The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Jul. 18, 2019

VW independent sports/submitted information

Registration is being offered for two different events sponsored by the Van Wert Parks Department.

The first annual Catfish Tournament will be held at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 27 at Southern Reservoir No. 2. The tournament will go until 11:30 p.m. so it is important to have appropriate lighting for all boats and fisherman.

The first Catfish Tournament will be held Saturday, July 27. photo submitted

There will be 10 boat spots with a maximum of two fishermen per boat ($50 per boat), and 20 bank spots for those who wish to fish on land ($25 per fisherman). There will be payouts of different amounts depending on the number of fishermen. Tentative payouts will be: first place – $400 and a trophy; second place – $150, and third place – $50. There will also be a $50 prize for the largest fish caught at the event.

All participants must follow all Ohio boating and fishing rules and regulations or face elimination. All boats must be trolling motor only, no gas or diesel motors are permitted. Deadline to register is 4 p.m. on Wednesday, July 24.

To register, please contact the Park office at 419.238.9121 or email: kklinker@vanwert.org. A registration form and signed wavier are needed to complete the entry process.

Sign ups for flag football and cheerleading are underway and the Van Wert Parks Department would like to encourage all children ages 5-10 to participate.

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POSTED: 07/18/19 at 5:33 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

The ACME baseball state tournament bracket is set. The single elimination tournament will begin with quarterfinal action at noon on Saturday with Archbold taking on Troy, followed by Van Wert vs. Minster. The two winners will then face off in the semifinals at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. All games will be played at Veterans Field in Coldwater. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

POSTED: 07/17/19 at 7:11 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Van Wert independent sports

CELINA — It took two days, but Van Wert clinched a district championship and a spot in the ACME baseball state tournament with a 9-3 win over St. Marys Memorial on Tuesday.

The game began at Shawnee High School on Monday but was halted by heavy rain with the Cougars leading 5-2 in the sixth inning, before resuming at Celina on Tuesday. ACME rules state that all tournament games must be played to completion.

Van Wert (12-2-3) has won eight consecutive games and has qualified for the state tournament in four of the last five seasons.

The Cougars put the game away with four runs in the seventh inning. TJ Reynolds was hit by a pitch, stole second, then advanced to third on a balk. Parker Conrad walked and was replaced by pinch runner Hunter Bolenbaugh, then Turner Witten singled to center field and drove in Reynolds, giving Van Wert a 6-3 lead.

One batter later, Bolenbaugh scored from third on an error, then Jacob Place drove in Logan Collins. The scoring concluded when Kaiden Bates scored on the second Roughrider error of the inning.

Van Wert’s first four runs came in the first inning on Monday. A double by Witten plated Reynolds and Conrad, Bates drove in Witten and Owen Treece added a run. The remaining run was scored in the sixth inning, when Bates crossed home plate on an RBI single by Place.

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POSTED: 07/16/19 at 8:02 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

Van Wert independent sports

LIMA — Rain halted Monday’s ACME district championship game with Van Wert leading St. Marys Memorial 5-2 in the top of the sixth inning at Shawnee High School.

Heavy rain that lasted for about 20 minutes made the field unplayable.

Weather permitting, the game is scheduled to resume at 5 p.m. today and the Cougars will have runners at first and third with two outs.

POSTED: 07/16/19 at 5:40 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

This week’s Random Thoughts center around long seasons and TV dollars.

Long pro sports seasons

One of the questions submitted to the latest Monday Mailbag was about shortening the NBA season and the long MLB season.

Many people think pro sports seasons are too long and they’re right. Of course, it all comes down to TV and TV money, so no big changes will come anytime soon.

This is just my opinion, but here’s how pro sports seasons should look:

NFL – Forget the idea of adding two more games to the regular season schedule. Stick with 16 games and start on Labor Day weekend. Keep the existing playoff format but do away with the extra week off between conference championship games and the Super Bowl. The season would still be over in January.

