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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Basketball: Orrville Boys win 6th Straight

The month of December didn't start out so well for the boys basketball team. They dropped a hard-fought game at West Holmes by a 60-56 score. This was on the heels of a 41-40 loss to Coventry in the fist game on their home floor. An 0-2 start...even if both losses were by a combined 5 points, was still an 0-2 start.

Not sure what's changed, but December has been pretty good to the Riders since then as they've reeled off 6 straight wins, including their latest win over an undefeated Norwayne squad by a 62-49 score.

The 6-2 record is their best start since going 7-1 to open the 2009-10 season. That season ended in a state runner-up finish.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Orrville Fall Sports Update # 2

The Fall Sports season is coming to a close, with some sports already done for the season. Seems like just yesterday we were getting ready for another football season, and now we're 2 weeks away from the Orrville-Wooster game.

Here's what's going on....

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Orrville Fall Sports Update #1

I'll try to do these kind of updates every few weeks....there's a lot going on, so prepare for an overload of information, but it's all good stuff.

If you remember my football preview, I said the following:
Our first 4 games are John Marshall at home, at Triway, then Northwest & Lexington at home....we have a real opportunity to get off to a hot start and you never know how the season will go if that happens.  We've seen what confidence (and yes, swagger) can do to a team.  If this team gets off to a good start and sees the results of their hard work paying off in wins, it could be a very interesting season.
I'm certainly not saying I predicted 3-0, but I certainly was saying that is was possible...very possible in fact.  I think the first 3 weeks have great for everyone's psyche, but especially the 40+ kids on the roster.  They're buying in, they're seeing results due to effort and they're seeing that the coaches are doing their best to put them in the best position possible to win.

Last week's 28-22 win over Northwest was a gutsy effort.  The game seemed to be slipping away from us in the 3rd quarter but the kids refused to quit and found a way to win.

It's nice hearing how this team seems to get along...from seniors to freshmen, and that's a very big thing.

The only potential downside is that we're only 3 weeks into the season, and about to embark on another 7-week grinder of an Ohio Cardinal Conference schedule.  Again, health will be so key.  I think this team has it in them to compete each and every week and may spring a few upsets on the way to a week 10 showdown with Wooster that very well may have playoff implications....yes I said playoffs.

But lets stick to 1 week at a time....4-0 heading into a very tough stretch of games would be the very best possible outcome.

If Coach Davault and his staff take this program from 1-9 a year ago to the playoffs this year, he deserves serious recognition for coach of the year honors.  You have to give him credit for going back to the drawing board after last year and installing a lot of new plays and formations.  It's worked so far and he's called all the right shots with putting kids in the right spots.

With a win this Friday at home versus Lexington, Orrville will become just the 25th program in state history to record 600 all-time wins.  Here's the current list as it's listed on the Steubenville site, which is a much more complete list that what's on the OHSAA site, it's a who's who of Ohio football:

Massillon Washington Tigers
Canton McKinley Bulldogs
Steubenville Big Red
Warren G. Harding Raiders
Fostoria Senior Redmen
Martins Ferry Purple Riders
Sandusky Blue Streaks
Dover Crimson Tornadoes
Bellaire Big Reds
Cleveland St. Ignatius Wildcats
Ironton Tigers
Hamilton Big Blue
Cincinnati Wyoming Cowboys
Troy Trojans
Middletown Middies
Fremont Ross Little Giants
Shelby Whippets
New Philadelphia Quakers
University School Preppers
Mogadore Wildcats
Upper Arlington Golden Bears
Versailles Tigers
Napoleon Wildcats
Piqua Indians
Orrville Red Riders

We'd be only the 5th northeast Ohio public school (joining McKinley, Massillon, Mogadore and Warren Harding) as 600 win programs.  That's quite a class of schools.

Riders Ranked
In the first AP State Football Poll, the Riders checked in a #10 in Division 5 and even earned a first place vote from someone.  I'd guess the last time we cracked the top 10 was in 2011, but that's just a guess.  Take AP polls with a grain of salt though.  The computer polls are what matter in terms of the playoffs, and as of right now the Riders are on top of Region 16. 

The volleyball team is also ranked in the latest Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association poll, at #16 in Division 3. Again, take with a grain of salt, but I think that's a little low for a team coming off a Final 4 appearance and a team that's playing in a very tough volleyball conference.

Orrville Volleyball wins own invite, beats Wooster
The Red Rider volleyball team is on quite a roll, winning the inaugural 8-team Orrville Invite this past Saturday, defeating Hoover in the championship game and then rolling over Wooster tonight in 3 games.  They are currently tied atop the OCC standings with Madison. 

Hole in One...for the 3rd time
Special congrats to senior golfer Layne Scheufler on carding his 3rd hole-in-one in his high school career.  I'm still waiting on my first, and he's sunk 3 just while in high school!!  This article says the odds of a hole-in-one are 12,500 to he's defied those odds 3 times.

Riders on the Radio
This Friday's game versus Lexington will be broadcast on 104.5 WQKT and I think it's the first game they've done at our stadium since the Wooster game in 2011.  Nice to have the best radio crew in the state back to Red Rider Stadium.

