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.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Time for the biggie

OK It’s the big one Friday night.
Hopewell-Loudon vs. St. Wendelin girls.
Yep that’s a pretty big game too and will likely be played in front of a packed house in the North Countyline Street gym. It’ll be the first time in a long time the SWHS gym was packed for a basketball game.
Alright, alright. Yes I know Liberty-Benton plays at Van Buren Friday night.
So what’s going to happen?
Well it’s going to be close. Or a blow out. Or really who the hell knows.
All I know it’s a big game and people have been talking about it for weeks.
The Eagles are the No.1 team in the Division III AP poll and the Knights are No.3 in Division IV. Something’s about to give Friday night.
Now if I were a betting man I would take the under in this game. Say maybe 100 points combined by the two teams.
They both play outstanding defense. Everyone talks about L-B senior and the BVC scoring leader Nathan Hyde but people tell me the player to watch on the court for the Eagles is freshman Aaron Craft, who harasses opposing offensive players like a an army of gnats near those bananas on your counter at home.
Liberty-Benton had given up just 40 points in a game twice this season (See the comparison between the two teams below).
Van Buren coach E.J. Frost is one of the best. He’s an excellent coach that gets everything from his players. He has a young team that has probably already exceeded everyone’s expectations.
But as the team keeps winning, expectations grow and now I imagine those expectations include winning the conference and knocking off the Eagles. The Knights did survive a 60-55 scare against Cory-Rawson in a rather lackluster game, according to my Van Buren sources.
Who’s going to take it?
I’d probably have to go with the Eagles at this point. But one thing I am pretty sure of is both L-B and VB will have pretty nice runs in the OHSAA Tournament in March.

Liberty-Benton (13-0)
Cory-Rawson W 70-30
Arlington W 66-37
At Lima Bath W 60-29
Eastwood W 70-26
Patrick Henry W 68-59
Elida W 57-19
At Woodmore W 88-25
At Vanlue W 74-49
McComb W 82-37
At Elmwood W 57-27
Arcadia W 66-37
Ottoville W 50-31
Leipsic W 72-39

Van Buren (14-0)
McComb W 56-33
At Miller City W 56-45
At Arcadia W 55-40
Hopewell-Loudon W 74-33
At Elmwood W 69-52
At New Riegel W 82-58
At North Baltimore W 72-63
Leipsic W 83-44
Fostoria St. Wendelin W 80-54
At Cory-Rawson W 60-55
Carey W 66-45
AT Hardin Northern W 72-51
Pandora-Gilboa W 56-40
Tiffin Calvert W 70-36

Findlay Courier Wednesday Sports
Fostoria Review Times Wednesday Sports
Green names Calvert baseball coach
Lima News Wednesday Sports
Findlay clips Wapak
Eastwood girls coach to return Feb. 10

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Barbaro RIP

I know there’s a couple of big basketball games on the slate for Friday night and we will get to them tomorrow.
But for now it’s one of the most polarizing issues of today -- a horse.
Yep, Barbaro has passed on to that great pasture in the sky.
Now I don’t want to debate the sport of horse racing. That is an entirely different issue altogether.
But Barbaro’s death seems to have split people into two camps…those who get it and those who don’t.
Those who get it are former or current horse owners and other animal lovers who feel some kind of sense of loss at Barbaro’s passing. Some people sent him edible treats during his recovery others sent stuffed animals balloons, cards and even letters although I’m pretty sure Barbaro couldn’t read.
Then there is the other camp. Those that can’t understand all the fuss about a horse and how and why the media is making such a big deal of the whole thing. After all, it was a horse.
I guess you can put me and many of my co-workers in the second camp.
I understand an attachment to animals. Two years ago when I had to put my 11-year old cocker spaniel Joe Cocker down I broke down and cried. But the attachment goes only as far as those animals I’ve shared my life with not animals I’ve watched on TV or read about in the newspaper.
It’s all about me. Barbaro isn’t going to put food on my table, a roof over my head. His death doesn’t affect me personally in everyday life. While it is a shame, it’s not a tragedy in the grand scheme of things.
Call me an uncaring, unfeeling bastard. I’ve been called worse. But I don’t get why it is such a big story.

Suggested Barbaro headlines (don‘t get your panties in a bunch it‘s just a few headlines we came up with last night):
From All-Pro to Alpo
WWBG (You know a play on what would Jesus do?) What Would Barbaro Glue?

Findlay Courier Tuesday Sports
Fostoria Review Times Tuesday Sports
BG Sentinel Tribune Monday Sports Roundup
Eastwood girls coach is suspended
Bryan girls fall to Ottawa-Glandorf
Markward’s Triple Sinks Jefferson
Arlington smashes Delphos Jefferson 65-47
Defiance Crescent News Sports
Port Clinton News Herald Tuesday Sports
Van Wert priest resigns (Former St. Wendelin HS principal)
P-G parents fighting for principal

Monday, January 29, 2007

Tried and true

Wonder why I said “nah” about the BVC going to an 8-game league schedule similar to what the Midwest Athletic Conference has proposed?
Because as much as I like the BVC, there’s a great group of ADs, principals and supers running the show for the most part, the conference is slower than even most to embrace any kind of change.
Like it or not, this is conservative country and change comes slow in Hancock County even with regards to athletics.
Who is the schools in NW Ohio to embrace girls fastpitch softball? The BVC.
What area conference doesn’t give the girls even one Friday night to play their league basketball games on? The BVC.
Who likes doing things the old fashioned way? The BVC.
I think it would be a good idea for the league but it would necessitate a lot of planning and extra work. In the end I think most of the league would rather stick with the tried and true and not try something different.
That’s just my 2 cents.

Findlay Courier Monday Sports Roundup
New Bremen fires football coach
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Sports
BG Sentinel Tribune Sports
Bucyrus area prep roundup
Wynford roughs up Redmen
Ontario hammers Colonel Crawford
Maag’s free throws edge Delphos Jefferson
Defiance Crescent News Sports Roundup
Crestline upends Lucas
Fremont News Messenger Sports

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Girls Sectional Pairings


At Bowling Green High School
Upper Bracket
Lima Senior (3-13) vs. Perrysburg (12-3), Feb. 20, 6:15
Winner vs. Anthony Wayne (13-1), Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Springfield (8-8) vs. Oregon Clay (4-12), Feb. 20, second game
Winner vs. Findlay (12-2), Feb. 24, second game for sectional title
Anthony Wayne seeded No.1, Findlay No.2

At Toledo Central Catholic
Upper Bracket
Toledo St. Ursula vs. Sylvania Northview (9-7), Feb. 20, 6:15
Winner vs. Toledo Start (12-3), Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Toledo Scott (8-7) vs. Toledo Bowsher (10-5) Feb. 20, second game
Winner vs. Toledo Notre Dame (11-4) Feb. 24, second game for sectional title

At Oregon Clay
Upper Bracket
Toledo Whitmer (4-11) vs. Toledo Woodward, Feb. 20, 7
Winner vs. Toledo Waite (13-1), Feb. 24, 6:15, for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Toledo Central Catholic (10-6) vs. Toledo Libbey Feb. 21, 6:15
Sylvania Southview (8-7) vs. Toledo Rogers (3-12), Feb. 21, second game
Winners meet Feb. 24, second game for sectional title
Toledo Waite seeded No. 1, Toledo Start No. 2, Toledo Notre Dame No.3,

