Report: Zeitler signs record-breaking deal with Browns

Published: Thursday, March 09, 2017 @ 2:59 PM

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 22: Guard Kevin Zeitler #68 of the Cincinnati Bengals in action during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on November 22, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Bengals 34-31. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

First Andrew Whitworth, and now Kevin Zeitler.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that Zeitler is leaving the Cincinnati Bengals to sign a record-breaking deal with the Cleveland Browns worth $60 m million over five years.

Earlier Thursday it was reported that Bengals left tackle Whitworth is signing a three-year deal with the Los Angeles Rams.

>>>>RELATED: Bengals players react to Whitworth departure

Free-agent deals cannot be officially announced until the NFL new league year begins at 4 p.m.

Zeitler’s signing reunites him with former offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, who is heading into his second year as Browns head coach.

According to Schefter, Zeitler is guaranteed $31.5 million of his $60 million contract, which makes him the highest-paid guard in the NFL.

A first-round pick of the Bengals in 2012, Zeitler made $8.1 million in 2016 after the Bengals picked up his fifth-year option.

He played all 1,087 snaps in 2016 and has started 40 consecutive games and 71 overall since the Bengals selected him with the 27th overall pick in 2012.

UD Arena losing a piece of its storied past

Published: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 1:46 PM

The last game on the old Tartan court at UD Arena looked nothing like the first.

As part of the three-year renovation of the arena, UD is tearing out the old surface, which has been beneath the wood court since the 1985-86 season. That process starts Tuesday and will take about a month. It’s not an easy surface to remove.

“It’s going to take a while to get it out and grind it out,” said Scott DeBolt, the director of UD Arena.

»RELATED: Arena project biggest in UD history

To celebrate the history of the court, which debuted in 1969 when the likes of Ken May, George Janky, George Jackson and Tom Crosswhite were wearing the red and blue, UD played one last pickup game on the court Friday. The players were mostly students and UD employees. I was lucky enough to get an invitation after joking that I would donate $10 to the $72 million renovation. I’m pretty sure DeBolt’s going to hold me to that offer, however. I guess every little bit counts.

I don’t have an official bucket list, but if I did, playing a game at UD Arena would have been on it. Two years ago, hours after the last game of the season, I took a few shots in the empty arena. Putting on the the hightops and burning a few calories on the same court where Roosevelt Chapman scored a good percentage of his school-record 2,233 points, that’s a day I’ll never forget.

For the record, this is how I would describe my game: 60 percent Kyle Davis, 30 percent Scoochie Smith, 10 percent Kendall Pollard. I watched so much of them the last four years, I couldn’t help but be influenced by them.

The court is not in great shape. It saw daylight — or at least the lights of the arena — only a couple times a year for the last 30-plus years. Every time the NCAA installed the court for the First Floor, UD’s wooden court was removed, and everyone would take photos of the Tartan court. This Tartan surface is the second Tartan surface. The original surface from 1969 was replaced with a newer version of Tartan in the 1970s.

Now UD fans will wonder: Can they buy a piece of the court? The answer is no. There are chemicals, such as mercury in the Tartan surface. The court will be taken away in bags, put in containers and taken to a disposal site.

That’s not a fitting end for a key piece of UD basketball history, but the pickup game Friday provided one last moment in the spotlight. The May brothers, Don and Ken, shot around after the game ended. Ann Meyers, inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame last week, coach Don Donoher and the legend himself, Bucky Bockhorn, also said their goodbyes to the Tartan.

On the scoreboard, throughout the day, was a fitting tribute: “Remember the Tartan.”

US Army Bowl nominees include 7 area prospective football recruits

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 4:06 PM

            Springfield Leonard Taylor tries to avoid a tackle by Xenia’s Zahir Woodard as he carries the ball. Bill Lackey/Staff

Two players each from Dunbar and Fairfield are among the area nominees for the 2018 US Army All-American Bowl.

Four-star receiver Joseph Scates and four-star running back Tavion Thomas represent the Wolverines while five-star offensive tackle Jackson Carman and four-star defensive end Malik Vann are the Indians in the running.

Also nominated for the prestigious game are Marion Local offensive lineman John Dirksen, Springfield defensive end/tight end Leonard Taylor and Wayne receiver L’Christian “Blue” Smith.

Vann has committed to Cincinnati while Dirksen is going to Notre Dame.

Recruiting Roundup: Ohio State makes a move, Mason prospects add offers and Duke comes calling

In all there are 400 nominees, including 19 from Ohio.

Ohio State verbal commitments Dallas Gant (Toledo St. John’s) and Jaelen Gill (Westerville South) are also nominated.

The lone representative from the area last year was Josh Myers, a five-star offensive tackle from Miamisburg who signed with Ohio State.

Carlisle will play for regional baseball title after blanking CCD 2-0

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 5:38 PM
Updated: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 10:05 PM

Carlisle’s players celebrate on the field Thursday after defeating Cincinnati Country Day 2-0 in a Division III regional semifinal at the Athletes in Action complex in Xenia. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY JOHN CUMMINGS

The Division III state tournament is one more celebration away for Carlisle High School’s baseball team.

Senior Adam Goodpaster tossed a three-hitter and launched the first home run of his prep career Thursday in a 2-0 regional semifinal victory over Cincinnati Country Day at the Athletes in Action complex.

“I can’t believe it, to be honest,” Goodpaster said. “I knew we had the talent to get here, but there’s always bumps in the road, and you don’t always win when you’re supposed to. So it’s kind of a surreal feeling just being here.

“We’re getting hot at the right time, and our confidence is through the roof. We’re just playing to play another day. We enjoy it so much with each other. We don’t want it to end anytime soon.”

