Golfers Ashleigh Rothacher and Mark Schlabach led a deep and talented group of athletes from Garaway and Hiland on to the list of Inter-Valley Conference fall sports selections.
Rothacher was named the IVC Player of the Year in girls golf, while Schlabach shared that honor on the boys side with Malvern’s Noah McKinney.
The Garaway girls pretty much crashed the party in the golf scene, as Jocelyn Troyer, Kalyn Mast and Courtney Werker all joined Rothacher on the first team. Leigh Ann Williams settled into a spot on the league’s second team, while Ridgewood’s Samantha Wilson and Strasburg Brynn Eckhardt also earned first-team honors.
Not surprisingly, Garaway easily won the league title. Followed by Strasburg.
Joining Schlabach on the IVC first team was fellow Hiland senior Jacob Kalman. Teammate Adam Grate earned a second-team spot, but got his jus rewards by making second-team All-Ohio, while Schlabach finished on the first team in OHSAA Div. III golf.
Garaway had another tremendous season, making it to state for a ninth straight time. Seniors Cooper Stutzman and sophomore Brevin Weaver were both honored as first-team IVC, while Broc Beachy, Colton Fender, Ben Koshmider and Logan Mast all earned second team berths. Brenden Meager was an honorable mention for the Pirates, while Hiland’s Tremper Coblentz also earned honorable mention status.
Garaway, which as won the IVC golf title since Noah was wearing diapers, got a stiff challenge from both Hiland and Strasburg this season, and the final pecking order was not determined until the IVC postseason tournament.
However, it would be Garaway fending off both the Hawks and Tigers this year, earning 22 points to edge both challengers, which tied for second with 19 points.
On the gridiron, A host of Pirates earned honors in the league.
Quarterback R.J. Jacobs, linebacker and part-time QB Dallas Foster, wide receiver Quinn Miller and lineman Joel Honigford were all tabbed first-teamers. Joining the second team were wide-out and kick-returner Ty Hamsher and feisty defender Ian Hershberger, who consistently led the Pirates in tackles. Lineman Gunnar Angel and freshman running back Brady Winters were tabbed as honorable mention.
Coach of the year honors went to Ridgewood’s John Slusser, who led his team to the top of the IVC by topping runner-up Sandy Valley and edging by Garaway 7-0. Sandy Valley’s linebacker, wide-out and kicker extraordinaire Jacob Wagner captured the Player of the Year honor.
Ridgewood won the league at 7-0, Sandy Valley was runner-up at 6-1 and the Pirates, after a sluggish start, finished strong at 5-2.
The most intriguing part of the Pirates’ post-season honors is that every single one of them aside from Foster returns next year.
In cross country action, The Garaway boys placed two runners on the first-team squad, with both senior Nathan Millet and junior B.J. Schwartz getting the nod. They were joined by Hiland junior Hunter Yoder, who crashed the party for the first time. In addition, first-teamers included East Canton’s Josh Conrad, Sandy Valley’s Daniel Lampe and Mason Walkup and Garret Mozena, both of Newcomerstown. Julian Shrock of Garaway earned second-team honors.
East Canton won the league team title, followed closely by Garaway, with Sandy Valley placing third.
On the girls’ side, it was all Garaway all day long, as the Lady Pirates placed four runners on the first team. That list included Player of the Year Rachel Wentworth, who capped off her career with a fourth All-Ohio honor, Ariel Wentworth, Jocelyn Miller and Lauren Violet. Lindsey Goehring earned second team honors, along with Hiland’s Melissa Hostetler, both of whom earned their first league honors.
Other first team recipients included Brittany Roth, a state-qualifier from Newcomerstown, Andra Lahotay, Sandy Valley’s brilliant senior who earned All-Ohio honors, and East Canton’s Ashlynn Almasy.
Garaway skipper Chuck Zobel was tabbed as IVC Coach of the year.
On the volleyball court, big-time banger Laura Crawford of Ridgewood was honored as the Player of the Year. She was joined on the first-team by teammate Morgan McDorman, while Garaway’s Cassidy Widder and Allison Luneborg were both chosen as first-teamers. Other first-team winners included Tuscarawas Central Catholic’s Lauren Fredericks, Sydney Gilland and Alexis Gilland, Malvern senior Sara Loomis, Sandy Valley’s Tyler Kerchner and Hannah Duff of Strasburg.
Abby Detweiler of Garaway and Hiland’s Brittany wengerd both were named as second-team honorees, while Hiland’s Rhiana Schlabach and Garaway’s Samantha Putt each gained honorable mention status.
In a spirited battle for the league crown, TCC and Ridgewood were tied atop the heap at 15-1, while Malvern placed third at 11-5. Garaway was fourth at 9-7, tied with Sandy Valley.