At Willard
Upper Bracket
Fremont Ross vs. Marian Harding, Feb. 20, 6:15
Winner vs. Mansfeild Madison, Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Ashland vs. Sandusky, Feb. 20, 8:15
Winner vs. Mansfeild Senior, Feb. 24, 8:15 for sectional title
Marian Harding seeded No. 1, Mansfeild Senior seeded No. 2

At Liberty-Benton
Upper Bracket
Eastwood (11-4) vs. Elida (9-7), Feb. 20, 7
Winner vs. Lima Bath (13-3), Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower BracketBowling Green (0-16) vs. Ottawa-Glandorf (14-2), Feb. 24, second game for sectional title
Ottawa-Glandorf seeded No.1, Lima Bath No.2

At New Riegel
Upper Bracket
Tiffin Columbian (9-7) vs. Willard (7-8), Feb. 20, 7
Winner vs. Bucyrus (12-4), Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Clyde (12-3) vs. Fostoria (4-11), Feb. 24, second game for sectional title
Clyde seeded No.1, Bucyrus No.2

At Lima Senior
Upper Bracket
Kenton (3-12) vs. Celina (8-7), Feb. 20, 6:15
Winner vs. Lima Shawnee (12-4), Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Van Wert (5-9) vs. St. Marys Memorial (6-9), Feb. 20, second game
Winner vs. Wapakoneta (13-2), Feb. 24, second game for sectional title
Wapakoneta seeded No. 1, Lima Shawnee No. 2

At Old Fort
Upper Bracket
Belleview (9-6) vs. Port Clinton (9-7), Feb. 20, 7
Winner vs. Oak Harbor (9-6), Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Norwalk (2-13) vs. Sandusky Perkins (13-3), Feb. 24, second game for sectional title
Sandusky Perkins seeded No. 1, Oak Harbor No. 2

At Ashland Crestview
Upper Bracket
Gallion (0-15) vs. Clear Fork (7-9), Feb. 20, 7
Winner vs. Lexington (14-2), Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Shelby (15-1) vs. Ontario (6-9), Feb. 24, 8:30 for sectional title
Shelby seeded No. 1, Lexington No. 2

At Swanton
Upper Bracket
Bryan (9-8) vs. Wauseon (7-7), Feb. 20, 7
Winner vs. Napoleon (10-5), Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Defiance (15-1) vs. Maumee (5-10), Feb. 24, second game for sectional title
Defiance seeded No. 1, Napoleon No. 2

At Findlay High
Upper Bracket
Lakota (5-10) vs. Otsego (6-9), Feb. 20, 6:15
Winner vs. Columbus Grove (12-2), Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Elmwood (10-6) vs. Bluffton (8-9), Feb. 20, second game
Winner vs. Liberty-Benton (9-5), Feb. 24, second game for sectional title
Columbus Grove seeded No.1, Liberty-Benton No.2

At Bucyrus
Upper Bracket
Mohawk (6-9) vs. Riverdale (13-1), Feb. 20, 7
Winner vs. Colonel Crawford (8-8), Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Carey (12-3) vs. Upper Sandusky (11-5), Feb. 24, second game for sectional title
Riverdale seeded No.1, Carey No.2

At Van Wert
Upper Bracket
Paulding (5-9) vs. Parkway (1-14), Feb. 20, 6:15
Winner vs. Delphos St. John's (15-0), Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Wayne Trace (8-5) vs. Coldwater (7-8), Feb. 20, 8
Winner vs. Lima Central Catholic (9-6), Feb. 24, 8 for sectional title
Delphos St. John's seeded No.1, Lima Central Catholic No. 2

At Liberty Center
Upper Bracket
Delta vs. Swanton, Feb. 20, 6:15
Winner vs. Fairview, Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Evergreen vs. Archbold, Feb. 20, second game
Winner vs. Tinora, Feb. 24, second game for sectional title
Swanton seeded No. 1, Tinora No. 2

At Sandusky
Upper Bracket
Ashland Crestview vs. New London, Feb. 20, 6:15
Winner vs. Western Reserve, Feb. 24, 6:15 for setional title
Lower Bracket
Edison vs. Huron, Feb. 20, second game
Winner vs. Margaretta, Feb. 24, second game for sectional title
Western Reserve seeded No. 1, Margaretta seeded No. 2

At Northwood
Upper Bracket
Lake (1-13) vs. Rossford (3-12), Feb. 20, 6:15
Winner vs. Genoa (13-2), Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Gibsonburg (5-11) vs. Woodmore (4-12), Feb. 20, second game
Winner vs. Cardinal Stritch (10-5), Feb. 24, second game for sectional title
Genoa seeded No. 1, Cardinal Stritch No. 2

At Ottawa-Glandorf
Upper Bracket
Continental (12-4) vs. Miller City (1-16), Feb. 20, 6:15
Winner vs. McComb (8-8), Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Patrick Henry (5-11) vs. Kalida (4-12), Feb. 20, second game
Winner vs. Leipsic (12-3), Feb. 24, second game for sectional title
Continental seeded NO.1, Leipsic No.2

At Bluffton
Upper Bracket
Cory-Rawson (4-10) vs. Hardin Northern (1-16), Feb. 20, 6:15
Winner vs. Pandora-Gilboa (8-6), Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Ridgemont (4-12) vs. Allen East (4-9), Feb. 24, second game
Winner vs. Arlington (8-7), Feb. 24, second game for sectional title
Pandora-Gilboa seeded No.1, Arlington No.2

At Fostoria
Upper Bracket
Van Buren (12-4) vs. North Baltimore (1-14), Feb. 20, 6:15
Winner vs. Fostoria St. Wendelin (15-1), Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Vanlue (5-10) vs. Hopewell-Loudon (15-0), Feb. 20, second game
Winner vs. Arcadia (10-5), Feb. 24, second game for sectional title
Hopewell-Loudon seeded No.1, Fostoria St. Wendelin No.2

At Lima Bath
Upper Bracket
Waynesfield-Goshen (8-7) vs. Lima Perry (6-8), Feb. 20, 6:15
Winner vs. Upper Scioto Valley (13-1), Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Lima Temple Christian (1-12) vs. New Bremen (7-9), Feb. 20, second game
Winner vs. Ada (9-7), Feb. 24, second game for sectional title
Upper Scioto Valley seeded No.1, New Bremen No.2

At Tiffin Columbian
Upper Bracket
Bettsville (2-12) vs. Tiffin Calvert (0-15), Feb. 20, 6:15
Winner vs. New Riegel (11-5), Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Old Fort (2-13) vs. Danbury (11-5), Feb. 20, second game
Winner vs. Seneca East (5-10), Feb. 24, second game for sectional title
New Riegel seeded No.1, Danbury No.2

At Wayne Trace
Upper Bracket
Fort Jennings (6-10) vs. Antwerp (2-13), Feb. 20, 6:15
Winner vs. Ottoville (13-3), Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Delphos Jefferson (10-5) vs. Lincolnview (6-7), Feb. 20, second game
Winner vs. Convoy Crestview (11-4), Feb. 24, second game for sectional title
Ottoville seeded No.1, Convoy Crestview No.2

At Sylvania Southview
Upper Bracket
Toledo Christian (7-8) vs. Liberty Center (11-5), Feb. 20, 7
Winner vs. Maumee Valley Country Day (7-7), Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Northwood (6-9) vs. Ottawa Hills (13-0), Feb. 24, second game for sectional title
Ottawa Hills seeded No. 1, Liberty Center No. 2

