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, March 31, 2007

Looks a little wet out there

Looks like rain today. There was a big schedule on tap for today baseball and softball-wse but I imagine there will be a few rainouts in the area. Here are the scores and some softball capsules from around the area. Be back on Monday!

Friday’s Baseball Scores
Archbold 7, Montpelier 3
Ashland Crestview 7, Black River 2
Bellevue 11, Port Clinton 10
Bluffton 4, Miller City 3
Clear Fork 15, Wooster Triway 10
Coldwater 22, Mississinawa Valey 1
Delphos St. John’s 8, Wayne Trace 7
Eastwood 10, Fostoria St. Wendelin 7
Edgerton 3, Wauseon 2
Edison 9, Western Reserve 2
Emmanuel Baptist 11, Community Christian 1
Lake 5, Swanton 2
Lakota 16, Carey 3
Leipsic 8, Columbus Grove 1
Liberty-Benton 8, Holgate 1
Mansfield Christian 8, Kingsway Christian 0
Mansfield St. Peter's 2, Crestline 1
Mohawk 16, Margaretta 2
New Riegel 13, Riverdale 4
Norwalk St. Paul 8, Sandusky St. Mary’s 4
Pandora-Gilboa 5, Continental 0
Parkway 10, Delphos Jefferson 2
Patrick Henry 11, Hicksville 1
Shelby 12, Colonel Crawford 2
Tinora 0, Hilltop 2
Toledo Waite 1, Rossford 0
Wellington 5, Monroeville 1
Willard 15, Mansfield Senior 1

Friday’s Softball Scores
Arcadia 22, Bettsville 11
Arlington 6, Ada 0
Ashland Crestview 5, Black River 2
Bellevue 7, Port Clinton 1
Clear Fork 10, Triway 0
Colonel Crawford 14, Shelby 7
Delphos Jefferson 2, Hardin Northern 1
Eastwood 5, Fostoria St. Wendelin 2
Emmanuel Baptist 9, Community Christian 2
Genoa 2, Fostoria 0
Hilltop 1, Tinora 0
Lakota 7, Carey 3
Mansfield Christian 10, Kingsway Christian 0
Mansfield Madison 3, Galion 1
Mansfield St. Peter's 2, Crestline 0
Mohawk 9, Margaretta 3
New London 6, Firelands 1
Riverdale 6, New Riegel 2
Sandusky Perkins 24, Norwalk St. Paul 0
Springfield 12, Toledo Central Catholic 2
Summerfield, Mich. 10, Emmanuel Baptist 0
Toledo Start 1, Sylvania Southview 0
Toledo Whitmer 6, Sylvania Northview 3
Van Wert 2, Lincolnview 1
Wellington 11, Monroeville 0
Wauseon 16, Liberty Center 5
Willard 13, Mansfield Senior 2

HEAD COACH: Heather Post (2nd year, 8-17).
2006 RECORD: 8-17 overall, 4-4 Blanchard Valley Conference.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Katie Boes, soph., P/UT; Meredith Conine, jr., P/IF; Abigail Holman, jr., IF; Monica Johnson, jr., IF; Liza Kummerer, soph., OF; Angie Clemons, soph., C/UT.
TOP PROSPECTS: Courtney Garcia, fr., P/UT; Alyssa Below, fr., IF/UT.
NOTABLE: Conine and Johnson will serve as team captains. The Redskins did lose a solid player to graduation in Monica Bame.

HEAD COACH: Gregg Feller (4th year, 42-25).
2006 RECORD: 16-9 overall, 7-2 Blanchard Valley Conference.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Shandale Beagle, sr., OF; Amber Gast, soph., C/1B; Hillary Hartman, jr., P; Whitney Like, sr., 3B; Niki Williams, sr., C.
TOP PROSPECTS: Miranda Oates, sr., IF; Emily Sielschott, jr., P/IF; Shaunie Rettig, fr., OF/P; Mary Price, fr., OF.
NOTABLE: Williams is a two-year letterwinner for the Red Devils while Beagle was an honorable mention all-BVC selection last season.

HEAD COACH: Dan Gillett (7th year, 28-58).
2006 RECORD: 5-14 overall, 2-7 Northwest Conference.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Jenna Kisor, sr., P; Leigh Emans, jr., 1B; Becky Edwards, sr., OF; Megan McKamey, sr., OF; Jessica Sommers, jr., IF; Andrea Hines, jr., P/2B; Chelsea Wheeler, soph., SS; Ashley Bowyer, soph., OF; Kristen McKamey, soph., IF.
TOP PROSPECTS: Not available.
NOTABLE: Leigh Emans was a second team all-NWC selection last season.

HEAD COACH: Eric Mullholand (6th year, 63-54).
2006 RECORD: 14-9 overall, 4-6 Midland Athletic League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Heidi Holsinger, sr., CF; Michelle Walter, sr., LF; Alisha Doran, sr., LF; Ally Vaughn, sr., RF; Ashley Baker, jr., SS; Lynae Sammons, jr., 2B; Paige Strahm, jr., 1B; Jackie Brezina, jr., C; Autumn Harley, jr., P/OF; Jana Kemerly, jr., P.
TOP PROSPECTS: Megan Nalle, jr., P; Courtney Holsinger, soph., 3B; Heidi Allen, jr., OF/C.
NOTABLE: Carey has posted four straight winning seasons and has advanced to the district tournament in each of the past two seasons.

Columbus Grove
HEAD COACH: Jim Wagner (2nd year).
2006 RECORD: 9-11 overall, 1-4 Putnam County League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Janelle Herron, jr., 2B; Genna Carpenter, jr., OF; Kristy Birkemeier, soph., SS: Heather Bartz, jr., P; Ashtyn Shafer, sr., OF.
TOP PROSPECTS: Ashley Birchmeier, fr., IB; Lisa Karhoff, jr., 3B; Amanda Langhals, fr., OF; Breanne Schroeder, soph., C.
NOTABLE: It’s the third season for the Columbus Grove program and it will be the inaugral season for the Bulldogs in the Northwest Conference.

HEAD COACHES: Tim Eding & Jordan Streicher (3rd year, 14-26).
2006 RECORD: 6-13 overall, 2-3 Putnam County League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Kelly Coble, sr., 3B; Jessica Hanefeld, soph., P; Samantha Geuter, sr., OF; Brooke Tegenkamp, soph., OF/SS; Allison Karhoff, sr., IF/OF/P; Allison Streicher, sr., 1B/P; Ashley Burke, jr., 2B/SS; Emily Hauter, jr., 2B; Allison McKeon, jr., C; Janelle Doenges, soph., OF.
TOP PROSPECTS: Jessica Brown, soph., OF.
NOTABLE: With 10 returning letterwinners look for the Pirates to be a much-improved ballclub.

HEAD COACH: Ron Kruse (3rd year, 16-25).
2006 RECORD: 5-14 overall, 1-6 Blanchard Valley Conference.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Kim Bosse, sr., P; Gloria Basinger, soph., C; Sara Devore, jr., OF.
TOP PROSPECTS: Sarah Devore, jr., OF; Brook Woodward, jr., IF; Stephanie Mancino, sr., OF.
NOTABLE: Kim Bosse, a three-year starter, will look to be the leader of the team and on the mound as she returns with 2nd team all-BVC honors. Basinger (.426 avg. last year), Devore and Mancino will be solid at the plate, while Woodward will look to be solid on defense again this year.

HEAD COACH: Matt Hoiles (8th year, 146-51).
2006 RECORD: 23-5 overall, 12-2 Suburban Lakes League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Angie Oler, sr.; Kayla Chapman, sr.; Brittany Green, sr.; Kylie Reiser, sr.; Brooke Morgart, jr.; Brittany Dauterman, jr.; Megan Morgart, jr.; Liz Wagner, jr.; Kelsey Feasel, soph.
TOP PROSPECTS: Emily Reynolds, fr.; Kristi Chapman, soph.; Megan Oler, soph.
NOTABLE: First team all-Ohioans Brittany Dauterman and Brooke Morgart return along with first team all-SLL selection Megan Morgart.

HEAD COACH: Gabe Sierra (2nd year).
2006 RECORD: 10-15 overall, 4-10 Northern Ohio League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Sha’ Cousin, sr. IF; MacKenzie Herrig, jr., OF; Stephanie Loomis, jr., IF; Jordan Mora, jr., OF; Lynlee Myers, jr., P/IF; Marina Nye, jr., OF; Megan Solether, jr., C; Morgan Manns, soph., OF; Breanna Pingle, soph., IF; Keri Seel, soph., P/IF.
TOP PROSPECTS: Macy Creeger, soph., IF/OF; Kristy Vore, jr., OF; Danielle Bateson, soph., P/IF; Sadie Miller, soph., IF/OF; Mel Nye, jr., P/IF; Susie Clevenger, sr., IF/OF; Mary Ludwig, sr., OF; Genee Keels, fr., IF; Taylor Newlove, fr., C; Sam Goddard, fr., C/OF; Olivia Martinez, soph., OF; Rea Peyton, jr., OF/IF.
NOTABLE: Myers and Seel both earned second team all-NOL honors for the Redmen.

Fostoria St. Wendelin
HEAD COACH: Theresa Webb (13th year, 147-145).
2006 RECORD: 17-7 overall, 5-5 Midland Athletic League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Lindsay Solether, sr., 2B; Dani Papenfus, jr., SS; Jordan Geroski, jr., OF; Lindsay Schiefer, jr., OF/1B.
TOP PROSPECTS: Sarah Molyet, sr., P; Caitlin Bosak, jr., OF; Francena Tate, soph., 3B; Kayla Funkhouser, soph., OF; Lauren Geroski, fr., C; Chelcie Rutter, fr., P/OF; Taylor Burns, fr., OF; Cassi Papenfus, fr., 1B/OF; Tara Emerine, fr., OF.
NOTABLE: Solether and Dani Papenfus batted .328 and .316 respectively for the Mohawks.

Hardin Northern
HEAD COACH: John Messmer (2nd year, 12-13).
2006 RECORD: 12-13 overall, 4-4 Blanchard Valley Conference.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Jaci Messmer, sr., P/CF; Ally Parsons, sr., RF; Annie Price, sr., C; Kylie Busch, sr., 3B/OF; Natasha Ruhlen, sr., 1B/3B; Nicole Miller, sr., OF; Ashley Poe, jr., SS; Jessica Flower, jr., P/CF; Kelsey Potter, jr., OF/P; Kristine Marquart, jr., IF; Kristie Steiner, soph., 2B.
TOP PROSPECTS: Lauren Bowsher, fr., OF; Brittany Conover, fr., p/3B; Cheyenne Flowers, fr., P/2B; Nicole Lewallen, fr., OF; Jamie Heacock, fr., OF.
NOTABLE: Jaci Messmer, a three-time all-conference selection, could pitch the Polar Bears to the top of the conference.

HEAD COACH: Tom Swanagan (2nd year, 16-8).
2006 RECORD: 16-8 overall, 6-4 Midland Athletic League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Emily Kuhn, sr., 3B; Laura Spangler, sr., SS/OF; Amber Smith, sr., P/OF; Nikki Dull, jr., P/OF; Megan Kapelka, jr., P/1B; Megan Reinhart, jr., C; Melissa Brickner, jr., OF/3B; Kelly Hopple, jr. IF/OF.
TOP PROSPECTS: Jessica Lynch, soph., IF/OF; Bre Richie, fr., OF/C; Samantha Siebenaller, soph., IF/OF.
NOTABLE: Senior Emily Kuhn should wield a big stick for the Chieftains after batting .423 and diving in 19 runs.

