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Spring athletes put exclamation mark on Firebird sports

Photo: Kaydee Miller

By Kelly Hart, Kevin O'Donnell & Paqui Toscano, Staff Writers

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Fairmont High School’s spring sports teams kept the heat coming through the last weeks of school, posting some impressive records both as teams and as individuals.

Baseball

Fairmont’s boys of summer finished another season with a winning record.  The Varsity Baseball team’s final record was 18-11, placing them 2nd in the GWOC Central.

Senior Alex Lilley led the GWOC in strikeouts with 93. He also was 2nd in wins with 7. The senior pitcher was also named Co-Athlete of the Year, First Team All Conference and First Team GWOC Central.

Others receiving GWOC honors were: First Team GWOC Central: junior Nick Livingston and senior Adam Thompson; Second Team GWOC Central: seniors Brendon Cunningham and Alex Marcano; and Special Mention: senior David Steele.

The boys went into a three-game post season. They defeated Troy, 2-1, with the help of Lilley pitching a no-hitter. Then, the team beat Northmont, 1-0. In that game, junior Logan Lingle singled home junior Tyler Downing for the victory. At Districts, the Firebirds lost to the reigning State Champion, Cincinnati Moeller.

“We had a very proud season this year,” said Head Coach Kent Drake. “We’re already looking toward next year.”

Some of the Firebirds have college baseball on their mind. Marcano signed to Sinclair Community College. Others are undecided on exactly where they want to go. Lilley is being looked at by the University of Cincinnati.

Softball

The Varsity Softball team also had another successful season, finishing with a record of 16-9, placing them 3rd in the GWOC Central.

The girls lost their first game of tournament to Wayne, the GWOC Central champions. “Our tournament run didn’t go as long as we would have liked it to, but overall we had a great season,” said junior Stacie Gilbert.

Three of the Firebirds finished among the the top 5 in batting averages in GWOC. Senior Jennifer Anderson placed 2nd with .575; Gilbert placed 3rd with .571; and junior Whitney Slone placed 4th with .556.

Placing 5th in GWOC in runs batted in was senior Jamie Schnarr with 29 RBIs.

GWOC honors went to several of the girls: First Team GWOC Central: seniors Jennifer Anderson and Brianna Mulkey; Second Team GWOC Central: seniors Hannah Klink and Jamie Schnarr and junior Ashlee Wright; and Special Mention: senior Jenna Silverman.

The team awards were: Coaches Award: Jenna Silverman; Most Improved: Ashlee Wright; Sportsmanship: Brianna Mulkey; and Most Valuable Player: Hannah Klink.

Boys’ Volleyball

The Boys’ Volleyball season ended with a mixture of feelings. On May 18, the Firebirds beat Wayne, 25-14, 25-21 and 25-6, to ensure that they finished with a winning season for the 6th consecutive year. In that game, seniors Eric Trent and Matt Lee kept Wayne on their toes with 7 kills each, assisted by senior Joel Sagasser, while seniors Tim Weissman and Mark Cridge guarded the floor with an equal number of digs.

Two days later, however, the boys tasted defeat at the Regional Semifinals at the hands of a bitter rival: Centerville. Sagasser again assisted a healthy number of kills, nine of which were executed by Trent. Cridge and Lee covered the court and the net, Cridge adding to his record-breaking number of digs. The senior back row defensive specialist leaves behind a record 588 digs in his career and a match record of 25, made earlier in May at Kilbourne, which Buirley called their biggest win.

The Firebirds played most of the season without junior Nick Braun, who had back surgery. “I thought we did a nice job working through that,” said Head Coach Bill Buirley. “I think Nick’s going to be ridiculously good next year. He has the tools.”

The boys finished the 2010 season at 13-11.  The team awards were: Coaches Award: Eric Trent; Most Improved: Tim Weissman; Sportsmanship: Zach Spangler; and Most Valuable Player: Mark Cridge.  Cridge was also named to the First Team, All West Region, and Braun and Trent got Honorable Mention.

The Firebirds have an up-and-coming player in sophomore Jon Watkins, who made seven kills in his first starting match of the season at Centerville. The younger Greg Sagasser may very well continue his brother’s legacy next year. Buirley said he sees plenty of potential for next year in sophomores Sagasser and John Borger, a first-year player.

Boys’ Tennis

The 2010 season has put Boys’ Tennis back on the map at Fairmont. The Varsity Firebirds finished 11-8 in their first winning season in four years and placed 2nd in the GWOC Central.

Along the way, the boys won key matches against formidable opponents, including Alter and Carroll. A victory against Beavercreek catapulted the team to the GWOC Tournament, where they placed 2nd out of six teams, their highest finish in six years. The season culminated with the Firebirds winning 5-0 against the Miami Valley School.

“It was a nice way to end the season with the boys winning all their matches,” said Head Coach Tim Voegeli. “We saw a good team effort.”

GWOC honors went to several of the boys: All GWOC First Team Singles: junior Scott Schwenker ; All GWOC Second Team Doubles: junior Crosby Simms/freshman Adam Wolfe ; and All GWOC Special Mention: senior Brad Sommer.

The team awards were: Coaches Award: senior Kevin Johnson; Most Improved: Brad Sommer; Sportsmanship: sophomore Paqui Toscano; and Most Valuable Player: Scott Schwenker.

Despite losing several key upperclassmen, the Firebirds plan to come back strong in 2011.

“Adam Wolfe is going to be the rock of the team next year. He played every varsity match this season,” said junior Crosby Simms, a three-year letterman who played 1st doubles with Wolfe. Simms said he saw the freshman improve over the season.

Voegeli said JV member Corey Myers, a junior, has also shown good improvement and will be moving up to varsity, along with sophomore reserve player Tom Shine.

Track & Field

The Fairmont Track & Field team finished off a great season at the District Championships during the third week in May at Welcome Stadium. Out of the 15 teams competing at the event, the Fairmont girls finished 5th and the boys finished 7th.

At the District meet, several Fairmont athletes qualified to go to Regionals, including junior Kaydee Miller, who was the District champion for pole vault, and freshman Natalie Uy, the District champion for the high jump.  The 4x100m relay team of freshman Justine Miller, sophomores Allie White and Diane Kelley, and junior Lauren Brown were also District champions in their event. In addition, junior David Horney came in 2nd in the pole vault,  and Justine Miller came in 2nd in the 100m dash and 3rd in the 200m dash. Junior Maria Meredith placed 4th in the 800m run and sophomore Jake Gentile placed 4th in the 3200m run.

Senior Brandon O’Malley came in 2nd in the 800m run at the District meet, then finished 3rd at Regionals on May 28 to qualify him for the State meet. O’Malley has signed to compete for Ohio University in the fall.

The Firebird Track & Field Team also had great success in the GWOC Divisional Championship on May 5. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams finished 5th, with many other Firebirds placing individually.

Pole vault competitor Cooper Dieterle, a junior, took a moment to think about the past season. “It was so fun,” he said. “I loved all the coaches, getting to pole vault, and hanging out with my friends.”

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The school newsmagazine of Kettering Fairmont High School.
Spring athletes put exclamation mark on Firebird sports