The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, May. 30, 2023

VW independent sports

Division II

PIQUA — Speedy sophomore Kendra Deehring made her presence felt at the Division II regionals held at Piqua Thursday and Saturday. Meanwhile, Lincolnview freshman Brynleigh Moody notched a spot in the upcoming state tournament.

Kendra Deehring

Deehring was the regional champion and set a new Van Wert High School record in the 100 meter dash (12.46 seconds) and was part of the 4×100 relay team (Deehring, Sofi Houg, Danesha Branson, Macy Johnson) that also finished as the regional champion (49.18). The same quartet made up the 4×200 relay team that finished second (1:44.14) and also qualified for this week’s state tournament. In addition, Deehring locked up the final state qualifying spot in the 200 meter dash by finishing fourth with a time of 25.64.

On the boys’ side, Van Wert’s Owen Scott qualified for state in two different events. Scott, also a sophomore, finished third in the 3200 meter run (9:46.12) and was part of the 4×800 relay team with Andrew Laudick, Rylan Miller and Gage Springer that finished fourth and claimed the final qualifying spot (8:26.34).

Division III

TROY — Lincolnview freshman distance runner Bryleigh Moody is bound for state, after finishing second in the 1600 meter run at Troy. Moody locked up a spot with a time of 5:14.07.

Conner Baldauf will compete at the state tournament after finishing third in the 800 meter run (1:58.24). He’ll also compete in the 4×800 relay, along with Evan Johns, Maddox Norton and Kreston Tow.

The 2023 OHSAA boys and girls state track and field tournament will be held Friday and Saturday, June 2-3, at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at Ohio State University in Columbus.

POSTED: 05/30/23 at 3:43 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

The latest installment of Random Thoughts centers mainly around pending high school conference realignment, plus good luck wishes to area softball, baseball and track and field athletes.


The Northwest Conference finds itself looking for not one, but two different members, after Leipsic’s seemingly abrupt departure announcement.

As you know by now, the Vikings are headed back to the Blanchard Valley Conference, a conference they departed two years ago for the NWC due to stability concerns about the BVC. As it turns out, the decision wasn’t really abrupt – it had been discussed, then voted on during a special 5-minute Leipsic school board meeting held on Sunday, May 21.

That decision, along with Ada’s recent decision to also leave for the BVC, has left NWC officials looking at various options.


As it stands right now, both Ada and Leispic are expected to compete in the NWC during the 2023-2024 school year.


Of course, there is plenty of speculation and many rumors about which schools may join the NWC. We do know this – Lima Central Catholic and Liberty-Benton have reached out and are interested in becoming full time members. Fort Loramie has expressed interest in becoming a football-only member.

The conference has also reached out to other schools to gauge interest. Only a small group of people truly know which schools those are but it’s not a stretch to guess at least a couple of them. Will they show mutual interest? Only time will tell.

Mutual interest

I’m hesitant to name those schools here simply because I don’t like dealing in rumors. Like many fans, I enjoy speculating and I have thoughts on what schools may or may not be a good fit in the NWC, but it’s not my place to speculate here.


POSTED: 05/30/23 at 3:43 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

VW independent sports

COLUMBUS — The Ohio High School Athletic Association has announced the pairings and sites for this week’s baseball regional tournaments. Regional semifinals and finals are set for Thursday and Friday across the state.

Northwest Ohio is well represented at regionals, with St. Marys Memorial and Defiance (Division II), Wayne Trace (Division III) and St. Henry, Columbus Grove and Delphos St. John’s (Division IV).

Regional tournament champions will advance to the state tournament, set for June 8-10 at Akron’s Canal Park.

Division I

Region I

No. 6 Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit vs. Wadsworth at Oberlin College Dill Field, Thurs., 2 p.m.
Hunting Valley University School vs. Akron Archbishop Hoban at Oberlin College Dill Field, Thurs., 5 p.m.
Regional Final: at Oberlin College Dill Field, Fri., 5 p.m.

Region 2

No. 3 Powell Olentangy Liberty vs. Lewis Center Olentangy Orange at Grove City High School, Thurs., 2 p.m.
No. 19 Grove City vs. Hilliard Darby at Grove City High School, Thurs., 5 p.m.
Regional Final: at Grove City High School, Fri., 5 p.m.

Region 3

No. 10 Whitehouse Anthony Wayne vs. Toledo St. John’s at Bowling Green State University Warren Steller Field, Thurs., 5 p.m.
No. 7 Medina vs. No. 14 Wooster at Gates Mills Gilmour Academy, Thurs., 5 p.m.
Regional Final: at Bowling Green State University Warren Steller Field, Fri., 5 p.m.


