Sunday, July 01, 2001

High School Insider

More medals for state events

By Dave Schutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        In a unanimous decision, the Board of Control, the governing body of the Ohio High School Athletic Association, voted to expand the number of state tournament medals presented to athletes in all sports.

        Although most coaches' associations were in favor of the expanded awards, lobbying by the swimming, track and cross country coaches was the major thrust behind the change.

        “It's highly overdue,” Sycamore swimming coach Mark Sullivan said. “Eight (swimmers) qualified for the finals, but only six were recognized.”

        The same is true in track and field.

        Sullivan said two previous proposals by the swimming coaches' association were turned down.

        “Money was often used as an excuse, so we offered to purchase the seventh- and eighth-place medals,” Sullivan said. “We also tried to have the seventh- and eighth- place athletes recognized and not receive a medal.”

        Two additional awards have been added for girls and boys basketball, volleyball, boys and girls soccer, baseball and softball. Three awards have been added in cross country.

“I've had kids in the past who knew they would finish seventh or eighth in the championship heat,” Sullivan said. “They would have rather been in the consolation rather than not being recognized.”

        Assistant OHSAA commissioner Hank Zaborniak said the annual price tag for awards at the regional and state levels is between $140,000 and $150,000.

        “It's not like we're (the OHSAA) hurting for anything,” Zaborniak said. “The increased awards will cost about an additional $20,000, which will be money well spent.”

        Dale Creamer, vice president of the Board of Control and principal at Brookville High School, agreed that the additional awards are a step in the right direction.

        “The track and swimming coaches have been after us for years,” Creamer said. “We wanted to take a look at every sport and not only expand one or two sports.”

        Cross country athletes will be the first beneficiaries; the top 15 runners, rather than top 12, will step up to the state awards stand in November at Scioto Downs in Columbus.

        FOOTBALL FINALS: The schedule for the state football finals has been announced: Canton's Fawcett Stadium will play host to the Division I (Saturday, Dec.1, 8 p.m.), Division IV (Saturday, Dec.1, 11 a.m.), and Division V (Friday, Nov.30, 3:30p.m.) games.

        Massillon's Paul Brown Tiger Stadium will be the site of the Division II (Friday, Nov.30, 8p.m.), Division III (Friday, Nov.30, 11 a.m.), and Division VI (Saturday, Dec.1, 3:30p.m.) games.

        STATE TOURNAMENTS: The boys and girls state basketball tournaments and the state wrestling meet will be held at Ohio State's Schottenstein Center through 2004, with an option to renew the contract for 2005, '06 and '07.

        The OHSAA has decided to hire a company to come up with ways to increase attendance at the girls and boys tournaments at the 19,500-seat arena.

        “We'd like to come up with the kind of hoopla the NCAA has for the Final Four,” Creamer said. “There's a possibility of getting corporate sponsorship to underwrite some of the expenses.”

        Creamer said special ticket prices for teams not participating in the tournament are a possibility, along with promotions such as a boys' slam-dunk contest.

        CLASSIFIEDS: Lloyd High School is accepting applications for a head girls basketball coach. Call Cheryl at 859-727-2009.

        • Mount Notre Dame is looking for a head junior-varsity girls tennis coach. Call Mark Schenkel at 821-3044, ext. 107.

        • Taylor needs a head varsity wrestling coach and a head varsity track coach. Call Gene Peak at 467-3200 or fax resume to 467-3204.

        • Reading has the following openings: freshman and junior high football and varsity dance team. Call Pete Muehlenkamp at 733-4422, opt.5.

        • Kings High School is seeking a boys varsity soccer coach. Call Gregg Darbyshire at 459-2939.

        GRAY GOLF OUTING: The annual Carlton P. Gray Foundation golf outing will be held Friday at The Mill Course.

        Money raised from the event, along with contributions from Gray and other individuals and corporations, goes toward scholarships for Winton Woods students.

        To participate, call Carlos Gray at 825-8111.

        OFFICIALS CLINIC: The Southern Ohio Officials Association will conduct a football training session beginning July18. Call Bob Duncan at 575-4542.

        COLLEGE NEWS: Joe Tucker, a first-team Division V linebacker for Reading, has committed to Findlay College.

        Besides leading the Blue Devils in tackles, Tucker was the main blocker for tailback DeShawn Wynn, who rushed for 2,140 yards and 25 touchdowns last season.


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