The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jun. 12, 2021

Van Wert independent sports

AKRON — For the first time since 1962, Linconlview will play for an Ohio High School Athletic Association baseball state championship.

The No. 6 Lancers (24-8, school record 24 wins) advanced to the Division IV state title game with a 2-1 semifinal victory over No. 18 Lucasville Valley at Canal Park in Akron on Saturday.

As expected, the game was a pitchers duel. Landon Price struck out 14 batters, including the first nine he faced and held the Indians two just two hits. Valley pitcher George Arnett kept Lincolnview off-balance with a variety of off-speed pitches and held the Lancers to three hits while striking out four and walking two.

Each team had a chance to score earlier in the game, but all three runs came in the seventh inning, with Cole Binkley driving in Collin Overholt, who opened the inning with a double, and Dane Ebel crossing home plate on a sacrifice fly by Caden Hanf to give Lincolnview a 2-0 lead.

“Binkley came up with the big hit today and Caden Hanf’s RBI sac fly proved to be big,” Lincolnview head coach Eric Fishpaw said. “I’m proud of our kids for battling at the plate.”

Valley (20-12) answered in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI double that plated Andrew Adronis and the Indians had another runner on and the winning run at the plate and just one out, but the Lancers overcame a pair of errors and Price struck out the next two batters to end the game.

Lincolnview will return to Canal Park to play Warren JFK at 4 p.m. on Sunday. Despite having just 11 players on the varsity roster, the Eagles (20-6) upset perennial power Fort Loramie 3-2 in the second semifinal game.

Sunday’s state championship game will air live on 99.7FM WKSD.

POSTED: 06/12/21 at 2:29 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

The end of the 2021 high school baseball season is near and Lincolnview is one of just four Division IV teams still playing in the 93rd annual Ohio High School Athletic Association tournament.

The Lancers (23-8, T-6th OHSBCA poll)) are scheduled to take the field against Lucasville Valley (20-11, No. 18) at 10 a.m. Saturday in the state semifinals at Canal Park in Akron, home of the Class AA RubberDucks. The game was scheduled to be played on Friday, but projected rain forced the OHSAA to delay all tournament games by one day.

In addition to a 10-0 record on the mound, Landon Price is batting .479 for the Lancers. Hanna Young/file photo

“At the beginning of practice today (Thursday) we talked about adversity,” head coach Eric Fishpaw said. “We talked about having to wait one more day for State. We had to wait one more day for regionals and we had to wait one more day for the district finals. We had to wait a whole year with COVID.”

“This group, they can handle anything that is thrown at them,” Fishpaw added.

For Lincolnview, the 1-2 pitching punch of Landon Price and Collin Overholt has been key throughout the tournament. Price struck out 15 in an 11-inning, 1-0 win over St. Henry in the district championship game, then the Ohio State commit followed up by fanning 13 in a 7-2 regional semifinal win over Antwerp.

Overholt took the hill in the regional finals and struck out 12 as the Lancers shut out Leipsic 5-0 for the regional title, the program’s first since 1974. The win over the Vikings also tied the school record for wins in a single season.

While Price (10-0, .190 ERA) and Overholt (8-1, 1.27 ERA) have provided muscle on the mound, Fishpaw believes the run to Akron has been the result of a total team effort.

“I like how selfless the guys are for each other,” Fishpaw said. “Starters, reserves, junior varsity players dressing, freshman dressing, etc, it doesn’t matter. They have been selfless and goal driven with great leadership within our players.”

“(Early in the season) I felt that we had the team make up and pitching depth to make a good tournament run,” Fishpaw continued. “Throughout the season it took a lot of work by our kids to improve on their craft, build a cohesiveness about them and connect on a level outside of practices and games. They continued to build that bond and I feel like we hit our stride at the right time.”


POSTED: 06/10/21 at 9:06 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

VW independent sports/submitted information

COLUMBUS — Rain and storms predicted for the Akron area on Thursday has caused the Ohio High School Athletic Association to delay the start of the 93rd annual baseball state tournament until Friday.

The scheduled start times and order of games all remain the same as previously scheduled, but the state tournament will shift to a Friday-Saturday-Sunday event at Canal Park, barring more inclement weather.

The change means that Lincolnview is now scheduled to play Lucasville Valley in the Division IV state semifinals at 10 a.m. Saturday. Should the Lancers win, they would play for the state championship at 4 p.m. on Sunday, weather permitting.

Due to pitch count limitations in baseball, the OHSAA always wants to keep both semifinal games of each division on the same day so that both finalists played their semifinal games on the same day.

Here is the new schedule. Any further weather-related changes will be announced by the OHSAA.

Division III

Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (21-8) vs. Barnesville (24-7) 10 a.m.
Archbold (22-11) vs. Canton Central Catholic (23-6), 1 p.m.
Championship Game: Sunday, 10 a.m.

Division II

Carroll Bloom-Carroll (27-5) vs. Hamilton Badin (27-5), 4 p.m.
Akron Archbishop Hoban (22-9) vs. Vermilion (26-6), 7 p.m.
Championship Game: Sunday, 1 p.m.

