After being picked to finish second-to-last in the Northwest Hockey Conference White Division, Bedford surprised everyone but itself in claiming the championship.
The Mules started out with losses to Clay and Perrysburg, but rattled off six straight wins to claim the title. Bedford (13-10-1, 8-2-0) was runner-up last year, but was predicted to finish fifth this year.
We knew we had a pretty solid team, said second-year coach Randy Menchaca. We just had to be consistent and play our physical game. We told the guys we wouldn t be as bad as everyone thought we would be.
J.J. Sartor, the team captain, led the Mules with 34 goals with 22 assists.
He took the younger kids under his wing and became an incredible leader, Menchaca said.
Junior Danny Hopkins stepped up and scored key goals when needed, finishing with 18 markers and 30 assists.
Senior Jesse Benson led a young defense corps, including sophomore Andy Backus and juniors Chase Krider and Lucas Hayden.
Freshmen Nick Hintz and Jessie Bauchli were pleasant surprises, according to Menchaca.
Menchaca used four goaltenders, but he relied on Brandon Grycza and Luke Fournier down the stretch.
We just got the kids to believe in themselves, Menchaca said. It was an incredible ride this year. Our division was fun. You never knew who would beat who on any given night.
Whitmer ended up second at 6-4 and Clay took third at 5-5.
In the Blue Division, Anthony Wayne went from being 2-6 last year to an undefeated division champ.
Senior defenseman Kyle Keiser and sophomore forward Greg Dybala earned first-team, all-league honors after leading the Generals to the incredible turnaround.
Freshman goaltender Nolan Schreiber was named to the Blue Division second team along with freshman Zak Seipel, a forward.
AW s Dave Faulkner was named the Blue Division coach of the year.
The harsh winds and cold temperatures around northwest Ohio belie the fact that spring, and track season, is just around the corner.
But the Sid Sink Open, an indoor track meet hosted by the Bowling Green State University track program at Perry Field House last Saturday, is proof that spring indeed is coming.
Several local athletes won events at the meet, led by double winners Danyelle McGary of Libbey and Courtney Siebenaller of Whitmer.
McGary won both the girls 200 and 400-meter races in times of 25.98 and 58.25, respectively. Siebenaller took top honors in the girls pole vault at 11-0 and won the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 8.57.
Other girls winners included Maumee Valley s Kristen Meister (high jump, 5-4) and Woodmore s Emily Pendleton (shot put, 38-0).
Rogers was well represented on the boys side, winning two relays and two individual events. Tony Watkins finished first in the 400 with a time of 51.36 and Marcus Thompson won the high jump at 6-2.
The Rams 1600-meter relay of Chris Hair, Thompson, Jermaine Dykes and Pierre Franklin finished first with a time of 3:34.28, while the 3200 relay of Hair, Marcel Huggins, Watkins and Oli Shaheer won in 8:41.27.
Winners among the boys included Bowsher s Aeric Clay, who captured the 55-meter dash in 6.45, and Bo Waggoner of Maumee, who finished first in the 3200 at 9:24.31.
Southview girls coach Todd Bostater knew a winning season was in order with all the experience back from a year ago when the Cougars challenged Northview for the Northern Lakes League title.
In his fourth season as head coach, Bostater led Southview to its best regular season in school history, finishing 20-0 overall and 14-0 in the NLL.
I think it s something real special, Bostater said. Starting the season everyone dreams of that, but realistically you have to avoid injury and have things fall right for you.
The Cougars are led by seniors Liz Tansey (13 points, 6 rebounds) and Mandi Lisk (10 points, 5 rebounds).
When we beat Northview the second time I thought the [undefeated] goal was right there, Bostater said. Surprisingly, the team was low-key after the Springfield game [the 20th victory]. I think they were still focused on trying to make another good tournament run.
Southview finished No. 2 in Ohio in the final Associated Press regular-season poll.
We re just a balanced deep team that plays really well together, Bostater said.
The Buckeye Border Conference boys basketball title will be decided tomorrow when league leader Fayette travels to Pettisville to tangle with the second-place Blackbirds.
The game is expected to be sold out before the doors open. Fans can purchase tickets at the two schools, according to Pettisville athletic director Robert Flack.
The Eagles already have clinched a portion of the crown with an 8-1 BBC record, while Pettisville (7-2) needs a victory to earn a share of the title. Fayette won the first meeting on Jan. 20 by a 65-58 count.
Fayette s top scorer is Heath Armstrong, who leads the BBC at 21.2 points per game. Pettisville is led by Alex Nafziger (16.8) and Tony Avina (11.9).
The Blackbirds saw their chance to claim an outright title ruined at Stryker last Friday, falling 57-52. Stryker also handed the Eagles their lone BBC loss, 51-48 on Feb. 13.
By claiming Northwest Ohio Athletic League girls and boys basketball titles, the Patrick Henry athletic program tied an impressive mark.
This scholastic year the Patriots have won league titles in football, volleyball and both boys and girls basketball, making them just the second NWOAL school to do so.
The first time such a feat was accomplished was in 1980-81, when Archbold won titles in all four sports.
The NWOAL did not sponsor a championship in volleyball until 1975 and awarded its first girls basketball title in 1976. The league, Ohio s oldest, first crowned champions in both football and basketball in the 1925-26 school year.
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