Morning Huddle: Last matchup for Mentor and Massillon football?


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

• Football matchup between Mentor and Massillon doomed?

• Hamilton and Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin get new girls basketball coaches

• Sabo offers baseball advice

• New Lake basketball coach has lots of work to do

• Graham football star commits to Hoosiers

No more games for you: This could mark the last year that the Massillon Tigers and Mentor Cardinals square off after a series of scheduling conflicts. Mentor is moving into the Northeast Ohio Conference next year, and it’s caused a lot of shuffling. “Both teams wanted to play,” says Tiger coach Jason Hall. “They have a juggling schedule right now because they’re going into a league.” The teams will meet up, perhaps for the last time, during Week 4 this fall. Since 2005, Mentor leads the series 3-2.

New faces in girls basketball: Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin’s assistant varsity boys basketball coach Wally Kesling has a new role: coaching the girls basketball squard. Kesling will try to turn around a Cougars program that went 11-12 last year. The Hamilton High School girls basketball team also has a new head coach in 29-year-old Stefanie Miller. Miller worked as an assistant coach at Trotwood-Madison, before taking her new gig. She’s also racked up the honors for her own play. As a four-year starter at UD, Miller still ranks second on the school’s all-time assist list.

Sabo offers baseball advice: Former Cincinnati Reds star Chris Sabo wrapped up the Reds Legends baseball camp in Marietta yesterday with some advice for the more than 140 kids training at the camp. “Most guys don’t get in the proper hitting position and they’re either ahead or behind (the pitch) … (they) pull their head and they pull off the ball,” he tells the News and Sentinel. “I think if you get your feet in the proper position, you stay balanced.” Sabo was one of a handful of former Reds who offered three days of baseball instruction for young players looking to improve their game.

New gym, new coach: Lake High School (Millbury), which was devastated in a 175-mile tornado, has a new high school boys basketball coach, Ryan Bowen, to go along with their borrowed gym. Bowen was hired last month, and it’ll be interesting to see how he does. “I’ve been here my entire life,” Bowen says. “From kindergarten on, I never left. I started a business here and I know a lot of the people. It’s time to give back.” He runs a barbershop in Millbury, and he has long been involved in the school’s athletic programs. Lake’s athletic director cites Bowen’s “high level of intensity” as one reason for hiring him. Indeed, Bowen will have his work cut out for him. The Flyers posted a 7-34 record over the past two seasons, including a 2-24 mark in league play.

Another Hoosier: A day after learning that St. Vincent-St. Mary High School senior safety and tailback Mark Murphy has committed to play football for Indiana University, Nick VanHoose of Graham High School (St. Paris) has also committed to the team. A 6-foot-1, 180-pounder, VanHoose plays just about every position on the field. “As a junior he rushed for 1,877 yards and 25 touchdowns on offense, while adding five interceptions and 12 passes broken up as a cornerback on defense. He also handled the team’s kicking and return duties for good measure,” writes

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