HEAD COACH: Jeff Clement (1st year).
2006 RECORD: 8-10 overall, 3-3 Putnam County League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Kelly Schnipke, sr.; Abby Wilson , sr.; Liz Foppe, jr.; Megan Heitmeyer, jr.; Gina Verhoff, soph.
TOP PROSPECTS: Samantha Recker, soph.; Billie Jean Gerding, jr.; Kasie Bellman, soph.
NOTABLE: Kelly Schnipke is Wildcats’ top returning pitcher as she posted a 3.00 ERA last season.

HEAD COACH: Erin Rau (4th year, 27-47).
2006 RECORD: 13-13 overall, 2-11 Suburban Lakes League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Katie Dennis, sr., 1B; Amanda Capehart, sr., P; Sarah Lawrence, sr., 3B; Blake Cheatham, sr., OF; Cara Lentz, jr., SS; Katie Gosche, jr., OF; Alicia Bickford, soph., C; Sam Graber, soph., 3B; Kelly Gwinn, soph., P; Jessica Chalfin, soph., IF.
TOP PROSPECTS: Rachel Hoffman, fr., OF; Hannah Podach, fr., 2B; Breanne Nonnemaker, fr., UT.
NOTABLE: The Raiders will be looking to make big strides in the tough SLL.

HEAD COACH: Jackie Gerten (1st year).
2006 RECORD: 20-9 overall, 4-5 Blanchard Valley Conference; 6-0 Putnam County League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Brittany Schroeder, sr., SS; Dana Mangas, sr., 2B; Anea Escamilla, jr., 1B/RF; Danielle Mangas, jr., P; Kayla Nuveman, soph., 3B.
TOP PROSPECTS: Courtney Stahl, sr., 1B; Holly Bolman, sr., OF; Samantha Hernandez, sr., OF; Jacqui Westrick, jr., C; Shelby Schroeder, soph., OF; Ciarra Ybarra, soph., OF; Sydney Kuhlman, soph., LF; Chelsea Gerten, soph., P.
NOTABLE: Brittany Schroeder is a returning first-team all-PCL selection. Danielle Mangas was a second team all-conference pick in both the BVC and PCL.

HEAD COACH: Jeff Craig (9th year, 113-69).
2006 RECORD: 14-8 overall, 7-2 Blanchard Valley Conference.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Brittany Keller, sr., 3B; Emily Rucki, sr., 1B; Natalie Piper, sr., 2B/1B; Amanda Schimmoeller, jr., SS; Ashley Hunker, jr., P/OF; Abby Dean, jr., P/SS; Alexandria Meadows, jr., 1B; Elyse Marshall, jr., CF; Anna Harpst, jr., 2B/OF.
TOP PROSPECTS: Jackie Chiow, jr., C; Kara Marshall, fr., OF/C; Kaityn Barfield, sr., OF.
NOTABLE: Defense is going to be the key for the Eagles, who have to find replacements for catcher Raquel Sterling and shortstop Tamara Butler.

HEAD COACH: Nick Shoop (1st year).
2006 RECORD: 7-15 overall, 3-6 Blanchard Valley Conference.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Brittany Kendrick, sr., 2B/P/OF; Brittany Haas, sr., 3B/P; Eve Rhoades, sr., OF/C/IF; Chelsea Cramer, soph., C/OF; Michelle Metzger, soph., OF/IF; Erin Wells, soph., P/IF; Ashley Latta, soph., OF; Alycia Nichols, soph., IF/OF; Alex Smith, soph., P/OF/IF.
TOP PROSPECTS: Not available.
NOTABLE: The Panthers should be improved as they have plenty of experience returning, including a solid group of six sophomores.

Miller City
HEAD COACH: Chris Rump (2nd year, 12-11).
2006 RECORD: 12-11 overall, 4-1 Putnam County League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Lisa Brown, sr., P; Amy Franz, sr., OF; Amanda Averesch, sr., 2B; Brittany Wagner, sr., 1B; Erica Maas, sr., OF; Theresa Kaufman, sr., OF; Carrie Griggs, soph., C; Danielle Schroeder, jr., P; Brittany Wagner, jr., OF; Abby Wenzinger, jr., IF/OF TOP PROSPECTS: Jessica Schnipke, jr., IF; Abby Lammers, jr., OF; Lindsay Petser, soph., IF; Marci Wenzinger, soph., P/IF.
NOTABLE: Brown and Averesch were first-team all-PCL selections for the Wildcats.

New Riegel
HEAD COACH: Jamie Lininger (4th year, 41-34).
2006 RECORD: 14-11 overall, 5-5 Midland Athletic League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Brittany Hemminger, sr., CF; Jenna Mathias, sr., P/SS/3B; Kari Smith, sr., C/P; Megan Ellis, jr., 3B/OF; Emily Hemminger, jr., 2B; Lauren Orians, jr., DP/1B; Michelle Borer, soph., OF/C; Kaiti Hughes, soph., 1B/3B; Jessica Tiell, soph., OF/DP/C.
TOP PROSPECTS: Jackie Reinhart, jr., OF/UT; Paula Kelbley, fr., OF/1B; Taylor Mathias, fr., OF/P/3B; Sarah Reinhart, fr., 2B/OF; Jami Wagner, fr., SS/OF/DP.
NOTABLE: Smith batted .308 and was a first team all-MAL selection. Brittany Hemminger was a second-team pick.

North Baltimore
HEAD COACH: Seth Gilman (2nd year).
2006 RECORD: 22-7 overall, 6-4 Midland Athletic League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Bri Rensch, sr., P/SS; Molly Allison, sr., OF; Brittany Trevino, jr., 3B/P; Jenna Swartz, jr., 2B; Dani Morelock, jr., C/OF; Ryan Herringshaw, jr., 2B; Stephanie Miller, jr., 1B; Heather King, jr., C/OF; Baley Delancy, jr., OF; Brittany Vanaman, soph., OF.
TOP PROSPECTS: Courtney Lincoln, fr., 3B/SS; Caitlin Cotterman, fr., 3B/SS; Jessica Williams, soph., OF/1B; Kaycee Neumann, sr., OF.
NOTABLE: North Baltimore has most of its big hitters back but will need to step it up on defense.

Troy Yant (3rd year, 22-30).
2006 RECORD: 14-15 overall, 1-8 Western Buckeye League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Tara Moening, sr., SS/OF; Tabbie Tousley, jr., 2B/P; Becky Young, soph., C.
TOP PROSPECTS: Melissa Deters, soph., P/OF; Tresa Escamilla, soph., 3B/C; Sydney Gerdeman, soph., IF; Hannah Hemrick, soph., IF; Brooke Kaufman, soph., 1B/P; Cady Lauf, soph., CF/P; Dana Lauf, soph., RF/P; Brittany Morman, soph., OF; Kim Bingley, fr., OF; Ashley Hempfling, fr., P/OF; Tara Wehri, fr., LF.
NOTABLE: With just three lettermen, the Titans will be very young.

Patrick Henry
HEAD COACH: Beth Hoops (2nd year).
2006 RECORD: 10-10 overall.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Chelsea Reese, soph., OF/P; Ariel Kinder, soph., 3B; Michelle Nickels, soph., SS; Michelle Erford, jr., OF; Devan Quiroga, jr., OF; Michelle Schwab, sr., 2B; Katie Kreais, sr., P/1B.
Salina Roa, sr., OF; Taylor Meyer, sr., OF; Hailey Phillips, fr., IF.
NOTABLE: The Patriots will be young but could show improvement with a group of sophomores.

HEAD COACH: Nicole Ritter (1st year).
2006 RECORD: 15-6 overall, 9-3 North Central Conference.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Kristi Kotterman, jr., SS: Kelli Kotterman, jr., OF; Alicia Naus, soph., OF; Maisea Hicks, soph., Allysha Wells, jr., 3B; Ashley Naus, soph., OF.
NOTABLE: Kelli Kotterman could be headed for a big season as she batted .382 last season.

Upper Sandusky
HEAD COACH: Dave Young (8th year).
2006 RECORD: 15-8 overall, 9-5 Northern Ohio League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Trisha Zamora, sr., C; Brittany Howard, sr., 2B; Cheryl Thiel, sr., SS; Jessica Lucas, sr., 1B; Brittany Calmes, sr., OF; Kendra Sammitt, sr., C/3B; Laura Wetherell, sr., P/RF; Chelsea Jury, jr., P/RF; Danielle Bachtell, jr., CF; Nikki Linhart, jr., 3B/P.
TOP PROSPECTS: Shelby Calmes, soph., C.
NOTABLE: The Rams should be solid defensively but are looking to add a little more offensive punch.

Van Buren
HEAD COACH: Stacy Sharp (3rd year, 20-34).
2006 RECORD: 13-9 overall, 9-0 Blanchard Valley Conference.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Randi Sansom, sr., IF; Chelsey Meyer, sr., OF; Brooke Conroy, sr., OF; Jerica Sonnenberg, sr., IF/OF; Hanna Burke, jr., P; Janelle Wood, jr., IF; Shelby Calland, jr., IF/OF; Laura Thornton, soph., P/IF.
TOP PROSPECTS: Hillary Hachey, jr., IF; Kelly Gilbert, soph., C/IF.
NOTABLE: The Black Knights are the defending BVC champions, but were 4-9 outside the league.

HEAD COACH: Sally Kloepfer. (3rd year, 14-45).
2006 RECORD: 3-16 overall, 2-7 Blanchard Valley Conference.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Alyssa Simon, sr., P/IF; Krystin Breitigam, jr., IF; Elizabeth Hagerty, jr., C; Sarah Pelphrey, jr., IF; Kayla Thomas, jr., IF/P; Reanna Wisner, jr., OF; Brittany Wilcox, OF.
TOP PROSPECTS: Taryn Willard, sr., IF/DH; Cally Lee, jr., OF; Paige Davis, soph,m UT; Erin Parsell, soph., OF; Jennifer Wagner, soph., UT/P; Morgan Hotelling, fr., UT; Dusty Ward, fr., UT.
NOTABLE: Simon batted .350 and was one of the area leaders in both ERA and strikeouts.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Baseball and more baseball

Nothing fancy today.
We have some baseball and softball capsules from the Findlay area, Will post the baseball capsules today and try and put up the softball capsules tomorrow. Scores are below. Have a terrific weekend.

