Golden Ticket Awards

2018 Spring Golden Ticket Awards’s Golden Ticket Awards are presented by Hummel Group Insurance & Wealth Management

Our local high school athletes at West Holmes, Hiland and Garaway certainly are a ton of fun to watch as they put their skills to the test in what is always a hectic spring slate of action that is filled with games that seem to come in hordes.

We here at The Ticket enjoy giving all of our local athletes all of the love they deserve for their collective relentless effort to drive themselves to be the best they can be.

Following each sports season, enjoys rewarding the hard work of our local Holmes County area athletes and doles out our Golden Ticket Awards. This spring there were epic efforts, and each team had its special moments. There were many great performances by award-worthy teams and individuals, so without further ado, these are your 2018 Spring Golden Tickets.


Female Athlete of the Spring

  • Carly Jacobs, Garaway Pirates track and field

Jacobs made good on her promise to get back to Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium and improve on her finish last year. Jacobs once again earned two appearances at state in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles, and while she didn’t qualify for the finals in the 100s, she turned it on in the 300s and came away with a silver medal. Jacobs has a running style that is all her own, but she sure does make it effective.


Male Athlete of the Spring

  • Brayden Chaney, West Holmes Knights track and field

When the mantra of your 4-by-200 and 4-by-400 team is “get the baton to Chaney,” you know the senior must be some kind of special. He was. Chaney capped off a wonderful career by taking second place in the 400 meters, and he anchored the 4-by-200 team to a fourth-place finish and the 4-by-400 team to a thrilling second-place finish. He was pure electric every time he stepped on the track.


Ticket Game Changer – Spring 2018

  • Maddie Woods, West Holmes Knights softball

Woods can change a game in just about any way possible. It starts with her glove, where her arm strength, range and speed make her a tremendous asset in the field. At the plate Woods can beat a team with the long ball, or she can simply slap a ball or lay down a bunt and beat it out. Once on base, she is a terror, a threat to run at any moment.


Ticket Game Changer – Spring 2018

  • Andy Miller, Hiland Hawks baseball

Every time Andy Miller strode to the plate, people expected him to crack a line shot to the wall in the gap in left-center or to smoke a ball back through the box. The kid with the lightning-quick stick earned plenty of accolades this year as he turned it up several notches. At the plate he was dynamite, and in the field the slick-fielding shortstop anchored the Hawks’ strong defense.


Lifetime Achievement Award – Spring 2018

  • Jocelyn Miller, Garaway Pirates track and field

Miller could have just as easily won a Miss Congeniality award for her quiet and pleasant demeanor, but underneath that pleasant exterior is a true competitor. Miller, who will head to Malone University to run next year, racked up a load of medals throughout her great career at Garaway, both in cross country and this past spring, where she completed her track and field career by narrowly missing a berth to state.


Lifetime Achievement Award – Spring 2018

  • Michael Taylor, West Holmes Knights track and field

Taylor was so valuable in so many ways that it will be incredibly hard to replace the senior next season. In the field he was a tremendous long jumper, on the track he proved to be a huge cog in the Knights’ record-setting 4-by-200 and 4-by-400 relay teams, but perhaps his biggest asset was his leadership skills. Taylor was one of those outgoing, inspirational leaders who challenged those around him to step up.


2018 Coach of the Spring

  • Ty Harris, West Holmes Knights track and field

It’s always amazed us that a track coach has to keep stirring so many pots during a season. Track is an oddity because there are so many different events, and West Holmes skipper Ty Harris will be the first to tell anyone that it isn’t him but his talented staff that makes the program sail smoothly along. This year was a monster year for the Knights as the elder statesmen made their mark at state and the youngsters earned valuable time to grow their skills, but the one thing Harris does is he makes it fun for his kids while working hard. That trait makes athletes want to perform well for him and the team, and Harris and his staff capped off a wonderful year of achievements with a record-setting performance at the Div. II state track and field meet.


Charlie Hustle Award – Spring 2018

  • Chelsi Rothacher, Garaway Pirates softball

Garaway center fielder Rothacher has one speed, and that is all out, all the time. Rothacher is one of those players who coaches love to have because every ounce of effort comes oozing out of her when she’s on the field. A great glove in center field, a strong batter who can drive the ball over the wall or shorten up and make contact to get on base, and a motor that allowed her to take extra bases at the drop of a pitch make her an all-around threat on the softball field, and once she laced on her spikes, coach Dennis Koshmider knew he didn’t have to worry about getting maximum effort.


Charlie Hustle Award – Spring 2018

  • Brayden Gray, Hiland Hawks track and field

Brayden Gray runs in events where athletes are tall and lanky with long legs and huge strides. Brayden Gray is none of those things, but don’t let that fool you. Gray proved every bit as good as the competition around him in the 300-meter hurdles, and ultimately his speed and technique along with his competitive nature saw him hustle his way all the way to the Div. III state track meet, where he ended up placing 11th overall. On a plus note, his time at state was the second lowest among all returning state qualifiers.


In Your Face Award – Spring 2018

  • Cassy Donaldson, Garaway Pirates softball

Manning the hot corner for the Garaway Lady Pirates, Lady P’s third baseman Cassy Donaldson inches closer and closer to home plate, almost daring batters to try to hit it past her or reach on a bunt. Blessed with a strong arm, Donaldson is very much at home at third base, but when at the plate, she looks the most comfortable. Her giant bat has led to more than a few pitchers warily pitching around her after she swatted a tater the previous at-bat. Donaldson will return next year as the centerpiece of what has become a terrific Garaway softball program.


