Ironton has title reunion; area college stars honored
Even after 40 years, it still stands as the pinnacle of the area’s high school baseball events.
The Ironton Fighting Tigers won the 1972 Class AA state baseball championship. And while the memories of the season might be somewhat blurry in the minds of the fans, it won’t be among the players when they meet on Saturday, May 26, at the high school when coach Mike Burcham brings the players together for a 40-year reunion.
Ironton was 29-3 that season and beat Columbus Wehrle in the state semifinals and Solon 3-2 in the championship game.
The reunion is for players, coaches and managers only, but there will be stories.
Former Ironton distance runner Gary Monroe has not only been one of the top athletes for the Morehead State cross country team, the freshman carried his success into the track season.
Monroe broke the school record in the 1,500 meters at the Louisville Cardinal Twilight meet with a 3:50.58 time, one second better than the old mark.
Monroe — third in the Ohio state 1600 last year — was sixth in the conference meet at Southeast Missouri. A total of two seconds separated first and sixth places.
Former Symmes Valley outfielder Luke Taylor enjoyed a successful freshman season at the University of Rio Grande.
Taylor played in all but one of the RedStorm’s 57 games. He had a .986 fielding percentage — he committed just two errors — and was named to the Mid-South Conference Gold Glove team.
On the season, Taylor hit .255 with a home run, five doubles and 24 runs batted in.
Taylor also had a .35 GPA but was ineligible for scholar-athlete honors since he is a freshman. The award is only for upperclassmen.
Four local softball players have earned honors for the Shawnee State Bears.
Leading the way is former Green pitcher Ali Thompson who was a first team Mid-South Conference selection.
The junior pitcher was 13-5 with a 1.94 earned run average including a 1-0 one-hitter against Rio Grande in the conference tournament.
Teammate and fellow junior Ericka Leighty was named second team all-conference. The former South Point standout batted .317 with 11 doubles, two home runs, 19 RBI and 24 runs scored playing in the Bears’ outfield.
Former Chesapeake pitching standout Allie Chapman had a strong freshman year with a 6.1 record and 1.93 ERA and was named the conference pitcher of the week for April 23.
All three girls and former Symmes Valley second baseman Nikki Nance were all named MSC Scholar-Athletes. Players must have at least a 3.25 GPA and be a sophomore, junior or senior.
—— Sinartra ——
Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.
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