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, December 30, 2006

Thanks and Happy New Year!

No BS today. Just Happy New Year's wishes to everyone out there today. Thanks for contributing here throughout this first year.

Hope this was a good year for you and I hope next year is even better.

I have to work everyday but Sunday this weekend so everyone have a safe and enjoyable holiday and we'll be back at it on Monday.

Oh and have a couple of Pabst Blue Ribbons for me.

NW Ohio Wrestling Results and Info
Bryan, Stryker girls win in classic
Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum Friday Sports (Includes NCC girls games from Friday night)
Dry spell dooms Fort Jennings girls
Ottoville girls roll past Patriots
Defiance Crescent News Friday Sports
Fostoria Review Times Saturday Sports
Findlay Courier Saturday Sports
Truckers put the hammer down against Galion boys
St. Joseph lets one slip away against Danbury
Lima News Saturday Sports
Mansfield News Journal Saturday Prep Roundup
Shelby second half surge beats Fostoria

Friday, December 29, 2006

Sometimes it's better to shut up!

OK I never thought I’d be blogging about lacrosse.
Hell no one around here even plays lacrosse. But I have to write a little something about the whole Duke lacrosse thing now that it seems to have blown up right in prosecutor Michael Nifong’s face.
This thing kind of smelled rotten from the beginning. I can’t imagine any area prosecutors acting in the manner Mr. Nifong has while prosecuting this case.
Something went on I’m not sure what. Maybe the woman gave the players a private show and they refused to pay her so she brought forward an allegation of assault against them. The only people that really know what happened were the players at the party and the complainant.
But Nifong is now going to be sanctioned by the NC State Bar Association. His comments to the media throughout the case haven’t been very smart. You can read some of the statements he’s being called on the carpet for here.
Prosecute the case as best you can but keep your mouth shut. I think this lawyer is going to get everything he deserves including being excluded from the case.

NW Ohio Wrestling Results and Info
Teens injured in deer decoy accident trying to cope
Ottoville boys beat Shawnee
Fostoria Review Times Thursday Local Sports
Findlay Courier Local Sports for Friday
Fremont Ross swimmers beat GBC foes
Genoa boys beat Danbury
Minster thumps Tiffin Columbian
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Friday sports
Lima News Friday Sports

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Changing times in the MAL

The Midland Athletic League long known for its fast paced style may be changing a bit.
The scores are lower and it seems more defense is being played this season. That’s a good thing because I think the lack of defense really did hurt the teams in the conference come tournament time. At least that’s my perception of things and as you might know my perception is often wrong.

Most conference teams have 3 of their 10 MAL games in the books and right now Calvert, Seneca East and Mohawk lead the way all with 3-0 re records.

Seneca East is 7-0 right now but they haven’t exactly had a very tough schedule. The Tigers have raised some eyebrows by scoring more than 100 points not once but twice although it was against Monroeville (108-96) and Bettsville (101-51). They snuck past Carey last weekend 61-60 and that makes me think they probably won’t have what it takes to run the table.

The same holds true with Calvert. They beat St. Wendelin 53-52 Friday night and their other victories are against McComb, Old Fort and Fremont St. Joseph all of which are struggling right now. They’ll host Mohawk in a key MAL showdown on Thursday Jan. 18. The Senecas’ game against Seneca East is on the road Feb. 16.

That leaves Mohawk. I think they are the odds on favorite. They have won four straight since a season-opening loss to traditionally tough Wynford. They will travel to Seneca East for their next game Jan.5. That can be a good or a bad thing. They will have had 14 days off between games. The Warriors will be either well-prepared for the Tigers or a little rusty. We’ll find out that night which is the case.

I think Carey will end up playing a role in the league too. The Blue Devils are sitting at 2-1 in the conference and lost back to back heartbreakers to Wynford (in OT) and Seneca East last weekend. It wouldn’t surprise me if they knocked off either Mohawk or Calvert, or even both.

We’ll get a good look at a couple of other MAL teams the next two nights. Unbeaten Van Buren travels to New Riegel and North Baltimore on back to back nights beginning tonight. The Blue Jackets have won three straight and if they can stay with the Black Knights they could be a spoiler in the league.

Northwest Ohio Wrestling Results and Info
Findlay Courier local sports for Friday
Fostoria Review Times Sports for Wednesday
Fostoria Review Times Sports for Thursday
Lima News Thursday Sports
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Thursday Sports

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

BVC Basketball Blogging

OK so returning talent doesn’t always equal success.

Cory-Rawson and Arcadia have a lot of experience returning from last year’s team and I thought both clubs would break out of the struggles they’ve had in recent years. Guess not. Cory-Rawson is 2-4 currently and Arcadia is sitting at 1-5. Not the breakout seasons I had anticipated for these two clubs.

It’s early, in fact the Blanchard Valley Conference has played just a pair of league games with seven to go and already three teams have separated themselves from the pack.
Liberty-Benton, Van Buren and Pandora-Gilboa are the only BVC boys teams checking in at 2-0 already this season.

The Eagles haven’t even yet been tested and won’t take on Van Buren and Pandora-Gilboa until Feb. 2 and 16 respectively and both games will be on the road. Until then, Liberty-Benton may have a couple of back-to-back Saturday night specials in Jan. against Elmwood (Jan. 13) and Ottoville (Jan.20) which may test them.

Van Buren is also off to a very impressive start and I have to admit I was a little surprised how easily they handled Suburban Lakes League favorite Elmwood 69-52 recently but when you hold Dustin Reynolds to 6 points or whatever they held him to good things are going to happen.

The Knights take on Pandora-Gilboa Jan. 26 at home. That means the will play both P-G and L-B at home…an advantage? I guess we will soon find out.

The Rockets meanwhile are 4-2 overall with a couple of tight losses to Ada (in OT) and Kalida. Playing in both the BVC and PCL creates its own set of problems. They have to be ready to play every single game on their schedule because they are all a little more meaningful for Pandora because most of them are conference games. There’s no break in the schedule for them.

Another team to watch is Arlington. The defending BVC co-champs have been impressive in non-conference games but are 0-2 in the BVC after falling to Pandora and Liberty. They could conceivably reel off seven straight wins in the conference…I could see it happening.

Wait another month and things should be much clearer.

Tomorrow a look at the MAL basketball race.

