April 26, 2013
Over the past few seasons, the Hartley football program has produced Division I college talent such as Ja'Wuan Woodley and Noah Key.
The latest star athlete to walk through the halls at the eastside CCL school is senior Alonzo Saxton.
About the only thing Saxton hasn't been able to do is stay healthy -- he missed four games last season.
That didn't affect him being one of the top area recruits from the 2014 recruiting class, and he recently accepted an offer to play for Duke.
Saxton scored four touchdowns on offense last season and had two interceptions while making special mention all-district, and said he likely will be a defensive back when he gets to the college level.
"I already had it in my mind that it would be a good academic school," Saxton said. "I felt like I could see myself there. Every one of the players I talked to said they like it there. Duke will set you up for life. I was looking for more for the long-term."
On Duke's 2013 roster are Columbus Academy graduate Will Boeckman, Olentangy graduate Kenny Anunike and Worthington Kilbourne graduate Matt Skura.
Saxton is a 5-11, 175-pounder with speed who is considered a three-star recruit by Rivals.com.
He also considered Indiana and West Virginia.
April 23, 2013
One thing former Northland girls basketball coach Dean Washington wanted to see when he attended the Division I-II all-star girls North-South game April 21 at Capital University was how well his former star, senior Alexis Peterson, would look when surrounded by talents of similar caliber.
Needless to say, she looked just fine.
The Syracuse-recruit, who was the district's Player of the Year and ThisWeek Super 12 captain each of the last two seasons, made 11 of 17 shots from the floor on the way to having 26 points, five assists and four rebounds.
"I've seen her play with my girls, but I wanted to see if, when she was playing with the talent, how she'd blend in," Washington said. "It was kind of an interesting dynamic. I'd say she's going to be a solid contributor in college."
Peterson was one of three players from central Ohio for the South all-stars, who lost to the North 94-91. Pickerington North's Christy Macioce finished with nine points and Olentangy Orange's Taylor Agler added six points. As was her trademark throughout her prep career when many of her points came on 3-pointers, Agler made a pair of 3s.
In the girls Division III-IV game, Africentric post player Marley Hill had 20 points to help her team win 96-91 in overtime.
Agler will play for Indiana, Hill will play for Cincinnati and Macioce will play for Dayton.
*In boys all-star action April 21, the North beat the South 123-99 in Division I-II and the South won the Division III-IV game 102-89 over the North.
Africentric's Kenny Robinson had 13 points, including one 3-pointer, to help the South win in Division III-IV.
Davidson-recruit Jack Gibbs from Westerville North finished with 16 points for the South in Division I-II. Mike Wells of Delaware, who also played for South and is a University of Albany recruit, had six points.
April 17, 2013
Back in the early signing period for basketball last November, the Ashland men's team picked up two of central Ohio's top players when it signed Reynoldsburg's Wendell Davis and Newark Catholic's Jett Speelman.
The Eagles added some depth when Westerville North senior guard Adrian Cook recently committed to the program as a walkon.
Cook averaged 11 points, 3.1 assists and 2.1 steals while making first-team all-OCC-Cardinal Division and honorable mention all-district in Division I last winter. He was among a supporting cast behind district Player of the Year Jack Gibbs as the Warriors went 23-2 and were district semifinalists.
"I liked the coaches and the campus," Cook said. "I also liked it academically, plus I look at it as a challenge and I like challenges."
*For more updates on where central Ohio athletes are going to school, follow us on Twitter at @UlreyThisWeek and @ThisWeekSports.
April 16, 2013
Dublin Scioto senior Josh Ashwill will be signing over the next few days to play men's basketball at Mount Vernon Nazarene University.
This winter for the Irish, the 6-2 guard averaged a team-high 17.3 points, 7.1 rebounds and four assists while leading them to their first winning season since 2008-09. The Irish went 18-5 overall and were second in the OCC-Cardinal at 11-3.
Ashwill was second-team all-district, first-team all-league and made the ThisWeek Super 12.
"I just feel like it's a good fit," Ashwill said. "Plus, it's not too far or too close to home and I really like the coaches a lot."
MVNU went 11-19 last season. Central Ohio players on the Cougars' roster included Jacob Starinsky (Hilliard Bradley), Luke Shetler (Shekinah Christian), Jonathan Roby (Shekinah Christian), Jason Dawson (Worthington Christian), Matt Anglea (Worthington Christian), Zach Zeltman (Fairfield Christian) and Julian Henderson (Thomas Worthington).
