Hillsboro's Austin Goolsby stands at the top of the podium after winning the 2017 Div. II OHSAA State Pole Vault championship in June. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)
Hillsboro's Austin Goolsby stands at the top of the podium after winning the 2017 Div. II OHSAA State Pole Vault championship in June. (HCP Photo/Stephen Forsha)

High standards were not only met but exceeded for Highland County high school athletics for the 2017 calendar year, with student-athletes gaining individual state championships, teams earning state runner-up finishes and competing at the state level, plus there were those who competed at the state level as individuals and those teams who won conference and district championships.

Hillsboro gained a state champion in Austin Goolsby in the state pole vault event this past spring, and Kaylee Hurley of McClain won four state championships in the seated events at state. There were also the Hillsboro boys bowling team and their state runner-up trophy earned, plus Hillsboro senior Jeremy Hayton finished third in the state high jump and a number of athletes earned All-Ohio honors for their accomplishments on the field of play.

The Fairfield boys cross-country team placed in the Top 4 for a second consecutive year at state and in getting there won sectional, district and regional championships. The Lynchburg-Clay girls basketball team qualified for the Elite 8 this past February, and the Lynchburg-Clay girls soccer team in November played in the Elite 8 soccer match.

Fairfield’s softball team won another district championship and made it to the Elite 8 as well, as they dominated competition once again this past year.

There were many excellent sports moments for Highland County athletes, and here are some of the ones that stood out the most for the 2017 calendar year.

Good luck to the athletes and coaches for another excellent year in 2018.

Lewis earns 100th career coaching win

The 100th career coaching win for Lynchburg-Clay Lady Mustangs head coach Whitney Lewis came on Saturday, Jan. 27, as her team followed a slow start with a dominating performance at LCHS, defeating the visiting Western Brown Lady Broncos, 84-28 in non-conference play.

Her first win as head coach of the Lady Mustangs came on Nov. 29, 2011, a non-conference game where LC defeated Huntington, 67-14. Less than six seasons later, the Lady Mustangs also won at home for their head coach and in the process improved to 11-1 overall on the year.

• • •

Waits steps down as LC baseball coach

Garyn Waits announced in January he was stepping down as the Lynchburg-Clay head baseball coach after six seasons.

Waits began as the head coach of Lynchburg-Clay in 2011, where he started his streak of six straight seasons with no losing records, winning five of six Southern Hills Athletic Conference Division I championships and reaching the district finals in 2012, where his Mustangs almost knocked off the eventual state champions.

In his six seasons as the head coach of LC, Waits finished with 90 wins, 49 losses and even one tie, that being in his first season as the skipper of LC in a 5-5 game against Highland County rival Fairfield.

• • •

Grace Shope nets 1,000th career point; Lady Lions win at Manchester

It took Fairfield junior Grace Shope under three full seasons to become just the third Fairfield Lady Lions basketball player to reach the 1,000-point scoring plateau. She did so in the third quarter Saturday, Jan 14 as FHS defeated Manchester, 68-36 for a road conference victory.

• • •

McKayla Binkley nets 1,000th career point

Lynchburg-Clay Lady Mustangs senior McKayla Binkley scored her 1,000th career point Thursday, Jan. 26 at LCHS. The Eastern Brown Lady Warriors defeated LC, 67-57.

• • • 

Peyton Voss breaks two McClain swimming records

McClain freshman Peyton Voss broke two Lady Tiger Sharks records that stood since 2008 on Thursday, Jan. 26, the first one coming in the 200 freestyle and the second one later in the 500 freestyle. Making the feat even more remarkable was she’d never competed in the 200 freestyle before breaking the nine-year old record.

• • •

Balser, Smith, Turner inducted into Hillsboro Athletic Hall of Fame

The Hillsboro High School Athletic Department honored three HHS graduates on Saturday, Jan. 28, as Drew Balser, Monique Smith and T.J. Turner were inducted into the Hillsboro High School Athletic Hall of Fame.

Balser, a 2004 graduate of HHS, was recognized for his accomplishments in golf. Smith, a 1999 graduate of HHS, was recognized for her accomplishments in track and field. Turner, a 1997 graduate of Hillsboro, was honored posthumously for his accomplishments in both basketball and football.

• • •

Fairfield Lady Lions basketball complete record 9-game winning streak

From Jan. 12-30, the Fairfield Lady Lions made school history by setting a new standard within their girls basketball program by obtaining a nine-game winning streak. Fairfield did so by earning six Southern Hills Athletic Conference victories and three wins away from the SHAC.

• • •

Lions clinch Div. II SHAC championship on homecoming night

Division II of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference belonged to the Fairfield Lions basketball team. Moving to 9-2 within the conference, the Lions did so on homecoming night Friday, Feb. 3 by defeating the visiting North Adams Green Devils, 69-58.