BOWLED OVER: Wow what a game. (Please note the sarcasm) How could the holidays be complete without the Motor City Bowl. It was truly a marquee matchup featuring Central Michigan and Middle Tennessee. Is it me or are there just too many bowl games? I remember when playing in a bowl game actually meant something and not everyone got to go. Oh well I guess I’ll just have to wait for the vaunted Cincinnati-Western Michigan game in the International Bowl Jan.6 or the Southern Miss-Ohio U. game in the GMAC Bowl Jan.7. Does anyone care about these games or are you glad just to see more college football on TV.

Here’s an email that’s been circulating around the area:
I believe the University of Findlay should be playing in the BCS championship game and here’s why: Findlay beat Charleston, WVa. who beat West Liberty State who beat Duquesne who beat Fordham who beat Albany N.Y. who beat Lehigh who beat Villanova who beat James Madison who beat New Hampshire who beat Northwestern who beat Eastern Michigan who beat Toledo who beat Kansas who beat Kansas State who beat Texas who beat Oklahoma who beat Washington who beat UCLA who beat Oregon State who beat Southern Cal

Courier Wednesday local sports
St. Joseph girls off to a fast start
Poor shooting hurts Bryan girls
Ottoville routs Lincolnview
Story on HN girls basketball
Shelby drops battle to Upper Sandusky boys 76-72
Great feature on former Fostoria RB Casey McBeth in the Tiffin Advertiser Tribune
Proposal would move Blue Jackets to Eastern Conference

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Dear Randy Lerner

BLOGGER'S NOTE: Today I'm posting my letter to Randy Lerner. Tom Withers recently wrote a story about Randy Lerner and his restaurant in NY State. I'm printing this letter and mailing it to him tomorrow. I don't expect a response but he should know how restless the natives are getting....

Dear Mr. Lerner,

I never imagined that I would be writing you. But, finally, after last Sunday’s game I’ve seen enough.

I have been a Browns season ticketholder since 1999 and a Cleveland Browns fan my entire life. I grew up watching Brian Sipe and the Kardiac Kids and lived and died with the Browns each and every Sunday growing up.

I, like you, have suffered through it all. Red Right 88, The Drive, The Fumble, Bernie Kosar’s "diminishing skills," and of course the move to Baltimore. I heard about Art Modell moving the team first on the radio. I dashed home for lunch that day and got there just as Art Modell stepped up to the microphone and announced he was moving the Browns to Baltimore because, " he had no choice."

When I watched the press conference from the tarmac at the Baltimore Airport I cried. My beloved Browns would be no more. Then, when your father stepped up to the plate and was named the new owner for the franchise’s return to Cleveland I was jubilant. My brother, cousin and I even decided to pony up and purchase season tickets. But the honeymoon is long since over.

I’ve gotten to see a lot of bad, very bad, football at the stadium since the Browns came back in 1999. And after this season, I’m at the point of apathy toward my (and your) Browns. I just can’t take it anymore. I wrap myself up emotionally, in the team and how they play each week and I’m tired of being disappointed nearly each and every week.

And I don’t think I’m getting value for my season tickets that others around the NFL get. At least most see improvement and effort out on the field, especially at home. Honestly, I don’t see either. If this were a regular business, the Browns would be losing customers left and right. But people have an emotional stake in the Browns and that’s a tough thing to just walk away from.

All I know is I have never been more disillusioned or felt more detached from the team than I do right now. I feel cheated, taken for granted. I have to make sacrifices just go use my season tickets and go to Browns games on Sundays.

My season tickets cost $440 this season, please Mr. Lerner take no offense, but that doesn’t probably doesn’t sound like much money for a billionaire like yourself. For me, that $440 is a chunk of change and it takes me more than a week working at my job to make enough to pay for those season tickets. That doesn’t include the gas for the 235-mile round trip between Findlay and Cleveland, parking, concessions and the Browns clothing that I pick up in the team shop every time I go to the Stadium.

If any other business put a product on the field as disappointing as the Browns have for seven years, refunds would be in order or the business would probably go broke.

I want to hang on but I don’t know if I have any faith left in this organization. I am a die-hard Mr. Lerner, and if you lose me you’ve lost "The Fans." Help me, give me a reason to stick it out.

Tell me why I should stick it out as a Browns fan? What is the organization going to do other than give me the same old song and dance I’ve been hearing the past seven years.

Thanks for your time,

Jamie Baker
Browns Season Ticketholder
Findlay, Ohio

Friday, December 22, 2006

Ho...Ho...Ho...Happy Holidays

Yes I really am Santa Claus. That's me on the right in a picture taken last X-mas with my ex-girlfriend...I love dressing the part and I have my own suit too.

Gotta get ready for work. A busy couple of days in the sports world today and tomorrow.
Hope everyone who has read this blog over the past few months has a wonderful and safe Christmas.
I’ll be back at it on Tuesday Dec. 26 until them Merry Christmas to you all from me!

New London fires football coach
Archbold girls run past Bryan
Mohawk cruises past Seneca East
Source: Charlie Frye has wrist fracture
Findlay Courier Friday Sports
Fostoria Review Times Friday Sports
Trojans too tough for Fremont Ross
St. Joseph wins in overtime
Fremont area prep roundup
Mansfield Area Prep Roundup
Marion Harding gets GBC win
Lima News Prep Roundup
Woodmore routs Lakota
Minster girls beat Kalida
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Friday sports
Landwehr’s big night keys Fort Jennings

Thursday, December 21, 2006

A hoops holiday

OK It’s Friday night and you are getting off work.
If you are like most people, you probably have the next three days off. Unfortunately, some sports writers have to work on Christmas Day.

All of your Christmas shopping is done and you want to take in some basketball action. OK, OK it’s not a look at the BVC, I’ll admittedly state I know so little about them at this point in the season I didn’t even know the conference slate wasn’t being played this weekend.

We’ll simply call this: Hoops for the holiday. Here are the best basketball games on tap for this weekend around The Courier coverage area.

Friday night games
Upper Sandusky at Shelby -- So you want to see future Ohio State Buckeye Jon Diebler in action this year huh? Well you probably are going to have to watch the Ram senior phenom on the road if I understand it right tickets to see Upper Sandusky at home are in short supply. The Rams don’t feature the largest gym in the area so your best bet to see him this season on his way to trying to break Jay Burson’s scoring record would be to call ahead and secure tickets to a road game. Cha-Ching!

