Western Brown’s Leto excels in Australia Rockets ready for 1st season in SBAAC Paddling, hiking activities available at Ohio State Parks SB Warriors get set to hit gridiron for 2nd year of varsity football Scotty W Johnson Glenna V Moertle Ricky L Hoffer Ruth E Ward David A Watson Janet L Dotson Vilvie S King Steven C Utter Cropper joins Fallis at Bethel-Tate Local kids find success in world of martial arts 13th annual Bronco 5K Run and Fitness Walk set for Aug. 5 Teams compete in memory of Randy Fulton Mike W Smith Roger Helton David A Borders Timothy E Argenbright Joseph W Sherrill Frances K Pedigo Cecil N Graham Sawyers charged in sex for heroin plot Group demands changes at ELSD Blanche Malblanc Pauline L Kirk Over 70 take part in 11th Joe Myers 5K Classic Lions Club 4th of July Festival brings outdoor fun to Ripley ODNR reminds visitors to swim safe this summer Changes in high school track and field/cross country rules include school issued and approved uniforms Betty L Philpott Judy B Williams Billie J Russell Remembering Ravye 25 attend volleyball camp in Fayetteville Western Brown hosts Pee Wee Football Camp Eugene L Baumann Kids enjoy a ‘Touch-a-Truck’ event in Mt. Orab New police chief takes over in Fayetteville BC Chamber moving forward on 2017 SummerFest Two killed in wrong way crash in Mt. Orab Jack Hamilton Charles L Glover Maxine M Stires Western Brown youth basketball camps a success Leto to represent Team USA in Australia Broncos hard at work in preparation for fall season Eastern approves bowling team Phyllis Ruth Lois A Manley Eddie L Carr Thomas L Carnahan Cameron Barkley Walter J McGee Gary J Graham George D Johnson Walter F Crawford Jr Charles E Meranda Jr Corbin testifies before Ohio Senate Five arrested in Hamersville drug bust Neil Diamond tribute band coming Hyde finds home at Midway Youngsters work to improve on hoop skills at Eastern basketball camps Sizer named All-District Honorable Mention Western Brown’s Barnes earns All-State, All-District honors Local players compete in SWOFCA Ron Woyan East/West All-Star Game 6th annual Ravye Williams Memorial 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament set for June 24 Clarence E Teal Rosie B Poe Monard C Boots James P Conrad James T Dinser Scott J Swearingen Eastern’s Farris earns award for top 2-point field percentage in Ohio Georgetown’s Seigla earns All-District honors OHSAA announces 2017 football regions and playoffs format Western Brown volleyball camps a success with over 100 in attendance Rigdon finishes high school running career with 10th place finish at state track and field championship meet Grace E Fite Women return to county jail as funds start to run low Georgetown Council takes action on vacant structures Veterans honored in Mt. Orab John McGee Timmy Burson Patricia A London Mary J Hall Kenneth R Behymer Western Brown’s Joe Sams commits to Marietta College WBHS to hold girls youth basketball camp Huseman signs with UC Clermont Day to continue baseball career on collegiate level at UC Clermont Western’s Pack signs with NKU WBHS to host youth boys basketball camp Eastern’s Rigdon, Hopkins are STATE BOUND James Ratliff Robert P Lesko Armstrong sentenced to twenty years on child porn possession charges Russellville hires new Village Clerk Russellville Council approves purchase of two ambulances

Year in Review: Top 10 sports stories

As the calendar prepares to turn from December to January, it’s a perfect time to look back at some of the bigger stories to impact the Brown County sports world. There were coaching and conference changes, personal triumphs and tragedies and teams that exceeded expectations in what turned out to be quite the year in the area. Let’s look back at some of the top games, teams and moments from the year in sports.

#10 – Western Brown girls soccer falls to Mariemont in sectional opener

It wasn’t the result the Lady Broncos were looking for, but the game itself was undeniably one of the best games this year. The Lady Broncos and the Lady Warriors battled through 80 scoreless minutes in regulation, fought through exhaustion in the 30-minute overtime period before finally deciding the game in penalty kicks. Western Brown would lose the game, but anyone who was able to witness the battle were winners.

