Are the Norwalk Truckers ready to seize control of the Northern Ohio league football race this season?
Area media members thought so, picking Norwalk to win the NOL.
It was a close vote, but Norwalk edged out Tiffin Columbian 118-110 for the crown.
More importantly, the Truckers gained 10 first-place votes to nine for the Tornadoes.
Norwalk hasn’t won a NOL title since 1976.
But the Truckers have been building momentum.
It started in 2011 with a 7-3 mark — the first time Norwalk was better than .500 since 1977.
That was followed by a second 7-3 record in 2012.
Then, last season, Norwalk broke through with a 9-2 mark and playoff appearance for the first time since a state championship in 1974.
Expectations are high at NHS this season.
The Truckers are a known quantity around the state.
They have one of the best running backs the NOL has seen in some time with senior running back Breck Turner, who is being recruited by Big Ten and Mid-American Conference schools.
Coach Chris MacFarland also believes he has the depth and experience in 2014.
Columbian has been one of the dominant teams in the NOL since 2000, winning or sharing the league crown 10 times.
Bellevue won or tied for the NOL crown four times from 2000 to 2004.
Sandusky made a strong NOL impression with a NOL title in 2011.
The Truckers played Columbian twice last season — falling 24-20 at Whitney Field in the regular season and 34-28 in double overtime at Frost-Kalnow Stadium in a Division III, Region 8 first-round playoff game.
It’s a new season. There are unknown factors, there’s injuries.
Everybody starts 0-0.
Can Norwalk end the season as NOL champs?
What are your thoughts on the season?