Liberty-Benton at Patrick Henry -- Two terrific basketball programs with a pretty goold rivalry in recent years renew ties on Friday night. SO fsar Liberty-Benton’s closes game was a 66-37 win over Arlington and they are allowing just 30.5 points per game on defense. After a season-opening loss to SLL-favorite Elmwood, the Patriots have reeled off four straight victories and are playing some pretty impressive defense themselves. Expect a low-scoring battle.

Napoleon at Findlay -- The Trojans (4-0 overall, 2-0 GBC) play their final Greater Buckeye Conference game until Jan. 12. They’ll have three straight non-conference foes before coming back to league play. With two of their last three GBC games being against Lima Senior the Trojans can’t afford any stumbles. Napoleon has had a mixed bag of results with wins over Holgate (19-14) and Eastwood coupled with losses to Defiance, Lima Senior and Sandusky. The Cats desparately need a win in the conference.

Saturday Games
Van Buren at Elmwood -- Van Buren will put it’s 4-0 record on the line against neighborhood rival Elmwood in a Saturday Night Special. Coach E.J. Frost’s Black Knights have yet to challenged and are allowing right around 37 points a game. Elmwood is also playing very well and will likely be 5-0 if they can beat Gibsonburg tonight. Elmwood has to be a prohibitive favorite but you can’t count out a surprise from the Black Knights.

Vanlue at Hopewell-Loudon -- Coach Dan Hartsel’s Vanlue Wildcats will try and continue their unbeaten run through the Midland Athletic League when they travel to Bascom Saturday night. The Wildcats are 5-1 and are 3-0 against MAL teams with 4 more games against MAL teams yet to play. Not a bad start for the “Small School That’s Big on Learning” Hopewell-Loudon has struggled and lost three straight heading into Friday night’s game against Bettsville. This could be a good one.

HAPPY NEW YEAR?: There’s just one event dotting the area sports slate on Dec. 31. The University of Findlay women’s basketball team hosts Bellarmine in the GLIAC vs. GLVC Challenge in a 4 p.m. game on New Year’s Eve. That game should draw all of like …. 25 fans probably. No offense to the new coach but the Oilers are 3-9 and aren’t exactly tearing it up. Here’s a thought for the people at the GLIAC and GLVC…if you want to draw attention to your women’s basketball programs by playing a challenge…DON’T schedule it at 4 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. That’s just stupid.

On that note pass me a Pabst Blue Ribbon…bottom’s up!

Northwest Ohio Wrestling Results and Info
Findlay Courier Local Sports for Thursday
Fostoria Review Times Sports for Thursday
WBL Cracking down on Unsportsmanlike Behavior
Ottoville boys overcome slow start to beat Antwerp
PH baseball coach Greg Inselmann will go into Hall of Fame
Lima News weekend basketball capsules
Lima News Sports for Thursday
Playing time added for basketball players
Bucyrus area basketball capsules

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Garlock...going, going gone

OK I know I promised to talk some BVC Basketball again. And I am not going to come through on my promise again.

Scott Garlock’s departure from Liberty-Benton is the news of the day around the prep scene in this area. He is leaving the school on

Findlay’s west side to become the new quarterback coach at the University of Findlay. You can read a story on Garlock’s move by The Courier’s Mark Heiman here.
Even you Liberty-Benton haters out there have to admit Garlock did one hell of a job turning around the program. His 47-12 record and playoff appearances speak for themselves. Let’s face it, prior to Garlock’s arrival the Eagles weren’t much of a player in the BVC in football and this season they climbed all the way to the Division V state semifinals.

The Eagles had football tradition, but most of it was pretty bad prior to Garlock’s arrival. He’s a pretty smart offensive coach and should do well as the QB coach. That’s the one Achilles heel the Oilers had this season --- offense. They were pretty much clueless.

Garlock had an inexperience, albeit talented freshman to play quarterback in Aaron Craft this season. Garlock was probably a big key in his development this season.

Here’s my question. How much of the success that L-B football had in recent years was because of Garlock and his assistants and how much was the talent L-B has walking the halls? Can they sustain the success?

Back to UF football…

Now Wauford has to find an offensive coordinator and again one of the names I’m hearing is a high profile high school coach with ties to the area. Not sure what Wauford will do on defense, the Oilers actually played pretty good defense when he was calling the shots this season. Will he have a coordinator or do the job himself? I think they held Division II power Grand Valley State to their lowest point total of the season.

Stay tuned.

Northwest Ohio Wrestling Results and Info
Findlay Courier Wednesday Sports
Fostoria Review Times Wednesday Sports
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Wednesday Sports
Fostoria Focus Weekly Sports
Upper Sandusky’s Aubry scores 27
Riverdale rolls Bucyrus girls
Bath nips Bryan girls 49-46
Greenville uses foul shots to upend Celina 63-62
Colonel Crawford stops Crestline
Bucyrus Area Prep Roundup
Defiance Crescent News Sports Section
Ross boys basketball team stays winless
Lima News Wednesday Sports
Mansfield Area Prep Roundup
Woodmore boys win in wild finish

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

More on Division III

Lots of good thoughts on the NCAA Division I vs. Division III dilemma on yesterday‘s entry.

Just to add a little to yesterday’s discussion. I remember my senior year I went on a few visits to NCAA Division III schools and the coaches always told me after I sent my financial forms in they could always find me a little “extra grant” or what not even though they didn’t have scholarships. When I visited John Carroll, a national Division III wrestling power at the time, long time coach Tony DeCarlo told me I’d just about be going to school for free. I think I would have had to pay maybe $1000 per semester or something like that which was a pretty good deal.

Division III schools, like Mount Union, don’t have athletic scholarships but they do have a way to get you on campus. But the Purple Raiders are so successful kids flock there because they know what a successful program they have.

Anyway athletics is secondary. Getting your degree is what’s really important. It doesn’t matter if you play Division I, II, III or NAIA sports if you don’t get your degree….that’s supposed to be what you are there for.

Tomorrow a look at the BVC boys basketball race. Can anyone knock off L-B?

