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.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Sports and the sexes

I’m not a woman hater at all. Far from it.

Give me the company of the fairer sex on any day of the week even if it means going to mall and spending an hour and a half in Bath and Body Works.

That said, for all of the good Title IX has done for women and high school girls sports, I still have a lot of problems with it.

If you don’t know what Title IX is, here’s what it’s all about in a nutshell. It was a law passed by Congress in 1972 mandating equal educational opportunities for all in education. Unfortunately it isn’t enforced as an education law, it’s mostly used to make sure women have equal treatment in athletics.

It’s become about having comparable facilities, funding and opportunities that their male athletic counterparts have.

I read a story in the Defiance newspaper that Defiance High School is under Title IX scrutiny after complaints to the Office of Civil Rights in Washington. Softball facilities in Defiance pale in comparison to the baseball field and the baseball coaches are paid much more than their fellow coaches on the softball field. Sounds like those complaints have legs and I imagine some kind of action will be taken by the school in Defiance to remedy the situation.

Where I have a problem with Title IX tends to be at the college level. Minor men’s sports like wrestling, track and field, swimming and cross country are all being eliminated at schools across the country as a result of Title IX. In fact yesterday James Madison University cut 10 sports because of Title IX you can read the story here. The law mandates that one of the ways to meet Title IX is to have the number of athletes at your school mirror your student body. If 55 or 60 percent of your student population is female then 55-60 percent of your athletes should be female.

Do women at the college level really have as much interest in athletics as their male counterparts? Drive by the intramural fields at BGSU one evening and you tell me? I would say no. You could start a wrestling team at BGSU tomorrow and have 20-30 kids show up to compete probably.

In college, Title IX has been more about cutting opportunities for men and adding a few opportunities for women to level the playing field. To me that’s just not right.

BUT and this is a big BUT. Without Title IX high school girls sports wouldn’t be where it is today. There might not have been a Caity Matter driving the lane for Bluffton High School or Ohio State or Findlay High School’s Stephanie Swiger knocking down kill after kill for the BGSU volleyball team. And there might not be as much interest in sports by girls at even younger ages if it weren’t for Title IX.

It’s been a blessing and a curse both at the same time.

BEN WATCH: I cannot confirm or deny it, but there’s been some Big Ben sightings around town this week. Evidently he and his body guards were in town at some point.

WEIRD ONE: Did you read the story about the Cory-Rawson and Vanlue game? What a wild one that was 58-26? Over 900 yards of offense, and nearly 180 yards in penalties. People have told us that Vanlue’s Nick Lee is one of the best quarterbacks in the BVC and he showed way last night passing for 298 yards. Outsiders say the Wildcats have 6 or 7 kids that can play for anyone in the conference but they wear out and depth is killing them.

BACK OFF TROJAN FANS: The FHS fans have been talking the Trojans up on various Internet message board in the last week. OK FHS beat a struggling Worthington Kilbourne and thumped Lima Senior. Some fans have been using the word…dare I say it…Playoffs? Puh-leese. They are 2-4, maybe they have a chance to win the GBC but the playoff thing isn’t going to happen. They still have a lot of work to do just to win next week. This doesn’t refer to everyone but quit running your mouths and let the kids play ball!

NB NUMBERS: North Baltimore started the season with 24 kids on their roster but have suffered through a rash of injuries in recent weeks. With Hopewell-Loudon, Mohawk and Seneca East still on the schedule, health has to be a concern. I’ve heard rumblings about the school worrying about having enough bodies to play on Friday nights.

STICKY SOCCER SITUATION: Findlay High School’s girls have all but wrapped up the GBC soccer title and all-conference voting takes place next week. They’ve pretty much ripped through the competition in the conference playing their varsity team in some GBC matches and their JV team in others. That’s created some hard feelings among the league coaches and some interesting scenarios regarding who makes the all-league teams. Who do you vote for all-league Findlay’s JV players or their varsity players that may not have even played against your team during the regular season?

CONFERENCE COMPARISON: Someday soon I’m going to blog about which conference is better in sports the BVC or the MAL. They are two adjoining conferences I know relatively well. Could make for an interesting debate.

NO SUNDAY BLOGGING: No blog tomorrow, church, family and work take precedent. Have a great weekend we’ll be back at it on Monday.

Third Kenton teen in deer decoy case sentenced
Pennsylvania family chased by rabid coyote
Ohio U players aren’t suspended for runs ins with the law
CG beats Jefferson in volleyball
Saturday’s Courier Sports (Includes games stories on Findlay-Lima Senior and Arlington-McComb)
Bellevue tames Galion Tigers
Schmitt leads Allen East past Bluffton
Titans top Bath
Mansfield Area football boxscores
Defense powers Harding past Sandusky
PH nudges Delta

Friday, September 29, 2006

Good, bad and ugly in print

Ok this isn’t necessarily sports related today.

But it does concern an area school North Baltimore. I have been going over and doing stories on North Baltimore’s athletes for more than a decade.

They have their panties in a bunch because of a story the Courier ran this week about drug and alcohol use at the schools. If you haven’t read it here is a link to it here.

According to the survey results, a whopping 92.3 percent of North Baltimore high school seniors (the class level most likely to use drugs and alcohol) said they had consumed alcohol this year, which is one of the highest rates in the county. The rate for Wood County as a whole was 65 percent.

Cigarette use is also prevalent. Numbers showed that this year alone, 52.2 percent of North Baltimore seniors smoke, an increase from 23.8 percent in 2004.

Marijuana is the third most popular drug of choice for teens in the county (behind alcohol and tobacco), and that trend is also reflected in North Baltimore.

In Wood County, 35 percent admitted to smoking it within the past year, while 39 percent in the village indicated they had.

Everyone loves the good stories and they hate it when we write about something less than positive that’s going on. I guess that’s just human nature. By all means call us and complain, but realize we are doing our jobs as a newspaper.

Sometimes if the media doesn’t bring an issue to light no one would ever know there’s a problem. Then, there’s no one trying to find a solution.

NOTEWORTHY: FORE: Liberty-Benton, Van Buren, Ottoville and Bluffton are the only area teams that survived yesterday’s Division III sectional golf tournament. A handful of individuals did advance too. I think Liberty-Benton has to be one of the favorites to qualify while the Pirates, Knights and Big Green will have to put together their best rounds of the season to advance next week at Sugar Creek.

WHAT I’M WORKING ON: McComb’s Sarah Schroeder, who has already committed to play volleyball at UF next season, got her 1,000th career kill yesterday. I’m meeting with her Monday on a prep page feature. I’ll also be talking to people from Vanlue about their dilemma of finding a girls basketball coach. I’m also going to hit a few area bowling alleys for a feature on all the small-town alleys in the Courier coverage area.

STORY IDEAS: Do you have any? Share them with me and we’ll see what we can do. Anything unusual or interesting sports or news wise I’d love to hear your ideas.

Police find meth in prosthetic leg
Final NCC Golf Standings, Leaders
Defiance High School under Title IX scrutiny
Findlay Courier Friday’s Local Sports
Friday’s Review Times sports section
Fremont News Messenger Friday’s Sports Section
Mansfield News Journal prep sports roundup
Tiffin Columbian-Fostoria preview from the Tiffin A-T
Fostoria man convicted in ticket scam
Roles reversed for NWOAL clash

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Week 6 Prep Football Notes

Hardin Northern POLAR BEARS at Van Buren BLACK KNIGHTS
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Hardin Northern 5-0 overall, 4-0 Blanchard Valley Conference; Van Buren 4-1, 3-1
LAST SEASON: Hardin Northern 56, Van Buren 13
LAST WEEK: Hardin Northern 21, Leipsic 0; Van Buren 34, Cory-Rawson 27
NOTABLE: Hardin Northern is ranked first in the latest Associated Press Division VI poll and is ranked fifth in the Division VI Region 24 computer rankings … The Polar Bears are the defending BVC champs HN has won 13 straight BVC games and 15 straight regular season contests … Van Buren is ranked sixth in the latest Division VI Region 22 computer rankings … Hardin Northern is still the top offense in the BVC averaging 50.6 points and 489.6 yards per game … Van Buren’s offense is also rolling scoring 29.8 points with 301.0 yards per contest … The Knights have the top defense in the VC giving up 188.0 yards per game … Hardin Northern’s defense has allowed 11.4 points per game and just 82 yards per game rushing … Van Buren has 12 interceptions on defense … HN’s Nathan Bame leads the BVC in scoring (110 points) and rushing with 963 yards on 107 carries … HN’s Clay Brunow is 7-of-16 passing for 6 touchdowns and 223 yards … VB quarterback Adam Greer is 49-85 passing for 613 yards with 5 touchdowns and 9 interceptions … HN’s Travis Bolen has rushed for 619 yards on 59 carries with 6 touchdowns … Brunow has rushed for 323 yards on 31 carries … VB’s Matt Pate has 297 yards rushing on 57 carries with 4 touchdowns … Greer leads VB’s rushing attack with 416 yards on 87 carries … Colin Stoffel leads VB’s receivers with 15 catches for 275 yards … Stoffel leads Van Buren with 4 interceptions while Mason Watkins has 3 … Hardin Northern leads the series 25-16 and have won 14 straight against the Knights

Liberty-Benton EAGLES at Arcadia REDSKINS
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Liberty-Benton 4-1 overall, 4-0 Blanchard Valley Conference; Arcadia 1-4, 0-4
LAST SEASON: Liberty-Benton 60, Arcadia 0
LAST WEEK: Liberty-Benton 14, McComb 7; Pandora-Gilboa 34, Arcadia 14
NOTABLE: Liberty-Benton has won 4 straight after a season-opening loss to Mohawk … Arcadia has dropped 4 straight after a season-opening win over Danbury … Liberty-Benton ranks second in the BVC in both offense and defense. The Eagles are averaging 34.6 points and 427.4 yards per game on offense while on defense, L-B has given up the fewest points (10.6) and an average of 207.2 yards per game … Arcadia ranks eighth in the conference in both offense and defense … The Eagles are the most penalized team by far in the BVC with 40 infractions for 330 yards … Liberty-Benton freshman quarterback Aaron Craft leads the BVC in passing at 62-81 897 yards with 9 Tds and 1 Int … Arcadia quarterback Seth Kirian is 47-100 passing for 592 yards with 6 Ints and 5 Tds … Liberty-Benton’s Wyatt Elbin has 576 yards rushing on 73 carries with 7 Tds while Craft has rushed for an additional 251 yards … Mason True leads the Redskins’ rushing effort with 255 yards on 36 carries … L-B’s Michael Busch has 17 catches for 359 yards to lead the conference teammate Brandon Craft has 16 catches for 252 yards … Arcadia’s A.J. Holman (12 catches, 264 yards) and Kirk Ridenour (22 catches, 254 yards) rank among the BVC leaders in receiving … Riggs leads Arcadia’s defense with 4 interceptions …Game is at Keiffer Field … Eagles are seeking their fourth straight playoff appearance but are currently not ranked among the top 10 in Region 18 … Liberty-Benton leads the series 25-24 and has won 10 straight against Arcadia

