The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Oct. 7, 2022

VW independent sports


LIMA — Van Wert’s Mandy Burenga earned a first round victory then enjoyed an upset win to advance to the Division II singles quarterfinals at UNOH on Saturday.

Grace Lott, Piper Pierce and Sophie Gearhart saw their respective seasons come to an end on Thursday.


OREGON — Van Wert sophomore Keaton Foster saw his season come to an end at the Division II district at Eagles Landing on Thursday.

The Van Wert sophomore carded an 83.


Crestview 3 Lima Central Catholic 0

LIMA — No. 19 Crestview had no problems with Lima Central Catholic on Thursday. The Knights defeated the Thunderbirds 25-15, 25-4, 25-19 to improve to 13-6 overall.

Cali Gregory had 30 assists, 13 kills and a pair of aces, while Laci McCoy had 14 kills. Ellie Kline finished with 10 digs and Nevaeh Ross had four aces.

Crestview will play at Delphos St. John’s at 10 a.m. Saturday in a varsity only match.

Lincolnview 3 Delphos Jefferson 0

Grace Brickner had 22 digs and Lincolnview defeated Delphos Jefferson 25-15, 25-19, 25-15 on Thursday.

Mckayla Blankemeyer had 12 kills and Breck Evans had 38 assists.

The Lancers (14-5, 4-2 NWC) will host New Knoxville on Monday.


Lincolnview 3 Fort Jennings 0

Jackson Evans, Reece Berryman and Corbin Evans each scored a goal and the Lancers defeated Fort Jennings 3-0 on Thursday. Reide Jackson and Austin Bockrath had assists.

Lincolnview (6-6-2) will close out the regular season at Temple Christian on Saturday.

Elida 5 Van Wert 0

Van Wert was shut out by Elida 5-0 on Thursday.

The Cougars (0-13-1, 0-8 WBL) will host New Knoxville on Monday.

POSTED: 10/07/22 at 3:44 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

It’s a baseball term but I’ll use it anyway – we’re rounding third and headed home. It’s Week No. 8 of the high school football season and much has yet to be decided in terms of conference and league title races and playoff spots. What that means is it should be a very interesting final three weeks of the regular season.

Last week I went 16-4 (80 percent), which takes my season total to 127-34, or 78.9 percent. Here are this week’s picks.

Games of the Week

Allen East (6-1) at Bluffton (5-2)

The two teams are tied for first in the NWC. Bluffton is probably the most improved team in the conference, while some considered Allen East to be the front runner in the title chase.

It should be a good one but I’m thinking the Mustangs pull away for the win and seize control of the conference race.

The pick: Allen East

Antwerp (7-0) at Ayersville (6-1)

The winner of this one will be all alone in first in the GMC. I’m thinking this game between two state ranked teams (Antwerp No. 4, Ayersville No. 14) will be much closer that people think, perhaps a touchdown either way.

I think Ayersville is quite capable of pulling off a mild upset but I believe the Archers will find a way to win it.

The pick: Antwerp

Celina (5-2) at Defiance (5-2)


POSTED: 10/06/22 at 3:50 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

With 70 percent of the regular season gone, Van Wert has checked off a lot of boxes. The Cougars have won six of seven games, lead the Western Buckeye League in total offense and points scored and have a No. 6 ranking in this week’s statewide Division IV poll.

However, the last two games have been closer than the final score would indicate. Van Wert led Ottawa-Glandorf 17-16 before pulling away for a 31-14 win and last week, the Cougars had a five point lead, 19-14, late in the third quarter before going on to defeat Bath 36-14.

Van Wert’s offense has rolled up a lot of yards and points this season. Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent

I think our last two games show how good of coaches and players our league has,” Van Wert head coach Keith Recker said. “Shawnee has some talented players and a coach that has had success at a few programs around the area. With that being said, our film session Saturday revealed some miscues on our part that we have to take care of to take another step forward. We made things harder for ourselves with too many missed assignments, incorrect footwork, and lack of technique. Our players will respond and be focused on the fundamentals the rest of the way.”

