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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Track: On to State....

Once again, the Orrville track program will have solid representation at the OHSAA State Track Meet this coming weekend in Columbus. A rundown follows.

The boys team captured a 2nd place finish at the Lexington, qualifying for state in 6 events. The girls finished 19th and qualified in just 1 event.

Here's the breakdown....along with a full result sheet from this past weekend at Lexington and here's the lane assignments for all events this coming weekend.

110m Hurdles - Sam Miller. Sam won the event with a time of 14.55. He heads to Columbus with the 3rd fastest time of all the qualifiers. Ben Moody of Cortland Lakeview clocked a silly 13.83 at the Ravenna regional, crushing a near 20 yr old meet record, and came within .15 seconds of the state record.

100m - Michael Craig. Michael finished 2nd to Norwayne's Cody Miller with a time of 11.10. His regional time is 8th quick among all the qualifiers.

4x 200m Relay - Lockett, Nichols, Craig, Kazim. Team finished 4th at regionals and is 12th quickest among the 16 state qualifiers based on regional times.

4x 100m Relay - Miller, Lockett, Pittman, Craig. Team finished 4th at regionals and is 11th quick among the 16 state qualifiers based on regional times.

200m - Michael Craig. Michael won the 200m with a 21.65. His regional time is 2nd quick among the 16 state qualifiers. This may be Orrville's best shot at a state title.

Pole Vault - Aaric Milligan. Aaric jumped 14' 8" and finished 3rd at regionals. Only the 2 athletes that finished ahead of him cleared 15' at regionals. Aaric has a shot at a top 4 or better finish at state.

The Riders finished 6th as a team last year with 19 team points and I think they improve on that this year. I'm predicting a 4th place finish with right around 25 team points.

One lone Lady Rider will represent the red, white and black at Jesse Owens Stadium. Sophomor Brooke Benner finished 3rd in the girls 1600m run. Her regional time of 5:16.27 is 12th quick out of the field of 16.

Good luck to all the Rider tracksters. Represent the school with class and bring home the hardware.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Track: Boys Win Districts; Girls 3rd

The following is a list of Orrville track athletes that qualified for this weekend's Division II Regional meet at Lexington High School.


Brook Benner

Brook Benner

100 Hurdles
Nicole Gregor

Team of Alexa Jarrett, Lily McMillan, Elle Vierheller, Heather Kohler

Pole Vault
Ellie Vierheller, Alexa Jarrett

Nicole Steiner


Michael Craig, Dillon Corbett

Michael Craig, Dillon Corbett

Kyle Osburn

110m Hurdles
Sam Miller, Aaric Milligan

Team of Josh Graber, Thirajn Pittman, Michael Craig, Zackh Lockett

Team of Zack Lockett, Michael Craig, Albert Kazim, Sam Miller

Pole Vault
Eric Bowers, Aaric Milligan

Long Jump
Sam Miller

Shot Put
Aaron Lewis, Sam Reusser

Here's the full list of times and results. Pretty interesting to look at each even and the meet records for each event. Some real familiar names there. Pay attention to the Boys 100m record....Olympian Butch Reynolds still holds the record set in 1983 ( a ridiculous 10.7) although Norwayne's Cody Miller came within 2 tenths of a second of breaking that record.

Good luck to all the Riders at the regional meet.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Orrville Football: 2009 Captains

Breaking from tradition, recent tradition anyhow, The 2009 Orrville Red Rider football team will have five captains.

If two are co-captains, three are tri-captains, four are quad-captains.....would five be quint-captains? The mind boggles.

Congrats to Chase Hoobler, Sam Miller, Dillon Corbett, Victor Monheim and Vincent Monheim, who were selected by their teammates to represent the team.

If the captains are indeed responsible for selecting uniform combinations (among other things), just remember the following formula....

"Red Pants > Black Pants"

If you need visuals, look here and here. There really is no comparison.

