Paying another visit to the variety store...
It didn’t take long for Ryan Fitch to find a new “home” as a basketball coach.
The former Pymatuning Valley varsity boys coach, who resigned after an 18-6 campaign this season, was recently named the head coach at his alma mater — Champion High School.
Fitch spent four seasons at the helm of the Lakers, posting a 61-27 record (.693).
A 1985 Champion graduate, Fitch teachers at Badger High School and lives in Howland, so the move back “home” makes sense.
“I like to think I’m coming back to give back to the school that gave so much to me,” Fitch, who replaces Doug Foster at the helm, told the Warren Tribune’s Matthew Peaslee. “From athletics to academics, Champion prepared me for life.”
Fitch was a multisport standout during his high school days as a Golden Flash. He played soccer, basketball and baseball at Champion, earning a scholarship to Roberts Wesleyan, located in Rochester, N.Y.
He began his coaching career as a junior high coach in Warren, then spent three seasons as a junior-varsity assistant at Howland. He took over the as the head boys coach at Badger for year, moved to Lakeview as an assistant for three seasons, then Liberty for a season before moving on to Pymatuning Valley, where he had the arduous task of following Jeremy Huber as varsity coach.
Fitch admits the drive to live in Howland, teacher at Badger and coach at PV made life a bit difficult.
“Anything that was closer to home would be a step in the right direction for my career,” Fitch said. “This couldn’t have worked out any better.
“Champion is the ideal spot for me.”
Fitch’s junior-varsity coach, Ryan Shontz, was named as his replacement a few weeks ago.
Along those lines...
Speaking of former Lakers, former PV baseball standout Brandon Easton had a tremendous season on the mound at Division II Lakeland Community College.
The southpaw hurler was named Ohio Community College Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year after going 3-1 with a 1.89 earned run average in five OCCAC starts. Easton worked 33.1 innings in conference play, allowing but 22 hits and striking out 38.
Included in the three conference wins was a 17-strikeout, 3-hitter against North Central Missouri College.
For the season, Easton went 3-3, with a 2.36 ERA, starting eight games, four of which he went the distance, working 49.2 innings, allowing 32 hits, 13 earned runs, striking out 66 and walking 32.
Another former area standout, Edgewood graduate Bobby Dragon had a fine freshman season, posting a .273 batting average, a .382 on-base percentage and a .336 slugging percentage.
In 37 games, Dragon had 110 at-bats, scored 18 runs, had 30 hits, including four doubles and a homer, drove in 25 runs, pilfered four bases and drew a team-high 20 bases on balls.
Coach Howie Krause’s Lakers won their first OCCAC championship since 2004 this spring. Krause and Laker Wil Shortreed join Easton in collecting postseason hardware as Coach and Player of the Year, respectively.
McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paying another visit to the variety store...
ACBF HOF Series: Mighty Mike
Mike Blauman was an All-Ohio baseball player at Geneva High School.
He was a star in football in both high school and college, good enough to be selected for the Ashtabula County Touchdown Club’s Hall of Fame in 2006.
Chase-ing a dream
For Jefferson athlete David Chase, there were plenty of possibilities for where to go to college or what sport to play.
A Don McCormack column: Way to go, all for our friend, Joe!
Paying an end-of-a-busy-and-eventful week visit to the variety store...
No average Joe
You can bet, Joe “Pigskin” Pete, one of the best guys this guy has ever had the pleasure calling a friend, will be wearing his trademark grin as he looks down tonight.
Girls from regional squads headline Classic opener
Following on the heels of the celebrations in Geneva and Andover with the Geneva and Pymatuning Valley girls basketball teams playing in the Division II and III regional tournaments, respectively, there is one final party left on the calendar.
Plenty of star power will be on top for boys in Classic
With basketball season officially ending last weekend for teams in the Star Beacon coverage area, it’s time to look forward to the fun of the offseason.
FRIDAY, MARCH 7
Joe “Pigskin” Pete Alumni Basketball Tournament (4:30, Falcon Gym, Falcon Junior High Gym, Falcon Elementary Gym, Jefferson)
A gallant run
With Beachwood’s attention certain to be focused on Geena Gabriel, Pymatuning Valley coach Jeff Compan’s plan Wednesday night was to utilize the pick-and-roll. The Beachwood Bison were able to thwart it, and eventually frustration set in, as did the only loss of the year for the Lakers.
A Bob Ettinger column: Offensive issues do in Lakers
From beginning to end, the Pymatuning Valley girls basketball team had an experience it hadn’t had all season and spelled the end of the season in a regional semifinal at Cuyahoga Falls High School on Wednesday night.
A Don McCormack column: Classics are set for Tuesday
With all the excitement this week with the Geneva and Pymatuning Valley girls involved in regional tournament play, it would be easy for what has become a rite of passage in this area for more than three decades to get lost in the shuffle.
Pymatuning Valley 29
at Cuyahoga Falls
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