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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!!!

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