Southwest Ohio Huddle: Michigan, Notre Dame and Cincinnati step up recruiting efforts in Queen City


Southwest Ohio Huddle

Mason junior Zach Wills – one of the truly great high school athletes
in Ohio – was honored last week with the Gatorade Ohio Boys Cross
Country Runner of the Year award on Thursday. He wasn’t the only one who had an outstanding week…here are some others.

Mason junior Zach Wills – one of the truly great high school athletes in Ohio – was honored last week with the Gatorade Ohio Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year award on Thursday.

It comes as no surprise really. Wills has been dominant in cross country and distance events in running track the past few years.

Wills won a second consecutive Division I state cross country this past fall. But, it’s Wills’ character and academic excellence which makes an even greater student-athlete..

According the Gatorade news release, Wills has a 3.58 GPA and is active in his church community. He has volunteered to help send running shoes to underprivileged youth in Africa.

“He’s been blessed with a lot of God-given talent, but without his character he would never be where he is today,” Mason coach Tom Rapp said.

It is the second time Wills has won the Gatorade state award. He is a finalist for the national award which will be named later this month.

Wills will certainly have his choice of elite college programs when it is the right time to make a college selection. College programs aren’t permitted to start calling him until July 1.

A two-time GMC runner of the year, Wills continues to dominant his sport.

“Wills is one of the most dedicated and hard-working athletes I have ever coached,” Rapp said. “The key is his quiet humility and he has a competitive fire that burns deep.”


Northwest bowler Sarah Gadberry: The junior bowled a 299 as the Knights defeated Mount Healthy 2625 to 2186 last Wednesday. Gadberry had a 469 series, which led the team. She was sixth in the Fort Ancient Valley Conference in scoring average after the match. She had a 183.1 scoring average going into last weekend. Northwest (12-0, 4-0 FAVC-Scarlet division) plays its last match of January on Tuesday when it faces Mason at 4 p.m. at Northwest Lanes.


Kettering Alter girls’ basketball: Alter continued to be undefeated at the start of this week. Alter is 15-0 overall and 6-0 in the Girls’ Greater Cincinnati League. Alter defeated McNicholas 68-36 on Saturday and Fairmont on Monday. The Knights are No. 1 in the Associated Press Division II state poll. Alter is led by senior guard Ashley Christie (12.4 ppg.), junior guard Courtney Christie (8.1 ppg.) and sophomore guard Allison Bockrath (8.0 ppg.). Alter has won 14 consecutive games and averaged 58.0 points at the start of this week. Next up is Chaminade-Julienne at 6 p.m. Friday at Wright State University.


Waynesville narrows coaching search: Waynesville has narrowed its football coaching search to three candidates, according to the Dayton Daily News. The school hopes to name a new coach by the February Board of Education meeting, according to the publication.

Black commits to Michigan:
Wyoming senior defensive lineman Jibreel Black (6-2, 260) orally committed to Michigan this past weekend. He had been orally committed to Cincinnati.

Notre Dame offers Massa:
St. Xavier senior quarterback Luke Massa was offered by Notre Dame last Thursday. Massa, who orally committed to UC last summer, will take an official visit to South Bend this weekend.

Minnesota offers Durham:
Minnesota has offered Cincinnati Colerain senior fullback Trayion Durham (6-2, 230), according to Durham also has an offer from Colorado. He rushed 154 times for 1,113 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior.

Bruewer wins 100th match:
Deer Park senior Joe Bruewer won his 100th career match recently. Bruewer was third at the Division III state meet at 130 pounds last school year.

Cincinnati offers Poole:
Winton Woods junior linebacker Antonio Poole has been offered a scholarship from the University of Cincinnati, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Poole, who is 6-1 and 225 pounds, helped lead a defense that won the Division II state title in December.

Big 33 invitation:
Archbishop Moeller senior defensive end Marcus Rush (Michigan State commit) and Moeller senior offensive lineman Jeff Tanner (Miami University commit) have been invited to play in the PNC Big 33 Football Classic. The game is 7 p.m. June 19 in Hershey, Pa.


Ursuline at Mount Notre Dame girls’ basketball, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday: Two of the top teams in the GGCL Scarlet division. Ursuline had a 13-1 record and was in first place of the division at the start of this week. MND was 7-8. MND sophomore guard Raeshaun Gaffney led the GGCL with a scoring average of 20.5 points going into last weekend.

Chaminade-Julienne at Alter boys’ basketball, 7:30 p.m. Friday:
Chaminade-Julienne won 11 consecutive games as this week started. Senior forward Joe Staley led the Eagles at 18.8 points per game. Alter junior guard Max Zukowitz led the Knights at 13.5 points per game.

West Chester Lakota West at Oak Hills, 2 p.m. Saturday:
These two Greater Miami Conference powers meet on the West Side of Cincinnati. Oak Hills senior forward Amanda Baute averaged 17.4 points going into last weekend. Lakota West is led by sophomore forward Tazzie Shaw and senior guard Kindsay Brandt.

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