April 11, 2013
According to Reynoldsburg track coach Richard Ladowitz, senior middle distance and distance runner Dominik Seitzer decided earlier this month to compete for Ohio State.
I wouldn't necessarily call Seitzer a late bloomer, but I'm not sure if I saw him developing into the state-caliber athlete he's become when I first heard about him during his sophomore cross country season.
Seitzer always had great runners around him, which certainly helped.
Although Denny Hammond is no longer the Raiders' head coach, he is continuing to work with Seitzer this season after spending the last three seasons teaching Seitzer and a talented distance corps how to run competitively.
Seitzer was the Raiders' No. 5 runner in cross country as a sophomore in 2010, behind future state champion Tsehaye Hiluf and other talented runners like Khalid Omar and Hiruy Abraha.
He competed at the regional meet during his sophomore track season and on the 3,200 relay at state a year ago.
After advancing to state in cross country last fall, Seitzer earned a runner-up finish in the 800 in the state indoor meet in March. This spring he has been taking on a leadership role as the Raiders underdo a rebuilding project with numerous freshmen and sophomores in their program.
Seitzer, according to Ladowitz, will have a signing ceremony at some point before the end of the school year to announce his college choice.
In June, it wouldn't be surprising to see Seitzer on the state podium in the 800.
April 3, 2013
As is the case with most sports in central Ohio, the 2013 crop of future college baseball players features a couple high-end prospects, several who will be going to mid-major Division I programs and a solid group of players that will fill the rosters of Division III teams over the next few years.
I can't recomment highly enough the work the people at prepbaseballreport.com do in coming up with lists of where baseball players from throughout the Midwest make their college commitments to.
So far, there are at least two players from the 2014 recruiting class who already have verbally committed in Gahanna's Evan White (Kent State) and Olentangy Liberty's Jacob Niggemeyer (Ohio State).
From the 2013 class, one of the top recruits from the area is Licking Heights' Ronnie Dawson, who also will play for Ohio State.
While it's no surprise that several area players will go to Mid-American Conference schools, there also are a few headed to Atlantic Ten programs. They include Mount Vernon's Eric Ashbrook, Dublin Jerome's Jason Johnson and Pickerington North's Matt Poland all going to Dayton and Dublin Coffman's Jason Hall and Watterson's Greg Jacknewitz both going to Xavier.
Also committing to mid-major programs are Olentangy Orange's Brady Harris and Hilliard Darby's Chris Ramsey (both committed to Valparaiso) and Pickerington North's Tyler Pagano (Oakland), Fredericktown's Matt Smith (Western Carolina), Olentangy Orange's Paul Trick (Gardner-Webb) and Westerville South's Taylor Zachary (Niagara).
Among those headed to the MAC are Pickerington Central's Greg Basalyga and Devon Fisk (both to Bowling Green), Dublin Jerome's Masashi Sakamoto (Akron), Pickerington North's Ryan Miller (Miami), Watkins Memorial's Tony Winters (Ohio University) and Gahanna's Alec Tuohy (Buffalo).
Here is a list of players who have committed to smaller colleges:
Dakota Cararo, Gahanna -- Adrian
Mitch Cox, Newark Catholic -- Ashland; Nash Cunningham, Fredericktown -- Ashland
Ross Etgen, Ready -- Walsh; James Thomas, Newark Catholic -- Walsh
Nick Ewalt, West Jefferson -- Defiance
Corey Gould, Marysville -- Mount Vernon Nazarene; Emerson Keppler, Thomas Worthington -- Mount Vernon Nazarene
Max Gunn, Olentangy Liberty -- Thiel
Kyle Lento, Dublin Jerome -- Tiffin; Kyle Montell, Pickerington North -- Tiffin
Jeremy Wei, Westerville South -- Lake Erie
- Hartley's Saxton commits to play football at Duke
- Peterson among area standouts in state all-star hoops games
- Warriors' Cook to play men's basketball for Ashland
- Scioto's Ashwill to play college basketball
- Reynoldsburg's Seitzer to compete for Ohio State
- Lots of mid-major baseball prospects to watch this spring