Northwest Ohio Wrestling News and Results
Ada Superintendent resigns after second DUI arrest
Mansfield area prep roundup
Lucas football coach steps down
Shelby swimmers top Upper Sandusky
Findlay Courier Tuesday Local Sports
Fostoria Review Times Tuesday Local Sports
Kalida boys stop Delphos Jefferson
Landwehr’s 37 leads Fort Jennings past Kalida girls
Fort Jennings’ Metzger wants to play for the Buckeyes

Monday, December 18, 2006

Micheli is a national champ

OK much is made about signing with Division I schools.
Yes Division I is the crème de la crème pardon my French. But any of you who have ever put on a pair of football cleats, I’m sure you would certainly love to be wearing the cleats for former Upper Sandusky standout Greg Micheli who came off the bench to quarterback Mount Union to the NCAA Division III football championship in Salem, Va. Saturday.
When you are a national champion, you are a national champ, I don’t care what level you are playing at. It must have been a wonderful experience for the Wyandot County boy.
OK here’s my question for today. What would you rather be. An NCAA champion for Mount Union or a Division I player at a place like Bowling Green or Toledo where you have no shot at a national championship.
I’d probably opt for Division III sometimes its better to be a big bass swimming in the small pond than a minnow in a sea of sharks.
But that’s just my opinion…what’s yours.

Northwest Ohio Wrestling News and Results
Ontario beats Wynford in Round 1
Buckeye Central nearly loses lead against Colonel Crawford
Bucyrus Redmen use defense to beat Crestline
Wehri leads Ottoville past Fort Jennings
Knights dump CG boys
Findlay Courier Monday Local Sports Roundup
Plain Dealer coverage of another Browns loss
Fostoria Review Times Monday Sports
Gibsonburg girls fall to Otsego
Fremont area basketball roundup
Bellevue boys basketball beats Galion
Shelby girls overcome slow start to beat Fostoria
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Sports
Heidelberg names Hallett as football coach

Friday, December 15, 2006

It's Trojan Time

OK this was going to be a look at the boys basketball games from the BVC and area coming up this weekend.
But someone forgot to put the weekend schedule on the Internet on today. My bad.
So we will move on to other topics.
First, how ‘bout that Findlay High School boys basketball team. The Trojans are sitting at 4-0 right now and 2-0 in the GBC.
They survived a tough road test against a 1-4 Marion Harding team last night. They are at home against Napoleon and on the road at Defiance the next two Friday nights.
Who’s going to beat them? The GBC hasn’t been particularly impressive so far this year. Lima Senior is like 3-1 but they lost their opener to Ottawa-Glandorf. Not that Ottawa-Glandorf is a bad basketball team but it’s certainly not the OG team of just a few seasons ago.
The Trojans first real test might not be until Jan. 16 when they travel to Toledo Scott for a Tuesday night game. But that said, they aren’t blowing people away and I’m not ready put them in the AP top 10 just yet. But FHS is a pretty good basketball team.
On to the girls…
Two teams are still unbeaten in the BVC.
Pandora-Gilboa is 3-0 and Arcadia is 2-0. Leipsic, Liberty-Benton and Van Buren each have 1 loss. I’m not sure the Rockets or Redskins run the table. All five of those schools have a legitimate shot at the title and I could see Arlington playing the role of spoiler as Coach Rogers’ young team continues to develop. But there’s still a lot of basketball left to play and things should heat up after the holidays.

Findlay Courier Friday’s Local Sports
Fostoria Review Times Friday Sports
Bucyrus area prep roundup
Wynford holds off Bucyrus
Ontario stops Colonel Crawford
Lucas edges Crestline in OT
3-Pointers propel Buckeye Central
Defiance Crescent News Sports
Crestline loses toughie to Lucas
Port Clinton tops Clyde in OT
Lima Senior keeps Fremont winless
Fremont News Messenger’s Prep Roundup
Mansfield Area Prep Roundup
Lima News Prep Sports Roundup
Kentner’s bucket lifts Wapak past O-G girls
Marion area prep roundup
Oak Harbor crushes St. Wendelin, Fostoria in pool
MAL Basketball Roundup from the Tiffin Advertiser Tribune

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Those darn Privates

So you hate those Catholics huh? And you’re tired of seeing those pampered rich kids at those private schools dominate when the OHSAA state tournaments roll around.
So what’s your solution?
Even though I was the product of a private school I do feel your pain. I’ve seen too many terrific area basketball teams taken out at the state tournament by all-star teams from big city private schools.
Short of kicking them all out and forcing them to their own state tournament, what’s the answer?
The OHSAA’s answer was to establish their infamous Blue Ribbon Committee which changed the way all divisions are formulated. They took so much heat from their recommendation to make Division I just 72 schools for football while putting 140 in Division VI that the football part of the plan is on hold for now.
But originally, from what I understand, one of the purposes of the OHSAA Blue Ribbon Committee was to take a look at the whole Public vs. Private debate in Ohio. It was never really addressed by the subcommittee that came up with the division realignment plan, even though that was their purpose in getting together.
One option a lot of people like is to just move the private schools all up a division or use some kind of multiplier on their enrollments. They would take their enrollment, multiply it by 1.5 percent and it would essentially move most up a division. Or another plan would just make them all move up one division in every sport they compete in. Of course this does nothing to the Super Schools like St. Ignatius, Moeller, Elder etc who are already in Division I.
Private schools have built in advantages. They don’t have to take every kid that walks in the door like public schools do. Parents generally are more involved and motivated just because they have more of a financial stake in little junior’s education because they are paying tuition.
But there are negatives too. Many private schools don’t have the facilities that their public school counterparts supported by tax dollars do. Coaches are paid comparably less than their public school peers.
Do Catholic schools recruit athletes? Absolutely…some do. And there is a big advantage especially for those located in major urban areas like Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati who draw students from their entire counties. Smaller community based privates like St. Wendelin, Calvert and Fremont St. Joseph don’t enjoy those advantages and are struggling just to keep the doors open.
It’s had to paint all the privates with one brush and then there’s the question of open enrollment at public schools. Whatever solution the OHSAA in their infinite wisdom comes up with not everyone will be happy.

MONEY MATTERS: The freshman football coach at Fostoria makes more than the head coaches in cross country, track, wrestling and baseball. You tell me is that right or should a head coach in any sport make more than a freshman coach you make the call.
TOMORROW: More hoops and a look at the weekend boys basketball action in the Blanchard Valley Conference.

