The movement toward the end of the school year means a start to look
ahead to the beginning of the 2009-10 fall season. That’s definitely
the case this spring as coaching changes and college football
commitments have been consistent throughout the Southwest Ohio region.
The movement toward the end of the school year means a start to look ahead to the beginning of the 2009-10 fall season. That’s definitely the case this spring as coaching changes and college football commitments have been consistent throughout the Southwest Ohio region.
Last week, Doc Gamble returned to become the head football coach again at Withrow. Gamble, who spent one season at Fairfield, stepped down as football coach unexpectedly in mid-April after he cited administrative changes related to the school and not on-field issues.
Fairfield was 1-9 last season – the only losing season in Gamble’s head coaching career.
Gamble, 37, left Withrow in January 2008 after he led the Tigers to a 39-13 record and two playoff appearances.
Gamble returns to his alma mater amid great anticipation. Withrow was 4-6 last season under head coach Antonio Davis. Davis will remain on staff as Gamble’s No. 1 assistant.
“I’m excited, it’s not too often you get to come back home,” Gamble told the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Said Withrow athletic director Darren Braddix; “(Gamble) is back where he belongs.”
In other football news, Cincinnati Elder junior TE Alex Welch (6-5, 230) made an oral commitment this weekend to play at Notre Dame. Welch, one of the state’s top players in the 2010 class, also had offers from Ohio State, Michigan, Oklahoma, Florida State and close to 20 other schools. Welch chose the Irish over the Buckeyes.
Although the Buckeyes lost out on Welch, Ohio State is in the running for Archbishop Moeller junior QB Andrew Hendrix (6-3, 220), who is one of the most high-profile quarterbacks in the Midwest. Bucknuts.com reported Hendrix has been offered by Ohio State.
Hendrix has close to 20 other offers, including Tennessee, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Cincinnati and several others. He could be narrowing his list this spring before taking more unofficial visits this summer.
While football remains active during the offseason, let’s take a look at the remaining few weeks of this spring as we approach the state tournaments.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Chris Borland, Kettering Alter, Track: In addition to being a standout running back/linebacker, Borland has proven to be quite a commodity in the shot put ring as well. Headed to the University of Wisconsin on a football ride, Borland more than likely will be headed to the state track meet in two weeks. Saturday, Borland set a new Division II Dayton district meet record in the shot with a heave of 60-7. Last week he wont he Greater Catholic League meet with a toss of 60-8. The Alter record is 60-9.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Centerville Boys Volleyball: The Elks punched their 11th straight ticket to the state tournament with a three-set win over Fairborn in the Division I West Regional Final. It also marks the 18th time in the last 20 years Centerville has made the boys volleyball state tournament. “We expect to go to state,” Centerville head coach Monte Moser told the Dayton Daily News. “Now, we go to win it.”
NEWS, NOTES & NUGGETS
What a Racket: Cincinnati Country Day junior Joey Fritz won the Division II district tennis singles final last weekend and will be the No. 1 seed at the state tournament this weekend at Ohio State University’s Stickney Tennis Center. The tournament is Friday and Saturday in Columbus. Fritz, who was third at state last year, has a serve that reaches up to 120 miles per hour. “He’s relentless,” Cincinnati Country Day coach Gary Samuels told the Enquirer. “He hits the ball so clean. He’s in a league of his own. He’s one of the best players in recent memory in Cincinnati.” Fritz said he favors competing at Division III college once his high school career is complete.
First Timer: The Glen Este softball team won its first-ever district softball title this past weekend with a 2-0 win over Liberty Township Lakota East. Glen Este sophomore Kelley Benhase struck out 11 batters and threw a no-hitter. Junior Sydney Schwalbach and sophomore Kierstin Gregory scored the only runs of the game. Gregory is hitting .463 with seven doubles and eight stolen bases. Glen Este recently won its firs FAVC Buckeye division title. Glen Este (23-2), which has won 10 consecutive games, plays Greenville at 5 p.m. Thursday in a Division I regional semifinal at the University of Dayton.
First Timer II: The Chaminade-Julienne boys volleyball team earned its first state tournament berth with a four-set win over archrival Kettering Alter in the D-II West Division regional final.