• • •

Mustangs earn 2nd consecutive SHAC Div. I championship

For the first time in school history, the Lynchburg-Clay Mustangs earned back-to-back Division I Southern Hills Athletic Conference championships. The Mustangs did so by battling a tough Fayetteville team, eventually winning by a 68-62 score, Friday, Feb. 10.

• • •

Keegan Rawlins earns 100th career win for Tigers; SCOL title

Keegan Rawlins earned his 100th career wrestling victory for the McClain Tigers Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Washington Court House Invitational. Rawlins defeated Romeo Gabriel of Hamilton Township with a major decision 14-2 to earn the milestone win.

Later in the month, Rawlins earned a South Central Ohio League championship in the 138 pound division.

• • •

Polley nets 1,000th career point

The McClain Lady Tigers gained some sweet revenge Wednesday, Feb. 15 by defeating Circleville 50-30 in the first round of sectional play at Adena High School. What made this victory even more special was senior Taylor Polley, who missed the first part of the season due to a leg injury, scored her 1,000th career point on a made free-throw with seconds remaining.

• • •

Jeremy Hayton wins Indoor State Track Championship; Austin Goolsby places 3rd

Two Hillsboro indoor track athletes had excellent finishes at the 2017 OATCCC State Indoor Track Meet held at the University of Akron Saturday, March 4.

Hillsboro’s Jeremy Hayton won the State Indoor high jump championship with a height of 6-6.

Goolsby placed third in the long jump and pole vault events. In the pole vault event, Goolsby had a height of 15-0 for his third-place finish. He was also third in the long jump event.

• • •

Hillsboro Indians boys bowling finishes Div. II State Runners-Up

The Hillsboro Indians saved their best for the final day of the season Saturday, March 4 as they earned Division II State Runners-Up honors for their performance at the Division II OHSAA State Bowling Tournament at Wayne Webb’s Columbus Bowl.

The Indians placed second overall out of what began with 16 teams on the day, with the Indians standing in second place after three games and three Baker games with 3,582 pins, only trailing Coldwater at 3,619 pins.

For the season, the Indians also collected a district, sectional and South Central Ohio League championship.

Two senior bowlers, Sajoun Jones and Tyler King, each earned All-Ohio honors. Jones collected the fourth overall best individual score at 648. His game scores included: Game 1: 174, Game 2: 256 and Game 3: 218.

King placed 13th overall in the individual standings to earn honorable mention All-Ohio.

• • •

Hillsboro’s Lane Cluff qualifies for OHSAA State Wrestling Tournament

Hillsboro sophomore Lane Cluff made his debut at the OHSAA Division II State Wrestling Tournament on Thursday, March 9, wrestling in the 285-pound weight class.

Cluff lost his first match by a score of 3-2, with the sophomore standing strong against his opponent, senior Sam Robinson of Indian Creek.

In the first consolation round match, Elida senior Noah Meeker defeated Cluff by pin fall at 59 seconds. 

Getting to the state tournament in just his third year of wrestling saw Cluff finish as a district runner-up (3-1), sectional runner-up (2-1) and South Central Ohio League runner-up (2-1).

• • •

Lady Mustangs basketball end season in Elite 8

A very strong quarter by the Eastern Brown Lady Warriors to start the second half against the Lynchburg-Clay Lady Mustangs changed the entire complexion of their Division III Regional Final game Saturday at Logan High School. The Lady Mustangs held an 11-point lead at halftime, but the second half wasn’t as successful for LC. LC was outscored 15-6 in the third, leading to a 46-42 loss in the Elite 8 game against their Southern Hills Athletic Conference rival.

• • •

Fairfield’s Grace Shope named Div. IV Special Mention All-Ohio

Fairfield junior Grace Shope was selected as a special mention for the Associated Press Division IV All-Ohio girls basketball team on Monday, March 13.

Shope (a 5-10 guard) averaged 17.4 points per game, along with 6.8 rebounds per game, 3.9 steals per game and 2.6 assists per game.

• • •

McClain’s Taylor Polley named honorable mention All-Ohio

A season that began with McClain senior Taylor Polley starting late as she recovered from a knee injury saw her battle through and earn Associated Press Division II honorable mention honors as selected by members of the media.

The McClain senior point guard averaged 11.5 points per game, along with four assists per game and three steals per game.

• • •

Lynchburg-Clay’s Peyton Scott, McKayla Binkley named Division III All-Ohio

Lynchburg-Clay had two players named to the Division III All-Ohio team by members of the media on Wednesday, March 15, as sophomore Peyton Scott and senior McKayla Binkley received the state honor.