NBA – In reality this probably won’t happen, but reduce the number of regular season games to 70 or 72 and start the regular season in early November, then end it in late March. That’s roughly five months to play 70 or 72 games. Turn the playoffs into a best of five series so the season doesn’t drag into June.

MLB – Start in mid-April and stop scheduling season openers in cold weather cities. There are plenty of places to open the season that make perfect sense – the West Coast, Texas and domed stadiums.

Go to a 150 game schedule and wrap up the regular season by Labor Day weekend. If that involves scheduling a couple of day-night or traditional doubleheaders, so be it. Do away with the wild card playoff game. It’s strictly for television and the extra revenue. Streamline the process so the World Series is done in a reasonable time in October, so players and fans are dodging snowflakes in cold weather cities.

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POSTED: 07/16/19 at 5:39 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

VW independent sports/submitted information

Elite runners and high school runners, along with runners of all ages and experience levels from all around the Midwest converged on the streets of Van Wert on Saturday night, but the fastest woman in the field just had to trot out her home door to get to the starting line before she picked up the win in a time of 21 minutes, 40 seconds at the Van Wert 4 Mile.

With a time of 21:40, Rachel Dickman raced to a first place finish at Saturday’s Van Wert 4 Mile. photo submitted

In 87 degree heat, Rachel Dickman of Playmakers New Balance pulled away at the second mile and was able to hold off several recent Olympic Trials qualifiers as well as six-time Big Ten Champion and University of Michigan track and cross country star Erin Webster Ralston.

“I didn’t think I would be able to win this race or run this quick in the heat,” the Van Wert resident said. “I was pleasantly surprised. The crowd support was great.”

Last year, Dickman placed second in a time of 21:50.

“I’ve been able to be healthy and consistently train at over 70 miles a week for the last few months,” Dickman explained. “I guess it is starting to pay off.”

Nathan Martin, a recent Spring Arbor graduate, was able to pull away from Benson Kiema over the last mile and secure the win on the men’s side. The Jackson, Michigan resident is an NAIA National champion, and he set a new course record in 17:45.

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POSTED: 07/15/19 at 5:37 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Van Wert independent sports

Saturday was a busy day for Van Wert’s Legion, ACME and Jr. ACME baseball teams, as Legion Post 178 finished the regular season, the ACME team rallied from a big deficit in district competition and the Jr. ACME team played at the state tournament.

Van Wert 10 Elida 8

LIMA — Van Wert rallied from an early 7-0 deficit to defeat Elida 10-8 on Saturday. The win means the Cougars will play for the ACME district championship at 5 p.m. today at Shawnee High School.

Elida led 3-0 after one inning and 7-0 after two, but Van Wert (11-2-3) plated a pair of runs in the third, three in the fourth and five more in the fifth to complete the rally.

Parker Conrad led the Cougars with two hits and a pair of RBIs, Jacob Place had a hit and drove in two runs, and Kaiden Bates (double, triple) and Keaton Brown finished with two hits. Bates, Brown and Conrad also scored two runs apiece.

Conrad pitched into the second inning and allowed seven runs (just two earned) on three hits while striking out one and walking four. Josh Halker pitched the remainder of the game and held the Bulldogs to one run on six hits, while fanning six and walking three.

Each team committed four errors in the game.

Van Wert will face St. Mary’s Memorial in the district championship game at 5 p.m. today at Shawnee. The Cougars defeated the Roughriders 2-1 on Friday.

Legion Post 178 9 Ottawa Fighting 63rd 4

OTTAWA — Van Wert American Legion Post 178 snapped a 0-0 tie with five runs in the third and the team went on to enjoy a 9-4 nine inning win over Ottawa Fighting 63rd on Saturday.

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POSTED: 07/14/19 at 10:14 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

This week’s Monday Mailbag features questions about long professional sports seasons, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team and Van Wert’s offense.