POSTED: 05/30/23 at 3:42 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

VW independent sports

AKRON — The Ohio High School Athletic Association softball state tournament begins Thursday morning at venerable Firestone Stadium in Akron, when four schools in each of four divisions will compete for a state championship. Three schools are making their first state tournament appearance, while two teams are back to defend their state title from last year.

Lewistown Indian Lake (Division III), Hopewell-Loudon (Division IV) and Steubenville (Division II) are all making their school’s first trip to the softball Final Four. Wheelersburg (Division III) and Strasburg-Franklin (Division IV) are defending state champions from last year. Parkway is making its fourth state tournament appearance (1997, 1998, 2013).

Division III

No. 10 Johnstown (26-2) vs. No. 7 Lewistown Indian Lake (25-3), Thurs., June 1, 10 a.m.
No. 1 Wheelersburg (30-0) vs. No. 5 Canfield South Range (26-3), Thurs., Jun 1, 12:30 p.m.
Div. III State Championship: Sat., June 3, 10 a.m.

Division II

No. 3 Canfield (23-2) vs. Steubenville (23-5), Thurs., June 1, 3 p.m.
Tallmadge (22-8) vs. No. 4 Greenville (29-4), Thurs., June 1, 5:30 p.m.
Div. II State Championship: Sat., June 3, 12:30 p.m.

Division I

No. 3 Whitehouse Anthony Wayne (27-3) vs. No. 4 Austintown-Fitch (20-0), Fri., June 2, 10 a.m.
No. 2 Pataskala Watkins Memorial (28-1) vs. No. 6 Lebanon (28-3), Fri., June 2, 12:30 p.m.
Championship: at Akron Firestone Stadium, June 3, 3 p.m.

Division IV

No. 3 Hopewell-Loudon (30-0) vs. Parkway (21-5), Fri., June 2, 3 p.m.
No. 1 Strasburg-Franklin (27-2) vs. Gibsonburg (21-6), Fri., June 2, 5:30 p.m.
Div. IV State Championship: Sat., June 3, 5:30 p.m.

POSTED: 05/30/23 at 3:41 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

Editor’s note: this story has been updated with information from NWC commissioner Jon Derryberry.

While it’s very early in the process, the Northwest Conference appears to be moving quickly to replace two departing schools.

In late April, Ada’s school board voted to withdraw from the NWC and on Sunday the Leipsic school board followed suit. Both schools are leaving for the Blanchard Valley Conference and will most likely join in time for the 2024-2025 school year.

Leispic just completed its second year of membership in the NWC after leaving the BVC due to concerns about that conference’s future and stability. The school was a replacement for Paulding, who left the NWC to join the Green Meadows Conference during the 2021-2022 school year.

“Leipsic would like to thank the member schools of the NWC for the opportunity to compete the past few years,” Leipsic Superintendent Greg Williamson wrote in a withdrawal letter to NWC schools. “The BVC has asked that we become members for the 2024-2025 school year. Once Leipsic has fulfilled its obligations to the league, we will rejoin a Blanchard Valley Conference that has evolved to a more favorable situation for the Leipsic Local School District and its student athletes. We wish the league and its member schools the best of luck moving forward.”

According to Lincolnview High School Principal Brad Mendenhall, the NWC has heard from three schools interested in joining the conference. Two of them – Liberty-Benton and Lima Central Catholic – have expressed interest in becoming full-time members. The third, Fort Loramie, is interesting in joining for football only.

Liberty-Benton is leaving the BVC by the 2025-2026 school year. Lima Central Catholic was a member of the NWC from 2006-2013, but withdrew amid concerns of an unfair competitive balance. The Thunderbirds now compete as an independent in all sports. Fort Loramie is currently an independent in football but a member of the Shelby County Athletic League for all other sports.


POSTED: 05/25/23 at 9:46 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

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With the 2022-2023 high school sports season in the books, St. Marys Memorial has won the Western Buckeye League All Sports Trophy.

The Roughriders collected 152 points to distance themselves from the other schools. St. Marys had three first place finishes (boys and girls bowling and wrestling), three second place finishes and six third place finishes out of the 20 sports sponsored by the WBL.

Wapakoneta finished second with 138 points, followed by Ottawa-Glandorf (132.5 points) and Shawnee (131.5 points).

The following is a summary of 2022-2023 league champions:

Fall sports

Boys cross country: Ottawa-Glandorf
Girls cross country: Ottawa-Glandorf
Boys golf: Van Wert
Boys soccer: Shawnee
Girls soccer: Ottawa-Glandorf
Girls tennis: Shawnee
Volleyball: Celina


POSTED: 05/25/23 at 9:44 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports

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Hopewell-Loudon 9 Lincolnview 1

GIBSONBURG — Lincolnview’s season came to an end in the Division IV regional semifinals with a 9-1 loss to No. 3 Hopewell-Loudon on Wednesday.