Division IV

Lucasville Valley (20-11) vs. Lincolnview (23-8), 10 a.m.
Warren John F. Kennedy (19-6) vs. Fort Loramie (27-3), 1 p.m.
Championship Game: Sunday, 4 p.m.

Division I

Toledo St. John’s Jesuit (24-6) vs. Cincinnati Elder (24-8), 4 p.m.
New Albany (27-5) vs. Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit (26-3), 7 p.m.
Championship Game: Sunday, 7 p.m.

Ticketing update

Baseball state tournament tickets are available from the Akron RubberDucks at:

Children ages 5 and under do not need a ticket for admission, and fans can stay for multiple games/sessions with one ticket, however there is no stadium reentry.

POSTED: 06/09/21 at 2:10 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

Van Wert independent sports

Radio station 99.7FM WKSD will broadcast Saturday’s Division IV state semifinal baseball game between Lincolnview and Lucasville Valley.

The game, which was rescheduled from Friday, will begin at 10 a.m.

If the Lancers win, WKSD will broadcast the state championship game live at 4 p.m. on Sunday.

POSTED: 06/09/21 at 2:08 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

Lincolnview is gearing up to face Lucasville Valley in the Division IV state semifinals and ahead of Friday’s schedule game, here are some random facts and figures about the two schools, along the two other state semifinalists, Fort Loramie and Warren JFK.

By the numbers – random

Four of Lincolnview’s eight losses came to MAC teams – Delphos St. John’s, Coldwater, Parkway and Minster. However, the Lancers beat MAC member St. Henry to win the district tournament.

11 of Lincolnview’s wins were shutout victories and the Lancers allowed just one run in four other games.

By comparison, eight of Lucasville Valley’s losses came via shutout, and the Indians allowed just one run in five other games.

Each team has one a state championship. Lincolnview’s came in 1962 and Valley won it in 1975. This is the third state appearance for the Lancers and the fifth for the Indians, with the last one coming in 1977.

Scouting report

Lucasville Valley plays in the Southern Ohio Conference, made up of 16 teams divided into two divisions – larger schools and smaller schools.

The Indians are in SOC II and finished in fourth place in the division with a 9-6 conference record.

Sophomores George Arnett (8-5, 1.54 ERA) and Carter Nickel (5-1, .961 ERA) are Valley’s top two pitchers. Overall, the team has an ERA of 1.99.

Arnett has given up a total of eight earned runs in his five losses and is expected to start against Lincolnview.

Final poll

Among the final four teams in Division IV, three were ranked in the final Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association poll of the season. Lincolnview and Fort Loramie finished tied for No. 6 and Valley was tied for No. 18 with Norwalk St. Paul.

Record vs. ranked opponents

Note: this has been corrected to reflect an additional loss to state-ranked Van Wert.

Lincolnview is 7-2 against teams ranked in the final OHSBCA poll – Ayersville, Antwerp (twice), Montpelier, Kalida, St. Henry and Leipsic.


POSTED: 06/09/21 at 3:52 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

This week’s Random Thoughts include best wishes to Lincolnview’s baseball team, a not-so-promising weather forecast, Van Wert County track and field athletes, Glenville, Monopoly, sports movies and a reminder about the Monday Mailbag feature.

Good luck

Best of luck to the Lincolnview Lancers as they prepare for the Division IV
OHSAA state baseball tournament.

The Lancers have been impressive during the postseason, outscoring opponents 39-4 in five tournament games but the next opponent, Lucasville Valley has been equally impressive. The Indians have outscored the opposition 30-4 in five postseason games, including a 5-2 victory over No. 2 Berlin-Hiland in the regional championship game.

Look for more information about Lincolnview and Lucasville Valley on the VW independent Sports page throughout the week.


It can change, but the forecast doesn’t exactly look promising for Akron, which is where Lincolnview will play. It calls for a decent chance of rain each day this week, which could wreak havoc with the schedule.

Here’s hoping the forecast does indeed change for the better.

Impressive showing

A tip of the hat to track and field athletes from Van Wert and Lincolnview, as they all fared well in the Columbus-area this past Friday and Saturday.

Many of them will be back for another year, which makes it all the more impressive.


Van Wert’s 4×400 relay team finished as the runner-up to Glenville, a school I thought would be in Division I. For many years, the Tarblooders were a perennial D-I or D-II football power and a D-I track power.


POSTED: 06/08/21 at 3:54 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

HAMLER — Pitching has been a big strength for No. 6 Lincolnview this season and Saturday was no exception as the Lancers captured a Division IV regional championship, the program’s first since 1974, thanks to a dominating performance by Collin Overholt.

Collin Overholt shut down Leipsic by firing 12 strikeouts and allowing just two hits. He also had a pair of doubles and two RBIs against the Vikings. Hanna Young/file photo

The senior took to the hill against 10th-ranked Leipsic and tallied a dozen strikeouts, gave up just two hits and walked no one as the Lancers defeated the Vikings 5-0 at Patrick Henry on Saturday, sending Lincolnview to this week’s state semifinals.

