By Joe Ostrica
Below are some of the top sports highlights in North Ridgeville in 2012. All items are listed in chronological order.
NRMS boys basketball teams win WSC titles
Both the North Ridgeville Middle School seventh and eighth-grade boys basketball team won West Shore Conference championships in January. The eighth-graders beat rival Midview to finish the season 15-4. The seventh-graders defeated Avon Purple 37-31 to win the WSC crown and finish the season with an impressive 18-1 record.
Bugala commits to play football at Gannon University
After narrowing his choices down to three schools, North Ridgeville football standout and defensive tackle Mitch Bugala committed to further his academic and athletic career at Gannon University, a Division II school. The All-West Shore Conference and All-Lorain County player was pleased to make his college choice official in February.
Kordish advances to state championship in bowling
As he prepared to compete in the Division I boys bowling district Saturday, North Ridgeville junior Ryan Kordish used a brand-new ball to and finished with a 651 series, good enough for second overall and to advance with the top five individual state qualifiers to the state tournament in Columbus.
Kordish bowled a 257 in one game for the second-best individual game of the day.
Davis, Ziegler represent community, place at state
St. Edward senior Jacob Davis (160) and St. Ignatius junior Tom Ziegler (113) represented North Ridgeville as the two residents returned to the state tournament for the second-consecutive year. Just like the previous season, both wrestlers placed in the top eight in their respective weight classes. Davis (32-9) wound up in fourth place in his weight class. Ziegler (17-8) placed sixth.
Montgomery racks up basketball records, awards
As expected, North Ridgeville four-year varsity girls basketball standout Ashley Montgomery landed numerous postseason awards for her play on the court as a member of the Lady Rangers. In addition to earning All-Lorain County and All-West Shore Conference first team honors, Montgomery earned the team MVP award. She also earned All-District second team and All-Ohio honorable mention. Montgomery set 12 school records for the North Ridgeville girls program, including single game scoring record (37 points) and career scoring (1,166 points), making her the all-time leader among all boys and girls.
Cockburn’s Hilltoppers advance to Division II Elite 8
West Liberty University sophomore and North Ridgeville native Keene Cockburn and his teammates earned an 89-78 Sweet 16 victory against No. 7-ranked Shaw. West Liberty improved to 32-2. Coming off the bench, the 6-foot-5 Cockburn compiled a few impressive blocked shots to rally his team to victory. He finished the contest with an astounding seven blocks, five points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals in just 26 minutes of play.
LRA’s Bradford leads all-stars
Being the lone Lake Ridge Academy member to take part in the 2012 Lorain County All-Star Girls Basketball Doubleheader March 20 at Elyria Catholic High School, senior DaVonna Bradford led all scorers with 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting and added a game-high nine rebounds, leading her team to a 61-57 come-from-behind victory over the Gold team. She shot 58.8 percent from the floor and 77.1 percent from the free-throw line during the 2011-12 season and will play basketball for Division I Detroit the next four years.
Hudson breaks North Ridgeville high jump record from the 80’s
North Ridgeville track and field athlete Josh Hudson, a West Shore Conference champion in the high jump, set a major milestone in a dual meet against Rocky River. Hudson set a new school record in the high jump with a leap of 6-5, besting the old record of 6-4.5 set by Eric Kucirek sometime in the 1980s.
Lamvermeyer earns silver medal at martial arts national championship
North Ridgeville’s Jen Lamvermeyer was among nine students from Kim’s Martial Arts School in Avon who qualified to compete at the AAU National Championships in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Lamvermeyer earned a silver medal in her respective division at the event.
Jordan White drafted
Former North Ridgeville High School football standout and Western Michigan University wide receiver Jordan White was drafted by the New York Jets as the 244th pick (37th in the seventh round). At WMU, White led the country with 140 catches and 1,911 receiving yards, scoring 17 touchdowns in 2011. He owns MAC records for receiving yards in a season (1,911), in a career (4,187) and career catches (306). White also holds all but one WMU receiving record.
Ridgeville boys set records at WSC
The North Ridgeville boys set four meet records and won a total of six events at the West Shore Conference track championships. Zack Bowden broke the WSC record in the 100 dash with a winning time of 11.03 seconds, while helping the 400 relay team of himself, David Bowden, Christian Watkins and Paul Sonego break the record by full second, with a winning time of 43.64. Sonego broke the 400 record by 1.13 seconds, winning the event in 50.13. He also ran the anchor leg in the record-setting 1600 relay win, finishing with a time of 3:29.44. Alex Awad, Issac Reed and Brad Sundheimer combined with Sonego for the win.
Sonego state finalist and WSC MVP
To say North Ridgeville junior track athlete Paul Sonego had a great track season is a bit of an understatement. Songeo not only won the West Shore Conference title in the 400, he was also part of the Rangers’ 4×100 relay team that won the WSC, the district championship and placed third at regionals to become North Ridgeville’s first-ever state qualifying relay squad. The week before Sonego and relay teammates Christian Watkins, Zach Bowden and David Bowden competed in Columbus in the relay race, he was named the WSC MVP.
Wade returns from soccer injury with big season
Just prior to transferring to North Ridgeville High School from Lake Ridge Academy for her junior year, girls soccer standout Morgan Wade suffered a torn ACL in June of 2011 during a game in the State Cup. Last summer she came back strong to help lead the Premier level Cleveland United squad win the Region 2 Midwest Championship, the first-ever for Cleveland United, and advance to national competition.
Wade followed up with a spectacular finish to her playing career for North Ridgeville her senior year, notching a hat trick en route to a 3-2 victory over Midview on Senior Night, giving her 24 goals on the season. Her leadership improved the Lady Rangers to 8-6-1, ensuring this North Ridgeville team would become the winningest girls soccer program in school history. She was a team MVP and West Shore Conference and Lorain County first-team selection.
Local racer becomes derby legend
Morgan Dyer, 19, of North Ridgeville joined an elite group of Soap Box Derby women racers after tallying her fourth championship at the All-American Soap Box Derby National Championship, held in Bowling Green, KY for the first time this year. Only two other women in the history of Soap Box Derby racing have won four national championships.
Gerome starts high school golf career in great fashion
Battling high winds and strong teams at the West Shore Conference championship Nov. 20, the North Ridgeville girls golf team was led by freshman Nicole Gerome, who took second overall with an 87. Averaging in the high 70s for most of the year, at the Division I sectional tournament Gerome shot a 91, which eventually was good enough to land her as one of four individuals not on a qualifying team to advance to districts.
NRMS middle school football team wins WSC
The North Ridgeville Middle School seventh-grade football team finished first in the West Shore Conference, winning the championship with an undefeated 8-0 season.
Mees leads Heidelberg to best start in 40 years
After a late October 28-14 win over Muskingum University, Heidelberg improved to 7-0, giving the team it’s best start since 1972. Sophomore quarterback Michael Mees, a former standout leader for the North Ridgeville Rangers, went 11-for-22 passing with 133 yards, including two touchdowns. Mees later helped lead Heidelberg University to its first-ever playoff berth after a thrilling 35-34 win over Baldwin-Wallace. He was 13-for-25 passing, 193 yards and one touchdown in the game. He also carried ball six times for 35 yards and three touchdowns. Mees had touchdown runs for 1 yard, 13 yards and 1 yard.
Ridgeville’s Dowell makes name for himself at St. Edward
North Ridgeville resident David Dowell turned heads with his impressive sophomore year at St. Edward High School. He became a hero in St. Edward’s “Holy War” annual game against rival St. Ignatius Oct. 27, pulling in the game-winning catch for a touchdown in a 20-13 thriller. Quarterback Ryan Fallon tossed a high 4-yard pass in the end zone to Dowell, who leaped over a defender to haul in the game-deciding touchdown catch with 4:01 left on the clock. Dowell started every game of the regular season and had 18 catches, 128 yards and three touchdowns. He also threw a 32-yard pass.
Dickson gets 100th career win
North Ridgeville senior 120-pounder Drew Dickson picked up his 100th career wrestling victory just four matches into the Rangers’ dual with West Shore Conference rival Midview on a pinfall in 1:08 over Midview’s Josh Gabor. He then made it 101 victories with a 6-0 victory over Lutheran West defending state qualifier Tim Mecklenburg. The two victories helped the Rangers pull off a sweep, beginning with a 47-24 win over Midview and concluding with a 51-13 win over the Longhorns.
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