The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Sep. 23, 2019

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

Bolstered by an individual championship by Van Wert’s Caylee Phillips, the Lady Cougars edged Shawnee by a single point to win the girls’ eight team Van Wert Health Invitational on Saturday.

Van Wert finished with 46 points, while Shawnee finished with 47.

On the boys’ side, Lincolnview finished third behind Ottawa-Glandorf and Shawnee, Van Wert finished fifth and Crestview was sixth out of 12 teams.

Caylee Phillips won an individual title and the Lady Cougars won the Van Wert Health Invitational. Wyatt Richardson/Van Wert independent

Phillips ran the 5K course in 20:20.3, while Lincolnview’s Madison Williams was second with a time of 20:32.5, as the Lady Lancers finished fourth overall. Ragen Harting and Emily Greulach notched fifth and sixth place finishes, clocking in at 21:34.2 and 21:44.5, respectively, and the Lady Knights finished third in the team standings.

Van Wert’s Tyra McClain finished 10th (22:12), while teammates Kyra Welch and Rachel Spath were right behind with 11th and 12th place finishes time of 22:13 and 22:17. Alli Gemmer recorded a 16th place finish (22:47).

“Our girls team showed what they are capable of when they put together a solid team effort,” Van Wert head coach Ryan Holliday said. “Our top five were firing on all cylinders, and we were excited to come out on top. The girls went into the meet simply wanting to become better team and individual racing versions of themselves. We know that’s what we need to do every week from here on out to get to where we want to be.”

“We also know Shawnee is one of the best teams in the WBL, so it was a great challenge to compete with them and we’re looking forward to racing them again at the league meet in a few weeks,” Holliday added.


POSTED: 09/23/19 at 3:45 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Van Wert independent sports

Van Wert and Lincolnview played to a soccer draw on Saturday, while the Lady Cougars fell to Bryan and junior varsity tennis players were in action in Lima.


Van Wert 1 Lincolnview 1

County rivals Van Wert and Lincolnview played to a 1-1 tie at Van Wert High School.

Asnake Steyer scored Van Wert’s goal with an assist from Gabe Steyer, while Clayton Leeth accounted for Lincolnview’s goal.

The Lancers will travel to Allen East today and Van Wert will host Kenton on Tuesday.


Bryan 3 Van Wert 2

At Van Wert High School, the Lady Cougars lost to Bryan 19-25, 25-23, 24-26, 25-17, 10-15.

Jaylyn Rickard had 19 digs, six aces and seven kills, Marianna Ickes had 18 digs, five blocks and three aces, Katie Coplin had 36 assists and Jamison Clouse finished with 25 kills and six blocks. Finley Foster contributed nine assists for Van Wert (5-7)

The Lady Cougars will host Crestview tonight.


Van Wert at Shawnee JV Invitational

LIMA — Van Wert’s B doubles team of Sophie Rutkowski and Olivia Rutkowski and the C doubles team of Livy Quillen and Ashlyn Jennings took second place at the Shawnee JV Invitational, which was won by the hosts, followed by Wapakoneta, St. Marys and the Lady Cougars.

The A doubles team of Tayzia Havill and Jamie Burenga finished third, as did Natalie Benner at A singles.

POSTED: 09/23/19 at 3:45 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

This week’s Monday Mailbag includes questions about Van Wert football, and OHSAA football playoff qualifiers and computer rankings.

Q: After two straight losses, what’s next for Van Wert? Name withheld upon request

A: Ottawa-Glandorf is next, and it’ll be homecoming Friday night at Eggerss Stadium.

In reality, with two league losses, the Western Buckeye League title is probably out of reach for Van Wert (2-2, 0-2 WBL), but a second consecutive playoff berth remains a possibility.

In that respect, Friday’s game is an important game. A win would keep the Cougars solidly in the postseason race, but a loss would leave little room for error during the final five weeks.

Q: Why can’t the (Van Wert) Cougars beat Wapak or St. Marys? Name withheld upon request

A: In fairness, a lot of opponents have a hard time beating those two.

They both feature hard, physical running games and solid defenses and it’s hard to matchup with them. In some respects, it’s old school football and it seems to work for them in the Western Buckeye League.

It probably doesn’t help that the Cougars keep having to play them in back-to-back weeks.


POSTED: 09/23/19 at 3:45 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Van Wert independent sports

Nominations are needed for this week’s Van Wert independent/Northwest Ohio Welch Trophy Student Athlete of the Week award.

Area fall sports coaches and athletic directors are encouraged to send nominations via email to by 12 p.m. on Tuesday.

One name will be picked and the winner will be featured on Friday’s Sports page.

POSTED: 09/23/19 at 3:44 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Van Wert independent sports

Here are this week’s football broadcast schedules for WKSD 99.7FM and WERT 1220AM/104.3FM.

Friday, September 27

WKSD: Wayne Trace at Antwerp, 6:20 p.m. pregame, 7 p.m. kickoff
WERT: Ottawa-Glandorf at Van Wert, 6:30 p.m. pregame, 7 p.m. kickoff

Saturday, September 28

WERT: BYU at Toledo Rockets, 10:30 a.m. pregame, 12 p.m. kickoff
WKSD: Ohio St. at Nebraska, 6 p.m. pregame, 7:30 p.m. kickoff

POSTED: 09/23/19 at 3:43 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

CONVOY — A 13-6 Crestview lead at halftime quickly turned into a rout in the Northwest Conference opener on Friday.

