The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


May 20, 2013

On their own

PV, Riverside stand alone in D-III and D-I, respectively

While Jefferson and Edgewood will be keeping an eye on each other as they enter the district-tournament waters tonight in Division II contests at Havens Complex, the area’s other two sectional-championship squads won’t have to worry about distractions.

Coach Nathan Smith’s Pymatuning Valley Lakers will be the area’s lone representative at the Division III district at Euclid, while coach Ed Humes’ Riverside Beavers will fill the same role in Division I action, also at Mentor.

Smith & Co. (16-7) will take on Wickliffe (14-13) in a district semifinal Tuesday. The winner of the contest between the Lakers and the Blue Devils will meet the survivor of the other semifinal, pitting Gilmour Academy against Garrettsville Garfield, in the district championship game Wednesday at 7 p.m.

“I’m extremely pleased with how things have worked out,” Smith, who took over for longtime coach Steve Urchek this spring, said. “We started off 0-5 and we were really struggling.”

However, the Lakers, who feature six seniors, had a bit of an epiphany.

“I had to stay true to my convictions through that tough start and, too the guys’ credit, they stuck with it and turned things around,” Smith said. “We’ve won 16 of our last 18 games and ended up sharing the (Northeastern Athletic Conference) championship with Grand Valley.”

PV, which is in the district tournament for the first time since the 2000 season, will go with Darren Petrowski on the mound against Wickliffe on Tuesday.

The senior right-hander is 5-1 with a 2.38 earned run average this spring, having shared the workload on the bump with junior right-hander Hunter Rhoades (4-2, 3.20).

“Both Darren and Hunter have thrown very well for us this season,” Smith said. “We’re going with Darren on Tuesday as Hunter was the one who beat Bristol for us Friday night to give us our share of the NAC title.

“We have complete confidence in both guys, though, so we should be ready to go.”

The Lakers pounded their way past Cardinal, 15-12, to win their sectional championship last Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Humes’ Beavers, who are 13-14 this season, will have to wait until Thursday to square off against top-seeded Mentor (19-5). The winner of that game will play the winner of the other semifinal between seventh-seeded Mayfield and eighth-seeded South in the district championship game Friday at 7 p.m.

“I think we’re better than our 13-14 record indicates,” Humes, who will be looking for his 200th career win Thursday night (he’s 199-166, .545), said. “We’ve made a lot of mistakes, errors, that have cost us a lot of very close games.

“We’ve cleaned things up, though, and are playing much better down the stretch.”

Riverside will go with Dan Walters on the mound Thursday.

The junior right-hander is 3-1 with a 5.00 ERA, a number Humes said is deceiving.

“Dan has been much, much better of late,” he said. “He has a ton of big-game experience and he knows a bunch of the Mentor kids, too, from summer ball.

“He’ll be ready to go.”

Riverside earned the right to take on the top-seeded Cardinals by combing ninth-seeded Brush, 8-6, to capture its sectional crown Friday, its first sectional championship since 2005.

Text Only
  • Spartans knock around Dragons

    After being cooped up in gymnasiums for the better part of the season so far, the Conneaut and Lakeside softball teams were just happy to get onto a diamond. Playing for the first time in nearly a week, the Spartans toppled the Dragons, 11-2, Thursday afternoon at Lakeside.

    April 18, 2014

  • 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.

    April 18, 2014

  • Scholastic Statistics:

    Matthews 8, PV 2
    at PV

    April 18, 2014

  • Scholastic Schedule:


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

    April 18, 2014

  • Justin Butler Justin time

    It was just four short years ago that Justin Butler was spending his fall on a soccer field.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: ‘Kids’ stuff’ spurs great responses

    I’m often caught more than a bit off-guard by what stories, features or columns generate responses from you, Loyal Readers, much more so than those who do not.
    For example, the column that appeared in this space a couple of days ago regarding things yours truly and my buddies did as kids prompted more than a few responses.
    A sampling, many of which were posted on my Facebook page:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • kyle GANG GREEN

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scholastic Schedule:

    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

    Paying a Wednesday morning visit to the variety store...

    Think spring?
    If this, um, err, uh... spring... feels a bit unusual for high school baseball and softball teams in Northeast Ohio, it is, to a point.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

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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AP Video