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New Albany High School football

It was an impressive sight when the New Albany football players wrapped up their morning practice by circling the seniors and spelling out E-A-G-L-E-S while doing jumping jacks.

Approximately 110 players, including 85 from grades 10 through 12, covered the field with burgundy and old gold.

Head coach Mark Mueller, who has been around the program since the team played in Division V in 2000, shook his head talking about the old days. There were 45 players on the roster.

“We’d be playing these barn-burners against small schools,’’ he said. “Those early years were tough. We’ve grown quite a bit. I knew we would grow. Now, we feel we can beat any team we play. The days of the big, big wins are past. We’re prepared to win every time we go out there.’’

In 2011, New Albany had what is becoming a typical season. It finished 9-3, won at least a share of the Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division for a third straight year and qualified for the Division II playoffs. It lost to Tri-Valley in the second round.

The optimism and goals are even higher this year. The Eagles want to go beyond winning a regional championship, and that probably will mean defeating Tri-Valley. They have lost to Tri-Valley two straight years.

“We want to see them again,’’ Mueller said. “They are good. We beat them and that’s an accomplishment.’’

New Albany arrived as a high school football power in 2004 under Mike Golden by winning two playoff games, including a rout of traditional power Ironton in the second round.

Golden left for Upper Arlington, but the beat has gone on under Mueller, who graduated from Finneytown High School and Ashland University. Under him, the Eagles made the playoffs in 2005, ’0 6, ’10 and last season.

This season, there are 20 seniors. Each is considered to be a captain. The biggest name is receiver and defensive back Darron Lee, an Ohio State recruit.

New Albany is a wealthy community, but do not make the mistake of thinking the football team is comprised of a bunch of boys who win because they have the best of everything.

The Eagles have developed the reputation of being a smash-mouth team. They defeated DeSales the previous two years and Big Walnut the previous four.

“It’s just a lot of hard work,’’ Lee said. “For us, it all starts in the weight room. It’s a physical and mental test. We do get mentally strong in there.’’

The weight room isn’t just the clanking of iron and huffing and puffing. Sometimes the players can’t hear themselves think.

“It’s a lot of loud music, screaming and everyone running around encouraging one another,’’ two-way senior lineman Cameron Horch said. “We have a weight chart and our strength coach keeps track of our progress. We know where we stand.’’

The players know where they stand on the field, too. If they are wearing full pads during the week, it’s because the coaching staff wants them to maintain their toughness.

Two years ago, when the Eagles were pushing opponents all over the place almost every week, Mueller had them practice in shorts most of the time.

The players take it to the limit even when they’re not in full pads. At the end of practice on Monday, the running back carried the ball 50 yards downfield on every play. When the ball was whistled dead, the players dropped to the ground, did a pushup and ran back to the huddle.

“We take it all the way,’’ senior running back and defensive back Alan Watson said. “That’s our motto.’’

Mueller relies on the players – especially the seniors – to police everyone on the roster. Coaches everywhere will tell you that a football team operates more smoothly when they don’t have to repeat themselves or sweat the small stuff.

New Albany coaches don’t believe in selecting a handful of captains. All seniors are captains.

“It’s not one person on this team,’’ Watson said. “You have just a few players watching over the team and they can get haughty. We look at every week as a new season. We want to go 1-0 every week. It’s the way we motivate ourselves.’’

Junior Joe Siegenthaler, a safety, said the players have been given a lot of responsibility.

“Coach said this isn’t his team, but it’s the players’ team,’’ he said. “I think we’re going to have a really good team because we have a good senior class that will lead. It’s more than winning. It’s what is important (in life and school).’’

Mueller concedes that he has it made coaching and teaching in a school system that has everything. The team has a full-time strength coach, two athletic trainers, eight assistant coaches who teach in the building and a stadium that looks to be small college.

“Next year, we’re going to have artificial turf in the stadium,’’ Mueller said. “We have one school district. We have great academics. I worry about maybe five kids a year when it comes to grades. That’s pretty good.’’

mznidar@dispatch.com

@markznidar
www.dispatch.com/…/08/…/01-goin-camping-new-albany.htm…


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Pelotonia Riders in New Albany

New Albany Welcomes Pelotonia Riders August 11 & 12

SATURDAY RIDE ENDS AT BEVELHYMER PARK; SUNDAY RIDE ENDS IN MARKET SQUARE

Please exercise added caution and patience as you travel in and around New Albany this weekend as our community welcomes the 6,000 plus participants of Pelotonia, a two-day grass roots bicycle tour aimed toward raising funds and awareness for cancer treatment and research.

