Wednesday, May 25, 2016
  • Crestview recognizes outstanding track athletes at annual banquet
    Tuesday, May 24, 2016 11:17 PM
    CONVOY — Members of the Crestview track team were acknowledged on May 23, 2016 at their annual awards banquet.
  • Tuesday, May 24, 2016 11:15 PM
    OHSAA Division III Troy Reg. Championships
  • Van Wert’s Clay wins state discus title
    Tuesday, May 24, 2016 11:14 PM
    DUBLIN — Van Wert student Kirsten Clay won the 2016 Division II state title in the discus at the 12th annual Ohio Middle School State Track and Field Championships.
  • Cougars celebrate record-setting season
    Tuesday, May 24, 2016 11:12 PM
    VAN WERT — The Van Wert baseball program recently held its 2016 banquet at the YMCA’s Camp Clay Center. The 2016 Van Wert baseball team set school records for runs scored in a season (177 runs), team batting average (.337), and team ERA (1.32 ERA). They also tied the school record for WBL wins with seven and finished the year ranked 13th in Ohio in Division II.
  • D-III District champions lead Regional qualifiers
    Sunday, May 22, 2016 9:42 PM
    SPENCERVILLE — It wasn’t as warm and pleasant for Saturday’s finish of the Division III District Track and Field Championships at Spencerville’s Charles D. Moeller Memorial Field.
  • Gregory excited to take the reigns of a strong Lady Knights program
    Saturday, May 21, 2016 12:03 AM
    CONVOY — Crestview made official the hiring of Mark Gregory to lead the girls basketball program during a board meeting on Thursday. The long-time boys assistant replaces Greg Rickard, who, with a career record of 428-158, stepped down after 28 seasons at the helm of the Lady Knights on April 18.
  • Preston stifles Pirates as Crestview moves on to Regionals
    Saturday, May 21, 2016 12:02 AM
    ELIDA — For Continental, it was the first trip ever to a district final. For Crestview a district final, is business as usual. Maybe that had a lot to do with the top-seeded Lady Knights’ 11-1 pounding of the 8th-seeded Lady Pirates on Friday at Elida.
  • Cougars advance 17 events to D-II Regional Track and Field
    Saturday, May 21, 2016 12:01 AM
    DEFIANCE - As the school year comes to a close, the track postseason goes into full gear. Friday night, the Van Wert Cougars competed in the Division II District Track and Field Meet at Justin F. Coressel Stadium in Defiance. The Cougars ran well enough to advance 17 events to next week’s regional meet in Dayton.
  • Panthers fall in controversial district championship game
    Saturday, May 21, 2016 12:00 AM
    WAPAKONETA — The Division IV District championship game in Wapak on Friday came down the bottom of the ninth inning and was decided by a controversial call and a wild pitch.
  • Friday, May 20, 2016 11:58 PM
    LIMA— The regular-season game between Northwest Conference fast-pitch softball rivals Paulding and Allen East ended up 3-0 in favor of the Lady Panthers earlier this spring.
  • Hart and Hardmon the latest in long line of outstanding Van Wert sprinters
    Thursday, May 19, 2016 11:30 PM
    VAN WERT — High school sports teams almost invariably face the ebb and flow of talent — and of wins and losses.
  • Mangas, Pugh among handful to clinch D-III Regional berth
    Thursday, May 19, 2016 11:01 PM
    SPENCERVILLE — It’s March Madness, track and field style.
  • Thursday, May 19, 2016 11:00 PM
    LIMA — Wapakoneta’s Megan Fisher was named Western Buckeye League Player of the Year in voting done by the league’s softball coaches, the conference announced on Thursday. Redskins coach Bill Sammons was named Coach of the Year.
  • Nixon, Minster win pitcher’s duel vs Knights
    Thursday, May 19, 2016 12:11 AM

    COLDWATER – The Crestview Knights (13-8) met with the Minster Wildcats (18-9) Wednesday night in a Division IV, District Semi-Final game at Veterans Field in Coldwater, Ohio. The Wildcats came out victorious, 2-1, to advance in the tournament.

  • Panthers stave off elimination with seventh-inning rally
    Wednesday, May 18, 2016 11:25 PM

    WAPAKONETA — For six innings in Wednesday’s Division IV District semifinal game at Wapak, Marion Local looked like the better team. Facing heavily-favored Parkway, a team that had run-ruled the Flyers less than two weeks ago, Marion Local took a 4-3 advantage to the top of the seventh.

    A 2-run Lady Panther rally, however, took the air out of the Flyer baloon, and a seventh-inning double play sealed the deal as Parkway survived with a 5-4 win.

    “(Marion Local has) gotten a lot better; they played a great game,” Parkway head coach Mark Esselstein said. “Some weird things happened: they scored on a bunt with a runner at second, a missed bunt gets to the backstop (which scores a run), but our kids really hung with it.”

    Facing the end of their season, the Panthers brought the meat of tehir order to the plate against Flyer starter Marah Moeller. After getting behind 0-2, shortstop Alyx Slusher worked a walk, bringing all-Ohio slugger Haley Hawk to the dish. Hawk, who doubled and tripled in her first two at bats of the day, watched two straikes go past then lofted a fly ball to right for the first out.

    If Moeller exhaled a bit after getting Hawk, few could blame her, but the Panthers are more than a one-woman offense. After Slusher stole second (and was replaced by pinch-runner Madison Kroeger), senior Selena Burtch stepped in to a 2-0 offering and smoked a single into right-center field, and Kroeger raced home with the tying run.

    “Haley Hawk in a (heck) of a hitter, but she didn’t come through. The other kids picked her up,” Esselstein said. “Selena Burtch got a huge hit.”

