Southwest Ohio Huddle: Region has tremendous week with state titles, regional crowns and an unbelievable upset


Southwest Ohio Huddle

The expected and unexpected occurred on the same day last Saturday. To
no surprise, Mason junior Zach Wills captured his second consecutive
Division I state cross country title. To many people’s surprise, though, the first stunning development of the football playoffs happened when Middletown crushed Moeller 45-10. Here’s what else happened.

The expected and unexpected occurred on the same day last Saturday. To no surprise, Mason junior Zach Wills captured his second consecutive Division I state cross country title.

However, the first stunning development of the football playoffs happened at night when Middletown defeated Moeller 45-10.

Wills, who is considered one of the nation’s top runners, added yet another milestone to his distance running resume. He won the 5K competition at Scioto Downs in 15 minutes, 45.11 seconds – four seconds faster than runner-up Conner Paez of Solon.

“My goal was the state record, but after the first mile the wind was kind of a killer (Saturday),” Wills told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The Southwest District was also represented well in the Division III girls’ competition.

Versailles sophomore Tammy Berger won the individual state title in 18:47.94. Minster won the Division III team title.

Several miles south of Scioto Downs, the Middletown football team upset Moeller 45-10 at Lockland Stadium. It was Middletown’s first postseason appearance since 1990 and it made it a memorable one.

“We thought coming in to the game our speed versus their size was the matchup,” Middletown coach Jason Krause told the Middletown Journal. “We told our kids that if we don’t take care of things, we’ll have to turn our stuff in, but they aren’t ready to turn their stuff in.”

The Middletown defense held Moeller to just 64 yards rushing on Friday. Middletown had 254 yards rushing.

“They had five or six guys that were really fast and skilled,” Moeller coach John Rodenberg said. “We just couldn’t get anything going. Speed totally killed us.”


Antwan Gilbert, Trotwood-Madison: The junior running back rushed 18 times for 211 yards and scored four touchdowns in the Rams 41-6 win over Mount Healthy in the first round of the Division II playoffs. Gilbert, the top rusher in the Greater Western Ohio Conference, has more than 2,000 yards on the ground this season. It was the fifth time Gilbert went over 200 yards rushing in a game this year. He had 276 yards in the win over Vandalia Butler 34-7 in the regular season finale.  Trotwood (7-4) plays Turpin in a Division II regional semifinal on Friday night.


Centerville girls’ soccer team: The Elks upset Cincinnati St. Ursula 1-0 in the Division I regional semifinals on Wednesday night. Senior forward Allison Ludwig scored the game’s only goal for the Elks. Ludwig had 18 goals after the game. Sophomore goalkeeper Halle Pyle had five saves. St. Ursula is the reigning Division I state champion. “It’s a great win for our program,” Centerville coach Don Skelton told the Dayton Daily News. “These girls just deserve it.”


All-American headed to Ohio State: Sycamore senior swimmer Alex Norris has orally committed to compete at Ohio State. Norris, a four-time All-American, is a multiple school record-holder. She has committed to attend the Ohio State Honors Program. Norris also considered offers from Michigan, Duke and Louisville. Norris was third in the 100 butterfly and fourth in the 200 IM at the Division I state girls’ swimming meet last season.

Boys’ basketball practice starts:
Princeton and Moeller seem to be among the early Division I favorites in Cincinnati this winter. Princeton returns Jordan Sibert (Ohio State commit) and Marcus Davis (LSU baseball commit), while Moeller is always tough in the GCL-South and returns Griffin McKenize (Xavier commit).

Wisconsin offers Engel:
Loveland senior Adam Engel received an offer from Wisconsin on Friday morning. Engel, who was a quarterback, running back, wide receiver and defensive back for the Tigers this season, orally committed to Louisville for baseball a couple months ago. Engel is a standout shortstop and pitcher for Loveland. In football, Engel rushed for 1,170 yards and threw for 526 yards this fall.

Colerain to play Elder on Sept. 3:
The two Cincinnati-area football powers will meet for the second consecutive season – this time at Colerain – on Sept. 3, 2010. It will be a Week 2 game for Colerain, which is expected to participate in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown Aug. 27, 2010 (tentative date). Elder defeated Colerain 20-7 on ESPN during Labor Day weekend this fall.

New members join GWOC:
West Carrollton and Greenville will join the Greater Western Ohio Conference in some sports next school year and completely by the 2012-13 year, according to the Dayton Daily News. Greenville will reportedly be added to the North division, while West Carrollton will join the South, according to the report.


Beavercreek vs. Gahanna Lincoln, boys’ soccer, Tuesday: These two teams play in the Division I state semifinal at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Hilliard Bradley. If Beavercreek wins, it will play in the state final at 7 p.m. Friday at Crew Stadium.

National signing day, Wednesday:
Princeton senior guard Jordan Sibert (Ohio State), Dayton Jefferson senior forward Adreian Payne (Michigan State) and Moeller senior forward Griffin McKenzie (Xavier) are among the basketball standouts expected to sign early this week.

Ursuline vs. Rocky River Magnificat, volleyball, 2 p.m. Thursday:
Ursuline plays in the Division I state semifinals at Wright State University. The Lions are trying to make it back to the Division I state final for the second consecutive season.

Anderson vs. Middletown football game, 2:30 p.m. Saturday:
It will be interesting to see how Middletown responds after a huge upset over Moeller. These two teams play in the Division I regional semifinals at Nippert Stadium. Anderson defeated Lakota West 24-21 last week. Look for the running game of Middletown’s Antonio Banks and Anderson’s Kyle Slater in this game.

St. Xavier vs. Elder football game, 5:30 p.m. Saturday:
These two Greater Catholic League South division teams meet again – this time in the Division I regional semifinals at Nippert Stadium. The Bombers defeated Elder 17-7 on Oct. 2.

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