That is all.

UPDATE: This was a question that was emailed to asked if Orrville has ever had captains that were also twins? I can only think of a few sets of twins that even played for Orrville (before last season when we had 4 sets on one team). If anyone can shed some light on this, please email me or post it in the comments section.

Friday, May 15, 2009

News & Notes

A few things to get you through the weekend. You should be outside in the yard or golfing....did I mention I golf?

The Orrville Lady Riders softball team has been quietly having a great season under Coach Craig Johnson. They won their opening round tournament game, and notched their 15th win of the season, which is a school record for wins in a season, I'm told (doesn't sound right, does it?). Good luck to Coach Johnson and the Lady Riders as they go for the sectional title against Northwestern at Orr Park (Mizer Field) tonight.

In alumni news, 1976 OHS grad Mitch Camp won the Ohio Senior Open at Firestone Golf Course in Akron. He shot a 5-under 135 in the 2 day tournament, including a ridiculous 6-under 64 in the final round, winning with a birdie on the 3rd playoff hole.

Camp, 50, was an all-division medalist for the Red Riders at the 1976 state golf tournament, and was a 2nd team All-American at Ohio State in 1980. He is one of very few 4-year golf letterwinners in Ohio St. history.

He is the club pro at Walden Golf Course in Aurora and in addition to his first Ohio Senior Open, he won the Ohio Open in 1985 and 1993, and is largely considered the greatest golfer to come out of Wayne County. Waynedale junior-to-be Grant Weaver may have something to say about that before his career is over.

Lastly, OHS grad and Western Michigan QB Tim Hiller was honored as the top male collegiate athlete in the state of Michigan by the Detroit Athletic Club earlier this week. It was the first time a WMU athlete won the award, and the first time the award was not given to an athlete from Michigan (boo!) or Michigan St.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Orrville Football: All-Time Opponents Record

Further entrenching myself as a complete stat geek, here's a list of every opponent the Red Riders have ever played, and their respective record against each. Want to know our all-time record against Wooster? Dover? Cloverleaf? Massillon? This is your place.

Here's the entire list (seriously, is there anything better than a clean PDF file? I submit to you that there is not.) I especially enjoy looking at our all-time results against other county teams, specifically, the WCAL teams. We've never played Smithville (surprisingly) or Hillsdale, but against the other WCAL teams, we're a solid 49-8-3 (81.6%).

Our top 5 opponents in terms of games played are as follows.
1. Wooster - 99 games
2. Millersburg/West Holmes - 85 games
3. Wadsworth - 77 games
4. Mansfield Madison - 40 games
5. Triway - 37 games

What's neat about that list, is that 4 of those 5 teams are currently on our schedule, and the 5th, Wadsworth, could be easily added, and would automatically be added if Orrville ever jumped from the OCC to the Suburban League.

Amazingly, or maybe not so amazing, we've only played one out of state team, Erie East from Pennsylvania, the game was played in 1970.

I'd love for this information to appear in the fall sports program, it's the simplest piece of our football history. Anyone tied to the athletic department or the Booster Club that would like to discuss, please contact me. I would love to share this information with all Rider fans.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Breaking: 2009-10 Region Assignment

The little birdies are in overdrive today. Word is coming out of the OHSAA offices that our Riders have been placed in a region for the upcoming football season.

We've heard rumblings about the powerhouse Region 13 being turned on it's top, with teams like Steubenville likely moving back to Div. 3, and maybe taking Cardinal Mooney with them. Things were looking up for us, but what I didn't figure in was the possibility of a region change, and that appears to be what has happened.

Pending approval by the state, we're moving to Region 14 (still Div. 4) for at least the next 2 football seasons. The last time we were housed in region 14 was from 1994-1997. Two of those 4 years (1994 & 95) saw us win regional championships.

Here's the list of teams that will make up the region, their county, combined record over the past 2 seasons, and other pertinent notes.

