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By Staff | Apr 25, 2018

For a week, we had some nice weather and caught up with some games, but it got cold again with more rain, which meant more cancellations of spring sporting events. It also looks like a good many of the baseball and softball games won’t get played, and many teams might not have enough games to qualify for post-season tournament.

There had also been some make-up games we didn’t find out about until the games were over.

Meanwhile, the track teams have seen a lot of meets, and we have a few very nice teams, as well as track athletes, looking like they are ready for tournament time. The OVAC meet is fast approaching, and I believe we have a very good chance to get some medals all over area.

Across the river, Mike Flannery has some nice athletes that appear like they will qualify in the OVAC Class AA. Without naming all the guys and gals that have a shot, I’m going to give it a shot anyhow.

I predict Livi Beard, Carmon Hinerman, as well as a couple relay teams, placing high. I predict Allison Bennett will excel in tossing the discus, as well as Madison Shiflett in the shot-put and Cortny Sapp in the long jump.

I hope there are more girls who do well in the individual races, but there could be several getting ribbons in the relay events. They all are very capable of getting in the top six in just about any event.

In OVAC Class AA boys, the no-brainers are Cooper Brown in the sprints, while Alex Refener will master the hurdles, and Cole Hinerman will excel in the field events. Like the girls, the boys have a few nice relay teams that could make some noise in the Class AA.

In OVAC Class AAA, the Magnolia girls have a few athletes that could take some awards. Kyndra Pilant and Maddie Winters will do well in the shot and discus. Also, a no-brainer, is the duo of Kennedy Parsons and Mikalyn Renner in the 400-meter dash. Lisa Clegg and Aubrey Hall will do fine, as well as Katrina Patel and Leneica Grimm. The girls are very solid in the relay events as well and could surprise a few and take home the gold.

The Blue Eagles boys have always done very well in the relay, and this year they are solid once again. Jakob and Jared Barrows, along with Jay Eller, will highlight both the discus and shot.

Brooks Parsons will do very well in any events he chooses and will dominate from the sprinting events, to the field events.

Jack Booth is another outstanding runner who will challenge in sprinting events as well as a the hurdles and relay events. James Stillwagner is an up-and-coming track runner who will also perform well in any race he is in, as well as Jan Beisel and Logan Beegle. Ethan Herrick, Spencer Shephard, Austin Pyles, Nathan Schupbach and Kyler Cecil will also shine in many different events and will also help out in the relay events too.

In Class A, the Valley Lumberjacks have been a force to be reckoned with in the past, but times are changing and they are not as strong this year. However, the boys and girls have a few who will provide a challenge. Peyton Bassett is a man among boys, and in his senior year, he might grab the gold in a few individual events, or at least, score points. In the girls events, multi-talented Sophie Palmer is a girl who will do well in any event she participates in. She is great in the high jump, long jump and hurdles, as well as newcomer McKinley Yoho. Brittany Kennedy will do well in the shot and discus, along with Levi Rux. Kendall Williams will do pretty good in the sprinting events, as well as Emma Beatty in the distance events

The Hundred Hornets have slowly emerged as a solid track team that can do a lot of things very well. They will turn some eyes their way in the OVAC this year, and years to come.

In the boys events, Cody Soles could challenge in the high jump and the long jump, along with Skylar Goff. Travis McCoy might show his dominance in the shot-put, as well as in the discus once he gets his form down solid. Hundred’s relay team in the 200-meter is pretty good, as well as their sprinting and running events with Soles, Goff, Billy Lemasters and Martin Baker.

In the girls events, two-year state qualifier Katerine Henderson will challenge the best in the long jump and high jump, and she has become good in the sprinting events as well. Emily Metz is another outstanding performer in many events. She is very good in the 200-meter dash and the 400-meter dash, as well as in the high jump. The girls are pretty good in the 4×100 and 200 meter relay events. Destiny Eastham is also a nice runner in the 400 and 800-meter running events.

Paden City has had a few track athletes do well in the past and they have all done pretty well when moving on to the college scene. This season, they don’t have a stand-out track athlete, but they do have a few that will compete until they drop.

Abbe Stackpole is one girl who will shine in the sprinting events, while Alex McCoy, Kyler Wade, Landon Smith, Seth Bohrer, and Steven Smith will be on the hunt in many of the running events, as well as the hurdles and relays. Jason Anderson will do just fine in the shot and discus, while Bohrer will be in the hunt in the long jump as well.

There are many of the area athletes I left out, I know, who will also do fine – not only in the OVAC, but in the regional and hopefully state track meet. They might make me eat my words, and I will hope they do.

Track is not only an individual sport, but a team event as well. A few years back, my nephew Ryan Yeager stepped up and scored in a distance race that got the Valley boys over the hump to win the Mason-Dixon championship. He wasn’t the top runner, but every point makes a difference in winning a meet or a team title. It’s nice to have that one powerful star, say like a Brooks Parsons, but he alone can’t win a team event. It takes a lot more. So, most of these track athletes, do your best and dig down; give that second effort, and make yourselves and your teams proud.

The same goes for any team sports. Do you think that Michael Jordan could win a championship on his own? No, he would try. However, if it wasn’t for his teammates, he would have never won a championship.

Give it your best. You will not be sad as long as you know you did your best. My nephew did his best in a big race and made the point that got the win. Be that guy or gal that I can write about, who got their team the win.