Blanchard River Buzz

A blog for rabid sports fans in the Findlay Area. Maintained by Findlay Courier sports writer Jamie Baker. The opinions expressed are my own crazed ramblings and not those of my employer the Findlay Publishing Company and its subsidiaries.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Thoughts on competition and golf

Yesterday is why I enjoy covering high school sports.

Prep athletes laying it all out there for one shot at making It to state. Some teams like Liberty-Benton and Bluffton walked away as happy campers knowing that they live to play another week. Others like defending Division III champion Lima Central Catholic, who had one of its top players disqualified for playing a ball that was out of bounds had to deal with disappointment and still other teams were just happy to be at Golf at Sugarcreek Thursday with an opportunity to compete.

In the end all of the coaches I talked too were terrific, gracious in both victory and defeat as were their competitors. Their parents were terrific too. No name calling, bad mouthing a referee or opponent. Excellent sportsmanship all around. I guess I wouldn’t expect any different from golfers.

Just a couple of other observations…

-- I was a tad disappointed though to see a couple of adults walking around with beers in hand at an OHSAA event. It’s the second year in a row I’ve seen this at the Division III district tournament, Believe me, I’m no prude. I like a tall, cold one just as much as the next guy -- maybe even a little more. But there’s a time and place for everything and beer and OHSAA events just don’t mix in my book. If I were a member of the NW District board, I’d request that beer sales be suspended during the tournament and if they didn’t follow the rules, I’d move the tournament some place else. That’s just my 2 cents.

-- Also the past two seasons the length of the tournament has been unbelievable. I can remember being back in the office at 4 p.m. the day of the district tournament when they tournament was held at Bowling Green State University‘s Forrest Creason Golf Course. The last two years at Lost Creek in 2005 and Golf at Sugar Creek this season, play has been very slow.

-- I was kind of disappointed in the media turnout. Since this was the biggest tournament of the season for a lot of teams I would have expected more of a media presence. I was there of course for The Courier. Counting off the list of media I saw there included The Delphos Herald, Putnam County Sentinel, Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum, Upper Sandusky Daily Chief Union and I may have missed one or two but I think that was about it.
Don’t expect to be considered one of the best media outlets in terms of prep coverage if you don’t attend an event like the district tournament.

-- It was disappointing to watch St. Wendelin’s Jake Williams lose in the three-way playoff for the final state individual bid. I’ve known Jake’s family for years and I know how much he’s put into his game. It’s tough watching kids and having to be unbiased and not root for them.

NOTEWORTHY:
FOSTORIA INVITE: I’ll be heading back home to Fostoria Saturday to watch the Fostoria Boosters Invitational cross country meet. If you read this and see me there be sure to stop me and say Hello.

L-B WRESTLING: As most of you out there know I’ve taken a few shots at Liberty-Benton in the past for being the largest school in NW Ohio without a wrestling program. Had a good conversation on the topic with L-B athletic director Dean Butler this week. He told me the students were surveyed and only a couple of students showed an interest in wrestling and one said he watched wrassin’ on TV all the time.

I was also told start with a youth program and go from there. While I agree a youth program is the way to go, I’ve had football coaches tell me they’d like to see it and they’d probably have 15 kids from the football team alone willing to give it a go. Add in another 5 or 6 kids in from the rest of the student body and you’re up to 20-21 kids. That would be my educated guess as to how many kids you could have on the team from my years involved with the sport.

Not everyone is big enough or is interested enough to hoop it up in the winter, especially at L-B where they have an excellent basketball program. Let’s say 40 boys play basketball in the winter. There should be something for those other 150 or so boys to do at L-B in winter.

He did tell me students at Hardin Northern were asked what other sports they would be interested in and wrestling came in No.1 on the list. The Polar Bears definitely have some hard-nosed kids I’d like to see on the mat. And I imagine they’d be pretty doggone good at it.

GIMME SHALTER: Ottawa-Glandorf volleyball player Madalyn Shalter is a special talent. She spikes, sets, serves and does everything the Titans need her to do and she does them all very well. Before it’s said and done, she’ll be signing with an NCAA Division I college program . The Titans can clinch at least a share of the Western Buckeye League volleyball crown with a win next week after beating previous WBL unbeaten Celina last night.

LEAGUE TITLE POSSIBILITIES: In volleyball Bluffton is still in the running for the Northwest Conference crown with just one league loss. Crestview and Lima C.C. also have a league loss with 2 weeks yet to play. Hardin Northern and Leipsic are still tied for the BVC volleyball lead and Kalida could throw the Putnam County League into a three-way deadlock with a win over Columbus Grove Monday. Hopewell-Loudon is still the only unbeaten team left in the Midland Athletic League, Old Fort is next with one loss.

Liberty-Benton’s boys and girls and Findlay’s boys and girls have all wrapped up league crowns in soccer. Riverdale can claim the North Central Ohio Soccer Association crown by beating or playing Cory-Rawson to a tie Thursday.


NEWSWORTHY:
Arrows advance at Division I golf sectional at Mohawk
PH takes on winless Bryan
Buckeyes to inspect Shoe’s new turf
Spencerville seeks to avoid mistakes against Bluffton
Findlay Courier Friday local sports
Fostoria eyes homecoming win
Mansfield News Journal Friday prep roundup
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune sports section for Friday
Brown is Elmwood’s option at quarterback

5 Comments:

  • At 6:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    couple LB golf notes:

    In the paper you said: The Eagles have been a model of consistency in 2006, shooting around 320 just about every time out.

    Actually their average is closer to 313 for the year with 299 being there best.

    I think this is the 1st trip to state in 11 years for golf

     
  • At 12:22 PM, Anonymous John Montgomery said…

    Hope to see you at the Fostoria Invite. Enjoy your trip back home :)

     
  • At 11:30 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Who did Butler survey for the wrestling @ LB? My son indicates he never saw such a survey.

     
  • At 5:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Regarding the Districts at Sugar Creek... I too noticed the parents drinking beer, & agree that these sales should have been suspended that day. I was also disappointed at the many parents & kids that thought nothing of talking on their cell phones to each other or talking to the players. This is not permitted during regular matches, & should have definitely been enforced at the district level. But then again, there were few or no officials around the course that day. The out of bounds markings were very unclear, & very poorly marked for the players which in the case of Lima Central Catholic, cost them a chance at the state tournament. At this level, the course should be clearly marked, & there should be someone with each foursome or close by to help with rulings. I am afraid that the OHSAA will be getting a lot of complaints about this course!

     
  • At 10:17 AM, Blogger --J-- said…

    I was told last year they asked kids at L-B what sports they would like to see. I was surprised only 2 mentioned wrestling at a school of that size they are the largest school in the NW District that does not field a wrestling team.

     

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