Southeast Ohio Huddle: River’s Duke breaks Division III state shot put record


Southeast Ohio Huddle

Another week in the southeast where weather won out in the early part
of the week only to see some incredible action finally take place later. Conference races are starting to heat up as are track times and distances.

Another week in the southeast where weather won out in the early part of the week only to see some incredible action finally take place later in the week. Conference races are starting to heat up as this week’s top team takes control of the Muskingum Valley League baseball standings while previous top teams – Waverly baseball and Chesapeake softball – continue to roll as well. Fairland and Cambridge also enjoyed successful weeks within conference play on the baseball side while both Adena baseball and softball find themselves in first-place as the Scioto Valley Conference reaches that halfway point.

Action on the diamond this week has seen no-hitters, extra-inning thrillers, and game-clinching long balls; however, the story of the week comes from Monroe County where D.J. Duke’s latest throw landed in the all-time record books.

A pair of southeast sharp-shooters have made their college plans and News, Notes, & Nuggets will tell you who and where. There were also some solid fields in area invites on the track as Piketon’s Caleb Southworth and Paint Valley’s Tanner Walls continue their great seasons.

The upcoming week really gets the Scioto Valley Conference races going in both baseball and softball while other baseball and track & field invites take center stage at some college venues.


D.J. Duke, River High School, Track & Field: The Ashland bound senior set a new Division III state record with a shot put throw of 66-ft-7 at the annual Bellaire Relays at Nelson Field. The mark bettered the old record heave of 64-9 by Larry Kolic of Smithville in 1981. Duke is the defending Division III state champion in this event, and with a state’s all-time best throw Saturday; needless to say, he is a heavy favorite to repeat later this spring.


New Lexington Baseball: The Panthers finished the week 10-3 overall and 6-1 in the Muskingum Valley League. New Lexington is currently in first-place all alone as the conference readies for the home stretch.

In the most recent win – a 7-3 victory over John Glenn, New Lexington got great pitching from Brett Wycinski and Kevin Wolfe, while offensively, Spencer Huffman slammed a double and two singles and scored two runs for the Panthers. Adam Fondale also added a double and two singles with an RBI, and R.J. Starkey added two singles.


A Fair Performance: The Fairland Baseball team recorded its eighth win in nine games with an 8-1 victory over Ohio Valley Conference rival Chesapeake. Nate Burcham went five innings, giving up one run on six hits to earn the win. The Dragons scored four runs in the fourth inning highlighted by a Robbie Easterling two-run home run.

Paint Valley’s Andy Haines Memorial Invitational:
On the boys’ side it was the Piketon Redstreaks and Zane Trace took the girls’ title in this year’s annual invite in Bainbridge. Piketon’s Caleb Southworth won three individual events, as well as one relay, to capture medalist on the boys’ side. Paint Valley’s Tanner Walls recorded dominate performances on the hurdles to win the honor on the girls’ side.

Still Unbeaten:
Last week’s top team in the Southeast Huddle area continued their winning ways this week has Chesapeake softball defeated conference foe Fairland to improve to 14-0. The Lady Panthers continue to ride great pitching from Allison Chapman and a balanced attack on the offensive side as they hope the upcoming week proves to be as perfect as the previous ones.

Close to Home:
New Boston’s Kayla Wiley decided this week that she would play her college basketball just down the street at Shawnee State University. Wiley averaged 15.6 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 5.6 assists this past season while leading New Boston to a third straight SOC-I championship.

John Glenn pitcher Rachel Townsend tossed a no-hitter to lead the Lady Muskies to a 4-0 road victory against New Lexington in a MVL battle this week. Townsend struck out seven while teammates Trisha Klass, Bre Bradley, and Jenna Shingary all had RBI singles.

Minford’s Smith Heading to Wittenberg:
Minford shooting-guard Sean Smith signed this week with Wittenberg University. Smith averaged 18 points per game this season while shooting 40-percent from the field.

Cambridge to the Quarters:
The baseball Bobcats used a five-run second inning and a complete game performance from senior Timmy Harvey to defeat Brooke to advance to the quarterfinals of the OVAC. Cambridge is now 13-3 overall.

Extra-Innings Equals SOC Thriller:
In a battle of undefeated conference teams, Waverly escaped Wheelersburg with a 7-6 win. Ryan Robertson threw nine innings while striking out 14 and the sweet swinging lefty also launched a home-run as his Tigers now own first-place all alone.

Ceramic Invite in Crooksville:
Rosecrans girls swept the relays and won eight events, while the New Lexington boys captured four events as both won the Ceramics Invitational Friday in Crooksville. Trimble finished second in both the girls and boys’ standings.

A Regional Sneak-Peak? Saturday’s baseball action had Adena traveling to Wheelersburg for a pair of games. After Wheelersburg squeaked out a 5-4 victory in game one, the Pirates completed the sweep with an 8-2 win in game two.


Wheelersburg vs. Lucasville Valley, Baseball, Monday, April 27th at Lucasville Valley High School, 5 p.m. The week starts with a huge SOC-II battle. Both teams are chasing the undefeated Waverly Tigers and cannot afford another league setback.

Zane Trace at Adena, Baseball, Tuesday, April 28th at Adena High School, 5 p.m.
After rain washed this anticipated Scioto Valley Conference match-up out last week, these two perennial powers will try it again this week. This softball match-up also deserves some hype as Adena enters the week atop the standings while the defending champs will try to change that.

Eastern Meigs vs. Vinton County, Baseball, Wednesday, April 29th at Marietta College, 7 p.m. These two rivals from opposite sides of the Tri Valley Conference – Meigs from the Hocking Division and VC from the Ohio Division – square off under the lights at the friendly confines at Marietta College.

Wilmington Hurricane Invitational, Track & Field, Friday, May 1st at Wilmington College, 5 p.m. Several of the finest track programs from around southern Ohio including some from the southeast such as Chillicothe.

Chesapeake vs. River Valley, Softball, Friday, May 1st at Chesapeake High School, 5 p.m. The Lady Panther of Chesapeake are enjoying a perfect season and will look to continue their perfect ways in the upcoming week.

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