The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

Fun times at Van Wert High School, conference and playoff races, Ohio State’s troubles and the Cleveland Browns are among this week’s Random Thoughts.

Good things at Van Wert High School

This comes from Eric McCracken: “Van Wert is doing big things in band, football, cross country, volleyball, girls’ tennis, golf and soccer.”

“I stood beside high school principal Bob Priest at the game the other night. I asked where all the great energy was coming from in the band. He told me the whole school has been positive and electric. He is convinced the senior class is the difference.”

“So many times we harp on the bad things or publicize the bad things. It shows positive things can change more than just the sport or activity you are in.”

Well said gentlemen. That topic will be discussed more with Van Wert High School Athletic Director Craig Hershey during on WERT 1220AM/104.3FM. Hershey will be the on-air halftime guest.

Friday night

Friday night will be a special one for area high school football teams. For some, it’ll be the final game ever for seniors. For others, it’s chance to win a league or conference title and/or a playoff spot.

It should be an absolutely electric atmosphere at Eggerss Stadium when the Van Wert Cougars take on Defiance and likewise in Paulding, where the Crestview Knights need a win to claim at least a share of the NWC championship. (more…)

POSTED: 10/23/18 at 4:35 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Van Wert independent sports

Crestview (8-1) remains at No. 8 in Division VII in the seventh Associated Press statewide football poll released on Monday.

Sycamore Mohawk is the top ranked team in Division VI, followed by Green Meadows Conference member Edgerton (9-0), then Pandora-Gilboa, Canal Winchester Harvest Prep and Fort Loramie. McComb is ranked sixth, followed by Tiffin Calvert, Crestview, Minster and Norwalk St. Paul.

Western Buckeye League member Wapakoneta (8-1) is tied with Akron East for No. 8 in Division III, while the Roughriders of St. Marys Memorial (9-0) continue their reign at No. 1 in Division IV. The Redskins and Roughriders will play this Friday night. A Wapakoneta win would force a WBL co-championship, while a St. Marys win would give the Roughriders an outright title, plus an A.P. poll championship. (more…)

POSTED: 10/23/18 at 4:34 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Van Wert independent sports/submitted information

OTTAWA — The Van Wert High School boys’ cross country team won its second consecutive Division II team district championship held at Ottawa Park on Saturday, while Caylee Phillips won the girls’ individual championship.

The Cougars scored 70 points and held off 11 other teams, including runner-up Ottawa-Glandorf (77 points) and third place team Lima Shawnee (80 points) to win back-to-back district titles for the first time since 2011-2012.

The Cougars won the Division II district championship, while Caylee Phillips won the girls individual title. Photo submitted

Sophomore Jacob Wasson led the way for Van Wert, finishing fourth overall with a season-best time of 17:01. Senior Gage Chiles was the second Cougar finisher, placing seventh and covering the 5K course with a lifetime best time of 17:14. Freshman Hunter Sherer again ran a solid race as the team’s third finisher, placing 12th overall while running a 17:33. Junior Holden Reichert (23rd, 18:05) and freshman Gage Wannemacher (27th, 18:13) rounded out the scoring for Van Wert.

“Our goal coming into today was to be the best team racing version of ourselves to date,” head coach Ryan Holliday said. “We knew if we did that, we would put ourselves in great position to defend our title.”

“I’m really proud of our guys and their efforts, and the good news is we have room to improve as we look toward the regional meet.” (more…)

POSTED: 10/22/18 at 1:06 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Van Wert independent sports/submitted information

OTTAWA — Lincolnview won the boys’ Division III cross country district championship at Ottawa Park on Saturday, while the Lady Lancers brought home the runner-up trophy. Both will compete in the regionals this week, along with Crestview’s girls’ team and Wyatt Richardson from the boys team.

The Lancers won the Division III district championship, while the Lancer Lancers finished second in their race. Photo submitted

The Lancers were able to place their top five runners in the top 17 of the race, and finished with 42 team points. They were led by a runner up finish by Alek Bowersock, who covered the course in 16:51. He was followed closely by Karter Tow who placed third overall in a time of 16:53. Also qualifying for the regional meet individually were Devon Bill in 12th (17:41) and Jacob Keysor in 14th (17:48). Rounding out the scoring was Collin Puckett in 17th, Daegan Hatfield in 23rd and Joe Sadowski in 33rd.

“The boys had a solid race today,” Lincolnview head coach Matt Langdon said. “It was fun to win the district title, place two out of the top three, and have four individual qualifiers. There were a lot of smiles today.” (more…)

POSTED: 10/22/18 at 1:05 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

Ohio State’s blowout loss to Purdue has led to questions that are featured in this week’s Monday Mailbag, along with questions about Region 14, a conference realignment proposal, and the Cleveland Browns.

Q: What do you know about some of the playoff contenders in Division IV, Region 14? Name withheld upon request

A: Clear Fork plays a tough, hard nosed style of football. They like to run the ball and play good defense, but the Colts are very capable of throwing the football effectively. They use a two quarterback system.

Huron has traditionally employed a spread offense, but has beaten just one team with a winning record.

At this point, I don’t know much about Lorain Clearview, Highland or Napoleon. Obviously, St. Marys and Kenton keep doing what their doing, running and passing respectively.

