The past week in the southeast was highlighted by a few volleyball
teams chasing a dream of winning the ultimate team prize in high school
sports, as well as, a couple of gridiron giants attempting to take one
step closer to this year’s Final Four.
The past week in the southeast was highlighted by a few volleyball teams chasing a dream of winning the ultimate team prize in high school sports, as well as, a couple of gridiron giants attempting to take one step closer to this year’s Final Four.
We start by honoring a volleyball program that has had some amazing storylines in a year that ended in a state runner-up finish. The road to the runner-up finish includes some amazing streaks, overcoming of injuries, and a hall-of-fame coach.
Individually, we honor an all-around athlete from the Southern Ohio Conference. This great athlete has left a mark on the cross country scene, but this week she put her mark on the dotted line to bounce the round ball at the next level.
Speaking of signings, a well-known name to southeast Ohio baseball fans has decided where he will play college baseball. We take a look at this headline in News, Notes, & Nuggets.
Finally, our On Tap section has only football to look at this week. There are a few southeast teams still alive, as well as, some playoff games still being played at some southeast sites.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Adena Volleyball: With most postseasons coming to an end in our fall sports the amount of southeast teams still alive continues to shrink. A few football teams did advance to Week 13; however, the Adena volleyball squad made it all the way to the title game this week before falling to Huron. The Division III runner-up Lady Warriors defeated Smithville in four on Friday. Adena’s Kelsey Bielanow enjoyed an outstanding weekend at Wright State. In two matches, the junior middle-hitter recorded 35 kills and eight blocks. Adena setter Hannah Halcomb also played well producing 64 assists over the weekend.
Adena volleyball has been in the news several times throughout the year. Head coach Laura Smith finishes the 2009 season with 541 career victories and was recently selected to enter the Hall of Fame. Adena also won the Scioto Valley Conference for the 19th time in 20 years (17 outright), and the Lady Warriors are currently the winners of 70 straight SVC matches and 126 overall home matches.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Kayla Cook, South Webster: South Webster’s Kayla Cook, the 90th-ranked player in the class of 2010 according to ESPN’s HoopGurlz 100 rankings, signed this week to play college basketball at the University of Cincinnati.
Cook, who is already the Lady Jeeps’ all-time leading scorer with her senior season still to come, has enjoyed a great 10-day period. Not only did Cook sign to play Division I college basketball, but she enjoyed another great cross country season as well. For the third time in her career, Cook was a participant at the state cross country meet, this time coming away with a 26th place finish while recording a time of 20:14 in the Division III state meet last weekend at Scioto Downs. This most recent trip was a great story because the one year Cook did not make the state meet was her junior season, when she missed cross country and the start of basketball play with a back injury.
NEWS, NOTES & NUGGETS
A Freddies’ Fury: For three quarters it was Wheelersburg in control of this regional semifinal battle, but an amazing finish left Wheelersburg one yard and one point short of victory as the Fredericktown Freddies overcame a 14-2 halftime deficit to steal a 15-14 win Friday night in Nelsonville.
Even after the lead slipped away, Wheelersburg went on a two-minute, eighty-yard drive to put them on the brink of a touchdown. What Wheelersburg was hoping would be a game-winning one-yard score became a fumble that Fredericktown recovered on the half yard line with 31 seconds left in the game.
Fredericktown will advance to play Ridgewood in the regional finals as Ridgewood defeated Oak Hill on Friday night (see below for details on this game).
Oaks Fall for First Time: Oak Hill, which entered the contest at 11-0, found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard for the first time this season as Ridgewood (12-0) defeated the Oaks 20-12 in the Division V, Region 19 semifinal. In this game, Oak Hill did score first on a Westen Hale run, but Ridgewood scored 17 second quarter points to take control. Oak Hill, who graduates just five seniors, showed the program’s incredible growth as the Oaks were 0-10 in 2005 and playing in Week 12 just four years later. Those five seniors include Kyle Ondera, Raymond Oliver, Luke Stapleton, Travis Bailey and Andrew Kreais.
Ready to be a Raider: A year ago as a junior, Wheelersburg’s Andrew Elliott earned First-Team ALL-SOC II baseball recognition as he helped the Pirates to a 25-4 record. Now a senior, the Wheelersburg infielder and pitcher signed his National Letter of Intent to play college baseball at Wright State University on Thursday. Elliott and his nasty curveball have made plenty of noise on the hill throughout the last three seasons; however, Wright State has recruited Elliott as an infielder.
