Finally, some nice weather and, as predicted, the athletes in northwest
Ohio responded. Notably, Toledo Rogers’ Erik Kynard opened everyone’s
eyes by breaking the 22 year state high jump record set by Elyria’s
Mark Cannon of 7-2 1/4. Kynard cleared the bar at 7 feet, 2 ¾ inches at
the Mansfield Mehock track meet this past Saturday and immediately
established himself as the favorite to capture the state title.
Finally, some nice weather and, as predicted, the athletes in northwest Ohio responded. Notably, Toledo Rogers’ Erik Kynard opened everyone’s eyes by breaking the 22 year state high jump record set by Elyria’s Mark Cannon of 7-2 1/4. Kynard cleared the bar at 7 feet, 2 ¾ inches at the Mansfield Mehock track meet this past Saturday and immediately established himself as the favorite to capture the state title.
Kynard’s record setting jump came on his third attempt but it does not represent his best career effort. Just two weeks ago, Kynard jumped 7-4 ½ in an indoor meet at Eastern Michigan University.
In softball, the Springfield Lady Blue Devils made an early statement by downing the Maumee Lady Panthers, 7-0, and the Sylvania Southview Lady Cougars, 3-1. The win over the Lady Panthers was expected as Maumee continues to rebuild their program but the win over the Lady Cougars was a big win as it was on the road and against a team expected to challenge for the Northern Lakes title. Both teams received strong pitching efforts as Ashley Michalak for Springfield and Sarah Haynam for Southview limited the number of baserunners but it was some unfortunate defensive lapses by the Lady Cougars that proved to be the difference.
This past weekend Toledo St. Ursula hosted their annual softball tournament in which they host some of the state’s best softball teams. Along with St. Ursula, Sylvania Southview, Toledo Whitmer, and Toledo Central Catholic participated in the tournament with all four teams enjoying winning records against the likes of Parma Padua, Rocky River Magnificant, Columbus DeSales and Parma Heights Holy Name.
Entering the season many prognosticators predicted that this would be a down season for the Defiance Bulldogs. The Bulldogs, however, had different ideas and, as the season reaches the midway point, they are poised to win their 19th league title in 35 years. Currently ranked third in the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association state poll, Defiance has posted a 10-1 overall record and stand 2-0 in the league, including key victories over Celina and Wapakoneta.
In the Northern Lakes League, the Anthony Wayne Generals have jumped to the top of the heap early with a 5-1 win over the Perrysburg Yellow Jackets. The Jackets had returned from their Florida trip where they had gone 7-2 against some top shelf competition but the Generals did not let this intimidate them.
The Toledo City League race is still wide open. No one has risen to establish themselves as a favorite but, now that the weather has broken, the picture should become clearer. Any one of five teams (Clay, Central Catholic, St. John’s, St. Francis or Start) can lay claim to being the league’s best and the next two weeks will be interesting to watch.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Erik Kynard, Toledo Rogers: Picking this week’s player of the week is a no-brainer. Kynard set a new high jump record this week while participating in the Mansfield Mehock track meet. Jumping 7 feet, 2 ¾ inches, Kynard surpassed the existing state record by a full ½ inch and, with six weeks remaining in the season, is a good candidate to break his own record.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Defiance Baseball: The Bulldogs completed the past week by winning three straight games to improve their overall record to 10-1 and, in the process, receive recognition from the Ohio Baseball Coaches as the third ranked team in the state. The only blemish on the Bulldogs’ record is a one-run (5-4) loss to a tough Anthony Wayne General team and with two league victories in-hand the Bulldogs are well on their way to their 19th league championship.
NEWS, NOTES AND NUGGETS
Support for Kortokrax: What will happen in Kalida regarding the future of long-time boys’ basketball coach is unknown but there remains considerable support for his return. This past week hundreds of Kortokrax’ supporters attended the Kalida school board meeting to voice their support. Kortokrax currently ranks as the state’s all-time leader in career coaching victories with 785 wins.
All-Ohio Honors: Four basketball players from the Western Buckeye League, Elida’s Bo Mathias, Kenton’s Garrick Sherman, Wapakoneta’s Devon Golden and Lima Bath’s Nicki Hopkins were all named to the Ohio Basketball Coaches Association All-Academic team.
Letter of Intent: Elida’s Evan Neuman signed a national letter-of-intent to play tennis at Wright State University. Wright State is a Division I tennis program.
Uncertainty in League Affiliation: The future of several northwest Ohio high school league affiliations remains in question. One of the teams facing an uncertain future is Marion Harding. Harding is presently a member of the Greater Buckeye Conference but the possible departure of league members, Sandusky and Napoleon, to other leagues has caused Marion Harding to investigate their options. Harding has reportedly sent letters of interest to the Ohio Capital Conference and the Ohio Cardinal Conference.
Hall of Fame Inductees: Two longtime northwest Ohio basketball coaches, Wayne Trace’s Al Welch and Fort Recovery coach Al Souder have been inducted into the Ohio Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.
Bluffton School Board Takes Stand: Despite being presented with a petition, signed by 186 people, demanding the non-renewal of Bluffton girls’ basketball coach Dennis Lee’s contract, the Bluffton School Board acted otherwise and voted 4-0 to renew Lee’s contract.
New Coach in Miller City: Former Miller City coach Kevin McGlaughlin’s son, Tyson, a former standout at Ottawa-Glandorf and the University of Findlay, was named the new head coach of the Miller City boys’ basketball team. McGlaughlin moves over from Ottawa-Glandorf where he has been an assistant for the past few years.
Retirement: Tom Grine has resigned as the head football coach at Fostoria High School after only four seasons. He resigns in order to concentrate on his new position as the school’s new principal.
Toledo Central Catholic vs. Defiance, baseball, Thursday: Intriguing match-up between two top programs. Central struggling early but always dangerous while Defiance has jumped out to an early 10-1 record.
Clyde vs. Perkins, baseball, Friday: Clyde pointing toward a possible state final four appearance.
Eastwood vs. Genoa, baseball, Friday: Two teams battling to stay close to Elmwood in the SLL title chase.
St. Francis vs. Ottawa Hills, Saturday: Neighborhood battle between a big school power and a small school power. Joining in the action will be Sylvania Southview in this three school round robin.
NLL/ TCL Crossover Softball, Friday & Saturday: Weekend softball tournament pitting the top teams from the Northern Lakes League and Toledo City League playing in a round robin format.
Anthony Wayne vs. Sylvania Southview, softball: A must win league contest for both teams.
Anthony Wayne vs. Clay, softball, Saturday: Has significant impact on the state playoff seeding.
Archbold vs. Elmwood, softball, Saturday: An interesting inter-league match-up between two of the area’s top programs.