Q: How about this plan – Crestview leaves the NWC for the WBL, Paulding leaves the NWC for the GMC, Parkway leaves the MAC for the NWC and Van Wert leaves the WBL for the NWC?

A: I would bet just about anything that the NWC has no interest in accepting Van Wert. As for the rest, it seems logical, but only if there was true interest by all parties, and I doubt that’s the case. (more…)

POSTED: 10/22/18 at 1:04 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

OTTAWA — Lincolnview’s volleyball season came to an end on Saturday with a 21-25, 22-25, 25-19, 20-25 loss to Eastwood in the Division III sectional finals at Ottawa-Glandorf High School.

JaNahn Evans

“Although it ended too early, we are proud of the accomplishments along the way,” head coach JaNahn Evans said of the season. “We ended up 16-7, Northwest Conference runners-up (6-2 NWC), had individuals break school records, had our first ever freshmen team, and had a lot of fun along the way.”

Against Eastwood, Kendall Bollenbacher led the Lady Lancers with 13 kills, followed by Madison Williams (12) and Jordan Decker (9).

Lakin Brant finished with a team high 27 digs, followed by Bollenbacher (21), Williams (18) and Kerstin Davis (12), while Brianna Ebel had 33 assists.

Evans noted the Lady Lancers improved a great deal from the beginning to the end of the season.

“Our efforts got more aggressive, made smarter decisions, played through errors, and was able to execute in and out of system plays,” Evans explained. “We kept great team chemistry throughout the season which I give credit to our seniors, because their positive leadership and attitudes were felt by everyone” (more…)

POSTED: 10/22/18 at 1:02 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Van Wert independent sports

Here are this week’s high school and college football broadcast schedules for WKSD 99.7FM and WERT 1220AM/104.3FM. Ohio State is off this weekend.

Thursday, October 25
WERT: Toledo at Western Michigan – 5:30 p.m. pregame, 7 p.m. kickoff

Friday, October 26
WKSD: Crestview at Paulding – 6:15 p.m. pregame, 7 p.m. kickoff
WERT: Defiance at Van Wert – 6:30 p.m. pregame, 7 p.m. kickoff

POSTED: 10/22/18 at 1:01 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

CELINA — Behind four rushing touchdowns by Jake Hilleary, Van Wert secured a spot in the Division IV Region 14 playoffs with a 38-20 win at Celina on Friday. It will be the first postseason appearance for the Cougars since 2000.

“It’s just so special for these guys,” Van Wert head coach Keith Recker said. “They put in the work and their really excited for it. It’s a really special time right now, and I’m really happy for our guys.”

Cougar players and coaches chat after Friday’s win at Celina. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

The Cougars had two impressive scoring drives in the opening quarter. After receiving the opening kickoff, Van Wert drove 75 yards in 11 plays and scored on Hilleary’s first touchdown of the game, a two yarder at the 8:28 mark. Nate Place, who left last week’s game against Bath with a shoulder injury went 4-4 for 44 yards on the drive.

After forcing Celina (4-5, 3-5 WBL) into a three and out, the Cougars drove 69 yards in just five plays, including a 45 yard run by Place. The drive ended with a three yard touchdown run by Hilleary and it gave Van Wert a 12-0 lead with 5:09 left in the quarter.

However, the Bulldogs fought back and scored on a 35 yard touchdown pass from Brett Schwieterman to Chase Stephens. The PAT by Austin Cotterman trimmed Van Wert’s lead to five, 12-7. (more…)

POSTED: 10/19/18 at 11:27 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

DELPHOS — Crestview’s defense held Delphos Jefferson to -14 total yards in a 47-0 win on Friday night.

The victory improved Crestview’s record to 8-1 (5-1 NWC) and put the Knights in position to earn at least a share of the conference title next Friday night. It also all but assured the Knights the No. 2 seed in Division VII, Region 28.

Brody Brecht stiff arms a Delphos Jefferson defender during Friday night’s shutout win. Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent

Crestview put the game away with three first quarter touchdowns, including an 80 yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Wade Sheets to open the game. Drew Kline’s two point conversion made it 8-0 just 13 seconds into the game.

The Knights struck again less than two minutes later, when Javin Etzler tossed a 68 yard touchdown pass to Caylib Pruett, and Kole Small added the extra point to make it 15-0.

A 10 yard touchdown run by Kline and the PAT by Small extended Crestview’s lead to 22-0 with 6:08 left in the opening period, then the Knights found the end zone three more times in the second quarter.

Brody Brecht scored from 19 yards out at the 11:09 mark, then Kaden Short accounted for Crestview’s second special teams touchdown of the night by returning a Delphos Jefferson punt 53 yards for a touchdown with 9:53 left. Ayden Lichtensteiger kicked the PAT to increase the lead to 35-0.

Pruett scored his second touchdown of the game on a 17 yard run with 6:06 left in the second quarter for a 41-0 lead. (more…)

POSTED: 10/19/18 at 11:26 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

Van Wert independent sports

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

Van Wert 38 Celina 20
Shawnee 28 Bath 21
St. Marys 42 Defiance 0
Wapakoneta 21 Ottawa-Glandorf 6
Kenton 67 Elida 35


Crestview 47 Delphos Jefferson 0
Spencerville 27 Paulding 14
Columbus Grove 28 Allen East 14
Bluffton 43 Ada 14 (more…)

POSTED: 10/19/18 at 9:09 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports