Thursday, August 31st, 2017
Area graduates in coaching ranks
By Gary R. Rasberry
Jared Rolfes is off to a strong start at his new school in North Carolina.
Rolfes, who graduated from Celina and later coached the Bulldogs football team from 2008 to 2013, took over as head coach at Page High School in June after three seasons at Northwest Guilford in June. Both schools are located in the Greensboro area in Guilford County.
The Pirates are 2-0 after beating Northern Guilford 38-27 last Friday night.
Page is a Class 4AA power in the Tar Heel State, having won a state title in 2011 and having played in the previous two state title games under coach Kevin Gillepsie.
Rolfes was 23-14 during his tenure at Northwest Guilford. The Vikings made the playoffs each season and advanced to the second round last year.
Page and Northwest Guilford will face off against each other on Oct. 13. This week, Page faces Dudley on Friday night.
The University of Wyoming kicks off its 2017 football season on Saturday against Iowa at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. The Cowboys are coming off a fine 8-6 season with an appearance in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego against Brigham Young University.
Former Celina and Miami University quarterback Mike Bath returns as the running backs coach for Wyoming. Bath coached the Cowboys' all-time leading rusher Brian Hill, who was drafted in the fifth round by Atlanta in this year's NFL Draft.
Walsh University opens its 2017 season on Saturday against Wayne State. The Cavaliers are coached by Celina grad Dan Pifer, who has fellow former Bulldog Aaron Shreffler on staff as assistant coach. Shreffler joins the program after having been an assistant coach at Hillsdale.
Speaking of Hillsdale, Aaron's brother Nate Shreffler is the Chargers' offensive coordinator. Hillsdale opens the 2017 season on Saturday at Mercyhurst.
The Cavaliers and Chargers face off in Great Midwest Athletic Conference action on Oct. 21 in Hillsdale.
New Bremen native Steve Opperman is approaching a milestone as head volleyball coach at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Opperman, who is entering his 20th season as coach of the Dukes, is 294-277 at the school. While coaching the Dukes, Opperman has coached several former area players, including former St. Henry standout, current New Bremen volleyball coach and Duquesne Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Diana (Wuebker) Kramer; Celina's Liz Homan; and New Bremen's Jessica Eckert.
Duquesne is 0-3 going into tonight's match against Coppin State in the Duquesne Invitational.
Fort Recovery graduate Tyler Niekamp will lead the Van Buren boys basketball team after taking over the head coaching job earlier this summer.
After having served as an assistant at Van Buren, Niekamp played and later served as an assistant coach at the University of Findlay when his uncle Ron Niekamp guided the Oilers.
The Black Knights play in the Blanchard Valley Conference.