The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

Sports

Derrick Vicars figured he had a chance to become a national champion in the discus, but he knew Mother Nature had to lend a helping hand.

Vicars, a 2008 graduate of Genoa High School who is now a member of the University of Findlay track and field team, had the 11th-best qualifying throw heading into the NCAA Division II Outdoor Track and Field Championships at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, N.C.

“It depended on the weather,” said Vicars, 21, a sophomore majoring in education at UF. “It actually worked out. We threw in bad weather all year and all those other guys had their PRs in good weather and really good wind. In discus, there is a certain wind you want. We had a lot of rain this year and I figured if we had not-so-good weather, I would have a really good shot. Guys in Texas aren't used to rain or having good winds all the time.”

On May 29, after bad weather had postponed the meet, Vicars threw the shot 173 feet, 1 inch (52.77 meters) to become the national Division II outdoor discus champion. Vicars placed 14th at the NCAA championships last year.

This year's runner-up was James Coleman, a freshman from Missouri Southern, with a throw of 172-3 (52.54 meters).

The 6-1, 240-pound Vicars, who had thrown more than 176 feet earlier this season at a meet in Tennessee, competed in the first of two discus flights at the NCAA championships.

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Lake and Northwood has traditionally been a rival in sports. However, after last weekend’s events, the Ranger athletic family has stepped in to help their rivals clean up.

Northwood head football coach Ken James said he went with his son to Millbury in the middle of the night after the tornado hit to help a Northwood faculty member who lived on Main Street and had damage to her house.

“It was like a bomb had exploded,” James said of the scene. “It was like being on a movie set.”

James began to have thoughts of helping more, and then some of his players approached him after last Monday’s afternoon weightlifting session and offered to help the Lake community.

So, they went from one property to another helping to move rubble to the side of the road. James had first gone under the cover of darkness to see the damage, but the daylight allowed him to see more of the damage.

“You never expect to find a washer and a dryer in a field,” he said. “We felt bad. The kids were eager to help because if the tornado turns two miles north, we’re in their situation.”

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The future home, or homes, of Lake athletics is unknown at this time following last weekend’s storm.

For the most part, the tornado that traveled through Millbury and destroyed Lake High School left Lake’s baseball, softball, soccer and track fields in decent, playable shape. With some work, Flyer Stadium could be home to Lake’s football games this fall.

“Another definite goal is to hold home football games in our stadium in the fall. We want to try and keep some semblance of a normal school life for the kids, parents and the community,” said school treasurer Jeff Carpenter.

Tim Krugh, school board president, added that athletic and extra-curricular programs will also continue in the fall.

“We have already met with the coaches, band and music directors, etc. and we are committed to continuing offering all of our programming,” Krugh said.

However, the tornado left the boys and girls basketball teams, along with volleyball and wrestling, in scramble mode for open gyms, camps, and eventually a home court for their games and matches this fall and winter. Plus, the outdoor sports still have to find places to practice.

That is a lot of work considering there are junior high programs along with freshmen, junior varsity and varsity sports that all have to have practice and schedule games.

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