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A look back at the 2015 local sports year

Jim Walker



The 2015 local sports year was a variety pack.

The year featured all kinds of various sporting news from team success to individual accomplishments. Also in the mix were new coaches’ hirings along with the death of big-name personalities,

One of the biggest individual accomplishments was a second straight Division III state high jump championship by Coal Grove’s Brandon Adkins.

And if 2015 told us anything, 2016 will be jammed with just as many stories and events.

Here is a capsule look back at the local sports year.


Former Marshall head coach and Ohio State assistant Mark Snyder — an All-Ohio player at Ironton — was hired as an assistant coach at Michigan State.

Ironton High School named five new members to its athletic Hall of Fame: football coach Carl White, gymnast Bobbi Ann Triplett, basketball coach Phil Rice and golf coach Bill Washburn.

Ironton Lady Tigers’ Lexie Barrier scored her 1,000th career point against Convoy Crestview.

Fairland’s Jessica Price signed to run cross country at Shawnee State.

Ashland Crestview’s Chad Coffman was hired as the new football coach at South Point.


Coal Grove Hornets’ All-Ohio lineman Austen Pleasants signed with Ohio University.

Fairland Dragons’ all-purpose running back and defensive back Nathan Campbell signed with Davidson University.

Rock Hill Redmen senior guard Austin Collins scored his 1,000th career point against Green.

The Chesapeake Panthers and Portsmouth Trojans shared the boys’ Ohio Valley Conference basketball championship.

The Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers celebrated their first season in the Ohio Valley Conference by winning the basketball title.

St. Joseph Female Flyers’ senior Amber Neal scored her 1,000th career point against Raceland.

Fairland Dragons’ quarterback Chance Short and wide receiver Dylan Murphy signed with Urbana University.

Basketball sectional winners: Ironton boys, Chesapeake boys, Coal Grove boys, Ironton girls, Fairland girls, Chesapeake girls.


District winners: Ironton boys, Ironton girls, Fairland girls.

Wrestlers qualifying for district meet: Chesapeake’s Logan McCloud, Cole Webb and Jeremy Webb and Fairland’s Brett Brewer, Zach McKinney, Mason Cox and Trenton Bumgarner.

Regionals: Fairland girls won a second straight regional and berth in the Division III Final Four. Ironton boys and girls lost in the regional semifinals.

State Tournament: Fairland lost to Ottawa-Glandorf in the semifinals. Kelsey Riley was named to the Division III all-tournament team.

Girls’ All-Ohio basketball: Ironton’s Lexie Barrier (1st team) and Sydney Webb (honorable mention), Fairland’s Kelsey Riley (1st team) and Caitlyn Stone (HM), St. Joseph’s Hannah Miller (1st team), Coal Grove’s Jacy Jones (HM) and Chesapeake’s Kaylee Curry (HM)

South Point quarterback Gage Townson signed with Golden West Junior College.

Boys’ All-Ohio basketball: Ironton’s Tristan Cox, Chesapeake’s Gage Rhoades, Coal Grove’s Brandon Adkins and Fairland’s Chance Short were special mention; Rock Hill’s Austin Collins, Chesapeake’s Brad Meadows and St. Joseph’s Wulf Goheen were honorable mention.


Fairland’s Kelsey Riley and Caitlin Stone and Ironton St. Joseph’s Hannah Miller were selected to play in the annual Ohio vs. West Virginia All-Star basketball game. Miller was named the Ohio team’s Most Valuable Player. Mille was also selected to play in the Ohio vs. Kentucky All-Star Game.

South Point Lady Pointers’ golfer Barbara Collins signed with Alderson-Broaddus while softball standout Sylvia Griffith signed to play at the University of Pikeville.

South Point Pointers’ soccer standout Trey Kearns signed with Tiffin University.

Fairland Lady Dragons’ Mackenzie Riley signed to play softball at Shawnee State while Kelsey Riley signed to play basketball at Marshall University.

Fairland Dragons’ lineman Tyler Campbell signed with Glenville State.


Coal Grove senior basketball standout Jacy Jones signed to play at Otterbein University.

The Rock Hill Redwomen won the Ohio Valley Conference softball crown and the Symmes Valley Lady Vikings won the Southern Ohio Conference softball title.

The Chesapeake Panthers won the OVC baseball championship and the Symmes Valley Vikings took the SOC baseball title.

Fairland Dragons’ lineman Zach McKinney signed to play at Glenville State.

Coal Grove Hornets’ senior catcher Jesse Rigsby signed to play at Denison University.

Fairland Lady Dragons Emmy Fulks signed to run cross country at Shawnee State.

Sectional winners: Chesapeake boys, Symmes Valley boys, South Point girls, Symmes Valley girls

South Point boys and Fairland girls won OVC track championships.

St. Joseph Flyers guard Zack Kelly signed to play basketball at Muskingum University.

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ lineman Isaac Sherman signed with Jireh Preparatory Academy and later earned a preferred walk-on offer from the University of Kentucky. Ironton teammate Tristan Cox signed to play defensive back at Morehead State University.

The South Point Lady Pointers won the Division III district softball title and a berth in the regionals. They lost 2-0 to Portsmouth West in the semifinals.

