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Fall prep season to begin Thursday

The calendar indicates otherwise, but most fall high school coaches will tell you that summer is over.

Coaching for every fall high school sport except football begins on Thursday. Football officially starts this coming Monday. Really, it never ended from last fall with offseason conditioning, weight lifting, camps and summer practices.

As usual, boys and girls golf will be the first fall sport to compete, beginning Tuesday, Aug. 6. That’ll be followed by girls tennis (Aug. 12), field hockey, volleyball and soccer (Aug. 17) and finally cross country (Aug. 19).

Several area teams will kick off the football season earlier, but the Week 1 first Friday football night is Aug. 30.

Russell a hit: Greenville softball player Ally Russell was one of 80 players from across the United States to be named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association first team all-region squads.

Russell, a sophomore pitcher for the Lady Wave this past season, was one of 16 players from Ohio, Indiana and Illinois to make the North Region First Team. She was one of three pitchers to earn the honor, along with a pair of pitchers from Illinois.

Russell (25-6), struck out 200 in 186.2 innings, had 12 shutouts and posted a 1.05 ERA.

Fast track: Northwest Track Club founder Harold “Lefty” Martin recently shared that his grandson, Ej Floreal, placed fourth in the 100 (10.98) and third in the 200 meters (21.37) in the Kentucky state track and field meet at the University of Louisville.

The 2013 Paul Dunbar (Lexington) High School grad is the son of 1992 Olympics (Barcelona, Spain) 100 hurdles silver medalist LaVonna Martin-Floreal, Lefty’s daughter. Ej has been invited to walk on to play basketball at the University of Kentucky.

She’s a hit: Count Allyson Duncan of Catholic Central among the area’s top girls most sought-after volleyball recruits.

A 5-foot-11 junior outside hitter, Duncan is drawing interest from NCAA Division I programs Tennessee, Iowa, Notre Dame, Xavier and many others. Duncan plays for the 16U Blue Dayton Juniors and longtime area coach Howard Garcia in the offseason.

Making his pitch: The Dabbelt Report founder Jim Dabbelt recently made his best pitch against the Cincinnati Reds when he threw out the first pitch in the July 8 game at Milwaukee’s Miller Park.

Joining him on the mound was former Fairborn High School standout and current Marquette University player Brooke Pumroy.

Dabbelt landed the first-pitch offer after meeting a Brewers assistant coach during one of his girls basketball summer camps. The Brewers beat the Reds, 4-3.

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