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Plenty of highlights in 2010 sports year

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

It was old hat for the Ironton Fighting Tigers. It was a new experience for the Chesapeake Panthers.

The 2010 sports year was a lot like any other year for Ironton as the Fighting Tigers qualified for their 27th football playoff appearance. Ironton lost a tough 26-19 decision to the eventual state champions Columbus Hartley.

For Chesapeake, it was a year featuring a first. The Panthers reached the state basketball tournament for the first time in school history before losing in the semifinals to eventual state champion Lima Catholic.

There were a lot of highs and lows in the past local sports year. Here is a quick capsule of those highlights.

January

Marshall announced it will play a home-and-home football series with Purdue in 2012 and 2017.

Mark Snyder, forced out as Marshall’s head football coach at the end of the 2009 season by athletic director Mike Hamrick, was hired as the defensive coordinator at South Florida.

February

Green’s Adrianne Blankenship and South Point’s Kayla Fletcher and Jalynn Bradburn all reached the 1,000-point career scoring plateau.

Ironton’s boys’ basketball team won at Logan 68-58 to win the SEOAL championship, the school’s first basketball title since 1980. The Fighting Tigers spent 19 years as an independent.

The South Point Lady Pointers won their sixth OVC title in seven seasons.

The Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers won their eighth straight sectional basketball title.

Ironton and Chesapeake won boys’ sectional titles. South Point’s girls lost in the sectional 62-60 to Sheridan with no time on the clock.

March

Ironton’s Tim Kochendoerfer was named the SEOAL and Southeast District Player of the Year.

Former Chesapeake star P.J. Rase finished his senior year at Rio Grande averaging 16.7 points a game and he led the nation in free throw percentage (103-109 or 94.5 percent). He was All-Mid South Conference pick and All-Academic.

Ironton native Brigham Waginger was named co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Southern Conference. Waginger was a senior at Western Carolina.

The Ironton Lady Tigers won the regional title with a 43-31 upset of Oak Hill. They lost 50-43 to Middletown Madison in the state semifinals. It was Ironton’s third trip to the state tournament.

Ironton’s Brea Tackett and Nikki Elswick were named All-Ohio by the Associated Press. Elswick was an all-tournament selection at the state tournament.

Named second team All-Ohio were Ironton’s Tim Kochendoerfer and Symmes Valley’s Kris Tibbs. Also named All-Ohio were Chesapeake’s Nathan Copley and South Point’s Blake Barnes.

Ironton’s Lorna Ceaser and Kochendoerfer were named MVP’s at the district all-star game.

Coal Grove’s Chelsea Delong signed to play basketball at Rio Grande.

Former Fairland and South Point football coach Jim Mayo died at the age of 75.

Former Green guard Derek Lewis was an academic scholar at Shawnee State.

Former Ironton golfer Nathan Kerns was second at the Ball State tournament as a freshman at Marshall.

April

South Point’s Amy Lien signed to play soccer at Rio Grande.

Pittsburgh assistant Tom Herrion was named the new men’s head basketball coach at Marshall.

Fairland’s Joe Stewart signed to run cross country at Shawnee State.

Tim Kochendoerfer played in the annual North/South All-Star game.

May

The Chesapeake Lady Panthers won a third straight OVC softball title.

Fairland won the OVC baseball crown while the Symmes Valley boys and girls won SOC championships.

Fairland’s Dalton Froehlich signed to play golf at Capital and Logan Froehlich signed to pole vault while Garrett Wireman inked to wrestle at Ohio Valley University.

St. Joseph’s Sunni Clyse signed to play soccer at Dayton.

Coal Grove boys and South Point girls repeated as OVC track champions.

Fairland’s Megan Brooks signed to pole vault at Marietta and Gracie Skiles chose to run cross country at Brevard College.

South Point’s Ethan Prater and Cody Taylor signed to play basketball at Rio Grande.

Ironton’s 4×800 relay team of Pierce Reeves, Adam Stumbo, Dustin Moritz and Gary Monroe set a school record with a 8:14.37 time.

Lady Tigers’ guard Brea Tackett signed to play basketball at Capital. Timmy Kochendoerfer signed to play basketball at Asbury College and Taylor Barker signed to play football at Mount St. Joseph.

Winning sectional titles were Rock Hill, South Point and Symmes Valley girls and Fairland boys.

Fairland’s Matt Bloomfield signed to play football and run track at Marietta.

Coal Grove quarterback Evan Ferguson signed with West Virginia Tech while Wayne Sparks signed to play basketball and baseball at Alice Lloyd.

Former Coal Grove state champion Tyler Branch was fourth in the Big Ten meet in the shot put for Ohio State.

Ironton boys in Division II and Coal Grove boys in Division III were district runners-up in track.

Symmes Valley won the district but lost 9-8 to Portsmouth Clay in the regional semifinals in softball.

