Morning Huddle: Five Ohio baseball teams ranked in nation’s Top 50


JJ’s Morning Huddle: A daily dose of News, Notes & Nuggets from around the state

• Former Reds stars instruct kids at Marietta camp
• Mark Murphy of Akron SVSM commits to play football at IU

• Twinsburg basketball star lands on U-18 women’s team

• Twinsburg wrestler named Male Athlete of the Year

• Lake high school basketball gets new home

Best of the best: Five Ohio baseball teams cracked the nationwide Top 50 list in the MaxPreps Xcellent National High School Baseball Rankings. Division I St. Edward (Lakewood) got the highest marks taking the No. 12 slot, but they were closely followed by two Division II teams: Jonathan Alder (Plain City) and Walsh Jesuit (Cuyahoga Falls). DI Cincinnati schools Elder and Archibishop Moeller took the 30 and 31 slots.

My coach is a pro: Six former Cincinnati Reds including Chris Sabo and Norm Charlton have spent the past two days training some 140 young baseball players at The Reds Legends Camp in Marietta. Today’s the last day for the annual camp. “To me, at the end of the day, I want the kids to walk away learning something but I want it to be something they will remember for the rest of their life,” says Mike Wagner, a former camp participant-turned-pitching instructor at the camp. In addition to Sabo and Charlton, other Reds stars have been sharing their secrets including Big Red Machine pitcher Clay Carroll, Pedro Borbon, center fielder Eddie Milner and Leo Cardenas.

Hoosierville: Strong safety and tailback for the Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary Fighting Irish, Mark Murphy, has committed to play for Indiana University. “I think he is a fine football player and he is a great student,” says his coach Dan Boarman. “Mark has a 4.2 grade-point average and scored a 30 on his ACT. Indiana not only meets his athletic needs, but it also meets his academic needs.”

Better than expected: Girls basketball star Malina Howard (Twinsburg) got a pleasant surprise recently. She was invited to compete with 36 other girls from across the country who hoped to land a spot on the U-17 national team. Instead, she was selected for a spot on the U-18 team. She’s already started training for the championship that starts today.

Speaking of Twinsburg: Twinsburg Senior wrestler Waquiem Comar had made up his mind that he wasn’t going to wrestle his senior year in high school. After skipping two weeks of practice, though, he started to regret his decision. Good thing, he ended up upsetting defending state champ David Habat (St. Ignatius) and taking the title in the OHSAA Championships Division I 152-pound weight class. “I’m glad I came back out,” said Comar moments after his state-title win. “I’m bringing home the gold. I’m just proud of myself. This week, I put some enthusiasm into my shots.” Now, he’s earned SportInk’s Male Athlete of the Year Award.

In the wake of a tornado: After the Lake High School building in Millbury was destroyed by a 175-mph tornado, the school got some support from nearby Owens Community College. Owens lent a building to Lake where students will be able to take classes, and now the Flyers basketball team has been given access to the Owens gym where they’ll be able to practice and play their home games. “I think the league is going to understand,” says girls basketball coach Mike Llanas. “(They’ll) be willing to give us a helping hand.”

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