Thursday’s Baseball Scores
Anthony Wayne 9, Toledo Central Catholic 5
Antwerp 5, Hilltop 0
Arlington 4, Fostoria St. Wendelin 0
Ayersville 12, Ottoville 9
Clyde 9, Lakota 2
Convoy Crestview 7, Hicksville 3
Defiance 6, Findlay 4
Delphos Jefferson 4, Delphos St. John’s 3
Delta 14, Stryker 9
Elida 6, Bryan 5
Evergreen 6, Toledo Whitmer 2
Galion Northmor 9, Galion 5
Genoa 10, Cardinal Stritch 4
Gibsonburg 3, Tiffin Calvert 2
Hardin Northern 4, Upper Scioto Valley 1
Liberty Center 24, Fayette 2
Lincolnview 5, Fort Jennings 4
Mansfield Madison 8, Shelby 7
Minster 6, Spencerville 1
Mohawk 11, Wynford 1
Napoleon 7, Wauseon 3
New London 21, Mansfield St. Peter’s 1
North Baltimore 11, Otsego 5
North Central 3, Montpelier 1
Oregon Clay 12, Perrysburg 2
Ottawa-Glandorf 10, Miller City 1
Parkway 11, Celina 8
Patrick Henry 7, Holgate 3
Paulding 6, Van Wert 4
Ridgemont 13, Lima Perry 2
Sandusky Perkins 13, Fremont Ross 0
St. Henry 7, St. Marys Memorial 5
Seneca East 16, Monroeville 4
South Central 22, Colonel Crawford 3
Summerfield, Mich. 13, Emmanuel Baptist 2
Sunbury Big Walnut 8, Marion Harding 7
Tiffin Columbian 4, Mansfield Senior 0
Toledo Bowsher 7, Northwood 1
Vanlue 7, New Riegel 6
Wapakoneta 8, Lima Senior 7
Willard 13, Sandusky 1
Coldwater 4, Lima Shawnee 3
North Central 3, Montpelier 1
Napoleon 7, Wauseon 3
Paulding 6, Van Wert 4
Ayersville 12, Ottoville 9
Pat. Henry 7, Holgate 3
Delta 14, Stryker 9
Lib. Center 24, Fayette 2
Antwerp 5, Hilltop 0
Elida 6, Bryan 5
Marion Local 12, New Bremen 1

Thursday’s Softball Scores
Colonel Crawford 16, South Central 2
Edison 8, Ashland Crestview 5
Galion Northmor 5, Galion 3
Mohawk 15, Wynford 0
New London 4, Mansfield St. Peter’s 1
Hardin Northern 12, Upper Scioto Valley 2
Fostoria 4, Patrick Henry 1
Fostoria St. Wendelin 9, Arlington 4
New Riegel 9, Vanlue 7
Cory-Rawson 4, Ada 1
Bluffton 5, Ottawa-Glandorf 4
Antwerp 9, Continental 0
Sandusky St. Mary’s 7, Fremont St. Joseph 1
Sandusky Perkins 13, Fremont Ross 4
Seneca East 9, Monroeville 4
Norwalk 12, Norwalk St. Paul 4
Bellevue 4, Huron 3
Lima Shawnee 2, St. Henry 1
New Bremen 11, Sidney Lehman 1
Celina 10, Parkway 0
Coldwater 13, Lima Senior 0
Wapakoneta 4, Bellefontaine 1
Wayne Trace 3, Paulding 0
Gibsonburg 10, Tiffin Calvert 0
Eastwood 14, Tiffin Columbian 5
Shelby 12, Madison 6
Lexington 2, Wooster 1
Toledo Central Catholic 12, Toledo Rogers 2
Lake 5, Oak Harbor 1
Otsego 7, Bowling Green 1
Woodmore 7, Northwood 3
Evergreen 3, Sylvania Southview 2
Toledo Start 3, Toledo Notre Dame 2
Archbold 3, Defiance 0
Oregon Clay 13, Toledo Bowsher 3
Tinora 9, Stryker 6
Napoleon 3, Wauseon 0
Ayersville 10, Pettisville 8
Antwerp 9, Continental 0
Wayne Trace 3, Paulding 2
Hilltop 15, Hicksville 1
Lima Perry 10, Ridgemont 9

HEAD COACH: Ken Jochims (3rd year, 37-38).
2006 RECORD: 14-14 overall.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Zac Dysert, jr., C/P; Jeremy Pederson, sr., IF/P; Josh Rouch, jr., OF; Mike Bingman, sr., OF; Nate Vermillion, jr., IF/P; Ron Grzybowski, jr., IF/P; Ben Smith, sr., IF; Michael Allen, sr., P/OF; James Sheldon, sr., IF; David Rush, sr., C/IF/OF.
TOP PROSPECTS: Tyler Simmons, fr., IF/P; Jeff Wolber, sr., OF; Josh Duffy, jr., OF; Ethan Collins, sr., OF/IF; Cody Mattson, fr., C; Matt Flower, soph., OF; Wes Haux, sr., OF; Trey Klopfenstein, fr., IF.
NOTABLE: The return of Dysert, a two-time 1st-team all-NWC selection who batted .353 and led the team in runs (21), hits (30), stolen bases (17) and RBI (22), along with two 2nd-team all-leaguers in Sheldon and Vermillion (.316, 18 RBI) will make Ada a solid ball club.

HEAD COACH: J.T. Bates (3rd year, 14-35).
2006 RECORD: 8-18 overall, 1-8 Blanchard Valley Conference.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Seth Kirian, jr., SS/P; Austin Riggs, jr., C/IF; Brett Sopher, jr., P/OF; Landon Fleegle, soph., 1B/P; Jeff Huffman, soph., 3B/P; John Kummerer, soph., IF; Kyle Mason, soph., OF; Cody Mason, sr., OF/P.
TOP PROSPECTS: Kirk Ridenour, sr., P/OF; Julian Pina, fr., P/3B; Clay Baker, fr., OF/P; Jake Metzger, fr., IF; Aaron Lynch, soph., C/P; Andrew Parks, soph., OF/P; Anthony Elchert, fr., C/IF; Jordan Duncan, fr., P/OF/C; Jordan Endicott, sr., OF/C.
NOTABLE: Junior Seth Kirian should wield a big stick for the Redskins as he batted .461 last season with 12 RBI and 21 stolen bases.

HEAD COACH: Tom Yates (5th year, 66-24).
2006 RECORD: 17-3 overall, 8-1 Blanchard Valley Conference.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Stefan Inbody, sr., OF/P; Jason Brunswick, sr., IF; Jacob Drerup, jr., P/IF; Paden Morehart, jr., IF/P; Chandler Heavrin, jr., IF/P; Calvin Wilson, jr., IF.
TOP PROSPECTS: Jacob Hindall, jr., C; Treg Wells, jr., IF/OF; Tom Bell, jr., OF; Zane Leonard fr., OF/P; Trever Gast, fr., P/OF; Matt Morehart, fr., C; Justin Bruley, fr., IF/P; Kevin Rogers, fr., P/IF; David Feller, fr., IF; Trevor Bower, fr., OF; Troy Essinger, fr., OF; Evan Hill, fr., IF.
NOTABLE: The Red Devils return just two seniors and have nine freshman as top prospects. But the program has been consistently strong, winning at least 16 games for four straight seasons. Drerup, a first-team all-BVC selection as a pitcher and Morehart, who hit .423 and was a honorable metion all-BVC selection, will carry most of the load for Arlington.

HEAD COACH: Rod Daniel (5th year, 25-102).
2006 RECORD: 3-22 overall, 1-9 Midland Athletic League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Joey Kimmet, sr., 3B/P; Michael Cook, sr., OF; Pete Margliotti, sr., P/C/SS; Tyler Hull, jr., OF/C; Jacob Cress, soph., OF; Troy Blausey, soph., OF/P.
TOP PROSPECTS: Brandon Bryant, jr., 1B/P/3B; Andrew Hartsel, fr., 1B/P; Joe Sexton, fr., 3B/P; Tyler Mulligan, fr., 2B/P.
NOTABLE: Margliotti and Cook are both three-year letterwinners for the Bobcats.

HEAD COACH: Ben Thaxton (1st year)
2006 RECORD: 7-11 overall, 3-6 Northwest Conference.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Adam Wietholter, sr. SS/P; Garrett Fruchey, sr. C/P; Zach Domer, sr. 2B/OF; Aaron Lutz, sr.. OF/P; Nick Hines, sr. 2B; Nick Wheeler, sr. 1B; Ben Eiserle, jr., 3B/P; Andrew Hieronimus, sr. OF.
TOP PROSPECTS: Andrew Keeler, jr., INF/P; Devin Kisor, soph., INF; Zach Devier, fr., OF; Logan Fruchey, soph., C.; Matt Suderman, fr., P.
NOTABLE: With eight seniors on the roster there’s good returning experience, especially on the mound. Wietholter batted .410 last season and earned first-team all-NWC honors.

HEAD COACH: Eric Vackert (7th year, 63-73).
2006 RECORD: 9-12 overall, 5-5 Midland Athletic League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Scott Harrold, sr., P/IF; Nate Geiser, jr., C/OF; Trace Thompson, soph., P/IF; Jay Hahler, soph., IF.
TOP PROSPECTS: Oscar Dyer, sr., IF/OF; Michael Taylor, sr., P/OF; Jason Higgins, soph., IF; Derek Sammons, soph., If; Jordan Stansberry soph., C/P; Cy Strahm, fr., OF/P; D.J. Dyer fr., Of; Nick Nusbaum, soph., OF.
NOTABLE: With only four returning letterwinners it looks like senior Scott Harrold will be the leader. Harrold hit .306 last year with 15 RBI.

Columbus Grove
HEAD COACH: Cory King (5th year, 42-61).
2006 RECORD: 13-11 overall, 8-1 Northwest Conference, 3-4 Putnam County League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Zach Gerdeman, sr., OF; J.J. Harris, sr., 3B; Derek Neu, sr., 1B; Mike Schroeder, sr., OF/2B; Adam Osterhage, jr., P/SS; Nate Bogart, soph., P/SS; Garrett Wolfe, soph., OF/C.
TOP PROSPECTS: David Creamer, soph., 3B; Nate Schroeder, soph., 2B; Brett Reed, soph., C..
NOTABLE: Four seniors headline a group of seven returning lettermen. Neu also put up some pretty big numbers, hitting .343 and driving in 27 runs.

HEAD COACH: Bradd Miller (3rd year, 9-38).
2006 RECORD: 5-18 overall, 2-5 Putnam County League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Ben Miller, sr., IF/P/C; Dustin Ladd, sr., OF/P; Scott Keck, sr., P; Nik Louiselle, jr., IF/P; Kyle Mansfield, jr., IF/P.
TOP PROSPECTS: Cody Hopkins, sr., P; Kyle Shafer Jr., IF/OF; Nick Bidlack, jr., IF; Vick Huezingay, sr., OF; Patrick Llewellyn, jr., IF; Cody Rau, soph., IF; Lane Howell, fr.; Rex Louiselle fr.; Justin Moran, fr.; Chris Baden, fr.
NOTABLE: Some young pitchers could by a key for the Pirates in the 2007 season as Continental hopes to get to the .500 mark.

HEAD COACH: Robert Businger (19th season).
2006 RECORD: 16-3 overall, 8-1 Blanchard Valley Conference.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Drew Curth, sr., 1B; Joe Marshall, sr., SS; Troy Caskie, jr., P/OF; Mitch Cramer, jr., OF; Ethan Welch, jr., P/OF.
TOP PROSPECTS: Justin Reichley, sr., IF/DH; Levi Benner, jr., C; Alex Bibler, jr., IF; Chad Carroll, soph., Tony Rader, soph., IF; John Snodgrass, soph., OF.
NOTABLE: Troy Caskie batted .285 and was 8-0 on the mound for the defending BVC champs.

HEAD COACH: Kyle Reiser (23rd year, 363-121).
2006 RECORD: 20-8 overall, 12-2 Suburban Lakes League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Ryan Rothenbuhler, sr., P/3B; Cory Stewart, sr., SS; Jon Aurand, jr., 1B; Nathaniel Fitch, jr., C; Ben Hammer, jr., P/OF; Adam Sheline, jr., P/OF; Andrew Lee, jr., P/OF.
TOP PROSPECTS: Josh Mayo, jr.; Greg Day, sr., IF; Bo Sheldon, jr., UT; Trey Farabee, jr., UT.
NOTABLE: It could be another championship season at Elmwood with the return of four letterwinners that hit .339 or better. Hammer, a second-team all-state selection, heads a strong group of six returning all-SLL selections.