Soccer gets 1st OCC win
Congrats to the soccer team for their big 3-2 win over West Holmes to clinch their first conference win on the season. Keep working hard!!

Car Raffle
Please consider purchasing raffle tickets for the 2014 Chevy Cruze that was kindly donated by Serpentini Chevrolet.  Tickets are $10 each or 6 for $50.  The Booster Club keeps every dime of ticket sales money to benefit ALL OHS sports teams.

Home Game Crowds
Would love to see a much bigger crowd this Friday for the Lexington game.  Last week's crowd was ok, but we can certainly do better.  These kids are working their tails off to get Red Rider football back on the map and deserve our support in the process.  Weather is supposed to be nice on Friday, so there's really no excuse.


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

2013 Football Preview...and a special gift to my readers

Before we get to the 2013 Orrville Football outlook, I wanted to share a special project I've been working on over the past month.

It's the culmination of a project that took many hours of research to compile....and it's something that every Red Rider football fan needs to see.

It's my honor to give you the 2013 Orrville Football Fan/Media Guide.  It's basically a 12 page reference guide with current info as well as historical info.

Click the link below to view the file. You can also save it on your own computer or print it out.

Here's the breakdown of all 11 pages:

Page 1 is the 2013 football roster
Page 2 is the 2013 Varsity schedule
Page 3 is a "Master Schedule" showing all 10 of our opponents and their complete schedule
Page 4 is Orrville Football "by the numbers" with detailing stats on our playoff history, league titles, etc.
Page 5 & 6 is our all-time record broken down by each opponent we've ever played
Page 7 is our all-time coaching history
Page 8 is our all-time football captains list
Page 9 & 10 is our all-time playoff history with scores of all 50 playoff games
Page 11 is a game-by-game breakdown of the Orrville-Wooster rivalry.

Again, feel free to print it out or save it to your computer.  I'd like to update this annually.

Now on to 2013.................................................................................

Here's the article that I submitted to the most recent issue of OrrViews.  I'll add to the article below.

With last year’s 1-win season in the rearview mirror, Orrville head coach Doug Davault and the Red Rider football team are excited to get 2013 season started.
Now in his 8th season as head coach with a 51-30 record, Davault feels he has a good group of kids and the right mix and size, speed and smarts to get Orrville football back on track.
“We really try not to say too much about last year, we like to talk about where we are and where we’re heading,” said Davault. “But all of the coaches and players are excited to put last year behind us and get the season started and play that first game.”
The four senior captains for 2013 are Trevor Summers (TE/LB), Kyle Ritchie (WR/DB), Harrison Brown (OL/DL) and Joel Zook (RB/DB).  They will be counted on to lead the team all year and according to the coach, they’ve already begun stepping into that role.
“Our captains are doing what we ask them to do and they’re really leading the charge,” Davault said. “It’s part of the Orrville tradition that your captains take charge; it’s their team.”
One of the new faces on the 2013 team will be sophomore quarterback Luke Smith.  He takes over for 3-year starter Kyle Lichti.
“I’m very impressed, I have to keep reminding myself that he’s just a sophomore,” said Davault of his new signal caller. “He throws the ball well, has good vision and poise & I don’t think the moment of the game will be a problem for him.”
Seniors Elijah Coleman, Chandler Smith, Kyle Ritchie and Trevor Summers will be receiving targets for Smith while a group of linemen led by seniors Harrison Brown & Connor Davis, juniors JJ Miller & Amir Simpson, sophomores Jacob Zimmerman, Jacob Hochstetler and Korbin Sprowls will provide protection on the offensive and defensive line. 
Running backs will be led by Senior Joel Zook with junior Keontae Owens and freshmen Jacob Hershberger & Austin Domer potentially seeing time as well.
On defense, senior Trevor Summers will anchor the defense at linebacker.  He’ll be joined by juniors Colton Shrader, Jachai Palmer and Corre Shaffer at linebacker, while seniors Kyle Ritchie, Joel Zook, Elijah Coleman and Chandler Smith will man the defensive backfield along with junior Nick Fetty.
The Red Riders kick off the 2013 season at home on August 30th against Cleveland John Marshall.  This is a slight change in the schedule as Cleveland Lincoln West was scheduled to travel to Orrville, but due to low numbers on their team, it was agreed to replace them with the Lawyers of John Marshall.
Orrville will travel to Triway in week 2, this will be the first game on Triway’s new turf field.  The Red Riders will round out the non-conference portion of the schedule in week 3 as they host Northwest.  The next 7 weeks will be against Ohio Cardinal Conference competition, which will again prove a difficult test for the Riders, who by enrollment numbers are the smallest school in the conference.
“I think the conference will be strong again, there are teams with lots of athletes,” said Davault.  “We’re going to have to be at our best every week.”
The annual week 10 matchup against Wooster at Heartland Field will be the first game in the 100+ year rivalry to be played on turf.
With participation in the low 40’s counting all freshmen as well as sophomores, juniors and seniors, staying healthy is as important as it’s ever been.
“If we stay healthy, we’ll compete, if we don’t, we’re going to struggle,” Davault added. “But we’ll compete one play at a time and try to focus on the little details that can mean the difference between a win and a loss.”
Lastly, Davault stressed the need to get the season off to a good start by winning early.
“Kids need to know that all the hard work they’re putting in is prospering into something.  We would love to get off to a great start, that confidence and belief that would come with it is huge.”
I honestly think this could be a team to surprise people this year.  There's strong leadership at the top with a large senior class and 4 seasoned senior leaders in Zook, Brown, Ritchie and Summers.  It all starts with those 4.  All 4 need to have strong seasons on both sides of the ball.  I think we have some youth on the team that will have an impact, and some kids that have been waiting in the wings to make an impact.  We haze an offense and defensive line with some good size for the first time in a that group gels and opens holes for the run game and protects Luke Smith at QB will obviously be a very important thing.

