News

Sycamore's Carson Foster is Headed for the Olympics

Submitted by: Lakota West SID Emeritus, Bob Ashby

Carson Foster, who graduated from Sycamore in 2019 made the USA 2024 Olympic Swim Team. He will be swimming in the 400 individual medley.

Carson Foster currently holds 2 GMC individual swim records and is also part of one GMC relay setting record. He was "GMC Swimmer of the Year" in both 2018 and 2019 and was a GMC individual champion in 100 free style, 200 free style, 200 individual medley, 100 butterfly, and swam on four first place relay teams.

Foster will be the second former GMC champion to swim in the Olympics following Dan Ketchum, also of Sycamore, who set the current GMC 200 individual medley record which has now stood for 24 years.

Carson's collegiate swimming career took him to the University of Texas where he contributed to the Longhorns mens National NCAA title in 2021.

Ketchum won an Olympic gold medal by swimming a leg on the 4X200 free style relay team.

Sycamore Aviators Select Andrew Ovington as AD

Press Release and Photo Compliments of Sycamore Athletic Department:

 

Sycamore Athletics is excited to announce Andrew Ovington as the new Athletic Director. Ovington's extensive background within the district, both in the classroom and as a head coach, make him an ideal leader for the athletic department.

Andrew began his journey at Sycamore in 2013 as a Social Studies teacher while also coaching basketball, golf, and track at both high school and junior high levels at Sycamore and Lakota. In 2015, Andrew became the Varsity Girls' Golf Head Coach at Sycamore, while also serving as a Varsity Assistant Coach for the Sycamore Boys' Basketball team. He took over the Sycamore Boys Basketball program as head coach in 2017 before beginning his administrative career in 2022, serving as the Assistant Principal at Liberty Junior High in Lakota Local Schools. Andrew then returned to Sycamore in 2023 as an Assistant Principal at Sycamore High School.

He resides in Montgomery with his wife, Rebecca, and his son, Braxton.  Please join us in welcoming Andrew Ovington as Sycamore Athletics' new Athletic Director! 

East Head Baseball Coach Ray Hamilton Steps Down After 25 Seasons

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 11, 2024

By Lakota East SID Dan Hilen:

Lakota East’s legendary head baseball coach, Ray Hamilton, has announced he will not return next season, concluding a historic career. Hamilton, a 2020 Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame inductee, finishes his 25th season at the Thunderhawk helm with 396 career wins at East, a Lakota School District record, and 593 career total wins.

Hamilton’s tenure at Lakota East is marked by remarkable achievements, including the 2011 OHSAA Division 1 State Championship. Under his leadership, East won Greater Miami Conference (GMC) titles in 2005, 2010, and 2011, District Titles in 2008, 2011, and 2013, and made three Regional appearances (2008, 2011, 2013). Hamilton was named GMC Coach of the Year four times (2019, 2011, 2010, 2005) and Cincinnati Enquirer Coach of the Year in 1998 (@ Ross) and 2011.

In addition to his numerous accolades, Hamilton coached in the Mizuno All-Star Series in 2011, and the Augusta Sports Wear Series in 2019, and led Junior Team Ohio in the Lonestar classic in 2006 and 2007.

A homegrown talent, Hamilton graduated from Lakota High School in 1983, where he was a three-year varsity starter in football and a two-year starter in baseball. He went on to play football at Appalachian State University, Independence Community College, and Missouri Southern State College, where he graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science in education.

Hamilton began his teaching and coaching career at Ross High School in 1989, where he coached football, basketball, and baseball. As head baseball coach, he compiled a 197-75 record over 11 years, winning five league championships (1991, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998). He was named FAVC Coach of the Year in 1991, 1995, 1996, and 1998, and Cincinnati Enquirer Coach of the Year in 1998.

In 2000, Hamilton succeeded Lakota Baseball legend Jim Rouff as head baseball coach at Lakota East. He also served as a long-time assistant football coach throughout his career and retired from full-time teaching in 2022. Nearly 200 of his former players have gone on to play at the collegiate level.

In what is now his final season, Hamilton led Lakota East to a 19-10 record this past spring. The Thunderhawks were 13-5 in the Greater Miami Conference, finishing second behind Division I state champion Mason. The Hawks handed the Comets their only GMC loss of the season with a 9-7 win on April 23rd.

Hamilton's departure marks the end of an era for Lakota East, leaving behind a legacy of excellence and dedication.

DICK'S Sporting Goods Salutes GMC Baseball Standouts

DICK'S Sporting Goods honors GMC Baseball achievements from this past season season, especially GMC "Player of the Year" Jake Hanely from Mason, Lucas Davids GMC "Pitcher of the Year" from Fairfield and "Coach of the Year" Ron Murphy from Oak Hills.