NW Ohio Wrestling Results and Stories
Findlay Courier Local Sports for Thursday
FHS Trojans use height to punish Bulldogs
Kalida experience pays off against PG
Defiance Crescent News local sports
Fostoria Review Times Wednesday Sports
Fostoria Review Times Thursday Sports
Bryan boys get win over Defiance
Lima Area Basketball Capsules
Bucyrus area basketball previews
Oberlin changes school Indian mascot
Strange News Wire If you need a laugh read these stories

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Striving for mediocrity

OK I have been putting this off for way too long.

Not sure what kind of a welcome I will receive the next time I cover something at that Catholic school in Countyline Street in Fostoria.

When I covered the St. Wendelin-Riverdale football game this fall, that’s when I realized how far my alma mater has fallen. Both teams had 20-some game losing streaks on the line and the Mohawks eked out a 6-0 win in a game that was scripted out of something from the Twilight Zone.

After the win they celebrated like they had just won the Super Bowl complete with pictures taken in front of the scoreboard after their streak-snapping win.

Today’s blog isn’t to denigrate any kids or coaches. I have to tell you I have known SW football coach Mike Cool for more than 20 years and I empathize with his situation and he has done more and worked harder to reinvigorate the SWHS football program than anyone else possibly could have after the school had to cancel its final two games in 2003 because of a lack of players.

Right now there’s a push for medocrity in the athletic programs at SWHS. That’s right, they aren’t striving to be the best, they are striving for medocrity.

Maybe it’s because the school has had 4 principals in the last decade and there’s no continuity, coaches have come and gone and the demographic makeup of the school has changed greatly in the past decade.

If they are competitive, they are happy. Parents, athletes and some coaches. That wasn’t good enough even 5 or 10 years ago.

I remember back in the 1980s when I was in school we had just come off three seasons where we won 31 football games. We went 5-4-1 my junior year and there was at least one time when we were booed by our own fans because they didn’t think we were getting the job done. If the Mohawks went 5-4-1 today, they’d receive a ticker-tape parade through the streets of downtown Fostoria.

But the make up of the school has changed. Over the past 15 years there are less and less blue collar kids walking the halls. Part of it has to do with the makeup of the community. Fostoria gets a little worse off socioeconomically each year. Factory jobs are long gone and people have less money to pay toward tuition so they opt to send their kids to public school. Many of the kids that would have ended up at SW are open enrolling their kids at places like Hopewell-Loudon and Arcadia where their kids will still get a good education but don’t have to pay tuition.

Plus, the school hasn’t helped itself in recent years because it seems to have pushed out some of the fringe kids that would have attend the school in the past. It’s moving more toward a prep-school type of atmosphere. It’s great for academics, band, drama but athletics particularly boys sports need those hard-nosed kids St. Wendelin seems to be weeding out. Now that I think about it, there were a lot of kids on those SWHS football team I played on that probably wouldn’t be attending the new SWHS today…I might have been one of them because I didn’t fit the mold either.

That’s one of the reasons I stopped coaching there. I was discouraged at seeing so many of the kids we helped develop in elementary and junior high move on to other schools. I just couldn’t take it anymore because the school was doing such a crappy job at retention especially of boys.

Right now the girls basketball program is back on an upswing after a decade of down years and the softball program continues to do well. But until the school finds a solution to its enrollment problems and stops settling for medocrity their sports teams will continue to struggle.

Tomorrow…think there should be separate Private-public tournaments in Ohio…Think again.

NW OHio Wrestling Stories and Results

Findlay Courier's Wednesday Sports
Trojans cruise past Elida
Defense sparks Kalida’s win over P-G
Tuesday’s Lima sports roundup
Tiffin area Tuesday basketball roundup
Chieftains roll Rams
Outmanned Bryan falls at Tinora
Bucyrus area prep roundup
Tuesday’s Marion area prep roundup
Shelby girls upend Lexington
Mansfield area prep roundup

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Is Findlay Hockeytown?

Hockeytown South?
Nope. Findlay is not Hockeytown.
Don’t get me wrong there is a hardcore base of hockey fans in Findlay. There are those who grew up playing the game here and elsewhere and there are those who have kids involved with the sport.
And there is room at the table of plenty for everyone, hockey included. And it’s better that kids play hockey than not do anything at all. I would imagine by looking at the FAHA website I figure there are about 15 youth hockey teams based in Findlay. Not too bad but it doesn’t nearly approach the number of area kids that are involved with youth baseball, softball, soccer, basketball, wrestling, swimming.
If Findlay was Hockeytown both rinks in town The Cube and the Koehler Center sheet would be jammed. I was in the Koehler Center one day last week and the ice there was dark.
If Findlay was Hockeytown the Division I teams at the University of Findlay would have probably survived. But then again, I’m not sure why they even added hockey other than the men’s coach was UF president Zirkle’s son in law.
As hard as they try I don’t think the local “professional” hockey team the Findlay Freedom will ever draw more than 300 fans a game. Even if they promise a fight per period, the number of people in the area willing to shell out $8 bucks a ticket to watch just isn’t there. If you are a hockey fan you can watch NHL games in the comfort of your own home.
The high school team, though, has a pretty good fan base following and because of the youth teams in the area has a bright future. Plus, the renovations to The Cube were terrific and much needed.
I’m not downing hockey in Findlay, I’m just jealous that I can’t skate.

TUESDAY HOOPS: What’s up? Back in the day when I was in school lots of boys basketball was played on Tuesday nights. I took a look at today’s schedule and there were only 4 games from the eight area conferences surrounding the Findlay area on tonight’s slate. Why did schools go away from Tuesday night games? Anyone have the answer?

EQUAL TIME: I’m not a big fan of Title IX, you know the federal law that mandates equal treatment for the sexes in academics but is only applied to athletics. The BVC is one of the only area conferences not to give the girls their time in the sun on Friday nights. There are wrestling matches, hockey games and even some swim meets on Friday nights now. Why doesn’t the BVC give the girls at least one Friday night to themselves during the season. Try it and see how it works.

NW Ohio Wrestling Newslinks and Results
UF selects Wauford as new football coach
Findlay Courier Tuesday Local Sports
Carey Blue Devils dump Raiders
Bettsville rallies but falls to Northwood
Wynford gets in the swim
Ottoville boys get big win over Columbus Grove
Ottoville girls crush Bluffton
Kalida edges Jefferson 34-33
Defiance Crescent News Sports
O-G grads getting it done in college
Shelby girls beat Upper in OT
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Monday Sports
Jeff Lee steps down as Clay football coach
Fostoria Review Times Tuesday Sports

Monday, December 11, 2006

New Sheriff in town at UF

You read it here first

The University of Findlay has its man and it’s Jon Wauford.