Scott was named to third-team All-Ohio, and Binkley was selected as honorable mention for her play.

Scott averaged 20.4 points per game during the regular season, along with 6.8 rebounds per game, 4.0 steals per game and 3.7 assists per game. Binkley averaged 17.0 ppg with 9.1 rpg, 3.5 spg, 3.0 apg and 1.2 blocks per game for the 2016-17 season.

• • •

Whiteoak hires new boys and girls basketball varsity coaches

Whiteoak High School hired two new high school varsity basketball coaches in March, with Blake Kibler taking over the boys basketball program and Steve Smith returning to take over as the girls basketball head coach.

• • •

Fairfield’s Everett Snyder retires from coaching

Everett Snyder coached 20-plus years at Fairfield High School either in basketball, soccer or track and field, but after over two decades, Snyder decided to retire from coaching and take some time for himself and his family.

Snyder told The Highland County Press in March he decided to retire for good from coaching, but he left on his own terms as he and his wife Lisa want to pursue other endeavors away from athletics and spend more time with their grandchild and children, something he doesn’t get to do as much as he would like when coaching.

• • •

Jesse Current selected Division IV All-Ohio

Fairfield senior Jesse Current ended his high school basketball career by being selected as an Associated Press Division IV All-Ohio honorable mention, selected by members of the media for his 2016-17 season.

Current, a 6-0 senior forward, averaged nearly a double-double with 11.9 points per game, while also averaging 9.8 rebounds per game. The senior also averaged 3.2 steals per game, and he shot 75 percent from the free-throw line.

• • •

Lynchburg-Clay’s McLaughlin, Giordano selected Div. III All-Ohio

The excellent scoring duo of Lynchburg-Clay senior Joe Giordano and junior Eric McLaughlin were selected to the Associated Press Division III All-Ohio team by members of the media in March.

McLaughlin, who played in 23 games this season, was selected as a third-team All-Ohio player, and Giordano was named honorable mention. Giordano battled injuries late in the season but also played in all 23 games, with two at very limited time on the court.

McLaughlin, a 6-5 forward, averaged a double-double for the 2016-17 season, as he finished by averaging 20.4 points per game (469 points scored) and 10 rebounds per game, totaling 231 rebounds on the season. He also totaled 31 steals (1.3 steals per game) and 57 assists (2.5 assists per game).

Giordano, a 6-4 forward, averaged 18 ppg, 7 rpg (161), 2.4 spg (56), and 1.9 apg (43).

The senior also had 18 blocks, shot 60 percent (129-216) from two-point field goals and 24 percent in 3-point field goals (24-101). Giordano also finished shooting 67 percent from the free-throw line at 84-126.

• • •

Rawlins places 6th at state junior high wrestling tournament

Greenfield Middle School student Kade Rawlins entered the Ohio Athletic Committee Junior High Wrestling Championships with a perfect 32-0 record and finished the tournament as the school’s first-ever state placer. In the 209 pound weight class, Rawlins finished in sixth place.

Rawlins finished 3-3 at the state tournament and 35-3 for the season.

• • •

Evans signs letter of intent to join Wright State cross-country team

Fairfield senior Wyatt Evans signed his letter of intent in April with Division I Wright State University to run cross-country.

Evans was a four-year cross-country, track and basketball athlete at Fairfield.

• • •

Fairfield’s White pitches no-hitter in SHAC win

The Fairfield Lady Lions continued their dominance over Southern Hills Athletic Conference opponents with a 15-0 shutout victory of the West Union Lady Dragons in a game played Wednesday, April 26 at the Fairfield Baseball/Softball Complex.

Kaiti White had a great day on the softball field, pitching a no-hitter while leading the Lady Lion offense with three hits, including two doubles and four RBIs. White struck out the first nine batters she faced.

• • •

Chase Butler pitches no-hitter for Wildcats against Ripley

Pitching was the name of the game on Tuesday, May 2 for the Whiteoak Wildcats with Chase Butler tossing a no-hitter in a 12-0 win over the visiting Ripley Blue Jays.

The Southern Hills Athletic Conference win by the Wildcats was dominated on the mound by Butler, who struck out four of the first six batters he faced, including the lone three batters he faced in the first inning.

• • •

Josh Howland takes next step by being named Fairfield Lions varsity basketball coach

Taking the coaching path step by step, new Fairfield Lions boys basketball varsity head coach Josh Howland feels he is now ready to lead the basketball program he once suited up for.

Howland replaces former head coach Everett Snyder, who stepped down from the post following the 2016-17 season.

• • •

Lady Lions softball earns 2nd straight undefeated SHAC championship

For the second consecutive season, the Fairfield Lady Lions softball finished their Southern Hills Athletic Conference season by achieving one of their goals, and that was to win a second straight undefeated conference crown. They did so by defeating the visiting North Adams Lady Green Devils in a makeup game by a score of 13-2 at FHS Thursday, May 11.

