Monday, December 31st, 2012
Top 10 Local Sports Stories from 2012
Cavaliers crowned state champions
By Daily Standard Staff
It was another successful sports season within the Grand Lake area in 2012, and as we get set to begin 2013, here's a ranking of the top 10 local sports stories from this past year.
1. Cavs capture state crown - After three straight trips to the state football finals resulting in runner-up finishes, the Coldwater Cavaliers captured the Division V state championship this season with a 10-9 victory over Kirtland.
For the Cavaliers' 23 seniors, it was the 60th game they have been a part of in the program and it marked the first time an Ohio team has played 15 games in four straight seasons. Coldwater was 50-10 in the four-year stretch.
2. Football Flyers win sixth state title - Marion Local won a second straight Division VI state title after a 28-21 win over Newark Catholic. It's the third time the Flyers have won back-to-back state championships in seven trips to the finals (2000-01, 2006-07, 2011-12). The Flyers' win also marked the MAC's 100th state title (in all sports) since the conference was formed in 1973.
3. Wildcats repeat - A year after winning its first-ever state baseball title, Minster went back to Columbus this past spring and defeated Cuyahoga Heights 5-4 to repeat as Division IV state champions. Devon Poeppelman's two-out RBI single in the bottom of the seventh inning scored Jay Eilerman for the game-winning run.
Doug Huber and Austin Knapke took on the bulk of the pitching when Adam Niemeyer, who did not allow an earned run all season, suffered elbow inflammation late in the year and only batted during the postseason. Huber and Knapke threw all but 2 2/3 innings of the Wildcats' run during the postseason.
4. ML volleyball captures D-IV state title - After a two-year drought, where they lost to the eventual state champion in the tournament, the Flyers captured their fourth state title with a win over Kidron Central Christian in three games at the Nutter Center. The Flyers overcame several early-season injuries, including All-Ohio player Josie Winner, who returned for the district tournament and helped spark Marion Local to the state crown.
5. Coldwater sweeps bowling state titles - The Cavaliers became the first school to sweep the boys' and girls' state titles in the same tournament. It was the second state title for Coldwater's boys, who won the inaugural OHSAA state tournament in 2007. It was the first state bowling title for Coldwater's girls.
6. Coldwater's cross country team is state runner-up - For the second straight year, the Coldwater girls' cross country team finished second in the Division III girls' state meet at National Trail Raceway.
Sophomore Sarah Kanney won the Division III individual state championship in a time of 17:58.03. Christina Seas, the state's individual runner-up in 2011, finished sixth.
7. State track roundup - After finishing third as a sophomore and runner-up as a junior, Celina's Hannah Fleck won the Division II 800-meter run, setting a new school record in her final race. Coldwater's Sarah Kanney earned her first state title in winning the 1,600 run in Division III. The Minster boys' 1,600 relay team of Troy Kaufman, Korey Schultz, Derek Collins and Paul Dues captured the Grand Lake area's third state title of the weekend. In all, local participants reached the podium - a top eight All-Ohio finish - 19 times at Jesse Owens Stadium.
8. Luebke's season halted by surgery - San Diego's Cory Luebke was off to a strong start with a 3-1 record and a 2.61 earned run average over his first five starts of the season. Luebke's season was cut short, however, in May by season-ending Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow. Luebke has progressed to light tossing after a successful surgery and could return to the Padres in the middle of the upcoming season.
9. WSU-LC baseball first year - With just 13 players in their inaugural season, the Lakers, guided by coach Rob Howell, exceeded expectations by going 17-10 and advanced to the Ohio Regional College Conference's loser's bracket final.
10. Revival of Celina football - The Celina football program had its best season since 1998 under head coach Jared Rolfes after finishing the 2012 season with a 7-3 record. The Bulldogs were in playoff contention before a loss to Elida in the ninth week of the season.