Gerald P Morel Lady Broncos capture softball program’s 5th straight SBAAC American Division title Warriors on top in SHAC Division I standings Lady Broncos take first in Western Brown Track Invite Rockets leading way in SHAC Div. II James E Newman Paul E Funk Alan Hanselman Robert V Nash III Frances L Poole Minnie E Fisher Donovan M Pope Irvin E Stiens Myrtle L Lane Ralph L Davidson August J Pace Carl R Brown Phyllis J Beard Lady G-Men complete sweep of Tigers in SBAAC Nat’l Division G-Men pluck Cardinals, 6-4 Warriors climb to 4-1 in SHAC with victory over North Adams Broncos rally in 7th for 5-4 win over Batavia Blue Jays still in search of first win Three million dollar jail expansion planned Higginsport enforcing speed with camera Unemployment rate falls in county, southern Ohio Varnau not restricted from talking online about Goldson case Rockets fall to 4-1 in SHAC with loss to North Adams Bronco tennis team tops Bethel-Tate, 5-0 Lady G-Men rise to 7-4 with win at Goshen Lady Broncos’ big bats hammer out 11-0 win over Batavia G-Men showing improvement Keith Shouse Diane L Steele August Hensley Louise R Murrell Fire strikes Mt. Orab Bible Baptist Church Grant Days 2017 attractions Man accused of sex crime, giving pot to kids Ten indicted by Brown County Grand Jury 5th Annual Rick Eagan Memorial 5K Run/Walk coming up in May Birds of Prey Three sentenced in common pleas court John H Young II Sally A Gibson Barbara Burris Mary Ann Napier Martha L Newland Marlene Thompson Patricia A Firrell Kellie J Berry Mt. Orab, Hamersville students take part in ‘Hoops for Heart’ Eastern players take part in District 14 All-Star Games DeWine meets with local officials Eastern Superintendent praises students accomplishments during board meeting Local author’s story appears in new book Four sentenced in common pleas court Three to run for Municipal Judge Grant Days 2017 coming in April Lincoln’s Generals at Grant Days Brenda R Harris Mock crash staged at Georgetown High School Georgetown to hire eighth full time police officer Reception honoring Becky Cropper April 2 PRC to host annual community supper Rockets blast past the Blue Jays Georgetown hosts ‘season opener’ track and field invite Lady Rockets cruise to 10-0 win over Ripley Lady Warriors, Lady G-Men split games in season opener double-header Bobby A Reed Harold L Barger Ralph M Gaither Stranded students rescued by Brown County cooperation 4-H Teen Ambassador Dunning attends SHOT Show Veterans Service Commission invites veterans to seek help with benefits Unemployment rate rises in Brown County Pick a Lollipop, help a dog A season to remember G-Men hit the field for first baseball scrimmage Eastern’s Rigdon, Purdy earn AP SE District Div. III honors New blocking, kicking rules address risk minimization in high school football Judy A Schneider James M Darnell Lawanda R Truesdell Paul E Grisham Arrelous R Rowland Dennis E Stivers David M Daniels Fayetteville man is charged with child porn April 1st Grand Opening for Jacob’s Ladder Resale Boutique in Georgetown Talent Show auditions at Gaslight Theatre Nine indicted by county grand jury Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial Wall visit coming next May to BC Fairgrounds In it to win it! Bronco wrestlers end season on successful note Eastern’s Hopkins finishes 5th in long jump at OATCCC State Indoor Track and Field Meet SBAAC awards academic all-stars, winning teams Marvin D Atkin Beverly S Flatt Jessie M Sanders

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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2016 News Democrat