Jay Circosta and Larry Kehres are two of the best gridiron coaches around, not only in the Buckeye State but in the entire nation.
This weekend, the two football bosses and their teams will be in Washington County. But don't expect their opponents to roll out the red carpet for them.
At 7 p.m. tonight, Circosta's Monroe Central High School Seminoles are scheduled to be at Fort Frye in a key Pioneer Valley Conference showdown in Beverly, while at the same time on Saturday, Kehres' Mount Union Purple Raiders will be facing Marietta College at Don Drumm Stadium.
Combined, Circosta and Kehres have over 600 wins and nearly 70 years of head football coaching experience to their credit.
Circosta has been at the football helm at Woodsfield and Monroe Central now for 42 falls. During that time, his teams have averaged over seven victories per campaign, claimed numerous league championships, and made several playoff appearances.
A year ago October, Circosta's Seminoles presented him with milestone win No. 300 when they defeated Buckeye Trail 42-0 in a PVC game in Lore City (just east of Cambridge).
With that victory, Monroe Central secured an opening round homefield playoff game. The host Noles would later go one-and-out, dropping a 34-12 decision to Aquinas and finish 9-2 on the season.
So far this fall, Monroe Central is 3-1 overall and rated No. 13 in Ohio Division 5, Region 17. Only the top eight schools in each region advance to postseason play.
Monroe Central needs a triumph over Eric Huck-coached Fort Frye (2-2) to stay alive in the hunt for another PVC title and a fourth consecutive playoff appearance. It's a must win for the Cadets, too, as they are coming off a 49-6 setback to Weirton Madonna.
A week ago, Circosta's Seminoles squeaked by winless Caldwell, 15-8, in Woodsfield.
Interestingly, Mount Union hasn't lost to Marietta since 1977 when Jimmy Carter was President - and Kehres as head coach of the Purple Raiders has never been defeated by the Pioneers in his 26-plus years at the helm.
Kehres is one of only 10 coaches in college football history to win over 300 games. With last week's 57-0 Purple Raider rout of Muskingum, he tied Pop Warner on the all-time wins list.
After Warner, Kehres will be seeking to surpass Paul "Bear" Bryant's win total.
Mount Union (2-0) will be entering its game against the Jeff Filkovski-led Pioneers (0-2) as the top-ranked NCAA Division III team in the nation, thanks to UW-Whitewater's 7-6 setback to Buffalo State.
The Purple Raiders, the owner of 10 national titles under Kehres, have not lost an OAC game since falling to Ohio Northern University in 2005.
So, there you have it, Circosta and Kehres, two of the best head football coaches in the land, right in our own backyard so to speak on consecutive days.
Ron Johnston is the Marietta Times sports editor and can be reached at 376-5441 or at firstname.lastname@example.org