HEAD COACH: Brooks Lance (6th year, 80-66).
2006 RECORD: 23-7 overall, 10-4 Northern Ohio League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: .Brian Butcher, sr., OF; Kyle Echelberry, sr., 2B/P; Scott Brady, soph., C; Micah Hyde, soph., SS/P; Chase Munoz, jr., OF/P; Casey Cleveland, soph., 2B.
TOP PROSPECTS: Jimmy Rickman, fr., 3B/P.
NOTABLE: Lance must replace three standouts now playing Division I sports. Marcus Hyde (football) is now at Michigan State, Alax Kaminsky is playing baseball at Youngstown State, and Anthony Munoz is the starting shortstop at Wright State. Those three players were also the Nos.1, 2 and 3 starters on last year’s pitching staff. Micah Hyde and Chase Munoz both had around 20 stolen bases a year ago. As a team, the Redmen swiped 96 bases in 2006.

Fostoria St. Wendelin
HEAD COACH: Denny Maag (3rd year, 21-24).
2006 RECORD: 9-12 overall, 4-6 Midland Athletic League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Jared Reiter, sr., SS/2B/P; Matt Gehring, jr., OF/P; Alex Reineke, jr., IF; Matt Roth, jr., IF/OF/P; Levi Smith, jr., C/OF/P; Noah Stuby, jr., IF/P; Keifer Frias, soph., IF/P.
TOP PROSPECTS: Alex Peiffer, sr., IF/P; Nick Frankart, jr., OF/OF; Tony Peiffer, jr., OF; Josh Rogerson, jr., OF; Dan Faber, soph., C/IF; Quinn Noel, soph., IF/OF; Justin Reinhart, soph., OF/P; Jordan Hoyer, soph., OF.
NOTABLE: Mohawks should be much improved with seven starters and their top two pitchers, Jared Reiter and Noah Stuby, both returning.

Fort Jennings
HEAD COACH: Jeff Swick (6th year, 45-53).
2006 RECORD: 14-7 overall, 3-4 Putnam County League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Andrew Utrup sr., C; Scott Chandler, sr., SS/P; Chad Stechschulte, sr., OF/P; Sean Weber, sr., OF/IF/P; Aaron Chandler, jr., Of/P; Matt Krietemeyer, jr., IF; Ross Gerdeman, jr., IF/C/P; Josh Calvelage, soph., IF/P.
TOP PROSPECTS: Matt Grothouse, sr., IF; Troy Kloeppel, sr., OF/P; Jared Horstman, fr., C; Trevor VonSossan, fr., IF/P; Matt Schimmoeller, fr., OF; Drew Mesker, fr., OF/P; Nate Pitney, fr., IF; Adam Osting, fr., 1B; Michael Pasterchik, fr., OF; Jeremy Neidert, fr., OF.
NOTABLE: The Musketeers’ return one of the top batteries in the PCL in Weber (1.05 ERA) and Utrup. (.431, 26 RBI). Gerdeman, a 6-4 right-hander, and Stechschulte round out a solid staff. Weber (.444), Scott Chandler (.317) and Stechschulte (21 runs scored) are all 3-year lettermen.

Hardin Northern
HEAD COACH: Brady Mast (3rd year, 11-34).
2006 RECORD: 9-15 overall, 2-6 Blanchard Valley Conference.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Brad Comstock, sr., 3B; Cody Price, sr., SSF/OF/P; Kyle Albert jr., OF/1B/P; Jeb Bowman jr., 2B; Anthony Hall, jr., Of/P; Alec Stewart-Evans, soph., 1B/P.
TOP PROSPECTS: Dylan Shepherd, fr., IF/P; Nathan Ruhlen, fr., IF; Reid Parsons, fr., C.
NOTABLE: In Price (.349, 15 RBI), Albert (17 RBI) and Hall (11 RBI), the Polar Bears return three of their top seven run producers. Price and Albert will likely be the top two men on the pitching staff.

HEAD COACH: Tony Swanagan (3rd year, 73-50).
2006 RECORD: 20-8 overall, 6-4 Midland Athletic League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Sean Brickner, sr., LF; Zach Yost, sr., SS/P; Brok Darr, sr., P; Corey Britton, sr., INF; Tony Birch, sr., P/1B; Luke Schalk, jr., CF/P; Tyler Brown, soph., P/1B.
TOP PROSPECTS: Jay Yost, soph., SS; Miles Chapman, fr., OF.
NOTABLE: Chieftains should have a strong pitching staff with the return of Darr (2.30 ERA), Birch (3.21 ERA), Schalk (3.80 ERA) and Brown (2.41 ERA). Brickner batted .484 last season and was the District 9 player of the year.

HEAD COACH: Jim McBride (25th year, 267-188).
2006 RECORD: 19-8 overall.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Ross Guisinger, sr., P/OF/1B; Aaron VonderEmbse, sr., C; Shawn Smith, sr., P/IF; Ryan Rampe, sr., IF; Jordan Horstman, sr., OF; Jason McCollum, sr. OF.
TOP PROSPECTS: Ross Warnecke, sr., IF; Ross Hermiller, sr., OF; John Foppe, sr., OF; A.J. Maag, sr., OF/P; Adam Berheide, jr., OF/P; Andy Wehri, jr., OF/P; Dean Schnipke, jr., IF/P; Derek Birkemeier, soph., IF/P; Matt Schnipke, soph., C; Doug McIntyre, soph., OF; Ryan Kleman, soph., OF; Preston Ellerbrock, soph., IF/P.
NOTABLE: Ross Guisinger was 8-1 with a 1.03 ERA last season.

HEAD COACH: Tracy Rosser (1st year).
2006 RECORD: N/A
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Nathan Sather, sr., P/3B/SS; Tom Foos, sr., P/SS/2B/RF; Jake Aldrich, sr., CF/P; Steve Dible, sr., P/1B; Ryan Babcock, jr., P/SS/CF.
TOP PROSPECTS: Josh Dennis, soph., OF; Nate Dassel, jr., C; Adam Cox, jr., P/1B.
NOTABLE: With five returning lettermen with pitching experience, Lakota will have a deep staff. Overall depth may be a factor, especially with just four seniors on the roster.

HEAD COACH: Darren Henry (6th year, 76-50).
2006 RECORD: 16-10 overall, 6-3 Blanchard Valley Conference, 3-4 Putnam County League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Ryan Schroeder, sr., SS/P; Jason Crow, sr., 3B/P; Adam Meyer, sr., OF/P; Ryan Morin, jr., OF/P; Jordan Selhorst, jr., C; Toney Hernandez, jr., P/1B/OF.
TOP PROSPECTS: Brian Goodwin, jr., IF; Luke Haselman, jr., IF/P; Nate Schroeder, soph., OF/P; Jacob Schroeder, soph., IF/P; Craig Meyer, soph., 1B/P; Jacob Stall, soph., OF/P; Brennan Hiegel, soph., IF/OF; Jay Maag, fr., IF/P; Brandon Schroeder, fr., OF.
NOTABLE: Ryan Schroeder should be solid at the plate for the Vikings after hitting .340 and driving in 19 runs last season. Crow (5-3, 2.68 ERA), Meyer and Hernandez form the nucleus of what should be a solid pitching staff.

HEAD COACH: Jim Rucki (1st year).
2006 RECORD: 9-9 overall, 5-4 Blanchard Valley Conference.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: L.J. Parkins, sr., P/3B; Nathan Cates, sr., 1B; Chase Ferguson, sr., LF; Aaron Panning, jr., OF/P; Peter Quinlin, sr. IF; Andy Smith, jr., P/IF; Brennan Leib, soph., P/IF.
NOTABLE: Rucki may be the new man on the L-B bench, but he has a wealth of experience. As head baseball coach at Rocky River, Rucki took that program to Division II state runner-up finishes.

HEAD COACH: Rob Quiroga (1st year)
2006 RECORD: 5-16 overall, 2-7 Blanchard Valley Conference
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Noah Shoop, sr., SS/P; Derek Quiroga, jr., C/P/LF; Colten McCullough, jr., 2B/OF; Caleb Sudlow, jr., 3B/P; Jacob Newton, jr., 1B/P;
TOP PROSPECTS: Chase Drewes, soph., OF; Jesse Cramer, fr., P/2B/OF.
NOTABLE: It couldc be a season of transition and growth for the Panthers. McComb has just one senior letterman and two seniors overall on a 16-man roster. But the team has a deep and strong nine-man junior class to count on.

Miller City
HEAD COACH: Cary Melia (4th year).
2006 RECORD: 12-11 overall.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Andy Hermiller, Nathan Ellerbrock, Phil Erford, Beau Pester, Andy Rump, Mitch Wenzinger.
TOP PROSPECTS: Seth Lammers, Tony Schroeder.
NOTABLE: Melia welcomes back six starters from a team that reached the district semifinals. Pitching and defense will be a strength.

New Riegel
HEAD COACH: Dave Uitto (27th year, 336-248).
2006 RECORD: 14-12 overall, 5-5 Suburban Lakes League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Josh Theis, sr., P/IF; Josh Conley, sr., P/OF; Nick Williams, sr., P/IF; Tyler Scherger, jr., SS; Ryan Mack, jr., P/C; Alec Wagner, jr., OF; Matt Reinhart, jr., OF; Matt Wertz, soph., P/DH/1B; Lee Kelbley, soph., P/IF; Bret Mathias, soph., P/IF; Dustin Lucius, soph., P/1B.
TOP PROSPECTS: Zac Clouse, fr., 2B; Josh Lucius, fr., OF/P; Codey Holman, fr., OF.
NOTABLE: Theis earned second-team all-Ohio honors last season after hitting .412 and drivng in 41 runs while going 5-5 on the mound with a 2.87 ERA. He headlines a talented group of 11 letter winners who will be looking to make Uitto’s 27th — and final — season a memorable one.

North Baltimore
HEAD COACH: Humpy Flores (6th year, 54-60).
2006 RECORD: 11-13 overall, 5-5 Midland Athletic League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Nick Benedict,. sr., UT; Jonathon Routzon, sr., 1B/P/C; Luke Wymer, sr., 1B/DH; Matthew Smith, jr., IF/P; Matt Woodruff, jr., IF/P.
NOTABLE: Tigers have just two returning starters and will be counting on pitching and defense to be competitive.

HEAD COACH: Nick Miller (1st year).
2006 RECORD: Not available.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Matt Rosebrook, sr., 1B; Andy Brickner, sr., SS/P; Jake Maag, sr. P/OF; Brent Ellerbrock, sr., 2B/P; Steve Nienberg, sr., OF; Luke Bellman, jr., OF/P; Alex Hermiller, jr., P/C/SS; Aaron Leader, jr., OF; Tyler Leatherman, jr., P/OF; Jake Meyer, jr., C/P.
TOP PROSPECTS: Ryan Horstman, jr., 3B; Brandon Schroeder, jr., P/OF; Ryan Zender, jr., 2B; Derrick Schierloh, jr., C; Jacob Moening, soph., P/OF; Brian Schmiedebusch, soph., P/OF; Alex Schomaker, soph., P/1B; Kyle Rosebrock, soph., OF; Trent Haughn, soph., P/OF.
NOTABLE: Jake Maag was an second team all-Western Buckeye League selection while Meyer made the honorable mention list for the Titans.

