Obviously, this time of spring we have plenty of track invites to
breakdown and plenty of baseball and softball action to discuss as well;
however, a couple of legendary Southeast Ohio basketball coaches were in the news this
week.Why? Find out here…
Obviously, this time of spring we have plenty of track invites to breakdown and plenty of baseball and softball action to discuss as well; however, a couple of legendary basketball coaches were in the news this week. One legendary coach says even though he is done in the classroom, he plans to still work the sidelines, while another coach who has led a school for four decades now knows who will take over for him this winter.
Along with taking a close look at some interesting conference races in baseball and softball, we also had a southeast tennis squad wrap-up a league title. The championship squad did so with a pair of 5-0 victories, and this week’s News, Notes, & Nuggets highlights all the individual members.
If you like statistic milestones, the southeast story for you took place in Pike County this week as an elite hurler recorded strikeout number 600. This week’s top player highlights this individual.
If you like great comeback wins with league titles on the line, the story for you is in this week’s top team section. Our team was down one game in the standings and down three runs in the game when they batted for the final time.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Fort Frye Baseball: In this week’s Pioneer Valley Conference action, Shenandoah and Fort Frye played an instant classic with Fort Frye winning 11-10. The loss drops the Zeps to 9-1 in league play while the win lifts the Cadets to 11-1 in the conference. Shenandoah led this game 10-7 entering the final frame, but Fort Frye rallied to win it in their final at-bat. Justin Ellis had two hits, including a double, with two RBI to lead Fort Frye. Colten Skinner and Donald Helverding also had two hits in the win.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Shella Zimmerman, Piketon Softball: The Piketon pitching star recorded five wins in as many nights to help her Lady Redstreaks remain perfect at 15-0 overall. After beating Southeastern 15-2 on Monday night, the senior really got it going. Tuesday was a shutout, eight strikeout performance against Zane Trace. Wednesday and Thursday, Zimmerman recorded a total of 30 strikeouts in a pair of no-hitters against Chillicothe and Unioto. Finally, Zimmerman completed her dominate week with 16 strikeouts in a win over Westfall. In the third inning of this game, Zimmerman surpassed the 600 career strikeout mark.
NEWS, NOTES, & NUGGETS
Maslowski & Grandstaff Rewrite Records: Seventeen girls’ track squads were at Nelson Field – home of the annual Bellaire Burger King Girls Invitational this past Thursday night. In the team competition, Steubenville Central finished with an impressive runner-up finish to a dominate Wheeling Park squad, but it was the performance of a few individuals that had record books changing. Considering Steubenville Central’s Teddi Maslowski is the defending state champion in the high hurdles, it came as little surprise that she won the event on this huge stage, but it was her time of 14.4 that had everyone taking notice. Maslowski also won the 300 hurdles at 46.6. Also breaking records was Bridgeport’s Cassie Grandstaff. Grandstaff dominated the sprinting with times of 11.9 and 25.7 to rewrite meet records in both.
Raidiger Invite at Waverly High School: Taylor Hatfield and her Lady Pioneers of Zane Trace continued their dominance of southeast track this week. On the boys’ side it was Piketon winning the team title led by their outstanding star athlete Caleb Southworth.
Other notable winners that give southeast fans some names to remember for this year’s postseason include Ethan Allen from Vinton County (long jump), Steven Hall of Southeastern (200), and Waverly teammates Dylan Dyke and Brian Evans (throwing events). On the girls’ side, Waverly’s Lexxy Jackson (shot/discuss), Caitlyn Owings (high jump), Crystal Foreman of Waverly (100/100 hurdle), and Felicity Peabody of McClain (400).
Legendary Coaches: Washington Court House basketball coach Gary Shaffer is retiring from teaching, but it appears he will still return to the sideline next season to lead the Blue Lions. The teaching retirement had created some questions; however, well respected Sports Director of WKKJ in Chillicothe, Mike Smith, reported this week that Shaffer is intending to coach next season.
Another legend, Gallia Academy’s Tom Osborne was notified last month that he would not be renewed after winning 531 times in his 41 year career. This week the school named Tom Moore to be his replacement. Moore has spent several years in the program under Osborne, and he also has experience that includes time spent on the staff at Rio Grande University.
