Now that Christmas is over, wrapping up another year is all that's left to do in 2010. Before hanging a new calendar, however, these 10 stories are worth revisiting:

Now that Christmas is over, wrapping up another year is all that's left to do in 2010. Before hanging a new calendar, however, these 10 stories are worth revisiting:

1) THIRD TIME WAS A CHARM, TOO - When the Lakewood High School softball team defeated Poland Seminary 1-0 in the Division II state final on June 5 at the University of Akron, the Lancers became the first team to win three consecutive championships since Akron Springfield captured four in a row in Division I from 1992-95.

The Lancers, who had won their other titles in Division III, scored the game's only run when freshman Kelsi Thompson homered to left leading off the bottom of the second inning. They finished 29-5 overall.

Ranked fourth in the final state poll behind No. 1 Seminary, the Lancers ousted third-ranked LaGrange Keystone 8-0 in a regional semifinal and second-ranked Greenville 5-4 in a state semifinal.

Aside from moving up a division, the Lancers also were replacing pitching ace Alissa Birkhimer, who had graduated the previous spring.

"We wanted to show people we're not a one-player team," said her replacement, junior Alyssa Patznick.

Birkhimer, who signed to play at Akron, had been Lakewood's top hitter as well. Caitlin Houk, who two years earlier had replaced Wright State signee Lindsay Barrett at catcher, became one of the offensive catalysts. The senior batted .455 with three home runs and 36 RBI to become Licking County's only first-team all-state selection.

"After we won our first (state title in 2008) we didn't really talk about winning it again," said coach Criss Nadolson, whose team was a combined 91-11 during its three-year championship run. "But after last year, we did with this group."

2) GONE FOR GOOD - Following much debate and plenty of wavering, Babe Ruth League officials announced in August that the 16-18 years old World Series would not be returning to Don Edwards Park in Newark.

"Unfortunately, some of the resources that are typically actively involved in other World Series host communities, from a financial and promotional perspective, never evolved locally," Dave Froelich, a Newark resident and director of special events for the Babe Ruth League, wrote in an e-mail.

He noted that four national camps and six World Series since 2002, when the Babe Ruth League acquired the park and began pumping in more than $1 million in renovations, generated more than $6 million for the local economy.

"After reviewing the financial results from the complex and the World Series from the past eight years," Froelich wrote, "it is apparent to the Babe Ruth League board of directors that continuing to subsidize a complex and World Series in Newark/Licking County is no longer feasible."

The World Series first came to Newark in 1979 and was staged here 11 times, which included a five-year run from 2004-08. The event was moved to Moses Lake, Wash., in 2009 to give local organizers time to regroup. A team from Mobile, Ala., won the final World Series played in Newark.

"Newark, Ohio, will always hold a special place in Babe Ruth League history," said Steven Tellefsen, president of the organization. "We regret that this action is necessary. We have all made many friends in Licking County. It's a great facility, and we will miss it."

3) SO CLOSE - Newark Catholic nearly had two more state championship banners to hang from the rafters in its gymnasium as the boys basketball and baseball teams both advanced to Division IV state finals.

They took much different paths, however.

The basketball team, led by senior all-state guard Matt Dawson, was dominant throughout the regular season. The Green Wave was ranked first in the state poll until it squandered an eight-point lead in the closing minutes of a 56-50 loss at Bexley in the 19th game. The team regrouped and didn't lose again until Dayton Jefferson Township, which dropped 10 regular-season games, pulled a 59-52 upset in the state final on March 27 at Ohio State.

"The goals we put on the board for tonight, we accomplished those, generally, 95 percent of the time," coach Drew Meister, whose team finished 25-2 overall, said afterward. "We just went up against a relentless opponent."

Several players, including senior Nate Adams, then made the transition to baseball. The Green Wave struggled throughout the regular season and was dealt a crushing blow when Adams, the starting third baseman, was sidelined with a knee injury. Despite starting two freshmen and three sophomores, the Green Wave peaked in the postseason and rallied to defeat Grove City Christian 2-1 in a district final. It improved to 12-19 while moving within four wins of bringing home the school's 25th state title.

"We've been talking about finishing 16-19 for two weeks now," senior Jake Nelson said. "That's the goal."

Seeking its seventh state championship, the Green Wave eventually fell 3-0 to Fort Loramie in the state final on June 5 at Huntington Park in Columbus.

4) HOMETOWN BOY - Derek Holland, a Newark native, played a key role as the Texas Rangers advanced to the World Series for the first time.

The left-handed pitcher was drafted in the 25th round out of Wallace State Community College in Hanceville, Ala., in 2006.

Taking the mound in Yankee Stadium on Oct. 19, he pitched like an ace while earning the decision in a 10-3 victory over New York in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series. Holland, 24, allowed no runs in 5 2/3 innings covering two relief appearances in the ALCS as the Rangers eliminated the Yankees in six games before losing to San Francisco in the World Series.

