Johnstown Independent

Northridge Roundup

Jones resigns as softball coach

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The frenetic pace became too much for Bobbi Jones, who resigned June 5 as coach of the Northridge High School softball team.

Jones led the program for two seasons, finishing 36-19 overall and 22-6 in the MBC.

"I resigned for personal reasons," Jones said. "I live in Marysville and was driving 100 miles per day between my full-time job and coaching. It was putting a strain on me financially, and it added to the stress of the job. I just couldn't keep burning the candle at both ends."

The Vikings finished 21-6 overall this season and went 13-1 to win their third MBC title in four seasons.

Third-seeded Northridge had a first-round bye before losing to visiting Ready 4-0 on May 15 in the second-round of the Division III district tournament. The 15th-seeded Silver Knights won district and regional titles before losing to Columbia Station Columbia 3-1 in a state semifinal June 7 at Akron.

In 2012, the 11th-seeded Vikings reached their third Division III district final in four seasons, losing to sixth-seeded Fairbanks 6-4.

"It was a very difficult decision for me to make, but sometimes you have to put (yourself) first and do what's best for yourself," Jones said. "That was why I chose to leave."

Northridge also is seeking to fill coaching positions for middle school cross country, seventh-grade girls basketball, eighth-grade girls basketball, seventh-grade boys basketball and eighth-grade boys basketball.

Contact athletics director Wayne Howard at 6066 Johnstown-Utica Rd., Johnstown, 43031 or by e-mail at whoward@laca.org

Baseball program reaches new heights

It was a record-setting season for the baseball team.

The Vikings finished 20-11 overall, winning the program's first district championship and also earning its first MBC title since 2001.

Northridge also reached a Division III regional final, losing to Hamilton Badin 9-6 in eight innings May 31 in Xenia.

"This was something that was great to be a part of, and it's something I will always remember," said senior Storm Strout, who played outfield, shortstop and pitcher. "Winning that last game (regional final) would have been great, but it didn't happen. Hopefully this is just the start (of future postseason success)."

Fifth-seeded Northridge had a first-round bye in the district tournament before defeating eighth-seeded Marion Pleasant 5-4 on May 16 at home, third-seeded Liberty Union 5-3 on May 21 at New Albany in a district semifinal and 10th-seeded Heath 10-9 in a district final May 24 at Lancaster.

Northridge defeated Cin-cinnati Summit Country Day 1-0 in a regional semifinal May 30 at Xenia.

The Vikings tied Fredericktown for first in the MBC at 12-2, followed by Utica (8-6), Johnstown-Monroe (6-8), Loudonville (6-8), Centerburg (5-9), East Knox (4-10) and Danville (3-11).

Sophomore Greg Wilson (OF/SS) was first-team all-district and all-league. Strout and sophomores Clay Nicks (OF/P) and Brad Wilson (INF/P) also were first-team all-league. Senior Ross Wilson (1B/P) and sophomore Matt Simmons (C/P) were second-team. Senior Jerrad Carr (3B/C) was honorable mention.

Seniors were Carr, Gavin Kyle (OF), Justin Mullins (P/INF), Strout and Wilson.

"I really hate to see this senior class go," said Jeff Wilson, who was league Coach of the Year. "They were so close and helped us rebuild the program."

Expected back are junior Morgan Wright (P/1B) and sophomores Nick McConnell (P), Daniel McNamara (OF), Nicks, Gavin Shank (OF), Simmons, Tate VanFossen (OF), Brad Wilson and Greg Wilson. Ethan Chalfant (2B) Payton Miller (INF/OF) and Alexander Webb (INF/OF) were freshmen.

"We have a lot of kids coming back with experience," coach Wilson said. "And they have won a league title, a district title and almost reached the final four. We have a lot of experience and that should really help us next year."

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