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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

CONVOY — After ascending to new heights last season, the Crestview Knights are looking to go even higher in 2017.

The Knights went 7-3 (4-3 Northwest Conference) in the regular season and advanced to the postseason for the fourth consecutive season, then won back-to-back playoff games and qualified for the regional championship game for the first time in school history before falling to McComb 35-28 in double overtime. That game capped off a 9-4 season, with the four losses coming by a combined 19 points.

Now, Crestview is expected to be a prime contender for the 2017 NWC title, and a fifth straight trip to the postseason.

“We graduated an excellent class of young men that played a lot of snaps for us over the last two or three years,” sixth year head coach Jared Owens said. “We have some skill positions back and are working on solidifying the offensive and defensive lines.”

Quarterback Drew Kline will again lead the Crestview offense. Van Wert independent file photo

A dozen letter winners are back for this season, led by junior quarterback Drew Kline, who ran Crestview’s multiple spread option offense by rushing for 1,699 yards and 28 touchdowns, while passing for 1,642 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2016. Along the way, Kline earned 1st team all-NWC, 1st team all-District and 3rd team all-Ohio honors.

He’ll be joined in the backfield by senior Trevor Gibson, who rushed for nearly 600 yards last season. Junior Derick Dealey, senior Luke Mefferd and sophomore Kaden Short will see time in the backfield as well.

When Crestview takes to the air, wide receivers Wade Sheets and Charles Stefanek, along with tight end Grant Schlaugbaum are expected to be Kline’s main targets, with newcomers Landin Burch, Riley Saylor and Caylib Pruett also seeing playing time.

“Gibson, Sheets, Schlagbaum and Dealey have worked very hard in the offseason to improve their strength and conditioning,” Owens said.

Seniors Dylan Hicks and Brayden Sellers are expected to anchor the offensive line, along with juniors Robbie Gonzalez, Micah Snyder and Korbin Hartman.

Many of those same players will play on the defensive side of the ball.

Kline and Dealey are back in the defensive secondary, along with Sheets and Stefanek. Gibson returns at linebacker, and will likely be joined by Schlagbaum, Snyder and Hartman. Hicks will lead the defensive front, and will receive help from Sellers and Gonzalez.

Hicks will handle kicking duties, while Schlagbaum will begin the season as the punter

Owens assessed his team after two-a-day practices and scrimmages against Celina and Van Wert.

“We are a team that plays extremely hard together and for each other,” Owens said. “We need to continue to work on execution of our plays, blocking and tackling.”

“We look to compete week in and week out in both our non-conference games and the NWC,” Owens added.

Crestview will open the season Friday at Parkway, then will play two more non-conference games — home against Hicksville and at Wayne Trace. NWC play will begin in week four, at Bluffton.

POSTED: 08/21/17 at 7:26 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Van Wert independent sports

(Please note: schedule subject to change)

Monday, August 21

Golf: Lincolnview at Allen East 4 p.m.
Golf: Ottawa-Glandorf at Van Wert 4:30 p.m.
Tennis: Defiance at Van Wert 4:30 p.m.
Boys soccer: Van Wert at Ottoville 5 p.m.
Girls soccer: Delphos St. John’s at Van Wert 5 p.m.

Tuesday, August 22

Tennis: Lima Central Catholic at Van Wert 4:30 p.m.
Volleyball: Lincolnview at Van Wert 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, August 23

Golf: Crestview at Fort Jennings 4 p.m.

Thursday, August 24

Golf: Crestview, Lincolnview at Wayne Trace Invite 4:30 p.m.
Golf: Van Wert at Shawnee 4:30 p.m.
Tennis: Van Wert at Wapakoneta 4:30 p.m.
Boys soccer: Van Wert vs. Bryan 5 p.m.
Girls soccer: Crestview at Van Wert 5 p.m.
Girls soccer: Lincolnview at Fort Jennings 5 p.m.
Volleyball: Paulding at Van Wert 5:30 p.m.

Friday, August 25

Football: Van Wert at Bryan 7 p.m.
Football: Crestview at Parkway 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, August 26

Cross Country: Lincolnview, Van Wert at Delphos St. John’s Invitational 9 a.m.
Girls soccer: Lincolnview at Lima Central Catholic 12 p.m.
Boys soccer: Lincolnview at Lima Central Catholice 3 p.m.
Volleyball: Antwerp at Lincolnview 7 p.m.

POSTED: 08/21/17 at 7:25 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

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HEBRON — Van Wert High School ‘s cross country teams competed in the first invitational of their respective seasons at the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s official Preseason Cross Country Invitational, held at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, home to OHSAA’s championship races.

Saturday’s invitational featured many of the top teams from around Ohio.

