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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


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.

Waite state runners-up are champions no matter what
Written by Scott Calhoun   
Tuesday, 30 March 2010 09:09

Waite’s pursuit of the school’s first state title at last week’s Division I girls basketball state championship came so agonizingly close to manifestation it may have wound up too close for the team to accept.
The Lady Indians (24-3) fell 49-47 to first-time state champ Canton McKinley in the D-I title contest — a pretty phenomenal result considering they trailed by as much as 30-17 late in the first half and by a 12-point deficit late in the third quarter.
A team that could barely hit a field goal or handle the ball in the first half neither gave up nor gave in. They tried to the bitter end to complete a hard fought quest to bring home not only a girls state championship to a school without one, but a profound statement to a city rolling in a budget crisis and threatening to eliminate future prep basketball contests from its public school gymnasiums.

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