Hartman: OHSAA’s competitive balance initiative working as intended without going too far

Published: Friday, April 13, 2018 @ 1:27 PM

Trotwood-Madison 
 against Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary in the Division II state championship game on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff
David Jablonski - Staff Writer
Trotwood-Madison against Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary in the Division II state championship game on Saturday, March 24, 2018, at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus. David Jablonski/Staff(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

So far, so good. 

Those are the words I keep coming back to when evaluating the first year of the competitive balance measure enacted by the OHSAA. 

I thought so when the first divisional alignments were announced a year or so ago, during the football playoffs last fall and at the boys’ basketball state tournament last month. 

The announcement this week of boys’ basketball divisions for next season did not change anything for me, either. 

RELATED: Carroll basketball moves up to Division I

As previous ideas failed to pass, I concluded maybe the old system was just as good as it gets without breaking up public and private schools completely, something I don’t support at all, or preventing anyone who transfers from being eligible at their new schools, which is really not feasible or fair for multiple reasons. 

So where this all ended up looks like a good compromise, a significant yet conservative change. 

OHSAA spokesman Tim Stried confirmed that was essentially the goal, but he added, “When you ask the OHSAA if competitive balance is working or not, our answer is not based on who wins the state championship, and we tried to make that clear from the beginning. 

“All this does is change how teams are placed in their division.” 

Placing teams in different divisions is inevitably going to affect who wins state championships, of course, and that was vividly on display in Columbus last month. 

With private schools such as Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary and Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph having won multiple state championships in multiple divisions, I thought boys’ basketball was the area that most needed some recalibration. 

Notably absent from this year’s Final Four was Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph while Cleveland Lutheran East, the back-to-back champion in Division IV, returned to the capital city but as a member of Division III. 

Central Ohio powers Columbus Africentric and Harvest Prep both moved up, too, though not everyone was directly affected.  

Akron SVSM remained in Division II and won a rematch with Trotwood-Madison. 

»RELATED: Boys final four state results ; High-scoring game shut down by Irish

Ironically, this season the Fighting Irish are going to Division I — and the Rams would be there too if not for the competitive balance numbers moving several teams ahead of them when enrollment figures were reconfigured. 

Is it fair smaller schools might have to play up? Since they aren’t bound by the same territorial restraints as public schools, yes. That seems like a good way to level the playing field while also affecting public schools that draw players from other districts. 

The Division III final four offered a reminder the new competitive balance measure has its limits, though. 

Cincinnati Deer Park stormed through the Southwest District to win the Division III title with a perfect 29-0 record. 

The Wildcats had nine transfers, and coach Steve Gentry made no apology for how his team was constructed. 

“If a parent moved to a new district, so be it? What do you want me to do? There’s nothing I can do,” Gentry said after his team beat Africentric in the championship game. “If a kid moves into our district, we only have one high school in our district. You’ve got to go to Deer Park, you know what I mean? So if a kid moves in, he becomes my kid regardless of where he came from, but I’ll make sure he stays humble to the community, to the school, to the little kids. 

“We’re gonna follow the rules to the ’t’. You know?”

He was adamant that Deer Park passed every test from the OHSAA, and Stried confirmed no residence or recruiting violations have been found. 

Does that mean the new rules don’t go far enough? 

I would say no. 

The popular opinion seems to be that too many transfers are bad for high school sports. 

Most, myself included, would rather root for those teams that grow up playing together than see the best players changing schools looking for the easiest path to the top. 

But this is an issue in which my position has evolved. 

Maybe the dastardliness of transfers has been overblown. 

Perhaps we shouldn’t be so quick to judge. 

»RELATED: All-Area boys basketball

Sure, some players are going to change schools with visions of state championship rings in their heads, but no doubt others will find themselves in a place they don’t fit. Inevitably, some players truly need a new place to shine, and that’s OK. 

Beyond that, the Division III champions might make some folks uneasy, but the provision in the rules that allowed all those transfers to play absolutely has to be there. 

Players whose parents simply move because they changed jobs or bought a bigger house or whatever other non-athletics reason that might come about should not be punished, and if that allows transfers who are motivated solely by wanting to play for a different team to do so too? 

That’s just the way it is. 

In either case, there could be consequences from the competitive balance initiative, but everyone gets to play. 

And that’s what matters most at the end of the day. 

