September 2, 2014

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Kirksey making presence felt to Browns
Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 8:00 PM

BEREA (AP) — When veteran linebacker Karlos Dansby looks at rookie Chris Kirksey, it’s like staring in the mirror.

And what’s looking back at him has potential — a lot of it.

“He reminds me of me,” Dansby said. “He has potential to be one of the best to ever do it if he applies himself.”

Kirksey is impressing everyone so far in his first NFL training camp and he’s doing it by leaning on the veterans around him, like Craig Robertson — whom he is battling for playing time at the weakside position — and Dansby.

The 6-2, 235-pound rookie’s attitude and work ethic hasn’t been lost on Dansby, who is entering his 11th year in the league. And to help Kirksey along, Dansby has been trying to lead by example.

Kirksey’s presence at camp hasn’t been lost on Browns coach Mike Pettine, either. Pleased with the young linebacker’s performance so far — he had three tackles in the Browns’ preseason opener — Pettine said earlier in the week that Kirksey would get more time with the first-team defense in practice.

And there he was on Wednesday, standing alongside Dansby on a number of plays, before breaking into coverage against both tight ends and even a couple of receivers in team drills.

 
Jays, Wildcats works in progress after scrimmage
Written by Jim Metcalfe   
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 8:21 PM
St. John’s quarterback Nick Martz fakes a handoff to senior back James Harrison during the team’s opening scrimmage versus Bath Tuesday morning at Stadium Park. (DHI Media/Jim Metcalfe)

By JIM METCALFE

DHI Media Sports Editor

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DELPHOS — St. John’s and Bath met up to open the 2014 football scrimmage season Tuesday morning at Stadium Park.

As to be expected for the first live action, both coaches agreed their respective units are works in progress, especially considering that hitting during practice only began Thursday.

“For a first scrimmage, we did good things and we found things we need to work on. That’s usual,” Blue Jays coach Todd Schulte said. “We’ll go back to the films later and go over what we did well and what we can do better. We’ll get back out on the practice field (today) and set about to improving our weaknesses.”

Wildcat coach Bill Garland was exceedingly happy.

 
Lady ‘Dawg netters return 5 to the hard courts
Written by Jim Metcalfe   
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 8:20 PM

By JIM METCALFE

DHI Media Sports Editor

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ELIDA — Elida girls tennis coach Quinn Whittaker returns five letterwinners from last fall’s 8-8 edition.

That includes a 5-4 mark in the Western Buckeye League, good for fourth place, and participated in the Division II sectionals.

Those returnees hopes to improve Whittaker’s 36-28 4-year mark.

They include third-year senior Ashley Fay (doubles), senior doubles Summer Slusher, senior doubles Jenna Mekolites, third-year junior singles Meredith Little and classmate Jacey Higbie.

 
Lady Beavers readying for volleyball campaign
Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 8:20 PM

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BLUFFTON — The Bluffton University Lady Beavers volleyball crew is excited to be back in the gym for another season after an exciting ending in 2013.

With a 4-5 record in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference, Bluffton entered the conference tournament as the 6th seed with an overall record of 13-18. The young players put it together for the next several matches and made history as the first 6-seed to come out of the tournament as champions. The victory clinched the automatic qualification bid to the NCAA tournament.

The Beavers bowed out to nationally-ranked Wittenberg in the first round, ending their season with an overall record of 16-19.

When reflecting on last year and looking at the upcoming season, Coach Yarnell said, “We were able to play some quality opponents and grow as a team in 2013. With a large portion of the team returning, we are optimistic and excited about the task and gauntlet that awaits us in the coming months.”

After such an exciting end to the 2013 season, the Beavers were ready to work hard during the off-season. Lifting and working on leadership and team chemistry were mixed in with open gyms following the season. Bluffton travelled to Owens Community College to conclude their spring campaign, competing in a tournament there.

 
BU women hope for better results on pitch
Written by Information submitted   
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 8:19 PM

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BLUFFTON — A Bluffton University women’s soccer team that dropped no fewer than six 1-goal decisions a season ago, including three in overtime, returns an athletic squad that looks to turn the tables on a 5-10 campaign thanks to a wealth of experience, including the top goal-scorer from 2013.

The midfield and defense have the skills and experience to help Bluffton return to its 2011 form when the Beavers earned a spot in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament, advancing to the championship game where Hanover squeaked out with a 1-0 victory after 80 scoreless minutes.

Bluffton will miss the strength and athleticism that 4-time All-HCAC honoree Aimee Whitmer brought to the pitch but the cupboard is not bare as leading scorer Kristen Tropf (Findlay/Van Buren) found the back of the net nine times as a freshman in 2013. With experience returning throughout the lineup, the one position that is still looking for a suitor is keeper. Junior Ashley Knippen (Wapakoneta) who allowed just 1.51 goals per contest in 2013, is spending the semester in Ireland. Her departure has opened the door for incoming freshman Katie Neeley, who will have to adjust to the speed of the game quickly as she transitions to the collegiate level.

 
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