State track qualifiers: Coal Grove high jumper Brandon Adkins, discus thrower Austen Pleasants and pole vaulter Eli Willis, Ironton pole vaulter Tim Maynard, Rock Hill distance runner Seth Miller, South Point distance runner Tyler Mathes, South Point 4×100 relay team of Stephen Wagoner, Trent Paterson, Mason White and Keion Dre’ Hill, Chesapeake Panthers’ Cecil Fletcher in the 100 meters, and Chesapeake Lady Panthers Atiya Spaulding in the high jump.


Rio Grande University basketball legend Bevo Francis died at the age of 82.

Coal Grove’s Brandon Adkins won his second straight Division III state championship in the high jump.

Coal Grove’s Austen Pleasants’ was fifth in the D3 discus and Chesapeake’s Atiya Spaulding was fifth in the D2 high jump.

Hall of Fame football coach Dave Lucas was not re-hired at Coal Grove.

Long-time assistant Brian Kidd was hired as the new Coal Grove Hornets’ football coach.


Fairland Dragons’ Nathan Campbell was awarded the $1,000 Southeast District Athletic Board’s Minority Scholarship.

The Rock Hill Little League 11-12-year-old girls’ softball team qualified for the state tournament and finished as runners-up.

Former Chesapeake Panthers’ Hall of Fame football coach Phil Davis died after a long battle with cancer.

The Cincinnati Reds hosted the annual All-Star Game and third baseman Todd Frazier won the Home Run Derby.

Former Ironton volleyball player Sarah Linn was named the sports head coach at Raceland.

Former Ironton All-Ohio golfer and Shawnee State member Josh Zornes finished as the Mid-Ohio Tournament runner-up.


Seven-year-old Gage Scherer won the AMA ATV national championship.

The Ironton Little League 6-8-year-old all-stars won the District 11 championship.

Rio Grande’s basketball team was given an NABC academic award as a team that includes former Ironton standout Travis Elliott.


Gallipolis won the Ohio Valley Conference golf tournament. Chesapeake’s Derek Lemley was medalist.

Ironton’s Cory Rawlins and Fairland teammates Hayden James and Reece Belville qualified for the Division II district golf tournament. Coal Grove’s Alex Gillette qualified for the girls’ D2 district.

Chesapeake and Coal Grove golf teams qualified for the district tournament.

The Rock Hill boys’ and Fairland girls’ won the OVC cross country championships.


Former Coal Grove All-Ohio golfer Brent Morgan earns Atlantic 10 Freshman of the Week honors for St. Bonaventure.

Symmes Valley head football coach Rusty Webb won his 100th career game when the Vikings beat Beaver Eastern 42-16.

Ironton Lady Fighting Tigers’ All-Ohio basketball standout Lexie Barrier gave a verbal commitment to play at James Madison University.

Chesapeake’s Derek Lemley and Coal Grove’s Trevor Deere qualified for the Division III state golf tournament.

South Point Lady Pointers’ Madison Riley won the Division II regional tennis tournament and earned a third straight berth in the state tournament.

Sectional volleyball finals: Ironton girls, South Point girls won titles.

Rock Hill boys won the D2 district cross country title with Seth Miller the overall individual winner.

South Point Lady Pointers’ softball standout Haley Rawlins signed to play at Shawnee State University.

Ironton won the OVC football championship in its first season of league play.


Ironton, Rock Hill and Chesapeake all qualified for the Ohio High School Athletic Association postseason playoffs.

Rock Hill’s Seth Miller was third and Brendon McCormick fifth at the regional cross country meet and qualified for the Division II state meet. Miller was 16th overall and McCormick 32nd at the state meet.

South Point Lady Pointers’ tennis standout Madison Riley signed with Morehead State.

Rock Hill’s Seth Miller signed to run cross country at Shawnee State University.

Fairland Dragons’ golfer Hayden James signed to play at Cedarville University.

St. Joseph Female Flyers’ girls’ soccer standout Emma Saxby signed with the University of Rio Grande.


Coal Grove beat Gallipolis 60-53 in the season opener to give Kevin Vanderhoof his first career victory.

All-Ohio football Division V: Ironton’s linebacker Desmond Young (1st team), running back Brandon Barker (special mention), lineman Tyler Webb (SM), lineman Hayden Robinson (SM) and tight end Lucas Campbell (SM); Rock Hill’s defensive back Chance Blankenship (SM), running back Danny Long (SM) and wide receiver Trystan Matney (SM); South Point linebacker Reed Murnahan (SM); Division VI: Coal Grove linebacker Tanner Dolen (SM), running back Tanner Henry (SM) and running back Jacob Clark (SM); Chesapeake linebacker Brad Meadows (SM), quarterback Caleb McComas (SM), lineman Brendan Meadows (SM), lineman Jacob Johnson (SM) and kicker Wesley Stephens (SM); Division VII: Symmes Valley linebacker Tyler Dement (1st team), defensive lineman Dakota Watson (SM) and defensive lineman Cameron Meadows (SM).

Chesapeake Lady Panthers’ basketball standout Kaylee Curry scored her 1,000th career point.

Fairland Dragons’ Conner Flynn signed to run cross country at Shawnee State.

Hall of Fame drag race driver, promoter and businessman Roger Gustin — an Ironton native — died after a battle with cancer.