The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, May. 22, 2024

Derek Sellers/for the VW independent

Jaiden Goodwin is an eighth grader at Van Wert and he has a passion for bowling. Along with bowling, Jaiden has a love for sports and a competitive spirit.

“I am very competitive,” Goodwin explained. “I like to win.”

Jaiden Goodwin

Goodwin loves watching sports and he is also the waterboy for the Van Wert Cougar football team. He bowls every Saturday during bowling season and loves to bowl with his team Rocky Top. Hia grandmother Helen has always had a love for bowling and she decided to sign him up. Since then, he has quickly developed a love for bowling just like his grandma.

He has been bowling since he was four, and Olympic Lanes has been a second home to Jaiden.

“His attitude is important,” his grandmother said. “He needs to enjoy himself and most importantly, have fun.”

Goodwin recently had the opportunity to compete in the State Spring Handicap Tournament, and along with that, was able to compete in the State PEPSI tournament. The Spring Handicap Tournament has a scoring system that is modified for each bowler based on their limitations while the PEPSI tournament is based on a scratch score, which means there are no handicap adjustments for the bowler’s score.

He noted he had a great experience at his first state bowling tournament.

POSTED: 05/22/24 at 3:32 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

The Crestview track program held its annual awards recognition to honor the student-athletes who participated in the program. Head coach John Rosebrock and assistant coaches recognized the team’s accomplishments throughout the season. Coaches Awards (above, left to right): Courtney Mefferd, Payton Scott, Brentyn Rodriguez, Jaret Harting, and Braxton Leeth. MVPs (below): Anna Gardner and Kellin Putman. Photos submitted

POSTED: 05/22/24 at 3:31 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

VW independent sports

Van Wert’s Brylen Parker has been named first team All-WBL, while three other Cougars also earned all-league honors.

Hayden Davis and Sam Houg were named second team All-WBL, while Briston Wise was named honorable mention in balloting done by league coaches and released this week.

Here is a breakdown of all-league baseball players.

Van Wert’s Brylen Parker was named first team All-WBL. Bob Barnes/VW independent

First team: Quintin Collins, Skyler Lhamon, Bath; Brady Steinbrunner, Nick Steinbrunner, Celina; Brezlen Zipfel, Noah Gomez, Defiance; Ryan McGue, Elida; Brylen Parker, Van Wert; Grant Jolly, Taylor Echols, Wapakoneta.

Second team: Joel Rasor, Bath; Dale Secrest, Brodee Schulte-Arnold, Celina; Cody Shaw, Brady Borton, Defiance; Kyle Thrush, Kenton; Joel Kogge, St. Marys Memorial; Hayden Davis, Sam Houg, Van Wert; Ryan Price, Wapakoneta.

Third team: Tyson McGee, Bath; Caleb Stephenson, Celina; Cohen Stockman, Torin Long, Defiance; Gabe Adcock, Elida; Grady Kleman-Beasley, Kenton; Grant Leopold, Ottawa-Glandorf; Jacob Kaiser, Preston Rupert, St. Marys Memorial; Zac Niekamp, Wapakoneta.

Honorable mention: Clay Boedicker, Bath; Max Baumstark, Celina; Kahlil Ligon, Defiance; Seth Sharp, Elida; Luke Leffler, Kenton; Jordan Metzger, Ottawa-Glandorf; Derek Lyons, Shawnee; Kasey Gross, St. Marys Memorial; Briston Wise, Van Wert; Drew Bailey, Wapakoneta.

Taylor Echols of Wapakoneta was named WBL Player of the Year, while Jason Brandt (Wapakoneta) and Rick Weaver (Defiance) were named WBL co-Coaches of the Year. The Bulldogs and Redskins tied for this year’s league championship.

Three Van Wert softball players earned all-WBL honors.


POSTED: 05/21/24 at 1:21 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

The latest installment of Random Thoughts includes good luck wishes to local athletes, an impressive feat, a ‘grand’ win, an OHSAA referendum item, the Indy 500 and a tasty non-sports thought.

Good luck

Best of luck to Lincolnview’s softball and baseball teams – they’re slated to play in the regionals and district respectively on Wednesday.