Some points of emphasis....
1. Three other county teams will join us in Reigon 14. Chippewa, Norwayne and Triway. With Norwayne jumping up from Div. 5.

2. Several playoff qualifiers from 2008 no longer call region 14 home. Led by state power Coldwater and joined by Marion Pleasant & Sparta Highland.

3. We have brief history with several team in the region. We lost to Black River & Elyria Catholic in the playoffs, defeated defending state champ Wauseon in the 1994 playoffs, defeated Huron in the 1998 state semifinals, defeated Van Wert in the first ever home playoff game at Red Rider Stadium in 1985, and defeated Fostoria in our first ever playoff game in 1980.

4. OCC foe Clear Fork remains in the region, but sets up a potential playoff game with a conference team. Something that's never happened in our history.

5. Rossford and Van Wert both drop to Div 4. from Div. 3.

6. For the record, Orrville would have finished 5th in region 14 last year, all things being equal. We finished 10th and out of the playoffs in region 13 last year. That's no knock, only an acknowledgement of how strong Region 13 was.

This should be seen as a very good thing for us. This regions has it's powerhouses, but I think we right in that top tier with Fostoria, Genoa, Pemberville and Ottowa-Glandorf.

Our aspirations should be very high heading into 2009. The only downside to this is it takes potential playoff sites like Fawcett Stadium, Paul Brown and U of Akron's new field out of the equation. If we make it to week 11 or 12, we'll be heading west to places like Ashland and Mansfield, or maybe further west. Who cares, right? As long as we're in.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The House that Smitty Built??

Words can't describe how sweet this could potentially be. Alas, it's about as far-fetched (and far off) as field turf at Red Rider Stadium. But in the ultimate "what if," let's play a little game called "What if Orrville built a new basketball gym?"

First, let me make this perfectly clear.....THIS IS NOT AN ACTUAL PROPOSAL. It is simply for discussion/fun.

Secondly, allow me to describe how this came about. I'm a architecture junkie, but can't draw a lick and lack everything it would take to be a competent blogger architect (or, City Planner as George Costanza would have it). I've always appreciated good architecture, especially when it comes to sports arenas. I love hearing about professional, college and high schools building new facilities. I've been a pig in slop this spring with both New York teams opening new baseball parks, The U of Akron (FEAR the ROO!!) continuing to work on their new football field and the new concept of using the entire dome for a NCAA Men's Final Four. Seriously, tell me this isn't an awesome picture.

So anyways, a thought came to me last week. What if I started a 2nd blog to highlight new stadiums and stadium upgrades in the NE Ohio area, or all over the country for that matter? Well, after some quick searching, I found that, in one form or another, those all pretty much exist and would just be redundant. Running one tremendous, world-renowned blog can be a lot to keep up with, I'm only human you know.

What I did find in my search was a blog run by a man named Terry Schulz that had a bunch of different conceptual stadium drawings. He had a 2nd blog that was created with the sole purpose of proposing a new arena for the NHL's Detroit Red Wings. Check out each site, nothing amateur about it is there? These weren't the kind of scribblings you'd find on a notepad like I used to do in Mrs. Bradley's study hall. Terry obviously has at least a strong interest in architecture, if he's not in the industry itself.

I thought I'd float a test balloon his way and attempt to make contact with him, and see if he'd be interested in doing a quick concept drawing for an Orrville gym. Not only did I get a response, but he was willing to give it a go. I fed him all the specifics, names and logos....and what I think would make a great high school gym.

If you've read this site at all, you know I'm a sucker for the Canton Fieldhouse, I love everything about it, and think that if Orrville were to ever build a new gym, it should model the Fieldhouse, at least in seating design (2 levels & seating "in the round"), albeit on a smaller scale. Seating on all 4 sides would give our gym a most unique feel, as no other area gym does that, and only Berkey Fieldhouse in Smithville has 2 levels of seating, another important feature.

