2010 Year in Review: Nos. 5-1…2010’s Top High School Sports Story is…

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Ohio’s Top 50 High School Sports Stories from 2010

Today is the end of 2010 and it’s also the end of our annual look
back at Ohio’s Top 50 High School Sports Stories of the Year. Today we release the Top 5 High School Sports Stories of the Year. What are they? Drumroll please…


Today is the end of 2010 and it’s also the end of our annual look
back at Ohio’s Top 50 High School Sports Stories of the Year.

Today we release the Top 5 high school sports stories of 2010. What are they? Drumroll please…

Nos. 5-1:

5. Lima Central Catholic’s Seggerson wins first state title and then rides off: Talk about storybook…try this one out: Perhaps no team or head coach has felt the agony of defeat at the boys basketball state tournament more than Lima Central Catholic and it’s head coach Bob Seggerson. On March 27, Seggerson and Co. finally got to taste the thrill of victory. After having its five previous trips to state – all under Seggerson – end in one or two point losses, the Thunderbirds broke through for their first state title with a 60-57 win over Orrville in the Division III state championship game before a crowd of 14,008 at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center in Columbus. At the postgame press conference, Seggerson announced his retirement. Whew…is right. Orrville didn’t go lightly. The state championship was the lone missing piece to Seggerson’s resume which now includes 517 wins, 13 district titles, six regional championships and three state finals. His T-Birds were runners-up in 1989 and 1994. When Seggerson accepted his state championship medal he placed it around his wife’s neck, hugged her and capped it with a kiss. He then went to the locker room and told his team he’d coached his last game.

4. Northland nearly completes season as nation’s No. 1 team, Gahanna Lincoln pulls shocking upset: Kansas and Columbus Northland commiserated together. March 20 wasn’t a good day to be No. 1. The top-ranked Jayhawks suffered an unlikely exit from the NCAA Tournament, losing 69-67 to Northern Iowa in a second round game in Oklahoma City. Closer to home, the nation’s No. 1 high school team suffered the same fate. Gahanna Lincoln was a little more respected than Northern Iowa heading into its match-up with No. 1 Northland, but realistically, no one outside those donning blue and gold gave the Lions much of a chance. Now we know better. Gahanna used a 40-19 run over the second and third quarters en route to a shocking 71-45 win over the Vikings at the Columbus Fairgrounds Coliseum. Rob Brandenberg and Stevie Taylor each scored 19 points for Gahanna, while Sam Bott and Anthony Jackson added 14 and 12, respectively. The Lions had five players score in double figures. Northland had just four players score and two hit double figures, led by national player of the year Jared Sullinger (24 points). J.D. Weatherspoon added 11. Sullinger and Weathersppon are now freshman at Ohio State.

3. A female qualifies for state wrestling tournament…and wins a match: Mantua Crestwood senior Paige Nemec became the first girl in history to wrestle – and win – at the state wrestling championships on March 4 when she competed in the 103-pound weight class in Division II. Nemec lost her first match to Olentangy’s Trevor Fiorucci 8-0, but she rebounded to win her first bout in the consolation round. On March 5, Nemec was ousted (3-1 decision) in the second round of consolation action by Mentor Lake Catholic sophomore Sean Fee. Nemec finished the season 34-11 and won five tournament titles this year. Her career record is 115-34. Nemec is the cousin of former three-time D-I state champion and current Ohio State wrestler Sean Nemec (St. Edward). A couple weeks after the state tournament, Nemec won her eighth Ohio State Girls’ Wrestling Tournament title (at 108 pounds).

2. Cleveland St. Ignatius’s football playoff and winning-season streaks snapped: With back-to-back losses to Cincinnati St. Xavier and Lakewood St. Edward to end the regular season, Cleveland St. Ignatius had its state-leading streak of consecutive playoff berths snapped at an insanely impressive 22 seasons. The Wildcats also finished with a losing record for the first time since 1982, the year before current and legenadry head coach Chuck Kyle took over the program.  Ignatius owns a state record 10 state championships, all of which have come under Kyle. Ignatius had played in every postseason since 1988.

1. Wadsworth ends 33-year parochial stranglehold on D-I wrestling title: On March 6, Wadsworth struck a huge blow for public schools – specifically “big school” public schools – by ending a 33-year stranglehold on the state’s Division I team championship.  Before a crowd of 14,886 at Ohio State’s Schottenstein Center, the Grizzlies became the first public school to win Ohio’s large school division in 33 years (1977) and the first school period – other than Lakewood St. Edward – to win it in since 1996. Wadsworth snapped the Eagles state-record run at 13 straight state titles with a 172-167.5 victory. The last time a school did what the Grizzlies accomplished, Star Wars was two months away from making its debut at the box office. Wadsworth defeated a comparable Empire.

* OHSAA Reports contributed to this series

SCHEDULE:
Dec.
21: Honorable Mention (Nos. 65-51)

Dec.
22: Nos. 50-46

Dec.
23: Nos. 45-41

Dec.
24: Nos. 40-36

Dec.
25: Nos. 35-31

Dec.
26: Nos. 30-26

Dec.
27: Nos. 25-21

Dec.
28: Nos. 20-16

Dec.
29: Nos. 15-11

Dec. 30: Nos. 10-6
Dec. 31: Nos. 5-1

PREVIOUS COUNTDOWNS
2008’s Top Stories
2009’s Top Stories

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