Ansonia’s narrow midseason showdown win over Tri-Village leaves them on top in WOAC

For 2nd year in a row the Patriots & Tigers clash in a mid-season showdown.  The Tigers clawed their way to a victory to remain undefeated in WOAC.  (Dale Barger Photo)

Game Photos:

By David Barger

ANSONIA - It felt like deja vu, as almost one year to the date later, the Ansonia Tigers and Tri-Village Patriots squared off in what can only be described as an epic battle. Both programs entered this league mid-season match-up holding a 4-0 record, seeking to hold the top spot in the conference and for Ansonia a chance to avenge the loss to Tri-Village a year ago.

Under the Friday night lights in Ansonia, OH in a packed house with and enthusiasm at an all-time high.  The Tigers and Patriots battled all four quarters with the score constantly see-sawing back and forth, it seemed the team who held the ball last may be the one who came out on top.  However, Ansonia’s defense stifled the final Patriot drive and the Tigers walked off the field victorious 30-22.

A packed house in Ansonia an electric night for the Tigers that included fireworks
after a big 30-22 win over Tri-Village. Tigers are the only undefeated team left in WOAC.
(Dale Barger Photo)

Ansonia’s athletes had this game circled on their calendar early and the work and preparation they put in to prepare for it paid off.

“You’ve got to give credit to our guys, they’ve been lifting weights since January, our program averages over 30 guys in the weight room daily…it’s been the two a days and the work throughout the summer, because our guys wanted this and it obviously showed tonight,” stated Coach Adam Hall about the work that went into preparing for this week 5 match-up.

Tri-Village didn’t roll over easily and was every bit the contender Ansonia had anticipated them to be.

“Tri-Village is a great team…you got to give credit to the team and the coaching staff that they have, they’ve been so good for however many years now, they’re probably going to go win the rest of their games and do well in the playoffs,” Hall commented about his opponent.

The action-packed contest began with Ansonia receiving the ball first and they steadily marched towards the east end zone in an 11-play, 67-yard drive, culminated on a Keegan Weiss touchdown. Weiss led the charge, unofficially carrying over half of those early drive’s yards.

Keegan Weiss was a man doing work rushing 44 times for 186 yards and 4 TDs in win over the Patriots.  (Dale Barger Photo)

The Patriot defense forced one 3rd down situation in the drive, but an encroachment penalty made for short yardage to move the chains.  A two-point conversion by Ansonia gave them and early 8-0 lead.

Tri-Village wasted little time, starting their drive under 5:30 mark in the first quarter. 

Brayden Keating completed passes to Noah Finkbine a 39-yard completion putting them  into scoring territory that was culminated on a 9-yard TD completion to Reed Wehr with 3:33 remaining in the quarter and a Keating kick brought the score to 8-7.

Reed Wehr had two TD catches including this acrobatic leaping catch with pressure.  
(Dale Barger Photo)

Ansonia’s next drive saw Weiss again gaining big yards behind impressive front-line blocking.

Tri-Village’s Tanner Printz and Jaiden Beam prevented a potential lengthy run by Zane Henderson … however, three more TV penalties enabled the powerful run game by the Tigers  eventually lead to Weiss second touchdown run of the night and another two-point conversion gave them a 16-7 lead.

Tri-Village’s next possession resulted their first four and out series with Garret Stammen and Peyton Kelch stuffing a Reed Wehr run and Asher Shives coverage preventing a pass reception by Tanner Printz forcing a punt to end their second drive.

Tri-Village’s Jayden Hollinger forced a fumble on Ansonia’s first play after the punt that was recovered by Zane Henderson of the Tigers for a five-yard loss.  On a 3rd and five Nate Beam stopped Weiss on the line of scrimmage forcing a punt.

The PATS quickly capitalize on their third drive, after a 6-yard Finkbine run, Keating tossed a short pass over the middle caught by Wehr who did the rest scampering 50-yard for the score.  They successfully converted their own 2-pt conversion to keep the score a 1-pt differential, 16-15.

Both teams would have trouble holding the ball on their next drive with both fumbling the football.   

Ansonia got to midfield before Hollinger recovered for the Patriots while Tri-Village on a 3rd and 5 was stripped in the pocket with the ball being recovered by Ansonia’s Jared Schmitmeyer.

Ansonia would get one last drive in before the end of the half advancing inside the 10 only to see Patriot’s defensive collectively stuff the Tiger’s at the goal line. With one more chance to score with seconds left on the clock the Tigers fumbled at the one with time running out.