DATELINE: Arlington
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: McComb 3-2 overall, 2-2 Blanchard Valley Conference; Arlington 3-2, 2-2
LAST SEASON: Arlington 28, McComb 21
LAST WEEK: Liberty-Benton 14, McComb 7; Arlington 62, Vanlue 21
NOTABLE: Mark Heiman is covering the game … McComb is ranked sixth in the latest Division VI Region 22 computer rankings … Game is at Doc Castor Field … Arlington snapped a modest 2 game losing skid with last week’s big win over Vanlue … Arlington ranks third in the conference in both offense and defense. The Red Devils are averaging 32.0 points and 385.4 yards per game while on defense the Red Devils are allowing 16.0 points and 217.4 yards per game … Should be an interesting match up between McComb’s pass-oriented offense and a stingy pass defense for the Devils. Arlington has a conference-best 13 interceptions while McComb sophomore quarterback Kevan Westenbarger is 81-155 passing for 877 yards with 7 Tds and 5 INTs … Arlington quarterback Jacob Drerup is 35-68 passing for 558 yards with 7 Tds and 2 INTs … Arlington’s Travis Rettig is second in the BVC in rushing with 620 yards on 90 carries and 8 touchdowns … Derrick Hill leads McComb’s rushing effort with 282 yards on 52 carries with 5 touchdowns … Shoop leads a solid group of McComb receivers with 25 catches for 243 yards and 4 touchdowns … Rettig leads the BVC with 5 interceptions while teammates Richard and Morehart both have 3 pickoffs for the Red Devils … It’s the 82nd meeting between the schools with Arlington leading the series 45-33-3

Pandora-Gilboa ROCKETS at Leipsic VIKINGS
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Pandora-Gilboa 3-2 overall, 2-2 Blanchard Valley Conference; Leipsic 1-4, 1-3
LAST SEASON: Leipsic 28, Pandora-Gilboa 0
LAST WEEK: Pandora-Gilboa 34, Arcadia 14; Hardin Northern 21, Leipsic 0
NOTABLE: The BVC’s battle of Putnam County should be an interesting one … No Leipsic stats are available this week as they didn’t report stats … Pandora-Gilboa has outscored its opponents 115-96 this season … Pandora-Gilboa has fumbled the ball away a league-high 12 times while Leipsic has lost just 3 fumbles … Cory Forney is fourth in the BVC in scoring with 54 points … Pandora-Gllboa quarterback Ethan Luginbill is 32-78 passing for 519 yards with 6 Tds and 2 INTs … Forney leads the Rockets with 477 yards on 91 carries …Shuey (187 yards) and Howell (180 yards) both have 19 catches for Pandora-Gilboa … Luginbill is also a perfect 13-of-13 on PAT kicks … Leipsic’s N. Schroeder and Pandora-Gilboa’s Shuey have both returned kicks for touchdowns this season … Pandora-Gilboa leads the BVC series between the teams 21-19.

Vanlue WILDCATS at Cory-Rawson HORNETS
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Vanlue 0-5 overall, 0-4 Blanchard Valley Conference; Cory-Rawson 2-3, 2-2
LAST SEASON: Cory-Rawson 57, Vanlue 22
LAST WEEK: Arlington 62, Vanlue 21; Van Buren 34, Cory-Rawson 27
NOTABLE: Vanlue is last in the conference in defense allowing 52.0 points and 439.2 yards per game and they are ninth in offense scoring 14.6 points and gaining 209.0 yards per contest …Cory-Rawson is in the middle of the pack in both defensive and offensive stats … The Hornets have thrown the fewest interceptions of anyone in the BVC … Cory-Rawson quarterback Joe Marshall is 30-82 passing for 379 yards and 4 Tds and 5 Ints … Cory-Rawson’s Wagner has 418 yards on 80 carries while Jeremiah Boss-Hummel has rushed for 279 yards on 72 carries with 5 touchdowns … Vanlue quarterback Nick Lee is 49-105 passing for 613 yards with 9 Ints and 5 TDS … Arnold is second in the BVC in receiving with 18 catches for 291 yards while Josh Kloepfer has 17 catches for 243 yards …Boss-Hummel has 16 receptions for 217 yards to lead the Hornets … Cory-Rawson’s Ethan Welch is 10-11 on PAT kicks and 1-1 in field goals and has returned a kickoff return for a touchdown this season … Cory-Rawson leads the series 48-8-1... The Hornets have won 17 straight against the WIldcats …

Findlay TROJANS at Lima Senior SPARTANS
CONFERENCE: Greater Buckeye Conference
RECORDS: Findlay 1-4 overall, 0-0 Greater Buckeye Conference; Lima Senior 1-4, 0-0
LAST SEASON: Findlay 49, Lima Senior 6
LAST WEEK: Findlay 34, Worthington Kilbourne 17; Youngstown Rayen 38, Lima Senior 0
NOTABLE: Findlay finally got off the losing track with a 34-17 win over Worthington Kilbourne last week … The Trojans are the defending GBC champs … Lima Senior has dropped 4 straight since a season-opening victory over Celina … The Spartans program has struggled since they won the1996 Division I state championship … This is the GBC opener for both teams … Dave Hanneman will be covering the game for The Courier … Lima Senior’s defense is allowing 35.0 points per game … Findlay QB Chris Schnieder, 6-foot-2, 232 pounds, runs the offense effectively. Last week against Kilbourne, he had 271 yards in total offense. He also scored on runs of 1 and 18 yards. RB Matt Alexander, a 6-foot, 200-pound junior, rushed for 103 yards and three TDs last week … Lima Senior: Heading into the loss at Rayen, Ryan Nathan had rushed for 445 yards and five scores to lead the Spartans. QB Matt Beggin had 45 completions for 468 yards and two scores.

Hopewell-Loudon CHIEFTAINS at Carey BLUE DEVILS
CONFERENCE: Midland Athletic League
RECORDS: Hopewell-Loudon 5-0 overall, 2-0 Midland Athletic League; Carey 3-2, 2-0
LAST SEASON: Hopewell-Loudon 35, Carey 7
LAST WEEK: Hopewell-Loudon 42, Seneca East 14; Carey 48, North Baltimore 7
NOTABLE: Hopewell-Loudon is ranked No.1 in the Division VI Region 22 computer rankings and is the No.3 team in the latest Associated Press poll … A battle of unbeatens in the MAL this week at C.D. Wentling Field the Chieftains and Blue Devils are 2-0 in the conference as is Mohawk … Carey leads the all-time series between the two schools 11-6 … Hopewell-Loudon has won 31 straight regular season games including 22 in a row in the MAL … Hopewell-Loudon’s last league loss was a 24-14 defeat to Carey Sept. 12, 2003 … Carey has won three straight after starting the season 0-2 (Both losses were one-point heartbreakers) … The Chieftains are averaging 40.2 points per game on offense while allowing just 8.0 points per contest … Carey is averaging 29.8 points per game … With a win Friday at Carey (3-2, 2-0 MAL), the Chieftains would match Fremont St. Joe for the league record, which the Streaks set from 1987-91 … In the Blue Devils, the Chieftains face the league’s top rushing attack, one which produces just under 300 yards per game. Quarterback Zach Orians leads the way with 376 yards at 9 per carry. Defensively, the Blue Devils lead the league in rushing (109.6) and total (219.2) defense … The Chieftains’ defense has yielded a league-low 40 points. Tailback Sean Brickner already has 883 yards (9.6 per carry) and 15 total touchdowns … Last week: Sean Brickner rushed for 218 yards and four touchdowns, and Andrew Brose threw for 254 yards in Hopewell-Loudon’s 42-14 pounding of Seneca East. Carey piled up 310 rushing yards and held North Baltimore to 15 total yards in a 48-7 road win … Last year: Sean Brickner scored four short touchdowns, and the Chieftains tallied 403 yards of offense in a 35-7 win. Carey managed only 152 yards of offense.

Lucas CUBS at Riverdale FALCONS
DATELINE: Mount Blanchard
CONFERENCE: North Central Conference
RECORDS: Lucas 5-0 overall, 2-0 North Central Conference; Riverdale 2-3, 1-1
LAST SEASON: Lucas 40, Riverdale 7
LAST WEEK: Buckeye Central 14, Riverdale 13; Lucas 20, Crestline 12
NOTABLE: Lucas is tied for the NCC lead with Wynford and Ontario at 2-0 … The Cubs are averaging 31.4 points per game … Lucas leads the NCC in offense 375.8 yards per game and defense at 213.0 yards per game … Andrew Iceman is 63-106 passing for 983 yards with 9 Tds and 6 Ints for the Cubs … Game is at D. Ray Baum Field beginning at 7 p.m. … Lucas’ Zach Stallard is the conference’s top receiver with 37 catches for 651 yards … Iceman has also rushed for 397 yards on 80 carries with 8 touchdowns and leads the team with 62 tackles … Riverdale doesn’t report stats to the NCC … Rhen Vail has 10 catches for 147 yards and Tyler Clark has carried the ball 32 times for 217 yards for the Cubs … Lucas has outscored their opponents 98-14 in the first half this season … Riverdale scored in the final 2 minutes of last week’s game against Buckeye Central but missed the PAT in a 14-13 loss to the Bucks snapping the Falcons’ 2 game win streak …

Norwalk TRUCKERS at Upper Sandusky RAMS
DATELINE: Upper Sandusky
CONFERENCE: Northern Ohio League
RECORDS: Norwalk 0-5 overall, 0-2 NOL; Upper Sandusky 2-3, 0-2
LAST SEASON: Norwalk 7, Upper Sandusky 0
LAST WEEK: Tiffin Columbian 26, Upper Sandusky 0; Bellevue 36, Norwalk 7
NOTABLE: Norwalk enters the game scoring a league-low 13.0 points and allowing a league-high 36.0 points per game … Upper Sandusky, meanwhile is giving up 23.0 points per game and scoring 19.6 … Upper Sandusky has lost 3 straight after a 2-0 start but it’s last two losses have been to NOL leaders Bellevue and Tiffin Columbian … Norwalk’s defense ranks last in the NOL allowing 403.4 yards per game … Upper Sandusky is near the middle of the pack in the NOL in both categories … Upper Sandusky sophomore quarterback Alex Falk is third in the league in passing hitting 45-96 for 618 yards with 5 Tds and 4 Ints and is also third in rushing with 448 yards on 76 carries with 4 Tds … Norwalk’s Trent Ringle has 255 yards on 46 carries while quarterback Kyle Kurtz is 78-149 passing for 794 yards with 2 Tds and 6 INTs … Norwalk’s Spencer Krebs (26 catches, 251 yards) and Clay Duncan (13, 239) are the team’s leading receivers … Upper Sandusky’s Ryan Burka is the No.2 receiver in the NOL with 16 catches for 275 yards and 2 Tds … Upper Sandusky leads the series 33-27 … Last week: Upper Sandusky had 222 yards of offense, including 105 rushing from quarterback Alex Falk, but the Rams were light on the scoreboard in a 26-0 loss at Columbian … Last year: Kyle Kurtz’s 4-yard scoring pass to Clay Duncan with 11:18 to play was enough for Norwalk in a 7-0 win at home. Upper Sandusky had 188 yards of offense and was hurt by four interceptions and seven penalties.

