Five Clay athletes ink dotted line on college signing day
The original signing day for high school athletes committing to play college sports was postponed because of snow on a Wednesday two weeks ago.
The following Tuesday, five Clay senior athletes signed letters of intent to play at NCAA or NAIA colleges across the Midwest.
Brooke Gallaher will play softball for the Lourdes College (NAIA) Gray Wolves, distance runner Erin Gyurke will run cross country and track and field for the Ohio State University (NCAA Division I) Buckeyes, goalkeeper Alyssa Heintschel will play soccer for the Ball State University (NCAA D-I) Cardinals, quarterback Joshua Pennington will play football for the University of Findlay (NCAA D-II) Oilers, and Honnah Susor will play softball for the Wright State University (NCAA D-I) Raiders.
Brooke Gallaher is Clay’s ace pitcher and a three-year varsity starter. In 2013, Gallaher pitched her first varsity no-hitter against Notre Dame.
Clay athletes who signed on to play collegiate sports — left to right— Alyssa
Gallaher not only led the team in the circle, she also hit in the number three spot in the lineup. She led the team in RBIs and doubles, earning Toledo City League honors as a freshman, and first team All-Three Rivers Athletic Conference in each of the past two seasons. She earned TRAC All-Academic, All-Ohio All-Academic, TRAC Pitcher of the Year, first team Northwest District, and second team All-Ohio honors.
Erin Gyurke has participated in three sports at Clay, cross country, gymnastics and track. She was first team all-league in cross country all four years. She was individual league champion two of those four years. Her personal best time of 17:57.6 was run at this year’s TRAC championships. This time earned her a TRAC meet record on the Fremont Ross home course.
Gyurke was the team leader on the first Clay girls’ team to run in the state cross country championships. Running in the state meet all four years, she has already been honored as All Ohio in cross country twice.
Gyurke came off her junior year of cross country ready to go for the 2013 track season. Due to some off-season cross training on ice, Gyurke’s track season got off to a late start, running her first race on April 23.
By the middle of May, she was a three-time champion at the TRAC championships. She had first place finishes in the 4x800 meter relay, 1,600 and 3,200 runs. After helping the girls’ team capture a first ever district team title by running multiple events, she concentrated on the 3,200 run for state. At state, Gyurke placed sixth in a time of 11:04.13 to earn All-Ohio Honors.
Alyssa Heintschel started at keeper all four years for the Lady Eagles. She is the first player ever to be voted by her peers as a team captain all four years. Heintschel earned TRAC Keeper of the Year, first team All-TRAC and first team all-district her sophomore, junior and senior years. She is the second girls’ soccer player in Clay’s history to earn first team All-Ohio.
Heintschel was recently awarded All-Region by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Region IV is made up of five states, and she was one of five keepers to earn this recognition. She had 32 career wins and holds the school record for career shut-outs with 24.
She says her highlights include playing this year with her freshman sister Sami, winning the 2012 TRAC championship, and receiving a yellow card against Anthony Wayne in 2011.
Academically, Heintschel earned all-league, all-district and All-Ohio honors. She ranks third in the senior class with a 4.38 GPA.
Josh Pennington was a team captain and named honorable mention All-TRAC in 2012 and 2013. He finished his senior season with 111 completions for 1,889 yards and 18 touchdowns and also rushed for 385 yards and six touchdowns. As a junior, Pennington threw for 2,025 yards and 16 touchdowns and rushed for 411 yards and 7 touchdowns.
He broke numerous school records while quarterbacking the Eagles, including most TDs in a game, 5 (2013), most passing yards in a game, 367 (2012), attempts in a season, 243 (2012), attempts in a career, 468 (2012, 2013), yards thrown in a season, 2,025 (2012), yards thrown in a career, 3,914 (2012, 2013), career TDs thrown, 34 (2012, 2013).
Pennington also earned All-Academic TRAC honors his sophomore, junior and senior year.
Honnah Susor is “a very gifted athlete who is blessed with speed and strength,” says a school press release.
Susor led the team in runs scored, singles, total hits, walks, stolen bases, batting average and home runs. She got at least one base hit in 27 out of 30 games and multiple hits in 18 games. She got four hits in seven different games and three hits in two games.
Susor broke the Clay High single season batting average record (.566). She led the TRAC in batting average in 2013, earned first team ALL-TRAC honors twice, TRAC Player of the Year, first team NW District and Honorable Mention All-Ohio.
Susor was also a four-year starter in soccer, earning first team All-TRAC her junior and senior year. She finished her soccer career with 23 goals and 22 assists.
The Oak Harbor Athletic Boosters will hold their 26th Annual Reverse Raffle Mar. 22 at Ole Zim’s Wagon Shed, Gibsonburg. The evening will include dinner, drinks, games, silent and live auctions and a raffle. Tickets are $75, which admits one for dinner and raffle. Extra dinner tickets may be purchased for $25. Call Kevin Rutledge at 419-707-1342.
The Lake Baseball Association will have a sign-up day for t-ball (5-6 year olds), coach pitches (7-8), and youth baseball (8-14 on Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Walbridge Administration Building, 111 N. Main St. Dues of $40 for t-ball and coach pitch and $125 for baseball are due at time of signups. All players must live in the Lake School District or attend Lake Schools. Call Scott Howard at 419-350-4224.