Van Wert City Schools Superintendent Mark Bagley and Port Clinton City Schools Pat Adkins have agreed on a friendly wager for tonight’s Division IV Region 14 championship game.
SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor
It’s a high-stakes football game between a pair of 12-1 teams, with the winner moving on to the Division IV state semifinals.
Van Wert and Port Clinton will meet for the Region 14 championship at Findlay’s Donnell Stadium on Friday night and the game has prompted a friendly wager between two superintendents who are longtime friends.
The friendship between Van Wert City Schools Superintendent Mark Bagley and Port Clinton City Schools Superintendent Patrick Adkins dates back nearly 30 years when the two were teaching and coaching at Ottoville.
“Pat has always been a mentor to me,” Bagley said. “I was a first-year teacher 29 years ago and Pat was a computer teacher. He’s been one of those guys who was one step above me and when the superintendent job came open at Van Wert and I tossed around whether I should apply for it, one of the first persons I called was Pat.”
Bagley got the job early last year then a few months later the two schools met in the playoffs at Eggerss Stadium, which prompted a reunion between the two colleagues. The Cougars enjoyed a 46-20 win, which sparked a run all the way to the 2020 Division IV state championship.
As this year’s bracket took shape, the two realized a rematch could take place. No. 3 seed Van Wert advanced to Friday’s game with wins over Rossford, Wauseon, and Clyde, while No. 4 seed Port Clinton made it to this point with playoff victories over Toledo Scott, Keystone, and Perkins.
“Last Sunday we started texting and said we need to do something fun as superintendents,” Bagley said. “We tossed around some ideas and it came to be that we’d go to our head coaches and get a jersey that wasn’t being used. We’ll bring the jerseys to the game and the wager is the loser has to wear the winner’s jersey Monday at work and then we get to pick a dinner of our choice.”
“It should be fun for everybody,” Adkins said. “Mark and I go way back and we’re good friends and it’s fun to be playing against their school. I think it’s going to be a friendly rivalry and we just wanted to have a little bit of fun with it.”
That begs the question – regardless of who wins, will the dinner be at a casual place or one on the pricier side?
“I think if we’re going to do it right we have to find a Ruth Chris, Eddie Marlowe’s, somewhere really nice,” Bagley said with a laugh. “We’ll probably meet in Toledo or Columbus or maybe I can drag him to Fort Wayne. Let’s go big – I think it’s a great wager.”
“If we win it’s going to be a little bit of an upset so it should be twice as expensive for him,” Adkins quipped. “I’m thinking here in town Gideon Owen (an upscale restaurant on the Catwaba Peninsula), a nice steak and I’m going to bring all of my family and make him pay up.”
Bagley and Adkins both said regardless of the outcome, they’re looking forward to chatting at the game.
Pat Adkins, Superintendent of Pot Clinton City Schools
Original article courtesy of The VW Independent