In winning the SHAC Division II title, the Lady Lions went 13-0 in the conference, as this was the eighth time they finished with an undefeated mark within conference play. Overall, this is their 19th SHAC title.

• • •

Fairfield Lions baseball earns share of Div. II SHAC baseball championship

The Fairfield Lions baseball team ended their 2017 season on a winning note Friday, May 12 by defeating the North Adams Green Devils, in a makeup game at FHS, with a 2-1 score, clinching a share of the Division II Southern Hills Athletic Conference championship.

Fairfield saw their tournament run come to a close earlier in the week, but they returned to the field on Friday to clinch a share of the SHAC title by scoring runs in the first and fourth innings. This was the Lions' first SHAC baseball title since 2014.

• • •

Carter, White earn SHAC Player of the Year awards

Highland County had two athletes named Southern Hills Athletic Conference Players of the Year for their respective sports this spring.

Fairfield’s Kaiti White received the Softball Player of the Year award, while Lynchburg-Clay’s Zac Carter earned the Boys Track and Field Player of the Year award.

• • •

3 Fairfield coaches named SHAC coaches of the year

Three Fairfield coaches were named the Southern Hills Athletic Conference Coaches of the Year during the SHAC spring sports banquet.

Fairfield softball coach Mark Dettwiller, boys track and field coach Deborah Mangus and girls track and field coach Kesia McCoy were recognized at the banquet.

• • •

Fairfield Lady Lions finish as regional runners-up

For the second consecutive season, the Fairfield Lady Lions finished as Division IV Regional Runners-Up, seeing their successful season close on Saturday, May 27 in a 7-1 loss to the Danville Blue Devils at Pickerington Central High School.

The loss by the Lady Lions ends what was a memorable season as they finish 20-2 overall with an undefeated 13-0 mark in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference, winning their 19th consecutive sectional championship, winning their third straight district championship and reaching the Elite 8 for the second straight season.

• • •

STATE CHAMPION: Austin Goolsby vaults way to top of podium

One year after placing as the state runner-up in the Division II pole vault event, Hillsboro junior Austin Goolsby vaulted his way to the state championship on Friday, June 2 as he earned the top spot, needing just four jumps to earn the top prize.

In the win at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in front of his personal cheering section across from the pole vault area, Goolsby gave the Hillsboro faithful in attendance a lot to cheer for, winning the Division II state championship with a height of 15-02.00. Getting to that point, Goolsby jumped 13-10.00 on his first attempt, followed by vaults of 14-02.00 and 14-10.00 before his winning height.

• • •

3 Highland County relay teams race at OHSAA State Championships

 Highland County had three relay teams race at the 2017 State Track and Field Championships on Friday, June 2, and for the Fairfield Lions in their second straight trip to state, they improved greatly on their time from one year ago.

The Lions raced first in the Division III finals with a time of 8:14.49 as the team of junior Noah Richmond, sophomore Brandtson Duffie, junior Matthew Mangus and senior Trent Swisher improved 30 seconds on their 15th-place finish of 8:44.43 from a year ago. This year, the Lions finished in 11th place.

Next was the McClain girls 4x200m relay team in the Division II prelims, where they finished in 15th place with a time of 1:46.72 from the team of sophomore Maddy Stegbauer, junior Hunter Scott, freshman Ashley Hardesty and junior Chayden Pitzer.

The Hillsboro boys 4x100m relay team finished their state race in Division II prelims with a time of 44.69. The team of junior Austin Kimball, senior Jeremy Hayton, senior Luke Gallimore and junior Austin Goolsby finished in 16th place.

• • •

Chayden Pitzer, Tristan Pitzer and Blake Adams compete at State Championships

McClain junior Chayden Pitzer and senior Tristan Pitzer, along with Fairfield junior Blake Adams, all competed in individual events on Friday, June 2 with Chayden Pitzer moving to the finals at the 2017 OHSAA State Track and Field Championships at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

Besides competing in the 4x200-meter relay, Chayden Pitzer also competed in the 100m hurdles and 200m dash at the Division II championships and in doing so qualified for the finals of the 200m dash as she ran a ninth-place time of 25.48, which was also fifth in her heat.

Tristan Pitzer was eighth in his heat and 16th overall with a time of 22.94 racing in the first heat of the event.

Fairfield’s Adams finished 14th in the Division III state shot put event. She threw three times, with her first throw going 36-02.50, followed with a no distance in her second throw due to going out off the throwing circle.

Adams had a third throw, and it was her best with a distance of 37-08.50.

