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Monday, November 26, 2012

Winter Sports Schedules, Car Raffle, Flag Football & More

Lots going on in this post...grab a cup of coffee.

Winter Sports
Hard to believe that the winter sports season is upon us with all winter sports regular seasons beginning this week.

Courtesy of the Orrville Booster Club Website, here are the links to the boys basketball, girls basketball and wrestling schedules.

A new wrinkle in both boys and girls basketball is that the regular seasons will now be 22 games instead of 20. Not sure why the change was made. I'd think it will lead to more weeknight games and back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday. I can't think coaches are too keen on either situation...especially if winter weather forces some rescheduling. Teams could be playing a weeknight game AND a Friday and Saturday game.

For the boys, their two extra games will be at Smithville on December 15th and against Carrollton in the Timken Mercy Classic in North Canton, on Sunday Jan. 20th. It's been since 1994 that an Orrville boys team has played in Smithville's Berkey Fieldhouse..but that was a tournament game (a loss) against Norwayne. Wonder how long it's been since we played Smithville at their gym? Decades for sure. That will be an interesting evening of basketball.

The boys will again participate in the WQKT Steve Smith Holiday Hoops Classic at the College of Wooster. They'll be the final game of the evening at 8:45 and will face the Northwest Indians. Here's a great link to WQKT showing the lineup for this year and for all games since the Classic's inception in 2004.  Orrville has lost the last 2 games in the Classic, to Hillsdale and Hiland, after winning the first 5 beginning in 2005.

The girls will be a part of the Classic in the Country at Hiland HS, this year against Reedsville Eastern at 10am on the first day of the classic, Saturday January 19th.  Reedsville made regionals last season in Division 4 and this past fall in guessing they're primed for another strong run in basketball.

Plybon Points
One of the more interesting storylines this basketball season will be senior (and University of Akron commit) Hannah Plybon's pursuit of the all-time girls scoring record.  By my count, she has 1,380 points heading into the season.  Stacie Howard has the current record of 1,480, so Hannah is exactly 100 points away from the record.  If she maintains her roughly 20 points per game average, she should get the record in game 4 (at Lexington, Thursday Dec. 13th) or at home against West Holmes on Saturday December 15th.

Just for fun, the all-time boys record is Marcell Denson's 1,722, and that record could be in danger as well if Hannah averages 20 points per game over 20+ games.  She's got an outside shot at 2,000 points, something that no Wayne County player has ever done according to the OHSAA. I'd love to know Wooster grad Marcie Alberts' career total (EDIT: Her career total is 1695 per this link), but no other Wayne County girl comes to mind that could have broken the 2,000 point barrier.  Chippewa's Tonya Smoot holds the career scoring mark among county schools with 1,745.  Fellow Lady Chipps Charbea Haller & Sue Porter have 1,723 & 1,533 respectively.  Smithville's Jenna Pew had 1,679.

To get to 2,000, she'd have to average around 25 points per game and the team would have to make a deep run to at least the regional final.

House That 'Smitty' Built
This will also be the final season for winter sports in the current gym.  Next season, events will be held in the new gym currently being built.  Boys basketball season ticket holders this year will get first crack at season tickets in the new gym next year.  The date to remember is Tuesday December 11th at 6pm, that's when first time season ticket holders can get seats, or existing season ticket holders can change their current seats for new ones.

I've been told that the "Bob Knight Gymnasium" name will follow the move to the new gym, and that's fine, but a bigger part of me says that there needs to some sort of recognition of Smitty, the coach who put Orrville basketball on the map and hung 3 state title banners in the 1990's.

What about "Steve Smith Court at Bob Knight Gymnasium?"  I know that's a little wordy, but I don't think anyone would mind.  Would be a great honor to a great coach.  At least some sort of recognition in the gym for his accomplishments, maybe on a banner listing his time at Orrville, his wins, league titles, district titles, regional titles and of course the 3 state titles.

Whatever is done, I sure hope we see banners like this at one end of the gym...and it needs to recognize ALL sports, not just winter sports.  Recognize league titles, district titles, regional titles, final four appearances and state titles of all sports...and have another banner listing individual state champs in golf, cross country, wrestling, etc.  We're all proud of our tradition, so lets put it where people can see it and be proud of it. 

Car Raffle
One more reminder about the Booster Club raffle.  The drawing for the new Chevy Cruze courtesy of Serpentini Chevrolet will be held on Friday December 28th at halftime of the boys basketball game against Clear Fork.  2nd prize is a 47" LG brand TV from Bennet's Appliance and 3rd prize is a recliner from Browns Furniture.  Tickets are $10 and can be purchased from any Booster Club officer or at Tom Brenner's Crown Investments office on West High St.

Alumni Game
This past Friday, 21 Orrville football alumni gathered on the turf at Heartland Field for a friendly game of flag football.  Each player tossed in $10 to benefit the turf replacement fund.  This is just one more event that could not have been held on a grass field.  The red team beat the white team 34-28.  It is hoped that this tradition will continue and grow next year.  Thanks to Stephen Carozza, Mike McMorrow and Tommy Brenner for organizing this event.