While Van Wert has excelled in various areas, one in particular is the first quarter, where the Cougars have outscored opponents by a 104-21 margin this season. Another area is the giveway/takeaway ratio, where Van Wert is plus-7.

This week’s opponent, Kenton has won just one game so far, 20-6 over Bath in Week No. 3. While the Wildcats are 1-6 (1-5 WBL), it should be noted they’ve already played two state ranked teams (Coldwater, No. 1 Division V) and Wapakoneta (No. 11 Division III). Six of their opponents have combined to go 32-10 at this point, giving Kenton one of the toughest schedules in all of Division IV.

The Wildcats average about 240 yards of total offense, including 175 yards passing, second behind Van Wert. Korbin Johnston is in his second season as the starting quarterback and has thrown for over 1,100 yards and four touchdowns. Kenton is last among WBL schools in total defense, allowing 333 yards per game, including 581 during last week’s 55-0 loss to St. Marys Memorial.


POSTED: 10/05/22 at 3:49 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

It’s a Northwest Conference matchup that’s produced some crazy results in recent years.

Last year, Crestview scored and attempted a two-point conversion with under a minute left but came up short, giving Spencerville a 29-28 victory. The two teams played twice in 2020, with the Bearcats winning the season opener 35-14, and the Knights winning a playoff rematch 41-28. Crestview won a wild 50-49 shootout in 2018, and Spencerville won a high scoring affair, 49-34, in 2017.

Isaac Kline has rushed for 475 yards and six touchdowns. Bob Barnes/file photo

The two teams will meet at Memorial Field on Friday and this time, both teams are win search of NWC win No. 1. The Bearcats are 1-6 (0-4 NWC), with the only victory coming in Week No. 2, 27-16 over Paulding. After a 3-0 start, the Knights have dropped four straight, including 31-6 to Columbus Grove last Friday.

“We began Spencerville week with the knowledge that this week is a must-win on the road against the Bearcats,” Crestview head coach James Lautzenheiser said. “There isn’t a team that we have played more in the past three seasons than Spencerville and we know that our games with them have been close contests where physicality, ball control, and discipline are essential to team success. Throw the records out of the window this week because this is a conference rivalry that will be bruising in nature.”

“Both of our teams are looking for our first NWC victory of the season and this game will not be easy,” he added. “Coach Sommers and his staff will have their team prepared for our visit this Friday evening.”

To spice things up a little, this isn’t the ground-pounding Spencerville team fans grew accustomed to seeing. Instead, the Bearcats are using a new spread attack and have thrown the ball more than anyone else in the conference.

Josh Henline has competed 114-of-187 passes for 1,474 yards, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions, and he has the NWC’s leading receiver at this disposal, Nate Coulter, who has caught 46 passes for 665 yards and five touchdowns. While the air attack is tops among all conference teams (217 yards per game), the ground attack is last, averaging 44 yards per contest. Carter Layman leads the running game (54 carries, 179 yards, six touchdowns).


POSTED: 10/05/22 at 3:48 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

VW independent sports

Crestview 3 Ada 0

At Ada, No. 19 Crestview clinched at least a share of the Northwest Conference championship with a 25-7, 25-13, 25-9 victory over the Bulldogs. The Knights are now 12-6 overall and 7-0 in the NWC.

Cali Gregory finished with 30 assists, eight kills and seven aces, while Myia Etzler and Adelyn Figley had 11 and 10 kills. Ellie Kline had 10 digs and a pair of aces and Nevaeh Ross chipped in with nine digs and two aces.

Crestview will play at Lima Central Catholic on Thursday.

Allen East 3 Lincolnview 2

In a hard fought match, Allen East handed the Lincolnview Lancers their second NWC defeat of the season, 25-19, 25-18, 22-25, 25-27, 15-13 on Tuesday.