The biggest keys are to stay healthy and to get off to a good start.  With low numbers, we have many kids playing offense and defense.  This isn't anything new in Orrville, but our depth is very shallow.  If a key player gets hurt, it's the equivalent of losing 2-3 kids.  A team our size just can't absorb losses like that and be the same team.

Getting off to a quick start is so key this year.  Our first 4 games are John Marshall at home, at Triway, then Northwest & Lexington at home....we have a real opportunity to get off to a hot start and you never know how the season will go if that happens.  We've seen what confidence (and yes, swagger) can do to a team.  If this team gets off to a good start and sees the results of their hard work paying off in wins, it could be a very interesting season.

With the addition of a 7th division, Orrville is now a D-5 school, playing a largely D-2 and D-3 schedule.  It's not inconceivable to go 5-5 and make the playoffs.

We'll be the smaller school in terms of enrollment, 10 out of 10 weeks this year.....and the OCC will be as competitive as ever.  This wont be an easy road.  Our kids are never afraid of a challenge and will not back down.  We will never be the biggest school, but I'll take the heart of our kids any day of the week.

These are good kids who have worked hard to get here and deserve our support.  Nobody wants 1-9 again and these kids are going to do everything in their ability to not let that happen.

Let's start with a win Friday night, on our turf, and have a healthy roster walking off the field after the game, heading to Triway for a week 2 showdown with the Titans on their turf.



Thursday, August 1, 2013

Community Night Details - Levy News - Red Rider Swag

Just a quick few items as we get ready to start another school year and another high school sports season....but first...I need to do my part for this levy vote next week.

Levy News
We're inside of 1 week until the community is asked to approve a renewal levy to assist our schools.  This is a no-brainer for me.  I'll be voting for the renewal and would ask you to do the same.  If this levy is defeated, money already being collected by the schools would disappear and make a difficult financial situation even worse.

I'm hearing that if this levy passes, it will not solve the entire financial crisis, but much less "new" levy money will need to be approved by voters in the future if we can pass this renewal levy.  It makes sense for Orrville and I hope to see it pass easily.

For the "average" home in Orrville, this levy represents about $20 per month, for some it's more than that, some less....again...this is money that is already being collected by the schools.  They are not asking for new money.  I'd really hate to think that the town would vote this levy down just to save $20 a month in their budget.  I'd think there would be much better ways to find $20 in your budget than at the expense of the schools.


"Meet the Team Night + Tour of new High School"
A community night has been scheduled for Friday August 16th at the high school and football stadium.  See below for the schedule of events that evening:

3:00-5:45 - Open football practice at Red Rider Stadium
5:30-7:00 - Open concession stand at the football stadium.
7:00 - Meet the fall sports team night at Red Rider Stadium 
7:30 - OHSAA required Informational meeting for fall sport parents. (Grades 7-12)

If you recall, the "Meet the Team" function has been held in the downtown area for the past few years.  I think this change will be a better venue for this event.  The school will be much more accessible from a parking standpoint, and the stadium will be a nice venue for coaches to introduce their captains, say a quick word about the upcoming season and give fans and younger kids the opportunity to come out on the turf and meet the teams.

Add in a chance to tour the new high school and it should be a good night.

While you're in the gym, make sure to check out the new banners that were paid for by the Booster Club.  They commemorate our 6 team state titles and our 22 team final 4's in all sports.  What a great look and a wonderful celebration of our athletic tradition.

Booster Club Info
As always at this time of year, the Orrville ALL SPORTS Booster Club is conducting their membership drive and for folks wishing to join at the Elite level ($50), this year's spirit item is a really neat one.  A Red Rider Tervis tumbler mug shown below.

The Booster Club is always seeking volunteers to help sell programs, 50/50 tickets or work in the concession stand.  In my opinion, every parent of an athlete should be required to work at least 1 event that their son/daughter is not involved in.  The Booster Club spends thousands of dollars a year for the benefit of all Orrville sports.

Red Rider Gear
Expert T's is once again selling Orrville football and Orrville volleyball shirts for the upcoming season.  Order forms for both are shown below.  Feel free to print out a form and turn it in at their store.  I really like this  year's designs.

That's all for now....we're inside of 1 month until the start of the fall sports season and the first home football game on August 30th.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

By The Numbers: Does Orrville belong in the Ohio Cardinal Conference?