First Timer III: The Stivers boys track team won its first district title in school history when it captured the D-II title at the Dayton district meet. Stivers had 104 points, while Chaminade-Julienne finished second with 89.
Record Shattered: Lebanon’s Graham Moore broke a 22-year old pole vault record when he cleared 14-9 at the Division I Dayton district track and field meet. The old record of 14-3.5 was set in 1987.
Wave Rolling: The Greenville softball team won its fourth straight district softball title and second straight in D-I with a 7-2 win over Fairborn. Greenville, the 2007 D-II state champion, has now won 28 games this season. The Green Wave’s senior class also has 109 victories in their career. Junior Jordan Fishback was the winning pitcher. She improved to 26-3 on the season and upped her strikeout total to 320 for the season.
Early volleyball commit: Ursuline junior outside hitter Lauren Marlatt has orally committed to play volleyball at Winthrop starting in the fall of 2010. Marlatt also has offers from Northern Illinois and Wofford.
First offer: Cincinnati Colerain junior LB Tyon Dixon (6-0, 205) picked up his first offer – from Ball State last week.
MAC attack: Hamilton junior DT Darius Gilbert (6-2, 260) has been offered by Akron, Ohio University, Kent State, Bowling Green, and Toledo. He might get a Big East offer soon.
Football signing: Liberty Township Lakota East High School outside linebacker Eric Palmore-Lett has signed a letter of intent to play football at William Rainey Harper College in Palantine, Ill.
Girls’ tennis signing: Mason senior Emily Pham has announced that she has signed a letter of intent to continue her tennis career at Case Western Reserve University located in Cleveland. The Division III Spartans compete in the University Athletic Association. Pham was a 4-year letter winner for the Comets.
Another player to MSJ: New Miami senior DB Jacob Brown (5’9, 160) has committed to play at Mount St Joseph in the fall. He is the second player from New Miami’s 2009 class to commit to the Division III school.
Western Brown vs. Ross softball, Wednesday at Clayton Northmont: Two of the top teams in Division II will play in a regional semifinal. Western Brown was ranked No. 1 in the final state coaches’ poll. Ross has a traditionally strong program and is always tough in the postseason. Look for this to be a close game.
Division I baseball regional semifinals at University of Cincinnati, Thursday: Moeller plays Glen Este at 2 p.m., followed by Lakota West vs. Fairmont at 5 p.m. Moeller defeated Vandalia Butler 10-0 in a district final last weekend. Moeller senior Brett Cisper allowed just two hits and struck out six in the win. West defeated Northmont 8-0 to claim the Firebirds’ third district title. It’s the fifth regional appearance for the Firebirds in the past dozen years. Fairmont edged Elder 1-0 for its first district title since 1988.
State boys’ volleyball tournament, Saturday at 2 p.m. at Walsh Jesuit: Cincinnati Elder will play in the state quarterfinals against Mount Vernon. Elder defeated St. Xavier 23-25, 25-16, 25-14, 25-22 in a Division I regional final last weekend.
Regional track, Wednesday and Friday: The Divisions I, II and III meets start Wednesday at the University of Dayton and Troy. Several individuals and teams advances from the district meet, including McNicholas senior Cat Humphries who won two events and was a member of a winning relay team to help McNicholas capture a Division II district title. On the boys’ side, Finneytown and Stivers won Divisions II titles. Deer Park won a Division III title – which is reportedly the school’s first district tack title. Deer Park’s Adam Pettyjohn won 110 and 300 hurdles to help lead the Wildcats.
State boys’ tennis tournament, Friday through Sunday at Ohio State: West Chester Lakota West senior Wyatt Lippert (Ohio State) and Cincinnati Country Day junior Joey Fritz are the Divisions I and II favorites from the Cincinnati area in this weekend’s tournament at Ohio State’s Stickney Tennis Center. Cincinnati St. Xavier will be in contention to repeat as the Division I state team tournament champion on Sunday. Wyoming and Seven Hills are contenders in Division II. Dayton will be well represented in Division I as well with doubles teams from Centerville and Bellbrook and singles standout Andy Jackson from Vandalia-Butler.