Northwood girls’ soccer coach John Turkal and his Rangers will have their work cut out for them trying to defend their 2007 Northwest Ohio Scholastic Soccer League Division 2 championship.
After last season’s 10-3-4 season, Turkal hopes to build on his 62-38-13 career record (includes coaching at Lowell High School, Mich.), even though the Rangers graduated seven seniors in 2007.
The first home game is this Thursday at 5 p.m. against Rossford. The Rangers will have 23 new players taking the field this season, but Turkal believes his players are up to the task.
Turkal says, “The Rangers are reloading their soccer arsenal.”
The Rangers have three returning seniors at the critical core positions of the team, Turkal explains, in Amy Steenbergen, Emily Henzler, and Jordan Mack. In addition, four of the returning sophomores — Becca Avery, Kelsie Hansen, Carissa DeAngelo and Holly Slater — bring the experience of a championship season with them. The Rangers have 15 new players, 13 of whom came from club and indoor soccer programs.
“They performed well at our summer session and indicated they are capable of performing at the upscale high school game,” Coach Turkal said. “With a young team anything can happen. However this is the fastest team I have ever coached — speed with depth.
“We have changed to the 3-4-3 offense to try and exploit our team speed. This years’ younger team is faster and quicker than our 2007 squad. This should help us maintain better control of the midfield and the play a very fast match tempo. We are two and three deep at the key positions and will attempt to run a pressure defense in the offensive third.
“The girls are excited and have set goals for improving our win-loss record, and repeating as league champion. Our primary objective is to have fun and enjoy our season.”
Former Genoa football player Rick Waldron says that when he played football and basketball for the Comets, he was a “skinny kid” who, as a reserve, was lucky to see action the last few minutes of any game.
One year ago, Waldron became a gridiron champion—as a Press football soothsayer. Now, the he must defend his title and if he does so, will become the first to do so in six seasons. He says he’s ready.
“Turn loose the pigeons, let the games begin...,” Waldron e-mailed The Press as the first week of prep football choices was sent out to soothsayers.
Waldron, a former Press sports editor who currently serves as General Manager for a Toledo-area Christian based radio ministry, won the 2007 Press Soothsayer Award with a 102-36 (73.9 percent) record.
It was Waldron’s first championship after participating as a soothsayer since the Press began predicting local high school, college, and pro football games. He remains a Genoa resident today.
Waldron defeated Press staff writer A.J. Szozda (101-37), who was also spending his time as the Rossford tennis coach, by one game. Following Szozda is current Press sports editor J. Patrick Eaken (100-38), contributing writers Jeffrey D. Norwalk and Mark Griffin tied at 99-39, contributing writers Scott Calhoun and Deb Wallace followed tied at 97-41, and Press sales person Leeanna LaForme closed out at 95-43.
This year, The Press adds a new face in Lake graduate and contributing writer Nicholas Huenefeld. Currently enrolled at Bowling Green State University and Owens Community College, he plans to graduate from both next summer.
At Owens, Huenefeld is the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Owens Outlook, president of the student government, statistician for men's and women's basketball, and public address announcer for Express softball.
Huenefeld is also popularly known as the local ketchup drinker, havingappeared on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," "Breakfast TV" in Toronto, and "Ripley's Believe It or Not" twice.
There is also one added twist this year — the eight soothsayers will have think hard about the weekly Press Game of the Week. A correct choice will count two wins toward their standings, while an incorrect choice will count as two losses.
Owens College women’s basketball is hosting a Varsity High School Girls Mega Scrimmage designed to allow teams to play a variety of different schools in preparation for the 2008-09 prep cage season. Contact the Owens Women's Basketball Office 567-661-7941 or 419-343-4920.
The Genoa Little League will be holding travel tryouts as follows: U10 – Sept. 6, 7, 13, and 14 on Lou Thomas Field from 9-11 a.m. each day. U12 – Sept. 6, 7, 13, and 14 on Diamond No. 2 from 9-11 a.m. each day. U14 – Sept. 27, 28, Oct 4, and 5 at Padge Field from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. each day. Visit www.leaguelineup.com/genoa or contact Lee Nissen at 419-351-2398.
The 26th Annual Summers End/Betty Hiser Memorial Co-Ed Softball Tournament will be Aug. 30-31 at Williams Park in Gibsonburg. The $150 entry fee includes umpire fees. Drawing will be 7 p.m. Aug. 27 at Williams Park. Proceeds benefit the Gibsonburg Volunteer Fire Department softball team. Call Jim and Jodi Heinze at 419-637-2531 or 419-307-7982.