As the conference "Player of the Year", Jake Hanely may be among the very best this conference has ever seen. This multi-talented young man batted .384 (second in the league), had 5 home runs (second in the league) and tallied 32 RBI's (first in the league). From the mound, this versatile athlete totaled 9 wins and 87 strikeouts.  Jake Hanley has been first team All-GMC for three consecutive seasons.  As post script to the regular season, Jake Hanley was selected first team All-Ohio by the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association as well as their Division I "Player of the Year". An on-the-field general for the Comets, Jake was one of the key senior leaders who paved the way for Mason's first state championship.

Jake Hanley - Mason Comets   GMC "Player of the Year"

(Photo compliments of Mason SID Dan Hilen)

As the GMC "Pitcher of the Year", Lucas Davids from the Fairfield Indians turned 51 strikeouts in 42 innings of work, backed up by a stingy ERA of .067.  Lucas was a three-year starter on the mound for the Indians finishing with a career ERA of 1.235.

Lucas Davids - Fairfield Indians  GMC  "Pitcher of the Year"

(Photo compliments of the Fairfield Athletic Department)

 

One of the highest honors a coach can receive is the appreciation of his or her coaching peers. Such is the case for Oak Hills Highlander Head Baseball Coach Ron Murphy. In the 2023 campaign, Oak Hills finished with an 8-10 GMC record after which Coach Murphy and his Highlanders doubled down to make 2024 a statement season.  2024 found them finishing with a strong 12-6 league record. As far as league standings go,  the 2024 edition of the Oak Hills squad found themselves in 3rd place only one game out of 2nd place, whereas the year before they ended in 5th place and five games out of second.  To say the least, this was a dramatic improvement, one that did not go unnoticed by fellow GMC Head Baseball coaches who voted Coach Ron Murphy as the 2024 GMC "Coach of the Year".

Head Coach Ron Murphy - Oak Hills  2024 GMC "Coach of the Year"

(Photo compliments of Oak Hills Athletic Department)

Mason Baseball STATE CHAMPIONS

Press Release by Mason SID, Dan Hilen:

Mason High School's baseball team has achieved a historic milestone by winning the 2024 Division 1 OHSAA State Championship. After 88 seasons and three previous Final Four appearances (1987, 2018, 2022), the Comets claimed their first state baseball title with an 8-1 victory over Twinsburg at Akron’s Canal Park. This triumph marks Mason's seventh consecutive win and their 28th of the year, setting a modern-day record for their storied baseball program.

Mason Comets State Champions

(Photo compliments of Mason SID Dan Hilen)



Senior pitcher Michael Bilo (6-2) led the charge with a stellar performance, coming off a no-hit game in the Regional Final against defending champion Moeller. Bilo was lifted in the 6th inning after allowing only 2 hits and striking out 9 batters. The Comets' defense was impeccable, committing no errors in the game.

The scoring started in the second inning when Anthony Sulek singled to right field and scored on a two-out hit by Casey Doner, putting Mason up 1-0. In the top of the fifth inning, Mason extended their lead to 4-0 with a two-run single by senior third baseman Drew Stevens, scoring senior center fielder Brad Hart and senior second baseman Alex Koelling. Senior catcher Mark Rutherford followed with a single to score senior first baseman Jake Hanley.

Mason sealed the game in the top of the sixth inning with four more runs. Hart and Rutherford each contributed 2 RBIs, extending the Comets' lead. Twinsburg managed to score their only run in the bottom of the sixth on three walks and a wild pitch.

In the final inning, sophomore reliever Ben Hanley shut down Twinsburg, with Alex Koelling making a diving catch for the final out, sparking a jubilant celebration on the field.

The Comets (28-6), ranked No. 7 in the state coaches poll and No. 16 nationally by MaxPreps, navigated a challenging path to the state championship. This journey included their sixth consecutive GMC championship (ninth overall), fourth consecutive Southwest District title (15th overall), and fourth Regional title.

Mason is the first GMC school to win an OHSAA Baseball Title since Lakota East in 2011. Previous GMC champions include Lakota West (2007), Hamilton (1983, 1998), and Fairfield (1984, 1991). Since the 2000-01 season, Mason's athletic programs have now secured 26 Division 1 State Team Titles across various OHSAA interscholastic sports.

The Comets will bid farewell to 17 seniors who have significantly contributed to the 45040 Baseball program over their four-year careers.

Congratulations to this year’s Comet players and Head Coach Curt Bly (245-61 since 2014) along with his outstanding coaching staff.

MASON BASEBALL IS THE DIVISION 1 2024 OHSAA STATE CHAMPIONS!