Wauford will be named the University of Findlay’s new football coach later today at a press conference.
I think they made the right call. Personally, it was like Dan Simrell was just playing out the string at the end. He wasn’t well-liked by fans, players.

People had become apathetic to the football program in Simrell‘s final few years, which is quite sad when you consider the history and tradition the program built during the Dick Strahm era.

Wauford was the defensive coordinator for the Oilers last season and honestly it was one of the few things the team did well. It’s also nice that he is a Findlay High School graduate, a local boy.

Here is Wauford’s coaching bio.

I think the powers that be at UF made a pretty good choice. The program has dropped a level so don’t expect immediate results. But I think Wauford is the man for the job and will first get the Oilers back to being competitive in the GLIAC.

Wrestling stories and results from the NW District
Findlay Courier Monday Sports
Fostoria Review Times Sports For Monday
Fostoria boys nip Port Clinton
Bucyrus girls beat Wynford in OT
Buckeye Central boys end a tough week
Chieftains clip Colonel Crawford
Bucyrus area weekend prep roundup
Fourth quarter rally lifts Antwerp past Fort Jennings
Defiance Crescent News Sports Page
Shelby opens NOL play by beating Norwalk
Crestline girls smash Lucas
Clyde topples St. Joseph
Fremont area sports roundup from weekend
Lima News Monday Sports
Sports roundup from the St. Marys Evening Leader
Weekend sports from the Tiffin Advertiser Tribune
Elida teacher, coach arrested in sex sting

Friday, December 08, 2006

Rating the girls coaches

I could rail on and on about the Browns and the Steelers game.

And how I am an old school guys and I the that they can’t run the football or even slow down the run on defense. Suffice it to say by the end of last nights game I wanted to break off the end of my bottle of Pabst Blue Ribbon and cut my entire head off my body. That would be the only way I could assure myself of never watching another exhibition of Cleveland Browns football like I had to watch last night.

But I’d rather talk roundball today. Specifically girls basketball. There are lot of terrific coaches around the area and as our tab indicated a surprisingly few number of women in the coaching field in this area.

But I’d like to give you my top five list of coaches from The Courier coverage area. Please remember this isn’t covering all of Northwest Ohio it’s just the 30 or so schools we cover or try to anyway.

1, Upper Sandusky’s Andra Bell -- A coaching institution. Andra has forgotten more basketball than most coaches actually know. Her team’s are always competitive. Andra is an Ohio girls basketball coaching legend…enough said.

2, Arcadia’s Randy Baker -- The Redskins win with teamwork, coaching and defense. They rarely have that go-to player that is going to score 20 points a game, it doesn’t matter they just win. Even when many of the Arcadia programs are struggling, the girls basketball team is always a contender for the BVC title. That’s the hallmark of Baker’s program.

3, New Riegel’s Steve Lucius -- Lucius is another proven winner. His teams are always in contention for the MAL crown and while players come and go in the program he is always able to plug in the right players to be successful.

4, Findlay’s Connie Lyon -- Since Connie took over the girls basketball program at Findlay they haven’t missed a beat. They are one of the premier girls programs in Division I in the Northwest District. But I think the biggest thing Connie does is work with girls at the middle school level and younger to be certain the overall program is healthy from the ground up. Not every Division I coach does this.

5, Ottoville’s Dave Kleman -- Kleman’s teams are always competitive in the PCL. Despite the size of their school, they aren’t afraid of taking on some of the bigger schools around the area either.

Any thoughts on other excellent girls basketball coaches around the area?

CG vs. OTTOVILLE SELLOUT: If you want to go to Saturday’s Putnam County League boys basketball game. Between Columbus Grove and Ottoville if you don’t have your ticket already, forget about it. There will be no tickets sold at the door for the Columbus Grove boys basketball game with Ottoville Saturday. Also no senior citizens
passes, scouting passes, or Northwest District passes will be honored for this game unless prior arrangements have been made.

Today’s Wrestling Stories from the NW District
Findlay Courier Friday Sports
Fostoria Review Times Friday Sports
Bucyrus Area Prep Roundup
Colonel Crawford’s Pifher to run at Malone
Browns-Steelers game coverage from the Plain Dealer
Lima News prep roundup
Mansfield News Journal Prep Sports roundup
Woodmore beats Gibsonburg in OT
Genoa beats Eastwood 50-49
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Friday sports

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Thanks for the Dog Ben

OK maybe I’m softening up in my old age.
I’m going to write something nice about Ben Roethlisberger and on the very day the Browns will be playing the Steelers.
The only reason I don’t like him is that he plays for the Steelers. It’s not a good reason really superfluous at best.
Actually he’s a pretty good guy. He comes from a good local family, he’s shown perseverance throughout his career (You all know the story about him not starting at quarterback at Findlay High School until his senior year) and unlike some NFL star his life isn’t an everending soap opera involving drugs, scrapes with the law and strippers.
Plus last week his generosity saved the taxpayers of Findlay a few thousand dollars when he offered to replace Findlay’s police dog Flip, who was shot and killed in an incident last month.
It was a generous gesture on Big Ben’s part. He didn’t have to do it but he decided to ante up a couple of thousand of his hard-earned dollars as an NFL quarterback and try and replace flip.
I’ll try and remember that from now on especially when he’s picking apart the Browns tonight at Heinz Field.

ILL-PREPARED: I’m at home (I took a couple of days off this week, when you have vacation time at the end of the year you have to use it or lose it!) So I am unprepared for the weekend slate of basketball games. Next couple of week’s we’ll maybe make a few predictions involving BVC boys basketball teams and Findlay heading into weekend games.

BLOGGING SCHEDULE: Tomorrow: Which are the top area girls basketball coaches and why? No blogs Saturday and Sunday…except maybe some wrestling results posted in the NW Ohio Wrestling Page.

CAREY GRID SCHEDULE: Next year is the last year the Blue Devils will be playing Cardinal Stritch in Week 2 of the prep football season. In 2008, Carey will renew it’s series with Bluffton. The teams have met in scrimmages the past several years and it should be a good draw for both schools and an interesting game. Carey has also renewed it’s contract and will continue to play Upper Sandusky in Week 1.