What resulted just blew me away. Take a look at this masterpiece (click for a larger size)....

Some details...

1. Seating is 2070 on lower level and 384 on upper level (2454 total). Maybe a little big (I think ideal numbers for a school our size is 1200-1600). You could always hack out a section behind each hoop....or just get rid of the 400 upper level seats to trim down the capacity, leaving one level of seats like this. But I don't think 2000 is out of the question. I've always been told that if you're bothering to build anything, make it bigger than you think you'll ever need. You just never know.

2. All lower level seats are retractable, allowing for 2 full length courts to be utilized when seats are retracted.

3. Locker rooms would be located under the 2nd level of seats

4. Concession area and concourse would be located above the first level seating, giving the gym a recessed feeling. Much like this gym in New Castle, Indiana.

5. The weight room and baseball batting cages were just a throw in and not specifically requested by me, however, I do think a weight room would be a necessity in a stand-alone facility, and maybe some sort of classroom space as well.

6. Naturally, we will need a very large trophy case. :)

I'm sure we could get lost in the details, what logos should be on the floor, what color the key should be, etc. My goal is to communicate the need to make a new gym, if ever built, something unique and special, not just a cookie cutter gym with no heart.

Where to build it? A fairly simple question. Build it on the vacant land between the high school parking lot and the football field, the corner of Ella and Mineral Spring streets. You'd still be able to utilize the same parking area and the building would still be a part of the campus environment the district is trying to create.

I would hope that at least the court, if not the entire building would be named in memory of Coach Smith. He put Orrville on the map in terms of basketball, and helped stock our trophy cases for 25 years, including 3 state titles and 400+ career wins.

Unfortunately, this project as a whole is about as likely as me running a 4 minute mile, and with the all-weather track needing resurfacing, and either a renovation or replacement of the existing high school on the horizon, capital projects will be few and far between over the next 10 years.

We certainly can dream though. I'd love to hear your thoughts on what you'd like to see in a new gym, and what you did and didn't like about this proposal.

The comment section is wide open. New readers, this is your chance to dip your toe in the pool.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

And a Good Time Was Had by All.....

The Goodyear blimp (I'm a huge fan) buzzed over Riceland Golf Course promptly at 9am this morning, I should have known it was an omen for how the day would go. Let's review the first annual Jack Leeder/Denny Hartzler golf scramble.

We were disappointed that it was real golf, and not mini-golf. I practiced that windmill hole all week. The fact that we'd actually have to hit off the tee (and the BLUE!! tees to boot) was downright terrifying. But we settled in did OK, all things considered.

The day started with some heartfelt thanks delivered to the group of golfers by Mike Leeder on behalf of the two families. I can say one thing for sure about the folks that put this together, they were truly humbled by the community support (donors, volunteers, golfers, sponsors, etc.) and put an effort forth that Jack and Denny would both be very proud of.

Onto the golf, my partner and I had more highs than lows and sandbagged scrambled our way to a 6-over par 77. Not bad for a 20 handicapper, and a guy who hadn't swung the wrenches in a few years. It was even good enough to take first place in the C Flight of golfers (no trophy, only some dead presidents). Yes, you read that right, your fearless leader blogger is now a champion golfer. It was only a matter of time. The sunburn was TOTALLY worth it.

It was a great day of golf with good friends, good food, organized by great people, honoring 2 men who left the Orrville community too soon. We even had bird get killed in mid-air by a golf ball (don't ask).

The fact that the event was to raise funds to provide a scholarship for a high school senior was the icing on the cake. Congrats again to the event organizers, for your first run at a golf tournament, you did everything very well.

See everyone next year. Hopefully this outing grows each and every year. We hope to defend our coveted C Flight title next year. Maybe we'll move up to the B Flight next year and try to duplicate the "repeat while moving up a division" like the 94-95 and 95-96 Red Rider basketball team did.