• • •

Jeremy Hayton soars to 3rd place in DII State High Jump

One year following changing aspects of his diet and training, Hillsboro senior Jeremy Hayton reached the pinnacle of the spring sports season with a third-place finish in the Division II State High Jump event, Saturday, June 3.

At Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, located on the campus of The Ohio State University, Hayton finished with a third-place height of 6-05, better than his regional height of a week ago in Athens, which was 6-04.

Earlier in the season, Hayton had a height of 6-06, and during the winter at the State Indoor Track Championships he won the title with a height of 6-09, helping him eventually earn a scholarship to compete for the University of Cincinnati Bearcats starting this fall.

• • •

Fairfield’s Matthew Mangus races to 7th-place finish in state 3200m run

Going into the 2017 Division III State Track and Field Championships on Saturday, June 3, Fairfield junior Matthew Mangus said he didn’t think he had a chance to make the podium for the 3200-meter run. He was incorrect on that thought, and he was OK with that.

Mangus finished the 3200m run with a time of 9:50.04, finishing in seventh place and earning a spot on the podium for the first time in his high school track career. Mangus, in the state run, saved his fastest lap for last as he had a Lap 8 time of 1:07.313.

• • •

Brandtson Duffie places 6th at Div. III State 800m run

In his individual state track and field debut on Saturday, June 3 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, Fairfield sophomore Brandtson Duffie impressed many, with a finish of sixth place and earning a spot on the coveted podium in the Division III 800m run.

In representing the Lions on Saturday, Duffie raced in the 800m finals with a steady pace, running his first of two laps with a time of 58.065, followed by a second and final lap of 59.892 for a final time of 1:57.956.

• • •

Noah Richmond, Chayden Pitzer both race on Saturday at state

McClain junior Chayden Pitzer and Fairfield junior Noah Richmond each raced on Saturday at the OHSAA State Track and Field Championships, with both events being finals for their respective divisions.

Pitzer raced in the Division II 200-meter finals on Saturday afternoon where she finished in ninth place with a time of 25.25, a school record, one day after qualifying for the finals of the event following a prelim time of 25.48.

Richmond finished his Division III 1600m run with a time of 4:38.79 on Saturday morning for 14th place.

• • •

McClain’s Kaylee Hurley sweeps state championships

Kaylee Hurley’s final race at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium at the OHSAA State Track and Field Championships put her in elite status as she became just the second seated racer to sweep the two days of events, winning four state championships.

The McClain senior won the seated shot put state title for a second straight year on Friday, followed by state championships in the 800-meter dash, 400m dash and the 100m dash, two of which (the 800m and 400m) she set new state records on the campus of The Ohio State University.

In the past two years, Hurley won a total of seven state championships and has multiple state runner-up and third-place finishes in her four years competing at the state meet. In 16 total events at the OHSAA State Championships, Hurley never finished lower than third place.

• • •

Kaiti White selected Div. IV All-Ohio softball

Fairfield sophomore Kaiti White earned the highest of accolades to complete the 2017 high school softball season, as she was selected Division IV First-Team All-Ohio by the Ohio Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association.

White finished the season with 191 strikeouts with 33 runs allowed, but just 16 were earned in 129 innings.

For the season, she totaled 11 shutouts and ended the season with a 20-2 overall record. With the win in the regional semifinals over Portsmouth Clay, White became the first FHS pitcher to have back-to-back 20-win seasons.

• • •

Whiteoak’s Traeten Hamilton named 2nd Team All-Ohio

The Whiteoak Wildcats have added to their baseball prestige as sophomore Traeten Hamilton was selected to the Division IV All-Ohio second team by the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association for his overall play from the 2017 spring season.

In earning the second-team honor by the coaches association, Hamilton had a season to remember with 28 games played for the Wildcats, which included a sectional championship and playing in the district semifinals, as Whiteoak was the lone baseball team in Highland County to qualify for district play this season.

• • •

Dennis West gains 400th career win

For nearly 20 years, Dennis West has led the Lynchburg-Clay soccer program — boys and girls — to great success and heights never dreamed of, and for all of the work he has put in, his teams throughout the years have rewarded him with wins — 400-plus, to be exact.

On Wednesday, Aug. 23, the Lynchburg-Clay Lady Mustangs soccer teams won 8-1 over the Fayetteville Lady Rockets en route to their second win of the season. That win was important in the standings as it gave the Lady Mustangs a win in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference. It also extended their SHAC streak without a loss to 45 consecutive games. But even more importantly, it was a milestone win for West, as it was his 400th career coaching win combined in the boys and girls soccer programs, with all the wins coming at LCHS.

• • •

Pitzer earns 500th kill

McClain senior Chayden Pitzer gained a milestone Tuesday, Sept. 19 in the Lady Tigers’ game against Hillsboro by recording her 500th career kill in the fourth and final set of the Frontier Athletic Conference match.