Ironton’s Jon Monnig set a regional meet record as he cleared 14-3.

June

Chesapeake’s Gabe Freyre signed to play football at Pikeville College.

Ironton’s Janie Morris signed to play basketball at Rio Grande while Symmes Valley’s Chelsea Wall and Nikki Nance signed to play softball at Shawnee State.

Fairland’s Chad Gibson and Hunter Gibson signed to run track at Morehead State.

Ironton’s Nikki Elswick and Rebekkah Potter earned spots in the underclassmen state softball tournament during tryouts at Rio Grande.

At the state track meet, Ironton’s Jon Monnig finished fifth in the pole vault and Gary Monroe eighth in the 1600 run. Coal Grove’s Oakie Haynes was eighth in the 100 meters and Fairland’s Jordan Aldridge was seventh in the 100-meter hurdles.

Others qualifying for the state meet were: Ironton’s Ryan Sias (pole vault) and Lorna Ceaser (discus); Coal Grove’s Chelsea Delong (discus); South Point’s Kayla Fletcher (100 meters, long jump); Chesapeake’s Peter Hintz (long jump); Fairland’s Chad Gibson (800) and Megan Brooks (pole vault); Coal Grove’s 4×100 relay team of Jake Brown, Alex Bare, Boo Woods and Oakie Haynes.

July

The Rock Valley girls’ senior league fastpitch softball all-stars won the state championship and advanced to the regionals in South Bend, Ind., where they lost in the semifinals.

Fairland senior Jordan Aldridge signed to run track at Marshall University.

August

The Rock Hill Senior League won the District 11 title and finished third in the state tournament.

Ironton’s Andy Holtzpafel was the Tri-State Junior Golf Tour’s Player of the Year in the 16-18 age division.

South Point’s Tinesha Taylor signed to play basketball at Rio Grande.

Ironton chapter official Tony Payne was honored by the Ohio High School Athletic Association for 40 years as a football official.

September

West Virginia rallied from a 21-6 deficit with 8:21 in regulation to beat Marshall 24-21 in overtime.

South Point’s Kimmie Bennett signed to play basketball at Shawnee State.

Chesapeake won the OVC golf title as Roger Hoback took medalist honors.

Ironton won its third straight sectional golf championship.

The Cincinnati Reds won the NL Central Division to make the playoffs for the first time in 15 years.

October

Coal Grove beat South Point 49-26 to give coach Dave Lucas his 200th career win at the school.

Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay no-hit the Reds 4-0 in the first game of the playoffs. The Phillies swept the Reds in three games.

Chespaeake’s Nick Duffield qualified for the state tournament in Division II as an individual golfer.

Coal Grove girls won the sectional title in volleyball while the St. Joseph Flyers won the sectional crown in soccer.

The Chesapeake Panthers beat Coal Grove 25-22 to win the OVC football championship.

In cross country, Ironton’s boys won the Div. III district title with the girls second. Fairland’s girls won the Div. III title while the boys were second in Div. II. Ironton’s Gary Monroe and Lady Tigers’ Taylor Hacker were the overall individual champions.

Fairland’s boys and girls won OVC titles while Coal Grove’s boys and girls were the middle school champions.

November

Ironton’s cross country team qualified for its first-ever state tournament berth after finishing runners-up in the regional meet. Taylor Hacker qualified for the girls’ state meet, the first Ironton runner to make back-to-back state appearances.

Ironton finished seventh in the state D-3 meet.

Fairland’s Tanner Mattie qualified for the state in Division II. He finished 13th in the state meet.

Football state qualifiers were Ironton (Division 4), Coal Grove (D-5) and Symmes Valley (D-6). Coal Grove and Symmes Valley lost in the first round while Ironton reached the regional championship.

December

Players named to the Associated Press All-Ohio football team were:

Div. 4 Ironton’s Robbie Webb (first team), Brad Spoljaric (2nd), Brian Warner (3rd), Tres Wilks (3rd), Tommy Waginger (HM), Tyler Hager (HM); Rock Hill’s Will McCollister (HM); Fairland’s Chad Fisher (HM);

Div. 5 Chesapeake’s Trey West (HM), Cody Mann (HM); Austin McMaster (HM); Coal Grove’s Boo Woods (HM), Bubba Wood (HM), Jake Murphy (HM);

Div. 6 Symmes Valley’s Evan Herrell (1st); Grant Foster (1st); Jacob Patterson (HM), Cody Myers (HM), Hunter Boggs (HM), Garrett Foster (HM); Green’s Tyler Hughes (HM), Chad Lewis (HM).

Rock Hill senior pitcher Ryan Hackworth signed with Shawnee State.

River Valley was voted into the Tri-Valley Conference and will leave the OVC in three years.

Ironton Lady Tigers’ Nikki Elswick signed to play basketball at Shawnee State.