Anyone have any good area sports photos? Got any pictures of your team in action? Send me one and I’ll try and post one each day now that I have the technology. We’ll try and put it up on the Buzz. High school, junior high…if you have the picture let me see it and might be able to let others see it too.


Other News Stories
The Courier’s Thursday Local Sports (UF men’s and women’s basketball, a great story by Mark Heiman and wrestling round up)
Wayne Trace stops Bryan
Coverage of tonight’s Browns-Steelers game from the Plain Dealer
Fostoria Review Times Sports from Wednesday
Fostoria Review Times Sports from Thursday
Girls Basketball: Turnovers hurt Fremont in loss to Start
Boys Basketball: Green Bears over Golden Bears
Girls Basketball: Clyde flys past PC
Galion swimmers split with Marion Harding
Lima News Thursday’s Sports
Marion Star Sports Roundup
Shelby girls end road trip by whipping Norwalk

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Heard this before? "Hey stink"

It’s time to go to bat for those men and women in stripes.

Being a referee in any sport isn’t an easy job. Coaches are all over you, players beg for calls sometimes and the parent, oh boy, they might be the worst especially if their little Johnny is getting the shaft.

In football at least the fans are usually separated from the field by a track or a fence. Plus it’s probably harder for the referees to hear all of the insults being hurled there way in football.

But in basketball fans are right on top of the action and are sometimes within a few feet of the officials. Plus EVERYONE in the gym is a basketball official. The same is true for football. I especially hate it when I sit up in the stands and someone complains about a pass interference call and tells the person sitting next to him what a terrible call it was because it was an uncatchable pass. Hey buddy, that’s an NFL rule not a high school rule.

You hear them a little louder though at basketball games in an enclosed gyms. Wrestling matches too.

“Hey ref, you need glasses.”
“How much did the other team pay you tonight ref?”
“Ref, are you dating the other coaches’ sister?”

Those without sin can cast the first stone. I have to admit I’m guilty too. I always yell at the officials at the Browns game when they are in our end of the field. And just the other night I was yelling at an official to call stalling when I watched a Buckeye Central wrestling hug another kid’s ankle for 45 seconds without doing anything on the mat.

These guys and gals officiate for the love of the game and a couple of extra bucks in their pocket. Are they perfect? No. But unless you are willing to put on the stripes and take over for them cut them at least a little slack. I’m going to try and live by my own rules, at least as much as I can, and think before I yell.

BACK IN ACTION: Hardin Northern’s girls basketball team was healthy enough to get Tuesday night’s game in. Unfortunately Riverdale beat them 84-7...yep that score is correct. Kudos to the Polar Bear girls for playing the game and believe it or not they even beat Ridgemont earlier in the season. Hopefully things will get better for them as the season progresses and they stay healthy.

GOOD IDEAS: Someone suggested looking at some area schools enrollment trends and blogging on what that means for the future of their athletic programs. That’s a terrific idea and I will look into it. I’ll try and find some numbers on the Internet and we’ll delve into it a little deeper.
Other ideas are the advantages private schools have along with the disadvantages…and there are disadvantages. And is Findlay a hockey town or not. Anyone have any other blogging ideas leave them for me in the feedback area.

Findlay Courier Wednesday Local Sports (Basketball ^ Wrestling roundups, FHS swimming, A story on 100 years of UF basketball)
Bucyrus area prep roundup
Buckeye Central boys cruise past Carey
Upper Sandusky boys take swim meet
Woodmore girls beat Rossford
Galion girls struggle in loss to Bellevue
Final Kenton teen sentenced in deer decoy case
Lima News Wednesday Sports
Mansfield area prep roundup
Mansfield Senior girls stop St. Peter’s
Wednesday’s Tiffin Advertiser Tribune sports roundup

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A numbers crunch

What is it about kids today?

Do they have it too easy? I know, pretty soon you will expect me to tell you how I had to walk through 2-feet of snow, in bare feet up a mountain side just to get to school in the morning. You get my drift.

It appears that there is a numbers crunch at some area schools regarding their winter sports teams.

Hardin Northern even had to postpone last weekend’s girls basketball game with Columbus Grove because of a lack of numbers. The Polar Bears have just eight girls out for basketball. Four of them were too hurt to play last weekend forcing the game to be delayed. And it’s not like the Polar Bears don’t have female athletes because they have solid girls programs in both volleyball and softball.

But I’m not just picking on Hardin Northern though. Arlington has to cancel a girls JV game because of lack of numbers. Several area boys basketball programs don’t have freshmen teams -- something that was relatively unheard of 5 years ago.

In wrestling, several area schools have low numbers Cory-Rawson is down to five wrestlers this year. I can never remember the Hornets having less than 10 and when Bob Abbey was in charge of the program C-R always had at least 20 kids and sometimes even more.

Swim teams like Fostoria and Ada don’t even have enough competitors to field relay teams.

So what’s it all about? There was a good column about the situation in yesterday’s Findlay Courier by veteran Northwest Ohio sports journalist Dave Hanneman that you can read here.

Are winter sports too hard? Is there just too many other things for kids to do like working, playing video games or hanging out with their friends?

Here’s my take on it. For girls, volleyball is much easier than basketball. The prep season is shorter and a lot less running involved.

For boys, only 7-10 kids get to play a lot in basketball so many boys don’t want to make the sacrifice of practicing each day if they know they aren’t going to get much of a chance to play.

In wrestling, it’s a difficult sport, you have to make weight and there’s no one to fall back on because it’s just you out there on the mat and if you haven’t prepared yourself properly it will show when you step out there. Plus it’s very demanding physically.

Swimming? Those gosh darn Speedos they have to wear probably keep a lot of boys from participating.

So what to do? Find coaches that kids like and will compete for. Winning shouldn’t be the ONLY thing. Having fun is a key to. Administrators better start finding coaches interested in building numbers first and winning second for the survival of their athletic programs.

GIRLS HOOPS: Findlay won big over Whitmer last night in a Monday Night Special. Assistant coaqh Shawn Lyon was in charge of the program as his wife Connie was home sick for the night. Here’s hoping Connie gets back on the FHS bench real soon. Also last night, Vanlue girls basketball coach Mark Willard picked up his first career head coaching win as Vanlue pummeled Lima Temple Christian 66-26. The Wildcats should be improved the next couple of weeks with the return of three players who have been injured.

