Marietta High's boys' soccer team doesn't normally like to look ahead.
But this week is kind of special, especially Saturday, as the undefeated Tigers (5-0) are scheduled to play Chillicothe High in a non-conference match at 11 a.m. at Columbus Crew Stadium.
That's right, soccer-specific Crew Stadium, where the pros play.
"It's exciting," said MHS head coach Todd Morris. "The guys really haven't been talking about (Saturday), yet. I mean, they're pretty business-like and take it game by game.
"But how could you not be thinking about playing at Crew Stadium? It's a great opportunity for the program."
The Jeff Price-coached MHS girls' soccer program has already had the experience of competing on the professional pitch in Columbus - twice. The Lady Tigers are 1-1 at Crew Stadium, losing to Reynoldsburg 2-0 in 2009 and defeating St. Ursula of Toledo 1-0 last year.
Now, it's the boys' turn.
"We'd actually thought about playing there (Crew Stadium) in the past," Morris said, "but could never pull the trigger. This year, we pulled the trigger.
"The girls aren't scheduled to play there this year, and also don't have a game on Saturday. So we should have some great support."
Marietta will be facing Chilli, a team it played on a regular basis for many years when a member of the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League (SEOAL). Now, the Tigers are in their first year of competition in the East Central Ohio League (ECOL).
Over the years, MHS and CHS have had some classic battles on the pitch. But this season, the Mike McCorkle-coached Cavaliers have been struggling a little bit.
Chillicothe kicked off the season with a 10-0 setback to Dublin Scioto at McVicker Field. More recently, CHS dropped a 5-0 decision to the Warren Warriors.
"I understand they're very young," said Morris of the Cavaliers. "They might be down some, but we'll still be playing a good opponent. It's a rivalry game."
Meanwhile, Marietta just keeps rolling along. After opening up the season with three straight home wins at the Devola Soccer Complex, the Tigers were tested in their first road match against longtime rival Athens at Rutter Field in The Plains last Saturday.
Sparked by Brent Huck's two goals, the orange and black booters needed to stage a late, second-half rally to defeat the Bulldogs, 4-3.
Then, on Tuesday, MHS traveled to Dover for an ECOL game, and won 5-0.
Before departing for Columbus Saturday, the Tigers will visit Akron Archbishop for a 7 p.m. non-league tilt tonight.
Marietta is led by senior co-captains' Tim Grosel and Cole Hamilton, who each has scored three goals. Huck also has three scores on the season. Brennan Uhrig leads the team in putting the ball in the back of the net with four while Tanner Rake, Jacob Holdren, and Colin Jordan have one apiece.
Keeper Jacob Hupp, who had 12 saves against Athens, is expected to start between the pipes.
"I think once we get past Akron Archbishop, it'll really sink in that we'll actually be competing on the surface of Crew Stadium," Morris said.
"We're looking forward to it."