At Norwalk
Upper Bracket
Norwalk St. Paul (8-9) vs. South Central (3-12), Feb. 20, 6:15
Winner vs. Fremont St Joseph (13-2), Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Sandusky St. Mary's (7-9) vs. Plymouth (8-8), Feb. 20, second game
Winner vs. Monroeville (9-6), Feb. 24, second game for sectional title
Fremont St. Joseph seeded No. 1, Monroeville No. 2

At Wauseon
Upper Bracket
Fayette vs. Ayersville, Feb. 20, 7
Winner vs. Pettisville, Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Holgate vs. Hilltop, Feb. 24, second game for sectional title
Holgate seeded No. 1, Pettisville No. 2

At Bryan
Upper Bracket
Hicksville (7-9) vs. Montpelier (4-9), Feb. 20, 6:15
Winner vs. Edon (10-6), Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Edgerton (10-6) vs. North Central (1-14), Feb. 20, second game
Winner vs. Stryker (13-1), Feb. 24, second game for sectional title
Stryker seeded No. 1, Hicksville No. 2

At Galion
Upper Bracket
Wynford (13-3) vs. Lucas (0-15), Feb. 20, 6:15
Winner vs. Buckeye Central (7-8), Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Mansfield Christian (9-6) vs. Crestline (5-10), Feb. 20, 8
Winner vs. Mansfield St. Peter (9-6), Feb. 24, 8 for sectional title

At New Bremen
Upper Bracket
St. Henry (3-11) vs. Marian Local (2-13), Feb. 20, 6:15
Winner vs. Fort Recovery (14-2), Feb. 24, 6:15 for sectional title
Lower Bracket
Spencerville (1-13) vs. Minster (12-4), Feb. 20, second game
Winner vs. New Knoxville (12-4), Feb. 24, second game for sectional title
Fort Recovery seeded No. 1, New Knoxville No. 2

Friday, January 26, 2007

What a game!

What a game I got to see last night!
Leipsic’s Brittany Schroeder hit’s a basket at the buzzer and the Vikings beat Liberty-Benton 36-35. It was the first basketball game I’ve gotten to cover since 2005 and I’m glad I was there. It’s not that I dislike covering basketball. The way things worked out last year, with the NCAA wrestling tournament hosted by the University of Findlay coming just a week after the state wrestling tournament I didn’t have time for hoops.
Plus Mark and Dave suck up all the hoops glory at The Courier anyway.
Back to the action, Leipsic is now in first place all alone in the BVC with Van Buren. Arcadia, Pandora-Gilboa and Liberty-Benton each one game back. Leipsic still has Arcadia on the slate Feb.8 so its possible that the conference girls basketball champs could have 2 losses…talk about parity.
Should be an exciting finish to the girls basketball season.
Time to hit on a few topics…

GIRLS BASKETBALL SECTIONAL DRAWS: The sectional draws for girls basketball tournaments take place Sunday across the state. I will posted the entire Northwest District Draw here on Sunday night as soon as we get them together at The Courier. No one else will have the complete list Sunday except us…who loves ya baby?

TITLE IX: Ohio University has decided to cut three men’s sports and a women’s sport this week. The Bobcats will no longer field teams in men’s indoor and outdoor track and swimming and diving. They also cut the women’s lacrosse program. Here’s a link to yesterday’s wire story.
Title IX has been great for women’s athletics. It’s given girls and women many opportunities to compete in athletics that they might not have had without the law. But it has also gutted men’s athletics at the college level. Wrestling, track and field and swimming have all taken big hits over the years.
Are women’s just as interested in sports as men, especially at the college level. I say if you look at intramural and rec leagues in college I’d have to say no? What do you say?

MIDWEST ATHLETIC CONFERENCE: The Midwest Athletic Conference will go to an 8-game league schedule for football. The conference currently plays nine games within the conference with just one out of conference opponent. Each conference school will not play one other conference school on a rotating basis. The schedule will be similar to the Big 10 where not all Big 10 schools play all other schools in the conference. You can read about the plan here in the Celina Daily Standard.
The conference is going with the plan to help enhance the playoff chances of MAC schools.
Could a similar plan be worked out for the BVC? Nah.

DROPPING THE “W” AT WAPAKONETA: Wisconsin has sent a letter to Wapakoneta City Schools asking them to drop the use of their “W” logo the school had been using on their football helmets. Wisconsin has the design copyrighted and doesn’t want to allow high schools across the country to use their so-called “W” in motion design. Read the entire story here.

NW Ohio Wrestling Results and Info
Findlay Courier Friday Sports (Includes Findlay High School boys basketball game and Leipsic’s last second win over Liberty-Benton)
Fostoria Review Times Friday Sports
Bowling Green Sentinel Tribune Sports
Bucyrus Telegraph Forum MAL roundup
Defiance Crescent News Sports
Jefferson zeroes in on Grove’s Maag
Galion swimmers dunk Upper Sandusky
Lima News Friday Sports
NOL Basketball Stats
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Sports
Little Giants fall short against Lima Senior
St. Joseph stops Carey

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Indians scoop?

So you want to get the scoop on the Cleveland Indians huh?
Here you go. Hang out at the bar at the Findlay Inn and Conference Center tonight and who knows the guy sitting right next to you might just be Indians manager Eric Wedge or broadcaster Tom Hamilton?
The Tribe is in the midst of their annual media caravan and one of the overnight stops is always Findlay. While they don’t have a public media stop here that’s open to everyone, WFIN has a small gathering for advertisers and the local media in the morning prior to the Indians leaving for their annual tour stop at Meadowbrook Park in Bascom.
Tomorrow I get the chance to talk to Eric Wedge and I’m planning on doing a profile of Indians broadcaster Tom Hamilton too. After all while the players and managers change frequently, Tom Hamilton up in the radio booth has been a constant.
Anyone have any questions they want me to ask the skipper or Hamilton tomorrow. Seriously, you give me the question and I’ll try to ask it.
Then, I have to cover the Leipsic girls basketball game tomorrow. It’ll be the first basketball game I have covered since 2004.
It’s a red-letter day so there will be no time for bloggin’ tomorrow.

Family kicked off plane for unruly 3 year old
Findlay Courier Wednesday Sports
Fostoria Review Times Wednesday Sports
BG Sentinel Tribune Sports Roundup
Defense comes up big for Bucyrus girls
Bucyrus area prep roundup
Schroeder wrecks Fort Jennings
Mansfield area prep roundup
Lima News Wednesday Sports
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Wednesday sports
Fremont News Messenger Wednesday Sports

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

New school at Vanlue?

Yesterday was the Vanlue school meeting to discuss their building issue.
The consolidation issue did come up and some school board members said the issue could be revisited if the latest levy to build a new K-12 school for the district doesn’t pass.
You can read Joy Brown’s story from The Courier here.
While from an outsiders perspective I think consolidation with either Arcadia or Carey would be a good thing for the Small School That’s Big on Learning, I don’t think it’s going to happen.
In May, the voters of the district will be asked to approve a ½ percent income tax and 4.1 mill property tax to construct a new school for the district. The new school will cost around $12.7 million and the state is picking up 73 percent of the cost.
This is their final chance. Either they are going to vote to support their local school and build a new modern building the district needs or they will likely be some kind of consolidation talk at some point.
The pros of consolidation?
Less administrative costs, operating a single building, better offerings academically for students (more choices) and a better chance to succeed athletically,
The downside?
Loss of identity. Let’s face it Vanlue’s village right now is the school and life revolves around it. The loss of the school would definitely be a blow to the community. And from what everyone has told me, Vanlue is a pretty good place to go to school.
It’s a small school….but it’s THEIR small school. And they take a lot of pride in it.
How important are schools to a village?
Well over in Seneca County, they were so important in the village of Bloomville that when the Tiffin City Schools were going to close the elementary school in the village they broke from the school district and became part of the Buckeye Central district just to keep the school open.
Everything rides on the May vote.