In addition, Overholt retired the first nine batters he faced and at the plate, he had two doubles and a pair of RBIs in the game.

“It was a team goal set back in March and to check that one off on Saturday felt pretty good,” Lincolnview head coach Eric Fishpaw. “It has been 47 years since the Lancers have reached the final four and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to play in Akron.”

Lincolnview scored a pair of runs with two outs in the first inning and never really had to look back. After Dane Ebel was hit by a pitch, Carson Fox walked, then Cole Binkley was hit by a pitch, setting the stage for Caden Hanf, who ripped a single to left that scored Ebel and Fox.

Overholt doubled in Clayton Leeth in the second for a 3-0 lead, an advantage that stood until the seventh when Overholt doubled and drove in Creed Jessee, followed by a sacrifice fly by Ebel that plated Landon Price for the final margin.

The boys are playing very well in all phases of the game,” Fishpaw said of his team. “In the tournament we are outscoring our opponents 39-4 in five games.” Our pitching continues to carry us and we are finding different ways to score.”

Lincolnview is now slated to face Lucasville Valley (20-11) in the Division IV state semifinals at 10 a.m. Friday at Canal Park in Akron. The winner will play Warren JFK or Fort Loramie for the state championship at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

“This group is focused and has one more goal left on the list to accomplish,” Fishpaw said.

POSTED: 06/06/21 at 8:29 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

PICKERINGTON — Make room on the All-Ohio Wall of Fame at Van Wert High School.

The boys’ 4×400 meter relay team of Ethan Brown, Nate Phillips, Trey Laudick and Connor Pratt will be added after finishing second in the Division II finals at Pickerington North High School on Saturday.

After qualifying for the finals with a fourth place finish and a time of 3:22.85, the four finished as the runner-up to Glenville with a time of 3:23.39. The Tarblooders posted a time of 3:19.98.

In addition, the 4×200 team of Brown, Phillips, Nate Jackson and Laudick earned a spot on the podium and All-Ohio accolades by finishing sixth in a highly competitive final. The Cougars recorded a time of 1:30.77, behind Dayton Dunbar (1:28.30), Glenville (1:28.34), Cleveland Benedictine (1:29.67), West Holmes (1:29.91) and Lisbon Beaver (1:30.13).

The 4×200 relay team of Ethan Brown, Nate Phillips, Trey Laudick and Connor Pratt blazed to a second place finish in the Division II state finals at Pickerington North on Saturday. Van Wert photo

“Trey Laudick was clutch on both the 4×200 and 4×400 as was sophomore Nate Phillips,” head coach Nate Hoverman said. “Nate Jackson, who we had been subbing in and out of the 4×200 and 4×400 all tournament long came through huge and ran both rounds of the 4×200 so that Connor Pratt could come through with a fresh anchor leg in the 4×400. We really thought that we had a chance of winning the 4×400 but Glenville (perennial Division I track power) was just too much.”

After claiming the final spot in the finals with a time of 50.07 during Friday’s qualifying round, Brown finished seventh in the 400 meter dash (50:35). Pratt also competed in the 400 and finished with a time of 51.12 and a 14th place finish during Friday’s qualifications.

“We are super proud of Ethan because he had a big day running three ultra competitive races in the searing heat on Saturday,” Hoverman said.

The 4×800 relay team (Gage Wannamacher, Laudick, Gage Springer, Hunter Sherer) finished 16th in the finals with a time of 8:25.37.

“The 4×800 had some trouble with an exchange, not usually a 4×800 issue, which cost them valuable time, but they all return next year and will be looking for some redemption,” Hoverman said.

Gage Springer finished 16th in the 800 meter run, posting a time of 2:03.11.

“Gage is a sophomore and is still learning to race an 800,” Hoverman said. “It was a great weekend for us for sure. We have great kids who have worked very hard all year and it was nice to see that hard work pay off at such a high level this weekend.”

Woodbridge edged Glenville 43-42.50 for the team title. Van Wert finished 13th in the team standings.

POSTED: 06/06/21 at 8:27 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

Lincolnview’s Daegan Hatfield (above) earned All-Ohio honors by finishing eighth in the Division III high jump at Westerville North. Hatfield finished with a jump of 6-02 in the finals. The 4×100 meter relay team of Dylan Schimmoeller, Landon Moody, Cole Gorman and Camden Miller finished 15th in the preliminaries with a time of 44.587, the second fastest time in school history. In addition, Sami Sellers finished 10th in the girls’ discus throw with a toss of 116-06. Photo by Wyatt Richardson/Van Wert independent

POSTED: 06/06/21 at 8:26 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

Van Wert independent sports

The Monday Mailbag feature will return next Monday, June 14.

If you have a sports question or comment for the next Monday Mailbag, please email it to You may choose to have your name included or withheld if your question is published in the next edition.

POSTED: 06/06/21 at 8:26 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports