|A LOOK AT THE INBOX
|Huntington GBB . . . PV Track has people talking enrollment yet again . . .
Newland and PV seniors post impressive spring career . . .
Brown and Brooks end special careers . . . Swingle signs to play D-I
INBOX QUESTION: Shayne, I was wondering your thoughts on the Huntington girls’ basketball program. Now
that the job is open with Coach Snyder moving to the boys, do you think it is a good job? I know they have
had a few winning seasons, but do you think this will continue or is there concern that the program could
return to the difficult times of five or six years ago?
I think the Huntington GBB program is a great job. A new coach is going to inherit a program that was 31-16 in the last
two seasons, and now returns four starters in the upcoming season. Braiden Collins and Kelsey McDonald return with an
entire year of varsity experience. As sophomores, the duo combined to average 33 points per game, and the program
also has good role players in Shyanne Conley and Riley Black, a 15-4 JV team, and some really good talent in the group
moving into the 8th grade. You add all this up, it is realistic to think there is a lot of winning that is going to take place in
the next three to five years. Obviously SE and Unioto are loaded, but Huntington should be a mainstay in the top half of
the league for several years.
Now, like any job it will not be all sunshine and puppies. There will be some challenges for a new coach. One, if the coach
is not a teacher, a job like this is all of sudden going to be more attractive to staff members, so a person keeping the job
could be difficult. Secondly, I don’t think people understand the value of Rikki Magill this past season. She handled all the
point guard duties and took a lot of pressure off of the younger guards. There is a solid young guard in Emily Haubeil,
who played the JV point and spotted minutes for the varsity late in the year. She works pretty hard in the offseason, and
she could certainly help run the offense next season.
Next, you have a lot of two and three sport athletes. This is obviously a positive in terms of coaching the complete
athlete, but it does limit the time a coach will see the varsity kids in the offseason. Lastly, a concern could be tournament
success. Basketball is a much harder postseason than volleyball or softball, so winning sectionals and competing at
districts will be quite a challenge.
Again, every job is going to contain challenges. When looking at the Huntington GBB program, the positives certainly
outweigh the negative. I look for the next coach (assuming he or she is a teacher) to be at Huntington for several years
and do a lot of winning.
INBOX QUESTION: I was happy for the Swingle kid from Paint Valley. I think it is great to see a kid from the
SVC sign to play Division I basketball. What are your thoughts? Do you like the decision of Duquesne?
I love the decision. Dylan is a good kid, and he has worked so hard on preparing his body and his skill set for this
moment. As I followed the list of schools talking to Dylan, it is always fun to see the Big Ten, Big East, and ACC schools
show serious interest, but I was really impressed with the decision to play for Duquesne – a member of a bigtime college
basketball conference in the Atlantic 10.
I think the coaching staff is a great fit for Dylan. I know he really liked the staff when he first met them at Akron. It was
perfect timing for head coach Keith Dambrot to make the jump from the MAC to the A10. It is also a nice “touch of home”
to have his boyhood idol Jake Kretzer, who played for Coach Dambrot at Akron, to be joining the basketball staff at
The landscape of college basketball has continued to change. You still have five or six schools that have separated
themselves from the rest of the country, but beyond that, it is an open playing field. The A10 put three teams in The
Dance last year and three more in other postseason tournaments. Dylan is going to get a chance to play major college
basketball, and the SVC should be extremely proud of him.
Other topics coming up all over the Scioto Valley Conference…
I know I have at least been asked through email or face-to-face conversation seven or eight times this week about the
Paint Valley track team. People keep asking: Does PV winning the league in track finally squash the enrollment talk in the
SVC? First of all before I even talk about this topic, I want to say congrats to Ben Burke and his kids. It is easy for me to
be genuinely happy for Ben as a friend, because Ben is a genuinely good guy and a hardworking coach.
My first reaction is enrollment has to be the center of attention when looking at this topic. What the PV track team did this
year is nothing short of incredible. Sports like wrestling and track are so enrollment based in terms of just putting kids
into each event or weight class. I think beyond starting a conversation with SVC expansion, the talk should start with a
salute to the Paint Valley track coaches and athletes.
Now, moving to the comments/questions…I don’t know if it is ever going to “squash” the debate. As long as a conference
has the extremes from a school having a count of 253 boys all the way down to another school having 105 girls, it is
always a competitive balance issue that the league needs to be aware of in their decision making. I have always had a
consistent stance on this issue, and I am always open to discussion.
First, although I understand the league’s strong stance on staying together and benefiting from the history, the
geography, and other strengths, I have always been shocked at the league’s unwillingness to talk about it and look for
ways to constantly improve the conference.
Secondly, I have always felt like change in the SVC would have to come from the individual school rather than the
conference. Due to the factors of why the league should remain the same, I believe it would have to come from a Unioto,
Zane Trace, or Westfall saying they want something bigger for their athletic programs, or a Huntington or Paint Valley
saying they would like to join another league where their athletic programs have a better shot at competing at the highest
level in every sport.
***9th, 10th, 11th grade as of 2016***
Adena 152 145
Huntington 129 148
Paint Valley 131 105
Piketon 174 147
SE 135 133
Unioto 253 227
Westfall 211 156
Zane Trace 226 156
The problem with the communication is you now have schools coming together to talk about oranges and apples. Unioto
just finished third or better in every varsity sport; whereas, Huntington had three fourth place finishes as the highlight of
their year, and PV finished in the top three of just two sports. Keep in mind, Huntington has only won five total SVC titles
since the late 90s. That is five titles in over 200 sports seasons. In that same time frame, this year’s PV track title along
with four in football equals the same number of five total for the Bearcats.
The point is this…when talking about the league’s future; this is a factor for the individual schools to consider. As for the
league, the SVC is not necessarily concerned with the balance to competition. They are going to view it more from a
business standpoint. My final thought to this question/comment is your opinion, which should be based on a 20-25 year
trend, should not have changed due to one track meet.
NOTE: SVC track has several athletes heading to Columbus. Good luck to all the athletes…very possible to have
some SVC stars make the podium at the state level.
SVC’s final teams lose in regional play…
The Westfall Lady Mustangs had control of the game, but a tough inning seemed to squash WF’s hopes of playing for its
second Final Four appearance in four years. In the loss, Becca Brown hit her 14th homerun of the spring. In other D-III
action, Piketon fell to powerhouse Wheelersburg 5-0.
In the D-IV district tournament, Mikayla Newland finished her career in the Top-20 in strikeouts in the history of OHSAA
Softball. Keep in mind, Newland split time her freshman year in the circle, and then battled through injury her sophomore
year. Add it all up; Newland posted these numbers in less than three years of action.
Paint Valley’s softball runner-up finish, along with the boys’ track team winning the district title, capped off an amazing
four-year run of spring sports for this year’s PV seniors. In the past four springs, PV has won four district titles in the
spring (Boys’ Track once, Softball once, and Baseball twice) and was runner-up on four more occasions (Boys’ Track
once, Girls’ Track once, and Softball twice).
Finally, Zane Trace Baseball lost a heartbreaker to Wheelersburg. One of our league’s best pitchers in Jeremy Brooks
pitched an incredible game. He allowed just two earned runs, but ZT’s offense was unable to deliver the knockout punch
in the middle innings, and then the ‘Burg found a way to scratch out two sixth-inning runs to win. Zane Trace, a team that
was 6-7 at one point, finished the season at 20-11. The district championship is ZT’s 10th in baseball history – a number
more than all other ZT boys’ sports combined.