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Published: Thursday, 4/20/2006

Sidelines: Rebels don t get invite for Whitmer track

BLADE SPORTS WRITERS

Even if it had been a long-standing tradition for Bowsher to compete in the Whitmer Invitational track meet, Bowsher boys track coach Keith Hershey said he didn t feel slighted by the fact the Rebels weren t asked to participate this year.

We had been involved in it for probably the last 20 years but it s an invitational so you re invited and we weren t invited this year, said Hershey, whose Rebels competed in a meet at Maumee the day before.

A possible reason for the Rebels not receiving an invitation may stem from the fact that standout sprinter Aeric Clay, a junior who finished second in the 100-meter race at the Division I state meet last year while with the Panthers, transferred to Bowsher.

Whitmer athletic director Tom Snook chose not to discuss the situation, but offered a simple explanation.

They weren t invited, he said.

Meanwhile, Clay has quickly become one of Bowsher s all-time top track athletes in his short stint at the school. He has established school records for the 100 and 200. He turned in a record time of 10.6 at Maumee before establishing a school mark of 21.9 in the 200 at a recent home meet with Rogers and St. Francis. Both records were hand-timed.

As for the next time the two schools are most likely to meet, the Rebels and Panthers will be in the City League championship meet scheduled for May 10-12 at Bowsher.

The home of the Toledo Mud Hens is also being utilized by a few area high school baseball teams this season.

Edon and Stryker from the Buckeye Border Conference have already played a game there. Stryker won 3-2 in eight innings.

A doubleheader is scheduled for May 18 with Bryan facing Tiffin Columbian in the first game at 4 p.m., and St. John s Jesuit taking on Defiance in the second contest. Start time for the doubleheader is subject to change.

There is no charge to the teams, only a commitment from each to sell 500 tickets to a Mud Hens game of their chosing during the season.

Fifth Third Field is also tentatively scheduled to play host to the City League s four-team playoffs in late May. Dates and times for the semifinals and finals are to be determined.

Elmwood, Ohio s top-ranked Division III softball team, will be in the 24-team Wendy s Spring Classic beginning today at Brookside Park in Ashland.

The event includes top squads from seven states.

Coach Matt Hoiles Royals (10-1) open play at 6:15 tonight against Tallmadge, one of the 14 Ohio teams competing.

Each team plays three games. Elmwood concludes play Saturday with games againstHorseheads (N.Y.) at 10:45 a.m. and against Harrison (Ohio) at 4:15 p.m. Harrison was state runner-up in Division I last season after defeating 2004 state champion St. Ursula.

The field includes four teams that won state titles last year Oak Park (Ill.) and Roseville (Ill.) River Forest, Fort Branch (Ind.) Gibson Southern, and Martinsville (Ind.).

A new era for the Springfield softball program commenced just over a week ago.

The Blue Devils enhanced their softball facilities by installing a permanent outfield fence. They played the previous seven years utilizing a temporary fence made up of orange-coloredmaterial commonly used inroping off construction sites.

Springfield coach Rob Gwozdz said putting in a permanent fence was long overdue.

The program raised funds to pay for the project that cost approximately $6,000.

Our team has improved over the years and it was time for us to get this done, Gwozdz said.

The Blue Devils (10-3, 3-0 Northern Lakes League) christened the field improvement by knocking off Clay 4-0 the day after the project was completed.



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