Ohio has long been known for its
athletic prowess in high school sports, and 2009 was no different.
Whether you like football, basketball, wrestling, track or whatever,
2009 was a remarkable year across the board. Legends were born, history
was rewritten and records were bounced. Today we continue our countdown of the Top 50 stories from the last 12 months.
Ohio has long been known for its athletic prowess in high school sports, and 2009 was no different.
you like football, basketball, wrestling, track or whatever, 2009 was a
remarkable year across the board. Legends were born, history was
rewritten and records were bounced.
How impressive was it? See
for yourself. Starting today we will unveil the Top 50 high school
sports stories from the past 12 months.
I’m sure some will
disagree – this is the Huddle after all – so I invite you to email me
and let me know what I have wrong (and right) and what I may have
Today we unleash stories 40-31. Nos. 30-21 will be released Wednesday, 20-11 on
Thursday and 10-1 on Friday (New Year’s Day).
Let the games – or rather countdown, recognition and debate – begin.
40. Mayfield’s Spear ties the state record with a 61-yard field goal…on a free kick:
During a 13-10 overtime loss to Solon in the regional semifinals on
Nov. 14, Mayfield kicker Carey Spear tied a state record for the
longest field goal in history with a 61-yard boot. The circumstances
leading up to the kick add intrigue. After Mayfield’s Tim Wetzel made a
fair catch of a Solon punt on his own 49-yardline with 10 seconds
remaining in the first half, Mayfield coaches gave Spear a shot at a
rare free kick. Spear knocked the attempt through to tie the state
record set by Mentor’s Kevin Harper in 2007.
39. Coldwater makes public schools proud: A lot is made of the
public versus private school debate in sports, but in regards to what
singular zip code carries the most athletic talent, last year it was
45828. In the last 12 months, Coldwater’s boys athletic teams made the
regional final in basketball, made the state semifinals in baseball and
made the state final in football.
38. Massillon and Steubenville meet in football: After a 31-year
hiatus, these two Ohio super powers hooked up again on Oct. 10 at
Steubenville’s Death Valley where in a steady drizzle Big Red beat the
visiting Tigers 13-3. Only three programs in Ohio have 700 wins and
these two are two of them. Neither team won the state title this
season, but both made the state semifinals in their respective
divisions (I and III).
37. Gates Mills Gilmour Academy runs down the competition: The
Lancers are the undisputed class of Ohio when it comes to Division III
girls track. On June 6, Gilmour Academy rallied from a 24-8 deficit
after the first six events to capture its fourth D-III state title in
five years by scoring a whopping 65 points in the meet’s final 11
events for 73 overall. That’s an average of 5.9 points, meaning the
Lancers averaged no worse than third in any event on the final day. The
73 points was the most for a small-school girls team since Minster put
up 75.33 in 1979. Gilmour was state runner-up last year.
Relays and sophomore sprinter Candace Longino-Thomas did most of the
damage for Gilmour. Longino-Thomas became just the 18th girl in state
history to capture for firsts when she won the 100 (12.05) and 200
(24.42) and anchored the winning 400 (48.70) and 800 (1:41.31) relays.
Gilmour’s 400 and 800 relays also set new state and state meet records
with their times.
36. Medina rides defense to Division I girls soccer state title:
Medina erupted for four goals in a 29-minute span and held Dublin
Coffman to only two total shots en route to a 4-0 win on Nov. 14 in the
D-I girls soccer state final at Crew Stadium. The four-goal win ties
the OHSAA record for the most lopsided victory in a girls soccer state
championship game, matching a 5-1 victory by Bay Village Bay over
Cincinnati Indian Hill in the 2003 D-II final. The Bees didn’t allow a
goal in the postseason and gave up just six all year in 24 games.
35. Third time the charm for Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown: The
Blazers made history March 21, and not the wrong kind. Trying to keep
from becoming the first school in state history to lose three straight
girls basketball state championship games, HB came through in the
clutch, winning the first state title in program history with a 52-46
victory over Wapakoneta in the D-II final at the Schottenstein Center.
The Blazers broke a 44-44 tie with 2:07 to go on a basket by Molly
Crosby and then hit 6-of-8 free throws down the stretch, including four
by Erica Almady in the final 14 seconds. Hathaway Brown had dropped the
last two state finals to Kettering Alter and Warsaw River View.
34. Thurgood Marshall storms back to shock Logan Elm: It might
not be the greatest comeback in state tournament history, but it’s
close. Down 12 in the fourth quarter, Dayton Thurgood Marshall rallied
to force overtime and then beat Logan Elm 62-53 in a Division II boys
basketball state semifinal on March 27 at the Schottenstein Center. LE
needed one basket in the fourth quarter and didn’t get it. Instead
Marshall scored six, including an overtime-forcing 3-pointer from Shawn
Robinson with five seconds left. Logan Elm led 44-32 with 7:36 left in
the game, but managed just six free throws in the fourth quarter. By
the time the Braves made their first field goal since the third quarter
there was 1:21 left in overtime and Marshall was ahead 56-51. Free
throws – six to be exact – in the final 1:19 catapulted Marshall into
the state final – and history.
33. Softball pitchers terrorize batters and record books: It
wasn’t a good year to be a batter with Ohio pitchers performing at
record clips. Wooster’s Kasie Kelly set a new state record for an
extra-inning game with 44 strikeouts in a 20-inning marathon against
Lexington, while Byesville Meadowbrook’s Kinsi Tellep tied a state
record with 21 strikeouts in a regular seven-inning game against New
Martinsville (W. Va.). Tellep also recorded 37 Ks in a 14-inning game
against Harrison Central, while Lexington’s Holly Tomaszewski fanned 32
in the game against Wooster. Other notable performances included 26 and
25 strikeout performances by Greenville’s Jordyn Fisherback in
extra-inning games and a pair of 20 K outings by Groveport-Madison’s
Emma Johnson in seven-inning games.
32. Norwalk St. Paul removes the Monkey: The Division VI state championship game lasted a little over two hours on Dec. 5, but it will be talked about for years. Needing to go 98 yards against the defending state champions with 3:22 left on the clock, Norwalk St. Paul found enough guts and lifted a huge weight off of head coach John Livengood’s shoulders. Quarterback Eric Schwieterman propelled the Flyers to victory with his 1-yard TD run with five seconds left as St. Paul beat Delphos St. John’s 24-21 at Massillon’s Paul Brown Tiger Stadium. The Flyers, with 13 postseason appearances (all under Livengood) were 0-3 in state title games before the win and were 0-2 against St. John’s. That stigma has now been squashed.
31. Hilliard Davidson wins again – by going for two again: When
the Division I football playoffs started, no one gave Hilliard Davidson
much of a chance to win the state title. But as head coach Brian White
proved again, it’s not wise to bet against his team. In fact you should
probably wager with them. For the second time in four years, the
Wildcats came away with the D-I state championship by converting a
two-point conversion. After a Davidson TD with 1:04 to go, QB Jake
Trubiano reached pay dirt on the ensuing two-point attempt to give the
Wildcats a dramatic 16-15 victory over favored Cleveland Glenville at
Fawcett Stadium. Four years ago, Davidson went for two and got it in
the fourth OT in a 36-35 win over Mentor.