On Saturday, riders will leave Columbus at 7:00 AM on a route that will pass through New Albany and stop at Bevelhymer Park.   Residents can expect to see heavy bicycle traffic from 9:00 AM to Noon along Beech, Kitzmiller, Central College, Walnut and especially Bevelhymer.

On Sunday, the remaining 1,500 riders who will be completing 155 or 180 mile rides will be arriving at Market Square in New Albany – right in front of the library from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  Be sure to watch for some road restrictions along Market Square and for all the riders as they approach from the north along State Route 605 to Village Hall Road past the police station and Village Hall, and ultimately to the library.

There will be plenty of areas to support participants, especially along Village Hall Road near the finish line on Sunday.  Parking will be available at various places in the Village Center including the McCoy Center and behind the medical offices next to CVS.   Come early and grab lunch or ice cream at a local eatery and visit the steps of New Albany Village Hall where Scouts from Troop 364 will be manning a “sign table” to welcome your favorite rider at the big finish.

 

Remember to give yourself more time to arrive to your final destination this weekend.

News from the City of New Albany

Football Recruting Update: Buckeyes back to baker’s dozen

Urban Meyer and his coaching staff landed a local three-star recruit as Darron Lee pledged his allegiance to Buckeye Nation.

Lee, a senior-to-be at New Albany High School in New Albany, Ohio, a suburb northeast of Columbus, currently garners the three-star rating from both Rivals.com and Scout.com.

Though Lee, who’s listed at 6-foot-2 and weighs 205 pounds, has the ability to play quarterback, wide receiver or safety at the college level. Rivals tabs him as an “athlete” while Scout lists him as a safety. He was recruited by co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell, so the odds are better than 50/50 that he’ll end up playing on defense, and if he bulks up in size, he could eventually become a linebacker.

What’s surprising is that Lee is only ranked as the 59th-best safety in the country by Scout.com, while Rivals.com has him ranked as the 60th-best prospect from the state of Ohio. Clearly, he’s a either a “diamond in the rough” or a late bloomer in the recruiting circles. Lee has spent the last two weekends in camp at Ohio State before getting the scholarship offer.

With Lee on board, the 2013 recruiting class is back to 13 with quarterback J.T. Barrett from S.H. Rider High School in Wichita Falls, Tx., tight end Marcus Baugh from J.W. North High School in Riverside, Calif., defensive end Joey Bosa from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., cornerback Cameron Burrows from Trotwood-Madison High School in Trotwood, Ohio, running back Ezekiel Elliott from John Burroughs School in St. Louis, Mo., offensive tackle Evan Lisle from Centerville High School in Centerville, Ohio, quarterback/athlete Jalin Marshall from Middletown High School in Middletown, Ohio, defensive tackle Billy Price from Fitch High School in Youngstown, Ohio, defensive end Tracy Sprinkle from Elyria High School in Elyria, Ohio, safety Jayme Thompson from Central Catholic High School in Toledo, Ohio, punter Johnny Townsend from Boone High School in Orlando, Fla., and cornerback Eli Woodard from Eastern High School in Voorhees, N.J.
buckeyebanter.com/football/18067


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Local Special Olympics team to host first informal meet

The New Albany Special Olympics team will host its first informal track meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 14, in the New Albany High School football stadium.

“It’s more like an informal, fun thing,” said Amy Thomas, founder of the local Special Olympics team.

Thomas said the New Albany and Westerville Special Olympics teams will practice together and team members have the chance to earn ribbons.

“People can come and watch and cheer them on,” she said.

Thomas said the June 14 meet will prepare the New Albany team for the state meet, which will be held June 23 and 24 in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of the Ohio State University.

Thomas organized the New Albany Special Olympics team in January 2011 as a nonprofit organization. The organization is part of Special Olympics Ohio.

In her first annual report, Thomas wrote, “New Albany Special Olympics fits well with the growing image of New Albany as a healthy community.

“For children and adults with intellectual disabilities, New Albany Special Olympics provides an opportunity to get involved, improve their physical fitness, be part of a team and experience the thrill of winning.”