With the release last week of the new OHSAA enrollment numbers, the discussion has come up again as to whether we belong in the Ohio Cardinal Conference...and by numbers alone, we simply don't. But is there more to it than that? I'm not so sure, but in the following post, I'll lay out the numbers and try to let that make my point for me.

If you don't want to read the stats, I'll save you the time, I think it's time for us to get out of the OCC....and I have one solution that I think would work.  But you'll have to read the whole post to get to that part.

Come know you want to.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Catching up....

Orrville track athletes (L to R) Hannah Plybon, Abrea Gibson, Kiauna McDuffie, Elijah Coleman, Tyrone White, Rylee Scott, Noel Hartmann & Jessica Eby at the State Track Meet at Jesse Owens Stadium. (Photo Courtesy of Andy Vernon)
Was out of town last week and have had a real busy past six weeks...time to get caught up.

Read below for a wrap up of the spring sports season, changes to the OHSAA football structure, the final OCC All-Sports standings, and more!

Spring Sports Recap
A big congrats to the 3 Red Rider track athletes who finished "on the podium" at the state track meet last weekend.  Freshman Jessica Eby surprised the entire area by finishing 5th in the 300m Hurdles, Senior Tyrone White finished 7th in the 800m run and junior Elijah Coleman finished 3rd in the 400m run.  All 3 earned All-Ohio honors by finishing in the top 8.

While all of the Orrville runners put up excellent times at state, none of the 3 were able to break school records in the process....and that says so much about how high the bar is at Orrville when it comes to track.  Putting 3 kids on the podium in one weekend would be a tremendous achievement at any other school in the area, but it's sort of ho-hum at Orrville, where track success is simply expected.

The baseball team fell short of their first trip to Columbus since 1976 when they fell to Youngstown Ursuline in the regional final by a 4-1 score.  Record-wise, it wasn't the most impressive year, but the OCC schedule was again a meat grinder and prepared the Riders well for tournament play, capturing a 2nd straight district title and advancing one game farther than last year.

OHS Football..Welcome to Division 5
Ever since the state announced they would add a 7th division in football a year ago, it was anticipated that Orrville would drop to division 5...and last week it was made official as Orrville has been officially placed in Division 5 with 185 boys in grades 9, 10 & 11.

Looking back at my own site, I see we were at 211 boys when the count was done in 2008 and 214 boys in 2011.  A drop in 2013 to 185 means we've dropped about 15% in enrollment in just the last 2 years.

The girls numbers are down as well, from 182 in 2008 to 174 now, but not as dramatically.

If the state still had the 6 division alignment for football, the Red Riders would still be in Division 4, but just barely. The cutoff for division 4 in 2011 was 177 boys, meaning we'd be one of the smallest Division 4 schools in the state.

We're joined in division 5 by county schools (Northwestern, Norwayne, Chippewa, Waynedale) and other locals Canton CC, Tuslaw, Fairless & Loudonville.  We will be playing for 1 of 8 playoff spots in the Northwest region and the 5 Wayne County teams will be the easternmost teams in the region.  Any playoff appearance by any of the 5 will likely result in some longer trips to playoff games.

With the addition of a 7th division, it will also mean that the state championship weekend in Massillon & Canton will have an extra game on Thursday night in addition to the 3 games on Friday & 3 on Saturday.  This year will also be the last for the games to be in Massillon/Canton.  Starting in 2014, games will be played at Ohio Stadium.

All-Time Football Record Correction
There's been slight correct to our all-time football record, and it involves a game played almost 100 years ago.  My records from 1915 show a 25-7 win over Massillon in the first week of the season.  But this link doesn't show the game as part of Massillon's schedule that year.  Here's the text from an article about an Orrville/Massillon game from 1916, and it clearly notes the game as a scrimmage:
Massillon high school's orange and black football squad ran rough shod over Orrville high Saturday afternoon at Orrville, smothering the Wayne county warriors under a 63 to 0 score. It was just as advertised, a practice game for Coach Snavely's gridders.

The game enabled the local tutor to get a line on the ability of the men seeking varsity positions. The season opens next Saturday with Uhrichsville here.
I just love the way newspapers used to write.  Anyway, I'm 100% certain that the game from 1915 was a scrimmage, and therefore should not count in our all-time win total.

Before this revelation, I had our win total at 597...this would back us up 1 win to 596 heading into the 2013 season, and make our new all-time record 596-364-41

OCC All-Sports Trophy
Lexington won another OCC All-Sports title in 2012-13, their 9th straight in 10 years the league has given the award.  Orrville finished 6th.  I'm not sure we've ever finished in the top 4 of the all-sports points.

It's just amazing to me that we've been in the OCC for a decade now, and have very few conference titles to our name.  Other than a shared football title in 2005, boys sports have ZERO OCC titles.

Girls sports have fared a little better, boasting 3 in basketball, 3 in volleyball, 1 in softball and 2 in track....9 total.

That's 10 total OCC titles in 10 years in the league...or an OCC title in 1 sport per year on average.  To compare, Lexington won SEVEN OCC titles in this past school year alone.