WILDCAT FOOTBALL: While I am on the Vanlue subject, I had one of those I wish this would happen but I know it never will thoughts. While the Wildcats have won a couple of BVC football games in recent years, I’d like to see them join the Northwest Central Conference for football. It would actually give the small school a chance to succeed each and every week playing schools like Lima Perry, Marion Catholic, Upper Scioto Valley and the like. I know it’s not a viable option but it would be good for the football program. Thoughts from the assembled crowd? I haven’t heard from a certain Vanlue coach in quite awhile.

COLUMN: Gotten a lot of feedback on my column on VB senior James Spieldenner today. It’s one of those feel good stories a lot of people like to read. You can check it out here.

NEW COACHES: Liberty-Benton expects to name football and baseball coaches later this week. I could tell you who they are going to be but I’d have to kill you, It’s secret. You’ll find out later this week.

MUTINY ON THE COURT: From what I understand there’s been a little problem at one of the MAL schools involving their boys basketball program. The players don’t want to play for a certain coach. Hey I was always under the understanding what the coach says goes. He is the boss. If you are a player and don’t like it you are free to walk. We’ll see what happens with the situation and see if we can report a little more later.

DOGS, MOHAWKS IN FIRST: Columbus Grove assumed first place in the Putnam County League with its win over Fort Jennings yesterday and St. Wendelin moved into a tie in the MAL with Hopewell-Loudon by beating Mohawk. The Bulldogs, though, won’t be able to clinch a share of the PCL from more than a month as their final league game isn’t until Feb. 17 against Pandora-Gilboa.

Findlay Courier Tuesday Sports
Fostoria Review Times Tuesday Sports
Swanton rattles Gibsonburg
Defiance Crescent News Sports
Lima News Tuesday Sports
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Tuesday Sports

Friday, January 19, 2007


Most of you will find today’s entry a little blasé’.
But it’s the first day of the 29th annual Van Buren Invitational.
This is one of my favorite events to cover of the entire prep sports season. Ever since I have gotten to the Courier, it’s a rare night when one of the other writers on the staff has went out and covered wrestling.
They like it that way and I like it that way. My sports editor called me a “pit sniffer” yesterday. I guess that’s a derogatory phrase to describe a wrestling fan. I’m OK with that.
I guess I enjoy it because I wrestled my way through high school and college and even did a little coaching for 15 years or so. It’s what I know best.
Plus, I know all of the area coaches and kids involved in the sport from around the area. I’ve seen some of the coaches’ families grow up and they are some of the nicest, hard-working guy around.
In hoops you get the team ready maybe have a morning shoot around. And then coach in the game that night after about 4 hours you get to go home to your family.
In wrestling, your weekend starts with a 3 p.m. bus ride on Friday afternoon and extends all the way through Saturday night with little rest in between.
Believe me when I tell you --- it’s a full weekend.
Call me a pit sniffer if you want I don’t care. I’ll be at Van Buren this weekend writing about area wrestlers and enjoying every minute of it.

NW Ohio Wrestling Results and Information
Eagle girls gone mild (Story about Eastwood’s 15-7 win over Genoa)
Findlay Courier Friday Sports
Fostoria Review Times Friday Sports
St. Joe streaks past St. Wendelin
Bad first quarter dooms Fremont Ross girls
Gibsonburg takes down Woodmore girls
Fremont area prep roundup
Bowling Green Senitinel Tribune Sports
Defiance Crescent News Sports
Lima News Friday Sports
Mansfield area prep roundup
Marion Harding girls stay unbeaten in GBC
WBL League Play begins to heat up
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Friday Sports

Thursday, January 18, 2007

This just in via email....

Findlay High School's Ryan Kuhlman has verbally committed to a national letter of intent at Eastern Michigan University for football.

The 6'4" 235 lb. defensive end was recruited to play that position for EMU. A First-Team All GBC Selection, Kuhlman as a First-Team All NW Ohio Selection (AP) and an
Honorable Mention All-Ohio Selection for the Trojans this past fall.

He will sign his letter of intent with approximately 4 other Findlay athletes at 'ceremonies' to be announced later this month.


Girls Night Out

It’s Thursday and that means it’s girls night out.

With five conference games in the books and four more to play in the Blanchard Valley Conference girls race, the league title is still up for grabs.
Pandora-Gilboa, Leipsic, Arcadia and Liberty-Benton each have one league loss and

Van Buren is sitting back in fifth place looking to knock off the top group down a peg because the Knights are 3-2.

I’m not sure we’ll see much movement this week although the Arcadia at Van Buren match up will be a biggie. The Black Knights are coming off a 40-34 win over unbeaten St. Wendelin on Tuesday and honestly, there’s no love lost between these two programs. It should be worth the price of admission.

Also, even though McComb is just 6-7 overall and 1-4 in the conference, they have played some of the top teams very, very tough and on the right night they could give the Rockets all they want. Especially since P-G is coming off a 50-15 butt-kicking at the hands of Ottoville Tuesday night.

First place in the Greater Buckeye Conference is also at stake for Findlay High School’s girls who shouldn’t have too much trouble with a crappy 2-12 Lima Senior team. The Trojans are ranked ninth in the latest Division I AP poll…no way should they be ranked that high after back to back losses last week.

The other big game on the girls slate tonight features Columbus Grove at Delphos Jefferson as both have one loss in Northwest Conference play and are trying to stay with conference leaders Lima C.C. and Convoy Crestview.

It’s Thursday night games for the boys in the Midland Athletic League with Fremont St. Joseph at St. Wendelin, New Riegel at Bettsville, North Baltimore at Hopewell-Loudon and Old Fort at Carey.
Nothing to get too excited about there.

Here’s something to get excited about though….read this story about what Jim Tressel said about the Buckeyes in the BCS Title Game. He says they weren’t mentally prepared.


Here are the state girls basketball and prep wrestling polls for the week---

Weekly AP Poll
Division I
1. Wadsworth (11) 11-1 228
2. W. Chester Lakota W. (6) 10-1 210
3. Youngs. Boardman (4) 9-1 175
4. Dublin Scioto 9-0 158
5. Tol. Waite (1) 9-0 149
6. Pickerington Cent. 9-2 101
7. Trotwood-Madison 10-1 100
8. Cin. Mt. Notre Dame 8-4 65
9. Findlay 10-2 42
10. N. Can. Hoover (2) 10-3 39
OTHERS RECEIVING 12 OR MORE POINTS: 11, Tol. Notre Dame 35. 12, Marion Harding (1) 20. 13, Cin. Oak Hills 15. 14, Day. Chaminade-Julienne 14. 15, Vandalia Butler 13. 16, Miamisburg (1) 12.

Division II
1. Cuya. Falls Walsh Jesuit (16) 13-0 236
2. Warsaw River View (5) 12-1 187
3. Lewistown Indian Lake (3) 12-0 160
4. Washington C.H. Miami Trace 10-1 122
5. Morrow Little Miami 11-2 104
6. Circleville 11-1 97
7. Shelby 11-1 85
8. Ravenna SE 11-1 68
9. Sandusky Perkins 10-2 52
10. Kettering Alter (1) 9-2 29
OTHERS RECEIVING 12 OR MORE POINTS: 11, Washington C.H. 27. 12, Cols. Eastmoor 25. 13 (tie), Ravenna , Zanesville W. Muskingum 23. 15, Cols. DeSales 21. 16, Spring. Kenton Ridge 20. 17 (tie), Tipp City Tippecanoe, Warren Howland (1) 18. 19, Defiance 16. 20, Chillicothe 15.

