A school year full of rivalry games, state champions, postseason runs and memorable moments came to a close with the state track and field championships in Columbus in the first weekend of June. With the year now complete, a look back reveals some of the hallmark moments and memories from the 2012-13 school year. Today, May's top moments are on the agenda.
A school year full of rivalry games, state champions, postseason runs and memorable moments came to a close with the state track and field championships in Columbus in the first weekend of June. With the year now complete, a look back reveals some of the hallmark moments and memories from the 2012-13 school year.
SPRING IN REVIEW
Lake baseball learned to adjust on the fly for their Federal League baseball showdown with North Canton Hoover. The game was moved from Lake to Hoover at the last minute, but the Blue Streaks weren’t rattled and handed the Vikings their first league loss, 5-2.
The Blue Streaks also filled their football coaching void by hiring offensive coordinator Dan DeGeorge to replace the departed Durbin.
With a smaller roster and less experience than last season, the Green girls track team used a school-record leap from freshman Olga Branney in the high jump, an 800 win from Erika Rector and a near-record leap from defending state pole vault champion Morgan Estes to win 75-62 against Tallmadge.
The Bulldogs capped their buildup to the postseason with a Suburban League title and many of the team’s athletes dashed off the track and onto the dance floor at prom the same day. “A Night In Paris” was the theme for the dance and it turned out to be the ideal finish to the day for the Bulldogs.
Manchester softball faced a tough road in early-season tournament play, going 1-2 in the Ohio Invitational Tournament at Firestone Stadium. The Panthers’ lone win (12-7) came in their opener against Perrysburg. They fell to eventual state champion North Canton Hoover in their second game and the Vikings continued their roll to a third straight state title by routing Lake 14-2 the following week to record their 23rd straight victory.
LCCS baseball won one of the rivalry games it had circled on the calendar since the start of the season, toppling Springfield 9-4 to even its record at 10-10. Two former Tigers, Collin Floyd and Racco DiLauro, started for the Spartans but could not overcome their former team.
LCCS nearly upset top-seed Windham in a sectional tournament game, but fell 5-1 after the Bombers scored four times in the top of the seventh.
The Tigers were rolling on the softball diamond as well, improving to 12-8 with a five-inning, 13-3 win over Cornerstone Christian.
Manchester tennis wound its way through an up-and-down season, going 3-7 in the early part of the season as senior Aaron Pohelia led the way with a 6-4 record in first singles.
Lake tennis tuned up for the district tournament with a 4-1 home win against Green. Senior Dale Booher triumphed 6-4, 6-0 over Tom Saunders in first singles and Green claimed its lone point of the day in second doubles as Clay Hammes amd John Moresea won by a score of 6-3, 7-6.
Page 2 of 3 - The Bulldogs nearly pulled an upset of No. 5 seed Perry in the Canton Division I baseball sectional semifinals, falling 6-5. Green’s softball team did score a tournament win, 10-8 over Massillon, before second-seeded Louisville bounced them in the second round.
Springfield softball concluded its home season with a 7-2 win over Coventry to improve to 22-3. On Senior Day, the Comets sought to spoil the Spartans party and trailed just 3-2 in the fifth before Springfield pulled away. One week later, sophomore second baseman Deanna Cole broke the state record for stolen bases with her 63rd steal of the season.
The Spartans’ postseason run ended in heartbreaking fashion with a 2-1, 11-inning loss to Fairless in a Navarre Division II district final. The game was delayed half an hour by rain and nearly called due to darkness. The key play was an apparent missed call on an attempted steal of third base by Cole in the top of the fifth. She was called out and instead of having a runner on third with one out, the Spartans saw their best chance for a game-winning rally fizzle.
Manchester baseball saw its season end when its attempt to rally for a second straight game came up short in a 4-3 sectional final loss to Tuslaw. Coventry boys track just missed on advancing to the regional meet in the 4x200 relay as the team of Devon Jones, Kelan Siner, Jaret Skaggs and Zack Lake finished fifth, .53 seconds behind Hoban for the fourth and final qualifying spot. Coventry baseball worked overtime for its first-round tournament win, outlasting Fairless 5-4 in eight innings to keep its season alive before falling to Alliance in a sectional final.
Making history became a means of commanding respect for the girls lacrosse team. After a 13-2 regular-season record that included an 11-4 win in a rivalry game against Hoover, the Polar Bears used three tournament wins to step out of the long shadows cast by the varsity boys team and Federal League rival North Canton Hoover. Victories over Anthony Wayne, Shaker Heights and Rocky River Magnificat propelled the team into the state semifinals for the first time in program history.
A 13-8 loss to Upper Arlington in the semifinal round ended Jackson's season, but not before a colorful community send-off for the team and a large contingent of Jackson fans made sure the stands were colored predominantly purple for the contest. Hundreds of fans gathered outside the high school to cheer the coaches and players as they boarded the bus to head to Columbus.
Jackson baseball rang in the month with a 7-0 shutout of Louisville as Jake Miller drove in four runs with a two run homer and a two-run triple. After a 4-6 start to the season, the Polar Bears won 9 of 10, including wins over Canton Central Catholic and state runner-up St. Ignatius.
Page 3 of 3 - May offered up plenty of tough tests for the boys lacrosse team. A two-day battle with teams from Michigan gave the Polar Bears a chance to step out of their normal schedule, with a win over Bloomfield Hills (12-3) and a loss to Cranbrook. Like their counterparts on the girls team, the boys downed Hoover to wrap up their regular season. With the momentum from their rivalry win, coach first-year coach Hans Rydquist's team rolled to a 14-1 win over Lakewood St. Edward in its first tournament game. Jackson's season came to an end three days later with a second loss on the season to Cleveland St. Ignatius by a count of 10-5.
Ohio Tennis Coaches Association team tournament play gave the boys tennis team a chance to test its postseason readiness and the Polar Bears responded with a first-round win against Lakewood before falling to Walsh Jesuit. After that, the team finished out its regular season and went toe to toe with Hoover in the Federal League tournament. A dramatic day on the courts in Canton came down to the final singles match and it was Jackson that emerged with a one-point win. When the state tournament rolled around, their battle-tested lineup advanced six competitors to the district tournament. Thomas and Zalenski moved on in singles play, while Mark Spencer and Mark Dickerhoof moved on in second doubles and Kanam and Ben Shaheen advanced in first doubles.
Thomas was the lone Jackson player to move on to the state tournament and fell short in his first-round matchup in Columbus.
The softball team attempted to make a run through the rugged Massillon Division I district tournament, downing No. 4 seed Perry 7-6 in its first game before falling 3-2 to second-seeded Louisville in a district semifinal despite a third-inning home run from Abby Funk. The outcome was much different than the lopsided loss the Polar Bears suffered to the Leopards in their season opener seven weeks earlier.
Close outcomes were equally unkind to the baseball team, which fell 4-0 to Perry in a Canton Division I sectional final. The offensive spark that had fueled the Polar Bears to wins Federal League wins down the stretch in the regular season fizzled against the Panthers as they finished with a 16-11 record. Andrew Stalnaker, Ryan Gusbar, Jake Miller and Kyle Mottice earned All-Federal League honors for the season.
On the track, both the boys and girls teams finished with 3-3 dual meet records, with all of the meets coming in league competition.
Reach Andy at 330-899-2872 or andy.harris@TheSuburbanite.com.
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