Due to the success of the Northwood girls’ soccer team the past two seasons, the Rangers are moving to the Northwest Ohio Scholastic Soccer League Division 1.
That means, the Rangers will play Clay, Notre Dame, Saint Ursula Academy and Toledo Central Catholic in league play. Northwood also will play four Suburban Lakes League teams along with Whitmer and Wauseon in non-league action.
“Our schedule is more difficult, but is what we have aimed for since 2005,” said Coach John Turkal. “Since this team will return for the following two seasons (2010 and 2011), we consider this season to be our learning season for playing at an upscale level to compete and win in our conference and the state tourney. Our primary objective is to have fun and enjoy our season.”
Last year, Northwood finished the season with a 12-3-2 record and was the NWOSSL Division 2 champion. Turkal has a career record of 74-48-15, which includes a stint at Lowell High School, Michigan.
Northwood graduated three seniors in 2008 and the Rangers are bringing back 10 lettermen and seven starters. But Turkal says the Rangers remain young with two returning juniors and eight sophomores at core positions.
Juniors Becca Avery and Holly Slater bring the experience of two championship seasons with them. The sophomores, led by Jessica Grindle, Kayla Kurth, Sandy Koch, Marrissa Ramirez, Alysha Henzler and Megan Hess, were part of the last year’s championship team that had the schools’ best record.
Turkal says Searra Linhurst, Taylor Purtee and Nichole Davenport are moving up to starting positions for the Rangers. Senior Kyla Brittian is out with an ACL injury and her return is in question. Seven new players fill out the team.
“They performed well at our summer session, bonded well with the returning girls and appear capable of performing at the upscale high school game,” Turkal said.
“With a young team anything can happen. However this is a team with experience and girls who have a nose for the ball. We have the schools’ 4x100 (track relay) team at key positions and have speed with depth,” the coach continues.
“We will stay with the 3-4-3 offense to try and exploit our team speed. Grindle moves to the No. 1 spot replacing All-District Emily Henzler at center mid. Kayla Kurth will move to the center striker position. Our defensive backs are small but quick.
“This year we will have the benefit of a good backup goalie with size, a problem for us in the past. This year the girls are excited due to our moving up to the upper division of our conference,” Turkal continued.
According to Northern Buckeye Conference commissioner Larry Jones, on August 12 the superintendent and principals of the newly formed league voted to extend an invitation into the conference to Elmwood and Fostoria.
The two schools were contacted and were asked to respond by August 31. If they accept the invitation they would join Eastwood, Genoa, Lake, Otsego, Rossford and Woodmore as members of the new conference which begins play in the 2011-2012 school year.
According to www.theseniorreports.com, Elmwood is considering both the NBC and the Midland Athletic Conference. The website reports that Steven Pritts, Elmwood's superintendent, confirmed that his school also has sent a letter of interest to the Midland Athletic League, and the MAL's 12 members were to meet Thursday to discuss the possibility of inviting Elmwood and another current Suburban Lakes League member, Gibsonburg.
Baldwin-Wallace will begin the 2009 football campaign with three local players on the roster — freshman quarterback and wide receiver Aaron Manders (Cardinal Stritch), junior defensive back Nick Clemons (Oak Harbor), and sophomore safety Eric Rutherford (Eastwood).
Rutherford, who begins his second year at B-W, has already proven himself in the classroom as one of the team’s academic standouts with 3.348 grade point average.
“I have a responsibility to keep strong the tradition of excellence of our football program,” said eighth-year Coach John Snell. Snell, who has a 46-26 career record, led the Yellow Jackets to the Division III national playoffs in 2003.
The Genoa Little League will be holding tryouts for the 2010 travel baseball season. All tryouts are on Sept. 19 and Sept. 26 from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. U14 and U13 tryouts are on Diamond No. 3, U12 is on Diamond No. 2, and U10 is on Diamond No. 1. Call Lee Nissen 419-351-2398.