HEAD COACH: Anthony Castronova (11th season, 146-99-1).
2006 RECORD: 11-11-1 overall, 5-2 Putnam County League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Ryan Gasser, sr.; Chris Looser, sr.; Colbey Basinger, sr.; Brandon Miller, sr.; Andrew Koch, jr.; David Wurst, jr.
TOP PROSPECTS: Jason Wehri, sr.; Nick Rue, sr.; Taylor Robbins, jr.; Matt Niemeyer, soph.; Alex Odenweller, soph.
NOTABLE: Ryan Gasser, Chris Looser and Colbey Basinger should lead the Big Green as all three are two-year letterwinners.

HEAD COACH: Larry McCullough (8th year, 60-96).
2006 RECORD: 8-15 overall, 3-5 Blanchard Valley Conference, 2-5 Putnam County League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Josh Maag, sr., C; Nick Gunn, sr., 3B/P; Aaron Hazelton, sr., OF; Austin Blaski, jr., SS/P; Michael Howell, jr., OF/P; Jordan Lehman, jr., 2B/OF; Tyler Swary, soph., 1B/C.
TOP PROSPECTS: Cory Forney, sr., IF/OF; Nate Lee, fr., SS/3B/C/P; Kyle Hall, fr., OF/P; Seth Swary, fr., OF.
NOTABLE: Michael Howell batted .294 last season while Josh Maag hit .268 and banged out 6 doubles with 13 RBI. Gunn, Blaski and Howell combined for 5 of last year’s 8 pitching wins.

Patrick Henry
HEAD COACH: Gregg Inselmann (7th year, 456-125 career).
2006 RECORD: 28-3 overall, 7-1 Northwest Ohio Athletic League.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Kyle Schwab, sr., SS; Nate Wilhelm, sr., P/1B; T.J. Taylor, sr., P/OF; Zack Botjer, jr., P/1B/3B; Kyle Reese, jr., 3B/P; Mitch Leonard, soph., OF/P/C; Cody Meyer, soph., 2B/SS/P.
TOP PROSPECTS: Greg Bergstedt, jr., C/P/OF; Tyler Phillips, soph., C/P; Brad Phillips, soph., P/OF; Luke George, fr., OF/2B; Austin Bower, soph., 1B/DH.
NOTABLE: They don’t rebuild at Patrick Henry, they reload. But they’ll have to reload without all-Ohio catcher Marc Krauss, who graduated and is currently a starter for Ohio University, and three other all-league players.

HEAD COACH: Wes Davis (2nd year, 2-20).
2006 RECORD: 2-20 overall, 0-16 North Central Conference.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Matt Weber, sr.; Kolby Thomas, sr.; Matt Shark, soph.; Brad McKee, soph.; Derek Titus, soph.; Levi Brown, soph.
TOP PROSPECTS: Sam Moore, fr., OF/P; Derek Draper, fr., OF/P/1B; Brock Weber, fr., IF/P; Dave Rose, C/IF.
NOTABLE: With just a pair of returning seniors on the roster and a big group of sophomores and freshmen it will likely be another rebuilding year.

Upper Sandusky
HEAD COACH: Pete Miller (4th year).
2006 RECORD: 6-11 overall.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Tyler Baker, sr., SS/P; Jacob Fagan, sr., OF; Patrick Massara, sr., OF; Kirk Miller, sr., 2B; Matt Turk, sr., 1B; Kaleb Swinehart, sr., C; Kenny Edler, jr., SS; Zach Thornton, jr., P/OF
TOP PROSPECTS: Matt Smiley, jr., P.
NOTABLE: Rams return eight lettermen from a team that fell just one game shy of making the regional. The top four men in the batting order are back in lead-off man Jordan Fagan, No.2 hitter Kirk Miller, Tyler Baker in the No.3 spot and Matt Smiley hitting cleanup.

Van Buren
HEAD COACH: Rob Obenour (6th year, 101-50)
2006 RECORD: 12-10 overall, 8-2 Blanchard Valley Conference.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Matt Pate, sr., OF/DH; Colin Stoffel, sr., OF; Logan Grant, jr., C; Matt Phillips, jr., P/3B; Adam Greer, jr., P/OF; Chase Marshall, jr., P/SS; Chris Baney, jr., IF/C.
TOP PROSPECTS: Mason Frazier, jr., P/1B/OF; Mitchell Frazier, jr., P/3B/SS; C.J. Iliff, jr., 1B; Jon Tropf, jr., P/2B; Seth Sattler, jr., C/DH; Kevin Ragless, soph., OF; Josh Gilliland, soph., P/OF; Derek Brauneller, soph., P/1B; Travis Kingsley, soph., P; Matt Nye, soph., P.
NOTABLE: With just 23 seniors on the roster, Obenour has one of the younger teams he’s had since he’s been Van Buren’s head coach. Black Knights, who went into the last league game of the 2006 season with a shot at the BVC title, have a deep and talented junior class headed by three returning all-league players.

HEAD COACH: Aaron Long (1st year).
2006 RECORD: 10-14 overall, 2-6 Blanchard Valley Conference.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Chad Drown, sr., SS/P; Josh Simon, soph., OF; Nick Lee, jr., OF/SS/2B; Sean Alfred,. jr., 3B/P; Josh Kloepfer, jr., 1B/P; Chase Kloeppel, soph., C/P.
TOP PROSPECTS: Jacob Javersak, jr., OF/P; Taylor Chiow, fr., OF/P; Garrett Stone, fr., 3B/P; Drew Bostic, fr., P.
NOTABLE: Drown is the lone senior on the roster, but the Wildcats are not inexperienced. Drown will be earning his fourth varsity letter, Lee, Alfred and Kloepfer are 2-year lettermen and Javersak, Simon, and Kloeppel lettered last season.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Lots of no-nos

Hard to believe some of the performances I’ve seen in baseball, softball and track already this spring,
Borrowing the title from one of my favorite movies some of the performances have been good, bad and downright ugly,
Let’s go around the horn…

NO-NO-NO: Lakota’s Amanda Capehart fired a perfect game in a 12-0 six inning softball win over Old Fort Wednesday. She struck out 9 of the 18 batters she faced.
-- Carey’s Scott Harrold fired a no-hitter and struck out 10 in a five inning no-hitter against Riverdale. The Falcons were also no-hit by three different Liberty-Benton pitchers in a 24-0 loss to the Eagles earlier this week.
-- Woodmore’s Sam Michaelis also fired a no-hitter Tuesday in a 2-0 softball win over my alma mater Fostoria St. Wendelin.

GAME OF THE DAY: Elmwood’s girls softball team comes to town today to take on Findlay High School at Diamond Field or whatever the Trojans are calling the field these days. I wish Findlay would pick up a few more games like this against some other local teams in a few other sports. Should be an interesting match up.

FAST STARTS: Tuesday was the first day area track teams competed and there were a few impressive opening day performances.
Columbus Grove’s Cory Meuleman, the defending Division III state champ, won the discus in a quad Tuesday with a toss of 158-2 and teammate Heath Nickles captured the pole vault with a jump of 15-4...both of those marks would earn the Bulldog duo a spot on the state awards stand in a a couple of months.
-- Liberty-Benton’s boys and girls track teams appeared loaded in easily winning a quad involving Van Buren, Mohawk and Carey.
-- Arcadia’s was second in a quintangular at Lakota, Leipsic’s girls were a close third behind Columbus Grove and Cory-Rawson in the CG quad and Arlington’s girls won a triangular with Ada and Indian Lake. Should be an interesting battle for second place in the BVC girls meet this year.

Wednesday’s Baseball Results
Ashland 8, Mansfield Madison 3
Ashland Crestview 10, Loudonville 5
Buckeye Central 13, New Riegel 11
Carey 10, Riverdale 0
Colonel Crawford 5, Plymouth 5
Edison 14, Fremont Ross 5
Elmwood 2, Bowling Green 1
Fostoria 6, Margaretta 5
Fremont St. Joseph 14, Oak Harbor 4
Galion 7, Cardington 4
Marion Harding 3, Upper Arlington 3
Port Clinton 12, Sandusky 11
South Central 13, Sandusky St. Mary 1
Toledo Bowsher 8, Sylvania Northview 4
Van Buren 10, Vanlue 0
West Holmes 11, Mansfield Sr. 7
Wooster 8, Lexington 7
Benjamin Logan 9, Ridgemont 0
Galion Northmor 10, Ontario 2
Tiffin Calvert 12, Norwalk St. Paul 11

Wednesday’s Softball Results
Ashland 7, Mansfield Madison 3
Bowling Green 9, Findlay 5
Cardinal Stritch 5, Otsego 3
Carey 13, Riverdale 3
Colonel Crawford 7, Plymouth 3
Crestline 4, East Knox 2
Edison 5, Firelands 4
Genoa 4, Toledo Central Catholic 3
Gibsonburg 5, Clyde 3
Lakota 12, Old Fort 0
Lexington 6, Wooster 0
Margaretta 5, Monroeville 1
New Riegel 13, Buckeye Central 3
Orrville 2, Clear Fork 1
Ottawa Hills 21, Bettsville 0
Perrysburg 10, Tiffin Columbian 4
Sandusky 24, Port Clinton 0
Sandusky St. Mary 13, South Central 3
Sparta Highland 4, Marion Harding 3
Springfield 17, Swanton 3
Sylvania Northview 3, Toledo Notre Dame 1
Toledo St. Ursula 7, Rossford 3
Van Buren 11, Northwood 9
West Holmes 18, Mansfield Sr. 0
Benjamin Logan 28, Ridgemont 0
Lancaster Fisher Catholic 11, Marion Harding 0

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I was had

I’m feeling a wee bit jilted today and a little melancholy too.
I took former North Baltimore football coach Ryan Hite at his word when he told me he was resigning because of personal issues that were family related. He said he wanted to put his family first in a story I wrote on his resignation in Tuesday’s Courier.
I guess I was a little naiive. A little? OK very naiive. He did tell me the uncertainty of the whole situation was a factor but in his letter of resignation to the North Baltimore Board of Education he laid it all out there.
We had an additional story you can read here.
Here’s Hite’s resignation letter.
"It has become overwhelmingly clear that the goals and expectations of myself and my staff differ from the goals and expectations of the majority of the football team," Hite wrote in his letter of resignation, which is dated Feb. 26.
"I believe that a successful team must have leaders and players that share a similar vision. Since the conclusion of the season, members of the program have decided to pursue a vision that differs with that of its leadership.
"Therefore, I feel it is within the best interests of myself and the program to respectfully resign from the position of head football coach and strength coach at North Baltimore High School."

OK, this tells me he doesn’t think the kids weren’t living up to their end of the bargain. He has high goals for the football program but the football players weren’t putting in the effort to get there.
Am I wrong? How does everyone else read those remarks?
Hey like I said I took him at his word. He’s a young, enthusiastic guy and I think he did some nice things at NB and has been a good member of the community. I think he might have bitten off more than he can chew with the job but he is young and idealistic.
On a side note, I’m amazed sometimes how some school administrators or coaches will tell you no comment or sometimes even lie when they don’t want something unpleasant out there in print. The truth is always better than a lie because they eventually come to light and then it makes everyone look bad. Not that I was necessarily lied to when he told me family concerns were an issue, but there were other reasons for his resignation and he didn’t want to see them in print…for him not sharing those reasons when he knew they were in his letter of resignation, I am a little disappointed. But he’s young and still learning.

Anyway whether or not the May 8 levy try passes or not kids that want to play sports will have to pony up. If the levy passes students will be charged $25 and $50 respectively for junior high school sports and if the levy fails the fees will rise to $250 for high school sports.
The entire plan is in Joy Brown’s story here.

