Former Blissfield football coach Ron Estes, who guided the Royals to a 71-39 record and eight Michigan playoff appearances between 2002-12, is rejoining coaching ranks but this time in basketball.
Following the retirement of John Vandecaveye, who coached Blissfield’s boys team for 22 seasons, Estes decided it was time to return. He applied for the job and was hired.
Although best known for turning around the football program, this is not Estes’ first basketball coaching position.
He was an assistant coach at Central Catholic, and a head coach at Northwood (1989-92) and Summerfield (1992-99) where he won a Tri-County Conference championship.
A three-sport athlete at Blissfield (1979 grad), Estes played on the 1976 and 1977 state championship teams in baseball. In his final year at the University of Toledo (1983), he guided the Deerfield baseball team to a TCC title in his lone season as a head baseball coach.
“I’m excited. I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t excited," he said. "It’s a challenge, and that’s something that excites me. I wasn’t expecting this when I got out of football a couple years ago. I hoped that my coaching wasn’t done, but I didn’t envision this.
‘I thought I’d be an assistant football coach. This opportunity presented itself and I was ready to get back in there. It just made sense. It was all about timing. John retired, and I had a few years left in me."
Vicars, Spiess reunite
Tim Spiess, who recently retired from teaching and coaching at Genoa, will reunite with Mike Vicars as a football assistant coach at Swanton.
Spiess guided the Comets to a 21-2 record, two Northern Buckeye Conference championships, and two Division IV playoff appearances in two seasons as head coach. With Spiess as his defensive coordinator, Vicars piloted Genoa from 2007-2011 before resigning as head coach and serving as Speiss’ assistant in 2012.
In 2013, Vicars returned as head coach at Delta, where he had guided the Panthers from 1999-2006. But he resigned that post after one season, and in March was hired as head coach at Swanton.
Track and field
Knight Relays on Friday
The 16th annual Knight Relays will be Friday at St. Francis de Sales beginning with field event preliminaries at 4:30 p.m. Running events begin at 5 p.m.
The boys-only meet features 13 teams. Findlay was last year's team champion, and Southview placed second.
Competitive balance vote
Ballots for a fourth competitive balance proposal were mailed Tuesday by the Ohio High School Athletic Association to all member school principals.
The latest proposal includes two levels of multipliers for selected boys and girls sports which increases the school’s actual enrollment figure for those sports based on the number of athletes within those programs who reside outside of the school’s defined geographic district, or have not come from the same system of education. This applies to both public and private schools.
The high school principal is the voting member, but principals are expected to meet with their athletic director and superintendent to discuss the issues before voting.
Ballots must reach the OHSAA office by 4 p.m. May 15 to be counted. Results will be announced by mid-afternoon May 16. Three prior competitive balance proposals have been voted down, all by close margins.
These proposals were each made as an alternative to the threat of a petition submitted by several member schools to divide the OHSAA’s membership and hold separate state tournaments for public and private schools.
The sports affected by the OHSAA’s latest competitive balance proposal — along with their sport-specific [multiplier] factors — are soccer (6), volleyball (5), football (2), basketball (5), softball (5) and baseball (5).
For each out-of-district student or student from a different system of education the school has competing in one of those sports, the school’s enrollment number is increased using designated multipliers.
As an example: If a public school’s actual boys enrollment is 321, and its boys basketball program has 10 students included among its 36 players (varsity, junior varsity, freshman levels) whose parents live outside the district but they open enrolled into the district after the ninth grade, and five students whose parents live outside the district but they open enrolled into the district beginning in seventh grade, the 321 is increased by 55 (10 students times a sports-specific multiplier of 5, and five students times a multiplier of 1), adjusting that school’s boys enrollment to 376.
— Steve Junga