The varsity boys’ team finished a respectable 5th in a field of 22 teams. Junior Cal Wolfrum led the Cougars with a 15th place finish, covering the 3.1 mile course in 17:35. In his first high school race, freshman Jacob Wasson placed 25th with a time of 17:51. Wasson also earned the team’s “Cougar Pride” award for his efforts. Senior Thane Cowan (44th place, 18:30), junior Gage Chiles (45th place, 18:33), and sophomore Keaton Brown (48th, 18:40.5) rounded out the scoring for Van Wert.

The varsity girls finished 13th place out of 22 teams, led by sophomore Caylee Phillips’ 4th place individual finish in a race that featured nearly 200 runners. Phillips ran a career best 20:47 and earned the girls’ “Cougar Pride” award for her hard work and effort. Sophomore Jerica Huebner (30th place), freshman Rachel Spath (92nd), sophomore Ali Gemmer (99th), and junior Caton Williamson (136th) rounded out the scoring for the Lady Cougars.

“Today was an opportunity to get our first race under our belts and see where we are at,” said head coach Ryan Holliday. “We’ve put a lot of work in over the summer and recent weeks and it was great to finally get out there and race.”

“The state course is tough, and Saturday’s weather was quite warm, but definitely we had some solid performances to build on,” Holliday added. “We learned a lot about ourselves today and plan on using these races to get better.”

The teams will compete again Saturday at the Delphos St. John’s Blue Jay Invitational.

POSTED: 08/21/17 at 7:25 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Van Wert independent sports

Van Wert 2 Cory-Rawson 1

The Van Wert Cougars kicked off the 2017 soccer season with Saturday’s 2-1 victory over visiting Cory-Rawson.

Trailing 1-0 at halftime, the Cougars scored two second half goals, then held on for the win. Eli Rager accounted for the first goal, and Jake Lautzenheiser later provided what proved to be the winning goal.

Van Wert is scheduled to play at Ottoville today at 5 p.m.

Ottoville 2 Van Wert 0

Ottoville — The Lady Cougars traveled to Putnam County, and fell to the host Mean Green 2-0 in Saturday’s season opener. Both of Ottoville’s goals were scored within a three minute span in the first half.

Van Wert will host Delphos Jefferson today at 5 p.m.

POSTED: 08/21/17 at 7:24 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

In the final tune-up before the 2017 regular season, the Crestview Knights and the Van Wert Cougars put on quite a show Friday night at Eggerss Stadium.

In two quarters of play during the fourth annual Ohio High School Athletic Association Jamboree game, Van Wert’s varsity starters outscored their county counterparts 27-21. The second half was largely comprised of junior varsity and freshman players, and the Cougars went on to win 41-21.

The two teams exchanged fumbles to start the game, then Crestview quarterback Drew Kline capped off a nine-play, 74-yard drive with a 42-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Wade Sheets. The extra point by Dylan Hicks made it 7-0.

The Cougars responded with a seven-play, 84-yard drive that ended with a 38-yard touchdown pass from Nate Place to Jacoby Kelly. A key play on the drive was a dump off pass from Place to Kelly, which went for 29 yards. Jake Lautzenheiser’s extra point tied the game at seven.

Van Wert’s defense then forced the Knights into a three-and-out, and Jacoby Kelly fielded Crestview’s punt at the 15, cut to the home sideline and sprinted for a special teams touchdown. Lautzenheiser’s PAT made it 14-7.

Van Wert’s Parker Conrad closes in, while Crestview’s Drew Kline hands off to Trevor Gibson. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

The Knights answered with a six-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a game-tying 42-yard touchdown pass from Kline to Sheets. The drive also featured a 21-yard strike from Kline to Grant Schlagbaum.

Undeterred, the Cougars opened the second quarter with an eight-play, 68-yard drive and a 12-yard scoring run by Place. Six of the eight plays were on the ground, including three carries for 20 yards by James Acquaviva, and a 28-yard run by Place.

Highlighted by runs of eight and 20 yards by Kline, Crestview tied the game at 21, on an 11-yard touchdown run by Trevor Gibson.

After trading punts, Van Wert drove 86 yards and scored on a one-yard dive by Jake Hilleary. Key plays on the drive were back-to-back passes of 33 and 21 yards from Place to Kelly. The PAT was no good, and the Cougars led 27-21 going into halftime.

During the first half, Kline threw for 125 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for 55 more. Gibson rushed for 33 yards and a score and Sheets caught five passes for 94 yards.

Place rushed for 50 yards and completed 5 passes, all to Kelly for 130 yards.

Starters for both teams sat out most of the second half, although Acquavia scored in the third quarter, and the Cougars tacked on one more score for the final margin.

“We need to be better with penalties and not giving up big plays,” Van Wert head coach Keith Recker said. “I was pleased with our effort and attitude, and look forward to getting into Bryan week.”

