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Wayne’s Blue Smith, an Ohio State football commit, changes winter plans

Published: Monday, November 06, 2017 @ 5:53 PM

L’Christian “Blue” Smith was among the visitors at Ohio State’s game against Penn State earlier this season. (Photo: Jeremy Birmingham/Land of 10)
L’Christian “Blue” Smith was among the visitors at Ohio State’s game against Penn State earlier this season. (Photo: Jeremy Birmingham/Land of 10)

L’Christian “Blue” Smith’s high school football career is over, but he’s not done suiting up for the Wayne Warriors.

The Ohio State verbal commitment plans to play basketball this season instead of graduating early and enrolling in college in January. He tweeted the news Monday afternoon. 

The 6-foot-6, 205-pound Smith is a four-star football prospect rated No. 119 nationally in the 247Sports composite rankings.

On the hardwood, he was Wayne’s leading scorer (17.0 points per game) and rebounder (10.0 rpg.) last season, finishing second in the GWOC in the latter category.

RELATED: Wayne hires new basketball coach

This fall on the football field, Smith was third in the GWOC with 869 yards receiving. He caught nine touchdowns passes and averaged 16.1 yards per catch.

Smith will be continue a long tradition of Warriors becoming Buckeyes. 

Ohio State verbal commit Blue Smith is looking forward to a strong ending to his career at Wayne and ahead to being a Buckeye.

At least one Wayne alumnus has been on the Ohio State roster every season since 2000, when John Hollins and Will Allen were freshmen. That also includes Robert Landers, a third-year sophomore defensive lineman for the Buckeyes this fall.

“I’m excited, man,” Smith said in October. “I mean there’s a tradition here. If you go to O-State from Wayne, it just adds that extra level to your name. It’s just all about making big plays, man. I just try to make big plays. That’s all I want to do.”

RELATED: Smith talks Senior Night and more

When he’s not playing sports, Smith is already trying to become a leader in the community as well.

He and his father, Lorenzo, have started a foundation called Blue5Print9.

“We have a lot of different charities we donate to,” he said last month. “We recently donated some cleats to Jefferson High School. Their players didn’t have cleats, so me and my dad raised some money to get them some cleats.”

Their current focus is trying to prevent teen suicide.

“I had a friend that recently killed himself, so that’s kind of hit me home,” Smith said. “So I’m using my foundation to make a difference in people’s lives, whether they’re living in poverty or having suicidal thoughts. We’re just trying to help as many people as we can. There are so many things you can do to help out, and I just want to hit them all.”

RELATED: 5 things Urban Meyer had to say about Ohio State’s loss at Iowa

Long-time Wayne football coach Jay Minton said he sees Ohio State as a great fit for Smith on and off the field.

“No. 1, they will let him develop into the best he can be because the development program up there with (strength coach) Mickey Marotti and what they do with their ‘Real Life Wednesdays,’” Minton said. “They teach ‘em so much more than being a football player, so that’s gonna bode well for Blue, and then I just think every day in practice he’s gonna be better and better.” 

Wayne’s L’Christian “Blue” Smith had three catches for 38 yards and scored once. Wayne defeated visiting Miamisburg 56-28 in a Week 4 GWOC crossover high school football game on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF(Contributing Writer)

“He’s the type of young man that is extremely competitive and wants to get better every day, so I think that’s a great combination for him. Hopefully he’ll stay healthy and be what we hope and pray he’ll be.”

Minton called him “a dynamic athlete and a dynamic young man.”

“The scary thing about Blue is, man, he’s still got so much growth to go,” Minton said. “That’s scary because he can do some spectacular things out here. He’s multitalented.”

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Dragons’ Marshall wins Midwest League All-Star Game with walk-off hit

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 11:26 PM

Dragons first baseman Montrell Marshall (right) greets manager Luis Bolivar. The Dragons defeated the visiting Lake County Captains 9-3 at Fifth Third Field in Dayton on Wed., April 11, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF
Dragons first baseman Montrell Marshall (right) greets manager Luis Bolivar. The Dragons defeated the visiting Lake County Captains 9-3 at Fifth Third Field in Dayton on Wed., April 11, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Montrell Marshall, of the Dayton Dragons, singled with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning to score another Dragon, Stuart Fairchild, with the winning run Tuesday in the Midwest League All-Star Game.

The East Division beat the West Division 3-2 in Lansing, Mich. Marshall was named the game’s MVP, joining Jay Bruce (2006) as the only Dayton players to win the honor.

» RELATED: Dragons well represented in all-star game

Marshall, the Reds’ 12th-round pick in 2014, went 1-for-2. Fairchild went 0-for-2. Hendrik Clementina, of the Dragons, also went 0-for-2.

Dragons pitcher John Ghyzel retired all four batters he faced with two strikeouts and pitched a perfect 10th inning. Cory Thompson struck out the only batter he faced in the top of the ninth.

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Dayton offers scholarships to two more 2019 recruits

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 6:26 PM

Dayton Flyers: A look at 2018-19 roster

Two more 2019 recruits earned scholarship offers from the Dayton Flyers on Tuesday.

• Moulaye Sissoko is a 6-foot-10 center originally from Mali in West Africa. He attends Lincoln Academy in Atlanta. The school reported his offer on Twitter. Sissoko is a three-star prospect who ranks 288th in the class, according to 247Sports.com. Mississippi State, Penn State and South Carolina are among the other schools to offer him scholarships.