Tiffin Columbian TORNADOES at Fostoria REDMEN
DATELINE: Fostoria
CONFERENCE: Northern Ohio League
RECORDS: Tiffin Columbian 4-1 overall, 2-0 Northern Ohio League; Fostoria Senior 2-3, 1-1
LAST SEASON: Tiffin Columbian 27, Fostoria 24, 2OT
LAST WEEK: Tiffin Columbian 26, Upper Sandusky 0; Shelby 28, Fostoria 8
NOTABLE: Tiffin Columbian is ranked No.7 in the latest Division II Region 6 computer poll … Tiffin Columbian is tied for the NOL lead with Bellevue and Shelby … Interesting match up between the NOL’s No.1 offense from Fostoria and the league’s top defense from Tiffin Columbian. The Redmen are averaging 354.0 yards per game and 15.0 points per game. Columbus is allowing just 11.5 points and 212.2 yards per contest … Game is at Fostoria‘s Memorial Stadium … Fostoria sophomore Micah Hyde is the NOL‘s top quarterback hitting 69-133 passes for 1031 11 Tds and 3 Ints. He has also rushed for 333 yards on 69 carries … Tiffin’s E. Kagy has rushed for 364 yards on 71 carries to lead Columbian … D. Ardner is 41-79 passing for 481 yards with 4 Ints and 3 Tds … Fostoria’s Chase Munoz leads all NOL receivers with 37 catches for 646 yards and 7 Tds … R. Kagy is the top receiver for Tiffin Columbian with 16 catches for 199 yards … Fostoria leads the all-time series between the two schools that dates back to 1900 43-31-3 but the Tornadoes have won 8 of the last 9 meetings with the Redmen.

Bluffton PIRATES at Allen East MUSTANGS
DATELINE: Lafayette
CONFERENCE: Northwest Conference
RECORDS: Bluffton 4-1 overall, 2-1 Northwest Conference; Allen East 5-0, 4-0
LAST SEASON: Bluffton 13, Allen East 7
LAST WEEK: Buffton 28, Ada 22; Allen East 31, Convoy Crestview 17
NOTABLE: Allen East is No.1 and Bluffton is No. in the latest Division V Region 20 computer rankings … Josh Falk set a new school record with 309 yards rushing on 37 carries while scoring three times in last week’s win over Ada … The Pirates are averaging exactly 30 points per game … Allen East’s Blaine Schmitt, who leads the area with 1,103 yards. Schmitt had 263 yards on 43 carries against Crestview last week … The Mustangs average nearly 23 points per contest … Allen East is all alone atop the NWC standings … Bluffton is the defending league champs along with Columbus Grove and Crestview … Allen East’s Dan Neely has 3 interceptions.

CONFERENCE: Northwest Conference
RECORDS: Paulding 0-5 overall, 0-2 Northwest Conference; Ada 3-2, 2-1
LAST SEASON: Ada 55, Paulding 30
LAST WEEK: Bluffton 28, Ada 22; Delta 41, Paulding 6
NOTABLE: Ada is ranked 9th in the latest Division VI Region 24 computer rankings … Patrick Henry is ranked seventh in the latest Division V Associated Press poll while Delta is ranked 12th in the AP poll … Ada is averaging 41.6 points per me while allowing 32.4 points per contest … The Bulldogs’ defense yielded 309 yards to Bluffton back Josh Falk in last week’s loss … Paulding has scored just 51 points in its 5 losses this season … Game is at Ada’s War Memorial Stadium and it’s the Bulldogs’ homecoming contest … Last year, Ada quarterback Zac Dysert shredded the Panther defense last year, passing for over 500 yards and eight TDs to lead a 55-30 Homecoming rout … Dysert has thrown for just under 1,943 yards and completed 158 of 220 passes for 17 TDs halfway through the season ... Ada’s Jeff Wolber has 41 carries for 278 yards ... Ada’s Heath Jackson has 59 catches for 644 yards, Kyle Baker has 35 catches for 392 yards and 7 TDs and teammate Nate Vermilion has 19 catches for 340 yards ...

Delta PANTHERS at Patrick Henry PATRIOTS
CONFERENCE: Northwest Ohio Athletic League
RECORDS: Delta 5-0 overall, 3-0 Northwest Ohio Athletic League; Patrick Henry 4-1, 3-1
LAST SEASON: Patrick Henry 28, Delta 14
LAST WEEK: Delta 41, Paulding 6; Evergreen 17, Patrick Henry 7
NOTABLE: Delta is ranked fourth and Patrick Henry is rated ninth in the latest Division V Region 18 computer poll … Evergreen snapped Patrick Henry’s lengthy regular season and Northwest Ohio Athletic League win streaks … Patrick Henry has won or shared the last 5 NWOAL football titles … Delta is alone atop the NWOAL at 3-0 …

Lakota RAIDERS at Elmwood ROYALS
DATELINE: Bloomdale
CONFERENCE: Suburban Lakes League
RECORDS: Lakota 3-2 overalll, 1-1 Suburban Lakes League; Elmwood 4-1, 2-0
LAST SEASON: Elmwood 33, Lakota 10
LAST WEEK: Elmwood 46, Genoa 13; Lakota 27, Lake 22
NOTABLE: Elmwood has won four straight after a season-opening loss to Hopewell-Loudon … The four teams the Royals have beaten so far are a combined 1-19 … Elmwood is averaging 40.2 points per game on offense … Elmwood blew open a close 12-6 game by scoring 27 points in the third quarter last week against Genoa … Elmwood quarterback Dusty Brown has rushed for 737 yards on 108 carries with 12 touchdowns. He is also 23-42 passing for 465 yards 6 Tds and 3 Ints … Elmwood’s C.J. Allums has 487 yards on 46 carries and 3 Tds while Ben Hammer has caught 5 passes for 167 yards, that’s 32.4 yards per catch …
Last week: Justin Apple’s 3-yard run with 5:39 left in the game gave Lakota a 27-22 win over Lake. Apple had 197 yards on 34 carries … Last year: Dusty Brown rushed for three touchdowns, and Al Tyson rushed and passed for the other two scores in a 33-10 win for Elmwood. Lakota managed only 149 yards of offense.

Ottawa-Glandorf TITANS at Lima Bath WILDCATS
CONFERENCE: Western Buckeye League
RECORDS: Ottawa-Glandorf 2-3 overall, 1-3 Western Buckeye League; Lima Bath 2-3, 2-2
LAST SEASON: Ottawa-Glandorf 53, Lima Bath 0
LAST WEEK: Lima Bath 34, Elida 13; St. Marys Memorial 35, Ottawa-Glandorf 7
NOTABLE: Ottawa-Glandorf has struggled offensively averaging 15.4 points per game … The Titans have dropped 3 of their last 4 games … Bath’s Todd Ruggley has 758 yards rushing on 101 carries with 7 TDs and teammate Zach Sterling has added 251 yards on 62 trips with 6 TDs ands connected on 38-79 passes for 372 yards and 0 TDS ...

Columbus Grove BULLDOGS at Troy Christian EAGLES
CONFERENCE: Non-conferemce
RECORDS: Columbus Grove 1-4, Troy Christian 2-3
LAST SEASON: Columbus Grove 51, Troy Christian 0
LAST WEEK: Spencerville 25, Columbus Grove 21; Troy Christian 27, Shroder Paideia 12
NOTABLE: Troy Christian is allowing 26.3 points a game … Grove is allowing 25.2 points per game but scoring 21.8 …

Picking it again

The notes are nearly done. But it’s time for the picks last week was ugly. It was a 12-5 week.

Now I am 62-23, not great, not terrible either. I guess I won’t be going to Vegas anytime soon.

Anyway here they are. Notes will be posted later tonight.

Check out the bra causing crash on I-75 story from The Blade today.

Hardin Northern over Van Buren -- This is the last loss Van Buren can afford if they want to play in the postseason.
Liberty-Benton over Arcadia -- I think the Eagles’ offense is going to have a big day
McComb over Arlington -- Could be a good game and the Panthers are in the play off hunt.
Pandora-Gilboa over Leipsic -- Leipsic offense is still struggling.
Cory-Rawson over Vanlue -- Cory-Rawson has had some disappointing losses this won’t be one of them.
Findlay over Lima Senior -- Findlay gets off on the right foot in the GBC.
Hopewell-Loudon over Carey -- Hopewell-Loudon continues to impress.
Lucas over Riverdale -- Lucas might be unbeaten but the Falcons will give ‘em a game.
Upper Sandusky over Norwalk -- Rams offense has disappeared but they will win this one anyway.
Tiffin Columbian over Fostoria -- Lots of offense for the Redmen but not many points
Bluffton over Allen East -- Upset special. Pirates throw the NWC race into flux yet again
Ada over Paulding -- Ada plays name that score against Paulding.
Delta over Patrick Henry -- Thinking Patrick Henry will lose 2 in a row is unthinkable.
Elmwood over Lakota -- It gets much tougher for the Royals the rest of the way.
Ottawa-Glandorf over Lima Bath -- Titans need a win desperately.
Columbus Grove over Troy Christian -- Dogs head back home with a victory.