Division III
1. S. Euclid Regina (13) 12-1 223
2. Cle. Cent. Cath. (6) 11-0 213
3. Anna (4) 12-0 199
4. Delphos St. John's (2) 12-0 172
5. Atwater Waterloo 9-0 106
6. Riverdale 11-1 88
7. Sugarcreek Garaway 7-1 87
8. Plain City Jonathan Alder 8-5 65
9. Zanesville Maysville (1) 11-0 57
10. Versailles 11-2 41
OTHERS RECEIVING 12 OR MORE POINTS: 11, Marion Pleasant 35. 12 (tie), Old Washington Buckeye Trail, Castalia Margaretta 18. 14 (tie), Cols. Ready, Casstown Miami E. 13.

Division IV
1. Cols. Africentric (20) 11-1 229
2. Hopewell-Loudon (4) 13-0 212
3. Fort Recovery (1) 11-1 152
4. Berlin Hiland (1) 8-3 140
4. Kirtland 9-0 140
6. Ottoville 11-2 104
7. Fremont St. Joseph 10-1 103
8. Ottawa Hills 6-0 98
9. Minster 9-2 84
10. East Canton 10-2 46
OTHERS RECEIVING 12 OR MORE POINTS: 11, New Knoxville 44. 12, Fostoria St. Wendelin 18.

Weekly Coaches Poll
Division I
1. Lakewood St. Edward (8) 80
2. Cin. Moeller 63
3. Massillon Perry 59
4. W. Chester Lakota W. 52
5. Mentor 41
6. Brecksville-Broadview Hts 35
7. Wadsworth 23
8. Young. Austintown-Fitch 20
9. Hilliard Davidson 15
10. Reynoldsburg 11

Division II
1. St. Paris Graham (6) 60
2. Pemberville Eastwood 44
3. Oak Harbor 42
4. Ravenna 37
5. Cols. DeSales 36
6. Millersburg W. Holmes 27
7. CVCA 16
8. Urichsville Claymont 15
9. Hunting Valley University School 12
10. Clyde 11

Division III
1. Marion Pleasant (5) 85
2. Troy Christian (4) 84
3. Sandusky St. Mary's 60
4. Bedford Chanel 59
5. Burton Berkshire 51
6. West Jefferson 38
7. Galion Northmor 35
8. Genoa Area 33
9. Mechanicsburg 13
10. Bluffton 11

NW Ohio Wrestling Results and Info
Findlay Courier Thursday Local Sports (Stories about UF basketball, Nathan Hyde and Jason Wehri and Van Buren Invitational)
Wayside Christian splits with Findlay Heritage Christian
Sandusky will try to stay hot against Findlay
Fostoria Review Times Thursday Sports
Ottoville defense stuffs P-G girls
Bowling Green Sentinel Tribune Sports
Defiance Crescent News Sports
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Sports
Lima News Prep Basketball Preview Capsules
Shelby girls are winning with chemistry
Norwalk rally falls short against Upper
Fans pack gym to watch Diebler show
NOL Basketball Stats from the Shelby Globe

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Unbeatens fall

They are becoming fewer and fewer.
I’m talking about area unbeaten basketball teams.
Findlay’s boys and Fostoria St. Wendelin’s girls both fell from the ranks of the unbeaten yesterday.
The Trojans went up to Toledo Scott and dropped a 67-54 decision to the Bulldogs. They scratched their way back into the game and got to within 2 points with a few minutes left when a technical foul on an FHS player kind of turned the tide back in Scott’s favor.
St. Wendelin, meanwhile, started 10-0 and dropped a 40-34 game at Van Buren last night. The Mohawks were doomed by a 2-of-25 performance from 3-point range and 0-of-2 effort from the line.
Hey taking a loss isn’t all that bad --- especially when it’s a non-conference game. I think it really does help some teams in the long run because it takes down that cloak of invincibility that some teams feel they have when they are unbeaten. It refocuses them on those little things they have to do to get better.
In the 10 area leagues we have teams in at The Courier the unbeatens are now few and far between.
On the boys side, we have Liberty-Benton (10-0) and Van Buren (11-0) seemingly on a collision course in the Blanchard Valley Conference while Van Wert is 10-0 in the WBL and tied for first in the standings with Ottawa-Glandorf at 3-0.
For the girls in the 10 conference just one unbeaten team remains --- Hopewell-Loudon at 13-0.
This is the stretch run where games begin to matter than much more…it should an exciting lead up to Ohio HS March Madness.

Got this email today…

“I work for Lerner Publishing Group and we are doing a children's book about Ben Roethlisberger. I am contacting you to see if you have any images (photos, slides, etc.) of him playing high school football for Findlay. The book is part of our Amazing Athletes series and will have a print run of less than 10,000 copies and one time, non-exclusive, single language, North American English rights. It is
written for a young audience (grades 2-4) and will be marketed to school and public libraries.”

…If you have a pint sized Big Ben fan this might be the perfect Christmas gift.

Wynford girls edge Carey
Findlay Courier Wednesday Local Sports
Bucyrus area sports roundup
Streaks cruise to victory over St. Paul
Fremont area prep roundup
Fremont Ross girls beat Whitmer
Lima News Prep Roundup
Mansfield area Wednesday prep roundup
Bowling Green Sentinel Tribune Sports
Defiance Crescent News Sports Section

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Looking ahead to spring

The weather had finally turned a little cold.
But honestly, I’m looking forward to baseball season. You it’s only a month away until pitchers and catchers report for spring training.
I’ve always been an Indians fan, until death do us part. I’m hopeful but not confident of a rebound this season.
The team that most interests me are the hated Detroit Tigers. Why do I hate them? Because my brother a Tigers fan tormented me about my woeful Indians at an early age. I even hate the Tigers more than the Yankees because of his teasing.
But I wonder if last year was simply magic for the Tigers, what I mean was it all chemistry and the stars were aligned in the right position to put them in the World Series.
Were they a flash in the pan, or the real deal. We’ll find out soon enough.
The Indians media tour should be beginning soon. When I find out more I’ll let you know and when the Reds and Tigers come to the area I’ll let you know about them too.

UMPING?: Staying in the baseball frame of mind the Findlay Umpires Association is looking for a few good people to join their organization. Ever wanted to be the one calling balls and strikes….this is your chance.
Taking the class, will license you to be an OHSAA baseball or softball umpire. Softball classes will be Monday evenings in Feb. and Tuesday evenings in March at the Findlay High School library from 6:30 until 9:30 p.m. Baseball classes will be Thursday evenings at the Central Church of Christ from 7 to 9:30 p.m. A mandatory mechanics session is set for March 25.
The cost is $75 and includes all class materials and registration fees.
For more info contact Chad Snyder (419) 365-9419 for baseball and Roger Zorn (419) 422-2488 (softball) or send an email to

NW Ohio Wrestling Results and Info
Bowling Green Sentinel Tribune Sports
Findlay Courier Monday Sports
Fostoria Review Times Monday Sports

Monday, January 15, 2007

Way to go little man

When I found out Friday the OHSAA revoked its new rules for aligning divisions I was the happiest guy around.
OK area Division VI football coaches may beg to differ with that last statement because they were pretty happy too.

