Hard to believe but it is already tournament time. A cold, rainy spring
has been tough to handle but soon the competition will heat up and
winners will be determined. Who they might be is anyone’s guess and
there will be some surprises or two along the way.
Hard to believe but it is already tournament time. A cold, rainy spring has been tough to handle but soon the competition will heat up and winners will be determined. Who they might be is anyone’s guess and there will be some surprises or two along the way.
In Division I baseball, Sylvania Southview (13-5), Anthony Wayne (13-5), and Mansfield Madison have been afforded the highest consideration by the coaches but none of the three can be viewed as prohibitive favorites to capture district honors. Among the mix one must add Perrysburg (12-5), Sandusky (13-5), Clay (9-6), St. Francis (9-6), and St. John’s (9-5).
Division II features some teams that have enjoyed remarkable springs and the tournament should provide some great match-ups down the road. Sandusky Perkins (16-0) enters the tournament undefeated but Maumee (16-2), Defiance (15-2) and Bryan (13-2) are waiting in the wings. Keep an eye on Lima Shawnee (13-5) and Wapakoneta (12-4) as well.
Coldwater (20-1) looks like the early favorite in Division III but Genoa (14-4), Ottawa-Glandorf (9-7), and St. Henry (12-4) are poised to challenge.
In Division IV, defending state champion, Patrick Henry (12-1), is anxious to repeat. Always a difficult task but in the highly competitive DIV bracket, it is especially so. The main challengers appear to be Blanchard Valley members Arlington (14-2) and Arcadia (8-1), TAAC members, Toledo Christian (9-3) and Ottawa Hills (7-5), and Midland Athletic League members, Hopewell-Loudon (14-1) and Fremont St. Joseph’s (13-5).
In all four divisions, pitching will be the difference. Depth and injuries take on increased importance this time of year and the team that has the best depth and the fewest injuries will find themselves playing the longest.
In softball, the Bowling Green sectional is absolutely loaded. Only Lima Senior (0-16) can be considered to be out of the mix as the remainder of the field are all powerhouses. How does one choose between Clay (12-5), Findlay (9-6), Anthony Wayne (14-2), Perrysburg (10-4) and Springfield (16-1)? This could very well be the strongest sectional in the entire state. Springfield received the number one seed but any one of the five teams mentioned could escape and advance to the district tournament.
The usually strong Maumee sectional is down a little this year in overall quality but there remain some good teams and the overall balance of the participants should make for an interesting tournament. As always, St. Ursula (14-3) is in the mix but surprising Whitmer (12-6) and an improving Sylvania Southview (10-7) will provide the Arrows a stiff test.
Division II is a hard call. Three teams from the Northern Ohio League, Bellevue (12-6), Upper Sandusky (12-6), and Fostoria (15-2) have had good seasons and are hoping to play into late May. Eastwood (13-3) has played a highly competitive schedule that should help them as the competition intensifies while Toledo Central Catholic is hoping that their young freshman pitcher, Erin Seiler, can continue to improve.
In Divisions III and IV, the field is wide open. Northwest Ohio features a large number of schools in these divisions and, because of scheduling discrepancies, evaluating the teams is difficult. Crestline (14-4) and New Riegel (13-5) are the early favorites in DIV while Archbold (10-1) looks strong in Division III.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Lucas Hortsman, Cory-Rawson, Track: Hortsman who broke two records this week; one a meet record in the 110-meter high hurdles and the other a school record in the 300-meter hurdles. Both records were broken in the prestigious Liberty-Benton Invitational. In the 110-meter race, Hortstman ran the distance in 14.1 seconds while in the 300-meter his time was 39.7 seconds.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Toledo St. John’s boys tennis: The Titans have been a state power in boys’ tennis for a long time now and this year’s team is looking toward improving on their third place finish in last season’s Division I state team tournament. Toward that end the Titans continue to play strong tennis and heading into the Toledo City League tennis championships, they are the prohibitive favorites to capture another City League title.
NEWS, NOTES AND NUGGETS
Lifetime Achievement: New Riegel’s Steve Bouillon will be recognized for a lifetime of achievement and dedication when he receives the Northwest District Athletic Board’s Mac Morrison Lifetime Service Award. Bouillon has been New Riegel’s athletic director for the past 25 years. The Morrison Award is awarded to an individual who has made significant contributions to the young athletes attending schools within the Northwest District.
New AD: Tiffin Calvert has announced the appointment of a new athletic director. Pat Herron replaces Ted Willman who resigned earlier this year. Herron’s position will be part-time.
School Record Broken: Elida’s Evan Neuman reached an important milestone this past week when he broke the school record for career tennis wins. By winning two matches this past Saturday, Neuman recorded his 115th and 116th victories and with several weeks remaining in the season, he can expected to break his own record many more times. The former record was held by Scott Dredge.
Perfect Game: Pitching a perfect game requires talent and luck and Wapakoneta’s Josh Vorhees had enough of both in his effort against league rival Lima Shawnee as he recorded a 1-0 no-hit, perfect game last Friday. Vorhees was not over-powering but was effective as he struck out four and walked no one.
More No-Hitters: Continental’s Jessica Hanefield in softball and Miller City’s Lee Drummelsmith in baseball also pitched no-hitters this past week. Hanefield’s no-hitter came in her team’s 11-0 victory over Kalida while Drummelsmith’s came in Miller City’s victory over Holgate by the identical score.
Baseball and Softball, Saturday, May 9, 2009: At various sites throughout northwest Ohio the 2009 state playoffs begin. Because so many league titles remain undecided, coaches in both sports must balance their line-ups in an attempt to stay competitive in both the regular season and tournament action.
Wauseon vs. Defiance, softball, May 8, 2009, Friday: Neighborhood battle between two teams expected to do well in the state playoffs.
Sylvania Southview vs. Sylvania Northview, baseball, May 8, 2009, Friday: Always a huge rivalry, these two cross-town rivals are both seeded in the state playoffs and could meet again very soon.
Anthony Wayne vs. Springfield, softball, May 11, 2009, Monday: Two top NLL teams battle with championship on the line.
Ottawa Hills vs. Toledo Christian, baseball, May 12, 2009, Tuesday: Toledo Christian won first meeting easily. Ottawa Hills looking for revenge?