Mckayla Blankemeyer had 14 kills, while Emma Bowersock and Carsyn Looser finished with 12 and 10. Blankemeyer and Looser each had five blocks, and Grace Brickner led the Lancers with 25 digs. Kaylyn Gerold had 12 digs, and Ashlyn Price, Breck Evans and Neive Miller each finished with 10. Evans had 42 assists.

The Lancers (13-5, 3-2 NWC) will host Delphos Jefferson on Thursday.

Kenton 3 Van Wert 0

Kenton defeated Van Wert 25-23, 25-18, 25-18 at Van Wert High School on Tuesday.

Van Wert (1-17, 0-7 WBL) will play at Elida on Thursday.


Elida 10 Van Wert 0 (girls)

At Elida, the Bulldogs defeated Van Wert 10-0 on Tuesday.

The Cougars (0-14, 0-8 WBL) will host Fort Jennings on Saturday.

POSTED: 10/05/22 at 3:46 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

VW independent sports


Van Wert 3 Delphos Jefferson 0

DELPHOS – The Cougars celebrated their first win of the season with Monday’s 25-23, 25-18, 25-13 straight set win over Delphos Jefferson.

Jordanne Blythe led Van Wert with 13 kills, while Sayler Wise had 41 digs in the win. Finley Foster was 125-126 setting with 32 assists and Olivia Treece was perfect at the service line, 18-18 with five aces.

“It was great to play a complete match and do the things we have been practicing,” head coach Matt Krites said. “We worked to stay on the attack throughout the match.”

The Cougars (1-16) will host Kenton today.


Van Wert 4 Bluffton 1

In the regular season finale, Van Wert posted a 4-1 win over visiting Bluffton on Monday.

Wins came at first singles, where Grace Lott defeated Brooke Camper 6-2, 6-1; second singles, where Mandy Burenga beat Hannah Nieman 6-1, 6-1; third singles, as Zoe Coleman topped Genevieve Gatchel 5-7, 6-0, 6-1, and second doubles, with Piper Pierce and Sophie Gearhart defeating Brooklyn Moser and Kaleigh Coffman 6-1, 6-4.

Bluffton’s lone victory was at first doubles, where Leah Klinger and Caitlyn Couch topped Ashlyn Jennings and Livy Quillen 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.


Girls D-II districts

FINDLAY — The season came to an end at the Division II districts for Lincolnview’s Zoey Tracy, who shot a 104 at Sycamore Springs on Monday.


Bluffton 4 Lincolnview 1


POSTED: 10/04/22 at 3:40 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

This week’s edition of Random Thoughts centers around Van Wert and this week’s poll, Ohio high school football streaks, Wisconsin, the Cleveland Browns and a special guest on the radio.

Down one

Van Wert moved down a spot to No. 6 in this week’s Associated Press Division IV Ohio high school football poll. Perkins replaced the Cougars in the No. 5 spot.

In addition to Perkins, the teams ahead of Van Wert are Glenville, Cincinnati Wyoming, West Holmes and Steubenville.

Football streaks

According to, the current longest winning streak in Ohio belongs to Marion Local, with 23 straight victories.

In terms of just regular season games, Cincinnati Wyoming leads the way with 64. The Cowboys last lost a regular season game, 28-20 to Reading on October 23, 2015.

The longest losing streak belongs to Maumee, 31 games. The Panthers won the 2017 regular season finale, 27-14, against Perryburg, but hasn’t won a game since.

The website also shows Van Wert has scored at least 10 points in a game for 40 straight games, ninth best in all of Ohio.


It’s truly a case of “what have you done for me lately?”

Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst went 67-26 in seven and a half seasons as head coach, but he was let go on Sunday. Wow.


POSTED: 10/04/22 at 3:40 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Submitted information

CONVOY–The 21st annual Leland Smith Insurance Lady Knight Volleyball Invitational was held on Saturday, with the Celina Bulldogs coming away as the champions of the seven-team field by defeating the Crestview Knights in two games.

