Northview senior hockey player Nolan Culver took a big stride toward realizing his dreams of playing at the Division I college level when he was invited to a major combine earlier this month.
Culver, a center, competed in the United States Hockey League's tryout camp April 29 through May 1 in Chicago.
"The USHL is without a doubt the top Junior A league in the country," Northview coach Mike Jones said. "This year they have 262 young men that have committed to play Division I college hockey, which is amazing."
Culver, 17, said he thought he performed well at the combine.
"I was very excited," Culver said. "I know the USHL is the best league in the United Stats. It is No. 1 in college commitments. To be a part of it and get a taste of it was great. I hope to get drafted and then get a D-I scholarship."
Scouts, coaches, and general managers from all 16 teams in the USHL were on hand at the combine. Culver said the first day consisted of off-ice testing, which included a 300-yard dash and medicine ball toss.
"We also did sprints and agility drills. We did 20-yard and 10-yard sprints and pull ups," he said. "I think I did well. The 300 yard dash was hard to do. You had to do it twice in a row."
The last two days consisted of live scrimmages. Culver scored three goals and had seven assists.
The USHL draft will be held May 16. Culver said he has been told he could be selected in the top few rounds. The Youngstown Phantoms have shown the most interest. Culver worked out for officials from the Youngstown club a week after Northview's season ended.
"I talked to their head coach and he said I was ready to play and had the skills," Culver said.
Culver led Northview with 42 points in 28 games last season. He scored 27 goals and dished out 15 assists. Northview went 20-8-3 and reached the district semifinal where it fell to St. John's Jesuit.
Culver helped lead Northview to the state title game as a junior.
The USHL also boasts 158 active players in the NHL.
TRACK AND FIELD
The league track and field meets will continue Friday and Saturday.
In the Northern Lakes League, the Northview boys are seeking their fourth straight team title.
Maumee senior Ryan Kraus looks to defend his title in the 3200, while Southview junior JQ Bowers hopes to repeat in the 400. His Cougar teammate, senior David Renner, is the defending champ in the high jump.
The Perrysburg girls also are seeking a three peat in the NLL.
Yellow Jackets sophomore Emily Wyrick won the 400 as a freshman.
Other returning champs include Brittany Green (Anthony Wayne, long jump), Aisha Tyre (AW, 100 hurdles), Whitney Wolff (AW, 300 hurdles), Udoka Okoro (Northview, high jump), Alison Work (Northview, 800), Abby Masters (Northview, 3200) Rachel Woods (Springfield, pole vault), and Brooke Tullis (Maumee, 1600).
The NLL meet is concludes Friday at 5 p.m. at Southview.
In the City League meet last year, the Whitmer boys knocked off three-time defending champion St. John's Jesuit to win the title.
Central Catholic senior Gerren Duhart swept the hurdles events (110 and 300) last year.
On the girls' side, Notre Dame is the defending champion. The Eagles captured their first City crown since 1995 last year. The Bowsher girls had won four in a row before that.
Rogers junior Brianna Scott-Glover is seeking three straight titles in the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles.
The CL meet concludes Friday at 4:30 p.m. at Rogers.
Eastwood is aiming to continue a decade of dominance in the Suburban Lakes League. Both the Eagles boys and girls teams have won 10 straight SLL titles.
The meet will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at Genoa.
The Toledo Christian boys will look to maintain their stranglehold at the Toledo Area Athletic Conference meet Friday.
The Eagle boys have won seven straight TAAC titles, while the girls posted a three peat last year.
The TAAC meet begins Friday at 4 p.m. at Northwood.
In the Northwest Ohio Athletic League, the Patrick Henry girls and the Archbold boys are the defending champs.
Patrick Henry had two seniors that won two events last year: Tori Meyer (100 hurdles and pole vault) and Krystin Reiser (high jump and the 400).
The Blue Streak boys have won back-to-back titles. The Streaks swept the four relays and have two individual winners back: junior Danny Young (300 hurdles) and senior Noah Keefer (800).
The NWOAL running finals will start at 7 p.m. Friday at Montpelier.
Ottawa Hills senior guard Lauren Abendroth has signed to play at DePauw University.
Abendroth, a 5-10 point guard, led the Toledo Area Athletic Conference in scoring last season. She averaged 19.8 points per game.
Abendroth also pulled down 4.9 rebounds per game. Abendroth led the Green Bears to a TAAC title (12-0). The teams finished the season 18-3 and reached the sectional finals.
Abendroth earned All-Ohio special mention. She was All-TAAC and Division III all-district first team.
DePauw, located in Greencastle, Ind., earned a berth in the NCAA Division III national tournament last season. The team finished 25-4.
Perrysburg No. 6
The Perrysburg baseball team dropped from fourth to sixth in the Division I state coaches poll.
The Yellow Jackets (15-2) remain undefeated in the Northern Lakes League (8-0).
In the Division II poll, Wauseon moved into eighth. The Indians (17-4) were previously unranked.
Patrick Henry (15-8) has fallen out of the Division IV state poll. The Patriots had been ranked fifth.
City League playoffs
The City League baseball playoffs are scheduled for May 29-30 at the University of Toledo's Scott Park field.
A semifinal between the Nos. 1 and 4 seeds is set for 1 p.m. May 29, followed by the 3 p.m. semifinal between the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds.
The championship game will be played at noon May 30.
Central Catholic, which won the 2010 title -- the second in three years for the Irish -- is in jeopardy of not qualifying for the four-team playoffs.
Scott still playing
The Scott baseball team was forced to cancel a scheduled game Tuesday against Central Catholic.
But the team plans to play out the remainder of its schedule with a game Saturday at Bowsher. Speculation that the program has disbanded is not true according to Scott athletic director Jim Huss.
"We had to cancel [Tuesday's] game due to a lack of participation," Huss said. "The season has not been cancelled as of yet. We will play Saturday's game pending how many kids practice."
AW fall to 10th
Anthony Wayne suffered its second loss of the season and fell to 10th in the Division I state coaches poll.
The Generals (17-2) lost to Northern Lakes League foe Southview 1-0 last Friday. Anthony Wayne had climbed to the No. 6 spot in the previous poll.
Archbold also stumbled in the poll, falling out of the top spot in Division III. The Blue Streaks (19-1), whose only loss is to Elmwood, are now ranked No. 2.
North Baltimore is ranked ninth in the Division IV poll.
City League playoffs
The four-team field for the City League softball playoffs are set, even though a few regular-season games remain for some teams.
Notre Dame (16-7) earned the No. 1 seed with a 10-0 league record, and will play fourth-seeded Whitmer (8-17, 7-3 CL) at 10 a.m. Saturday at the University of Toledo's Scott Park field.
The 4 p.m. semifinal pits No. 2 seed Clay (14-6, 9-1) against No. 3 seed Central Catholic (15-6, 7-2).
The championship is scheduled for 3 p.m. Sunday at Scott Park, following the 1 p.m. CL junior varsity title game.
Clay has won the last two City League championships and four of the last five.