Ada 12, Hardin Northern 0
Archbold 15, Edgerton 1
Ashland Crestview 5, Bucyrus 3
Bluffton 13, Carey 10
Bryan 3, Napoleon 2
Clyde 5, Norwalk 0
Cory-Rawson 15, Pandora-Gilboa 12
Coldwater 2, Fort Loramie 1
Defiance 8, Wayne Trace 2
Edison 11, New London 8
Elida 13, Columbus Grove 4
Elmwood 10, North Baltimore 0
Fairview 7, Paulding 2
Fremont Ross 7, Delta 3
Galion 7, Cardington 4
Galion Northmor 10, Ontario 2
Genoa 10, Fremont St. Joseph 9
Kenton 9, Upper Scioto Valley 6
Leipsic 12, Holgate 2
Lexington 11, Wooster 7
Mansfield Madison 7, Ashland 5
Margaretta 5, Bellevue 1
Miller City 3, Continental 1
Mohawk 8, Lakota 6
New London 7, Buckeye Central 1
New Riegel 12, Upper Sandusky 6
Northwood 5, Otsego 1
Oregon Clay 3, Sylvania Southview 1
Orrville 9, Clear Fork 2
Ottawa-Glandorf 3, Ottoville 0
Perrysburg 12, Lake 11
Sandusky 4, Huron 1
Seneca East 10, Crestline 8
Shelby 5, Marion Harding 2
South Central 14, Danbury 2
Swanton 11, Rossford 8
Tinora 6, Antwerp 5
Toledo Libbey 13, Toledo Rogers 4
Toledo Whitmer 9, Maumee 7
Willard 14, Colonel Crawford 1
Wynford 6, Plymouth 1
Woodmore 13, Fostoria St. Wendelin 5

Antwerp 13, Hicksville 3
Ayersville 7, Liberty Center 2
Archbold 9, Edon 0
Ashland 9, Mansfield Madison 1
Bellevue 2, Margaretta 0
Bryan 4, Paulding 0
Bucyrus 9, Ashland Crestview 2
Carey 7, Bluffton 3
Celina 16, Minster 0
Clear Fork 4, Orrville 1
Clyde 6, Norwalk 5
Colonel Crawford 5, Willard 1
Cory-Rawson 11, Allen East 5
Danville 3, Lucas 0
Defiance 4, Napoleon 3
Delphos Jefferson 7, Van Wert 2
Eastwood 6, Delta 1
Evergreen 9, Hilltop 0
Findlay 6, Maumee 2
Fremont Ross 3, Port Clinton 2
Genoa 10, Fremont St. Joseph 0
Hardin Northern 6, Liberty-Benton 2
Kenton 9,Upper Scioto Valley 4
Lake 14, Toledo Rogers 0
Leipsic 6, Continental 4
Lima Shawnee 8, Sidney 2
Mohawk 14, Ridgedale 0
New London 5, Buckeye Central 0
New Riegel 3, Upper Sandusky 0
Perrysburg 3, Toledo Whitmer 2
Plymouth 11, Wynford 7
Rossford 10, Northwood 0
St. Marys Memorial 4, Parkway 0
Sandusky 10, Huron 0
Sandusky St. Mary’s 4, Norwalk St. Paul 2
Seneca East 3, Crestline 0
South Central 5, Danbury 1
Springfield 5, Oregon Clay 1
Wauseon 10, Pettisville 4
Wayne Trace 3, Ottoville 1
West Holmes 20, Mansfield Senior 1
Woodmore 2, Fostoria St. Wendelin 0

Ayersville 13, Hilltop 4
Fort Recovery 11 Celina 2
Pettisville 4, Edgerton 2
Upper Sandusky 12, Kenton 2
Margaretta 4, Norwalk St Paul 3

Antwerp 5, Edon 4
Bryan 7, Fairview 1
Napoleon 7, Delta 2

Trouble in Tiger Town

It's been a tough year in Tiger Town.
North Baltimore has suffered through: a train derailment downtown, the loss of the town's lone grocery store, battles over taxes between the city council and citizens and the school district facing a $1.4 million deficit.
Now they don't even have a football coach.
Ryan Hite resigned as North Baltimore's head football coach at the end of last month. He's a young guy and in a tough situation.
Here's a link to my story about him and his stepping aside.
It's expected that the NB Board of Education will come up with a pay-to-participate plan at tonight's 7 p.m. meeting in the high school library. The plan will take affect if the school district's voters don't pass a 1-percent income tax which will be on the May 8 primary ballot.
The junior high already pays $277 per sport. The cost stopped the school from fielding an eighth grade boys basketball team this winter. I've been told the cost for varsity sports at NB in a pay-to-participate place could be in the range of $400-$500.
If a pay-to-participate plan is enacted after the levy fails, North Baltimore football is done — at least for this coming season. I just don't see enough parents coming up with the money to allow their kids to play football. Numbers will be an issue. Plus it's likely that a multi-sport athlete wouldn't have the funds to participate in 2 or 3 sports. They'd have to settle for one sport and NB needs every athlete it has to be a part of multiple sports teams if possible.
I can't really blame Ryan Hite for stepping down. He wants to coach and there's a pretty good chance he won't get that opportunity at NB in 2007 as more budget cuts loom on the horizon if the May 8 levy fails.
He said he resigned because it was in the best interest of his family. I take him at his word. He's a good kid taking on a tough job as the head football coach at NB. But I also think that deep down the sense of uncertainty about the program probably played a role in his departure too.
With the uncertainty, NB isn't only losing coaches (girls basketball coach Jeff Daniels also resigned) — they are losing athletes too already.
Junior Cory Herr, the baseball team's top pitcher and one of the school's best football and basketball players, has joined NB sophomore Evan Shank and both have transferred to Van Buren. If pay to participate is adopted expect others to jump ship to nearby schools like Elmwood, Van Buren and McComb — especially those in junior high school who can open enroll at neighboring schools without penalty.
I'm not confident the levy is going to pass. A few people I know from NB and people that work there don't think the levy will pass either. It's as if there's a big, dark cloud hanging over the village with a perpetual rainstorm. I want it to pass, I hope it passes.
It's your school NB, and it's time to step up to the plate.

NOTEWORTHY: I’ll post the daily schedule and baseball and softball results daily below each day for the rest of the spring.
Tuesday's Events
College Athletics
Women's Golf — Findlay at Bellarmine Invitational, TBA
Men's Tennis — Wayne State (GLIAC) at Findlay, 2
Women's Softball — Findlay at Urbana (GLIAC), DH, 3
Prep Baseball
Bluffton at Carey, 4:30
Elida at Columbus Grove, 4:30
Woodmore at Fostoria St. Wendelin, 4:30
Cory-Rawson at Pandora-Gilboa, 4:30
Upper Sandusky at New Riegel, 4:30
Ottoville at Ottawa-Glandorf, 4:30
North Baltimore at Elmwood, 4:30
Continental at Miller City, 4:30
Hardin Northern at Ada, 4:30
Holgate at Leipsic, 4:30
Prep Track
Hardin Northern at RIverdale, 4:30
Ottawa-Glandorf & Fort Jennings at Elida, 4:30
Pandora-Gilboa, Cory-Rawson & Leipsic at Columbus Grove, 4:30
Arlington & Indian Lake at Ada, 4:30
Arcadia at Lakota, 4:30
Liberty-Benton, Carey & Mohawk at Van Buren, 4:30
Arcadia, Hopewell-Loudon & Bettsville at Lakota, 4:30
Ottoville at Lima Perry, 4:30
Bluffton at Delphos Jefferson, 4:30
Prep Softball
Hardin Northern at Liberty-Benton, 4:30
Cory-Rawson at Allen East, 4:30
Woodmore at St. Wendelin, 4:30
Continental at Leipsic (PCL), 4:30
Findlay at Maumee, 4:30
Upper Sandusky at New Riegel, 4:30
Patrick Henry at Miller City, 4:30
Bluffton at Carey, 4:30
Wayne Trace at Ottoville, 5
Prep Boys Tennis
Bluffton at St. Marys Memorial, 4:30

Monday March 26 Baseball
Bowling Green 11, Toledo Whitmer 8
Bryan 7, Ottawa-Glandorf 1
Defiance 6, Archbold 5
Delaware Hayes 11, Marion Harding 3
Delphos Jefferson 9, Kalida 7
Delphos St. John’s 5, Wapakoneta 1
Delta 6, Springfield 1
Edison 11, New London 8
Edon 4, Antwerp 1
Evergreen 12, Swanton 3
Findlay 11, Tiffin Columbian 0
Fort Jennings 7, Elida 5
Galion 5, Ridgedale 1
Galion Northmor 15, Mansfield Christian 6
Gibsonburg 7, Arcadia 2
Lakota 9, Fostoria 8
Lexington 13, Ontario 1
Liberty-Benton 24, Riverdale 0
Lima Central Catholic 3, Lima Bath 0
Lima Shawnee 6, Paulding 5
Lima Temple Christian 5, Lima Perry 2
Mansfield Madison 8, Bellevue 7
McComb 8, Bluffton 4
Norwalk 6, Ashland Crestview 2
Oak Harbor 6, Monroeville 5
Plymouth 12, Lucas 1
St. Henry 4, Indian Lake 3
St. Marys Memorial 10, Parkway 6
Sandusky 5, Clyde 2
Sandusky Perkins 3, Vermilion 0
Sandusky St. Mary’s 9, Tiffin Calvert 4
Seneca East 13, Buckeye Central 5
Shelby 21, Mansfield Senior 3
South Central 10, Bucyrus 3
Tinora 9, Liberty Center 8
Toledo Woodward 22, Toledo Rogers 16
Upper Scioto Valley 5, Hardin Northern 4
Wayne Trace 8, Continental 1
Western Reserve 2, Lagrange Keystone 1
Willard 3, Huron 2
Woodmore 4, Mohawk 3
Wynford 11, Carey 1
Margaretta 4, Norwalk St. Paul 3

Monday March 26 Softball
Bowling Green 5, Fremont Ross 2
Bucyrus 7, Mansfield Madison 1
Defiance 12, Liberty Center 0
Evergreen 3, Cardinal Stritch 1
Fayette 3, Emmanuel Baptist 2
Findlay 11, Tiffin Columbian 0
Hardin Northern 11, Ada 2
Hilltop 9, Edgerton 4
Huron 4, Lorain Brookside 3
Lima Perry 10, Lima Temple Christian 9
Lima Shawnee 9, Paulding 0
Mansfield Christian 6, Galion Northmor 5
Mansfield St. Peter’s 3, South Central 1
Margaretta 13, Western Reserve 3
McComb 8, Bluffton 2
Miller City 10, Pettisville 2
Mohawk 7, Woodmore 0
New Bremen 10, Bradford 1
New London 2, Edison 1
North Baltimore 5, Ayersville 4
North Union 7, Marion Harding 0
Norwalk 4, Ashland Crestview 2
Ontario 3, Lexington 2
Otsego 6, Archbold 0
Ottawa-Glandorf 15, LCC 2
Parkway 3, Spencerville 0
Perrysburg 4, Clay 3
Plymouth 6, Lucas 5
Ridgedale 4, Galion 1
Riverdale 6, Liberty-Benton 5
St. Marys Memorial 9, Indian Lake 0
Sandusky 12, Clyde 3
Seneca East 11, Buckeye Central 5
Sylvania Northview 4, Toledo Central Catholic 0
Tiffin Calvert 5, Sandusky St. Mary’s 4
Toledo St. Ursula 3, Maumee 0
Upper Sandusky 9, Kenton 1
Van Wert 9, Lima Senior 0
Wapakoneta 8, Benjamin Logan 1
Wayne Trace 8, Continental 1

Monday, March 26, 2007

Sports Ala Carte

Plenty on the plate today for breakfast.
We’ll try to cover the topic ala carte today.