When me and the boys at The Courier found out about this plan in August we couldn’t believe it.

There was something just not right about the whole thing. I think everyone could live with the changes in other sports, moving 4 percent of the schools in Division I down and adding a few schools to the other divisions was a doable proposition.
But football was a whole different story.

To make Division I 72 schools and put 138 in Division VI just wasn’t right especially when both divisions were going to get 32 playoff spots.

Honestly, we were the first and really only newspaper in the state to write about the proposal from the small school perspective. There were other stories from newspapers around the state like Cleveland, Canton, Columbus, Dayton, Massillon and Cincinnati but they all praised the plan because they looked at it through OHSAA-colored glasses and from a Division I schools perspective.

We were standing up for the little guy.

The more we looked at it the more it looked like a poorly thought out plan. The Blue Ribbon Committee that came up with the division realignment plan didn’t have one single person representing a Division VI football school. The only person on the panel from a school that size was a representative from Worthington Christian who doesn’t field a football team. Hell, the OHSAA couldn’t even give us a list of who was on the committee. We had to get it “leaked” to us from someone on the committee themselves. And even when we asked the committee members questions they told us they thought it was a secret discussion and there were things said they wouldn’t want out in public.

Another thing that bothered us was why the schools in the smallest 2 percent in enrollment being taken out of the count when dividing the schools between Divisions II-VI and then adding them back to Division VI giving D-VI an extra 13 schools. We asked people on the committee why they did that and NO ONE could answer it. The best explanation I received is that “It was just something they came up with.” That’s no freaking answer.

So we wrote about it in news stories and took the OHSAA to the woodshed in a couple of columns. We brought it to light and the small schools did the rest by complaining to the OHSAA about the changes. The small schools let the voices be heard and the OHSAA blinked.

I’d like to think the stories we wrote and the links to them I posted on the Internet to help get people all fired up helped bring about the OHSAA revoking the plan. But it was satisfying to see the OHSAA take the feelings of small schools into account and decide to scrap the whole bloddy mess.

Findlay Courier Monday Sports Roundup
Fremont News Messenger Monday Sports
Mansfield Madison shoots down Galion
BG Sentinel Tribune weekend sports
Upper Sandusky boys gun down Redmen
Bucyrus area weekend sports
Defiance Crescent News sports section
Fostoria Review Times Monday Sports

Friday, January 12, 2007

Arclue or Vancadia?

Let me set the scene for you.
The “Wedding March” is playing in the background.
The minister steps up to the assembled crowd.
“Do you Vanlue take Arcadia to be your partner in consolidation? In sickness and in health, in this bad financial climate of Ohio schools, for as long as you both shall stay solvent?”
“We do.”
OK will it be Arclue or Vancadia School?
That was the headline on the front page of Wednesday’s Fostoria Review Times.
OK so the RT may have jumped the gun just a little bit. There’s no movement afoot to consolidate the two small Hancock County schools. Just some talk from area residents that maybe it should be considered.

Here’s a story from today’s Courier…

VANLUE — Vanlue school board will host a community meeting to discuss a proposed building issue that is expected to appear on the May ballot. The forum will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 22 in the school cafeteria.
Vanlue Superintendent Tim Kruse said the forum will give district residents a chance to speak to many concerns, including rumors of a consolidation with Arcadia.
The proposed tax issue, a combination of a property tax levy and an income tax, has already been defeated at the polls once, in November. Money from the tax would help pay for a new kindergarten through 12th-grade building.
Both Kruse, and Arcadia Superintendent Laurie Walles said consolidation rumors circulate in the school districts every few years, especially during levy campaigns. There has been no formal talk of consolidation, however.
“We hear talk about consolidation in the background, but no one has ever come to one of the school board meetings and said it. Consolidation could be a topic. We want to hear what the community has to say,” Kruse said.
Walles, who did have an Arcadia resident address her board earlier this week encouraging a merger, said she will attend the Vanlue meeting as an observer.
She said the consolidation rumors are “always out there somewhere. ...”

All of this consolidation talk, or in reality rumor, has given me ideas.

As an outsider with no stake in the matter it would probably be a good idea for the two schools to consolidate. It would seem to save costs by combining to operate one building and maybe buidling a completely new modern school building for both schools. There would be fewer administration costs and more academic offerings to students of both schools if they would combine.

Heck, maybe even Arclue or Vancadia could even win a BVC football title since they are the only schools that haven’t won a league championship on the gridiron in the history of the conference.

I did a little homework. Vanlue, with 303 students in the entire school, is the fifth smallest school district in the entire state. OK throw out three school districts right off the bat, let’s not count Kelleys Island, Put-In-Bay and College Corner (a school district in Preble County that sends its kids to HS in Union County, Indiana). Now Vanlue is the second smallest school district behind only Bettsville.

For what its worth, I looked up some enrollment figures for the BVC and MAL schools dating back to 1977...

OK Blogger won't let me line up tabs I can't even move them over with the space bar but if you open a word file dump the text in and tab them over you will be able to see a better table.

BVC Numbers are total students in the school district K-12
1977 1986 1996 2005
Arcadia 715 627 672 645
Arlington 595 624 705 633
Cory-Rawson 881 799 843 705
Liberty-Benton 802 783 1145 1236
McComb 908 808 886 784
Van Buren 945 832 866 905
Vanlue 404 348 331 304
Hardin Northern 730 647 583 474
Leipsic 978 756 828 684
Pandora-Gilboa 752 630 688 600

For the MAL I put the # of HS students in parentheses to compare the Catholic schools
MAL (HS numbers) 1977 1986 1996 2005
Bettsville 305 (89) 358 (95) 360 (105) 220 (83)
Hopewell-Loudon 1037 (365) 819 (275) 948 (292) 870 (265)
New Riegel 576 (206) 480 (150) 487 (144) 434 (149)
Old Fort 607 (181) 538 (163) 661 (225) 540 (203)
Seneca East 1322 (402) 1215 (369) 1183 (404) 989 (325)
North Baltimore 913 (282) 905 (257) 830 (249) 823 (255)
Mohawk 1439 (489) 1237 (371) 1196 (401) 1041 (346)
Carey 1157 (399) 1005 (372) 969 (381) 877 (343)
Calvert (387) (243) (283) (235)
St. Wendelin (295) (218) (247) (167)
St. Joseph (385) (401) (339) (274)

Feeder Schools 1977 1986 1996 2005
Tif. St. Mary 341 234 278 231
Tif. St. Joe 439 445 382 309
Fos. St. Wendelin 625 551 441 321
Fin. St. Michael 404 436 587 514
Fre. St. Joe 408 NA 354 232
Fre. Sacred Heart 376 289 294 290
Fre. St. Ann 295 212 146 116

What do these numbers mean? Not much except for pretty much enrollment has declined a little everywhere over the years. But they are interesting to look at.

If Arcadia and Vanlue, the Small School that’s Big on Learning (and seriously that’s the greatest slogan for a school I have seen) would combine, it would make them the second largest school in the BVC, only slightly larger than Van Buren.

In the end though they won’t combine. A. It makes too much sense. B. Community pride and loyalty runs much, much too deep in both communities for it to happen. Both communities love their schools and as long as they are willing to pay the taxes for their upkeep and to make sure the kids get an excellent education. they will remain separate entities. Wounds of consolidation still cut into school communities like Riverdale, Seneca East, Patrick Henry to this very day and their consolidations took place more than 40 years ago.