    The Panthers weren’t satisfied with knotting teh score, however. After pinch runner Courtney Leis advanced on a wild pitch, she stole third with still just one out in the inning. Catcher Alisa Gray then split the gap with an RBI double that made it 5-4, Panthers.

    “Alisa Gray got a huge hit,” Esselstein said. “Our kids showed a lot of guts, a lot of heart. Survive and advance.”

    Though Hawk’s two early hits produced two Panther runs (each time driving in Slusher), Moeller had held the Panther lineup in check for most of the game. The same couldn’t be said of Burtch, who struggled to contain the Marion Local hitters. She surrendered eight hits and four runs, all earned, in her 5 1/3 innings in the circle. She walked one and didn’t strike out a batter.

    Despite her rough outing, Burtch didn’t bring her frustration to the dish in the seventh.

    “I just had to pull myself together and gut it out,” Burtch said of her game-tying single.

    “That’s a senior being a leader,” Esselstein said. “She’s a very good hitter in her own right. She really focused when she needed to focus and drove one; it picked up the whole team.”

    The trials weren’t quite done for Burtch once the Panthers had reclaimed the lead, however. Moeller opened the home seventh with a grounder near the bag at first that Burtch misplayed, putting the tying run on base.

    The next batter, shortstop Sarah Fesenmeyer hit a one-hopper to second baseman Bailey Bates, who cleanly fielded the ball and applied a tag on courtesy-runner Rachel Partington before flipping on to Burtch to complete the double play, effectively killing the Flyer rally. Burtch then snagged a soft liner off the bat of Macey Griesdorn to end it.

    “It was trying,” Burtch said of her emotions in that up-and-down seventh inning. “I think (this win) mentally prepares us. It shows us we can tough it out and be the team that we can be.”

    Parkway will play New Bremen in Friday’s District championship game. The Cardinals handed the Panthers their only conference defeat, a 9-4 decision back on April 18.


  • Lady Pirates survive into District semifinals
    Wednesday, May 18, 2016 11:24 PM

    ELIDA — One thing that both fast-pitch softball units from Lincolnview and Continental learned from Wednesday afternoon/night was that no lead was safe.

  • Wednesday, May 18, 2016 11:23 PM

    DEFIANCE — Van Wert senior Katie Trittschuh captured the district championship in the girls discus, throwing 118-07 feet during Wednesday’s Division II meet at Defiance College. She has assured herself of a spot in the Regionals next week.

  • Brilliant season comes to an end for Cougar tennis
    Wednesday, May 18, 2016 11:20 PM

    BOWLING GREEN — Van Wert’s outstanding tennis season came to an abrupt ending in Wednesday’s BGSU Division II district tournament. That tournament matches the top four singles finishers and top four doubles finishers from four sectionals — Defiance, Shelby, Port Clinton, and UNOH.

    The Cougars’ best shot at a win came from senior lefty Brandon Amstutz, who had finished third at the UNOH sectional, and therefore was matched against the second-place finisher from the Defiance sectional, Ada sophomore Zach Beaschler.

    Amstutz came out on fire, winning the first three games. It was all Beaschler’s after that, however. Beaschler won 6-3, 6-2.

    The match was full of long rallies as both players displayed strong ground strokes. Beaschler, however, displayed an excellent defensive game, frequently forcing Amstutz into making the first error. When drawn to the net, which happened several times, Beaschler was nearly flawless.

    Amstutz was a slightly harder hitter on ground strokes and serves, but Beaschler more than made up for that with consistency. Amstutz hit on a solid 65 percent of his first serves, double-faulting four times. Beaschler landed 72 percent of his first serves and double-faulted once. There were no aces.

    Van Wert senior Nick Etter had finished fourth at the UNOH sectional, thus drawing a matchup against the first-place finisher from the Defiance sectional, sophomore Rahul Bias of Ottawa Hills. Ottawa Hills has been a high school tennis power for decades.

    Bias rolled to a 6-0 win in the first set. Etter then put it all together to make the second set interesting, although Bias also won that set, 6-4.

    The Van Wert doubles team of sophomore Michael Etter and junior Spencer Teman, fourth at the UNOH sectional, met up with the Ottawa Hills doubles team of junior Tyler Gargas and senior Ryan Simon, which had finished first at Defiance. Etter and Teman won the first game, but it was never close after that, Ottawa Hills taking the match 6-1, 6-0.

    It marked the end of the fine high school tennis careers of Amstutz and Nick Etter. The other senior on the team, doubles player Davis Munroe, was eliminated at the sectional. Those three led the Cougars to their best tennis season ever. Returning next year from the varsity will be Michael Etter, Teman, Ryan Keber, and Gabe Rollins.

    “It started last year when we fell a little bit short and saw that (WBL) trophy — we wanted that trophy,” said coach Mitch Price. “Everybody said their main team goal was to win the WBL, and we did that. We had a ton of fun. We won a lot of matches.”

    “Brandon had a great season and a great career; Nick had a great season and a great career,” added Price. “Davis only played two years, but he was all-league twice. That’s awesome. I’m proud of all three seniors.”

  • McCoy’s late blast lifts Lady Knights to District finals
    Tuesday, May 17, 2016 11:31 PM
    ELIDA — The Crestview Lady Knights took their collective talent to Elida Middle School to face off against the Hicksville Lady Aces on a rainy Tuesday night for girls Division VI district semi-final action.
  • Tuesday, May 17, 2016 11:30 PM
    LIMA — Defiance senior Shay Smiddy was named the Western Buckeye League’s 2016 Player of the Year in voting by the league’s baseball coaches on Monday.

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