The Cougars and Golden Bears will kick off in Bryan at 7 p.m. Friday night. The game will air live on WERT 1220 AM and 104.3 FM, and will stream live at www.thevwindependent.com.

“We found improvement in some areas that we stress throughout the week,” Crestview head coach Jared Owens said. “Also, we have things that we need to shore up heading into week one.”

The Knights will open the regular season Friday night at Parkway. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

POSTED: 08/19/17 at 7:21 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Lincolnview and Ottoville scrimmaged at Lincolnview High School on Thursday, with the Big Green winning 4-1. Clayton Leeth scored Lincolnview’s lone goal. The Lancers will scrimmage Liberty Center tomorrow. The Lady Lancers will take the field at 10 a.m., followed by the boys at 11:45 a.m.  Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent 

POSTED: 08/18/17 at 7:17 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Submitted information/Van Wert independent sports

Mother Nature altered Thursday’s 11-team Lancer Invitational at Hickory Sticks Golf Club.

Thunderstorms rolled through more than halfway through the outing, so the decision was made to count the golfers’ first nine holes, and the lowest team scores relative to par were used to tally final scores. Only the four lowest player scores were used to figure final standings.

St. Henry (+19) won the Invite, with Lincolnview finishing as the runner-up (+26).

Ryan Moody (+2) led the Lancers, followed by Jaden Youtsey (+5), Reece Farmer (+8) and Braden Evans (+11)

Led by Colton Lautzenheiser (+6), the Crestview Knights finished sixth (+50). Cade Hurless (+14), Brett Schumm (+15) and Jacob Bowman (+15) accounted for Crestview’s final team score.

POSTED: 08/18/17 at 7:16 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Van Wert independent sports

Van Wert’s home opener at Willow Bend Country Club was spoiled by an experienced Wapakoneta team, 197-157.

There were some bright spots for the Cougars, as Jared Hernandez was the medalist with a 36, and Austin Bissonette carded a personal-best 39.

Van Wert will host Ottawa-Glandorf on Monday.

POSTED: 08/18/17 at 7:15 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

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COLUMBUS — Jackie Motycka, one of the finest players in Bowling Green State University women’s basketball history, will be inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame. The organization recently announced its 2018 class.

After graduating from Crestview High School, Motycka (now Jackie Motycka Mossing) played at Bowling Green from 1985-89, and scored the second-most points in the history of basketball (both men’s and women’s) at Bowling Green. She scored 2,122 career points to become the most prolific scorer in school history, and held the scoring record for over two decades.

Motycka, who left Bowling Green holding 21 school season and career records, remains one of only two players in league history to earn All-Mid-American Conference First-Team honors four times. A two-time MAC Player of the Year (1986-87 and 1987-88), she led the league with a 20.2 points-per-game average in 1987-88.

Photo provided by Bowling Green State University

Motycka led the Falcons to three consecutive MAC regular-season titles and three-straight league tournament crowns to conclude her career. She helped Bowling Green become the first MAC women’s team to win a NCAA Tournament game, with a 69-59 triumph over Cincinnati in 1989 at Anderson Arena.

She started 115 games during her career, playing in 117 of a possible 119 contests. In those 117 games, Motycka scored in double figures 107 times, and had 20 or more points on 43 occasions.

The Falcons compiled a 96-23 record during her career, including a 78-13 mark her final three seasons. BGSU went 46-2 in MAC play over those last three years. For her career, Motycka averaged 18.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and shot .517 from the floor and .808 from the foul line. She remains first in BGSU history in scoring average along with field goals made (846) and attempted (1,637; T-1st), and still ranks second in career points scored, fourth in free throws made, fifth in games started, sixth in free throws attempted, eighth in both rebounds and field-goal pct. and 10th in free-throw percentage.

Motycka was inducted into the BGSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1994, and was named to the All-Anderson Team in 2011. She still sits in ninth place on the Mid-American Conference scoring list, and is ranked fifth in MAC history in career scoring average.

Motycka will be honored at a dinner and ceremony in Columbus next May along with 16 other individuals and six outstanding teams.

POSTED: 08/17/17 at 7:24 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Van Wert independent sports

DELPHOS — Caden Hurless shot a 44, and the Crestview Knights finished second among four teams during Wednesday’s Northwest Conference quad match at the Delphos Country Club.

Brett Schumm carded a 48, while Jacob Bowman fired a 49. Colton Lautzenheiser (51) Derek Stout (58) and Olivia Skelton (61) rounded out the scoring for Crestview.

Led by Cade McGarvey’s 41, Paulding won the quad with a 180. Crestview finished with a team score of 192, followed by Delphos Jefferson (202) and Ada (247).

POSTED: 08/17/17 at 7:23 am. FILED UNDER: Sports