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High School Football: Centerville rookie coach enjoying the ride

Published: Monday, November 06, 2017 @ 10:38 AM

Centerville Head Coach Brent Ullery talks about his first season in charge.

It’s not supposed to be this easy.

Centerville coach Brent Ullery said he’s heard that a time or two this season as the Elks have rolled to a 10-1 record that includes a Greater Western Ohio Conference National East title and a first-round playoff win.

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“Everybody has really high expectations for these players,” the Elks first-year head coach said. “They’re really nose-down, work hard kind of guys. … They just keep working hard and we keep raising the expectations and they keep rising up with them.”

Ullery took over a team that finished 5-5 last season. He was part of that frustration as one of the Elks assistant coaches so when he got the top job he knew there was talent to work with.

“I knew they were good, I knew they could play football,” Ullery said. “But week in and week out we’ve seen amazing plays made from blocked field goals, to touchdown catches, to interceptions … these guys are really electric, they’re really fun to watch.”


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Six months ago, Ullery became a first-time father the day before he became a first-time head coach at his alma mater. Now he’s overseeing a rebirth of a program he grew up watching and playing for.

“I’ll tell you when it sank in was when my Dad (longtime former Elks coach Ron Ullery) actually spoke to the team Friday night before the game,” Brent Ullery said. “He told them they embodied a real Centerville football team from what he remembered from Bob Gregg and from the years he coached here.”

The top-seeded Elks are coming off a 35-0 win over Hilliard Darby in the first round. Next up is a rematch with Pickerington North on Friday night in Springfield. The two teams played back in Week 3 at Centerville. The Elks rallied for a 27-26 win.

“Maybe these guys are growing and maybe they’re meeting some expectations, but now we have to raise the expectations and ask them to do more,” Ullery said.

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Recruiting for 2020 picks up for Dayton Flyers

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 4:22 PM

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College basketball coaches could make direct contact with recruits from the 2020 class for the first time Friday. That meant they could talk to the players on the phone or via text and direct messages.

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Here’s a quick glance at players Dayton has contacted, according to reports:

• Max Amadasun, 6-foot-10, center, Bronx, N.Y.: Jacob Polachek, of D1Vision, reported Dayton, Holy Cross, Tulane and Colorado reached out to Amadasun, who attends Our Saviour Lutheran School.

• Posh Alexander, 5-10 guard, Bronx, N.Y.: Alexander also attends Our Saviour Lutheran. He’s a four-star prospect who ranks 93rd in the class of 2020, according to Andrew Slater reported Dayton, Pittsburgh, La Salle and West Virginia were among the schools to contact Alexander on Friday. Alexander received a scholarship offer from Dayton last summer.

• Luke Kasubke, 6-6, shooting guard, St. Louis, Mo.: In addition to Dayton, numerous schools contacted Kasubke on Friday, according to Jake Weingarten, of, including Iowa, Xavier and Stanford.

• Wendell Green Jr., 5-10 point guard, Detroit Country Day School: Michigan, Xavier and Butler were among the other schools to contact Green, according to Scott Hankamp.

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According to previous reports, Dayton has already offered scholarhips to these 2020 recruits:

Symir Torrence, 6-3 guard, Vermont Academy.

• Andre Curbelo, 6-0 guard, Long Island Lutheran.

• Zeb Jackson, 5-10 point guard, Maumee Country Day School.

• Devontae Blanton, a 6-4 guard, Lakewood St. Edward.

In other recruiting news, a 2019 recruit, Tyler Bertram, visited Dayton last week.

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Suarez, Votto power Reds past Pirates

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 5:10 PM

            PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 17: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds stands on second base during a pitching change in the fifth inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 17, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 17: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds stands on second base during a pitching change in the fifth inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 17, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

Eugenio Suarez homered in the second straight game and Joey Votto celebrated his 1,500th major league contest by going 2 for 4 with two RBIs as the Cincinnati Reds held off the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-6 on Sunday.

Suarez turned on a Joe Musgrove (2-2) offering and sent it into the bleachers in left field for a two-run shot in the fourth. Votto hit a drive to deep right-center the fifth to chase Musgrove and give the Reds the cushion they would need to beat the Pirates for just the second time in seven tries at PNC Park this season.

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Scott Schebler added three RBIs for Cincinnati, including a two-run home run in the ninth to provide Cincinnati a little extra breathing room after Pittsburgh had trimmed a four-run deficit to one.

Anthony DeSclafani (2-1) surrendered solo home runs to Colin Moran and Gregory Polanco but otherwise kept the Pirates in check to pick up his second victory since his return after missing the entire 2017 season with right elbow issues.

Raisel Iglesias allowed an inherited runner to score in the eighth and an RBI-single to Austin Meadows in the ninth but managed to record the final four outs for his 10th save, receiving a bit of help in the process.

Iglesias entered with two on and two outs in the eighth and immediately surrendered a double in the gap to Gregory Polanco. David Freese scored to pull the Pirates within one but Josh Bell was out at home trying to score all the way from first

The call stood upon review after the Pirates challenged that catcher Curt Casali illegally blocked the plate.

Cincinnati scored two runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth and finished 4 for 7 with runners in scoring position after going 0 for 19 in the same situation over the first two games of the series, both losses.

Musgrove was charged with six runs in 4 1/3 innings with a walk and six strikeouts as his ERA jumped from 2.16 to 3.68.


Struggling Reds centerfielder Billy Hamilton went 3 for 4 to pick up his first multi-hit game in three weeks to lift his average to .197, stole two bases and scored three times. He also made a spectacular grab on a shot to the gap in right-center by Pittsburgh’s Francisco Cervelli in the first.