NCC Football Capsules
Fort Jennings shuts out Jefferson in girls soccer
Findlay Courier Thursday Sports (Includes FHS preview, A feature on Roger Frank’s return to Elmwood and BVC volleyball from Wednesday night)
Ross, Napoleon battle in big GBC clash
Mansfield News Journal Prep Round up
NOL Football Stats
Advertiser Tribune Football Capsules
Flying bra triggers accident on I-75

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Continuing education

If you enjoy sports, you would have had a pretty good time at Muirfield Village today with fellow Courier sportswriter Mark Heiman and me at the Ohio Associated Press Sports Writer’s Workshop.

It’s especially true if you like any of the professional teams in Ohio or The Ohio State University. The guys that cover them on a daily basis, Cleveland’s Tom Withers, Cincinnati’s Joe Kay and Ohio AP sports editor Rusty Miller, who covers the Buckeyes and Blue Jackets each told interesting stories about their experiences covering their beats in the past year.

I have some hope for my Brownies. I looked Tom straight in the eye and said, “Tom is it time I finally give up my Browns season tickets?” He looked at me and said, “Jamie, they are not as bad as you think.”

It wasn’t a ringing endorsement. But it wasn’t gloom and doom either and he should know since he covers the team on a daily basis.

One of the more entertaining speakers was an area native. Tom Archdeacon is a columnist for the Dayton Daily News. Arch is a native of Ottoville and is considered one of the top columnists in the country. I will try and link some of his more interesting columns when they come online and share them with you.

It’s 8:37 p.m. and raining cats and dogs in Findlay right now. Hopefully they’ll be able to get tomorrow’s sectional golf tournaments in.

On tap for tomorrow…football picks will be posted in the morning and Week 6 football notes will be posted before I leave the office tomorrow night.


3-year old buys pink Nissan on Ebay
Blue Jays down Wildcats
Courier’s local sports from today
Fostoria Review Times local sports from today
Lima News Football Previews
Lima News Prep Roundup
Mansfield News Journal Prep roundup
Presidents aiming for conference crown
Marion defense preparing for Sandusky
Calvert stops state-ranked Mohawk

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Hopewell-Loudon vs. Hardin Northern?

Hardin Northern No.1 and Hopewell-Loudon No.2.

That's how the Associated Press panel of sports writers and broadcasters ranks the Polar Bears and Chieftains in Division VI.

I went to watch the scrimmage between the two teams back in mid-August. Of course Hardin Northern was just getting their act together at that time. From what I understand they didn’t score a touchdown in the preseaon but managed to hang 67 on a pretty decent Ada team in Week 1.

The only score in the scrimmage was a 40-yard touchdown run by H-L running back Sean Brickner. The Chieftains have been getting better every week as last week;s 42-14 romp over a solid Seneca East team would indicate. The only real test left on the Chieftain schedule is Mohawk.

Wouldn’t it be cool to see a Hopewell-Loudon vs. Hardin Northern state final. And my question to all of you out there is who would win? Would you take the Polar Bears or Chieftains? And why?

Ohio Stadium is getting new turf and it’s coming from right here in the area. Cygnet Farms sod company is providing the new turf that will be installed in the coming days at Ohio Stadium, home of the Buckeyes. The Buckeyes next home game on their new turf will be against….Bowling Green. Ironic that BGSU will be playing against Ohio State on Wood County turf.

VIKINGS IN CHARGE: Leipsic is all alone atop the Blanchard Valley Conference volleyball standings after last night’s matches. Hardin Northern is in second place at 4-1. The Vikings and Polar Bears tangle next Monday night in a BVC showdown. Leipsic is also in the hunt in the Putnam County League where they remain unbeaten along with Columbus Grove and Kalida.

SOMETHING TO CROW ABOUT: Leipsic;s Jason Crow appears to be back on track after shooting a 71 to win medalist honors at yesterday’s PCL golf tournament at Pike Run. Ottoville captured the team title in the 5-team tournament. As a side note, it’s a shame that Continental and Columbus Grove no longer field golf teams. Sectionals for area teams begin Thursday at 9 a.m.

CLICK THIS LINK: Check out this link and tell me what you think of this sports writing. I don’t want to say anything bad but is it over the top? It’s hard for me to believe they put this stuff on their website. You tell me.

TOMORROW’S BLOG: I won’t be back from Columbus and the Associated Press Sports writers workshop until after 5 p.m. so the blog will be a little later than normal Wednesday.

Findlay Courier Monday Local Sports (Includes BVC volleyball roundup, Julie Cole Classic golf, GBC golf preview and prep football standings)
Ottoville falters in losses to Bluffton, McComb
Clay outlasts Little Giants in volleyball

Shelby volleyballers overwhelm Fostoria

Monday, September 25, 2006

Monday...the start of the week

I took a couple of days off from blogging. Not because I wanted to mind you.

There were plenty of things to write about, but as probably many of you out there understand, family obligations always come first so I spent my Saturday celebrating my nieces and brother’s birthdays and playing Euchre with my family Saturday night after the Buckeyes took care of Joe Pa’s Nittany Lions.

My brother Matt and I were crowned the family champions.

Well we are officially halfway through the prep football season. One of the two No.1 state-ranked teams from the area fell from the ranks of the unbeaten last weekend as Patrick Henry had its long regular season and NWOAL winning streak snapped by those Evergreen Vikings. Interestingly enough it was one of the topic of conversations over the weekend as my sister-in-law Penny is an Evergreen graduate.

All good things must come to an end and it’s been an awesome run by the Patriots over the past four seasons. Fear not Patriots, all you have to do is get it together next week and beat Delta to stay in the hunt for the league title. They know what it feels like to lose now and sometimes learning what that feels like during the seasons helps motivate a team to do bigger and better things later on. Hopefully that will be the case for Patrick Henry.

All good things must begin somewhere too. And I’m wondering when things are going to start getting a little better for the University of Findlay football team. Man they are scuffling right now. They haven’t scored a touchdown in 12 quarters. That’s an amazing statistic when you consider all of the weapons and high-powered offenses in college football today even at the NCAA Division II level.

I don’t have anything to base this on but you have to think that UF football coach Dan Simrell might just be on the hot seat. The Oilers have struggled mightily over the last two seasons and the Oilers drew a little over 1,100 fans (announced) for last weekend’s home game against Wayne State. I just have a gut feeling that if he doesn’t turn things around, soon, they’ll be a new head football coach at the University of Findlay next season.

This is the beginning of the end for area golf teams this week. Sectionals for Division II and III schools get underway Thursday. About the only two teams in the area that I see that might have a chance to make it to Columbus this season are Liberty-Benton and Van Buren. Lima Central Catholic and Fremont St. Joseph appear to be the best of the Northwest but there will be two other state tournament bids available in a week and a half at the Division III district at Sugar Creek near Lima. We’ll know more later this week.

GOOD GAME?: Moral victories? I’m not into them. Black and white, win or lose. Sure the Browns played better Sunday but I still can’t feel good about a loss to the Ravens even if it did come in the final seconds. Anyone want to trade places this morning with Charlie Frye? He was sacked so many times yesterday I bet he spends all of today in an ice bath. I think I’m going to start growing my beard as a protest until the Browns get their first win -- let’s hope it comes this season.

QUESTIONS ANYONE: Anyone have any questions you want me to ask OHSAA Commissioner Dr. Dan Ross? Mark Heiman and I will be attending the annual Associated Press Sportswriter’s Workshop in Columbus Wednesday. Yep it is our day off but we’re still going because like with any occupation you have to get new ideas once in awhile to do your job better. One of the segments will feature a question and answer session with Ross. SO if anyone had something you want me to ask Ross leave it in the feedback and I’ll ask it and post the answer later in the week.

WHAT WERE WORKING ON: Dave Hanneman has Fuzzy Zoeller’s visit to Findlay today for the Julie Cole Charity Golf benefit covered look for that in Tuesday’s paper. I’ll be writing a sectional golf preview and talking to Vanlue AD Dan Hartsel about their not being able to find a girls basketballl coach. In addition, I’m working on a story on area mascots, talking to the kids behind the costumes. We’ll also have a story on the Prep Extra page about former Patrick Henry quarterback Zack George, a starter for the Wayne State football team, who will undergo season-ending knee surgery this week.

Hopewell-Loudon moves into 7th spot in volleyball poll
Weekly prep soccer poll
Browns coverage from the Cleveland Plain Dealer
Buckeyes coverage from the Columbus Dispatch
The Courier’s Monday sports roundup
Redmen, Mohawks both lose Friday night
Little Giants win a thriller
Streaks cruise to MAL golf title
Whippets beat Fostoria 28-8
St, Marys rolls past O-G
Advertiser Tribune sports section
Pass the drumsticks please (the four-legged chicken)

Friday, September 22, 2006


We have a new hockey and skating venue in Findlay. It’s called the cube. The Hancock Rec Center was taken over by the city and has undergone a $2 million renovation. I haven’t been out there yet but I hear it’s pretty nice.

I understood why the University of Findlay built their hockey arena, they were forming a team and they needed a place to play. I wasn’t surprised hockey didn’t last at UF. Sure we have youth hockey in the area but this isn’t Detroit or Canada and people just aren’t as interested in hockey and don’t grow up playing hockey like they do in other places.

In addition to the ribbon cutting at The Cube yesterday, they announced that Findlay is getting a professional hockey team. The Findlay Freedom will be a Class A team in the North Eastern Hockey League. I just can’t see it flying. I guess all the negative experiences we’ve had with these minor league teams saying one thing and doing another have jaded me over the past 5 years.

The Findlay Wolfpack was going to play hockey here too I think in 2004. But the league folded and the team skipped out on it’s obligations and left town before a puck even dropped at Klauss Arena or HRC. It was a joke.

Then there was Dean Schoenwald and the Ohio Professional Basketball League. They were going to put a franchise in Findlay and were going to play at either FHS or, a laugh aloud when I even say it, the old skating rink, which is now the Jim May Auto Center just off of Twp. Rd. 99 and I-75. That never materialized either even though the organizers of the league charged $50 per player for tryouts across Ohio and never put any league together. I think it was all a scam.

So I’m taking a wait and see approach to the Findlay Freedom. We’ll see if they ever drop a puck and play in Findlay.

-- If you check out The Courier website on Friday nights we update the final scores of area games as they come in.

-- Anyone reading the blog…drop me a line and tell me what you think or leave me some feedback. If no one is reading the blog…I’ll cut it back.

