RHS bowling team combines talent and depth
By Michael Krieger
The Rossford High School boys varsity bowling team is off to an impressive 3-1 start to the 2014-15 season and is 2-0 in the Northern Ohio Bowling Conference.
With the entire team back except one bowler, the Bulldogs’ future is definitely bright, according to fifth year Head Coach Justin Reitz.
“I feel like we’re the team to beat as long as we are mentally and physically prepared,” Reitz said.
Rossford hopes to improve its 15-5 overall record last year and 11-4 conference record–placing them in a tie for first place. However, the Bulldogs were nudged out of the championship by Port Clinton on a tie-breaker.
This year’s team is talented with key returners like senior Mason Robinson. Last year Robinson was a state qualifier, and according to Reitz, has picked up this season where he left off, rolling a 208 average through the first four matches.
Joining Robinson will be Brennan Reynolds, Stephen Hernandez and Drew Pinardo.
Reitz also pointed to the emergence of junior Spencer Shultz, who has made an impact through the first four matches.
Shultz dual sported last year with wrestling and bowling. This year, however, he is focusing strictly on bowling. So far, Shultz has posted a 197 average.
“Losing Karl Hermes from last year caused a big void, but Spencer has filled that for us,” Reitz said. “He has worked hard.”
The coach likes his team’s chances beyond the regular season.
“There is a strong possibility that we could make a state run due to our depth, our motivation, and because of our off-season work.”
The RHS girls bowling team also should prove to be competitive enough to challenge for a league title.
Like the boys team, the girls return all but one bowler from last year’s 10-10 campaign.
That record was good enough for an 8-6 league mark and a third place conference finish. Currently, the team is 2-2 and 1-1 in the league.
Reitz likes the Lady Bulldogs’ chances.
“We’re right up there with Port Clinton, who was a state qualifier last year. As long as we win the matches we should win, we could possibly share a title.”
From there, Reitz said it’s not hard to imagine the girls team advancing out of sectionals come tournament time.
To achieve success this season, the girls will lean on key returners seniors Jessica Kulczak and Taylor Moore; junior Kathleen Hermes and sophomore Hope Kemper.
RHS grapplers begin push to claim NBC championship
By Michael Krieger
After last season’s fifth place finish in the Northern Buckeye Conference, the Bulldog varsity wrestling team is poised for great improvement this year.
To achieve success, this team will rely heavily on a youth movement.
“We have some good, young kids, especially our ninth and tenth graders. They’re outstanding wrestlers,” said second-year coach Randy Hussar, who believes that a season goal of finishing in the top two for the league is realistic.
The combination of youth and some key senior leaders could really make the difference.
“We would like to win more dual meets this year,” Hussar noted.
He credits the team’s success to their work ethic and the fact that they have emphasized strength and conditioning more.
In addition to being strong athletes, the team also relies on competition among themselves.
“At several weights, I have more than one kid who can start for anybody else. They have to compete at practice every day and will have to wrestle hard just to make the varsity squad,” Hussar added.
Returning to lead the team are seniors Casey Orr at 172 lbs., who should demonstrate some much needed leadership on and off the mat; Andrew Myers, a strong, aggressive competitor at 160 lbs.; and heavy weight Brandon Vasquez who should surprise some opponents in his sophomore year, according to Coach Hussar.
Most of the wrestlers at the lower weight classes are young. Despite their youth, they have a lot of wrestling experience and should step up and contribute right away.
Sophomore Tanner Krotzer returns at 106 lbs. and has worked all summer.
“He has really developed and should be in good shape at that weight class,” Hussar explained.
Other young wrestlers expected to compete at the varsity level this year are Austin Eick (113 lbs.), Jacob Laplante (126 lbs.), and Ty Hussar (138 lbs.), all freshmen.
Sophomores Devan Leuw and Reed Jackson will compete for the chance to wrestle at (132 lbs.) and another sophomore Colton Ball will provide competition for Krotzer at 106 lbs., a competition that will be as tough as any match either wrestler will face this season.
Coach Hussar points to the tri-match against Genoa and Clay, hosted by Rossford as a key bout for the team to measure their capabilities.
