Area high school football players had impacts on the Ohio North-South All-Star Football Classic games at Massillon last Saturday.
Wayne center Ben Jackson was the South’s offensive player of the game following a 38-34 big-school combined Divisions I-III defeat of the North. Mechanicsburg defensive lineman Dylan Hartley was the South defensive MVP in a 45-42 small-school combined Divisions IV-VII contest. Both games were held at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium.
WAYNE RELAYS: Run for cover
In addition to those two, Fort Recovery quarterback Caleb Martin had 293 yards passing and four touchdowns for the small-school South. Martin’s go-to receiver was Carlisle’s Ridge Reed, who had three catches for 169 yards and two scores.
The rules are amended in these kinds of games to give the offense a decisive advantage.
“The game is designed to make sure there are some opportunities to make it wild and it was,” South small-schools coach Mike Brown of Carlisle told the Canton Repository. “Fun game to coach in, fun game for the kids. What I liked was even though we came up short, I felt like I saw everyone make a spectacular play.”
The games are sponsored by the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association. Previously anchored at Canton, this was the first time the games had been held in Massillon following a long run at Columbus and Dayton’s Welcome Stadium the last three years.
• Jamie Hand has succeeded Kyle Gray as the Xenia girls basketball coach. Hand was a Xenia boys coach for nine seasons and assisted Gray the last two seasons.
“I am humbled and honored to be able to work with the girls’ basketball team at Xenia,” Hand said in a release. “My hope is that we, together, through our hard work and dedication, can represent the school and our town in the best possible way.”
A major overhaul awaits Hand. Xenia hasn’t won more than six games in any of the last six seasons. The last Bucs’ winning team was 17-7 in the 2009-10 season.
The program also was rocked with scandal just prior to the 2015 postseason when former coach Terry Toliver conducted what essentially was a tryout for an AAU program. Seven area girls players were suspended for two games each by the Ohio High School Athletic Association for their participation and Toliver was released by then-Xenia athletic director Mark Stoll.
Xenia AD Nathan Kopp cited Hand’s 19 years of teaching experience in the school district as a difference-maker. “I am excited to see him put his stamp on the girls program,” he said.
• Covington will celebrate 35 years of honoring graduates in its athletics hall of fame. An induction ceremony will be held at halftime of the Week 2, Sept. 1 football game against visiting Minster. May 10 is the deadline to submit nominees. For more information contact the Covington athletic department.
Roger Craft will retire as Covington’s AD at the end of this school year and has been succeeded by Covington grad Ashley Johnson, according to the Piqua Daily Call. Craft has served as a Buccs’ coach and AD for the last 20-plus years. Johnson has been the Franklin Monroe AD the last four years.
• This is the final week for high school baseball games at Dayton’s Fifth Third Field. On Tuesday it’s Dayton Christian vs. Troy Christian at 7 p.m. Wednesday’s doubleheader features Greenville vs. West Carrollton at 4:30 p.m. followed by Springfield vs. Brookville at 7 p.m. On Thursday Milton-Union will play Lehman Catholic at 7 p.m.