He hasn't forgotten his roots, either, donating $1,000 to Newark High's "Million Dollar Dream" promotion last January. Last week he was in town signing autographs and posing for pictures while providing instruction at a baseball clinic at The Advantage Club in Newark.

5) MORE DIAMOND DANDIES - Coming off its most successful season since becoming a member of the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League in 2005, the Licking County Settlers baseball team took things a step further last summer despite of a rough start.

The Settlers dropped their opening three games by a combined 14 runs before regrouping to post a 29-11 record while topping the regular-season standings for the first time. They garnered most of the league's major awards, too.

Outfielder John McCambridge was named Player of the Year and outfielder Adam Walker was named Top Position Prospect. Brian Meyer, who in his first season led the team to the postseason championship series won by the Hamilton Joes, was named Manager of the Year.

"The best thing is we have a young team this season," Settlers owner Lou Mitchell said.

6) SO LONG - Two area athletes who were among the best at what they did graduated in the spring.

Girls basketball player Megan White, a shooting guard and two-time Division III district Player of the Year, departed as Heath's second-leading scorer with more than 1,650 career points. The Tennessee-Martin signee led the Bulldogs to their first MSL-Ohio Division title as a senior and a combined 62-22 record in four seasons.

"We'll just have to find a way to move on without her," coach Doug Griffin said.

Newark Catholic boys track and field standout Clay Harris, a four-time Division IV district champion in both the discus and shot put, finished his career by placing in both events at the state meet on June 5 at Ohio State. He finished second in the shot (56 feet, 3 inches) and third in the discus (178-3). An Ashland signee, Harris won the state discus title as a junior.

His consistency wasn't limited to sports.

"You know, he never missed a day of school in four years," said his father and throwing coach Jim Harris.

7) FOLLOWING THE LEADER - The Heath wrestling team participated in the Division III Ohio Duals on Jan. 10 at Metamora Evergreen.

Eight teams in three divisions qualify based on the number of points their underclassmen score at the district meets the previous season, and the Bulldogs were the first school from Licking County to earn an invitation since the event began in the mid-1990s.

Licking Valley will participate in next month's Division II tournament at St. Paris Graham. The Panthers had eight underclassmen in their lineup for the district meet on Feb. 25-26 at Uhrichsville Claymont, where then-junior Chase Redman won the title at 215 pounds.

8) SHORT BUT SWEET - Heath, Licking Valley and Newark Catholic were Licking County's only playoff qualifiers in football and none made it past the second round. Still, each of their appearances was noteworthy.

The Bulldogs had to play most of the season without one of their top players when senior running back Nelson Scott, a 1,000-yard rusher in 2009 who also handled all of the kicking duties, suffered a back injury. They lost to eventual state-champion Hartley 39-26 in a Division IV, Region 15 semifinal to finish 10-2.

The Panthers gave Heath its only regular-season loss 24-21 on Sept. 17 en route to regaining the MSL-Ohio title they had won five times in six seasons from 2003-08. They lost starting tailback Tregg Hall to a knee injury two weeks later but nonetheless made the playoffs in Division III, Region 11. They lost to Alliance Marlington 48-21 in a regional semifinal to finish 9-3.

The Green Wave qualified in Division VI, Region 23 after previously sitting out the postseason in consecutive years for the first time since the playoffs began in 1972. Newark Catholic, which captured its eighth state title in 2007, qualified for the postseason for a state-record 31st time. It finished 7-4 with a 21-20 loss to Bridgeport in a regional semifinal.

9) KEEPING GOOD COMPANY - Fourteen-year-old gymnast Katie Carlisle, a Newark resident and home-schooled eighth-grader at the time, was one of only three Ohioans to qualify in Level-10 for the U.S. Junior Olympic National Championships last May in Dallas.

The others were Marysville senior Sasha Tsikhanovich, who signed with Auburn, and Dublin Jerome senior Victoria Aepli, who signed with Ohio State.

Carlisle qualified by placing fourth in the all-around with a score of 37.225 during the Region 5 Championships on April 8-11 in Diamondale, Mich. She finished fourth on the uneven bars (9.25), sixth in the vault (9.25), seventh on the balance beam (9.4) and 10th in the floor exercise (9.35).

10) WILDCATS GOT THEIR MAN - The search for the next football coach at Newark took one turn after another before assistant Gregg Forsythe, who had led Lakewood to its only playoff appearance in 2001, was offered and accepted the job on March 12.

That capped a wild day in which Randy Baughman, who has been the coach at Licking Valley since the 1980s, suddenly withdrew his name from consideration only hours before the announcement that Forsythe would replace Jeff Buchanan.

"Gregg fits the needs of our kids, and he has good ideas on how to move the program forward," superintendant Doug Ute said.

The Wildcats finished 1-9 in Forsythe's first season but showed considerable offensive improvement, especially when throwing the ball out of a new spread offense. They won 15-14 at Marion Harding in his second game.