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Lake’s Tim DeCant returns to lead Owens baseball team
Written by Press Staff Writer   
Thursday, 01 April 2010 13:57

Tim DeCant (Lake) returns this spring as a sophomore outfielder for the Owens Community College baseball team.

In 2009, he was named the recipient of the team’s Coaches Award. Additionally, DeCant was the team leader with 11 doubles, five triples and 31 stolen bases and compiled a .379 batting average.

Last Wednesday, DeCant was 3-for-3 with a home run and RBI as the Express defeated the visiting Bowling Green State University club team 12-6. Owens swept the BGSU team, winning the first game 12-2 and is now 16-6 on the season.

Also playing for the Express is sophomore outfielder Michael Romano (Clay).

Waite graduate Bob Schultz begins his eighth year as coach. In the past seven years, he has guided the Express to five conference championships in 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Prior to his position as head coach, Schultz served as an Express assistant for five years. His assistants are Gabe Medina and Tom DeMarco.

The Owens men’s baseball program finished the 2009 season with a 34-10 overall record and captured its eighth Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (11-4 record) title in the program’s history. The conference championship is the fifth in the last six years. Owens Express men’s baseball, which was ranked No. 10 in the final NJCAA Division II poll, lost to Lakeland CC in the NJCAA Sub-Region XII Championships.

 
Isbell takes on one of state’s winningest programs
Written by Mark Griffin   
Thursday, 01 April 2010 13:56

New Clay baseball coach Garry Isbell apparently didn't get the memo that you're not supposed to directly follow in the footsteps of a highly successful coach.

Isbell, 31, a former three-sport standout at Lake High School (Class of '96), this season replaces Karl Knierim at the Eagles' head coach.

All Knierim did in his 13 seasons was lead Clay to a 235-105 record, including a 17-8 mark last season and the City League championship. Clay also won the CL title in 2007 and advanced to the regional tournament in 1997, 2006 and 2007.

The Eagles also won three Great Lakes League titles under Knierim, 51, who cited being "a little burned out" for his resignation in early December.

"Karl was on his way to the High School Baseball Coaches' Hall of Fame," said Isbell, who was named Knierim's successor on Feb. 18. "It's not an easy task, following a successful man like him. The nice thing is I have him on my side, and that's definitely going to help me."

Knierim stayed on board to serve as Isbell's varsity assistant. Isbell has been involved with the Eagles' baseball program for nine years, including six as Knierim's varsity assistant.

"Karl has been my mentor since I came into the program," Isbell said. "He taught me how to handle yourself as a head coach, how to work with the kids, create a rapport with the kids and work with the parents and the community. All of those are essential ingredients to have a successful program."

 
Maumee Bay Turf gym provides hangout for youth
Written by Mark Griffin   
Thursday, 01 April 2010 13:55

The weight training area at Maumee Bay Turf measures about 60 feet by 40 feet

pic-mbtgym2

and has been a labor of love for owner P.J. Kapfhammer.

The gym is open to the public, but Kapfhammer especially likes seeing the younger lifters take advantage of the facility.

"They have a weightlifting program at Clay, and we take it to another level for the elite athletes who want to make it a sport," Kapfhammer said. "We give them an avenue to work out. It's free to any kid, as long as they're in high school and they want a place to work out.

"I put the gym in for employees at first, and through time I've invested a lot of money. We have a competition bench that costs $1,800; a normal bench probably costs $400."

Kapfhammer said a group of Clay athletes came to Maumee Bay Turf two years ago to see if the company would sponsor a power lifting team and coach the team at meets.

 
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