Also best of luck to all remaining local track and field athletes who will compete at the regional level this week.


Here’s another impressive feat by Lincolnview’s baseball program. In addition to winning four consecutive (that’s back-to-back-to-back-to-back) NWC titles, a Lancer has now won the last six NWC Player of the Year Awards.

Here is the list:

2018 – Chayten Overholt

2019 – Jaden Youtsey

2021 – Landon Price

2022 – Landon Price

2023 – Dane Ebel

2024 – Luke Bollenbacher

Of course, no one won the award in 2020 because there were no spring sports. Everything was shut down because of COVID-19.

A ‘grand’ walk off win

Is there anything more exciting than a grand slam walk off win?

That’s what happened during Sunday’s TinCaps-Cubs game. Fort Wayne trailed 6-5 in the bottom of the 10th, when Albert Fabian launched a bases loaded home run to right field, giving the TinCaps a 9-6 win over South Bend.

What a treat for the fans at the game.


The OHSAA’s referendum item 1B has been approved by member schools. If you’re not familiar with it, it allows any school to move up to Division I on a sport-by-sport basis for one season.


POSTED: 05/20/24 at 10:16 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

VW independent sports

Lincolnview scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and that was enough to defeat Parkway 4-3 on Monday.

The two out, game winning hit was delivered by Reide Jackson, who doubled home Aiden Hardesty. Earlier in the fifth, trailing 3-1, Holden Price doubled home Chayse Overholt, then Price scored on a sacrifice fly by Myles Moody.

Price, Overholt and Jackson combined for seven of Lincolnview’s eight hits. Overholt pitched the first two innings and struck out four while allowing a run on one hit. Jack Dunlap went the next two innings and gave up a pair of runs on two hits, then Gavin Evans pitched the remaining three innings and allowed just one hit while fanning five.

Jacoby Triplett had two of Parkway’s four hits.

Lincolnview (19-6) will host Heritage (IN) today.

POSTED: 05/20/24 at 10:15 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

VW independent sports

Another NWC baseball title has led to top honors for Lincolnview head coach Eric Fishpaw and one of his players. 

Fishpaw has been named NWC Co-Coach of the Year, along with Kasey Krendyl of Bluffton. Fishpaw has guided the Lancers to an 18-6 (8-0 NWC) record, an outright NWC championship, the fourth consecutive outright conference title for Lincolnview. The Lancers are 32-0 in the NWC since the 2021 season. Lincolnview is also the No. 2 seed at the Division IV Patrick Henry district and has already won a sectional championship. The Lancers, ranked No. 7 in the final OHSBCA Division IV poll, will face No. 1 seed Leipisic in the district semifinals on Wednesday.

Lincolnview’s Luke Bollenbacher is the NWC’s Player of the Year. Photo courtesy of Hanna Young

Luke Bollenbacher has been named the NWC Player of the Year. On the mound this season, Bollenbacher is 8-1 with 101 strikeouts, 18 walks and an ERA of 1.181 in 59 innings. In NWC play, he finished 5-0 with 54 strikeouts and an ERA of .429. At the plate, Bollenbacher is hitting .538.

He’s the sixth consecutive Lancer to win the Player of the Year Award.

Bollenbacher was one of three Lancers named first team All-NWC, with the others being Austin Bockrath and Chayse Overholt. Second team All-NWC honors went to teammates Jack Dunlap, Myles Moody and Holden Price, and honorable mention All-NWC accolades went to Aiden Hardesty.

Crestview had a pair of players named first team All-NWC – Hunter Jones and Preston Kreischer. Bryson Penix was named second team All-NWC and Connor Sheets was named honorable mention All-NWC.


POSTED: 05/20/24 at 10:12 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

Division II

DEFIANCE — Van Wert High School won’t have a shortage of representation at this week’s regional competition.

The Cougars had three Division II district champions and all three will move on to this week’s regionals at Piqua.

Kendra Deehring was the 100 meter sprint champion (12.54), and Macy Johnson finished as 200 meter dash champion (25.51) while Deehring finished fourt (26.10), which puts both in the regionals. The top four finishers at districts move on to the next level.

