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 20-11. Tomorrow we unveil 10-1!
Let the games – or rather countdown, recognition and debate – begin.
20. Cougars take a bite out of history: The atmosphere was electric for the Division I girls basketball state championship game on March 21 as the Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame faithful came out hoping to witness history. And the Cougars delivered.
MND became the first D-I team to win four straight state titles and tied South Euclid Regina out of Division III for the most consecutive championships ever with a 52-38 win over Toledo Start at the 34th Annual Girls State Basketball Tournament at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center.
For MND, the championship marks the fifth in school history tying the Cougars for No. 2 all-time with Delphos St. John’s. MND has won all five titles in the last six seasons.
19. Gates Mills Hawken drowns out all challengers: Gates Mills Hawken won its 11th straight D-II girls swimming state title and captured its 19th championship in 26 years with a dominating effort Feb. 28 at C.T. Branin Natatorium in Canton. Only Cincinnati St. Xavier’s boys swim team (30) and Lakewood St. Edward’s wrestling team (25) have won more team championships in state history. Hawken senior Brittany Rospierski set a state record in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.98), repeating as winner in that event. Sophomore Alana Arnold won the 100 butterfly, and Hawken finished first in both the 200 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay.
18. Ring leaders: Sandusky Perkins’ Matthew Hoty and Hannibal River’s D.J. Duke each left their marks – literally – on the state record book in the shot put. Hoty, a junior, set the D-II state record in the event this past spring with a heave of 64-8.25. Duke, a senior, set the D-III state record in the spring as well with a heave of 68-8.25. Hoty and Duke both defended their state titles in the event. Hoty’s record throw was the seventh farthest mark in the country by a high school athlete in the spring, while Duke’s mark ranked fifth.
17. State gymnastics final ties as closest in history: One year removed from what had been the second-closest score in state history, Brecksville-Broadview Heights and Rocky River Magnificat matched the record for the tightest team race in state history. But like last year, the Bees came out on top again, coming from behind to defeat Magnificat 145.825 to 145.700 to become the first school to win six straight titles and claiming its ninth overall championship. The Bees scored 36.700 points on the uneven bars in the final event to cap the comeback.
16. New Knoxville wins 65 straight regular season games: No one was better pre-tournament the last three years than the Rangers who put together three straight 20-0 regular seasons in boys basketball. The undefeated regular season streak, which reached 65 games, was snapped by Anna in early December. The Rangers were the 2008 D-IV state champions and reached the 2007 regional finals. New Knoxville was upset in the 2009 district final by Ada.
15. Fourth time the charm: The Elyria softball team tied an unwanted record by losing three straight D-I state softball championship games. This past spring, in their fourth straight trip to the final, the Pioneers came through for their first win and second state title overall. Led by pitcher Tess Sito, Elyria trounced Hudson 10-1. Sito hurled a two-hitter and, after striking out 17 hitters in a semifinal win, fanned 11 Explorers in the championship game. Eight of Elyria’s nine batters had at least one hit and scored at least one run.
14. How many records fell in the D-V state football final? 15…Wow: One thing is for certain…when Coldwater and Youngstown Ursuline meet in a state football final, the scoreboard is going to get a workout. This year, so did the record books. In a rematch of the 2000 D-IV state championship shootout that the Irish won 49-37, Ursuline beat the Cavs again, this time 55-25 in a game that saw 15 D-IV championship game records fall. Ursuline set records for most points in a quarter (27 in the second) and game (55); most yards (508) and most TDs (eight). Coldwater QB Keith Wenning set records for passing yards (414), attempts (55) and completions (40), while receiver Adam Rammel set a record for most catches (14). Together Coldwater and Ursuline set records for points (80), TDs (12), completions (49) and total yards (982).
Coldwater’s loss, coupled with Delphos St. John’s defeat in the D-VI state final, also marked the first time since 2002 that the Midwest Athletic Conference did not win at least one state football title.
The game also could very well have been the final one of Coldwater head coach John Reed’s storied career. Reed is currently battling cancer.
13. Troy Christian Wrestling wins third straight title, Monroeville second – barely: Some saw Troy Christian senior Jordan Thome’s loss in the D-III quarterfinals as a huge upset. And on paper it was. In reality it was a win – literally – for TC that he was even out there. Thome – a four-time qualifier and three-time placer – broke his ankle at the district meet yet tried to gut out the state tournament. He wore a brace for his D-III 135 opener and beat Monroeville’s Cal Clark. Thome then dropped his next two bouts. The victory over Clark though made all the difference. The three points Thome earned in that match helped propel the Eagles to their third straight D-III title. TC beat Monroeville by one point (113-112).
Monroeville was led by four state champions – sophomore Hunter Stieber, junior Logan Stieber, sophomore Cam Tessari and sophomore Chris Phillips – but fell just short of the team title.
TC knows a thing about winning close ones. Two years ago the Eagles edged Marion Pleasant 154-151.5 for the state championship.
12. Jaclyn Dutton sets state records for goals in a game and career: On October 13, Jaclyn Dutton did something that only one other person in state history has ever done. She also did something that no one in state history had ever done. A senior at St. Clairsville High School and a girls soccer standout – she’s headed to Clemson – Dutton tied a state record by scoring 13 goals in one game (vs Magnolia, W. Va.). That tally also lifted her into first place all-time for career goals with 184. Dutton ended the season with 192 goals.
11. Gahanna-Lincoln beats Cleveland St. Ignatius in a shootout for the D-I boys soccer title: In a meeting of nationally-ranked soccer programs, Gahanna Lincoln junior William Trapp connected on the 10th and final penalty kick to give the Lions a 4-3 shootout advantage, and with it a 1-0 victory, over Cleveland St. Ignatius in the D-I boys soccer state championship game on Nov. 13 at Crew Stadium. First-time finalist Gahanna (22-0-1) entered the game ranked second in the state and No. 4 in the country, while three-time and defending state champion St. Ignatius (22-1-0) entered the game ranked No. 1 both in the state and in the nation. The Wildcats had also not lost in 43 straight matches, which was just four shy of the all-time Ohio record.
Both goalkeepers – senior Ryan Grimme from Gahanna and senior Joe Kalt from St. Ignatius – willed their teams to 80 minutes of scoreless play in regulation and a pair of scoreless 15 minute overtime sessions, leading to the penalty kick shootout.
Grimme saved the first two St. Ignatius attempts, and although Kalt saved the first Gahanna attempt, the Lions converted their next three to set up Trapp’s deciding kick, which he fired into the lower left corner of the net to send his teammates and the Gahanna supporters in the crowd of 3,359 fans into a frenzy.
Grimme, who allowed only four goals all season, ended the night with four saves for his 19th shutout.