No genders. No separation. Just simple competition. And the best at their crafts. Voting for the Third Annual JJHuddle & Bucknuts Ohio High School Winter Sports Athlete of the Year is over and it wasn’t close. Over 26,000 votes were cast and of those 22,000-plus were cast for Napoleon wrestler Seth Beard. Congrats to Beard and all the nominees.
Here are the Results…
*Seth Beard, Napoleon Wrestling (VOTES)
Senior and Kent State recruit won his program’s first state title and was named most outstanding wrestler at the D-II State Championships after winning the 120 title. Beat three-time state champion Tyler Warner of Claymont in the semifinals. A four-time state placer, Beard owns the school record for career wins (196-12).
*Jensen Caretti, Hannibal River Girls Basketball (VOTES)
Senior and Ohio State recruit was named AP’s Ms. Basketball winner. Averaged 25.1 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and four steals en route to earning All-Eastern District POY.
*Xavier Simpson, Lima Senior Boys Basketball (VOTES)
Mr. Basketball winner and Michigan recruit was named the AP D-I State Player of the Year after averaging 27.2 points, 6.6 assists, 3.9 steals and 3.9 rebounds. Finished career with 1,986 points. Twice this season Simpson eclipsed the Lima single-game scoring record with 59 and 65 points (both against Fremont Ross). His 65 points in a game are the sixth most by an Ohio player in the last 52 years.
*Kyle Bloom, Toledo St. Francis Hockey (VOTES)
Senior was named Ohio’s first ever Mr. Hockey by the state coaches. The team captain of the No. 1 ranked Knights, scored 65 goals and had 43 assists this season.
*Jarron Cumberland, Wilmington Boys Basketball (VOTES)
Senior and Cincinnati recruit averaged 29.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.6 steals, 3.3 assists and 1.6 blocks en route to earning the AP Southwest D-I District POY. Scored 2,408 career points with a career-high 52 in a win over Washington Court House. His career tally ranks 15th on the all-time Ohio HS scoring list.
*Cameron Thatcher, Olentangy Liberty Diving (VOTES)
Boys Swimming & Diving Senior defended his D-I diving state title and broke his own state meet and C.T. Branin Natatorium high school pool records (633.8) he set last year.
*Kaleb Romero, Mechanicsburg Wrestling (VOTES)
Junior won his 150th career match and third state title with a 15-0 TF win in the D-III 160 final at the State Meet. Unbeaten on the season (52-0), Romero improved to 150-3 for his career. In 16 career state matches, Romero has not allowed an offensive point. He won all four of his state matches by TF this season.
*Seth Towns, Northland Boys Basketball (VOTES)
Senior and Harvard recruit averaged 31.6 points, 11 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.5 steals. Ended career as Northland’s all-time leading scorer (surpassed current Boston Celtics post Jared Sullinger) with 2,018 points. Also set school record for most points in a single-season (759) this season.
*Claire Schuerman, Alter Diving (VOTES)
Girls Swimming & Diving Senior and Auburn recruit won her third straight D-II state diving title.
*Evan Adkins, Xenia Boys Bowling (VOTES)
Junior set a new state tournament record for highest series (805) and single game (296) en route to winning medalist honors at the D-I state tournament. He actually broke his own single-game record (278) that he set in 2014 when he finished state runner-up.