SAVING CREW: I got this email the other day:
<The University of Cincinnati announced today that it will be cutting Women’s Rowing effective at the end of the 2007 season.
I was on a rowing team that got cut last year and we were able to get support from the media. Covering this story gives the issue the attention it needs for changes to be made. Hopefully, other universities will realize that cutting sports is not something they want to do.

Michelle Nolan>>

The last thing I would do is cover a story about a college cutting it’s women’s crew team. Talk about a waste of athletic funds. It’s all about Title IX women’s crew teams are large and help balance out football. In what other sport can you never have participated in during you lifetime and still get an athletic scholarship….crew. With mainstream men’s sports like track and field, wrestling and swimming being cut in the name of Title IX each year, excuse me if I don’t shed a tear for the crew team.

Findlay wrestlers looking to take the next step
Tuesday’s Findlay Courier local sports
Bettsville girls beat Monclova
Crestline basketball team looks for improvement
Ottawa-Glandorf’s boys rock Bryan 75-47

Today's Wrestling Stories can be found on the NW Ohio Wrestling Blog

Monday, December 04, 2006

On the menu...Sports ala carte

Today’s blog is a little like going to your favorites restaurant. We will do this ala carte.

First I hope everyone out there stayed safe and dry this weekend because there was water everywhere. I was at the Trenton Ave. Wal-Mart Saturday and drove behind the store to look at the river which had crept to within about 10 feet of the back of the parking lot. I took a few bass from the river this summer and put them in the pond that lies behind the store and between the river. Hoping one day that the pond would be full of bass…I think they all escaped yesterday as the Mighty Muddy all but swallowed up the pond with its floodwaters.

Also if you get a chance read this story by The Courier’s Steve Dillon about an area woman’s death under suspicious circumstances over the weekend.

Local death under investigation

Second order of business. High school basketball.

I have to say the team that impressed me the most this weekend was none other than the Arlington Red Devils.

Let me be the first to say this Jason Vermilion is not only a pretty nice guy, he’s one helluva basketball coach too.

Geez the Red Devils lost the farm to graduation last year. The bulk of their BVC championship team picked up their diplomas last spring.

The only experienced player returning this season was Jacob Drerup. But a weekend sweep of Fort Jennings on the road and a win over Ada at home was a very impressive start to the season to say the least. Looks like they will have another successful team in A-Town this year.

Findlay is off to a good start too by whipping Fostoria Friday night and beating Toledo Rogers Saturday. Will the Trojans be able to challenge for the GBC crown? Time will tell but certainly they will be a factor in the race this season.

Thinking about it, the boys and girls basketball teams and the hockey team are all unbeaten at Findlay High School. Not a bad week to be a Trojan fan.

Here are a few quickies to get the new week started…

GOOD SPORTSWRITER, BAD COACH: OK I have to bitch. Basketball previews are done and we’re focusing on getting information on other winter sports. Yes, Liberty-Benton fans there are other sports besides basketball in the winter. And did you know you are the largest school in the NW District WITHOUT a wrestling program?
Back on track. One of our staffers calls a swimming coach to get a little information on her teams. By her reaction you would have thought our reporter calling her was Satan himself calling to ask her for her first born child. We’d be happy to print this coaches results and do more on her team but she doesn’t even bother to report result one. Someone needs to send her the OHSAA’s Working with the Media pamphlet.
Thank goodness 98 percent of the coaches we work with are terrific people.

BAD SPORTSWRITER, GOOD COACH: I had to listen to someone else complain yesterday but it was quite funny actually. One of the Putnam County League girls basketball coaches calls in his results from yesterday. He is a big Browns fan and I always make it a point to call him with his results after the game is over. Anyway he tells me about going to church Sunday morning and getting a bunch of crap from people because his team’s results weren’t in a Sunday paper to the south of the Findlay area -- Even though he called them in.
So he called the paper Sunday and talked to the sports editor and told him how unhappy he was that his game that he called in didn’t even make it in the paper. He also told him that he should call us and the Defiance Crescent News to see how to get the job done right. That didn’t sit too well. But it sure made me feel good.

THE MATCH UP: So it’s official Ohio State plays Florida for the National Championship Jan. 8. What do you think? I think Urban Meyer is a goof and I hope the Buckeyes roll the Gators. I think they will too. But I do worry about having six weeks off before the title game. Did Michigan deserve another shot at the Buckeyes or did the BCS have it right? Let me know.

Findlay Courier local sports (Includes prep basketball round ups, FHS and UF hoops coverage)
Fostoria Review Times Local Sports for Monday
Fostoria Focus local sports
Fremont area prep roundup
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune sports roundup
Defiance Crescent News Sports Section
Bucyrus Area Prep Roundup
Marion Local Sky High After Winning Title
Plain Dealer Browns coverage of yesterday’s OT win
Plain Dealer Ohio State coverage
Buckeyes coverage from the Columbus Dispatch
10 Ashland University wrestlers make finals
Girls Basketball
Bryan’s girls edge Evergreen
Wynford stops Buckeye Central
Danbury beats Old Fort
St. Marys drops WBL game to Lima Bath
Boys Basketball
Arlington bedevils Fort Jennings
Galion downs Bucyrus
Wynford slips past Mohawk
Colonel Crawford stops Mansfield Christian
Crestline overpowers Northmor
St. Peter’s cruises past St. Joseph
Galion beats Colonel Crawford 38-33
Shelby drops opener to Mansfield Madison
Van Wert takes tourney crown

Friday, December 01, 2006

A new wrestling it up

OK I had to set up a new site...a wrestling only site because things will start heating up here in the next couple of days.

Any wrestling fans looking for information can click here.

Northwest Ohio Wrestling Page

The first post is a complete list of wrestling schedules for the Northwest District

Boys basketball capsules are listed below.

Courier local sports (Includes Thursday’s girls basketball roundup and a profile of the newest OHSAA sport bowling)
Coverage of Thursday’s train derailment in North Baltimore

Road to Canton for Marion Local/St. Henry
Savage says Crennel has total support
Staying the course might be a hard sell for Browns fans
Ohio Stadium to get artificial surface
Lima News sports from Thursday
Mansfield area prep sports roundup
Mansfield Senior basketball preview
Defense is key to Buckeye Central girls victory
Shelby Globe link to basketball schedules and results
Friday’s Toledo Blade sports with their basketball previews
Paulding Wrestling Preview