Pro hockey coming to Findlay
Findlay Courier sports roundup
Fostoria Review Times Friday sports
Man pleads guilty to harassing deer, with a helicopter
Ada gets first girls soccer victory
Mother at Lorain Clearview not allowed to “save” her seats
Pandora-Gilboa celebrates 50th homecoming game tonight
Mansfield News Journal prep roundup
Riders look to bounce back against O-G
Upper Sandusky-Columbian preview
Hopewell-Loudon beats 2nd ranked Stockaders
Calvert seeks to stop Streaks
Clarett apology read in court

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Week 5 Prep Football Notes

Worthington Kilbourne WOLVES at Findlay TROJANS
CONFERENCE: Non-conference
RECORDS: Worthington Kilbourne 1-4, Findlay 0-5
LAST SEASON: Findlay 44, Worthington Kilbourne 43 OT
LAST WEEK: Texas High 44, Findlay 21; Dublin Scioto 27, Worthington Kilbourne 24
NOTABLE: Dave Hanneman will be covering the game … Findlay is allowing an average of 31.7 points per game … Receiver Jimmy Davidson, who leads the Trojans with 26 catches for 291 yards while Wade Arredondo has 22 catches for 224 yards … Kilbourne was beaten by Division VI Delphos St. John’s in its opener 28-12 … The Wolves are giving up an average of 23 points per game … See Thursday’s Courier online for the preview of this game …

Arcadia REDSKINS at Pandora-Gilboa ROCKETS
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Arcadia 1-3 overall, 0-3 Blanchard Valley Conference; Pandora-Gilboa 2-2, 1-2
LAST SEASON: Arcadia 21, Pandora-Gilboa 7
LAST WEEK: Hardin Northern 55, Arcadia 12; McComb 23, Pandora-Gilboa 14
NOTABLE: Arcadia has dropped 3 straight after a 41-14 opening weekend win over Danbury … The Redskins have scored just 19 points over their last three games … Arcadia ranks eighth in the conference in defense allowing 321.5 yards per contest … The Rockets have fumbled the ball away a league high 9 times … Pandora-Gilboa quarterback Ethan Luginbill is 39-64 passing for 420 yards with 2 INTs and 5 Tds … Arcadia’s Seth Kirian is 41-82 passing for 563 yards 5 Tds and 5 INTs … Pandora-Gilboa’s Cory Forney has 396 yards rushing on 71 carries with 5 touchdowns … Lee Schumaker and Mason True lead the Redskin rushing attack with 213 and 115 yards respectively … Arcadia’s A.J. Holman (18 catches, 230 yards, 2 TD) and Kirk Ridenour (10 catches, 227 yards) are Arcadia’s top receivers … Shuey has 18 catches for 175 yards and a TD for the Rockets and is averaging 30.4 yards per kickoff return with a TD … Defensively Riggs has 4 interceptions for Arcadia …Pandora-Gilboa leads the all-time series between the two schools 39-9-1 … McComb outgained P-G 161 to 92 on the ground and 132 to 124 through the air. Luginbill hit 12 of 24 passes last week ... Hardin Northern racked up 596 yards of offense and allowed 303, including 214 through the air against Arcadia’s defense last week ...

Arlington Red Devils at Vanlue WILDCATS
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Arlington 2-2 overall, 1-2 Blanchard Valley Conference; Vanlue 0-4, 0-3
LAST SEASON: Arlington 53, Vanlue 0
LAST WEEK: Cory-Rawson 17, Arlington 14; Liberty-Benton 70, Vanlue 12
NOTABLE: Arlington has dropped 2 straight after a 2-0 start … Game is at Vanlue’s Hinkle Field … Arlington is third in the conference in offense at 366.2 yards per game and is second in defense at 204.0 yards per contest .. Vanlue ranks ninth in offense 183.8 yards per game and is last on defense allowing 442.8 yards and 49.5 points per game … Arlington ranks second in the conference with 10 interceptions on defense … Arlington’s Travis Rettig is fourth in the BVC scoring race with 44 points … Arlington quarterback Jacob Drerup is 30-58 passing for 498 yards with 6 Tds and 2 INTs … Vanlue quarterback Lee is 34-75 passing for 475 yards with 5 Tds and 7 INTs … Rettig leads the Red Devils rushing with 449 yards on 73 carries teammates Brunswick (7 catches, 114 yards) and Richard (3 catches, 109 yards) leads the receiving corps … Josh Kloepfer leads Vanlue’s offense with 14 catches for 207 yards and 4 Tds while Arnold has 12 catches for 157 yards … Rettig also leads the BVC with 5 interceptions … Arlington is the least penalized team in the conference with 14 infractions for 102 yards … Arlington has won 41 straight against Vanlue and has a series lead of 73-15-4 ... Arlington had 123 yards rushing and 111 passing, as Rettig led the way with 54 yards rushing on 14 carries in last week’s loss to Cory-Rawson ... Vanlue quarterback Nick Lee hooked up with Josh Kloepfer for touchdown passes covering 16 and 4 yards. Lee was the Wildcats’ leading rusher picking up 66 yards on 11 carries for the game. Wildcats mustered just 80 yards on the ground and another 83 through the air while giving up 593 yards of total offense last week.

Van Buren BLACK KNIGHTS at Cory-Rawson HORNETS
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Van Buren 3-1 overall, 2-1 Blanchard Valley Conference; Cory-Rawson 2-2, 2-1
LAST SEASON: Cory-Rawson 54, Van Buren 32
LAST WEEK: Van Buren 34, Leipsic 21; Cory-Rawsn 17, Arlington 14
NOTABLE: Van Buren is ranked ninth in the Division VI Region 22 computer rankings … Cory Rawson’s Ethan Welch kicked a last second field goal to lift Cory-Rawson past Arlington last week … Van Buren is averaging 28.8 points and 301.5 yards per game on offense, the Black Knights statistically lead the BVC allowing just 173.5 yards per game and 16.5 points per contest … Cory-Rawson quarterback Joe Marshall is 21-60 passing for 297 yards with 2 Tds and 4 INTs … VB quarterback Adam Greer is 42-75 passing for 475 yards with 7 INTs and 5 Tds and has also rushed for 402 yards on 69 carries with 5 touchdowns … Andy Wagner leads Cory-Rawson with 346 yards on 67 carries while Jeremiah Boss-Hummel has 203 yards on 35 carries with 4 touchdowns and 12 receptions for 170 yards … Colin Stoffel leads Van Buren’s receivers with 12 catches for 180 yards, while leading the Knight defense with 4 interceptions … Van Buren has picked off a BVC-best 11 passes this season … Cory-Rawson leads the series 36-16-1 … While the Black Knights were piling up 359 yards of offense -- 245 on the ground -- they were limiting Leipsic to 136 rushing in last week’s game ... Adam Greer, who 143 yards on 21 carries last week for the Knights ... Cory-Rawson rushed for 198 yards and passed for 92 as Chad Dulle led the way with 15 carries for 72 yards in last week’s win over Arlington

Leipsic VIKINGS at Hardin Northern POLAR BEARS
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Leipsic 1-3 overall, 1-2 Blanchard Valley Conference; Hardin Northern 4-0, 3-0
LAST SEASON: Hardin Northern 28, Leipsic 0
LAST WEEK: Van Buren 34, Leipsic 21; Hardin Northern 55, Arcadia 12
NOTABLE: Hardin Northern is ranked No.1 in the latest Division VI Associated Press football poll … The Polar Bears are ranked 2nd in the Region 24 computer rankings … HN has won 12 straight BVC games and 14 straight regular season contests … Hardin Northern leads the BVC in offense scoring 58.0 points per game and averaging 532.8 yards per contest … The Bear defense ranks fifth at 14.2 points and 266.5 yards per game … Leipsic ranks last in the BVC in offense at 8.5 points and 146.2 yards per game and ninth in defense at 25.8 points and 350.5 yards per game … Leipsic has fumbled the ball just 3 times this season … HN’s Nathan Bame leads the BVC in scoring (16 touchdowns 98 points) and rushing 813 yards on 85 carries, that’s 9.6 yards per carry … HN’s Travis Bolen is second in the BVC in rushing for 544 yards on 45 carries (12.1 yards per carry) … HN quarterback Cory Brunow has 278 yards on 19 carries and is 6-10 passing for 191 yards with 5 Tds and 1 INT … Arty Lomeli is 17-51 passing for 185 yards 7 INTs and 1 TD for Leipsic … Marin leads the Vikings’ rushing effort with 211 yards on 49 carries … Hardin Northern has punted the ball 1 time this season … Hardin Northern leads the series 23-17-1 … Bolen ended the night with 257 yards on 10 carries and touchdown runs of 26, 80 and 89 yards -- all in the first half. Bame carried 11 times for 215 yards and TDs of 54, 37 and 53 yards last week against Arcadia ...

Liberty-Benton EAGLES at McComb PANTHERS
CONFERENCE: Blanchard Valley Conference
RECORDS: Liberty-Benton 3-1 overall, 3-0 BVC; McComb 3-1, 2-1
LAST SEASON: Liberty-Benton 37, McComb 20
LAST WEEK: Liberty-Benton 70, Vanlue 12; McComb 23, Pandora-Gilboa 14
NOTABLE: McComb is ranked fifth in the Division VI Region 22 computer rankings … Liberty-Benton ranks second in the conference in offense with 39.8 points and 442.8 yards per game …McComb is averaging 24.3 points per game … The Eagles also rank third in defense allowing 205.5 yards per game … Game is at McComb’s Doc Miller Field … Liberty-Benton is the most penalized team in the BVC with 27 penalties for 225 yards … McComb did not report stats this week … L-B freshman quarterback Aaron Craft is 47-62 passing for 710 yards with 8 Tds add 1 INT … L-B’s Michael Busch is second in the BVC in scoring (57 points) and is the top BVC receiver 11 catches 278 yards 3 Tds ,,, L-B’s Wyatt Elbin has 457 yards rushing on 54 carries while Craft has 205 yards rushing on 40 totes … Brandon Craft has 12 catches for 196 yards and 2 Tds for the Eagles and leads the conference in punting with a 42.0 yard average … Busch is 21-22 on PAT kicks …McComb leads the series 35-16 … McComb outgained P-G 161 to 92 on the ground and 132 to 124 through the air. Westenbarger was 12 of 26 passing without an interception last week ... Wyatt Elbin led the Eagles’ 380-yard ground assault by carrying the ball 16 times for 118 yards and scoring on runs of 8 and 5 yards last week ...