New Albany Special Olympics works with ages 8 and older in track and field events, bowling and swimming.

Thomas said in 2011, she had 10 to 12 on the team. For the team’s second year, she has 20 athletes and 80 volunteers who help with events and practices.

Thomas said many children and adults with special needs are not able to compete in athletics events.

“They certainly get to enjoy the feel of winning,” she said of the team members who have participated in events.

She said some team members had shied away from the finish line because they feared the cheers that awaited them.

“To see them grow, especially the autistic kids, they kind of come out of their shell,” she said.

In her annual report, Thomas wrote, “Special Olympics provides continual opportunities to develop physical fitness and experience the joy and challenge of competition.

“Athletes develop new skills and form new friendships. They learn to set higher goals for themselves and in working to achieve them, (they) gain self-confidence and self-respect.

“This increased sense of self-worth carries over into other areas of their lives and has a profound effect on athletes’ families.”

Thomas said the New Albany Special Olympics team found support in the community and gained awareness by participating in the Founders Day and Fourth of July parades.

The team worked with local businesses and individuals, who helped support attendance at sanctioned events.

Thomas said Special Olympics Ohio requires each nonprofit to raise funds and pay entry fees for athletes who participate in events.

New Albany elementary school fourth-graders also shared profits from their Entrepreneur Day, in which the students created a product and tried to sell it to community members during a business unit at the school.

“Since two or three of our athletes are fourth-graders, they were giving back to their classmates,” Thomas said.

According to the New Albany-Plain Local Schools District, the fourth-graders raised $13,000 from Entrepreneur Day this year and donated the money to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State, New Albany Special Olympics, the Stefanie Spielman Breast Cancer Research Fund at Ohio State and the Chromosome 18 Registry and Research Society.
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High-school baseball All-Ohio, All-Conference teams

Area first team: Catcher: Matt Smith (Johnstown). Outfield: Zach Ratcliff (Columbus Academy). Area second team: Catcher: Ronnie Thomas (Northmor). Outfield: Matt Smith (Fredericktown). Area second team: Pitcher: Jimmy Lough (Newark Catholic).
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Johnstown’s Colvin keeps her cool in taking fifth in high jump at D-II state

Johnstown’s Kendall Colvin competes in the high jump during the Division II state meet Friday at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus.

COLUMBUS — Cool temperatures and a steady rain during much of Friday appeared to be a bad recipe for Johnstown’s Kendall Colvin.

The junior, who often calls her mind-set her biggest hurdle, persevered during her first trip to the Division II state meet. She overcame what at times were treacherous conditions to tie for fifth in the high jump at Ohio State’s Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.

“I had to adjust according to the weather. I just had to be prepared,” Colvin said. “It was all in my head. I had to keep my head straight and not let nerves take over.”

Colvin cleared 5-feet-2, tying with two others, and she finished behind two others on misses. Only two cleared 5-4.

Most of the field, including Colvin, cleared 4-10 and 5-0 without incident. The rain started at 5-2, and Colvin cleared it on her third attempt. Only eight cleared 5-2, guaranteeing Colvin a medal.

“We had a lot of talks about making sure her head was in the game, making sure she was relaxed, taking deep breaths,” Johnstown coach Brad Orr said. “I told her, ‘Let me be nervous. You just go compete.'”
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Graduation Party

Are you having a graduation party this year? You can give your high school or college graduate a party that will be the highlight of their achievement. Whether it’s a small get together or a large bash, its success is in the planning. Call our catering staff at Eagles Villa Pizza, we can help, or visit our catering page for more information.

 

 

Woods letter / Civil War

Saturday, July 23, 1864

Dear friend Munson, it has been a long time since I had heard from you before, but I am glad to hear from you and to hear that you was well. It found me enjoying a very good health. We are putting the shell into the Rebs this morning and now and then they give us one but we have got used to that. We don’t care no more for them than we do for a lot of little boys, they do the wildest throwing shells that I ever saw, they will get them too high or too low shells too. You wrote in your last letter that you was a shooting squirrels and you said you supposed I was shooting Rebs, you are right on that for we made a charge and then halted and laid in line of battle all day and they throw shells at us all day but didn’t do much harm. I was laying behind a pile of rails and I looked way out in a big field that I was behind in the words and I saw the weeds and brush a moving along and they got closer all the time.   (READ MORE)