The St. John s Jesuit hockey team overcame a shaky start to its season and won its first league title in nearly two decades.
The Titans went 8-1-1 in the Red Division of the Northwest Hockey Conference and ended the season with a nine game unbeaten streak to capture their first league title since 1989.
In 1999, the Titans went 11-1-0 in league play and won the title. But they were later forced to forfeit the championship because of an ineligible player.
St. John s lost its league opener 4-1 to Bowling Green, but never had a misstep the rest of the way.
The kids didn t take that loss too well and they realized they would have to raise their play, Titans coach Mike Hayes said. It was our wakeup call.
The Titans got off to a 1-3-1 start, but are now 24-7-3, including a first-round win over Ottawa Hills in the district tournament.
St. John s beat preseason favorite St. Francis 5-2 and also tied the Knights (1-1). The Titans swept Northview, Findlay and Southview.
We re pleased with it, Hayes said. That is always one of our goals. It was a group effort.
Hayes credited junior goalie Tyler Marzec, who earned first team all-league honors, for his solid play throughout the season.
He was the biggest key. Tyler stepped up in every big game and rose to the occasion, Hayes said.
Forwards Don Johnson (All-NHC first team), Ray Morris, Mark Stansfield, Andrew Heldt and Cam Hauenstein helped raise the team s intensity level, Hayes said. The Titans had two solid lines it counted on and defensemen Mike Henson and Mike Callan were strong along the blue line.
We did not have that one dominant line. We had different guys contribute every night, said Hayes, who was named coach of the year.
In the NHC White Division, Bedford successfully defended its title.
Randy Menchaca was named coach of the year in the division after leading the Mules to a 7-2-1 record.
This was something we were really focused on this year, Menchaca said. We knew we needed to put together a consistent effort every night. The players held each other accountable and never took a night off.
Defenseman Andy Backus and goalie Lucas Fournier earned first team all-league honors. Menchaca also credited forwards Jesse Bachli, Chase Krider, Danny Hopkins and Justin Snyder.
The whole team bought into our goals and put individual play aside, Menchaca said. Lucas kept us in games and gave us a chance to win every game.
Anthony Wayne repeated as champion in the NHC Blue Division. The Generals (9-0-1) went undefeated for the second straight season.
Forwards Zak Seipel and Greg Dybala led the way offensively along with Jordan Rees, Charlie Witte and Nick Perkins.
A trio of goalies manned the net for AW Noah Schreiber, DanKoralewski and Ryan Tighe.
Schreiber and Seipel were all-league first team. Seipel, a sophomore, was named Blue Division player of the year.
Wrestling: League championships
Oak Harbor crowned seven individual champions Saturday in winning the Sandusky Bay Conference wrestling title it hosted.
All but one of the Rockets 14 wrestlers finished in the top four in their weight class to give Oak Harbor 254.5 points, 45.5 more than second-place Sandusky Perkins.
Among the winners for the Rockets were junior Kirk Tank (145 pounds), who was named the meet s outstanding wrestler; Ken Witt, whose victory at 160 gave him three straight titles in three different weight classes; and 171-pounder Cody Magrum, the defending Division II state champ who claimed his third consecutive crown.
Napoleon won its second straight Greater Buckeye Conference title at Sandusky Saturday. The Wildcats were undefeated in the league s dual-meet format, scoring at least 50 points in all five matches to win by an average score of 58-13.
Sandusky senior Nick Webb was named GBC wrestler of the year after winning his fourth straight league title.
Ayersville won the Green Meadows Conference for the third straight season at Fairview. The Pilots had only two champions Derrick Elkins at 130 and heavyweight Rich Cline but scored 220 points to outlast runner-up Tinora (210.5) and third-place Fairview (185.5).
Tinora s Jacob Varner won at 112 and Edgerton s Jordan Karnes finished first at 119 to give each wrestler three GMC titles. Karnes, a junior, will look to become just the sixth wrestler with four league titles next year.
Tiffin Calvert claimed its first Midland Athletic League crown with 172 points. Seneca East (145) placed second, while Mohawk, which won 10 of the previous 11 titles, took third (138.5).
The Senecas, who had only two seniors in the lineup, had three individual champs brothers Dillon and Kyle Kwiat at 125 and 152, respectively, and John Stover at heavyweight.
Samson sets Whitmer mark
With his 7-1 win over St. John s Jesuit s Kevin McCartney in the 189-pound finals of the City League tournament last Saturday at Rogers, Whitmer senior Tim Samson not only repeated as a CL champion but also became the Panthers career wins leader with 109.
Samson (34-1), who placed sixth in the Division I state meet as a sophomore heavyweight (275-pound limit), won his City title last year after a drastic drop to 171 pounds. He was also a key member as a lineman on the Whitmer football team which reached the D-I regional final in November.
As a humorous tribute to longtime Waite coach Carmen Amenta, two of the four Indians who captured City League titles Saturday did so while sporting some not-so-trendy hairstyles.
Senior Josh Carmona (26-4), who won the 125-pound title, and Alex Herrick (24-4), who won at 140, shaved only the tops of their heads, leaving their hair at normal length on the sides and in back. The special cuts were designed to resemble Amenta s long-since receded hairline.
We did it [Friday] night at my house, Herrick said. We came up with the idea a few years ago and we just decided to go for it this year.
Son vs. Son
The sons of two coaches squared off against each other in the 152-pound final at the Suburban Lakes League wrestling tournament.
Eastwood junior Eric Cubberly, who is the son of Eagles coach Ralph Cubberly, captured his third straight SLL title.
Cubberly, who took third in the state last year, posted a technical fall (15-0) early in the second period over Mitchell Lee of Elmwood. Lee is the son of Royals coach Dave Lee.
Cubberly was one of eight individual champions that led Eastwood to its fourth straight title. The Eagles now have 69 individual champs in the 35-year history of the SLL tournament. That total surpassed Oak Harbor s 64 champs. But the Rockets competed in only 14 tournaments before they left the league in 1986. Oak Harbor won 12 of the first 14 SLL tournament titles.
Volleyball: Batanian, Nelson on list
The annual Soph 79 list by PrepVolleyball.com recognizing the top 79 high school sophomore volleyball players in the country was recently announced and includes Notre Dame s Jessie Batanian and Bowling Green s Lindsey Nelson.
Batanian, a 5-foot-10 outside hitter, is regarded by PrepVolleyball.com as the most reliable hitter for Notre Dame. The outside hitter earned All-City League and all-district honors last fall.
Nelson, a 5-7 setter, made the list after producing 959 assists and 121 digs for the Bobcats while earning All-Northern Lakes League and all-district honors.
Perrysburg s Lauren Naveaux, a 5-9 middle-blocker, didn t make the Soph 79 list, but earned honorable mention for her role as a key contributor on a team that reached the Division I state semifinals. She had 85 kills and 77 blocks.
The list is based on high school competition. Club volleyball is not factored into the equation.