I know the OCC prepares us for post-season play, but too many of our sports have no chance to ever compete for an OCC title.  The conference is simply too big for us.  We could double our enrollment and still not be in the top half of the league in terms of size.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Three District Champions in One Week!!

The Orrville boys & girls track teams pose with their district title trophies on the track at Midview High School. (Photo courtesy of Andy Vernon)
It was a pretty solid week for spring sports as Red Rider teams captured not one, not two, but THREE district crowns.

The baseball team beat Chippewa 6-5 to capture their 2nd straight district title while the boys and girls track team both took 1st place at the Midview district, making it a clean sweep.

  • The girls track team only won 3 of the 17 events, but placed in all but 1 event, accumulating 127 points on the day, beating 2nd place Triway (115 pts.) and 3rd place Keystone (100 pts.).  They improved on their 2012 district showing (85 pts. and 3rd place).  They will move on to the Bedford regional this week.
  • The boys track team netted 100 points on the day, besting 2nd place Northwestern (94 pts.) and 3rd place Norwayne (83 pts.) to win the Midview district for a 2nd year in a row.  They will move on to the Lexington regional this week.
  • For up-to-date track results this weekend, check out  The link for boys results is here and girls results here. Good luck to both teams this weekend as they seek to continue the annual tradition of sending multiple athletes to Columbus for the state meet.
  • The baseball team captured their 2nd straight district title this past week by defeating Chippewa, 6-5.  The Riders difficult OCC regular season schedule no doubt helped to prepare them for tournament play (as is the case in most sports).  The Riders will head to Massillon's Ducky Schroeder Field this Thursday to take on Wickliffe Thursday at 5pm.  If they win, they'll return to Massillon Friday to take on the winner of Youngstown Ursuline and Keystone.
  • The baseball team now has 7 regional appearances in program history.  First was in 1976, then 1979, 1995, 1996, 1998, 2012 and now 2013.  Only the 1976 team made it out of regionals.  That team ended as state runner ups. 
And finally, it appears that from this link on the Orrville schools website that Orrville AD Kent Smith has submitted his intent to retire as a teacher in the district.  Not sure what this means, and not sure a final decision has been made, about his position as athletic director.  Pretty sure this means he will no longer be teaching, but may return as AD if an agreement can be reached, but that seems up in the air as well.  I've heard several other names already within the district who would take over the AD position in addition to their existing duties...but none of this is confirmed and seems to be changing on a daily basis.

The two failures of the levy certainly played a huge part in this as the athletic department secretary position was first reduced after the first levy failed, then eliminated totally after the levy failure earlier this month, and I believe additional duties were to be added to Kent's already full plate as teacher, AD and tennis coach.  I'm sure every teacher and administrator in the district will see their duties and responsibilities increase as a result of trying to provide the same level of service to our students will fewer staff on hand, and the AD role was no different.

Whatever the outcome is, Kent should be commended for his years of service to the school and community.  He's "first class" all the way and does things the right way.  It's unfortunate to lose someone with such tireless "Red Rider" spirit and I hope in some capacity he can still be involved with the school.  I have heard he will still be tennis coach, but as I mentioned above, this seems to be changing daily, so I guess we'll all find out together.

With the uncertain financial picture in the district right now, tough decisions like this have to be made, and the end result will be that good people will no longer be involved in the lives of our young people. This isn't just a "sports" thing either.  That's the unfortunate reality of levy failure.

Good luck to the track teams and the baseball team as they seek to punch their tickets to Columbus!!

Go Riders!!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Announcing the 2013 Orrville High School Sports Hall of Fame Induction Class

The 12th biennial induction class of the Orrville High School Sports Hall of Fame has been nominated and this year's class of 8, set to be inducted this September, is very impressive.

Without further is the 2013 induction class:

