Girls’ trip to State ends exciting winter sports season

The 2009-10 Girls’ Varsity Basketball team accumulated several of big “firsts” on their way to a truly memorable season. They were the first Fairmont Girls’ Basketball team to make it all the way to the State tournament, the first to capture a Regional championship, and the first to go undefeated in regular GWOC season play.

The girls finished their season at 22-3, with the last loss coming against Toledo Waite in the State semifinals March 20 at the Schottenstein Center at Ohio State. The very physical game ended with the Firebirds on the wrong end of a 61-55 score.

Despite missing the chance to play for the State championship, the Lady Firebirds did add several trophies to the Fairmont trophy case. They became Regional champions by beating Princeton, 49-41, and Vandalia Butler, 39-37.  They also were District champions after defeating Miamisburg, 52-32.

And, of course, the girls captured the GWOC championship trophy by not dropping a single game in the conference, despite a couple of close calls. Games against rivals Centerville and Beavercreek had fans sitting on the edge of their seats. The girls went into triple overtime against Centerville on Dec. 16, winning the game 49-46. The girls also went into overtime on Dec. 19 to defeat Beavercreek, 50-44.

 “I’m very proud of this season,” said senior Cassie Sant, who will play for the University of Dayton next year. “The team worked very hard and played like a family. That’s how we won GWOC.”

Other than the loss in the State semifinal game, the Firebirds only other losses were to Alter and to Vandalia Butler earlier in the season.

Many Firebirds won individual awards this season. Head Coach Tim Cogan was named the Division 1 State Coach of the Year, District 15 Coach of the Year and GWOC Coach of the Year. Assistant Coach Chris Nissen was named District 15 Assistant Coach of the Year. In addition to scoring more than 1,000 points in her high school career, senior Cassie Sant was named District 15 Athlete of the Year and GWOC Athlete of the Year. Other awards included: First Team GWOC Central: Cassie Sant and Chelsea Welch; Second Team: Holly Carey; and Special Mention: Jessica Beatty.

Boys’ Basketball

The Boys’ Varsity Basketball team peaked at the right time this season. The team had somewhat of a rocky start with a record of 7-8, but then they turned things around and went on an 8-game winning streak. They finished the regular season at 12-8 and went on to win three more games in post-season play.

 The boys’ 6-4 GWOC Central record gave them the second-place spot behind unbeaten Wayne. “I am so proud of our team,” said senior Kevin Sharick. “I couldn’t ask for a better season.”

The boys fought through some close wins and losses. They beat Centerville by single digits both times they played, the first in overtime. They also beat Northmont by two, with the help of clutch free throws by senior Mark Shadowens, who signed to play at West Liberty University earlier in the year. The boys made it to the District finals on March 13, where they lost to Princeton 59-44.

Several of the boys earned GWOC Central titles: First Team: Mark Shadowens; Second Team: Kevin Sharick and Adam Westbeld; and Special Mention: Matt Lee.     


The Varsity Wrestling team powered through their season all the way to Districts, where they placed 10th. It may not have been high enough to advance to State, but the Firebirds finished as the 2nd highest team from Dayton. “We had a really good season and went undefeated in all of our dual meets,” said junior Kyle Chambers.

Freshman Matt Denlinger finished 5th in the 130-pound division and was a state alternate. Senior Jake Sage placed 3rd in the 135-pound division to qualify for State, but he fell to the defending state champion, Shawn Fayette of Miamisburg, in the quarterfinal round on March 6.

Sage may not have placed at State this year, but he leaves Fairmont with an impressive resume, including

~ 123 career wins (2nd most in school history)

~ placing 4th at State his junior year

~ making it to State three times

~ Sectional champion two times

~ District qualifier four times

~ GWOC champion in 2009

~ Two-year team captain

The Firebirds were led by Head Coach Frank Baxter, who was named the National Federation of State High School Associations 2009 Coach of the Year in Ohio.

Many of the wrestlers earned GWOC awards: First team: Nathan Streithorst (119), Matt Denlinger (125), Jake Sage (140) and Cory Smith (285); Second Team: Justin Kihn (112), Ian Delvalle (135), Garrett Conner (189) and Matt Jones (215); and Special Mention: Tommy Kimbrell (145).

Swimming and Diving

Senior Abby Galbreath lived every swimmer’s dream when she won the State championship in the 200 IM. Along with that first-place finish, she also placed third in the 500 Free. Galbreath also earned the title of GWOC Athlete of the Year.

Sophomore Natalie Rohr joined Galbreath at the State competition, where she placed second in the 50 Free. In addition, Rohr broke the Fairmont record in the 50 Free in the State Qualifier; the record was previously held by her older sister Brittney.

“It was my first year swimming and I really enjoyed it,” said junior Cooper Dieterle. “I was happy to see all of my teammates do well.”

In diving, senior Adam Nooe placed 8th at Districts and just missed making it to State. Receiving the Outstanding Diver team awards were Nooe and junior Kaydee Miller.

Team awards were: Sportsmanship: Eric Whaley and Morgan Neiheisel; Spirit Award: Ian Brittain-Mynes, Liz Mercer, Tony Cannon and Natalie Munch; Most Improved: Nick Petty and Natalie Rohr; Coach’s Award: Jared Mayo and Maddi Montavon; and MVP: Matheu Rouhier and Abby Galbreath.

Boys’ Bowling

The Boys’ Varsity Bowling team was the GWOC Central Champion, going undefeated in the league. The boys made it to Districts in attempt to return to State, but they were unable to place high enough to advance. They finished with an overall record of 19-1, losing to Troy in the first match of the year.

“I’m happy with how we ended up this season,” said junior Wes Gibson. “We worked really hard in GWOC.”

Senior Chris Schlegel was named GWOC Central Athlete of the Year, and Coach Rex Wolfe took the title of GWOC Central Coach of the Year. Other awards included: First Team: Zach Grubb, Ronnie Pohl and Chris Schlegel; and Second Team: Wes Gibson.

Girls’ Bowling

The Girls’ Varsity Bowling team ended their season with a record of 12-8, placing 4th in the GWOC Central. They just missed advancing to Districts by 10 pins, but freshman Molly Crouch continued on individually.

“Overall, the season went really well and we improved a lot from last year,” said Crouch. “I’m proud of all the girls.”

Along with qualifying for Districts, Crouch was named to the GWOC Central 2nd team. Individually, she placed 12th in GWOC, averaging a 185.7. Senior Brandi Timm wasn’t far behind, coming in at 19th with an average of 182.5.