Van Wert’s Owen Scott won the Division II dstrict championship in the 1600 meter run. Photo courtesy of Monica Campbell

The two also made up part of the 4×200 meter relay team (Olivia Vaas, Johnson, Harper Roop, Deehring, 1:44.71) that finished as the district runner-up to Ottawa-Glandorf. Also advancing to regionals – the 4×100 team of Vaas, Johnson, Mia Rager and Deehring, who finished as the runner-up (49.66) to Ottawa-Glandorf.

Rager also qualified for regionals with a fourth place finish in the long jump (15-07.75). Claire Benner just missed regionals in two events, finishing fifh in the shot put (32-11.50) and the discus throw (103-03).

Ottawa-Glandorf was crowned as the team champion while Van Wert finished fifth out of 14 teams. Full results can be found here.

On the boys’ side, Owen Scott finished as Van Wert’s lone district champion but he won’t be the only Cougar competing at regionals.

Scott was crowned 1600 meter run champion after edging Ottawa-Glandorf’s Ty Rosengarten 4:24.47-4:24.61. He also ran the first leg of the 4×800 meter relay (Scott, Andrew Laudick, Noah Spath, Rylan Miller that finished second (8:20.38) behind Ottawa-Glandorf. Scott also finished third in the 3200 meter run (9:44.23) and will compete again at regionals.

Miller moved on to regionals after finishing as the runner-up in the 800 meter run (1:57.44), and Morgein Bigham is regional-bound as well after placing third in the discus (143-02).


POSTED: 05/19/24 at 9:25 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

Among Van Wert’s Division II regional track qualifiers (clockwise from top left): Mia Rager, Rylan Miller, Morgein Bigham, Kendra Deehring and Macy Johnson. See story above for full details. Photos courtesy of Monica Campbell

POSTED: 05/19/24 at 9:25 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

Just call them district champions – again. No. 1 seed Lincolnview won the Division IV district softball championship with a run-rule 12-0 victory over No. 2 seed Patrick Henry on Friday (see recap below). The Lancers will face Carey in the regional semifinals on Wednesday. Photo submitted

POSTED: 05/17/24 at 9:11 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

VW independent sports


Lincolnview 12 Patrick Henry 0 (five innings)

ELIDA — The NWC Player of the Year put on quite a show in the Division IV district finals on Friday.

On the mound, Taylor Post allowed just one hit while striking out eight and walking one. At the plate, Post had three hits, including a double and a home run, three RBIs and scored three runs to help No. 1 seed Lincolnview dismantle No. 2 seed Patrick Henry 12-0 in five innings.

Addysen Stevens and Ashlyn Price each had three hits and scored two runs, while Sydney Fackler had two hits and an RBI. Lainey Spear had a home run and two RBIs and Allie Miller also drove in a pair of runs. As a team, Lincolnview hammered out 15 hits.

The Lancers jumped out to a quick 4-0 first inning lead, then added three runs in the second inning and five more in the third.

Lincolnview (24-4) will face Carey in the Division IV regional semifinals at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Rossford. 


Bryan 9 Van Wert 5

BRYAN — No. 4 seed Bryan had just three hits in the game, but scored eight runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and the Golden Bears rallied by No. 6 seed Van Wert for a 9-5 Division II sectional championship victory on Friday.

The Cougars drew first blood, scoring four runs in the top of the first. After Case Stegaman singled home Hayden Davis, the next batter, Kristian Akerman singled and drove in Brylen Parker and Stegaman. After a walk, Nate Gearhart singled in Akerman.

Bryan scored a run in the bottom of the fourth inning, then exploded for eight runs in the sixth, including a two-run double by Cade Carlin and back-to-back bases loaded walks and an error later in the inning.

Sam Houg rounded out the scoring by crossing home plate on fielder’s choice in the top of the seventh. Houg and Stegaman each had two hits for the Cougars.

Briston Wise pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed seven runs on three hits with 10 strikeouts and a pair of walks. Houg pitched the remaining 2/3 of an inning and allowed two runs (one earned) with a strikeout and two walks.

Van Wert’s season ended at 11-10 (6-3 WBL) while Bryan improved to 14-11 and will face No. 2 seed Napoleon in the district semifinals.

POSTED: 05/17/24 at 9:11 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports