Northwood dominates all-league
Northwood senior quarterback Kyle Gunn has been named Offensive Player of the Year by the Toledo Area Athletic Conference.
His teammate, 5-8, 189 pound senior linebacker Justin Grindle, has been named TAAC Defensive Player of the Year. Gunn and Grindle join a list of 19 Rangers, which includes just about every starter on the team, who dominate the TAAC all-league teams.
Northwood coach Ken James called Gunn the “trigger man in an offense that set several school records and averaged 44.2 points per game.”
James called Gunn “our big play man on offense” who “saved his best for big games.”
The two-year starting quarterback totaled over 2,100 yards of offense (1,138 rushing, 1,003 passing), yet James says, “Like most of our starters, (Gunn) rarely played a full game because we had big leads.”
Carrying the football, Gunn averaged 8.2 yards per carry and was Northwood’s second leading scorer with 82 points. Gunn led Wood County in rushing, threw for nine touchdowns and had only six interceptions.
James says Gunn had several plays (run and pass) over 60 yards, adding that the “threat of him running the ball made us much tougher to defend.”
Artino is a four-year letterman and starter, and “one of the best linemen in the history of our school and our league,” said James.
Artino has been first team all conference all four years, second team all-district as a junior, and James calls him a “dominating run blocker” and “excellent pass blocker” on offense” who has “quick feet for a big man.” James calls Artino his “most consistent and versatile lineman.”
“Most teams ran away from him when he was on defense,” James said.
On offense, Artino had 38 pancake blocks with an average grade of 94 percent. On defense, James calls Artino “an excellent pass rusher with the speed to also drop into coverage.”
Artino finished the season with 49 total tackles, five tackles for loss, three sacks, two caused fumbles, and returned one fumble for a touchdown.
The 5-10, 157 pound Gunn is joined on the first team offense by 6-0, 177 senior running back Alex Williams, 6-4, 235 senior offensive tackle Charles Artino, 5-11, 234 senior center Kyle Garrison, and 5-11, 155 senior wide receiver Chris Keith.
First team defensive choices from Northwood are Grindle, 5-10, 170 linebacker Michael Prothero, 5-10, 172 senior senior free safety Nate James, 6-0, 173 sophomore punter Jake Pressley, and Artino at defensive end.
On second team offense from the league champion Northwood Rangers (9-1, 6-0) are 5-9, 155 sophomore running back Zach Bermejo, 5-7, 200 pound senior guard Joe Rodriguez, 6-3, 265 junior guard Andrew Pietras, and 6-1, 248 junior tackle Kyle Artino.
Second team defensive choices from Northwood include 5-11, 200 senior defensive end Nathan Hess, 6-2, 227 sophomore linebacker Corey Jones, and 5-7, 150 senior cornerback Tom Lackner.
Honorable mention choices include senior cornerback David Ferguson and junior defensive tackles Drew Minarcin and Max Tunison.
Clay, Lake, and Northwood were among 16 high school varsity girls basketball teams had the opportunity to compete against some of the best high schools from around the region as part of the first-ever Express Girls High School Mega Scrimmage hosted by Owens Community College on Friday, Nov. 21.
Other teams competing in mega scrimmage included Elmwood, Wayne Trace, Perrysburg, Scott, Paulding, Libbey, Otsego, Fostoria St. Wendelin, Norwalk St. Paul, Notre Dame, Monroe, Piqua, and Anthony Wayne. Each high school varsity team got to participate in several games throughout the scrimmage.
The Express women’s basketball program is led by Head Coach Mike Llanas and completed their 2007-08 season with a 23-10 overall record and finished tied for second in the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (10-4 record). Llanas’ squad, which was ranked No. 28 in the final NJCAA Division II poll, lost to Mott Community College in the finals of the NJCAA Region XII Championships. Early in the 2008-09 campaign, the Express’ overall record stands at 2-3 after five games.
Eastwood Middle School will hold its annual Tom Conkle Wrestling Dual Tournament December 6 starting at 9 a.m. in honor of former coach and teacher Tom Conkle. Participants are Eastwood, Maumee Gateway, Rossford, Swanton, Sylvania Timberstone, Fassett, Liberty Center, East Broadway, Washington Local, and McComb. Maumee Gateway is last year’s defending champion. Tickets are $5 (adult) and $3 (student).