Carey BLUE DEVILS at North Baltimore TIGERS
DATELINE: North Baltimore
CONFERENCE: Midland Athletic League
RECORDS: Carey 2-2 overall, 1-0 Midland Athletic League; North Baltimore 0-4, 0-1
LAST SEASON: Carey 7, North Baltimore 6, OT
LAST WEEK: Carey 32, St. Wendelin 13; Tiffin Calvert 64, North Baltimore 6
NOTABLE: The Blue Devils have won 2 straight after an 0-2 start … North Baltimore is still looking for their first win for new coach Ryan Hite … Carey is averaging 25.3 points per game this season under new coach Todd Worst … North Baltimore is giving up and average of 42.3 points per game and have scored just 13 points on offense this season … North Baltimore threw two interceptions that were returned for Tds in last week‘s loss to Calvert … NB has turned the ball over 16 times in its past two games …Zach Engard scored North Baltimore’s touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 5-yard run and finished the night off with 83 yards on 18 carries for the Tigers … Tiffin Calvert had 263 rushing yards on 40 carries while the Tigers had 117 yards on 38 attempts last week … Last year the Blue Devils and Tigers were scoreless through four quarters before the Devils won 7-6 in overtime.

Mohawk WARRIORS at St. Wendelin MOHAWKS
DATELINE: Fostoria
CONFERENCE: Midland Athletic League
RECORDS: Mohawk 3-1 overall, 1-0 Midland Athletic League; Fostoria St. Wendelin 2-2, 0-1
LAST SEASON: Mohawk 69, St. Wendelin 0
LAST WEEK: Mohawk 36, Seneca East 26; Carey 32, St. Wendelin 13
NOTABLE: Mohawk is ranked second in the Division VI Region 22 computer rankings and 13th in the AP Division VI poll … St. Wendelin had won 2 straight before falling last week to Carey … Brock Kirian rushed for 203 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries, leading Mohawk’s 369-yard ground attack in a 36-26 win at Seneca East … Last year: Mohawk scored 35 points in the first quarter of a 69-0 trampling of St. Wendelin. The Warriors ran 79 plays to the Mohawks’ 38 and rushed for 375 yards …

Seneca East TIGERS at Hopewell-Loudon CHIEFTAINS
CONFERENCE: Midland Athletic League
RECORDS: Seneca East 3-1 overall, 0-1 Midland Athletic League; Hopewell-Loudon 4-0, 1-0
LAST SEASON: Hopewell-Loudon 17, Seneca East 14
LAST WEEK: Hopewell-Loudon 49, Fremont St. Joseph 6; Mohawk 36, Seneca East 26
NOTABLE: Seneca East suffered their first loss of the season last week to Mohawk … Hopewell-Loudon is ranked first in the Division VI Region 22 computer rankings and is second in the Associated Press Division VI poll … Hopewell-Loudon has won 30 straight regular season games including 21 in a row in the MAL … Hopewell-Loudon’s last league loss was a 24-14 defeat to Carey Sept. 12, 2003 … Hopewell-Loudon got a 208-yard, 3-touchdown performance from Sean Brickner and Adam Brose threw 3 TD passes in last week’s easy win at St. Joseph. Brose was 8-of-11 passing for 192 yards, McAllister had 4 catches for 103 yards and the Chieftains netted 269 yards rushing on just 26 carries … Seneca East’s offense tops the MAL with 379 yards per game and is second at 36 points. Jake Mahl leads the way, passing for 670 yards and 10 touchdowns with no interceptions, as well as rushing for 305 yards and six scores. Matt Featheringill (18 catches, 334 yards) and Coty Crapo (12-154) rank first and fourth in the league in receiving … For Hopewell-Loudon, Sean Brickner has rushed for 655 yards on 11.1 per carry and has scored 11 touchdowns … Seneca East yielded 369 rushing yards to Mohawk in a 36-26 loss at home .. Game is at Chieftain Stadium … Hopewell-Loudon is averaging 39.8 points a game on offense …

Riverdale FALCONS at Buckeye Central BUCKS
DATELINE: New Washington
CONFERENCE: North Central Conference
RECORDS: Riverdale 2-2 overall, 1-0 North Central Conference; Buckeye Central 1-3, 0-1
LAST SEASON: Buckeye Central 49, Riverdale 0
LAST WEEK: Riverdale 14, Crestline 13; Wynford 48, Buckeye Central 17
NOTABLE: The Falcons scored in the final minute to upset Crestline, 14-13. It was Riverdale’s second-straight win after St. Wendelin handed the Falcons their 29th-straight loss … Buckeye Central fell victim to Wynford’s speed and quickness in a 48-17 loss. The Bucks had 238 yards rushing, but quarterback Blaine Erwin, filling in for older brother Derek, was only 5-of-20 passing with three interceptions … Buckeye Central is allowing more than 25.0 points per game on defense … Derek Erwin is 30-84 passing for 536 yards with 6 INTs and 5 Tds … J. Kocher (17 catches, 297 yards), T. Kreim (11 catches, 205 yards) lead the Bucks’ receivers … Kocher, Kreim and Blaine Erwin each have 2 interceptions for the Bucks … C. Haffa and C. Beeson have 157 and 151 yards rushing respectively for Buckeye Central … Riverdale didn’t report NCC stats last week …

Fostoria REDMEN at Shelby WHIPPETS
CONFERENCE: Northern Ohio League
RECORDS: Fostoria 2-2 overall, 1-0 Northern Ohio League; Shelby 2-2, 1-0
LAST SEASON: Fostoria 43, Shelby 22
LAST WEEK: Fostoria 58, Galion 7; Shelby 41, Norwalk 20
NOTABLE: Behind senior running back B.J. Taylor’s 171 yards on 22 carries, Shelby rolled up 274 yards on the ground and finished with a season-best 407 yards in total offense in last week’s win over Norwalk … Game is at W.W. Skiles Field … Whippet quarterback Scott Baird completed 4-of-9 passes for 133 yards while Norwalk was 25-of-41 for 228 yards last week …Taylor is second in the NOL in rushing for 397 yards on 69 carries for Hsleby … Micah Hyde has 323 yards on 58 carries and is 50-90 passing for a league best 860 yards to lead Fostoria’s offense … Chase Munoz is Fostoria’s top receiver with 28 catches for 522 yards … Fostoria linebacker Stephen Roberts is second in the NOL with 47 tackles … Stephens is Shelby’s top receiver with 9 catches for 216 yards while Dennis leads the defense with 42 tackles … The Redmen are averaging 219.5 passing yards, 381.5 total yards and 36.8 points per game while allowing 184.5 yards per game on the ground defensively … Fostoria leads the series with the Whippets 12-1-1 … The last Shelby win against the Redmen was 1952 …

Upper Sandusky RAMS at Tiffin Columbian TORNADOES
CONFERENCE: Northern Ohio League
RECORDS: Upper Sandusky 2-2 overall, 0-1 Northern Ohio League; Tiffin Columbian 3-1, 1-0
LAST SEASON: Tiffin Columbian 27, Upper Sandusky 0
LAST WEEK: Bellevue 35, Upper Sandusky 20; Tiffin Columbian 23, Willard 12
NOTABLE:Tiffin Columbian is ranked seventh in the Division II Region 6 computer rankings while Upper Sandusky is 10th in Division IV Region 14 … Upper Sandusky sophomore quarterback Alex Falk has rushed for 330 yards on 59 carries and is 36 of 79 passing for 517 yards … Ryan Burka leads the Rams receivers with 14 catches for 249 yards …

DATELINE: Bluffton
CONFERENCE: Northwest Conference
RECORDS: Ada 3-1 overall, 2-0 Northwest Conference; Bluffton 3-1, 1-1
LAST SEASON: Bluffton 25, Ada 7
LAST WEEK: Ada 62, Upper Scioto Valley 14; Bluffton 28, Convoy Crestview 14
NOTABLE: Bluffton is ranked seventh in the Division V Region 20 computer rankings … Ada is rated 7th in Division VI Region 24 … Ada QB Zac Dysert is the area’s best, throwing for 1,739 yards while completing 71 percent of his 183 attempts. WRs Kyle Baker (33 receptions, 574 yards, seven TDs) and Heath Jackson (49-569-2) are torching defenses … USV had 200 yards in Week 4 against the Bulldogs … Bluffon’s defense came up with six turnovers against Crestview and held the Knights’ attack to just 199 yards … Jeff Wolber leads Ada‘s rushing effort (34 carries, 216 yards, 5 TDs) … Mark Heiman is covering the game … This is the last of four straight road games for the Bulldogs …

Columbus Grove BULLDOGS at Spencerville BEARCATS
DATELINE: Spencerville
CONFERENCE: Northwest Conference
RECORDS: Columbus Grove 1-3 overall, 1-2 Northwest Conference; Spencerville 2-2, 1-2
LAST SEASON: Columbus Grove 31, Spencerville 0
LAST WEEK: Columbus Grove 37, Lima Central Catholic 13; Spencerville 45, Paulding 17
NOTABLE: Spencerville’s Isaac Bowers leds the Bearcats with 583 yards rushing on 60 carries ... Spencerville’s Jarod Ball has caught 11 passes for 187 yards and 2 TDs while teammate Brandon Suever has caught 11 passes for 115 yards ... Spencerville quarterback Logan Nourse is 49-77 passing for 582 yards and 4 TDs ... Ball also leads the Bearcats defensively with 3 interceptions ... Columbus Grove snapped a 3-game losing streak with last week’s victory ... This is Grove’s first road game this season ... Columbus Grove’s Eric Maag rushed for 137 yards on 10 attempts and 3 touchdowns covering 60, 1 and 5 yards each. Jeremy Harnisfeger had a 63-yard touchdown run and 125 yards on 22 carries for the game ... Maag also added 7-of-12 passing for 110 yards with Logan Rieman catching 5 passes for 93 yards last week for the Bulldogs ...