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White Sox pitcher in critical condition after suffering brain hemorrhage

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 2:37 PM

The jersey of White Sox pitcher Danny Farquhar hung on the fence of the bullpen during Saturday's game.
Jon Durr/Getty Images
The jersey of White Sox pitcher Danny Farquhar hung on the fence of the bullpen during Saturday's game.(Jon Durr/Getty Images)

Chicago White Sox officials said reliever Danny Farquhar remained in critical condition Sunday after suffering a brain hemorrhage during Friday night’s game, The Chicago Tribune reported.

>> Read more trending news

White Sox manager Rick Renteria said he has kept his players advised of Farquhar’s condition but did not go into too much detail out of respect for the pitcher’s family.

“We made sure they knew that he’s still in critical condition but stable and that the best thing for us to do would be to give them space,” Renteria told the Tribune. “Let the medical staff do what they can do and then at the appropriate time, everybody will let us know when it’s OK to go ahead and reach out and go see him.”

Farquhar, 31, is at Rush University Medical Center. He passed out in the dugout during the sixth inning of Friday’s game against the Houston Astros, ESPN reported. He regained consciousness and was taken to a hospital.

The White Sox said Saturday that additional testing revealed the brain hemorrhage was caused by a ruptured aneurysm, ESPN reported.

“Besides him being a great teammate and part of this brotherhood, I have to be respectful of his family,” pitcher Carson Fulmer told the Tribune. “He’s a brother, he’s one of our teammates and we’re all here for him and his family.”

Renteria said Saturday that Farquhar "had a strong heartbeat, a good pulse and was breathing well'' when he left the stadium, ESPN reported."Nothing really matters baseball-wise when something like that happens," White Sox pitcher James Shields said. “When one of your brothers goes down, it's not very fun to watch. He's such a resilient human being. We are praying for him. We hope everything goes well.

"He's got a long way to go and he's fighting. One thing we know in this clubhouse is Farky is a fighter."

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WATCH: Oakland A's Sean Manaea pitches no-hitter against Red Sox

Published: Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ 1:46 AM

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 21:  Sean Manaea #55 and Jonathan Lucroy #21 of the Oakland Athletics celebrate after Manaea pitched a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum on April 21, 2018 in Oakland, California. The Athletics won the game 3-0.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 21: Sean Manaea #55 and Jonathan Lucroy #21 of the Oakland Athletics celebrate after Manaea pitched a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox at the Oakland Alameda Coliseum on April 21, 2018 in Oakland, California. The Athletics won the game 3-0. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Oakland A's pitcher Sean Manaea threw the first no-hitter of the 2018 season Saturday, leading the Athletics to a 3-0 win over the Boston Red Sox.

>> Watch the final out here

According to The Associated Press, Manaea also made history by becoming "the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter against Boston in almost exactly 25 years." The last one, thrown by Seattle pitcher Chris Bosio, happened April 22, 1993.

>> Read more trending news 

"I didn't even think about it until I looked up in the seventh or eighth, and I was like, 'Oh my God, why is there still a zero on there?'" said Manaea, who struck out 10 batters, the AP reported.

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Dunbar runs away with Edwin Moses Relays boys title

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 1:55 PM


            The 68th Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays was held at Welcome Stadium on Friday, April 20, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
            MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
The 68th Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays was held at Welcome Stadium on Friday, April 20, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF(MARC PENDLETON / STAFF)

All Dunbar needs to do is follow Jalani Allen’s lead in its quest to ring up yet another boys state track and field team championship.

That’s the Wolverines’ goal every spring season. The names change over the years, but the goal always remains the same.

“We hope to go for back-to-back (state championships),” said Allen during the 68th annual Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays at Welcome Stadium on Friday. “That’s certainly the goal. It’s very exciting when it gets around to this time of the year. This will be one (team) to watch.”

Allen did his part as a member of four winning relays.

Dunbar (77 points) won six events and captured the boys team title. Thomas Worthington (53) was second and Miamisburg (51) third.

Thomas Worthington edged Lima Senior 65-61 to win the girls team title. Chaminade Julienne (54) was third.

Only the field events – minus the discus – were individually scored. Reconstruction of the adjoining University of Dayton Arena parking lot has eliminated the discus area.

Allen ran on the winning 440 shuttle hurdles relay (1:02.91) and also helped Dunbar sweep the 4x100-meter (42.70), 4x200 (1:29.19) and 4x400 (3:28.46) relays.