It probably won’t happen. But it sure is fun to talk about and it gets people fired up!

What do you think ? Is it a good thing?

Thursday, January 11, 2007


I’m working on a blog entry for tomorrow. It may create a stir in a couple of communities. I will post it tomorrow
In the meantime here are the newslinks for today

Findlay Courier Thursday Sports
Fostoria Review Times Thursday Sports
Little Giants can’t beat Tiffin
Lima News Thursday Sports Roundup
Defiance Crescent News local sports
Delphos Jefferson cruises past Miller City girls 57-40
Crestline girls win third straight

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hanneman's new book

My good buddy Courier sportswriter Dave Hanneman has authored his second book, a story about one of the most amazing teams in Ohio prep basketball history.
His first book was about Tony Lucadello and titled “Diamonds in the Rough.” a few years back.
This book is called ‘Wildcats’ and highlights the Miller City team of the 1949-50 season. C. Norris Simpson, who played for Findlay High and Findlay College, was fresh out of college when he took the Miller City job, his first coaching position.
Not much was expected of Miller City that season. With just 37 boys in the entire high school, there wasn’t a big selection to choose from. Only one varsity player stood 6-1 or better and every opponent on the schedule was bigger and stronger than the Wildcats. The school’s gymnasium was a small quonset hut-type building the industrial arts class had built in 1929. There was just one small locker room so the Wildcats always dressed in the typing room at the school, then ran through the snow to the gym.
Somehow, Simpson molded that group of rag-tag farm boys into a winner. Miller City went 18-0 during the regular season, then rattled off 11 straight tournament wins to capture the Class B state championship in one of the truly remarkable Cinderella stories in Ohio basketball history.
The movie Hoosiers has portrayed Indiana as the be-all and end-all of basketball and Milan’s win over Muncie Central in the 1954 Indiana state tournament as the definitive Cinderella story of all time. But there are hundreds of great Cinderella stories out there, and while Hanneman’s book centers on Miller City’s unexpected run to a state championship, the theme of the book is a tribute to every underdog who has ever risen above predictions and expectations to carve a niche all its own in the annuls or prep sports.
While ‘Wildcats’ is scheduled to be on bookstore shelves in February, books can be ordered by calling 1-888-361-9473 or contacting Tate Publishing at
It's a good read, I definitely recommend it.

Former Fostoria football star Leo Frierson acquitted of assault charge
Findlay Courier Wednesday Sports
Bucyrus girls surprise Upper Sandusky
Bucyrus area prep roundup
Defiance Crescent News Local Sports
Fostoria Review Times Local Sports for Wednesday
Bettsville falls to Maumee Valley
3-Pointers Sink Galion Girls
Lima News Local Sports From Wednesday
Marion Harding’s Skip Davis does the dirty work
Mansfield area prep roundup
NOL Basketball Stats
Shelby girls complete NOL first round with rout
Hopewell-Loudon girls keep on winning
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Wednesday sports

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

What the Buck?

Oh where to start.
Lots of things have already and will be written about last night’s meltdown in the desert by Ohio State University.
They’ll be writing about the weird stuff that happened like Ted Ginn Jr. being injured in the celebration after his kickoff return for a touchdown to start the game to why the Buckeyes couldn’t seem to make many adjustments to stop Florida’s offense.
Hey, a team like Ohio State doesn’t go 12-0 through the regular season without a reason. They are a pretty darn good football team. But when we’ve followed sports for as long as most of us reading this blog probably have, we’ve all season occasions when a good or great team just doesn’t have it on a certain night. Last night the Buckeyes just didn’t have it.
What kind of shocked and disturbed me was that Ohio State didn’t even look well prepared for the game. That’s definitely not the hallmark of a Jim Tressel coached team. If there’s one thing I have learned about OSU football during the Tressel era it’s that they always seemed well-prepared -- especially for the biggest games on the schedule.
Florida had a great game plan on offense and stuck to it. They exploited OSU’s zone pass coverage and took everything underneath the coverage and in the seams that Ohio State was willing to give them.
And because the Buckeyes could never seem to get a consistent pass rush going they were able to pick them apart. Ohio State also gave their receivers maybe a 7 yard cushion most of the time on the lien of scrimmage and that was plenty of room for the Gators speedy receivers to get free.
Ohio State’s offense was a total disaster.
Troy Smith had an off day and without Ginn, the Buckeyes couldn’t stretch the field. Plus I think Florida’s defensive line was much faster than anything OSU saw during the Big 10 season.
But in the end give the Gators (and reluctantly) Urban Meyer a lot of credit. They were well-prepped and had a game-plan and stuck to it.
I’m not sure what they Buckeyes were doing during their 51 games off but it sure didn’t look like game prep was high on the list.
Your thoughts?

Here is a list of suggested headlines from

Urban myth: Ohio State No.1
Gators devour Buckeyes
Nuts Crushed
Roasted Nuts
Buckeyes can’t stop Leak
Leak of Faith
Buckeyes? Blackeyes
Gator Bait
Urban Legend
Sunshine surprise
Quantum Leak
Buckeyes can’t take a Leak

My Personal Favorite: Gator Raid

OSU fans stunned after great start
Wauford fills out UF football staff
OSU game coverage from the Plain Dealer
Ohio State game coverage from the Columbus Dispatch
Fostoria Review Times Tuesday Sports
Grove keeps Ottoville girls at bay
Ottoville boys rally to beat Minster
Elida girls survive Fort Jennings
Ayersville boys romp past Montpelier
Marion Star Sports Roundup
Minster falls to Ottoville late

Monday, January 08, 2007

Basketball bloggin' by the boss

OK UF men’s basketball? To be honest, I could care less just because I‘m not that big a basketball fan. But I know there are some people out there who love it and can‘t get enough of it. And veteran coach Ron Niekamp has built one of the best programs in NCAA Division II.

So my boss, veteran Courier sports editor Larry Alter wants to share his thoughts with y’all on the UF men’s basketball team.

This from Larry…

“Could this be the best University of Findlay men’s basketball team in the history of the school?
You certainly have to wonder after Saturday’s 91-63 dismantling of Gannon at the Hammermill Center in Erie, Pa. It was the 11th straight win this season, the team’s 13th in a row against GLIAC South Division teams and the 200th road victory for 22-year head coach Ron Niekamp.
What made the victory so unbelievable was the fact that senior Frank Phillips, the Oilers’ leading scorer and top defender, was sidelined after injuring an ankle two days earlier against Mercyhurst. UF was also without Morgan Lewis who was attending to some personal business.
So how good are the Oilers?
Two numbers jump off Saturday’s stat sheet – just 7 turnovers and converting an amazing 22 of 29 field goals in the second half. This game was 39-39 early in the second half when the Oilers went on an 18-4 blitz. The Oilers’ depth, a constant all season, was once again at its best. Obviously, this team is very talented and continues to play at an unbelievable level, especially on defense.
Now UF comes home for 5 straight games at Croy Gymnasium where it is riding a 46-game home streak and will host Hillsdale, Wayne State, Saginaw Valley State and Northwood in the GLIAC and Marygrove in a non-league battle.”

So what are your thoughts out there in cyberland. Are you a fan? Have you attended a game? Do we give them not enough coverage? Too much coverage? Will they win a national championship?

Tomorrow: Analysis and thoughts about the OSU-Florida game! Go Bucks!