The Knights (2-2, 1-0 NWC) ran just nine plays in the third quarter, but four of them went for touchdowns in a 48-6 victory over Delphos Jefferson (1-3, 0-1 NWC).

Caylib Pruett takes off on a 46-yard touchdown run in the second quarter of Friday’s game against Delphos Jefferson. Wyatt Richardson/Van Wert independent

After receiving the second half kickoff, Crestview turned to the option game, with Brody Brecht gaining 11 and 37 yards before Caylib Pruett took a pitch and covered 16 yards to the end zone. Kaden Kreischer connected on one of his six PATs to give the Knights a 20-6 lead just 1:10 into the quarter.

After Pruett intercepted Logan Hubert on the next drive, Kaden Short ran the option for a 45 yard touchdown, then after a Delphos Jefferson punt and a long Pruett return, Brecht plowed for four, then Short scampered 16 yards for a touchdown for a 34-6 lead.

The next Crestview possession was a four play drive – two runs by Brecht for 10 yards, a 49-yard run by Pruett and a 12-yard touchdown blast by Brecht at the 3:36 mark. That score sparked the continuous clock rule for the remainder of the game.

“It’s something (the option) we didn’t show a lot of in the first half but we went back to something that we’re really comfortable with, something we can execute and we were able to do that,” Crestview head coach Jared Owens said.


POSTED: 09/20/19 at 11:25 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

ST. MARYS — St. Marys Memorial running back Ty Howell rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns on just 14 carries to help the Roughriders defeat Van Wert 24-14 on Friday.

It was the second straight loss for the Cougars (2-2, 1-2 WBL), and it was the first game played in the brand new Grand Lake Health Systems Stadium at the Roughrider Athletic Complex.

Van Wert’s Jake Hilleary plows into the end zone against the Roughriders. Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent

“It’s a credit to our guys’ effort and ability that we were able to keep the game close,” Van Wert head coach Keith Recker said. “Our execution and energy were not where they needed to be to beat St. Marys.”

The Roughriders (2-2, 1-2 WBL) scored on their first possession of the game, when Howell capped a four play, 49 yard drive with a seven yard touchdown run at the 9:30 mark of the opening quarter, followed by Henry Spencer’s PAT.

After the two teams traded punts, Van Wert embarked on a nine play, 72-yard drive that ended with an eight yard touchdown run by Jake Hilleary, who saw his first action after a preseason injury. Peyton McAlphine’s PAT tied the game 7-7, but the Roughriders answered with their own impressive drive, eight plays and 68 yards, ending with a Kurt Bubp two yard touchdown run and a 14-7 lead, a score that stood at halftime.


POSTED: 09/20/19 at 11:24 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

Van Wert independent sports

Here are final scores of Friday night’s area high school football games.


St. Marys Memorial 24 Van Wert 14
Celina 42 Elida 38
Wapakoneta 28 Shawnee 14
Ottawa-Glandorf 28 Bath 6
Kenton 42 Defiance 14


Crestview 48 Delphos Jefferson 6
Spencerville 44 Paulding 20
Allen East 14 Columbus Grove 11
Bluffton 70 Ada 50


POSTED: 09/20/19 at 9:57 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

Lincolnview High School volleyball player Brianna Ebel is this week’s Van Wert independent/Northwest Ohio Welch Trophy Student Athlete of the Week. The junior setter was nominated by head coach JaNahn Evans. “Without her, our offense wouldn’t be able to work at all,” Evans said. “She’s one of my hardest workers and is always willing to come in early and stay after practices to work with any hitter. She set a great game against Shawnee making zero errors with 42 assists, two blocks, an ace, and three kills.” Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

POSTED: 09/20/19 at 4:05 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Van Wert independent sports

All three of Van Wert County’s volleyball teams were in action on Thursday, along with Crestview’s soccer team and Van Wert’s girls’ tennis team.


Crestview 3 Allen East 0

CONVOY — Crestview improved to 10-1 (4-0 NWC) by cruising past Allen East in straight sets 25-6, 25-18, 25-18.

Kali Small was 22-23 with an ace from the service line, while Maddy Lamb had 29 assists and four aces. Lexi Gregory had a team leading 17 kills, while Lauryn Black had 15 digs.

The Lady Knights will play at Van Wert on Monday, the first of six matches in a week.

Lincolnview 3 Columbus Grove 0

The Lady Lancers fought off a determined Columbus Grove squad with a 26-24, 25-16, 25-23 victory.

Lincolnview (10-2, 3-0 NWC) will play at Delphos St. John’s on Monday.

Ottawa-Glandorf 3 Van Wert 0

OTTAWA — State ranked Ottawa-Glandorf (No. 2, Division III) was too much for Van Wert, defeating the Lady Cougars in straight sets, 25-15, 25-11, 25-15.


POSTED: 09/20/19 at 4:03 am. FILED UNDER: Sports