Dunbar’s boys also were first in the 800 sprint medley relay (1:34.48) and 1,600 sprint medley relay (3:44.17).

Allen was among the Wolverines’ leaders in winning the 2017 outdoor state track title and adding another combined Divisions II-III indoor state title in February. That’s the kind of all-around talent that enabled Allen to sign with Malone University, where he’ll play football and run track.

“It felt like the wait was over,” he said when signing with the Canton-area NCAA Division II program. “All the searching and stressing was over. I’m just ready to graduate and get going.”

Also headed to Malone to play football and run track is Springfield hurdler Dyier Smith, although he’s sitting out this season.

Springfield senior Quincy Scott won the long jump (22 feet, 7.50 inches) in a great showdown against Zamir Youngblood of Dunbar (22-1).

Other area boys firsts were posted by Miamisburg teammates Jason Hubbard and Tyler Johnson in the high jump (6-0), Covington’s Jett Murphy in the pole vault (14-0) and Springfield Isaiah Gibson in the shot put (46-7.50).

Area girls winners were Covington in the 3,200 relay (10:21.74), Dunbar’s 1,600 sprint medley relay (4:31.00), Miamisburg’s RaMya Woodward in the high jump (5-4), Beavercreek’s Eileen Yang in the pole vault (12-0) and Lauren Christian of Covington in the shot put (40-3.25).

• Beavercreek swept the boys (191 points) and girls (175) team titles in Thursday’s Greene County track and field championships at Xenia. Bellbrook was runner-up in both.

• The Bulldog Classic was Saturday at the Milton-Union Track complex at West Milton.

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Wildcats junior among state’s best hurdlers

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 1:10 PM
Updated: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 1:44 PM


            Springfield High School junior Austin Tyree. The 68th Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays was held at Welcome Stadium on Friday, April 20, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
            MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Springfield High School junior Austin Tyree. The 68th Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays was held at Welcome Stadium on Friday, April 20, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF(MARC PENDLETON / STAFF)

It didn’t take long for Springfield High School junior Austin Tyree to establish himself among the state’s best hurdlers this spring. His personal best times of 39.04 in the 300-meter hurdles and 15.05 in the 110 highs shot him high on the Division I state leader board.

That kind of breakout season is just what Tyree had envisioned.

“Being a part of such a great team, I wanted to be a part of that special group of great athletes who come from Springfield,” Tyree said during Friday’s 68th annual Dayton Edwin C. Moses Relays at Welcome Stadium. “It’s been a pretty exciting season so far.”

Only the field events – minus the discus – were individually scored.

Springfield senior teammate Quincy Scott won the long jump (22 feet, 7.50 inches) in a great showdown against Zamir Youngblood of Dunbar (22-1).

Springfield junior Isaiah Gibson added another first in the shot put (46-7.50) and senior Austin Garza was fourth (40-7).

Tyree and Scott also were on the runner-up boys 4x100-meter relay (43.22), as were Mike Brown and Jacob Yost. The Wildcats’ 4x200 relay was third (1:37.67).

Junior Tiffany Moss paced Springfield’s girls with a third in the long jump (15-11.75). She also ran on the fourth-place shuttle hurdle relay (1:09.91).

Dunbar (77 points) captured the boys team title. Thomas Worthington (53) was second and Miamisburg (51) third. Springfield (41) was sixth.

Thomas Worthington edged Lima Senior 65-61 to win the girls team title. Chaminade Julienne (54) was third. Springfield (19) was 11th.

Tyree has taken over for Springfield hurdler Dyier Smith, who is not running as a senior but intends on playing football and running track at Malone University in Canton.

Tyree excelled for the Dayton Wolverines AAU summer track and field team last year and even ran cross country – with the Springfield Courage – to be better prepared for this track season.

Even the extended winter-like weather couldn’t prevent Tyree from advancing in his specialties. At least four of Springfield’s meets have been canceled.

“Last year I didn’t even get out of district,” he said. “I worked harder this summer and fall with a goal of potentially reaching (37 seconds) in the (300 hurdles). I’m working on that now. Having a successful start is exciting because my goals are up there.”

Another Wildcats junior, Mike Brown, owns a best high jump of 6-4 and cleared 6-6 last season.

“We’ve got some young guys who are really good,” said Springfield coach Michael Davis.

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