Free Football: Regulation wasn’t enough Saturday night to find a winner in the Ironton and Heath battle at the beautiful facility at Nelsonville, so the two hard-nosed football teams went to overtime to decide who would advance to Week 13. In the end, it was Ironton who advanced with a 20-14 win.
For as incredible as the first four quarters proved to be, overtime did not take long. Ironton intercepted a third-down pass to stop Heath’s opening drive, and then the Tigers needed only one snap to end the game. Fullback Keith Wetzel took a handoff on the next play and found the end zone for the clinching score.
Division IV Volleyball: As a result of handing Beaver Eastern their first defeat of the season in last week’s regional final clash, Tuscarawas Central Catholic made their appearance in this year’s Final Four on Thursday night. Unfortunately, for Central Catholic things didn’t go as well at Wright State as they had a week earlier at Lancaster as Norwalk St. Paul defeated Central Catholic 25-14, 25-12, 25-15. Two days later, Maria Stein Marion Local defeated St. Paul in four to win the Division IV State Championship.
End of the Road for Shadyside: After a brutal schedule and a 5-5 record for Shadyside still allowed the Tigers into the postseason, Shadyside proved they belonged by advancing to Week 12. Unfortunately, Shadyside met their match in Grove City Christian as Shadyside fell 27-14. GCC will now meet Malvern (see below for details).
Bridgeport Bounced: In other playoff action from this area, Bridgeport was bounced from the playoffs as they lost to Malvern 31-9. A tough break for Bridgeport in this game came from the loss of Chris Smelley. Smelley was lost on the second offensive play of night when he sustained a left ankle injury. Smelley, who ran for more than 1,400 yards this season, was unable to return. As stated above, Malvern and Grove City Christian will now meet in Week 13 for the Division VI, Region 23 championship.
SEOAL Selection: The extremely talented football SEOAL named its all-league selections this week. In the North Division, Player of the Year went to the extremely gifted Pat Angle of Logan. In the South Division, Player of the Year honors went to Josh Myers of Portsmouth. Dale Amyx of Logan was named Coach of the Year. Amyx has been named SEOAL Coach of the Year six consecutive times and nine of the last 11 seasons, including 1999, 2000 and 2001. Logan has won 34 straight SEOAL games and five straight league titles, the last five outright.
Unfortunately for Logan, they were defeated by Columbus Brookhaven 21-10 this week. Logan ends the season 11-1.
An Unexpected Vote: In this week’s release of the OVAC soccer honors, the result for the Division II Player of the Year has grabbed the attention of several soccer fans throughout eastern Ohio. St. Clairsville’s Jaclyn Dutton was considered by many to be the top talent; however, the secret ballot vote showed differently with the award going to Weir High’s Kassi Robinson. In all the scrutiny, many have been quick to acknowledge Robinson as a great player who had a great season, but many are upset due to the fact that many feel coaches voted against Dutton for the wrong reasons. In 2009, Dutton scored 69 times, and in her career, the Clemson-bound star scored a state-record 196 goals.
In other voting from around the southeast, the Muskingum Valley League selected John Glenn High senior Stacey Smith as their Player of the Year.
Entering the Hall: Two new members will enter the Buckeye Trail High School-East Guernsey Athletic Hall of Fame this year. The Hall of Fame Committee has elected Mrs. Ashley Bates Coffman and Mr. Frank Cunningham to join the athletes, coaches and service providers that have made up this elite group for the past 14 years.
Division III, Region 11 Championship, Steubenville vs. Dover, Friday, November 20th, Canton Fawcett Stadium, 7:30 p.m. Steubenville defeated Salem 34-10 and Dover survived in overtime in a 28-21 win over Canal Fulton Northwest. Now the two will meet for a trip to the Final Four.
Division IV, Region 15 Championship, Ironton vs. Coshocton, Football, Saturday, November 21st, Nelsonville High School, 7:00 p.m. What many thought would be an Amanda vs. Ironton showdown was interrupted by a Coshocton late score in a 15-12 win over Amanda. Now Coshocton will do battle with Ironton on the field turf in Nelsonville.
Division VI, Region 23 Championship, Malvern vs. Grove City Christian, Football, Saturday, November 21st, Zanesville Sulsberger Memorial Stadium, 7:00 p.m. As stated in the News, Notes, and Nuggets, Shadyside and Bridgeport were eliminated by these two teams, but fans that still need football can check out this Week 13 battle in Zanesville.