Patrick Henry PATRIOTS at Evergreen VIKINGS
DATELINE: Metamora
CONFERENCE: Northwest Ohio Athletic League
RECORDS: Patrick Henry 4-0 overall, 3-0 Northwest Ohio Athletic League; Evergreen 3-1, 2-1
LAST SEASON: Patrick Henry 47, Evergreen 14
LAST WEEK: Patrick Henry 30, Liberty Center 0; Evergreen 30, Archbold 13
NOTABLE: Patrick Henry is ranked No.1 in the Division V Region 18 computer rankings and are the No.2 team in the Division V Associated Press poll … Patrick Henry has won 19 in a row after winning the Division V state title last season … The Patriots have won 33 straight regular season games dating back to a 30-28 loss to Leipsic Aug. 22, 2003 … PH has also won 30 straight NWOAL games since falling to Delta 28-17 on 9-27-2002 …

Genoa COMETS at Elmwood ROYALS
DATELINE: Bloomdale
CONFERENCE: Suburban Lakes League
RECORDS: Genoa 1-3 overall, 0-1 Suburban Lakes League; Elmwood 3-1, 1-0
LAST SEASON: Elmwood 27, Genoa 13
LAST WEEK: Elmwood 42, Lake 8; Otsego 40, Genoa 7
NOTABLE: Elmwood quarterback Dusty Brown — who has stepped in for graduated Al Tyson — rushed 24 times for 188 yards last week. Brown is capable of busting a big play on any snap. He scored five touchdowns against Lake as the Royals rushed for 387 yards. Elmwood coach Dean Zeigler is in his seventh year. Adam Sheline had 42 catches for 583 yards last year. Alex Wolff had a 43-yard touchdown reception from Chris Bassitt last week for Genoa …

Ottawa-Glandorf TITANS at St. Marys ROUGHRIDERS
CONFERENCE: Western Buckeye League
RECORDS: Ottawa-Glandorf 2-2 overall, 1-2 Western Buckeye League; St. Marys Memorial 2-2, 1-2
LAST SEASON: Ottawa-Glandorf 33, St. Marys Memorial 0
LAST WEEK: Ottawa-Glandorf 46, Elida 0; Wapakoneta 49, St. Marys Memorial 23

First league champ crowned

Well the first area prep league champion of the 2006-07 school year had been crowned.

Drumroll please……It’s the golf team from Liberty-Benton High School.

The Eagles edged Van Buren in what was essentially a two-team battle for the BVC crown at the league tournament at Country Acres yesterday. I know, I know, for most of you out there the “why would I care factor” on this one ranks right up there probably with eating liver and onions washed down by a diet Dr. Pepper for breakfast.

But not everyone plays football and in the BVC where essentially everyone cares about football and basketball, I like to see the kids compete in other sports. The BVC has a pretty rich history in golf. Through the years, Van Buren has been one of the top small-school programs in the state and Liberty-Benton had been right there with the Knights usually just a half a step behind.

So kudos to L-B coach Ben Gerken and his BVC medalist and player of the year Sammy Curto for a job well done. But kudos also to each and every BVC athlete that played in the tournament too.

Some random thoughts…
-- It’s been a pretty good fall for that school the rest of the conference loves to hate just west of Dold Farms. The girls cross country team will likely be picking up another trophy in Columbus, the golf team has a pretty good chance to qualify for state and of course the football team is pretty doggone good as well. Oh, and the boys and girls soccer teams are both leading their conferences too. Everyone one complains about the number of students L-B has, well they have a lot more sports than everyone else does too, especially in the fall. I dream of the day when I can cover the L-B wrestling team taking on Arcadia for the BVC championship. Then again, I’d like to see a school like Leipsic or Arlington wrestle for a BVC title too.

-- Leipsic senior Jason Crow struggled (at least for him) with an 84 at the BVC tournament and earned second team all-conference honors for the Vikings after being a member of the all-BVC first team his first three years. Here’s hoping the 2004 state qualifier can get back on track Monday at the PCL for a run at another state tournament birth.

-- When Pete Brunow finally stops coaching teams on the football field at Hardin Northern. I think he should start a golf program and be the schools first golf coach. I have the utmost respect for Brunow and I think his golf teams would be the most competitive in the area if anyone can motivate a kid to play any sport it would probably be Pete.

MAL GOLF: Is this even blog worthy? Fremont St. Joseph will win the MAL golf tournament at Green Hills in Clyde on Friday. Bet the house on it. The Crimson Streaks might just eat up most of the spots on the all-conference first team. They are that good. As for second, who knows? Calvert, Seneca East, St. Wendelin, Carey or North Baltimore could all finish second on a good day.

SECTIONAL DRAWS: The sectional draws for boys and girls soccer and volleyball for the Northwest District will all take place Sunday, Oct. 8. As usual, the Courier will publish all of the draws from the Northwest District first.

WEEK 5 NOTES: I’ll try and finish them up tonight at work and post them before I leave.

OK better last week, but not perfect.

I was 14-4 last week bringing my overall season record to 50-18. See I know nothing more than anyone else does and I cover sports 8 days a week at The Courier.

Anyway here are my picks for Week 5
Findlay over Worthington Kilbourne -- The Trojans are about due to get that great big gorilla off their backs.
Pandora-Gilboa over Arcadia -- Might be the best game in the area this week but I’ll give the edge to the Rockets.
Arlington over Vanlue -- Vanlue has never beaten Arlington in BVC play.
Van Buren over Cory-Rawson -- Not sure why but I think this will be close.
Hardin Northern over Leipsic -- The Polar Express marches on to Week 11.
Liberty-Benton over McComb -- Too much offense and defense for the Panthers to handle.
Carey over North Baltimore -- Blue Devils pick up third straight victory.
Mohawk over St. Wendelin -- Good night nurse.
Hopewell-Loudon over Seneca East -- Gotta pick the Chieftains until someone in the MAL steps up to knock them off.
Buckeye Central over Riverdale -- I keep picking against them and they keep winning…you’re welcome Riverdale.
Fostoria over Shelby --This game will show the Redmen if they are NOL contenders or pretenders.
Tiffin Columbian over Upper Sandusky -- Columbian rips through the Rams like a tornado through a trailer park.
Ada over Bluffton -- Give the edge to the Bulldogs in this ancient rivalry that dates back to around 1900.
Columbus Grove over Spencerville -- Which Grove team is gonna show up? I hope it’s the one that beat LCC last week.
Patrick Henry over Evergreen -- I think this will be a high scoring affair 49-21, 56-28 something like that
Elmwood over Genoa -- Royals need every win they can get for playoff points.
Ottawa-Glandorf over St. Marys -- Go Titans.

Moose looking for love at Northern Michigan University
Findlay Courier Wednesday Sports Roundup (Includes: BVC volleyball roundup, BVC golf tournament, Ada-Bluffton and Findlay High school football previews)
Gibsonburg wins SLL golf crown
Little Giants fend off Presidents
Lima News prep football capsules
When in doubt, spread it out (Feature on spread offenses in Mansfield News Journal)
Area runners point to stretch run
Injuries decimate St. Paul Defense
Kicking it up a notch
NOL Football Stats
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune football preview capsules

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Getting some props

OK, I’m not shy, I’m willing to take some of the credit.

I think the OHSAA felt a little fire under their feet so they released a statement saying they are going to review the change in the way football teams are going to be assigned to divisions beginning next year.

There have been a number of stories written on the changes, mostly in favor of them by the metro daily newspapers in Columbus, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Canton. One newspaper, your own Findlay Courier, has been the only newspaper in the state to write about the negative impact the changes would have on Division VI schools.

We’ve written two columns and three stories about the changes and how they will impact our area’s small schools. Those stories have gotten area coaches, administrators and fans fired up enough to voice their displeasure on the changes with the OHSAA down in Columbus. And now they plan on reviewing he changes for football only.

Sure makes me feel a little better about things and hopefully area schools will keep the pressure up on the OHSAA to make sure the football tournaments are fair to everyone, not just those in Division I.

Here is the press release issued by the OHSAA.


COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Control will review its decision to change how schools are assigned to the six divisions of the 2007 OHSAA football tournaments, Jerry Snodgrass, president of the Board of Control and athletic administrator at Findlay High School, has announced.

In June, the Board approved a plan that will move away from the concept of placing an equal number of schools within each division of OHSAA tournaments that have multiple divisions. Instead, a formula was created that will place schools with more similar enrollments within the same division. The result of that plan — to be implemented in 2007-08 — will be a smaller number of schools assigned to the big-school division, Division I.

“When we approved the original proposal, we felt that an attempt was made to create fairer tournaments,” Snodgrass said. “Since that time we have received some feedback from the membership, and, because football is unique in that only 192 schools qualify for the tournaments, the Board believes it is in the best interest of our member schools to review the modification that was made in football.”

The plan in football that was approved in June called for: 1.) the top 10 percent of schools participating in the tournaments to be assigned to Division I; 2.) the bottom two percent of the remaining schools to be taken out of the count; and 3.) the remaining number of schools to be divided equally between the bottom five divisions, with the two percent previously taken out to be added back to Division VI. Had the change taken place in 2006, the result would have been that roughly 73 of the 716 football-playing schools would have been assigned to Division I, 139 schools would have been assigned to Division VI and 126 schools would have been assigned to Divisions II through V. The proposal adopted by the Board was made by an OHSAA subcommittee that was comprised of OHSAA staff and district athletic board members along with superintendents, principals and athletic administrators from across the state.

As part of the review, Snodgrass said the OHSAA plans to study data that will show how the proposed change would have impacted the 2005 football tournaments. Once this season ends, he said data will also be gathered to see what impact the proposal would have had on the 2006 tournaments.

“Once we review data from both the 2005 and 2006 seasons, we will decide the next course of action,” Snodgrass said.

Snodgrass said there are no plans to alter the Board’s decision to implement the new formula in the other OHSAA multi-division tournaments beginning in the fall of 2007. There also are no plans to change the policy adopted in June by the Board that says that schools will have the option of moving up to Division I on a sport-by-sport basis with the understanding that this division jump will last for a minimum of two years. That policy also has a 2007-08 start date.

NEWSWORTHY: Lots of great stories today.

Wednesday’s Findlay Courier sports roundup (Includes results from the Old Fort Invitational and a story on Albert Laux becoming the winningest soccer coach in Ohio history).
Soccer gaining a foothold in Galion
Browns McCutcheon out for the season
Twins close to within a half game of Tigers
Lakewood combats staph infections
Drunken Chinese migrant worker bitten by Panda…bites him back
Continental stays perfect against Delphos Jefferson
Lima News Prep Sports Roundup
Mansfield News Journal Prep Sports Roundup
Marion Harding looks for better execution against Westland
Marion looks to end losing streak
Perkins fires 4th coach post strike
Shindeldecker out for rest of the year
Roughriders blank O-G 1-0
Tiffin area volleyball roundup
Gibsonburg wins SLL golf title

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Yep if you read The Courier today and saw the big Goose-egged headline on B1 yep, I wrote it.

As miserable as we as Browns fans are we get some solace in knowing Steelers fans are just as miserable. But I digress today I want to talk a little soccer.

I know not everyone out there is a soccer fan. For many, sometimes myself, it’s like watching paint dry. Maybe it’s because I didn’t grow up playing soccer, in fact, I had no exposure what so ever to the sport until I started working at The Courier.