DIVISION I: Fairfield ousted by Bombers 4-1

DIVISION I: Extra baseball leads to West win

The Indians (22-9), whose lone state appearance came in 1966, will return to AIA’s Grady’s Field on Friday at 5 p.m. to face Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy (22-7) for the regional title.

Carlisle coach Chris Hawkins, who was told that his program’s last regional-final appearance was a 7-4 loss to Columbus Academy in 2003, is thrilled that his players are experiencing a deep postseason run.

“Pretty cool, pretty cool,” Hawkins said. “It’s all about just getting to play another day. I was telling Goodpaster, ‘Get some ice on your arm. You’ve got to play short tomorrow.’ It’s just a good feeling to say that. We’re not packing it in or done. You get to play again.

“I’m looking forward to hanging with the kids and the coaching staff at 2:30 tomorrow, shagging balls, throwing some BP, music on at the field. We really enjoy that. You never know when it’s the last time, especially with the six seniors we’ve got.”

The Indians managed just two hits against Country Day right-hander T.J. Brock, a solo home run by Goodpaster in the first inning and a single by Caleb Stewart in the fourth.

Reece Human walked and came home on a J.J. Roberts ground out in the second inning.

“Obviously every game we expect to come in and win, but you’ve got to actually do it, and we knew this was going to be a hard game,” said Human, a senior left fielder. “It was just play our baseball. Play defense and let the hits come.

“We’re excited, and we know we’ve got work to do. We’re excited to do the work.”

CCD (21-7) and Carlisle stranded seven runners apiece. Country Day left all its runners on base in the first five frames, going six up and six down against Goodpaster after a 68-minute weather delay.

“We had our chances,” CCD coach Tim Dunn said. “I’m a little disappointed. I thought we had our quote unquote baseball players up in key situations and just didn’t get anything out of it. So we have no complaints there.”

Goodpaster wasn’t far away from the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s 125-pitch limit. Hawkins thought about the possibility of replacing him after the lengthy delay.

“First of all, I knew that if we made the change, he’d probably tear the dugout down,” Hawkins said. “But he also came to us and said, ‘Listen, I get it … I will tell you.’ He went out and tossed a bit and he’s like, ‘I think I feel like I’m more dialed in than I was before.’ I trust him. We’ve always trusted him. He’s always been a big-game player, whether it’s at shortstop or on the mound.”

“I knew my arm was fine. I wasn’t concerned about that,” Goodpaster said. “I felt like it was more of a break than a delay.”

The right-hander struck out six and walked four. Leadoff man Cameron Davis had two singles for Country Day.

“They’re a tough team, so I had to mix a lot of pitches, and I feel like I was throwing them all pretty decent,” Goodpaster said. “I struggled throwing a lot of first-pitch strikes, but the defense had my back. I felt confident just putting it over the plate and letting those guys make the plays.”

Goodpaster was a bit surprised by his home run. He pulled a Brock pitch over the right-field wall.

“He’s a good pitcher, but he missed a spot there,” Goodpaster said. “I got ahead in the count, and I was just sitting dead red like a hitter should and he gave it to me, so I took advantage of it.

“I’ve been hitting with a little more power this year. I’ve hit a few in the summer, but I’ve never quite got ahold of one like that in high school ball. I couldn’t ask for a better time to do it.”

Hawkins conceded the team won’t let him get a big head about it. “What we’re going to tell him is it was wind-aided and it was 314 down the line,” he said.

Brock, a highly regarded junior right-hander, collected four strikeouts and six walks.

“We were expecting faster because that’s what we saw online, but he was still pretty good,” Human said.

CHCA defeated Fredericktown 6-1 in Thursday’s second regional semifinal. The Eagles dropped a 4-2 decision to visiting Carlisle on May 12.

“It was a really tight ballgame, and they ended up on top of the scoreboard,” CHCA coach Tony Schulz said. “It was a rough way to go on Senior Night, but they’re a really good team.”

Schulz spent the last three seasons as Fairfield’s head coach. He’s now an assistant athletic director at CHCA.

“The whole community has welcomed me with open arms, and the guys really bought into what we were trying to install here and the attitude and the culture we were bringing,” Schulz said. “All the credit goes to them for that. I think we’re playing our best baseball right now.”

Pitching has been a strength all year for the Eagles. Schulz said he’ll choose between sophomore right-handers Clayton Brock and Max Ripperger to start on the mound Friday — Carlisle is expected to counter with senior righty Jake Glover.

Cincinnati Country Day 000-000-0—0-3-0

Carlisle 110-000-x—2-2-0

WP — Adam Goodpaster (10-1); LP — T.J. Brock (5-2); HR – CAR: Goodpaster. Records: CCD 21-7, CAR 22-9

Graham High School names new football coach

Published: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 11:06 AM


Graham High School has named Shane Cahill as its new football coach.

A West Jefferson High School grad who played collegiate at Urbana, Cahill has spent the last three seasons as defensive coordinator at Mechanicsburg.

»RELATED: High school results for May 25

“Mr. Cahill has been a winner at all levels. He’s also been praised for his teaching ability. That’s the type of pedigree we look for in a teacher and coach,” Graham Athletic Director Jay Lewis said.

Cahill succeeds A.J. Woods, who stepped down after two seasons.

At West Jefferson, Cahill was a three-year letterwinner on teams that went 40-9 and reached the regional finals three times. At Urbana, he was a four-year letterwinner an all-conference linebacker.

Over the last three years, Cahill has been part of a succesful Mechanicsburg program. The Indians have gone 32-5 over that span, reaching the state playoffs all three years while reaching the regional finals twice. At Mechanicsburg, Cahill was employed as an Intervention Specialist.

“I’m incredibly excited to build a culture of accountability and leadership with the student athletes at Graham High School,” Cahill said. “I am also very thankful for the opportunity given to me by the Graham Board of Education and administration.”