Another week down and what a week it was!
This last week marks the completion of all of the winter sports for the area high schools that I try my best to cover. With that being said, I felt that perhaps it was necesscary to take a look back and a look ahead at the now finished season, much like I did with the fall sports. Did you read that? Are you reading this?
First things first, back on Feb. 2, I celebrated my six month months with the Galion Inquirer. It has been an experience to say the least and the winter sports action furthered that notion. With two seasons now wrapped, I am looking forward to the spring sports season but have a few things that I would like to point out from winter.
But enough of the background, let’s (w)rap…
I am going to start with the winter sport that I knew the most about, basketball. I was treated to some great and some not-so-great hoops action this season. There is a lot of young talent on the area teams. Crestline had themselves a rough season but will be returning almost everyone next season. Oh yeah, and the Crestline girls won their first game in I’m sure what felt like forever to the program! Galion found themselves in rough territory this year as well. With new head coach Matt Valentine starting as the season started, the Tigers had a rough road ahead of them. The season was one to forget but the future is still bright for the Galion squad. The Lady Tigers put together quite an improved team but often lacked consistency and the ability to close out. I am excited to see where this program goes next season. Northmor had a heck of a winter. The girls team will take a huge blow by the graduation of key players but still performed well. The boys team won a share of the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference Blue Division title, their first in school history! The Golden Knights also won their first sectional title since 1992 and did so on their own floor. The Colonel Crawford Lady Eagles will also be hit hard by the graduation of their key puzzle pieces but have some young talent moving up from the JV squad. David Sheldon and the guys team made another postseason run, winning their sixth straight sectional title and seventh in the last eight years. St.Peter’s would bounce Crawford last Friday but the Eagles are only going to graduate big man Heath Starkey this season and should be a tough team for years to come. On another note, thank you to all of the athletic directors for making me feel at home no matter where I went. Thank you to the super polite scorer’s table gang at Northmor, I am sorry about the Bishop Ready guy, haha. Biggest of thank yous to Don Tudor, Erin Miller and anyone else that snapped photos of the area teams throughout the season.
Now, let’s talk swimming. I had not been to a swim meet since I dated a swimmer in high school. I was a basketball player and never really understood swimming, if we’re being honest. However, covering swimming was quite enjoyable this winter. I didn’t get a chance to cover the Eagles swim squads on their own but did get the opportunity to see them participate at sectionals and districts. The swimming tradition at Colonel Crawford is rich, as it is in Galion and next season is shaping up to continue that trend. Galion’s swimming was well documented over the winter. The boys team continued to win the MOAC and the girls seem to always end up right behind Pleasant. Another sectional championship in the books for the boys, a trip to BGSU for districts and a few young men even made the trip to Canton for the state meet. I look forward to next season as I now possess a better understanding of the sport. Thank you coach Temple and Holtzapfel for helping me along the way! Here’s to hoping that next year I hear from Crestline so that I can add them to the mix.
Another sport that I wasn’t very familiar with was wrestling. Throughout the regular season, I was only able to make one meet, Galion versus Bucyrus and Willard at home. I had no idea what was going on and only recognized a few faces. Still skeptical about it all, I was asked by Russ to go to Columbus to cover the 80th Annual state indvidual wrestling tournament. I was worried that it would show that I had no idea what I was doing. I will admit though, after spending countless hours at ‘The Schott’ observing, not just the seven Northmor wrestlers or two Galion wrestlers that advanced, I am hooked. I found myself watching the Division I and II matches, following along and trying to score it myself. Hopefully the knowledge that I gained will continue to grow and I will get to experience it all again next season. A big thank you to coaches Tyrrell and Carr for sending me necessary information and for enhancing my appreciation for what their student athletes do.
Bowling. Yes, I even got to cover some bowling this season. Galion was the main school that I covered this winter in their inaugural season as a varsity team. The Tigers had their share of ups and downs but all and all faired well. The guys squad is young and very talented. The girls will be losing one of their top bowlers in Sara Misura but hope that the program will continue to grow. I didn’t hear from coach Montgomery of Northmor until the end of the season due to email communication errors. This has been remedied and will be different next season. Oh yeah, the Northmor girls made it all the way to the state competition this year and finished eighth in their division. Crestline bowling squads, I would like to cover you next season to so, reach out to me!
As always, I got a little bit long winded. I would just like to say one last thank you to everyone that makes high school sports possible. The parents, the coaches, the fans and the student athletes…keep up the good work, the encouragement and everything that you do to make competitions, practices and experiences happen!
I see you spring (sort of)! Here’s to baseball, softball, track and field and tennis! I honestly can not wait!