Tommy Brenner (Class of 2005)
  • Football captain in 2004, 2-time All-Ohio, 2nd most receiving yards in school history
  • Played football on scholarship at Ashland University. Was leading tackler in 2008 as well as All-GLIAC selection
Mike Burkholder (Coach)
  • 18 years as track and football coach at OHS as well as science teacher.
  • Head coach of 1999 Boys track team that won a state title. Had 2 runner-up finishes at state as well as a 3rd place finish. Coached numerous state title winners and placers.
  • Longtime football defensive coordinator.
Marcell Denson (Class of 1996)
  • Three year letterwinner in football. 1st team all-state
  • Four year letterwinner in basketball. 1996 Div. 2 Player of the Year and State Tournament MVP.
  • All-time leading scorer and rebounder in Orrville boys basketball history.
  • One of OHS all-time greatest all-around athletes.
  • Played in state football final in 1994 and won 2 state titles in basketball.
Tim Hiller (Class of 2005)
  • All-time leading passer in school football history with over 7,000 career yards
  • OCC basketball player of the year
  • Record setting QB at Western Michigan University, throwing for over 11,000 career yards.
  • Received prestigeous Wuerffel Award in 2009. Given to college athlete who best displays community service, athletic and academic achievement.
Renauld Ray (Class of 1996)
  • 1995 1st Team All-Ohio & Beacon Journal Football Player of the Year
  • 2-time All-Ohio in basketball. 3rd All-time in school history in points scored, 2nd in assists and 5th in rebounds. Feature member of back to back basketball championship teams.
  • All-Ohio in track
  • Played WR at Youngstown State and was member of 1997 Division I-AA National Championship team.
Chris Royer (Class of 1990)
  • 4 year letterwinner in basketball. 1000 career point scorer, 1st team All-Ohio in 1990 and MVP of Wilbur Berkey Classic.
  • Played on scholarship at Ashland University where he also scored over 1,000 career points and was co-captain his junior and senior years.
Doug Steiner (Class of 1994)
  • Total of 11 letters at OHS (3 football, 4 wrestling, 3 baseball, 1 track).
  • Team captain at Grove City College where he rushed for 2,700+ yards and 40 career touchdowns.
  • Inducted into Grove City College Hall of Fame in 2011.
Bob Weltlich (Class of 1962)
  • Played basketball at OHS
  • Graduate of Ohio State
  • Total of 30 years coaching college basketball. Head coach for 21 seasons, assistant coach at Indiana and Army. Head coach at Mississippi, Texas, Florida International and South Alabama.
  • 7-time conference coach of the year
  • Author of the book "Crooked Zebra."
Also to be honored on this night will be the 1995 and 1996 boys basketball state championship teams.

A very solid class if you ask me.  Very accomplished while at OHS and beyond.  Counting these 8, there are now 98 members of the OHSHOF, dating back to the first class inducted in 1991.  A list of prior inductees can be found here.

Once again allow me to remind my readers as to how the process works.  First and foremost, the OHSHOF Committee DOES NOT select nominees.  Nominations must be submitted by the general public.  Committee members cannot nominate anyone either.  This is done to preserve the integrity of the organization.

All nominations are voted on and the top 20 vote getters move on to the final voting round.  All committee members must then vote for 10 of the 20.  Of that top 20, all who receive a majority vote of present committee members (if there are 15 committee members present, a majority would be 8 votes) are selected for induction, with no more than 10 members per class being selected.  Inductees must accept the honor and be able to attend an induction ceremony.

There have been alumni who have turned down the honor...and there are deserving alums who have never been nominated.  There are some in this years class that have been on the nomination list since 1992 and are just now getting in and some that were just nominated a few years ago.

Success at Orrville is important, but success beyond Orrville is considered as well.  The mission of the committee reflects that:

"To select people who have distinguished themselves in one or more sports at Orrville High School, any college or university or other area of amateur and professional athletics or who have made meritorious efforts on behlaf of athletic programs in Orrville, Ohio."

Induction Ceremony
This year's induction will be held on Saturday September 14th at the high school.  The induction portion of the evening will take place in the newly renovated auditorium.  Very excited for that as it will be the first chance for many to see what I've heard is a beautiful space.  Tickets are $25.00 per person and that includes a meal.  More information will be forthcoming as we get closer to September.

OHSHOF Scholarships
The committee was again proud to present two $1,000 scholarships to graduating seniors at last week's Senior Assembly.  This year's recipients were Kevin Weber and Tatiana Bullard.  Funds raised from the induction dinner and the annual golf outing fund these scholarship efforts.

Golf Outing
The annual OHSHOF Golf Scramble is in two weeks (June 8th) at Riceland.  Cost per player is $40 or $160 per 4-person team.  This is our one major fundraiser of the year and helps us continue to provide two $1,000 scholarships to graduating OHS seniors.  Click here for an information sheet as well as a hole sponsorship form.  Holes can be sponsored by individuals, businesses, graduating classes, etc.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Spring Sports Update...and 'Prayers for Rem'

Another school year is winding down and with it, the spring sports season. Tourney draws were held last weekend for baseball and softball, conference tourney for tennis was yesterday and this week for track.

Read below for a brief update on each....and for an update on longtime Orrville teacher/coach Rick Remenaric who is battling some pretty serious health issues.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Good Luck Riders! - Final Four Edition

Not much to say that will change much, but I'll try...I can only offer my sincere "thank you" on behalf of Rider Nation for the ride the girls team has taken us on so far and an even more sincere "good luck" to the Orrville girls basketball team as they prepare to take on the Anna Rockets tomorrow at Value City Arena in Columbus in the state Division 3 Final Four.

They're 2 wins away from finishing the "Unfinished Business" of bringing a state title back to Orrville..and if there's any group that has put in the work, that has played as one, and done it the right way, it's this team. There's 4 teams saying the very same thing right now, so nothing will be given to us, it will have to be earned, any state title should be that way.

I'm not good with inspirational speeches...but here's a few that I think do the trick. (email subscribers wont be able to see the video and will need to click on each link)

First...from the hockey movie "Miracle."

I love the quote at the beginning..."great moments are born of great opportunity." The Riders have earned the opportunity to play on Ohio's biggest stage, and will get an opportunity to make great moments on that stage.

Next of my favorites...the "Perfect" speech from 'Friday Night Lights.'