Hamilton’s full-out extension to rob Cervelli of extra bases earned an ovation from the Pirates catcher, who raised his hands in appreciation of Hamilton’s effort. Hamilton later started the sequence that ended with Bell being thrown out at the plate by getting the ball to shortstop Jose Peraza, who then relayed it to Casali.


Reds: off Monday then host Detroit in a brief two-game interleague series starting Tuesday when Sal Romano (3-7, 5.67 ERA) faces Matthew Boyd (4-4, 3.23).

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Landon Donovan's support for Mexico sparks pitched battle off the pitch

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 2:03 PM

Landon Donovan starred for Leon in Mexico this spring.
Hector Vivas/Getty Images
Landon Donovan starred for Leon in Mexico this spring.(Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

Landon Donovan’s support for Mexico at the World Cup has sparked a pitched battle between the most recognizable name in American soccer and his peers, ESPN reported Sunday.

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Donovan has been part of an advertising campaign for Wells Fargo to support Mexico, which opened its World Cup play in Russia with a stunning 1-0 victory against defending champion Germany on Sunday. Critics of the promotion have criticized Landon, calling his cheerleading inappropriate.

Donovan posted a photo on Twitter on Saturday holding a scarf that read “My other team is Mexico.”

Donovan played this spring for León, which is part of Mexico’s Primera Division. Still, some questioned Donovan’s motives.

“Watering it down for beer/banks won’t enrich the rivalry,” ESPN announcer Sebastian Salazar tweeted.

Carlos Bocanegra, the former captain of the U.S. national team, tweeted “Really?” 

Donovan tweeted back that Bocanegra should “remember where you came from.”

“Look around our country, are you happy with how we are treating Mexicans?” Donovan answered. “Open your mind, stand for something and remember where you came from.”

Donovan’s former teammate, Herculez Gomez, an ESPN analyst, criticized that exchange, ESPN reported, tweeting that it was “an incredibly terrible take.”

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A two-time Daytona 500 champion raced in the area this weekend. He’ll leave with these memories.

Published: Sunday, June 17, 2018 @ 11:33 AM

            Two-time Daytona 500 champion Sterling Marlin signs autographs for fans during a pre-race meet and greet at Shady Bowl Speedway on Saturday. Marlin, from Columbia, Tenn., was involved in a three-car accident early in the feature and finished 19th. Contributed / Greg Billing
Two-time Daytona 500 champion Sterling Marlin signs autographs for fans during a pre-race meet and greet at Shady Bowl Speedway on Saturday. Marlin, from Columbia, Tenn., was involved in a three-car accident early in the feature and finished 19th. Contributed / Greg Billing

Former NASCAR Cup driver Sterling Marlin has seen his share of tracks in his racing days.

Shady Bowl Speedway, though, left an impression on Marlin. And his No. 114 late model.

While local driver Josh Smith was holding off the field for his fourth late model feature win, Marlin was trying to hold his car together.

The two-time Daytona 500 champion smacked the wall during a Friday practice session. Then on Saturday, Marlin got together with two other cars 10 laps into the 72-lap Bobby Korn and Lil’ Bobby Korn Memorial.

“(Shady Bowl is) different from anywhere I’ve been at,” Marlin said of the Bowl’s unique 3/10-mile paved oval with a backstretch that dips coming out of turn two and rises into turn three. “You can’t use all the motor. The car skates and slides. We just missed on the (set up).”


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Marlin finished 19th in the 20-car feature. While his night was done early on the track in front of the packed Shady Bowl stands, he continued to pose with fans for photos and sign autographs at his hauler in the pits.

“I had a lot fans come out and I signed a lot of stuff,” said Marlin, who made the nearly seven-hour drive from Columbia, Tenn., to Shady Bowl. “It’s pretty neat to see people from 25 years ago. … I had a good time and I thank everybody for having us up here. I’ll come back sometime.”

Smith, meanwhile, stalked front-runners Mike Ward and Nic Burnside as they traded the lead in the early laps. Smith worked past Burnside following a restart after 21 laps. He caught and passed Ward coming out of turn four to lead lap 26. He never lost the lead, though Jim Lewis Jr. caught up to Smith’s bumper with 10 laps to go and even pulled up to Smith’s back quarter panel albeit briefly.

“I could hear him back there so I knew he was close,” Smith said. “We have some work to do. We’re always trying to get this car faster.”

Smith was fast enough Saturday to claim the $1,720 win. It didn’t hurt that Lewis scraped the wall coming out of turn two in a last-ditch effort to get alongside Smith. The win kept Smith in the late models points lead. He won the late model championships in both 2014 and 2015.

Smith, from nearby Quincy and sponsored by C&E Auto Reconditioning in Springfield, credited his father and crew chief, Jerry, for getting him to victory lane again.

“They’re never easy to win. It’s a testament to my crew,” the younger Smith said. “They work their tails off on this car day in and day out. It makes my job easier. … I’m grateful for every race we win.”

Smith said he and his crew offered to help Marlin get his car repaired after banging the wall Friday.

“He’s a super nice guy,” Smith said. “You can never underestimate those guys. They’ve got a lot of resources. They know a lot of smart people. He had some unfortunate events this weekend, but it’s always good. It draws in a big crowd.”

Marlin brought a special trophy to share with Saturday’s winner. Smith was awarded a small red paddle with the Confederate flag painted on it with the words, ‘I spanked their butts at Shady Bowl.’ Marlin’s major race sponsor Saturday was Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Lewis Jr. finished second, Ward third, Brian Reeser fourth and Scott Sullenberger fifth.

Gary Eaton Jr. won the 30-lap Vores BJ Body Shop Classic and Jason Purtee captured the Hobby Stocks feature.

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