Turf Picture
Speaking of turf, here's a real nice panorama of the turf field that was taken last week.  Looks like there was some frost on the field so it must have been early in the morning.  Looks great, especially with everything around it (trees, grass) dying off for the season.  Feel free to download and view offline as the file is 6 MB big and shows some great detail if you zoom in.

That's all for now...good luck to the winter sports teams.  Go Riders!!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Two More Red Riders Sign College Offers & Fall Sports Honors

Orrville seniors Rylee Scott (L) and Hannah Plybon sign their college letters of intent on Wednesday.
Congrats to Orrville seniors Hannah Plybon and Rylee Scott on inking their college letters of intent on Wednesday.

Plybon will play basketball on a full ride at The University of Akron and Scott will receive a full tuition and books scholarship to Ashland University to play volleyball.

Plybon has led the girls basketball program in scoring each of the last 3 seasons and (by my count) is exactly 100 points away from being the all-time leading scorer in school history. She is also seeking a rare 4th All-Ohio honor and another 1st team All-Ohio honor this season would make 3 straight..another super rare feat.

Scott, a 2-time All-OCC honoree, was recently named 2nd Team All-Ohio Division 3 and was a key part of the Red Riders Final Four run.

Congrats to Rylee and Hannah.  Continuing the tradition of Red Riders excelling at the college level.

I won't add them to my "College Riders" list until their days at Orrville are finished, but wanted to ask everyone to review the list and please let me know if I'm missing anyone else.  By my count we have over 30 alums playing sports at the collegiate level.

Football Honors
Congrats to Orrville senior Zane Vierheller for being named to the OCC first team and also Honorable Mention All-Northeast Inland District.  Junior Trevor Summers was named 2nd team All-OCC and Honorable Mention All-Northeast Inland District while fellow junior Joel Zook was named Honorable Mention in both the OCC and the Northeast Inland District.  Harrison Brown and Chase Infield were also selected as Honorable Mention OCC.
Volleyball Honors
Congrats to Hannah Plybon and Rylee Scott for being named All-OCC first team, Maggie Davault (2nd team) and Raegan Renner and Triniti Hall (Hon. Mention).  Also, pictures from the Final 4 game against Bishop Ready are available for purchase here.

Golf Honors
Congrats to juniors Chad Harrison and Layne Scheufler for being named to the Northeast Ohio Golf Coaches Association Division Two 2nd team.

Monheim named Big10 Frosh of Week
For the 2nd time this season, Mason Monheim has been named the Big10 Freshman of the Week for his 15 tackle performance against Purdue last weekend.  He leads his team in tackles and is 14th in the entire conference in tackles and the only freshman in the top 50 in the conference in tackles.  His 74 tackles put him 7th among all freshmen in the country and tied for 4th among freshmen linebackers.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Orrville Volleyball: Final Four Edition

Wanted to send out best wishes to the Orrville volleyball team and staff as they prepare to play in the Divison 3 Final Four tomorrow in Dayton at the Nutter Center on the campus of Wright State University.

It's the Riders 3rd trip to the final four since 2003 when they won the Division 3 state title by beating Versailles in two games.

Orrville will take on Columbus Bishop Ready at 6pm.  If the Ready name sounds familiar, it should.  The Silver Knights defeated Orrville for the 1983 Division 4 football title.  It was also the school that the Orrville boys basketball team defeated in the state semifinals in 2009.

Back to volleyball, the other Division 3 semifinal pits Casstown Miami East (27-1), the defending D-3 state champs and #1 ranked team in D-3, against Bloom Carrol (24-3).

The winners will meet for the D-3 state title Saturday at 5pm.  That game will be broadcast on SportsTimeOhio on SUNDAY (not live) at 9pm.  So if the Riders win Friday, we'll all have a chance to watch the finals on TV on Sunday evening.

The Riders are playing their best ball when it counts the most...taking 36 of their last 37 sets, dating back to the 3rd set of their game with Canton Hoover back on 9/29.  They were down 2 sets to 0 in that game....won the next 3 to win the game, and have only dropped 1 set since.  That's pretty impressive dominant.

Safe travels to all heading down this weekend.  I'll send updates via twitter/facebook as much as I'm able.  Hoping to report on 2 more wins and a 2nd state title for the volleyball program.

As best I can tell, there is no radio broadcast of the game.  Some games are being broadcast by radio stations that have teams from their area playing, but not Orrville.  If Miami East and Orrville meet in the finals, it's likely that the game will be broadcast here. would be so neat if we had our own capabilities to broadcast over the web.  Wouldn't have to count on WQKT or anyone else to broadcast our games.

We look through the prism of football (maybe a little too much) in this town...but the volleyball team's run has been such a good distraction after a tough football season. It's also been great to see the support of a lively student section.  They're showing that you can be a supportive and loud cheering section without having to be disrespectful...a lost art in student sections anymore.  Keep it up students!

Good luck & GO RIDERS!!!  Also a "good luck" to the Central Christian Comets as they seek a state title in Division 4.  They play Friday at noon against Beaver Eastern.