketball. Look for more stories on these two schools and also on the SCOL on

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