I love this clip, because it's not about winning & losing, it's about being there for your teammate, and giving your all, and knowing that you did all you could.  The line at the end always gets me..."put each other in your hearts forever, because forever is about to happen."

Some, and maybe every girl on this team, may never experience a moment like this ever again in their time as an athlete.  It will be something that binds this group together forever.  The next time we send a team to state, we'll remember this team.  I don't pretend to know a lot about this team, but I do know chemistry when I see it, and this team gets along, they play for each other and this town...and that's something we can all get behind.

Last but not least...some 'Hoosiers' love.

Short and to the point....again..not about winning & losing, but putting your best effort forth. And the slow clap at the end...who doesn't love a slow clap?

That's all I proud of this team & how well they have represented their school and town....just hope they can get a shot to play for the gold trophy on Saturday.  I know this because I've heard it said...this team is not just happy to be there.  They want the whole thing...and I think they can do it.

This has been such a special season, so many moments, so many records broken, it would be fitting to be back in Bob Knight Gymnasium one more time on Sunday for one last state title celebration.

Let's Go Riders!! Leave it all on the floor one more time (and then again on Saturday).

Beat the Rockets!!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Orrville Girls Win Regionals. FINAL FOUR BOUND!!

For the first time since 1993, the Orrville girls basketball team has captured a regional championship and will head to Columbus looking to win the program's first state championship.

In convincing fashion, the Riders steamrolled Beachwood 75-48 to punch their ticket to the Division  3 Final Four where they will face the Anna Rockets, who defeated Middletown Madison 61-42 today.

The Riders started hot today against the Bison, scoring the first 9 points of the game and never looked back in leaving little doubt as to who was the better team on this day.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Orrville Girls Capture District Title!

The team & coaching staff pose with their new hardware. Thanks to Mike Guster for the picture.

These are the best kinds of posts...victorious Red Riders, all smiles...and CHAMPIONS!!

Win over CCC
The Orrville girls basketball team captured the district title with a hard fought win over Canton Central Catholic, 58-51 at Triway High School.  The win earned them a spot in the Cuyahoga Falls regional where they will face the winner of the Mineral Ridge district, the Hanoverton United Local Eagles.

The Riders led most of the way against Canton CC, including a 27-18 halftime lead.  The Crusaders closed the gap and actually took a 33-32 lead in the 3rd quarter, but the Riders went on a 10-0 run to stretch the lead back to 9 in the 4th quarter.  Right there told me something about the heart and desire of this team.  They've been battle tested.  Several key members of this team were also members of the Final 4 volleyball last fall, so pressure is nothing new to this group, and they play that way.

The Riders made their free throws down the stretch and forced some Crusader turnovers in the final minutes to hold on & capture their 2nd district crown in the past three years.

More Broken Records
Along with the win came plenty of history as it was Orrville coach Mark Alberts' 100th win as Rider coach.  It was his 543rd win in his coaching career, spanning 33 seasons as a coach of boys programs (Danville, Fredericktown and of course Wooster) and 5 seasons here at Orrville.

The win was the Riders 24th of the season, which is also a new school record, breaking the old mark set in the 1983-84 season.

As a program, girls basketball now has 597 all-time wins (597-310 since 1966-67, 47 years).  Three more wins to be one of roughly 25 programs in the state with 600+ wins according to the OHSAA.

Plybon tops 2,000
Last but not least, today will also be remembered as the day that Orrville senior Hannah Plybon crossed the 2,000 career point mark.  With an "and-1" in the first quarter, she became the first Wayne Co. basketball player (boy or girl) to hit 2,000 career points..and only the 3rd all-time in the Wayne/Holmes county area.

She entered the game today with 1,991 points and tallied 28 on the day, giving her a career total of 2,019 career points...putting her in the top 50 all-time in Ohio girls history.  With 23 more points, she'll pass Christa Wells of West Holmes (1987-91) for 2nd in area history.  She wont catch West Holmes Lisa Cline (2,958 points and 3rd all-time in Ohio history) but that's pretty rare company to be in.

On the season Hannah has now scored 639 points which is just 34 points behind Kevin Summers school record 671 points (1990-91).  700 career points is not out of the question for Hannah....but it's all just numbers at this point.  I'm sure she and the Red Riders would trade every individual statistic in exchange for 4 more wins and the program's first state championship.

Regional Matchup
Orrville and United Local will face off this coming Wednesday at 8:15pm, following the first semi-final between Mogadore (who defeated #1 seed Elyria Catholic) and Beachwood (who defeated #1 seed Gilmour Academy).  All games will be played at Cuyahoga Falls High School.

United Local will be making their 2nd straight appearance in regionals...last season they lost to Smithville in the regional semifinal.

I fully expected Gilmour Academy to be one of the teams in this regional...their absence really opens things up.  At this point, it's anyone's region to win.  Going to depend on matchups and what team can put together 2 more quality outings to punch their ticket to Columbus.  Here's the Sweet 16 bracket view.  Keep an eye on that Lexington bracket and the team from Columbus Africentric. Likely they make another appearance in the final 4.