The two teams entered the locker rooms at the half with Ansonia wondering what if while the Patriots could breathe a sigh of relief trailing 16-15.

TV received the ball to start the second half and failed to convert the first set of downs with three straight incomplete passes stifled by the Ansonia secondary and the Patriots went for in their own territory and was stopped with the Tigers taking over on downs.

Ansonia looked to be stopped by the Patriots on their next possession also trying to convert on a 4th down. Ansonia got to midfield where they faced 3rd and 9. Wehr tackled Weiss for a 1-yard loss setting up 4th and 10. However a Tri-Village penalty made it 4th and 5 but the Tigers converted on a Nick Burns pass to Garrett Stammen getting the Tigers down to the 17-yard line.

Ansonia Zane Henderson fights for extra yards.  (Dale Barger Photo)

The Tigers then looked to score but was denied as they forced a fumble at the goal line with Tanner Printz scooping up the ball in the end zone then bringing all the way out to the Ansonia 33 to deny a score.

It was a game of opportunities for the team who could capitalize on mistakes … but the Patriots  after an 8-yard Finkbine run received their 9th penalty of the night on a false start call.

Then Wyatt Spencer deflected the 3rd down pass that was followed by a bad snap on 4th and 7 resulting in a significant loss of yard setting up the Tigers in their own territory 1st and 10 on the 24-yard mark.

Early in the 4th quarter Weiss lean-in head long into the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown, his now 3rd score of the night. The two-point conversion failed two-point, but the Tigers led 22-15 with 11:07 remaining in the game.

Ethan Reichert & Trevor Hemmerich raise their hands to signal TD with Weiss going over the goal line for a 22-15 lead in early part of 4th quarter.  (Dale Barger Photo)

With the Tigers secondary keying in on Printz and picking up Wehr out of the backfield the Patriots needed another receiver to step up and that would be freshman Griffin Richards

The Patriots Griffin Richards stepped up with 3 catches in a drive to tie the game at 22.  
(Dale Barger Photo)

Keating would connect with Richards for a 21-yard and a 12-yard pass and finally capped off a quick scoring drive with a 21-yard touchdown pass to Richards along with the PAT to tie the contest at 22-22 with around 8:30 remaining.

Ansonia’s command of the game and clock would prove to be pivotal in the ensuing drive.

The Tri-Village defense saw action from Kaeden Lipps, Paul Brewer, Reed Wehr, making plays to slow the run game lead by Keegan Weiss.

However, it would be a 36-yard pass play from Burns to Landyn Bowman, then an 11-yard Burns keeper to the 8-yard line after being pushed out by Lane Bierly had the Tigers in scoring position again.  

The Patriots would rise up again much like they did at the end of the first half only this time every time they stopped the Tigers time was coming off the clock.  Facing 4th and inches Weiss would not be stopped scoring his 4th touchdown on the night. 

Lane Bierly of Tri-Village nearly deflected this Burns pass going over his fingertips.  
Landyn Bowman made a great off balance catch while landing no his head
.  (Dale Barger Photo)

Burns then threw a pass for the all-important two-point conversion that just cleared outstretched hand of Bierly where Landyn Bowman was waiting and hauled in off balance landing on his head to make the score 30-22 and leaving just 2:30 on the clock for the Patriots.

Weiss rushed 44 times for 186 yards in the game to help the ball control offense of the Tigers keep the Patriots offense off the field.

But Tri-Village’s up-tempo offense made every effort to keep the contest going with pass completions to Richards and Printz moving the Patriots within striking distance.

However, they received their 10th penalty of the night, and it looked like Tri-Village’s night was over until a Keating to Wehr pass completion made it 3rd and 1 and one more pass to Tanner Printz had the Patriots on the 8-yard line with 1st and goal.

But a holding calls on the next play moved the Patriots back to the 17 that was followed up by a big sack that backed them up to the 25-yard mark.

Ansonia Jared Schmitmeyer comes up with a big sack to put the Patriots in the hole at a critical time in the game.  (Dale Barger Photo)

Trevor Hemmerich then made a great defensive play deflecting the ball away from Printz who made a double move negating TD.

TV facing 4th and goal from the 25 had one more chance and pass over the middle near the goal line to Reed Wehr fell incomplete turning the ball over the Tigers with around 35 secondsa to play.

Ansonia lined up in victory formation while the celebration in the stands and the sidelines began and then as time expired the team would leave the field with their long anticipated 30-22 victory over the Patriots.