» RELATED: Casey Cathrall reflects on year with Dayton

• Lester Quinones, a 6-5 shooting guard at St. Benedicts Prep in Newark, N.J., also received an offer, according to Pat Lawless, of PrepCircuit.com. Quinones is a four-star recruit who ranks 69th in the class of 2019, according to 247Sports.com. Connecticut, Illinois and Providence are among the other schools recruiting him.

List of reported offers

» 2019 OFFERS: Tre WilliamsDontaie AllenMaceo AustinAndre GordonTyler Bertram Tyson EtienneJovan Blacksher Jr.Diante Smith Toumani CamaraKira LewisPrince Gillam and Ismael Cruz | Joshua Pierre-Louis

» 2020 OFFERS: Zeb JacksonSymir Torrence | Andre Curbelo  | Posh Alexander | Max Amadasun | Luke Kasubke

» 2021 OFFERS: Wesley Cardet | Franck Kepnang

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How successful was the Dayton Dragons’ first half?

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 3:07 PM

Fans take over during a 7th inning stretch in Peoria????€??™s 5-2 defeat of the Dragons

The Dayton Dragons wrapped up the first half of the Midwest League season with an 8-0 loss to West Michigan on Sunday

Let’s take a closer look at what’s been an up-and-down season so far for the Cincinnati Reds’ Single-A affiliate. 

1. After losing their last four games, the Dragons finished with a record 31-37. 

Dayton finished the first half in sixth place in the Eastern division, 15.5 games behind leader Bowling Green. 

This marks a major departure from last season when the Dragons streaked through the first half and had clinched a wildcard berth when it was over. 

2. Speaking of streaks, those have marked 2018 for Dayton. 

The Dragons opened the season on a three-game losing streak. 

Then they won their next nine only to lose eight in a row. 

After that came a six-game winning streak. 

Things leveled off to a certain extent after that, but there were still losing streaks of seven and eight games along with a five-game winning streak. 

3. Home sweet home? 

The Dragons were a league-worst 9-23 on the road in the first half. 

They posted a 22-14 mark in front of the fans at Fifth Third Field, however, and that might not come as much of a surprise for a roster that is pretty young. 

Speaking of youth... 

4. Jeter has notable name and game. 

Many of the preseason headlines were devoted to Hunter Greene, the 18-year-old pitching phenom with the triple-digit fastball who was the No. 2 pick in last year’s MLB draft

However, the best teenager on the team so far has been Jeter Downs. 

The infielder leads the team in hits (68) and stolen bases (18) while sharing the team lead in doubles (15) with Montrell Marshall.  

RedsMinorLeagues.com notes Downs, who turns 20 on July 27, has already put up some impressive power numbers compared to previous teenage Dragons

5. What about Greene, anyway? 

Hunter Greene made 12 starts in the first half and finished with a 5.53 ERA. That is the best it has been since he gave up seven runs in less than an inning during his third start. 

Green has allowed six runs and seven walks over 23.3 innings in his last five starts. He has struck out 27 while walking seven and allowing 20 hits. 

RELATED: Greene loses pitchers’ duel

He has gradually worked up his pitch count, throwing 86 his last time out, and shown that while he is raw, Reds fans have a lot to be excited about. 

Reds top pick strikes out eight hitters in three innings in first appearance in Dayton

6. Catcher impresses.  

One of Greene’s batterymates, Hendrick Clementina has been the team’s best hitter so far. 

A catcher acquired in the Tony Cingrani trade, Clementina is has a team-best .971 OPS and also leads the club in batting (.316), homers (nine) and RBIs (35). 

He is one of five teams to make the all-star team, joining outfielder Marshall, outfield Stuart Fairchild and pitchers Cory Thompson and John Ghyzel. 

7. Final verdict. 

Was this a successful first half for the Dragons? 

In record, obviously not. 

The Dragons had the worst on-base percentage in the Midwest League and finished 12th in runs scored. They also had the worst team ERA in the league. 

Development is the name of the game at this level, though, and a handful of the guys in Green look like keepers. 

That includes Greene, who appears to be on the right track after a rocky run in late April and early May

Was last season’s postseason appearance a freak occurrence? That remains to be seen, but at least fans at Fifth Third Field were more likely to see a win than a loss. 

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Romano, Votto lead Reds past Tigers

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 10:44 PM

Reds starter Sal Romano pitches against the Tigers on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
David Jablonski - Staff Writer
Reds starter Sal Romano pitches against the Tigers on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.(David Jablonski - Staff Writer)

Sal Romano delivered one of his best starts of the season as the Cincinnati Reds beat the Detroit Tigers 9-5 in the opener of a two-game series Tuesday at Great American Ball Park.

Romano pitched seven scoreless innings. He allowed four hits and walked four. He struck out six.

» RELATED: Suarez playing like an all-star

Romano pitched a season-high eight innings in his previous start against the Royals in Kansas City, allowing one run on four hits June 12. In his last two starts, he has lowered his ERA from 6.23 to 5.18.

Joey Votto got the Reds on the board with a grand slam in the third. He shooed a bird away from the plate two pitches before the home run and then flapped his arms as he crossed home plate.

Tucker Barnhart drove in the Reds’ fifth run with a double in the fourth. Billy Hamilton hit a solo home run in the sixth. Adam Duvall drove in two runs with a bases-loaded double in the sixth to make it 8-0.

The Tigers didn’t get on the board until the ninth when Wandy Peralta allowed five earned earned runs on four hits without recording an out.

The Reds (27-45), who have won five of their last seven games, lead the all-time series against Detroit 12-11.

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