I’ll admit my appreciation for soccer has grown somewhat recently. Thanks to my English stepdad I can name at least six clubs in the English Premier League. My mates at work sometimes look at me funny when I volunteer to go to certain events like soccer, cross country, golf, etc. They get out every Friday night and hog all of the gridiron glory while I’m stuck in the office so if I can find a way to get out and cover something I’m game for the opportunity.

OK back to area soccer. The league of most interest to us is the North Central Ohio Soccer Association. Cory-Rawson, Van Buren, Upper Sandusky, Mohawk, Tiffin Calvert, Ada, Riverdale and Old Fort are in the conference. There are the haves…Cory-Rawson, Ada, Van Buren and Riverdale. They are well-established programs with a solid base of youth soccer players. The tweener…Upper Sandusky. Above the bottom but not quite with the top-tier teams. And of course the MAL soccer programs like Calvert, Old Fort and Mohawk where there is little youth soccer to help bolster the HS programs.

I always kind of felt sorry when I would see Ada or Riverdale bomb Calvert or Mohawk 10-0 and thought maybe there needed to be a change in the way the league was organized. One team that should be added is Liberty-Benton. They are a natural coming from the BVC but I have heard various stories from both sides, the NCOSA doesn’t want them and that they have no interest in joining the NCOSA. I don’t understand either. How about reorganizing and adding L-B and Bluffton? I know the Pirates play a difficult schedule that includes many Putnam County League and Western Buckeye League schools. It’s just something that I thought I would throw out there.

It looks like the league will come down to Riverdale’s game against Cory-Rawson. They are the lone unbeatens left in NCOSA play.

As for the PCL, who knows? Fort Jennings is 2-0-1 and the only unbeaten team left in the PCL.Pandora-Gilboa has been a big surprise with wins over a struggling Van Buren team and a victory over Continental. It should be interesting down the stretch. You gotta love a conference that bucks Friday night high school football and plays some soccer matches on Friday night. I think that’s pretty cool.

A Findlay High School coach once told me when I asked him how the Trojans would do against some of the area’s smaller schools that FHS would beat Riverdale, Bluffton or C-R 12-0 or 13-0. Somehow I just don’t believe that.

NOTEWORTHY:-- The AP prep football poll is out and Hardin Northern is No.1 and Hopewell-Loudon is No.2 in Division VI. The first official OHSAA computer rankings are due out tonight.

-- Area high school golfers will play in championship tournaments this week. The BVC kicks things off Wednesday at Country Acres. The SLL and MAL Tournaments are at Green Hills Thursday and Friday respectively, the WBL Tournament is Friday at Lost Creek in Lima and the NWOAL is Friday at Auglaize Country Club. Monday the PCL and NWC Tournaments take place. Sectional tournaments in Division II and III begin one week from Thursday.

Courier prep sports round up includes BVC golf preview
Girls Prep Tennis Poll
Lerner increases his stake in Aston Villa
AP State Football Poll
Clarett to serve at least 3½ years in prison
Ohio State stakes out plans for new turf from Cygnet
Bluffton superintendent looking elsewhere
Mapleton stops 33 game losing streak

Monday, September 18, 2006

Can't we all just get along...

I don’t know why I am writing about this issue today it’s probably one better suited for another day closer to the state football finals.

It’s the whole Public School vs. Private School debate. There are a lot of people on both sides who feel passionately about the issue. Some say private schools should have their own tournaments while others say they raise the bar for all schools to become better and if you have separate championships, there won’t be a true state champ.

After coaching at both public and private schools over the years and attending a private school during my athletic career, I do understand the concerns of those on both sides of the fence. I mean private schools do win an unproportional share of state championships in Ohio and clearly have some advantages that their public school brethren do not have.

That said, there is a big difference between private schools and my biggest beef is painting them all with the same broad brush. I mean look at my alma mater St. Wendelin or Marion Catholic for that matter. They are a long way from being a Cincinnati Elder or Cleveland St. Ignatius. They are both in relatively small communities and are struggling just to keep kids in the classroom let alone field competitive sports teams.

But to some it doesn’t matter. When we had a few decent wrestling teams when I was coaching there, there were some uninformed goofs on Internet message boards that even said I think St. Wendelin recruits wrestlers after we whipped their butts in a tournament. Damn I can tell you, there was no one on our team that didn’t attend either St. Wendelin or St. Michael Catholic School in elementary school and in fact, during the 13 years I coached there we never got one transfer into the school for our program although we had about 7 or 8 wrestlers in our elementary and junior high system that transferred out to other schools when they went to high school.

Some public schools have a clear advantage though. Take Hopewell-Loudon’s upswing in a lot of sports. I read an article in the Review Times last week here about H-L and open enrollment. It said that while other area schools have seen a decline in enrollment in recent years, H-L has remained stable thanks to open enrollment. A total of 28.8 percent of Hopewell-Loudon’s students are there through open enrollment. Wow it makes you wonder if any of their success in football hs anything to do with open enrollment. If so, then good for them. Hopewell-Loudon is an excellent school with terrific marks on state achievement tests and when you are a good school parents and students will flock to you. It’s something the H-L community should be very proud of.

Back to the public vs. private debate, I do realize there is a problem at private schools especially in urban areas like Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus. I guess I’d reluctantly move toward putting a multiplier on the enrollment of private schools say take their current enrollment and multiply it by 1.5, which would likely move them up a division in most sports. But that still doesn’t do anything to the private school powers like Moeller and Ignatius who are already in Division I.


BROWNS: Just a few tidbits from yesterday’s Cleveland Browns debacle in Cincinnati. These are from Plain Dealer staff writer Mary Kay Cabot’s Browns Notebook…
Points needed: The Browns have scored 26 or fewer points in 23 consecutive games, dating to a 58-48 loss at Cincinnati on Nov. 28, 2004. They have scored 20 or fewer in eight straight.
Postseason or bust: None of the 24 playoff teams from the previous two seasons began 0-2.

COVERING THE SPREAD: Anyone else find it interesting that Ohio State kicked a 52-yard field goal with 1:14 left in the game against Cincinnati Sunday. The point spread heading into the game was 29.5. The late FG made the final score 37-7...any conspiracy theorists out there?

Monday’s Findlay Courier sports round up
Bryan shut out by Napoleon
Plain Dealer Browns Coverage
Old Fort 2nd, Ottawa-Glandorf 5th in latest prep volleyball poll
Ross wins an overtime thriller
Reed rushes for 385 yards in Ashland Crestview win
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune sports section including game stories from Saturday on Hopewell-Loudon and Calvert

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Looking back and looking ahead

Week 4 of the high school football season is in nearly in the books. There are a couple of games tonight featuring Hopewell-Loudon at St. Joseph and North Baltimore at Calvert though.

The thing that strikes me is how about that wacky Northwest Conference? Grove shakes off an 0-3 start and pummels Lima C.C. and ex-Grove coach Jerry Cooper while Bluffton doubles up Convoy Crestview, who have never beaten the Pirates in football so I am told.

I have a feeling the NWC champs this season will have at least one loss each and I’m not willing to go out on a limb and say who’s going to win it either.

At least with Kilbourne coming to town this week, I think Findlay will finally get a much needed win heading into Greater Buckeye Conference play in Week 6. The Trojans have played teams so far that are a combined 13-2. If they put things together there’s no reason why they can’t compete for the GBC title.

After Hardin Northern and Liberty-Benton, parity reigns in the BVC. I think everyone else with the exception of Vanlue maybe is pretty evenly matched. It should be interesting down the stretch.

I’m off to cover the North Baltimore Invitational golf tournament at Birch Run. Hope everyone reading this has a terrific weekend!

Findlay Courier Saturday Sports Section
Riverdale extends winning streak
Galion, Mohawk games from Bucyrus TF
Other Lima News sports stories (Good luck finding them their new website sucks)
Mansfield area football boxscores
Findlay OSU student indicted for sofa burning
Blade SLL Roundup
Blade NWOAL roundup
Texas High - Findlay Preview (I know it’s a day late)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Just Six weeks left

It’s hard to believe but after tonight there will only be a month and a half left of the high school football season. Plus tournaments in prep golf and tennis will also be starting during the next couple of weeks.

It’s been a busy week with lunchtime meetings with the OHSAA and area athletic directors and all of the things to be done on a daily basis.

I did a lot of complaining about the OHSAA earlier in the week and it was justified in my opinion. But after talking to longtime Northwest District Athletic Board Secretary Dick Krauss, one of the nicest people you will ever in your life meet, I have to give the folks in Columbus some credit.

They run the best high school tournaments in the country, bar none, and all of the gentlemen I’ve complained about on this divisional issue have put in countless hours to make sure the OHSAA is the best among the state athletics associations in the country. For that they deserve the thanks of every sports writer, parent, athlete and coach in Ohio.

They do a remarkable job.

A REMARKABLE SPEAKER: I got the opportunity to listen to former Buckeyes and Browns great Dick Schafrath speak during the Northwest Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators fall workshop in Findlay Wednesday. What stories the man has. Can you imagine playing for both Woody Hayes and Paul Brown? Coming from the background Schafrath did, a kid from Amish Country and making it to the NFL and the statehouse in Columbus where he served as a state senator for 15 years is amazing. He has a new book out and I’ll try to find a link to it on Amazon and post it tomorrow.

EARLIER STARTS: Don’t expect the Northern Ohio League to follow the lead of the North Central Conference and other Mansfield area leagues in moving their starting times for football games from 7:30 to 7 p.m. The NOL administrators that were in Tiffin didn’t like the earlier starts. They felt it didn’t allow some parents enough time to get to the games after getting off work. As a sports writer the earlier the start the better as far as I am concerned but I can understand the concerns of administrators and working parents that want the later start.

Bryan ready for rebound against Napoleon
Galion, Mt. Gilead hot heading into Galion CC meet
Bucyrus area football previews
The Plain Dealer breaks down the Herbstreit Challenge
Scouting the Herbstreit Challenge
Yankees end their relationship with the Columbus Clippers
Columbus Dispatch looks at the Herbstreit Challenge
Lady Jays dump Fort Jennings
Findlay Courier Sports Roundup including a story on Dick Schafrath and retiring NW District Secretary Dick Krauss
Fostoria has ciritcal game with Galion; St. Wendeln tangles with Carey
Fremont area football capsules
Ross faces powerful Benedictine
Mansfield area prep round up
Port Clinton Area Prep Football previews
St. Marys may recognize bowling as a varsity sport
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune sports for the last two days