The PAC has historically been a conference whose baseball standings come down to the wire. I do not expect this season to be any different. Last year’s dramatic finish saw Tuslaw take down the crown with Indian Valley and Triway close behind. But could there be a shake-up this year? Several teams look to be legitimate competitors for the PAC, and rightfully so. Writing this preview after the first week of the season has passed, I already have the advantage of seeing 2 upsets, which by the end of the season may not have been upsets at all. Keep reading for a rundown of each of the PAC teams and how their coaches feel going into 2015.
After years of listening to rumors of different schools wanting to join or leave the Principals Athletic Conference (PAC), the conjecture culminated on the morning of Wednesday, March 4, as the PAC voted to invite Orrville and Northwest into the conference. Both schools are expected to accept their invitations, which some say has been a long time coming.
It was an early morning for everybody, but especially 22′ Academy from South Carolina. After their game the previous night tipping off at 10:45 PM (scheduled for 9:45) and ending at 12:15 AM, they had a short night’s rest before getting back for their next game, the opener for day 2 at 11:15 AM.
A Walsh University women’s and men’s basketball double-header had the afternoon start off with a packed gym and parking lot. Once they were off the floor, the day didn’t settle down at all, as the 4th annual Dunk4Diabetes Shootout rattled off 5 games on Saturday in rapid fire fashion, the first starting at 4:00 PM, and then 6 more games on Sunday. As is typical, the event was packed full of small-school powerhouses, top-tier talent, and tradition-rich programs. College scouts were scattered across the gym, and media members lined press row. Another well-put on event went off without a hitch. Keep reading for a recap of all the games.
One of the most popular trends in high school basketball today is the running of holiday classics and invitational events meant to attract big-name schools with intriguing match-ups that otherwise wouldn’t happen. Ohio is home to many of such events, such as “Flyin’ to the Hoop” in Dayton, “Greynolds Classic” in Barberton, and the newly-established “Lebron James Classic” in Akron, just to name a few. But if I had to recommend one event, it would be the “Dunk4Diabetes” at Walsh University in North Canton, OH.
According to Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, and just about everyone else, the 2014 Buckeyes were about a year away from being really good. I was one of the people that subscribed to that thought. Boy, were we wrong. Coach Meyer hit it on the nose in his post-game comments when he raved about how improved his team was, especially considering how the season started; by season’s end, the team’s glaring weaknesses had become strengths.
The college football bowl season is almost over. After Sunday, all that will be left is the College Football Playoff National Championship on January 12 between Oregon and Ohio State. Of course all the typical bowls (and a few oddly named ones) went on as usual, but this year there was something new – the College Football Playoff. All season long the talk was who would make the top 4 teams to be in the inaugural bracket. Now that we’ve gone through that process and seen the first round of games, there might be some things we can learn, or ask.
In the last 5 1/2 seasons, the Kirtland Hornets are an astounding 74-2 dating back to October 2, 2009. During that span the Hornets have 2 state championships and a state runner-up. Their 2 losses sinde mid-2009 were to two 15-0 state championship teams, Youngstown Ursuline and Coldwater (one of their state titles was also over Coldwater). If Loudonville were to knock off the Hornets in the Division VI Region 19 championship game, it would have joined elite company. They hung tough with Kirtland for part of the first half, but a few mistakes helped get Kirtland going, and the Hornets never slowed down, grinding out the convincing 31-14 victory to advance to the Division VI state semi-finals against Lucasville Valley next Friday.
What an exciting season it’s been! At the start of the season locals weren’t really sure how many area teams would step up from being “good” to being “great.” After 10 weeks, it appears we’ve been luckier than initially expected, with five area teams making the playoffs. One of those teams – the Loudonville Redbirds – came into the season knowing they had what it takes to make a truly memorable season. After going 10-2 a season ago, they lost a senior RB that was a big piece to the puzzle, but others have filled in to make this team possibly even better in 2014. Now in the playoffs, Loudonville has its sights set high. Continue reading for a breakdown of Loudonville’s week 11 opponent and what the rest of the bracket looks like.
What an exciting season it’s been! At the start of the season locals weren’t really sure how many area teams would step up from being “good” to being “great.” After 10 weeks, it appears we’ve been luckier than initially expected, with five area teams making the playoffs. One of those teams – the Hillsdale Falcons – was coming off a sub-par season due to injuries, but knew within their locker room that they had what it took to have a special year. The Falcons kept proving the skeptics wrong all year until everyone bought into what they were selling. Eventually the co-WCAL champs, Hillsdale has now made it into the playoffs in arguably the most loaded region in Ohio. Continue reading for a breakdown of Hillsdale’s week 11 opponent and what the rest of the bracket looks like. (Tom E. Puskar / Ashland Times-Gazette photo)