McClain won the match in four sets, winning the final three straight, as Hillsboro won set one.

With the win came the aforementioned 500th kill for Pitzer, as she had a game-high 16 kills in the match.

• • •

Hillsboro Lady Indians win inaugural FAC girls golf championship

The Hillsboro Lady Indians have added another conference championship to their trophy case, but this time — at least for one season — it is one of a kind, winning the inaugural Frontier Athletic Conference championship, taking home the title at the Franklin Valley Golf Course in Jackson.

The conference played for the championship Saturday, Sept. 23 with the Lady Indians winning the event by 13 strokes with a score of 190. In second place were the McClain Lady Tigers at 203, giving Highland County the sweep of the FAC event.

Hillsboro junior Kristin Jamieson was the FAC Player of the Year, as she won the event on Saturday with a score of 34 and for the season earned a total score of 96 for the POY honors.

• • •

Hurley named U.S. Paralympics Track & Field High School All-American

In October, McClain High School graduate Kaylee Hurley was named one of 71 U.S. Paralympics Track & Field High School All-Americans by U.S. Paralympics, a division of the United States Olympic Committee.

Hurley, a 2017 McClain High School graduate, earned All-American honors in four events:

• The 800m, with a time of 2:29.80 (fifth place nationwide);

• The discus, with a throw of 10.89m (sixth place nationwide);

• The javelin, with a throw of 9.63m (seventh place nationwide); and

• Shot put, with a throw of 5.71m (third place nationwide).

• • •

Lady Mustangs earn 7th consecutive SHAC championship

Dominance by the Lynchburg-Clay Lady Mustangs soccer team in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference is something everyone has become accustomed to, as they haven’t lost a Southern Hills Athletic Conference match since 2010. That continued Friday, Oct. 13 by defeating visiting Ripley, 15-0, clinching a seventh consecutive conference championship.

In what is their fifth consecutive perfect SHAC season, the Lady Mustangs finished 7-0 in the SHAC for a fifth straight season and did so easily this season by outscoring their conference counterparts, 59-5 in seven games, including three shutouts.

• • • 

Lynchburg-Clay Mustangs clinch 5th straight SHAC championship

The Lynchburg-Clay Mustangs soccer team hasn’t lost a Southern Hills Athletic Conference match in over five years, and Friday, Oct. 13 they continued that trend and added another championship to their accolades by clinching their fifth straight conference championship with a 10-2 win over the Ripley Blue Jays.

LC not only clinched what is their fifth consecutive SHAC championship, but they haven’t lost a SHAC match since the 2012 season, resulting in a streak of 34-0-1 in the past 35 conference matches, plus three straight perfect SHAC seasons and winning the SHAC four out of the past five seasons with a perfect 7-0 record.

• • • 

Kristin Jamieson ties for 26th at Division I State Golf Tournament; verbally commits to Ohio State

For two days in Columbus — at The Ohio State University Gray Course— Hillsboro junior Kristin Jamieson took on the best girls golfers in the state, placing in the Top 30 at the completion of the 2017 Division I State Girls Golf Tournament.

On Oct. 20-21, Jamieson finished with a total 36-hole score of 158, having a score of 78 on Friday and Saturday finishing with a score of 80. After regrouping on the front nine in the afternoon by shooting 2-under-par, Jamieson figured all the excitement was finished for the day.

After talking with family and coaches, she had a conversation with Ohio State women’s golf head coach Therese Hession, and the excitement was far from over for Jamieson on Saturday afternoon. Coach Hession offered Jamieson a spot on the Ohio State women’s golf team to play Division I golf. By Sunday night, Jamieson verbally accepted the offer.

• • •

Hillsboro wins 2nd consecutive Rotary Bowl; earns 1st winning season in 8 years

The Hillsboro Indians ended the 2017 season just like they did the season before — but not as pressure-packed as the previous season. The Indians used their rushing attack and a stout defensive effort to gain not just their seventh win of the season, but their second consecutive Rotary Bowl victory over rival McClain.

By controlling all facets of the game Friday, Oct. 27, the Indians won by a 61-13 score, en route to finalizing their first winning season in eight years, and in doing so cementing their 21st Rotary Bowl win since the trophy was presented in 1985.

• • •

Whiteoak’s Carr, Morgan race at Division III regionals

For the first time since 2001, the Whiteoak Wildcats boys were represented in a regional cross-country tournament with Hunter Morgan and Atlee Carr running for the Wildcats.

Morgan capped off his All-SHAC and All-District performance with a 72nd-place finish and a time of 18:24 at Pickerington. He had the best time and best placement at regionals since at least the early ’90s for a Whiteoak runner.