“We have a ton of upper classmen…sometimes it doesn’t look pretty but we keep fighting. We keep talking to them about it, you’ll have bad plays throughout the course of the game or have your back against the wall, and we really stood up to them. Especially on that last drive on defense,” Coach Hall commented after the game.

“Our defensive line tonight in Jared Schmitmeyer, Peyton Kelch, and Ethan Reichert, especially at the end where we started to get some pass rush on those guys makes a huge difference, and coming into this game the knock people had against us was our pass coverage, but we covered them pretty well tonight.”

Offensively, Ansonia played to their traditional run strength, but with the occasional pass play catching the defense on their heels.

“We choose to the run the ball because we have the type of athletes that we have, but that doesn’t mean we also don’t have confidence in Nick (Burns), he ran the ball well, made a couple of great passes, and overall commanded the offense well tonight,” shared Hall about their offensive performance.

"We choose to run the ball because that's the type of athletes and team we have," Tigers coach Adam Hall said.  (Dale Barger Photo)

“Coach (Hoening) is the best,” Hall added in reflection of Ansonia’s history and the influence the former head coach still has as an assistant to the team today.  “We wouldn’t be half the team we are today if it weren’t for Coach Hoening. But it’s really all of our coaches. TJ Phlipot as offensive coordinator, Coach Edwards, and we have a lot of young assistance. We’re a multi-generational coaching staff that have all played under or been influenced by Coach Hoening.”h

“It’s the Ansonia Tiger tradition that got us here. We won a big game tonight, but we can’t win a championship in week 5, that is unfair to the other 5 league opponents we have to play plus we have a lot of things we have got to fix. Again, give credit to Tri-Village too, their success brought a lot to the atmosphere for this game here tonight. We’ve had great crowds and support all year from the fans,” Coach Hall mentioned in his closing comments regarding the electric environment that felt more like a week 13 playoff game rather than mid-season football.

The now 5-0 and Tigers now set their sights on defending their unblemished record next Friday at Twin Valley South. Tri-Village at 4-1 will return home to defend their battleground against Tri-County North at the Clayton Murphy Track and Field.

The undefeated Tigers celebrate 5th win of season over Patriots.  (Dale Barger Photo)


Undefeated Arcanum Girls Looks to Dethrone Patriots in WOAC Golf

The Arcanum girls moved to 9-0 in WOAC defeated Tri-Village for big win.  (Handshoe Photo)


ARCANUM – The Lady Trojans cleared a major hurdle to win the regular season league title race defeating Tri-Village 218-214 Wednesday night.

The Trojans have gone toe to toe the last two years with the Patriots and return a number of seasoned golfers with five seniors leading the way.

“They (Tri-Village) have beat us pretty good the last two years going undefeated in the league  and have been a really good team,” Arcanum golf coach Andrew Bryant said.

Senior Isabella Harleman ranks 5th in the league this year in
girls golf.  (Dale Barger Photo)

“We've got a really good team too, we're like all seniors, pretty much with five on our team.  That helps to have that experience especially whenever we get in tight situations, the girls know how to respond and this is a big match tonight, but I just told them to go out and have fun,” Bryant stated.

“We've played some bigger invitationals early on this year and had some success.  Then school starts and all the ladies on our team care a great deal about their academics, they are great kids.  I'm just really excited about having the opportunity to continue to grow girls golf and get other schools excited about it as well to show people we can play good golf in this area.

Arcanum junior Brooke Anderson is 2nd in the league per 9-hole round.  (Dale Barger Photo)

The Lady Trojans came in undefeated and stands now at 9-0 on the year and 7-0 in the conference.

They were led by junior Brooke Anderson with a 47, senior Isabella Harleman 53, senior Kaylee Flatter 56, senior Hannah Kendig 58 and junior Emma Rogers a 58.

The Trojans have been fairly consistent this year with a good one two punch with Brooke Anderson and Isabella Harleman this year.  Adding to the team is first year player and also a senior Hannah Kendig who has been a pleasant surprise. 

Senior Emma Rogers has improved her game and is 3rd in the
league in strokes per 9 holes.  (Dale Barger Photo)

“I don’t use numbers for my golfers but go more on about who plays the best with who and regardless of how I mix it up I want them to compete and have the most fun out there so they can succeed,” Bryant concluded.

Tri-Village was led by junior Reagan Brewer who also was Medalist for the match shooting a 40.  Taylor Begoon had a 54, Bella Black 56 and Haylee Potter 68.

Tri-Village junior Reagan Brewer leads the league per 9 holes by a whopping
6 strokes.  
(Dale Barger Photo)

Tri-Village falls to 3-2 on the year their other loss was also to Arcanum 234-196 back on August 29th.   The Patriots will face National Trail Thursday night at Highland Lake Golf Course.