In Your Face Award – Spring 2018

  • Shane Jones, West Holmes Knights baseball

There were times this season when Shane Jones looked like a man among boys. A big, strapping athlete, Jones looks every bit like the stud outfielder he is. He is extremely powerful, both at the plate and in the field, but he is at his best when he gets on the bases. Jones seemed to be off and running at just about every possible opportunity, and when he was on base, the game seemed to change as opponents paid a whole lot of attention to him rather than whomever was at the plate.


Good Sportsmanship Award – Spring 2018

  • Natalie Martin, West Holmes Knights softball

For four years Natalie Martin made herself known in the West Holmes softball program. She came out swinging as a freshman and showed off a powerful bat. She was asked to play third base and then moved to catcher and did whatever coach Jaime Chenevey asked of her. And while she wasn’t a boisterous, outgoing leader, Martin was one of those kids who could be counted on to be a leader with a quiet presence, and the canon-armed backstop will be tough to replace.


Good Sportsmanship Award – Spring 2018

  • Derek Burke, Hiland Hawks baseball

Every coach wants great players. Every coach wants to be armed with huge talent. But what every coach really wants is a team full of Derek Burkes. Burke came flying into the radar as a senior and grabbed a starting spot and never let go for the 25-4 Hawks’ baseball team. The long-legged Burke is lightning fast with a powerful bat, but his attitude and work ethic make him a coach’s dream. Always upbeat, Burke is the ultimate teammate, whether on the bench or in the field.


Unheralded Award – Spring 2018

  • Hannah Gerber, Hiland Hawks softball

Hiland’s softball program struggled to string together a ton of victories this season, but amidst those struggles was Hannah Geber’s really great season. Gerber was a titan at the plate, where she hit close to .500 all season long. She showed the ability to drive the ball for power along with that average, and defensively she played both the hot corner and shortstop and did it well. Put Gerber on a winning team and she would be receiving all kinds of accolades for her accomplishments, but as it was, she toiled in anonymity, although her head coach Jason Hazen knew exactly what he had in this blossoming superstar.


Unheralded Award – Spring 2018

  • Kendrick Wagler, West Holmes Knights baseball

Usually when a pitcher goes 2-6 on the campaign it’s not exactly a bright spot in his career. That was the number West Holmes junior Kendrick Wagler posted this spring. However, those numbers could have easily been reversed because Wagler marched out to the mound and proved to be dominant all season long. Rarely did the guy who comes at hitters from every angle imaginable ever give up more than a run or two. He went deep into every game and may have had one of the most tough-luck seasons in memory.


Newcomer of the Year – Spring 2018

  • Katie Sprang, West Holmes Knights track and field

Every once in a while an athlete comes along who makes people stand up and take notice. Lady Knights’ freshman Katie Sprang is one of those athletes. Sprang tore through districts, took second at regionals and then podiumed at state by placing seventh in the 800 meters, and let everyone know with her competitive nature that she is not going to be backing off the pedal anytime soon. Head coach Ty Harris’ next job will be to see exactly what Sprang’s best race is because the multi-talented runner fits into just about anything from the 400 to the 1600.


Newcomer of the Year – Spring 2018

  • Lane Graham, West Holmes Knights track and field

On the outside, Lane Graham looks like the most pleasant, happy kid you’ll ever see, but on the inside beats the heart of a guy who is looking to push aside anyone who gets in his way. The West Holmes freshman burst on to the scene this year at the varsity level after placing runner-up at the Ohio Middle School State Track Meet last year. Graham earned a surprise trip to regionals in the shot, and come next year he could well add the discus to that honor, although he will in no way settle for simply making regionals. He called this year’s accomplishments a stepping stone to his future.


2018 Team of the Spring

  • West Holmes Knights track and field

When you go about carving your name into the record books, it is a pretty safe bet that your season was a good one. The Knights’ boys track team did just that this year when a handful of blazing runners battled their way to a seventh-place finish in the team standings at state. Jonathan Kandel, Michael Taylor, Travett Boughman, Brayden Chaney and Brady Taylor showed the state their talent by taking fourth in the 4-by-200 relay and second in the 4-by-400 relay, and Chaney’s runner-up in the 400 put the Knights in the record book. With a solid core of throwers, this team proved to be competitive all season long and has set the bar high for future generations.


2018 Game of the Spring

  • Lady Pirates halt Warriors’ 19-game win streak in a thriller

It wasn’t easy, but the Garaway Lady Pirates were able to seal the deal in a thriller that snapped Buckeye Trail’s 19-game winning streak in softball as the year wound down. The game went back and forth, but in the top of the seventh inning, senior Kassidy Reidenbach drove in classmate Maddie Steiner to put Garaway up 8-7, and Buckeye Trail applied immediate pressure on the Pirates.

The Warriors got a pair of singles to begin their final at-bat, putting runners on the corner. Having already lost three IVC South games in the last inning, it looked like the Lay P’s were perhaps headed for a fourth. Garaway shortstop Zoe Johnson fielded a grounder and fired to catcher Sarah Billman at the plate in time to nail the speeding runner.

“I was expecting the throw and knew Zoe would get it there” Billman said. “As it came in, the only thing that went through my mind was do not forget to tag! When she didn’t slide, it was an easier play than anticipated.”

There was nothing easy about the play with Muskingum University signee Randi Leigh Rippeth barreling down the line. Rippeth tried to avoid the tag by jumping to the side, but Billman tagged the leg and held on for the out.

Now with runners on first and second and one out, Pirate hurler Kori Gutheridge was able to get a pop fly to second baseman Kallie Regula, and then with sensational slugger Brooke Colvin on deck (she had a walk, single, double and triple in the game), Gutheridge got the nine-hole hitter to hit a flair into right, where Rylee Wilhelm charged the ball and made the catch waist high to seal the win for Garaway.

In case you missed it, you can listen to the 2018 Spring Golden Ticket Awards podcast here.

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