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Sidelines: Napoleon football coach Snoad going to Gahanna



Dave Zapotosky / Toledo Blade Enlarge

John Snoad is leaving Napoleon to fulfill a longtime goal.

Snoad, who has compiled a record of 96-53 over 14 years as Napoleon s football coach, has accepted the same position at Gahanna Lincoln, a school located on the east side of Columbus.

It s always been a personal goal that I ve had to coach at a Division I school, Snoad said.

Snoad led the Wildcats to a 10-2 record this past season including the school s first outright Greater Buckeye Conference championship and first outright championship since winning a Northwest Ohio Athletic League title in 1976. The Wildcats also made it to the second round of the Division III playoffs.

Snoad, who had only two losing seasons with the Wildcats, broke the news to members of the team this week.

We announced it on Monday morning to the team in a special team meeting, Snoad said. It was difficult and emotional but we got through it. All in all, I know the kids are going to be happy for me.

Snoad led Napoleon to seven playoff berths. Gahanna Lincoln team was 7-3 last season before losing in the first round of the playoffs.

The opportunity does not come without some mixed feelings. His son, Nick, who earned All-Ohio honors as a center, will be a senior next season.

My family is rooted here, Snoad said. It s definitely a big thing in our lives but it s definitely a step we re ready to take. I have a great job here at Napoleon and the people here are wonderful and the success we ve had here is due to them.

Snoad, 42, is a Central Catholic graduate. He was also head coach at Antwerp, where his teams went 6-24 in three seasons.

Half of the 10 teams in the Blanchard Valley Conference will have new head football coaches next season as five posts were vacated following the 2007 season.

Stepping down were Arcadia s Joe Kirkendall, who led the Redskins to their first winning season (6-4) in 15 years, and Arlington s Doug Oates, who guided the Red Devils to a 10-3 finish and their first playoff appearance. Also exiting are Leipsic s Tory Strock, Pandora-Gilboa s B.J. Queen and Cory-Rawson s Jason Diller.

Southview junior Shaun Joplin will miss the remainder of the basketball season due to academic ineligibility.

Southview athletic director Glen Gillespie said Joplin failed to meet the educational standards for eligibility in Sylvania Schools.

Joplin, a 6-3 guard, entered the season as one of the Cougars most experienced players having seen playing time on the varsity team since his freshman year. The junior was averaging 8.6 points a game.

St. John s Jesuit senior guard Aaron Koonce has been suspended because of a violation of school policy, according to Titans coach Ed Heintschel. Koonce is appealing the punishment. Bruce Huntley, one of the top substitutes on the Central Catholic boys basketball team, has been lost to the team for the remainder of the season because of academic ineligibility, according to Bill Axe, Central s athletic director.

Huntley, a 6-2 junior, averaged 10.2 points in his 10 games with the Irish (9-7) this season.

After 30 years, Genoa s boys basketball team will return to Bowling Green State University s Anderson Arena.

The Comets (12-3) will play at 6 p.m. Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader. Bowling Green will battleSt. John s Jesuit in the second contest.

It is the first time the Comets have played at BGSU since 1978, with the last trip a memorable one. Genoa came within seconds of upsetting second-ranked Elyria Catholic in the 1978 Class AA regional semifinals before falling 52-50 on a final-second shot. That season was the first and only one at Genoa for coach for Bill Axe, who guided the Comets to an 18-4 finish and Suburban Lakes League championship before taking the coaching post at Central Catholic.

That 1977-78 Comets squad will be honored at halftime of the Genoa-Clyde game.

With school cancelled for several days by the Blizzard of 78, which hit on Jan. 26, many area teams had their schedules backed up with postponements. But the Comets made the most of the situation. They won four SLL games in a five-day span to go from two games behind in the standings into a first-place tie. Genoa then beat Eastwood in the regular-season finale to win an outright league title, then followed with three tourney wins before falling to Elyria Catholic.

Axe, the longtime athletic director at Central Catholic, will attend Saturday s game to join his former players.

When you have success with a team you get a camaraderie with those kids that makes it special, Axe said.

This was very much a memorable group, and they were very coachable. They very much wanted to win and there were no egos on that team. I hope they can all get there. It ll be a special night.

New Riegel girls basketball coach Steve Lucius can become the second Midland Athletic League coach this season to reach 400 career victories, when the Blue Jackets (16-1) hosts Hopewell-Loudon tonight. In his 23rd season, Lucius has posted a 399-111 record and won 11 MAL championships.

Earlier this season, Fremont St. Joseph girls coach Gary Geller notched his 400th win in a 61-25 victory over North Baltimore on Nov. 29. Geller, in his 27th season, is 408-199 overall and his Crimson Streaks have captured six MAL titles.

At last Saturday s Central Catholic basketball game against Parma Normandy, Central announced the next group of inductees to the school s athletic hall of fame who will be inducted April 14.

The inductees include Ron Zak (Class of 1957 football, basketball, track), Andy Grombacher (1987 football, basketball, baseball), Todd Sedlar (1996 basketball, baseball) andEricka Haney (1998 basketball, track, volleyball).

Haney, an All-Ohioan in basketball and track, later started on the University of Notre Dame s 2001 women s NCAA championship team.

Also inducted will be the 1998 Irish boys track team, which won the Division I state championship led by All-Ohioans Deric Carl, Gerald Lee, Rudy Matthews, Neil Nordhaus and Tirrell Sturdivant.

Greg Bollin (1967 football) will receive the Citizen s Award.

The St. Francis de Sales hockey team has an opportunity tomorrow to win its first league title since 1999.

The Knights beat Northview 6-1 last Friday and St. John s 5-1 on Saturday to take over first place in the Northwest Hockey Conference Red Division. The Knights hadn t beaten the Titans since 2006.

I think we had to come out and prove a point, St. Francis coach Brian Kinsella said.

St. Francis (8-0-1) has one more league game against the Wildcats (6-1-0).

The Knights could seize the title with a win or tie against Northview. But the Wildcats have two games in hand. If Northview sweeps its three games this weekend, it would win the championship.

It s another big one, Kinsella said. After you beat them, they re thinking payback time. We ve got to focus and not let our heads get too big.

After playing St. Francis at 7 p.m. tomorrow at Tam O Shanter, Northview takes on Southview on Saturday and then Bowling Green on Sunday.

If the Wildcats win out they would have 18 points. St. Francis would finish with 17 if it loses to Northview.

The Wildcats swept preseason favorite St. John s.

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