NW Ohio Wrestling Results and Info
Findlay Courier Monday Sports
Fostoria Review Times Monday Sports
Fremont Ross boys nail down first victory
Ontario drubs Galion
Shelby boys roll Columbian
O-G Titans cut down Wapakoneta
Archbold boys crush Bryan
Delphos Herald basketball roundup
Calvert edges Colonel Crawford
Mohawk wears down Bucyrus
Bucyrus area basketball roundup
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Sports Section
Defiance Crescent News Sports

Friday, January 05, 2007

Cowher quits

Well it’s official. The Steelers are in the market for a new head coach.
It will be interesting to see what direction the Steelers go in now that Cowher has officially decided to retire.
And also what kind of impact it will have on Findlay’s favorite son Ben Roethlisberger. Play good defense and run the football has been the cornerstone of the club’s success in recent years. That’s how football games are won and lost and Cowher knew that.
Now that the Browns have started to purge some assistant coaches from the system. Now would be a good time to take a page from Pittsburgh’s notebook. If you can’t beat them, join them.
Anyway on a side note one of the coaches the Browns let go today was Carl Crennel, Romeo’s nephew. He was the offensive coach in charge of quality control.
Hmmm. Since there was no quality on offense for the Browns this season so to speak, why was he even needed? If there was ever a position to eliminate for the Browns…Carl Crennel’s job was it.
Have a great weekend!

NW Ohio Wrestling Results and Info
Findlay Courier Friday Local Sports
Fostoria Review Times Friday Sports
Lehman girls too quick for Colonel Crawford
Bucyrus area prep roundup
Crestline girls hold on to beat Galion
Mansfield Prep Sports Roundup
Lima News Friday Sports
NOL Basketball Stats from the Shelby Globe
Calvert hires new baseball, softball coaches
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Friday Sports
Browns coaching purge begins

Thursday, January 04, 2007

A plum assignment

OK who gets the plum assignments?
All right it’s not always me. It’s usually my good friend Dave Hanneman who I think is the best prep sportswriter in NW Ohio bar none!
But I got a pretty good gig Monday night. There are NO local sports on the schedule for that night. A very unusual occurrence even for a Monday night. Mark Heiman is writing his column that night as a quarter by quarter type analysis of the big BCS Championship game. My assignment, to write about the mood of Ohio State fans a the various establishments serving adult beverages that night. At least that’s the plan for right now.
Then we’ll be putting the paper together that night after the game.
I think we should have had a contest. A watch the game with Bubba contest. Of course this would purely be to my benefit only. I would come over to your house drink your beer, eat your wings and then argue with you whether or not Tressel should have went for it on that 4th down and inches play from the Florida 45 yardline.
But don’t worry I’d leave you with a couple of victory Cuban cigars to smoke up after the Buckeyes win the big game.
Actually, Monday can’t come soon enough. O-H, I-O.

GIRLS LEAGUE ACTION: Finally, after what seems like a month it’s Thursday night and girls basketball league night is back. I guess the biggie on the schedule for tonight is Findlay at Marion Harding. The Trojans are rolling along unbeaten and the Presidents come into the game with an 8-1 record. If they Trojans win this one, it’s “Carlee bar the door” no one will beat Findlay High School during the GBC portion of the schedule. Have I ever told you how bad of a conference the GBC is?
The best of the rest is probably Leipsic at Pandora-Gilboa in a rematch of their game a couple of weeks ago that was the PCL match up and Van Buren at Arlington.
Here is the rest of tonight’s area girls basketball schedule:
Thursday's Games
Arcadia at McComb
Hardin Northern at Vanlue
Leipsic at Pandora-Gilboa
Liberty-Benton at Cory-Rawson
Van Buren at Arlington
Findlay at Marion Harding
New Riegel at Seneca East
North Baltimore at St. Wendelin
Tiffin Calvert at Carey
Ada at Delphos Jefferson
Allen East at Columbus Grove
Ottoville at Kalida
Elida at Ottawa-Glandorf
Bluffton at Lima Cent. Cath.
Elmwood at Patrick Henry

Findlay Courier Thursday Sports
St. John’s girls use strong second quarter to beat Fort Jennings
Fostoria Review Times Thursday Sports
Marion Harding girls focus on victory
Bryan area basketball previews
Bucyrus area basketball preview capsules
Stockader girls struggle
Lima News basketball capsules
Lima News Thursday Sports
Bellevue set to take on Upper Sandusky

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Buckeye worries

Just a few more days until the Big One.
No, I’m not talking about the International Bowl game between the University of Cincinnati and Western Michigan.
I have to say unlike most of the Buckeye faithful out there I am a bit concerned. The long layoff, the hype and watching Michigan get their butt handed to them by USC in the Rose Bowl all have me kind of apprehensive about Monday’s BCS championship game.
I feel like I should be confident the Buckeyes are going to beat the University of Florida because I am fairly confident that Ohio State is a better football team. They have more talent and I do believe they are better coached, sorry to all you Urban Meyer fans out there.
I know I’m the sports writer I’m supposed to be telling you who’s going to win the OSU-Florida game and why? But I sometimes sneak a peak at The Sports Reporters on ESPN on Sundays and laugh to myself that I could do as good a job as the high-priced talent they have on that show. Many of you could do as good a job as they do too for that matter.
I want to know your opinion. Tell me why you think the Buckeyes or Gators are going to win the game. Hell you can even give a prediction if you want to.
Keeping with the Buckeyes theme today, what’s going to happen at Upper Sandusky when Jon Diebler leaves to become a Buckeye next season. Do you think his dad sticks around to coach the Rams or will he be off following the fortunes of his sons when they will both be playing Division I basketball.
How far will the Rams go in the tournament? While they are primarily a one trick pony, they do have a few talented players like Alex Falk and Drew McClellan surrounding Jon Diebler. Just a little food for thought.

HAPPY NEW YEAR LIMA!: Lima rung in the new year right with four people stabbed on New Year’s Day! Read about it here in today’s Lima News. Who are these people? And thank God I don’t hang with any of them.

Northwest Ohio Wrestling Results and Info
Findlay Courier Wednesday Sports
Fostoria Review Times Wednesday Sports
Monroeville burns Buckeye Central girls
Wynford girls breeze past Mohawk
Bucyrus girls beat Crestview
Lima News Wednesday Prep Roundup
Rebounding keys Hopewell-Loudon girls victory

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A very late night

Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be sports writers.
I’d be interested to know how many of you stayed up late last night to watch the Fiesta Bowl?
If you did stay up to watch it, it was an instant classic.
Late games. It’s the one thing I hate about my sports writing gig. Especially when they put on some bullcrap halftime extravaganza that stretches a 15 or 20 minute halftime into 45 minutes like last night.
There I was with the six pages of sports for today’s Courier all laid out and ready to go to press but I had to wait 2 hours until the Fiesta Bowl finally wrapped up at about 1 a.m.
Usually when there is a late game like that and things go wrong to delay the game like big scores late, overtimes, replay reviews I’ll launch into a couple of different profanity laced tirades that would make a sailor blush. Don’t worry I didn’t disappoint yesterday, I came though with a string of words your mother would have washed your mouth out for.
So do me a favor. Since I waited until I could get that great Fiesta Bowl story in the newspaper today, plunk down 50 cents and get a copy. Make my wait last night worthwhile.

Northwest Ohio Wrestling Results and Information
Findlay Courier Tuesday Local Sports
Fostoria Review Times Tuesday Sports
Bucyrus area prep roundup
Buckeye Central pulls away from Bucyrus boys
How the Buckeyes get those leaves on their helmets
Defiance puts score into FHS Trojans
Galion shocks Lexington
Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Sports