STATE BOYS BASKETBALL: Buster got back from the state boys basketball tournament yesterday. He was a one-man wreaking crew filing three or four stories a day from Columbus.
It’s too bad the Eagles and Rams both fell one game short of their state tournament dreams Saturday at the Schottenstein Center. I’m pretty well convinced that winning a state title in basketball is tougher than in any other sport. You have only four divisions and everyone in the state has a team. You have to be skilled, talented and a little lucky to win a state title in basketball.
Anyway it was a banner postseason for area basketball teams. I think there were five teams in our 30-school coverage area that advanced to the regional level and another 7 girls teams that also made the Sweet 16. That is by far the most teams we’ve ever had advance that far in the same season since I start at the newspaper back in 1994. Truly amazing.

SPRING STARTS: There were supposed to be a couple of track meets to get the spring sports season underway Saturday but both were cancelled. So I guess, weather permitting, things should get underway today for area baseball, softball and tennis teams.
I have been calling coaches and working on softball capsules. Most teams have gotten outside just a few times this spring so far and mostly for parking lot practices. Miller City coach Chris Rump went even so far as to paint a softball diamond on the school parking lot. In softball you have the usual suspects for success -- Elmwood and some of the teams from the MAL.
The teams from the BVC are slowly improving in fastpitch but honestly they are still a step and a half behind some of the other Division IV schools from around the area. Van Buren won the conference at 13-9 overall and 9-0 in the BVC I believe that record speaks volumes to how far the conference has to go to become more competitive in softball.

MORE JOBS OPEN: There have been plenty of head football jobs shake open in NW Ohio over the last week. Lima Senior’s coach Rick Vaughn decided to leave Lima for Central Crossing in suburban Columbus and head coaches at Elida and Paulding were also shown the door in recent days. Wapakoneta, Celina, Genoa and I think New London are also looking for head football coaches in the NW District.
North Baltimore’s Ryan Hite also decided to resign his position as head football coach. He gave up the post Feb. 27 and his resignation will be approved at Tuesday’s North Baltimore board of education meeting. I talked a little to Ryan last night for a story for Tuesday’s paper. Much more on the whole North Baltimore situation later this week.
Two other volleyball coaching jobs are also available in the MAL. Hopewell-Loudon and Carey. With all the volleyball tradition the Chieftains have and former coach Dave Reinhart’s Black Swamp Volleyball Club just up the road people will probably be lined up for the H-L gig.

SOMETHING’S FISHY: Finally, got out and did a little fishing Saturday. Went up to Mud Creek looking for some bullhead and caught three carp. Hey, a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work anyday. Anyone, else fish out there? Email me your favorite fishin’ holes from the area and we’ll compare notes.

BREAKFAST: Give me eggs and toast. What is your favorite breakfast? I still get the willies watching my English stepdad get enjoyment from eating Quakers Instant Grits for breakfast.

L-B Eagles miss out on gold
L-B Enjoyed a great run
Rams come home as runners up
A trying week for Diebler family
Dunbar proves their Ram tough
No one quite like young Diebler
More than game on Upper’s mind
L-B falls one game short of perfection
1-point quarter costs L-B
Holgate heart-broken at state
Holgate wins style points but still loses in state semis
Holgate converts doubters
Findlay softball preview
NCC Softball Preview
Ashland area softball preview
Lima area softball capsules
Sandusky softball has high hopes
SBC Softball Preview
Findlay baseball preview
Ashland area baseball preview
Seniors are key for Port Clinton
Defiance’s season looks promising
Defiance area girls track capsules
Sandusky track team is a road warrior
Sandusky area track preview
SBC Girls Track Preview

Friday, March 23, 2007

Those crazy Buckeyes

I know there’s a method to the Madness.
March Madness that is. Oh I almost forgot March Madness©® I don’t know whether the NCAA copyrighted or trademarked March Madness©® so I’ll use both symbols whenever I use their phrase.
But who came up with the schedule for the Ohio State-Tennessee game last night?
Two teams in the Eastern Time Zone and they don’t tip it off until 10:20 p.m.?
The game didn’t end until I think around 12:30 a.m. but it was a dandy as the Buckeyes pulled out an 85-84 win over the Vols. I know everything the NCAA Tournament does, it does it for high TV ratings but I’m sure how OSU-Tennessee starting at 10:20 p.m. fits into that equation.
I’m sure there were more than a few bleary-eyed people at work across the state this morning after staying up to watch the end of the game. I think were also quite a few people who may have saw how far behind the Buckeyes were at halftime and decided to hit the hay.
Well if the last couple of games have been any indication you can’t ever count the Buckeyes out.
Here’s hoping Thad Matta still has his rabbit’s foot and the Buckeyes’ luck hasn’t yet run out.

NOTEWORTHY: Best of luck to Liberty-Benton and Upper Sandusky tomorrow at Value City Arena. Actually, for some reason I think both teams come back home as champions tomorrow.

Have a great weekend everyone I’ll be back on Monday.

Prep Track
Wood County Girls Track Capsules
Ashland area track capsules
Perrysburg hurdler sets sites on state
Boys Basketball
Liberty-Benton headed to state finals
L-B Eagles handled state pressure
Liberty-Benton interview and slideshow
Audio highlights of L-B’s semifinal win
Upper Sandusky crushes Poland Seminary
Upper can play defense
State Tournament Coverage from the Plain Dealer
State Tournament Coverage from the Columbus Dispatch
Upper Sandusky runs roughshod over Poland Seminary
Diebler puts on a complete show against Poland Seminary
Liberty-Benton stands tall at state

Defiance area preview
Defiance has a mix of old and new
Gibsonburg picked fifth in SLL softball race
Genoa softball team has unfinished business
Defiance seeks to continue tradition
Defiance area baseball preview
Wooten should be solid on the mound for Woodmore
SBC Baseball Preview
Sandusky area baseball capsules

Vaughn leaving Lima Senior for Central Crossing head football job

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Girls basketball has come a long way...still has more work to do though

You’ve come a long way baby.
I never thought I’d see the day when there would be four or five guys crowded around the small TV in Courier newsroom watching women’s basketball.
It happened Tuesday night when the BGSU women’s basketball team slipped past Vanderbilt to advance to the NCAA Sweet 16.
I’m not sure that would have happened a decade or even five years ago. But womens and girls basketball has come a long way in popularity since then but they still have a long way to go to capture the imagination of the casual sports fan.
Take the OHSAA state girls basketball tournament for example. The crowds at the girls state tournament were a little disappointing.

Here were the attendance figures for the four state championship games…
Division I -- 3,576
Division II -- 4,936
Division III -- 4,624
Division IV -- 3,734

So what should be done? Some suggest moving the games across campus to St. John Arena. I don’t agree. Let’s face it compared to the Schottenstein Center, St. John Arena is pretty much a dank, dark, dump. It’s historic, a lot of wonderful memories were made there but it’s not fit for the state girls basketball tournament…in my opinion for whatever that’s worth.

Locally, the following for the girls teams is pretty good when they are playing close to home. But statewide there isn’t the hardcore following there is for the boys state tournament or even the boys regional tourneys. The OHSAA boys state tournament is an event, people attend it every single year. It’s a tradition. Some do travel to Columbus and watch the girls state tournament each year but there isn’t nearly the rabid fan base that the boys tournament has.

I don’t even think the girls state tournament it has the following that the state wrestling tournament has. Even though wrestling is a secondary sport in the winter, it still has a built in fan base that is willing to travel to Columbus the first weekend of March and spend three days there. This year 71,000 fans attended the five sessions at the state wrestling tournament. Girls basketball in Ohio has yet to tap a similar fan base.

So what can be done? How can the OHSAA increase attendance so the 19,200-seat Schottenstein Center doesn’t look so empty when the girls play? Marketing would be good…a targeted marketing campaign. Target youth leagues especially those for young girls and their parents, Give them a group discount on tickets. Hell, market the tournament through the burgeoning Upwards youth basketball program. Better yet drop the ticket prices across the board by $2-3. Tickets for the boys basketball and wrestling were a couple of dollars more expensive than the girls tournament but dropping the price a few bucks more might entice some additional fans to go to the games.

Any other ideas out there?

Boys Basketball
Diebler is named Mr. Basketball
Upper Sandusky has unfinished business
Future Buckeyes will be on display
Liberty-Benton trying to complete perfect season
Holgate marches to its own beat
Harvest Prep hopes to outrun Holgate
A titanic turnaround for Holgate
Plain Dealer coverage of the OHSAA state boys basketball tournament
Wood County Boys Track Capsules
Jumper Fairbanks shines for Eastwood
Bucyrus area boys track capsules
Bellevue ready to rip it
Pitching, power key for Bellevue softball team
Other Sports
Elida ousts Etzler as football coach

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Think Spring

The spring sports season is always interesting.
And it’s mostly because of the weather. One day it will be 75 and sunny and the next it will be cold and rainy with the wind chilling you to the bone.
There’s nothing like sitting in a lawnchair in mid-May and watching a little high school baseball or softball. Keeping score, listening to the fans and coaches jaw with the umpire, the smell of freshly cut grass. It’s a beautiful thing and most of the time it‘s free
But I think I like covering prep track and field best in the spring. The reason is that there are so many different things to write about at a track meet. Throwers, jumpers vaulters. Sprinters, distance, hurdlers. There’s something for everyone to watch.
I think track has grown on me over the years working at The Courier. I’ve gotten to see Liberty-Benton, Cory-Rawson, Columbus Grove, Ottawa-Glandorf and Upper Sandusky all win state titles over the years in track and field. Not to mention countless state individual champions and placers from schools like Bluffton, Riverdale, Fostoria St. Wendelin, Carey and Hopewell-Loudon.
If the state indoor meet is any indication, it will be another banner year for area competitors.
Liberty-Benton’s Kesha Brooks, the defending Division III outdoor 800-meter state champ, won the indoor crown. But other area schools were well-represented in the girls meet too with Cory-Rawson’s Dana Ford and McComb’s Katie Borgelt placing in a pair of events.
It is nice to see Dana Ford doing well after she was forced to miss the final few weeks of last season with an injury. She should be one of the area’s top female sprinters again during this outdoor season.

COMINGS AND GOINGS: Marion Harding has hired a new football coach. Heath Hinton will take over as the Presidents’ next coach here’s a little synopsis here of the hiring from the Marion Star.
In addition to NW District small schools will be looking for basketball coaches. Tom Kowaleski has stepped down after 10 years at Sandusky St. Mary’s and Woodmore’s Ty Ray has also resigned. A couple of pretty decent jobs open right there.

THURSDAY: Title IX in high school and how to get more fans to attend the OHSAA girls state tournament. No blogging tomorrow I'm taking a full time out to see if I can find a place where the fish are biting :)

VASJ has plenty of hoops history
L-B ends St. Henry’s quest for Columbus
Diebler is top Division II player
St. John’s praises players
St. John’s finals loss brings out emotions
Ottoville does it with class and character
Tough third period denies St. John a title
New Knoxville girls are state runners up
Africentric ends New Knoxville‘s state bid
Cleveland Central Catholic ends St. John’s season

Monday, March 19, 2007

And then there were two

And then there were two.
Out of 30 area teams that started on the road to the OHSAA state tournament there are just two boys basketball teams left Liberty-Benton and Upper Sandusky.
It’s too bad these teams didn’t play one another this season.
I never did get to see L-B play. Is there anyone out there who has watched both of these teams? How would you say they matched up?
Would Diebler and Falk go off on the Eagles? Or could L-B’s defense and patience keep them in check?
They are only one division apart and I imagine that Upper must be close to Division III status.
So what do the basketball minds out there think…how would the Rams and Eagles match up?

