The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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Each year in March, 16 schools are vying for four divisional state basketball championships at Value City Arena in Columbus. 

However, the Genoa community and Genoa Area High School might want to reflect back in time over 35 years ago when the tournament was played at fabled St. John Arena.

Head coach Dave Hitchen and his comrades, 6-10 Ron Hammye, 6-7 Mike Diekman, 6-7 Harlan Niehaus, 6-2 Jeff Shaneck, and 6-2 Jim Feckley had defeated Elyria Catholic in the Class AA regional final at Anderson Arena in Bowling Green and were headed for the big show in Columbus.

Hitchen was instrumental in developing the Genoa program as head coach for nine years. During that time, the Comets were 118-59, won four Suburban Lakes League championships and were regional qualifiers twice. Before he came on board, the Comets posted only one winning season in ten years.

“We kind of set the trend for Genoa basketball starting with the 1972-73 season. Since then we’ve had an awful lot of good kids. Since then we’ve made Genoa one of the area’s best basketball programs around,” Hitchen explained.

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Too bad for Oak Harbor girls basketball fans that Dan Christie decided to raise

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his family in Central Ohio instead of his hometown.

Christie, a 1983 Oak Harbor grad who led the Rockets to the 1983 Class AA state championship game, played basketball at the University of Dayton. He married and stayed in the Dayton area, where he is a financial advisor for UBS Financial Services.

Had Dan and Margie Christie, who will be married 21 years in June, moved to Oak Harbor two decades ago, the Rockets' girls basketball program would have reaped the benefits of their three daughters' basketball skills.

Ashley Christie, 18, is a senior guard at Kettering Archbishop Alter High School. Her sister, Courtney, 16, is a junior guard at Alter while their older sister, Nicole, 20, was a standout for the Knights and is now a sophomore at Ohio University.

Nicole and Ashley were both starters and Courtney was a freshman sub in 2008, when Alter won its first girls state basketball title in school history. The Knights beat Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown 60-46 in the Division II title game at Value City Arena in Columbus.

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Rodriguez here to honor five local senior football players
Football players Michael Ackerman (Clay), Seth Hoffman (Eastwood), Michael Mallernee (Oak Harbor), Jacob Schreuder (Genoa), and Scott Traver (Genoa) are to be honored at the National Foundation Toledo Wistert Chapter scholar-athlete awards dinner Mar. 8.

University of Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez will be the featured speaker. The dinner begins at 6 p.m. at The Pinnacle in Maumee.

In total, 30 football players “who have performed with great prowess on the gridiron this season” will be honored. The awardees also have to be proficient in the classroom and contribute to their communities.

Others being honored are Spencer Bryant, Nico Caponi, Kyle Finn (Perkins), Chase Clark, Nathan Shaffer (Hilltop), Eric Cogan (Summerfield), Mason Cole (Bedford), Zach Crawford, Eric Schaible (Findlay), Patrick Dyer (St. Francis), Jacob Goatley (Maumee), James Hall (Southview), David Hector (Cory Rawson), Brandon Hummer (Napoleon), Daniel Jones (Carleton Airport), Brian Laubenthal (Ottawa-Glandorf), Lucas Logan (Sand Creek), John “J.C.” Miller (Toledo Christian), Joe Missler (Whitmer), Jason Morter (Mohawk), Alex Nofziger (Defiance), Brett Pasche (Liberty-Benton), Trey Westrick (Archbold), Philip Wingate (Whiteford), and Nathan Yoder (Fairview).

Tickets are $45. For an additional $30 you can attend a reception with Coach Rodriguez before dinner. Call Rachel at Team Sports at 419-865-TEAM (8326).

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