Chieftain pitcher Isabelle Beidelchies had a perfect game through five innings and finished with 13 strikeouts, while allowing just two hits, including a sixth inning RBI double by Makayla Jackman.

The game was scoreless until the fourth inning, when Hopewell-Loudon (29-0) scored a run on an RBI double by Shea Harper. The Chieftains added three more runs in the fifth, including a two-RBI single by Taryn Hampton. The lead grew to 9-0 in the sixth, when Kylee Malagon hit a three run double.

The Lancers finished the season 19-10. Hopewell-Loudon will face Edgerton for the district championship on Friday.


Delphos St. John’s 10 Lincolnview 8

HAMLER — Three runs in the seventh wasn’t enough, as Lincolnview fell to Delphos St. John’s 10-8 in the Division IV district semifinals at Patrick Henry on Wednesday.

Trailing 10-5 entering the bottom of the seventh, the Lancers (18-10), Austin Bockrath hit a two-run home run then later in the inning, Brandon Renner hit a bases loaded single that plated Jack Dunlap with no outs. However, the Blue Jays were able to work out of the jam, including a game ending double play.

Dunlap hit a two-RBI single in the first, and Dane Ebel hit a two-RBI double in the fourth that gave the Lancers a 5-4 lead. Delphos St. John’s seized control with four runs in the top of the sixth.
Delphos St. John’s will face Leipsic in the district final at 5 p.m. Friday.

Marion Local 2 Crestview 1

COLDWATER — An error in the sixth allowed two runs to score, enough to give Marion Local a 2-1 win over Crestview in the Division IV district semifinals at Coldwater on Wednesday.

Crestview’s only run came in the fifth inning, when Carson Hunter singled in Parker Speith.

Preston Kreischer and Bryson Penix combined to hold the Flyers to just two hits while striking out eight. The Knights finished with four hits.

Crestview’s season ended at 14-6.

POSTED: 05/25/23 at 3:57 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

LEIPSIC — It’s a decision that surprised a lot of followers of area high school athletics and it could have somewhat of a ripple effect in the near future.

During a five minute special meeting held Sunday afternoon, the Leipsic Local Schools Board of Education voted to withdraw from the Northwest Conference, then accepted an invitation to rejoin the Blanchard Valley Conference.

Minutes from the board meeting show the vote was unanimous, 5-0. The minutes also show Leipsic plans to leave the NWC prior to the 2024-2025 school year and join the BVC the same year. However, high school athletic director Joe Kirkendall said the final decision as to when to leave will be made after conversations with the NWC.

“The changes that have taken place to both the Northwest Conference and especially to the Blanchard Valley Conference have led our athletic council and school board to believe that the BVC would be a better fit for Leipsic athletes going forward,” Kirkendall said. “This decision was not made lightly, but after receiving an official invitation from the BVC, there was extensive conversation.”

The Vikings joined the NWC during the 2021-2022 school year as a replacement for Paulding, who left for the Green Meadows Conference. Leipsic had been a member of the BVC for football since 1965 and for all sports since 1971, but the decision to move was made amid concerns about the stability and future of the conference.

“It all came down to solidifying a conference for the athletes of Leipsic presently and for the long term, especially for football,” then-Leipsic athletic director Gary Kleinbrink said.

Current members of the BVC are Arcadia, Arlington, Cory-Rawson, Liberty-Benton, McComb, North Baltimore, Pandora-Gilboa, Riverdale, Van Buren and Vanlue.


POSTED: 05/24/23 at 3:43 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

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Another school is leaving the Northwest Conference.

After just two years as a member, Leipsic has announced plans to drop out of the NWC to rejoin the Blanchard Valley Conference. The decision became official during a special school board meeting held on Sunday. No timetable has been given for the move.

In late April, the Ada Exempted Village Schools Board of Education voted to leave the NWC for the BVC.

Check back for more developments.

POSTED: 05/23/23 at 3:42 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

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Dane Ebel drove in three runs and Lincolnview tuned up for Wednesday’s Division IV district semifinal with a five inning 11-1 win over McComb on Monday.

Jack Dunlap and Caden Hanf each drove in two runs, and Hanf had a team high three hits, while Ebel and Chayse Overholt each had two. The Lancers led 1-0 after the first inning then added two more in the second. After a one run third, Lincolnview plated four runs in the fourth, including an RBI single by Ebel,

Keegan Farris and Aiden Hardesty combined to hold McComb to just three hits while striking out six.

Lincolnview (18-9) will face Delphos St. John’s in the district semfinals at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Patrick Henry High School.

POSTED: 05/23/23 at 3:38 am. FILED UNDER: Sports