Q: I recently saw that the NBA is considering shortening the regular season from its current 82 games to as low as 58 games. This seems like a good idea to me, considering especially the large number of injuries to key players late in the season and during the playoffs. Some coaches rest their stars during certain regular season games precisely for this reason.

What are your thoughts on this, considering such factors as dollars, injuries, fan interest, etc?

Maybe you could also address the long, long major league baseball season (where World Series weather could be added to the list of factors). Name withheld upon request

A: I agree, it’s a good idea to shorten pro sports seasons, but I’ll believe it when I see it.

I have a very hard time believing the NBA would cut the regular season schedule by roughly 30 percent. There’s too much money at stake, especially in terms of television dollars. Plus, I seriously doubt the players would agree to a pay cut that would go along with that type of shorter schedule.

Could the regular season schedule be trimmed back to 75 or even 70 games? Probably, and the players might go for it. But when’s the last time we saw any professional sports league cut down on the number games?

I love basketball, but the NBA season is too long. It starts in October and runs into mid-June. Basketball season should be December through April.

As far as Major League Baseball, I’ve said for a long time that it’s ridiculous to start in late March or early April, especially in cold weather cities. Who wants to go to a Cubs, White Sox, Yankees, Boston, Cleveland etc. game when it’s 38 degrees?

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POSTED: 07/14/19 at 10:14 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

Van Wert independent sports

LIMA — Owen Treece was the hero for Van Wert on Friday.

Treece delivered a walk off RBI double in the seventh to give the No. 1 seed Cougars a 2-1 ACME district win over St. Marys Memorial at Shawnee High School. The Van Wert High School junior also pitched a complete game and held the Roughriders to just three hits while striking out five.

St. Marys scored on a fielder’s choice in the top of the second inning and the score remained 1-0 until the bottom of the sixth. After tripling to right field, Keaton Brown scored on an error to tie the game 1-1.

The Roughriders opened the seventh with a pair of singles and a fielder’s choice put runners at second and third with one out. However, Treece was able to work out of the inning.

The Cougars wasted no time completing the rally in the bottom of the seventh, as the first batter, Turner Witten, doubled to center field, then was lifted for pinch runner Hunter Bolenbaugh, who scored on Treece’s double that hit the left field fence.

Van Wert (10-2-3) will play Elida, a 7-2 winner over Delphos St. John’s, at 1:15 this afternoon.

POSTED: 07/13/19 at 5:32 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Submitted information

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — A new definition for a damaged bat is one of three high school softball rules changes for the 2020 season.

The three rules changes recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Softball Rules Committee at its June 10-12 meeting in Indianapolis were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors. The Ohio High School Athletic Association abides by rules and guidelines set by the NFHS.

A damaged bat will now be defined as a bat that was once legal, but is broken, cracked, dented, rattles or has sharp edges that might deface the ball (Rules 1-5-1, 7-4-2, 2-4-3).

Previously, a damaged bat was considered an illegal bat, with the penalty being an out when the batter entered the batter’s box. Now, damaged bats are simply removed from the game without penalty.

“This rule defines damaged bats and distinguishes them from non-approved and altered bats,” Sandy Searcy, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the NFHS Softball Rules Committee said. “The committee clarified the course of action that should be taken when a damaged bat is discovered in the game.”

Additionally, in Rule 1-5-1, the USA Softball All Games certification mark is now acceptable on bats. The new mark is in addition to the current ASA 2000 and ASA 2004 certification marks. Bats must bear one of these three marks and must not be listed on USA Softball’s Non-Approved Bats With Certification Marks, a list that is available on www.usasoftball.com.

“Bats bearing the 2000 and 2004 certification marks are still permissible, provided they meet specifications in Rule 1-5-1 and do not appear on USA Softball’s Non-Approved Bats with Certification Marks list,” Searcy said.

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POSTED: 07/12/19 at 5:22 am. FILED UNDER: Sports