I wasn't very attentive to the spring sports season until a few weeks ago when track tournaments started. To be honest, there wasn't a lot to talk about. Tough seasons for baseball, softball and tennis, and to me, track never gets terribly interesting until tournament time.
My writing for The Daily Record (oh, you hadn't heard?) took up most of my ever decreasing attention span, so let's catch up on things. This past athletic season as a whole had it's ups and downs. Some great moments though, for sure.
In chronological order.....
1. A big win over league rival Lexington prevented a 1-3 start to the football season. A 1-point loss to Ashland in the mud was the Riders only other loss in the regular season once the team was at full strength. A 5th straight win over Wooster capped the season.
3. Cross Country makes it to regionals as a team for the first time in recent memory.
4. Volleyball finishes as OCC Tri-champs and district runner-ups.
5. Football team advances to regional finals by knocking off Genoa Area in a classic game (link). They would fall the next week to Ottawa-Glandorf by a 21-20 score.
6. Girls basketball wins the outright OCC title.
7. Boys basketball advances to regionals for the first time since 1996, beating Triway in the district finals. They would knock off Cleveland Central Catholic and Newton Falls to earn a return trip to Columbus.
8. Dennis Raber wins the 160 lb. weight class in Division 3 to become the 3rd state champ wrestler in Orrville history.
9. Rider swim team medaled in three events at the state meet in Canton.
10. Orrville basketball knocks off Bishop Ready in the Div. 3 semifinals on two free throws by Sam Miller. They would lose 60-57 in the finals to Lima Central Catholic and finish as state runner-up with a 21-6 record under first year coach Sly Slaughter.
11. Six Red Rider tracksters advance to the state meet (Eric Bowers, Dillon Corbett, Sam Miller, Kyle Osburn, Drew Brenner and Nicole Greegor). Bowers (pole vault) and Corbett (400m) finish on the podium to earn Division 3 All-Ohio honors.
Spring Sports Connections
1. Wanted to congratulate the Clear Fork Colts on winning the Division 3 basbeall state title, beating Wheelersbuirg 14-3 in the final. They finished 32-2 on the year and won the OCC outright. I got to cover their 3-2 win over Triway for The Daily Record. Very impressed with their coach (Jeremy Riddle) and their overall collection of talent. They certainly had all the pieces to win it all and that's just what they did.
2. I'm reaching here, but wanted to mention Ft. Loramie's win over Newark Catholic in the Division 4 baseball championship. OHS alum and former Rider assistant volleyball coach John Rodgers is the volleyball coach at Loramie (out in Western Ohio) so I've followed them a little closer than most other schools not in our area. Loramie has had an amazing year athletically. Their girls basketball team made the state semifinals, the volleyball & boys basketball teams made regionals, and football advanced to the regional finals in Div. 6 (in just their 4th varsity season).
Very impressive. For what it's worth, they have no soccer or wrestling program so according to Rodgers, it's due in part to kids not being so spread out over multiple sports. It's football & volleyball in the fall, baseketball in the winter and baseball/softball in the spring.
3. Lastly, congrats to the Hillsdale softball team, to Chippewa's Brandy Kelley (high jump) and to the Rittman girls 4x100 track team for bringing state titles home to the Wayne County area this spring.
Thoughts and Prayers
Finally...thoughts and prayers to the community of Millbury, a small town in western Ohio that was devastated by a tornado over the weekend. Orrville and Milbury (Lake High School) both belong to Region 14 in football. Their high school suffered extensive damage in the storm and will have to be rebuilt.
Here's what remains of their high school and a portion of their main drag through town. It's quite amazing to look at the damage....click to view full size.