2011’s Top Ohio High School Sports Stories: Nos. 15-11


Ohio Year in Review: 2011’s Top 40 Stories

It’s nearing the end of 2011 and it’s time again for our annual look back at Ohio’s Top High School Sports Stories of the Year. As usual it’s been an extremely successful and memorable 12 months.
National records, state records, once in a lifetime performances…it’s
all here. And here’s how they rank.

It’s nearing the end of 2011 and it’s time again for our annual look back at Ohio’s Top High School Sports Stories of the Year.

usual it’s been an extremely successful and memorable 12 months.
National records, state records, once in a lifetime performances…it’s
all here. And here’s how they rank.

Today we continue the countdown…

Dec. 21: Honorable Mention
Dec. 22: Nos. 40-36
Dec. 23: 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


Nos. 15-11

15. Cleveland St. Ignatius defends D-I boys soccer title, wins fifth championship:
Three second half goals propelled Cleveland St. Ignatius to a 4-2 win over Powell Olentangy Liberty – back-to-back titles – in the D-I boys soccer state championship at Crew Stadium.

Liberty, making its first state championship appearance, led 2-1 at halftime but St. Ignatius (22-1-1) got goals from junior Nate Fahey and junior Jacob Roth (two) to notch the comeback. .Roth also tallied an assist in the second half.

After totaling four shots on goal and two goals in the first half, Liberty only managed one in the second half, unable to apply much pressure against the Wildcats defense.

With the 2011 title St. Ignatius has five championships overall. The Wildcats have won three times in the past four years (2004, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011).

14. Watterson’s Diaz ends spectacular tennis career with another state title: Chris Diaz, a senior from Columbus Watterson, won the Division II singles championship, defeating Ian Wagner of Columbus Wellington School 6-1, 6-0. It was the second consecutive singles state title for Diaz who, for the second year in a row, also won without losing a set in any of his matches. Diaz was also a Division I doubles champion in 2008 and a doubles runner-up in 2009.

13. Marion Local wins its fifth state football championship: Marion Local became one of nine schools – and just the third public school – to win five or more state football titles with its 61-21 win over Buckeye Central in the D-VI final at Canton’s Fawcett Stadium. The MAC owns more football championships (21) than any other league/conference affiliation and has sent at least two teams to state finals in eight of the last nine years. The other two public schools with five or more titles are also MAC teams: St. Henry and Versailles both have six state titles.

12. State cross-country meet moves to National Trail Raceway, 11 new champions crowned: Six new individual champions and five new team champions were crowned at the Cross Country State Championships at National Trail Raceway in Hebron. This was the first year the state cross-country meet was held at National Trail Raceway after a 26-year stint at Scioto Downs. The meet moved due to gambling concerns at Scioto Downs regarding slot machines.

In the Division III girls race, Liberty Center freshman Brittany Atkinson beat out Coldwater sophomore Christina Seas by two seconds to claim the state title in what ended up to be the closest race of the meet. Atkinson is the first freshman to win an individual state title since 2005 and did it in a race that featured eight non-seniors in the top 10 finishers. Defending state champion, Tammy Berger (Sr., Versailles), ended her career with a fifth place finish. Atkinson also led another upset helping Liberty Center claim the team crown, breaking the streak of Minster (eighth place), which had previously won three consecutive state titles.

In the D-II girls race London sophomore Sarra Taylor won her first title, while Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary – led by junior Marissa Rossetti (eighth place) and senior Tessa Weigand (18th place) – won its third straight team title. The Irish were the only repeat champion of the weekend – individual or team.

In the D-I girls race Princeton senior Claudia Saunders won the individual title and Brunswick took home the team title with a close five-point win over Beavercreek.
On the boys side, Versailles junior Samuel Prakel won the D-III individual title, while  McDonald took home its sixth team title.

In D-II the winners were Napoleon senior Steven Weaver and Springfield Shawnee, In D-I, Reynoldsburg senior Tsehaye Hiluf beat Tippecanoe junior Sam Wharton by three seconds to claim the individual title. Led by Adam Davidson (Jr., ninth place) and John Sotos (Jr., 27th place), Dublin Coffman brought home its schools first team state title.

11. Mt. Notre Dame snaps Toledo St. Ursula’s 48-match win streak in the D-I volleyball state final: In its fifth trip to the OHSAA state volleyball tournament since 2005, second-ranked Cincinnati Mt. Notre Dame (24-5) upset No. 1 and nationally ranked and defending state champion Toledo St. Ursula Academy, 25-14, 25-22, 23-25, 28-8, at Wright State University’s Ervin. J. Nutter Center. The loss snapped St. Ursula’s 48-game win streak that dated back to the 2010 season.

Mount Notre Dame came out on fire in game one, taking a 10-2 lead behind three kills from All-Ohio junior Michelle Strizak, and never looked back on their way to a 25-14 victory. Prior to that loss, the Arrows had never lost a set during the 2011 tournament. The Cougars continued their dominance in set two before the Arrows settled down to win an exciting game three, 25-23. In the final set, Mt. Notre Dame wouldn’t be denied as they held St. Ursula to their lowest scoring output of the season (25-8).

The Cougars were led by All-Ohio junior Michelle Strizak, who tallied 22 kills, six service aces and seven digs. Strizak also had a stellar semifinal performance with 20 kills, six aces and 18 digs. She received help from seniors Caitlin Shipp (13 kills), Aubree Hord (43 assists) and Kelsey Wolf (26 digs) in the championship match.

Despite the strong hitting performances by senior Cassidy Croci (16 kills), junior Maddie Burnham (nine kills) and Lauran Graves (eight kills), the Arrows only dug up 64 of the Cougar attacks and finished the season 28-1.

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