The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Sports

May 13, 2013

A Don McCormack column: Houser’s Heralds will play for title

There’s been an unquestioned rebirth taking place in Herald Country.

Buoyed physically, financially and, most important, emotionally, by the move into a much better facility for its high school, don’t look now, but St. John High School is slowly but surely getting back on its feet.

And for the second time since the name of the school was transformed back to the traditional “St. John” from SS. John and Paul, which had been in use for the past decade, or so, a Herald sports team is on the verge of a possible league championship.

Coach Stephanie Kubec led the St. John volleyball squad to a Lake Erie Conference title in the fall, finishing with a 19-4 record, in the process.

On Tuesday, coach Mike Houser’s Herald softball squad will invade Andrews-Osborne Academy in the LEC tournament championship game in Willoughby.

The softball program at St. John has struggled in recent seasons, but, like the entire district itself, has been rejuvenated this spring.

Houser’s Heroines, at last report, were 5-3 on the diamond this spring.

That may sound modest compared to the numbers put up by area powers such as Conneaut, Geneva and Pymatuning Valley in recent seasons, but consider:

  • The five wins this season represent the most by a St. John softball squad since Houser’s first team — in 2006 — finished 10-6.
  • In the six seasons that followed the 10-victory campaign in 2006, the Heralds won a total of six games.
  • St. John has not won a conference championship in softball since coach Don Jones led the Heralds to the second of back-to-back East Suburban Conference crowns in 2004. That same season, St. John, then still a member school in the Ohio High School Athletic Association, won a Division IV sectional championship.

Members of the 2013 Heralds when they tipped off the seasons were returning letterwinners seniors Brenna Powers (3B), Alex Ferrante (SS), Alicia Lewis (2B); junior Alivia Cimorelli (CF), Mackenzie Stenroos (RF); and sophomores Alicia Ngiraingas (P) and Jordan Scott (C).

Other key players senior Christy Yuen (utility); junior Cassy Hanna (utility); freshmen Madeline Martino (1B) and Reilly DeGeorge (P-LF).

Houser, a Kent State University graduate, has been with the school for a decade now, working in his seventh season as head coach.

He is assisted this spring by Jim Howell and Dennis Perry.

The Heralds lost four letterwinners to graduation from their 2012 squad, which finished with a 2-6 record.

Tuesday afternoon, Houser & Co. will go after a championship, which would give Ashtabula County three softball conference crowns this spring.

McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. Reach him at donmac@suite224.net.

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Sports
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  • PV can’t get past Mathews

    Thursday afternoon at Pymatuning Valley, the visiting Mathews Mustangs were able to do what every coach hopes for — execute. They played a clean game from start to finish in every facet of the game, and that carried the Mustangs to an 8-2 Northeastern Athletic Conference victory.

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  • Scholastic Statistics:

    BASEBALL
    NAC
    Matthews 8, PV 2
    at PV

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  • Scholastic Schedule:

    FRIDAY, APRIL 18
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    Geneva at Edgewood (11)
    Niles McKinley at Edgewood (5)
    Conneaut at Lakeside (4:30)
    Madison at Euclid (4:30)
    Softball
    Madison at Edgewood (4:30)
    Geneva at Mentor (10, DH)
    Tennis
    Conneaut at Madison (4)

    April 18, 2014

  • Justin Butler Justin time

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  • kyle GANG GREEN

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  • Scholastic Schedule:

    THURSDAY, APRIL 17
    Baseball
    Grand Valley at Maplewood (4:30)
    St. John at Lawrence (4:30)
    Mathews at PV (4:30)
    Fairport at Perry (7:30)
    West Geauga at Madison (4:30)
    Harvey at Riverside (4:30)
    Jefferson at Harding (5)

    April 16, 2014

  • Olivia In transition

    Pymatuning Valley graduate Olivia Holt had a distinct reason she chose to play basketball for Mount Union.
    “They do have tradition,” Holt, the daughter of Gus and Michelle Holt, said. “I’m from PV. We had a tradition of winning and working hard there. I wanted to go somewhere that tradition mattered. I knew I was going to get better by coming here.”

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: Spring has sprung one big leak

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Sports Week in Review April 7-12
Spring Sports Practice in Ashtabula County
2014 AP BB Tourney Top 25
2014 AP BB Tourney Scoreboard
2014 AP BB Tourney News
2014 AP BB Tourney Photos
Star Beacon-Ed Batanian Senior Classic
Girls Regional Basketball Action
Week of Champions
Sports Week in Review February 21, 22
Grand Valley at Edgewood Boys Basketball
Sports Week in Review Feb. 3 to 8
Sports Week in Review January 30 to Feb. 1
Sports Week in Review January 13-18
Sports Week in Review January 10 and 11
Sports Video Archive
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