Tennis Title: The Chillicothe Cavaliers defeated both Gallia Academy and Marietta by identical 5-0 scores in tennis action this week to capture the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League tennis title. John Lods, Gabe Seymour, and Tyler Allen all recorded single wins while Grant Markley/ Justin Ball and Dallin Patino/ Luke Wagner picked up wins in doubles action.
Down to the Wire: Few conference races have been as wild as this year’s Scioto Valley Conference baseball title chase. Entering the upcoming week, Westfall holds the league lead at 7-2 with Unioto, Zane Trace, and Adena all sitting a game back. Southeastern, who recorded a nine-inning win over Unioto this past Friday night, is hanging in there at 5-4.
The already wild scenario could have been even crazier. Westfall scored three times in the seventh inning Friday night to beat Piketon (who now slips to 4-5). The win came on a two-run double from Vinnie Williamson and an RBI hit from Alek Stonerock.
Less Confusing: Softball in the Scioto Valley is not nearly as complicating in terms of figuring out the teams chasing the championship. Piketon, led by this week’s top player Shella Zimmerman, continued its perfect ways while Adena held its position just one game back.
Possible Perfection: An impressive 11-1 win over rival Wheelersburg now has a perfect SOC II season in sight for the softball squad at Lucasville Valley. The ‘Burg plated a first inning run to take an early advantage, but Valley responded scoring six runs in the bottom half frame and 11 unanswered runs overall to win it in five innings. Sophomore Braiden Dillow struck out eight Lady Pirates to earn the win. At the plate, five different Lady Indians drove in at least one run.
Andy Haines Invitational: A solid field at Paint Valley High School on Friday night saw Zane Trace’s girls win the team title while Greenfield McClain took the boys’ championship. The Lady Pioneers recorded seven wins including a pair from Megan Jaruwannakorn in the 100 and 300 hurdles, and Taylor Hatfield won the 1,600 with a record time 5:15.20. McClain’s Felicity Peabody was meet medalist doing most of her damage in the sprinting events.
On the boys’ side, McClain’s win was led by Kameron Mace with wins in the long jump and the high jump. Host Paint Valley had the medalist as Tim Morell recorded wins in both hurdle events as well as the 200.
Rivalry Encounter: Aaron Elliott hammered a two-run dinger and Nick Kemper enjoyed a solid day at the plate and on the mound as Wheelersburg defeated nearby non-league rival Portsmouth this week. Wheelersburg is currently tied with Lucasville Valley in the SOC II. Valley remained in this spot with a key 9-1 victory over Minford this week.
In the other half of SOC baseball, Portsmouth Notre Dame defeated Franklin Furnace Green 2-1. Tyler Noel allowed just three hits while striking out five to earn the win. Tough luck loser T.J. McCloud went the distance striking out seven.
League Leaders: The Tri Valley baseball team continued their fine season this week beating Muskingum Valley League rival John Glenn 13-2 to run their record to 12-1 overall and 8-1 in the MVL. The Scotties win came behind a strong pitching performance from Nathan Strock. Strock struck out seven while scattering six hits in the complete game win.
Adena vs. Piketon, Softball, Monday, April 26th, Piketon High School, 5 p.m. As explained above, this will probably decide if Piketon wins the golden softball, or if these two will share the title. Piketon’s Shella Zimmerman and Adena’s Crystal Detty are sure to make runs tough to come by in what is sure to be a classic pitchers’ duel.
Eastern vs. Southern, Baseball, Monday, April 26th, Southern High School, 5 p.m. Two of the most underrated baseball programs in the southeast will battle in a key Tri Valley Conference Hocking Division game. Both these small schools have been frequent visitors to the Sweet 16 in Division IV, and both are sure to make some noise in the upcoming postseason as well.
Whiteoak vs. Vinton County, Baseball, Monday, April 26th, VA Memorial Field in Chillicothe, 5 p.m. Interesting non-conference match-up as two programs that know something about beautiful facilities both hit the road to meet at a neutral site at the home field of the Chillicothe Paints.
Portsmouth West vs. Lucasville Valley, Baseball & Softball, Friday, April 30th, Lucasville Valley, 5 p.m. Both the baseball and softball games are SOC finales that could very well play a huge role in determing this year’s conference champions.
Logan Invitational, Boys & Girls Track & Field, Saturday, May 1st, Logan High School, 10 a.m. Several of the elite track programs for both boys and girls will be in action at this extremely competitive event at Logan.