Celina defeated Norwalk St Paul and Ottawa-Glandorf to reach the championship game. Crestview defeated Decatur Bellmont (IN) to advance to the championship game and finish as runner-up. The other two participants in the tournament included St Henry and Fort Recovery.

Game Scores

First round

Celina over Norwalk St Paul (25-19, 25-16)
Ottawa-Glandorf over St Henry (25-10, 13-25, 28-26)
Decatur Bellmont over Fort Recovery (25-12, 25-20)

Second Round

Crestview over Decatur Bellmont (25-18, 25-23)
Celina over Ottawa-Glandorf (25-15, 25-15)
St Henry over Fort Recovery (25-13, 25-16)

Third Round

St Henry over Norwalk St Pauil (25-18, 25-19)
Decatur Bellmont over Ottawa-Glandorf (25-15, 25-17)
Norwalk St Paul over Fort Revoery (25-12, 25-17)


Celina over Crestview (25-14, 25-20)

POSTED: 10/03/22 at 9:36 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

VW independent sports

KALIDA — Lincolnview and Crestview were among the 18 teams that competed at the Wildcat Invitational at the Kalida Fish and Game Club on Saturday.


Lincolnview was the runner up by just three points. Columbus Grove won the team title with 95 points, followed by the Lancers (98).

Connor Baldauf finished eighth overall (16:44.8), followed by Kreston Tow (11th, 16:49.6), Evan Johns (19th, 17:16.1), Maddox Norton (29th, 17:44.3), and Kaleb Denman (31st, 17:51.9).

The Knights finished 13th (367 points), with Logan Foudy first across the line with a 52nd place finish and a time of 18:32. He was followed by Lincoln Smith (53rd, 18:33), Jake Heth (79th, 19:18), Peyton Scott (96th, 19:56), Isaiah Watts (102nd, 20:14), and John Forwerck (138th, 29:44).

Bluffton’s Landon Armstrong was the individual champion (15:56).


Lincolnview finished 5th (171 team points), with Brynleigh Moody placing ninth with a time of 19:42.5). She was followed by Ava Milligan (20th, 20:26.5), Keira Breese (31st, 20:54.3), Harper Reindel (53rd, 21:53.7), and Elyssa Renner (76th, 22:54.8).

The Lady Knights placed 15th. Anna Gardner was first across the finish line (39th, 21:29), followed by Kate Sawmiller (93rd, 23:29), (Kristal Scott, 94th 23:32), Megan Mosier (115th, 24:32), Baylee Miller (154th, 26:53), Anna Scott (157th, 27:04) and Lily Burtch (173rd, 28:48).

Ottawa-Glandorf won the team title (68 points) and Liberty Center was the runner-up (80 points). Ottawa-Glandorf’s Alexa Fortman was the individual winner (18:46.8).

POSTED: 10/03/22 at 3:44 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

VW independent sports


Bryan 3 Van Wert 0

Bryan topped Van Wert in a hard fought match, 25-23, 29-27, 25-21 at Van Wert High School on Saturday.

Finley Foster finished with 26 assists, while Jordanne Blythe had 10 kills and four blocks. Sayler Wise recorded 22 digs while Maria Bagley had 15 digs. Olivia Treece had a pair of aces.

The Cougars (0-16) will play at Delphos Jefferson today.

Lincolnview 2 Wayne Trace 0
Hicksville 2 Lincolnview 0

HICKSVILLE — At a tri-match at Hicksville, Lincolnview defeated Wayne Trace 25-23, 25-16, but fell to Hicksville 16-25, 27-29.

Against Wayne Trace, Neive Miller had 12 digs, while Breck Evans had 21 assists and five aces. Mckayla Blankemeyer six kills and five blocks, and Carsyn Looser added six kills.

Against Hicksville, Looser finished with eight kills, Grace Brickner tallied 11 digs and Evans had 19 assists.

Lincolnview will travel to Allen East on Tuesday.


POSTED: 10/03/22 at 3:43 am. FILED UNDER: Sports