Rachel Furr fulfilled a dream by becoming coach of the Northridge High School swimming and diving program.
Furr, a 2007 graduate of Brunswick in suburban Cleveland and a 2010 graduate of Ohio State, has been swimming "all of my life" and has wanted to get into coaching for a few years.
"I'm a stay-at-home mom and didn't think I would be able to coach until my kids went to school," she said. "But the practices are not right after school and I can wait until my husband, Nick, gets home to watch the kids.
"Swimming has always been a passion of mine. I've done it all of my life, including (youth) club swimming, high school and being involved with club swimming in college."
Furr replaces Louissa Summers, who led the program for one season.
"Rachel has ... years of swimming experience and will be great for the program," athletics director Wayne Howard said. "She, along with administrative coach Jeff Lindsay, will bring the swim team to new levels of personal achievement for a successful season."
Furr started working with the Vikings on Nov. 4, their first day of practice. The boys and girls teams are practicing at Denison University this season.
"Right now, I'm learning their personalities and skill levels," Furr said. "We expect to see a phenomenal difference as the season goes on."
Vikings weather return to LCL
The football team finished 2-8 overall, losing to Heath 32-8 on Nov. 1 in an LCL-Small School Division contest.
The Vikings finished fourth (0-4) in the league behind Newark Catholic (4-0), Johnstown-Monroe (3-1), Utica (2-2) and Heath (1-3).
Northridge won its first two games, defeating Millersport 42-0 on Aug. 30 and Fairfield Christian 41-20 on Sept. 6, but lost its final eight contests.
"We're going to start as soon as we can to get ready for next season," said coach Darby Riley, who completed his second season. "We have (13) freshmen, so we were young. We have a good group of eighth-graders coming up and we want to get them involved with weightlifting in January so they will feel like they are part of the program. We want them to be ready to go when practice begins."
The Vikings were plagued by injuries, with the loss of three-year starting tailback Jacob Burke possibly the biggest setback. The senior suffered a season-ending knee injury Sept. 20 in a 55-8 loss to Licking Valley and had surgery last month. He likely will miss wrestling season.
"We had a rough stretch, but we learned we had to trust your teammates," junior quarterback Bryant Garee said. "When Jacob went down, we still had to go out and play. We couldn't rely on him anymore, so we had to figure out what to do."
Garee and junior Chase Hess (RB/WR/DB) took control. In a 42-35 loss to Lakewood on Oct. 11, Garee completed 32 of 49 passes for a school-record 334 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, while Hess caught 12 passes for 151 yards.
Senior Eric Dills (RB/DL) was first-team all-league, Garee and Hess made the second team and senior Zach Hossler (OL/DL) was honorable mention.
Other seniors for the Vikings were Jonathan Barber, (OL/DL) Tim Geary (WR/DB), A.J. Mooney (OL/DL), Travis Murray (OL/DL), Chad Williamson (OL/LB/P) and Tanner Williamson (WR/LB).
Juniors expected to return are Brennan Angus (OL/DL), Caden Chapman (TE/DL), Nick Dienno (OL/DL), Matt Hebert (OL/DL), Mikey Kimes (WR/DB), Daniel McNamara (WR/DB), Hunter Reece (OL/DL) and Matt West (OL/DL).
Also eligible to return are sophomores Sam Doran (RB/LB), Adam Eckstein (OL/DL), Brenton Ickes (WR/DB), Logan Parker (OL/DL), Collin Remy (WR/DB), Sam Schultz (OL/DL) and Alexander Webb (TE/DE) and freshmen Gunner Absten (WR/DE), Justin Bednarczyk (OL/DL), Austin Chambers (OL/DL), Hunter Corbin (WR/LB), Luke Dean (OL/DL), Jon Feightner (TE/DL), Logan Garee (WR/LB), Daniel Hatfield (QB/DB), Gage Linkous (RB/LB), Isaac Marincheck (WR/DB), Trevor Roach (RB/LB), Keith Sarchenko (OL/DL) and Troy Webster (WR/DB).