Teammate Atlee Carr, also a junior, came in at 18:34 for 79th place and earning the second-best time for a Whiteoak runner at regionals since the early ’90s.

• • •

Friend, West honored as SHAC coaches of the year

The Southern Hills Athletic Conference coaches of the year were honored during the 2017 SHAC fall sports banquet. For Highland County, Fairfield boys cross-country coach Raymond Friend and Lynchburg-Clay boys soccer coach were named SHAC coaches of the year.

• • •

Hilt, Scott named SHAC soccer players of the year

The Southern Hills Athletic Conference players of the year were honored during the 2017 SHAC fall sports banquet. Two Lynchburg-Clay players received honors, with Austin Hilt named boys soccer player of the year and Peyton Scott voted girls soccer player of the year.

• • •

Fairfield Lions 4th at state cross-country for 2nd consecutive year; won regional, district and SHAC championships

The Fairfield Lions proved once again they are one of the top teams in the state by placing fourth overall at the 2017 OHSAA State Cross-Country Championships. ??In the Division III state race — run at National Trail Raceway — the Lions didn’t have the overall finish they wanted or had in mind, but overall they continued their consistency of having productive seasons in 2017, plus they ran a better total team time than they did one year ago when they were also fourth at state. ??The fourth-place finish saw the Lions score 158 points, trailing eventual Division III state championships East Canton at 120 points. McDonald was second with 140 points, and Columbus Academy was third with 144 points. There were a total of 20 schools in the race and a total of 183 runners in the Division III event. ??One Fairfield runner in senior Noah Richmond finished in 11th place overall for the second consecutive year with a time of 16:16.9.

Besides the Top 5 finish as a team at state, the Lions also won their seventh consecutive Southern Hills Athletic Conference (SHAC) championship, their seventh consecutive SE District championship and their second straight regional championship.

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Double-overtime thriller closes Lady Mustangs’ outstanding season

The Lady Mustangs of Lynchburg-Clay and the Lady Bobcats of Grandview Heights rode intensely for almost 103 minutes in a double-overtime thriller Saturday, Nov. 4 in the Division III Regional Soccer Finals.

When the sun finally did shine down on the Waverly Tigers’ home stadium, it burned brightest for the Bobcats.

They survived a 1-1 score at the end of regulation – and the first overtime – to earn a trip to the state’s Final Four, with a 2-1 victory with seven and a half minutes left in the second sudden-death overtime.

After a grueling defensive battle, a Tayler Pierce kick glanced off the outstretched hands of Lynchburg-Clay’s outstanding goalkeeper Serena Smith, and the Lady Bobcats – ranked No. 5 in the state – celebrated their hard-fought victory.

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4 from Lynchburg-Clay named OHSSCA All-Ohio soccer

The Lynchburg-Clay boys and girls soccer programs had a combined four players named to the All-Ohio High School Scholastic Coaches Association (OHSSCA) team for their play during the 2017 season.

On the girls team, Lynchburg-Clay had junior Peyton Scott selected to the first-team All-Ohio squad in Division III, as she was one of just 18 players selected to the first team. Also for LCHS, senior Angela McLaughlin was named to the second team.

For the boys team, named second-team All-Ohio were seniors Austin Hilt and Kyle Luneke.

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Jeremey Andrews steps down as McClain football coach

Jeremey Andrews has stepped down under his own terms as the McClain Tigers head football coach, notifying administration and his players of his final decision in November.

The Tigers didn’t have a win this past year on the gridiron and have won three games since the 2015 season. When Andrews took over the program the Tigers were coming off a winless season in 2014, and the program’s last winning season came in 2012.

McClain’s biggest win under Andrews was winning the Rotary Bowl in 2015, with the Tigers defeating the Indians that season by a 35-27 score. That year, McClain won their final two games of the regular season.

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Grace Shope becomes all-time scoring leader in Fairfield win over East Clinton

Fairfield senior Grace Shope went the length of the court with the basketball to score the one point she’s waited for all offseason to become the Lady Lions’ all-time leading scorer on Monday, Nov. 27 in a 57-52 win over the East Clinton Lady Astros at Grandle Gymnasium.

Shope — who entered the game tied for the all-time lead — scored the game’s first basket when she went the length of the court and sank a layup after beating the defense of the visiting Lady Astros, giving her 1,201 points, surpassing the previous mark of 1,199 points set by Heather (Cox) Storer during her career. She broke the previous record held by Kay Cummings during the 2013-14 season.

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3 Hillsboro players named All-Ohio; Div. II, III football All-Ohio teams announced

Three Hillsboro students were named to the All-Ohio football team in seniors Jared Conn and Britton Haines and junior Josh Keets. All three players were named to the Division III Honorable Mention list.