Division I
St. Edward shoots down Findlay 66-50
St. Edward flying south for spring
St. Edward rules the perimeter against Findlay
St. Edward’s Roe narrows choices to North Caroline, Michigan State

Division II
Upper Sandusky fights its way past Olmsted Falls
Olmsted Fouls
Diebler breaks nose in regional final win
Division IV
Holgate wins regional crown

Holgate is headed back to Columbus
New Knoxville falls short in battle of unbeatens
New Knoxville boys bow out of tournament
Division III
Third quarter is huge in Liberty-Benton win
It took L-B a half to play its style
Liberty-Benton shows up in the second half
Hyde’s 25 points help L-B reach state tournament

Division III
Ironmen are state champs in Division III
Tradition, tears and a trophy for St. John’s
St. John’s falls to inside out combo
Division IV
Defense carries Africentric past New Knoxville
New Knoxville falls in final to Africentric
Africentric is too much for Ottoville
New Knoxville stops Chanel in semifinals
Coldwater school officials working to follow Title IX
Prep Baseball
Fremont starts from scratch after 20 win season
Prep Softball
Fremont looks to improve on 7-win season
Prep Track
Woodmore’s Pendleton working hard for fourth discus title
Port Clinton area track preview capsules

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Shooting woes, foul at the end

You can’t cheer in the pressbox.
And I’ll let you all in on a little sports writing secret we’re not rooting for you. It may seem a little harsh but we’d probably rather see you lose than win because that just decreases our work load the following week during the OHSAA tournament season.
But I’ll have to admit after covering Van Buren their last four games I couldn’t help but pull for them high-top press row at Anderson Arena.
I hate breaking my own rules but I was hoping the Black Knights would make it to state.
Unfortunately the season ended at BGSU.
A bad shooting night doomed Van Buren in its regional final against Holgate Friday night. They shot just 42.9 percent from the field, about 20 points lower than they shot during the regular season.
Also a charging foul on Van Buren junior Matt Phillips, who was heading to the basket with 13.5 seconds left in the game and the Black Knights trailing 35-34, could have been as easily called a blocking foul on Holgate’s Alex Urdiales.
Instead of Phillips, an excellent free throw shooter going to the line to give Van Buren a chance to take the lead, Holgate got the basketball back with a chance to run out the clock.
Van Buren junior Patrick Stacy entered the game and had a chance at a 3-pointer at the buzzer. He never got a good look and had to try and off balance shot that missed the mark.
I asked E.J. Frost about the charging call and he gave me an emphatic “No comment.” after the game. I’m not sure if he was upset at the call or for me asking the question. Because I didn’t know the context of his No comment I left it out of the story. Clearly, Van Buren fans weren’t happy with the charging foul call.
I really thought Van Buren was going to win this game. Holgate wasn’t sharp and committed 17 turnovers against Fort Jennings in the regional semifinals. They took much better care of the basketball against the Black Knights committing just 7 turnovers an they shot 56 percent from the field…the combination of those two factors got the Tigers the win.
Still Van Buren was 22-3 and had a season to be proud of. The tournament run by the Black Knights will be long remembered by their players, coaches and fans.

Boys Basketball
Division II
Upper Sandusky shows it has more than Diebler
Upper Sandusky is just a win away from state tournament
Division IV
Holgate nips Knights
Offense helps Holgate beat Van Buren
New Knoxville boys fall in regional final
New Knoxville boys bow out of tournament
Division I
Late drought dooms Trojans
Findlay’s girls put it all on the line
Findlay Courier: State girls basketball tournament notebook
Stifing defense shuts down Findlay
Returning champs beat Findlay
Division IV
Bozeman’s clutch 3 lifts Nubians over Ottoville
Kruse’s late jumper lifts New Knoxville
New Knoxville wins a thriller
New Knoxville to play for state title
Ottoville falls on last-second shot
Last second shot sinks Ottoville
Africentric eliminates Ottoville
Division III
Ms. Basketball is a major obstacle for St. John’s

Friday, March 16, 2007

Rammies roll

Sometimes you have to roll with the punches.
I roll in to the office at 4 p.m. Thursday. There I was expecting to spend a quiet evening typing schedules or working on baseball capsules.
Wrong. Review Times Sports Editor Scott Cottos, who was supposed to cover Upper Sandusky’s Division II regional semifinal game against Van Wert, was sick so I was pressed into duty to watch the Rammies and the Cougars.
Honestly, I don’t mind covering basketball, especially at this time of year since wrestling is over. No offense, but it sure as hell beats covering those regular season games between Arcadia and Cory-Rawson.
But this was the game this week I didn’t really want to cover. Nothing against my friends from Upper Sandusky. They have a great basketball team and I’ve interviewed and written stories abut some great young people over the years. But I hate the crush of media that comes with covering the Rams this season.
I walked up and down press row to look at the media outlets covering this game…two writers from the Detroit News??? Some other newspapers with as many as three reporters on hand. Five or six radio stations and all the other “working media” that aren’t really media but basically curiosity seekers. A couple of radio stations were there and they didn’t broadcast anything.
OK that ends my rambling Friday rant…on to basketball.
All right erase the rant above. I’m damn glad I went to this basketball game. This was one of the most entertaining games I’ve covered in a long time. Non-stop action from the opening tip.
Upper Sandusky’s Jon Diebler is the best high school basketball player I have ever seen in person. Granted I never watched Lebron play and I cover wrestling most of the winter months. He is the real deal.
But I was even more impressed with Alex Falk. Man, this kid doesn’t play like a sophomore. He has the poise of a season veteran and isn’t gun shy about taking it to the hole or pulling up for jumper in traffic…I’m working on my basketball vernacular.
They were doggone impressive and blew Van Wert right off the floor.
Here’s an example of how the game went for Van Wert. Chris Morrow, a 6-foot-6 junior, who led the team with like 15 points missed three consecutive easy shots right underneath the basket, this doesn’t include the tip in try he missed on the same series. But just after the halftime buzzer sounded, a Van Wert player swished in a desperation shot from halfcourt.
That’s how the night went for the Cougars, it just wasn’t meant to be.
Up next for the Rams is Olmsted Falls…I have a sneaking suspicion that the Rams will be packing their bags for Columbus Saturday night.

NOTEWORTHY: Guess who was up in the stands watching the Upper Sandusky game yesterday? It was Browns quarterback Charlie Frye. Boy would I like to have asked him a few questions last night.

Findlay meets powerful St. Edward
Liberty-Benton has added incentive<
St. Henry rolls behind threes, defense
St. Henry topples Evergreen in regional semis
Evergreen’s season comes to an end
St. Henry finds a leader in the post

Upper Sandusky’s Falk has a big night
Sparks ignites Olmsted Falls
Sparks, Olmsted Falls end Kenmore’s run
Foul shooting, turnovers doom Kenmore against Olmsted Falls
Cougars fall short against Upper Sandusky
Cougars fall to Upper in regional semifinals
Falk picks up slack for Upper Sandusky
Van Buren faces a different challenge tonight
Findlay’s success is a team thing
Sandusky Perkins state run comes to an end
No hair regrets for Perkins’ Lowe
Perkins run ends in state semifinals
Delphos St. John’s steamrolls Albany Alexander
Africentric eyes first basketball title
Top ranked Africentric awaits Ottoville
New Knoxville’s frenzied Friday

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Finding the way to the finals

OK I guess I’m ready for a big steaming plate of crow for breakfast this morning.
In my second to last paragraph yesterday, I predicted a Liberty-Benton win and a Findlay High School loss.
I was right on target with the Eagles but dead wrong when it comes to the Trojans.
All those who thought Findlay High School would make the regional finals before the season started please raise your hands?
Let’s face it the Trojans have no track record of doing this kind of thing their last regional appearance was in I think 1980 or ‘81.
People have probably underestimated them all season long and I am guilty of that yesterday. Luke Kraus is a pretty good player as a sophomore but these guys don’t have one superstar or a go-to player like Upper Sandusky’s Jon Diebler or something similar to that. They are well-coached and play great team basketball, although some of the parents of players are grumbling a little about Kraus getting more than his share of the limelight. But that’s typical Findlay bullshit. I imagine the players don’t give a damn who gets the limelight as long as they are still playing basketball and one step closer to Columbus.

The OHSAA has decided to flip-flop the regional final games scheduled for the University of Toledo’s Savage Hall on Saturday. The Division I regional final between Findlay and Lakewood St. Edward’s will be played at 3 p.m. and the Division II regional final, which will be determined tonight will play at 7:30 p.m.

As for Liberty-Benton, Africentric kept it close for the first half but a 27-2 run to start the second half allowed them to roll to an easy 77-46 win over the Nubians.
C’mon BVC fans be haters in football but back the Eagles tournament run in hoops. I think they beat St. Henry and make the Division III final four. The Eagles are well-coached, have some great athletes and they are playing some terrific basketball right now.
Plus they didn’t have to knock any other BVC teams out of the tournament to get there. Ahh, to see a Liberty-Benton wrestling team have 1/8 of the success of the basketball team…that’s my March madness dream. But that’s another blog topic for another day.

Tonight’s the night our final area boys team, Upper Sandusky, plays its regional semifinal tournament game. The Rams take on Van Wert tonight at Savage Hall in a Division II regional semifinal. Good feature in today’s paper about sophomore Alex Falk and how he’s been the overlooked player for Upper Sandusky this season. He’s quite a talented athlete in his own right. Should be an interesting ballgame.

WHAT’S UP FINDLAY: Your girls are going to state, your boys are in the regional final but there’s plenty of tickets for sale still and no windows painted downtown in support of your basketball teams. I’m kind of surprised at that then again maybe I’m not. And another thing why aren’t there cheerleaders at the girls basketball games? Especially if a school’s boys team is out of the picture. If cheerleaders are all about building school spirit then they should be cheering at the girls games too, right?

COACHES NEEDED: Kevin Brandt has turned in his resignation as Leipsic’s boys basketball coach. The Vikings have struggled the past two seasons under Brandt. He resigned last season but was convinced to return and finished out the season. Kevin is a great guy and I wish him all he best in the future.
Riverdale is looking for new volleyball coach. A program with lots of tradition will have their third coach in three years.

Findlay bombs its way into regional final
Liberty-Benton runs away with a 77-46 win
Falk adds punch to Upper Sandusky lineup
New Knoxville dominates fourth quarter for regional win
New Knoxville outlasts Lockland
Woeful third quarter dooms Fort Jennings in loss to Holgate
Holgate survives against Fort Jennings
St. Henry advances by crushing Evergreen
Van Wert to face Ohio’s finest in regional semifinals
Findlay gets rare regional victory
St. Henry’s Puthoff buries Evergreen
Liberty-Benton buries Africentric

Findlay girls know they are in for a tough test
Ottoville faces athletic Africentric team at state
Ottoville faces uphill climb in state semifinals
Ottoville, Africentric both like to press
Vorst looks to erase bad memories
Playing in the Schott will be a new experience for New Knoxville’s girls
Findlay finds its way to state