JJHuddle’s Top 50 Athletes of the Decade: Countdown starts Monday


Top 50 Ohio H.S. Athletes of the Decade: Honorable Mention

Jesse Owens, Archie Griffin, Jerry Lucas, Roger Staubach, John
Havlicek, Mike Schmidt, Edwin Moses…
The list of Ohio natives who have
starred on the high school level and beyond is immense and impressive.
So too is the list of the state’s top athletes from the past decade.
Today we begin the debate…

Jesse Owens, Archie Griffin, Jerry Lucas, Roger Staubach, John
Havlicek, Mike Schmidt, Edwin Moses…
The list of Ohio natives who have
starred on the high school level and beyond is immense and impressive.
So too is the list of the state’s top athletes from the past decade.
Today we begin the debate.

Over the course of the next 10 weeks, we will unveil on
JJHuddle the “Top 50 Ohio High School Athletes of the Decade” for
1999-2009. Every Monday through Friday from now until March 26, a new
athlete will be released. The countdown will end a day before the boys
basketball state finals. Fitting? Maybe.

The criteria is simple: one must have played high school sports
in Ohio over the last 10 years and must have excelled in their sport.
What exactly is the definition of excel? State championships, state
records, national impact, never before seen feats and how long that
name is going to resonate in town were all very important criteria.
Other factors – including how many sports played – were included as
well. All sports are represented.

There are some obvious names on this list and some that might
surprise you. All however are worthy of recognition. There will be
those that argue some athletes aren’t ranked high enough, some are
ranked too high and some are perhaps missing all together.

Monday the debate and countdown begins.

Until then, here’s a couple stars that just missed the Top 50:


Jaclyn Dutton, St. Clairsville, Soccer, 2006-2010: The
Clemson recruit is the most prolific goal scorer in state history. On
Oct. 13 of last year, Dutton tied the state record for goals in a game
with 13 in a victory over Magnolia, WV. That tally also pushed her into
first place on the state’s all-time scoring list where she ended with
192. Dutton scored five goals or more in a game 11 times during her
career. Dutton’s 67 goals as a senior is the third highest season
output in history. Her 51 goals as a junior is eighth.

Paige Penrod, Circleville Logan Elm, Volleyball, 2006-2010: When
it comes to kills, few have done it better than Penrod, and no one has
done it better for a season or game. Penrod owns the state record for
kills in a game (45) and season (636), setting both marks as a junior.
This past season she had 600 kills which ranks third all-time. She’s
also had Top 10 games in kills of 39 and 38. Penrod’s 1,578 career
kills ranks fourth all-time.

Darcy Fishback, Upper Arlington, Swimming, 2005-2009: Now
at Auburn, Fishback helped the Golden Bears win their fifth straight
state title in 2009 by winning her fourth straight Division I title in
the 100 butterfly (53.83). She also set a state record in the event in
the prelims (53.38). That time is the ninth fastest in U.S. history.
Fishback was also the anchor on the 200 freestyle relay that set a
state record in 1:34.24, and swam a leg on the 200 medley relay that
set a state record in 1:43.59.

Kara Koch, West Salem Northwestern, Volleyball, 2004-2008: Koch
is the state’s all-time leader in career kills with 2,196 and is the
only player in state history with over 2,000. In fact, her mark is a
559 kills better than second place. Koch’s season totals of 614 (2008),
583 (2007), 527 (2006) and 472 (2005) kills rank second, sixth, 12th and 18th, respectively, in history.

Tess Sito, Elyria, Softball, 2005-2009: It’s
only appropriate that Sito closed out her high school career by
striking out the last batter she faced. The fact that is was for a
state title only added to her legend. As a senior at Elyria High
School, Sito capped an incredible prep career by leading the No.
1-ranked Pioneers to the Division I state softball championship with a
10-1 win over Hudson at Akron’s Firestone Stadium last year. Playing in
its fourth straight state tournament, Elyria had lost in the state
finals the last three years. But not again, not with Sito. A three-time
first team All-Ohio selection, Sito is arguably the best softball
player ever from Lorain County and ranks high among the state’s best
ever. Since her freshman year, Sito dominated. As a pitcher she tallied
814 career strikeouts and 75 wins. Her junior and senior seasons were
especially remarkable. After registering 22 wins and 170 strikeouts in
spot duty her first two years, Sito broke out for 313 Ks and a 27-3
record as a junior. As a senior she went 26-3 and had 331 Ks. She
issued just 22 walks. Sito, who batted leadoff, is just as valuable
with a bat in her hand. She hit over .400 all four years of high school
and the last two years combined to hit 11 homeruns and knock in 49
runs. She scored 46 runs herself as a senior and batted .505. She also
tied a D-I state finals record with four hits in 2008.

Amber Silvis, Mt. Orab Western Brown, Soccer, 1999-2003: When
she graduated, Silvis was the No. 1 goal scorer in state history with
182. She’s now second after Dutton. Silvis scored 39 goals as a
sophomore, 40 as a junior and 56 as s senior (ranks fifth all-time).

Ryan Lang, Lakewood St. Edward, Wrestling, 1999-2003:
A four-time NCAA championship qualifier (and national runner-up in
2007) at Northwestern, Lang won four state titles with the Eagles and
helped St. Ed win a national championship in 2000. He also won two
Ironman titles and a Beast of the East crown.

Kristy Coppes, Findlay, Soccer, 1997-2001: Coppes ended a stellar career with over 114 career goals which ranks 18th
in history. Her 75 goals as a senior, however, ranks No. 1 all-time. So
does her 13 goals in a game. Coppes was the MAC Freshman of the Year in
2001 and graduated from Bowling Green as the school’s all-time leading
scorer (52 goals; 111 points). She still holds both records.

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