#9 Eastern wins second game behind Rigdon buzzer-beater

Much like the moment above, this particular entry was not a news story, but a battle between two very good teams. The Eastern Brown Warriors basketball team blew out Blanchester in their season-opener, but when the team returned to the court the next week their opponent would not go down as easy. Eastern rallied from a late deficit to knock off Williamsburg on a buzzer-beating jump-shot from junior Blake Rigdon, who had to go coast-to-coast in less than four seconds to even get a shot off.

#8 Fayetteville baseball falls in district finals

The Fayetteville-Perry baseball team started their season this spring in Cocoa Beach, Florida and finished it just one win away from advancing to the regional semifinals. The team knocked off Lockland, Cincinnati Christian and New Miami in their postseason ride before falling to Lehman Catholic.

#7 Runners, golfers battle for state berths

Individual athletes from schools around the area had success this fall, with Eastern’s Blake Rigdon and Felicity’s Jared Boeckmann each advancing to the state cross-country championship race. Rigdon also joined Ripley golfer Scottie Ott in advancing to the district golf championships earlier this year.

#6 Western Brown, Bethel Wrestlers have success at State tournaments

Bethel’s wrestling squad finished the 2014-2015 campaign as one of the top 16 teams in the state, as the team fell in the regional finals. It’s easy to see why, with both Jeffrey Botts and Aric Peters advancing to the state tournament. Peters would place fourth in the 120 pound weight class. He was not the only local wrestler to enjoy state success, as Western Brown’s Brandon Lucas finished fifth in the state as a freshman. Teammate Malachi Marlow also had a strong campaign last year, winning his weight class at the Southern Buckeye Athletic and Academic Conference meet and advancing to the state tournament as well.

#5 Sizer, Overstake named coaches at Western Brown

Shortly after former Western Brown head coach Evan Dryer announced he would leave the school for the same position at Oak Hills, the Broncos turned to a familiar face to lead the program. Don Sizer was named the team’s head coach last winter, returning to the team he had coached from 2003 to 2008. Football was not the only sport at Western Brown to undergo a regime change, as former Greenfield coach Dennis Overstake joined the team this past summer as the girls’ basketball coach after Kyle Fender stepped down in March.

#4 Fayetteville moving to the SBAAC in 2017

Thanks to the merger of Glen Este and Amelia, the SBAAC was left with a decision to make: who should replace the Barons? They appear to have found at least a temporary solution, as Fayetteville was officially tabbed as the pick to join the league in football only starting with the 2017-2018 school year. There is still some debate to be done, however, as Norwood is also leaving the league in 2017, forcing the conference to make more changes in the future.

#3 Nate Allen’s Death

Fayetteville’s football team endured a tumultuous 2015 campaign as just one week into the season assistant coach Nate Allen was killed in a car accident. The team and the community joined together and rallied around his family, with “Play for Nate” shirts dotting the stands at both home and road contests. The Rockets’ were led on the field by Caleb Dowers, who set a single-game school record with over 300 rushing yards against then-unbeaten Miami Valley Christian Academy.

#2 Bethel Football to the state playoffs, Essig hired

Bethel-Tate’s football program also enjoyed success this past season. For the first time in school history, the Tigers and head coach Bill Jenike advanced to the state playoffs, where the team fell to eventual state champion Coldwater. The team’s performance on the field brought the community together off it, as the Tigers were given a send-off by the Bethel community the day of the game. Shortly after the team’s final game, Jenike announced his resignation due to logistical issues. The team hired Western Brown offensive coordinator Jeff Essig as their new head coach roughly three weeks later.

#1 Georgetown boys’ fall in district finals, Underwood retires

The Georgetown boys’ basketball team finished a strong season with a loss to Tri-Village in the district finals in Dayton. After the season, the G-Men bid adeiu to longtime coach Jerry Underwood, who retired. The team finally named baseball coach Daniel Oliver his replacement in August.

By Garth Shanklin

gshanklin@civitasmedia.com

Reach Garth Shanklin at 937-378-6161 or follow him on Twitter @GNDShanklin.

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