Both the Red Riders and Eagles will be sporting big win streaks coming into the game.  The Eagles have won 17 in a row (24-2 overall), while the Red Riders have tied a school record with 13 straight wins (also 24-2 overall).

Great day to be a Red Rider!!!  Proud of the crowd that turned out and was noisy from tip to when we cut the nets down.  Make sure to buy your tickets at the school this week, as prices for the regional round jump to $8 for adults. Presale prices will be $6.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Winter Sports Update

A super busy weekend of Red Rider sports is in the books and post-season tournaments are in full swing.  There's plenty to talk about, so let's get right to it.

Closing the Gym
It was great being part of one last night in the gym.  It felt like old times with a packed house and a buzz in the air.  It probably won't hit me until I see a game in the new gym.  It was also great to see players and coaches from some of Orrville's great teams come back to the gym that they helped make so many great memories.  Diane Shanklin and Erica Short represented the volleyball program, Dennis Hochstetler represented the wrestling program, Hannah Plybon and Stacie Howard represented the girls basketball program and Kevin Summers and Marcell Denson represented the boys basketball program.  Here are some pictures courtesy of former basketball player & current track coach Andy Vernon:

Pre-game ceremony
Panorama before National Anthem
The final jump ball
Final points scored by Luke Smith
The final points in the gym were scored by freshman Luke Smith, the grandson of Orrville coaching legend Steve Smith.  Amazing that in a gym Smitty made so famous, his grandson would be the one to close it down with a 3-pointer.

Girls Basketball
The girls breezed their way into the district rounds, notching easy wins over Rittman (72-19) and Loudonville (75-46).  Counting their last regular season game against Clear Fork, the Lady Riders have won their last 3 games by an average of 42 points per game.  Next up is Northwestern this Thursday.  They defeated the Huskies by a 79-38 score just a few weeks ago but tough to beat a team twice in a season.  Guessing they'll try to slow down the pace, but if we're hitting shots like we've been, it may not matter.  That would set up a district final between either Canton Central Catholic or undefeated Smithville on Saturday at 2pm at Triway for a trip to the sweet 16.

Senior Hannah Plybon is sitting at 1,974 points in her career.  She needs just 26 points to be just the 3rd in area history to score 2,000 career points.  That would put in the top 50 all-time in Ohio girls history in points scored.

She also needs just 6 points to top 600 points on the season, something no girl at Orrville has ever done and only 3 boys at OHS have done (Kevin Summers twice, Ron Wachtel and Chris Royer).

The ladies team is now 22-2 on the season, needing 1 more win to tie the record for wins in a season.  The district final could be the game they break that record, and if they win that game, it would be Coach Alberts' 100th win as Orrville girls coach in just his 5th season.  He's never won LESS than 18 games in his 5 years at Orrville...that's pretty impressive.

Boys Basketball
The boys team ended the season with a 5-17 record but will again seek to string together 4 wins and capture a 4th straight district crown.  They dispatched of Black River 53-32 in the sectional opener.  The win was only the 4th win in the last 3 seasons that have been by 20 or more points.  Three of those wins have come in tournament play (2011 & 2012 vs. Chippewa).

The win was the Riders 15th straight tournament win at Wooster High School dating back to 1995 when the school opened.  The Riders have never lost on that floor in a tournament game, but that will be tested this Friday night at they take on #2 seed Oberlin.

The team has played hard all year and seem to be playing some pretty good ball right now.  I'd say don't count them out, but it seems to motivate them when that continue to count them out I guess.

For the 7th straight year, a Red Rider will travel down I-71 to Columbus for the state wrestling tournament, and this year it's senior Brad Potter at the 152 lb. weight class.  He finished 2nd to Norwayne's Kollin Moore at districts and will seek to become the school's 33rd state placer.  OHS has now had 59 state qualifiers according to AD Kent Smith.  Since 1999 (15 seasons), Orrville has sent at least 1 wrestler to state in 12 of those years.

Potter is 42-5 on the season and will take on Tyler Williamson of Cin. Madiera in the first round of the Division 3, 152 lb. bracket.  The full list of brackets for Division 3 is here.  Basically it takes 4 wins to place in the top 8...and 4 straight wins to finish as state champ.

What is interesting about this year is that a wrestler from Dalton will also be making the trip with the Orrville contingent.  Dalton senior Drew Everett qualified for state at the 145 lb. weight class.  Dalton's wrestling program was disbanded earlier this year due to low numbers so Drew became sort of an adopted son of the Orrville program, practicing and traveling with the Orrville team.  He will still represent Dalton High School, but will have the support of Red Rider Nation behind him....even spawning these t-shirts from downtown Orrville business Expert T's.

Sports Hall of Fame Applications Due
Only a few days left to get your nomination in for the OHS Sports Hall of Fame.  Induction will be this September.  Here's a link to the application.  Once filled out, they can be mailed to the high school to the attention of the Athletic Office.

Just get the nomination form in...doesn't have to be pages and pages.

Last but not least, be sure to check out Rod Dilyard's pictures for purchase.  He does great work and puts in a lot of hours and miles providing this service.  Some really great shots of the final game in the gym.

Go Riders!!!