Conn was a lineman this season for the Indians, who finished with a 7-3 overall record. As a member of the offensive line, Conn helped pave the way for many of the Hillsboro touchdowns, as Hillsboro scored over 400 points in 2017.

Haines, a defensive back, totaled three interceptions and eight total touchdowns combined on offense, defense and special teams. Against East Clinton in Week 3, Haines had a 40-yard interception for a touchdown and a 74-yard touchdown reception. He also kicked over 30 extra points and had some 2-point conversion scores. For the season, his touchdown breakdown was two rushing, five receiving and one defense.

Keets led the Indians in rushing with 1,163 yards in 10 games, finishing with 13 touchdowns. In Week 10, he had 10 carries for 172 yards and three touchdowns at McClain, and in Week 9 Keets rushed for 212 yards and five touchdowns vs. the Miami Trace Panthers. He also caught multiple 2-point conversions and returned kickoffs, including an 85-yard kickoff for a touchdown.

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Jeremy Ratcliff resigns as HHS girls soccer coach

Four-year head coach Jeremy Ratcliff announced his resignation as Hillsboro Lady Indians soccer coach Tuesday, Nov. 28.

As head coach of the Hillsboro girls soccer program, Ratcliff compiled an overall record of 43-26-6, including a district title in 2014, a season where the Lady Indians were regional runners-up.

Ratcliff was also an assistant and junior varsity coach for the Lady Indians for four years under former head coach Leslie Molen.

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Hillsboro’s Austin Goolsby signs with University of Cincinnati

In November, Hillsboro High School senior Austin Goolsby signed his national letter of intent to continue his academic and athletic career at the University of Cincinnati next year, where he will be a member of the Division I track and field team.

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Peyton Scott nets 1,000th point in LC win over Goshen

Lynchburg-Clay junior Peyton Scott earned her 1,000th career point in the second quarter Monday, Dec. 4 against the Goshen Lady Warriors and the Lady Mustangs earned the win as well, defeating their opponent 45-38.

Scott — who said in a postgame interview that she couldn’t have done this without her teammates — needed six points to gain the 1,000-point milestone and started by scoring five points in the first frame with a 3-pointer and a two-point basket.

Needing just one point to achieve the scoring plateau entering the second frame, Scott did so from the free-throw line, sinking the first of three attempts from the free-throw line after being fouled on a 3-point try with 3:51 left on the scoreboard.

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McLaughlin nets 1,000th career point in Mustangs win over Miami Trace

One day following a tough conference loss, the Lynchburg-Clay Mustangs rebounded on Saturday, Dec. 9 by picking up their first win of the regular season over non-conference opponent, Miami Trace by a 66-56 score.

Although the win can be attributed to great team play and defense, the first quarter and night belonged to senior Eric McLaughlin, as he entered the 1,000-point club with a thunderous dunk late in the first quarter.

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Longtime HHS scorekeeper Galen Neal honored

Hillsboro City Schools honored longtime boys basketball scorekeeper Galen Neal prior to the start of the Indians’ game against Miami Trace, Friday, Dec. 15 at HHS.? After over 50 years as the official scorekeeper of the Indians – and over 60 years after scoring his first game – Neal has officially retired.

Neal and his wife, Lynn, were honored by Hillsboro administrators, coaches and players in a ceremony Friday, Dec. 15. The school district thanked the Neals for their many years of dedicated service to Hillsboro student athletes.

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McClain’s Keegan Rawlins surpasses 125-win mark

McClain senior wrestler Keegan Rawlins finished 5-0 this past Saturday (Dec. 30) and passed a career wins mark by winning his 125th match in round three of the McClain Invitational with a technical fall 15-0 over Matthew Le of Mason.

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Aric Fiscus, Joe Wells inducted into Lynchburg-Clay Athletic Hall of Fame

Lynchburg-Clay High School added two new members to their Athletic Hall of Fame, as LC baseball standout Joe Wells and former coach and athletic director Aric Fiscus were honored Friday, Dec. 29 as Fiscus and Wells were inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame during a ceremony prior to LC’s boys varsity game.

Wells was a multi-sport athlete during his time at Lynchburg-Clay, he was recognized for his contributions to the baseball program at LC. During his four years, the Mustangs had a league record of 46-6 and an overall record of 70-22.

Fiscus was named varsity baseball coach for the 1997 season and coached through the 2010 season. During his 14 years as coach, the Lynchburg-Clay baseball program won seven Southern Hills Athletic Conference Championships, three sectional championships and one district championship. Fiscus was named the Southern Hills Athletic Conference Coach of the Year three times and finished with a career coaching record of 182-103, making him the winningest coach in Lynchburg-Clay baseball program history.