“Those are two of the strongest teams in the area, and they will give us a chance to see how we match up,” Hussar said.
The Bulldog wrestlers take to the mat Saturday, December 13, at Springfield.
RHS girls basketball looks to build off last season
By Michael Krieger
Hopes are high for the Rossford varsity girls basketball team as they prepare to start the new season.
Last year’s team finished with a 13-10 overall record and 9-5 in the Northern Buckeye Conference, which was good enough for a third place finish.
Second year head coach Eric Simon looks for the 2014-15 edition of the team to compete toward the top of the league again.
“The teams at the top should be fairly close,” said Simon, adding that key players graduated last year from several teams in the league.
The Lady Bulldogs will strive to find ways to fill their own vacancies in the starting line-up with the departure of leading scorer Julie Hotz, team leader Margo Jackson and sharp-shooting guard Maddie York, all of whom graduated last spring.
Returning to pick up the mantle are senior guard Kirsten Keller, who should provide leadership and ball-handling at the point guard position; junior Cheyenne Davis, a forward who can score and run the floor, and sophomore Regan Clay, who brings athleticism and three-point range.
Coach Simon also will look for contributions from some younger players.
“The JV team was successful last year, so we are going to try and spread the ball around, and get more people involved,” Simon said.
The Lady Bulldogs hope to have a balanced scoring attack.
“We might not have one or two players in double figures, but we will possibly have several with six or eight a night,” Simon explained.
To achieve this balanced approach, the team will try to generate offense off of defense. They will focus on denying the wings and trying to create traps so they can score in transition.
“We will remain a fast, up-tempo style basketball team,” said Simon. “Maybe even faster than last year. We are going to take the first open shot available.”
Rossford opens the season at Oak Harbor on Friday, November 28 where they will attempt to corral Rocket standout Andrea Cecil.
The Division I college recruit put up 30 points against the Bulldogs last year and brings a complete skill set to the contest.
“We will try to play her more straight up instead of doubling her,” Simon said. “We’ll make her earn her points, but she will probably get her fair share. We will then try to shut down the others.”
The game should be a good early test for the team looking to build on success throughout the season.
Tip-off is at 6 p.m. for the JV game, and the varsity will follow.
Bulldog basketball team leans on teamwork on achieve goals
By Michael Krieger
The 2014-15 Rossford Bulldog boys basketball team has big plans to improve upon last year’s second place Northern Buckeye Conference finish.
Last season, the team went 15-7 overall and 12-2 in the league, falling short to league champ, Lake.
Most teams enter a new season reaching for the goal of a league title, but that expectation seems realistic for the Bulldogs.
Head Coach Brian Vorst is convinced that the achievement is possible, but he is more focused on improving every day.
“We need to have the drive to get better, to not settle for where we are,” he said.
RHS looks to fill in some gaps created by the absence of guards Mack Miller and Derek Mack, both averaging double figure scoring last year.
This year’s team will strive for a more balanced offensive attack.
“Instead of just a few who can score, we now have 10 kids who can score,” explained Vorst, who believes the team might not have that one distinguished scorer, but six players who hit eight to 10 points per night.
Returning for the Bulldogs are point guard Ryan Niese, who will provide leadership and the ability to distribute the ball as well as score.
Vorst said returners Nate Childress and Marty Linthicum will bring strength and scoring from the post.
The team also will benefit from the athleticism of junior Erik Davis and sophomore Cota Sinclair.
Senior Hector Aguirre returns to the team after a one year hiatus to provide defensive intensity.
Nick Stowers and Ben Sauter also should provide outside scoring and some quality minutes in their first full year of varsity competition, the coach said.
Vorst added that the players on this team will be fun to watch.
“I think people are going to like how they play. They are unselfish and will work hard together to do anything to make the team a success.”
This Bulldog team, the coach explained, truly supports one another, and he noted they are “their own biggest fans.”
“They want to see each other be successful,” Vorst said.
While Rossford will once again find Lake the most challenging league rival, the Bulldogs should have the ability to win in the NBC.
However, Vorst said they are not restricting their goals to the league, as they look to make a significant tournament run.
With continuous improvement throughout the season and players who push and rely on each other, this year’s team should bring an exciting brand of basketball to RHS.