WALDO — On Wednesday, November 15, the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference held its annual banquet at All-Occasions Catering in Waldo to recognize the top student athletes and coaches from the fall sports season of 2017.
Of the eight schools within the MOAC, six schools had either Player of the Year or Coach of the Year winners. Sports recognized were football, golf, tennis, volleyball, cross country and soccer.
The 2017 football season was a memorable campaign for the Clear Fork Colts. Not only did they win their first conference title in their first year in the MOAC, they also captured the first 11-0 season in Clear Fork history. The Colts head coach, Dave Carroll, received the nod as the MOAC Coach of the Year while quarterback Blake Dinsmore took home the hardware for Player of the Year in the conference.
Galion’s golf team had quite the stellar season as well. Not only did they have an undefeated conference season but also made an impressive showing at the state golf tournament. Last Wednesday, the Tigers head coach, Bryce Lehman, received the award for Coach of the Year in the conference. He was joined in the honors by MOAC Golfer of the Year, freshmen Matthew McMullen.
A pair of Galion Lady Tigers tennis representatives were onhand for the ceremony as well. Galion, who capped an undefeated season with a MOAC title in 2017, saw head coach Bob Roesch earn Coach of the Year honors and state qualifying first singles player Kayley Gimbel pick up the Player of the Year award.
In the volleyball awards, it was another duo from a MOAC championship team taking home the hardware. Galion Lady Tigers head coach Jaime Valentine earned the Coach of the Year title, her first since 2014. Joining her was senior Marisa Gwinner, earning the Player of the Year plaque.
Zach Kreft of Buckeye Valley took home the honor of Runner of the Year in boys cross country. After winning the award for 2017, Kreft, who is headed to Notre Dame, has earned the honor for all four years that he has been in high school.
Fred Holsinger, head coach for the North Union Wildcats boys cross country team, ended Nathan Ritz’ five-year run as the boys cross country Coach of the Year. Ritz, head coach of the Buckeye Valley Lady Barons, would win the Coach of the Year honors for girls cross country for the second consecutive season. Kamryn Rhodes from North Union was named Runner of the Year for girls cross country.
Pleasant Spartans boys head soccer coach Randy Owings and player Logan Thompson won the boys soccer Coach and Player of the Year honors, respectively. Larry Atkinson, head coach of the Ontario Lady Warriors soccer squad earned Coach of the Year honors in Ontario’s first season in the MOAC. Kaylin Helinski took home the Player of the Year award for her work on the soccer field for the Clear Fork Lady Colts.
In total, the Galion Tigers tallied three Player of the Year awards and three Coach of the Year awards to lead all MOAC schools. The only schools from the conference not represented at the banquet were Harding and River Valley.