For those that may not have seen it on social media, Randy Roberts of WNHO TV-26 posted a photo online from the Defiance-Wauseon junior varsity boys basketball game on Saturday that has received some positive attention.
It wasn’t a cool dunk or a last-second bucket, but rather, the photo was directed towards the sidelines.
The two JV coaches shouting instruction from the bench were Jaaci Carr for Defiance and Ashley Oyer from Wauseon.
The first thing you may realize that the names Jaaci and Ashley are not men’s names and the two coaches led teams in what is believed to be the first coaching matchup of a boys sport with two female coaches.
Now, the last thing I want to do is be patronizing in pointing this out as if to say, “Wow, how cool for them. I’m glad they get to do that,” namely because both Carr and Oyer have too much coaching acumen between them for me to act as if the schools didn’t believe they weren’t the best people for the job.
Carr served as varsity girls basketball head coach at Continental from 2011-14 while Oyer coached the Wauseon girls program for five seasons from 2013-18, tasked with following longtime head coach Brad Myers (367 wins from 1989-2013, nine NWOAL titles, two regional titles, 1997 state championship).
Both coaches have earned the opportunities they’ve received, just as coaches like Becky Hammon as an assistant coach in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs or Rachel Balkovec being named as the manager of the New York Yankees’ Single-A affiliate.
It’s harder and harder for schools to find qualified coaches to run their programs in just about any sport, what with the time commitment it requires and the (at times) thankless nature of the role and for both Defiance and Wauseon, the opportunity to have qualified coaches in their respective systems is a blessing.
To Jaaci and Ashley, good luck to your squads the rest of this season. Your players are lucky to have you coaching them.
Here’s some other pieces of info from the sports scene:
• I’d be remiss if I didn’t give some recognition to some hard work from a local sports fan. Defiance resident Brayton Martin has developed a computer ranking system for high school boys basketball that he’s dubbed MartinRPI. Similar to the RPI ratings used in college hoops, the rating incorporates a team’s wins and losses and the strength of schedule of both the team and its opponents.
While he would say it’s far from perfect and I’m sure he’s still finding ways to fine-tune it, it’s brought an interesting perspective and been a useful tool in evaluating some teams compared to others. The site separates teams by division and by region while noting teams’ win-loss records and what district they compete in. Check it out at www.martinrpi.com.
• News had trickled out during mid-November that Swanton received an invitation to join the Toledo Area Athletic Conference and leave the Northwest Ohio Athletic League but according to people I’ve spoken to with knowledge of the situation, the school will not be joining and will remain in the NWOAL
• Though the 2022 football season is complete, gridiron fans can still get a chance to see some of the best in the state compete in the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association North-South All-Star Football game. The game, held on April 30 at Paul Brown Tiger Stadium in Massillon, will feature some local names as Edon quarterback Drew Gallehue and offensive lineman Cassius Hulbert, Columbus Grove kicker/punter Rece Verhoff and Liberty Center linebacker Owen Johnson will all suit up with Archbold head coach David Dominique serving as an assistant coach on the North team’s staff in the Division IV-VII game.
• There’s more gridiron news on the local front as Evergreen has hired a new head football coach in former Eastwood defensive coordinator Evan Karchner. The 2012 Maumee High School and 2016 BGSU grad was a two-time all-Ohio linebacker, played at BGSU and has graduate assistant and coaching experience at Wake Forest, Youngstown State and BGSU before joining the prep ranks. Karchner takes his first head coaching position after Aaron Schmidt guided the Vikings for the past five seasons with a 17-33 record.
• Speaking of coaching positions, Paulding High School has announced that it is welcoming applications for head football coach of the Panthers. Interested candidates can submit a resume, cover letter and references to athletic director Tyler Arend at email@example.com by Jan. 24.
• Drew Gallehue’s name came up earlier and the record-setting Edon QB isn’t done firing passes yet as the Bomber senior announced on Twitter recently that he would be committing to Division II Ohio Dominican to play football. Gallehue threw for 4,977 yards and 58 touchdowns as a senior and finished his career in the top seven in the state in career TD passes (141, fourth) and passing yards (11,262, seventh).
Gallehue’s not the only local football player heading to the Great Midwest Athletic Conference as Ayersville linebacker Hayden Dales will compete at the University of Findlay next season. Dales, a 6-2, 195-pound defensive back, earned second-team all-GMC and honorable mention all-Ohio accolades for the Pilots as a senior with 48 tackles, a forced fumble and recovered fumble and an interception.
• Looking ahead to next season, Ohio State announced some shuffling to its 2022 football schedule. The three non-league home games against Notre Dame, Arkansas State and Toledo to start the year will now be followed by two more home games against Wisconsin on Sept. 24 and Rutgers on Oct. 1.
A trip to Michigan State has moved from Sept. 24 to Oct. 8 while an Oct. 15 matchup with Iowa will swap with the previously-scheduled Oct. 22 bye week. The Buckeyes’ trip to Penn State has moved from Oct. 1 to Oct. 29 while a home game with Indiana will be played Nov. 12 instead of Oct. 29.