In order for the Patriots to have an outside shot of catching Arcanum they would need to win the season ending WOAC Tournament and get some help from fellow teams to defend their crown.

Tri-Village senior Haylee Potter has been consistently coming in at the 4th
spot for the Patriots.  (Dale Barger Photo)

Arcanum still has a regular season match with Ansonia before they play in the season ending WOAC Tournament at the Richmond Elks golf club on Thursday September 21st and Trojans control of their own destiny in winning an outright league championship.

Tri-Village junior Madison Preston tees off in match with Arcanum.  (Dale Barger Photo)


Volleyball Standings, Records & Achievements

Mississinawa Valley won the Blackhawk Invitational and currently sits atop the WOAC with a 4-0 record.  (Submitted Photo)

Volleyball action is heating up in the WOAC but there still is a way to go and many teams capable of winning on any given day.

Currently Mississinawa Valley sits atop the league at 4-0 with Preble Shawnee at 3-0 in second place.  Newton, Arcanum, Franklin Monroe and National Trail all are sitting at 2-1 in the league.

Mississinawa Valley won their own Blackhawk invitational over the weekend defeating Ansonia in three straight sets.

Newton defeated Franklin Monroe at the FM Family Fun night that featured 7th, 8th, JV and Varsity teams all playing on Friday night in what turned out to be a very well attended event.

The Jets won the opening set and looked to be headed towards a possible 2nd set win only to see Newton turn the tables and go on a run to steal momentum and win the set.  The Indians continued to play strong and kept Franklin Monroe off balance in the 3rd set and then closed out the match winning the 4th set as well.

In that match Franklin Monroe junior Addie Bauman broke the school record for assists in a career.  She broke the school record of 990 assists in a career which was held by FM assistant coach Chloe McGlinch.  Addie broke the school record and surpassed 1000 assist all in the same night

Addie Bauman receives the game ball from coach Angie Filbrun after breaking the school record for assist and is just a junior.  (Dale Barger Photo)

“Addie is a hard worker and brings so much to our team, she is well deserving of this accomplishment. The exciting thing is she’s only a junior and has a lot more volleyball to play,” FM coach Angie Filbrun said.

Ansonia is 2-2 in the WOAC but is very athletic and a dangerous team to play and is led by senior Madyson Buckingham.  She broke the school All-time career record for digs during a home match against Botkins on September 2nd. The previous record of 889 digs was held by Trinity Henderson. Maddie was honored before the game on September 7th in a win over Dixie.

Maddie Buckingham broke the school record in digs and has a lot season still to go to add to the record.  (Submitted Photo)

National Trail faced a good Carlisle team Monday night and jumped out to 2-0 advantage but let the game slip away with the Indians fighting all the way back to win the final 3 sets.

In that match senior Kynzie Everman surpassed 1,000 career assists for the Blazers.

National Trail senior Kynzie Everman surpasses 1,000 assist in career.  (Submitted Photo)

National Trail will host Mississinawa Valley, Franklin Monroe host Preble Shawnee and Tri-Village is at Arcanum in some key games Tuesday night.


Bradford football continues to rack up wins, 1st in new stadium.

Freshman center Adam Hudelson surveys defense before snapping the ball in Bradford's 48-14 win over Bridgeport.  (Dale Barger Photo)

Game Photos:

BRADFORD — The Railroaders cruised to a 34-0 halftime lead then added 14 more points in the 2nd half matching Bridgeport for a 48-14 win.  The Bulldogs were coming from the eastern part of Ohio across the river from Wheeling, West Virginia.

Coming into the contest both teams had a 2-1 record … but it was the first half play of the Railroaders who were able keep Bridgeport off balance using multiple weapons through the air and on the ground to build a big lead.  The Bulldogs would finally get on the board in the 2nd half, but it wasn’t enough to catch Bradford.

Senior halfback Tucker Miller rushed for 2 TDs & passed for another.  (Dale Barger Photo)

Bradford received the opening kick-off and got a nice 44-yard return from senior Garrett Trevino near midfield.  Senior Tucker Miller had a couple of good rushes on the ground and eventually scored the game’s first touchdown on a 3-yard run.  Owen Canan converted the two-point run for an early 8-0 lead at 9:49.

Bridgeport would show they could move the ball on offense throughout the game, but the Bradford defense would be opportunistic in the game including an interception past midfield by junior Griffin Trevino to stop the Bulldogs drive.

Griffin Trevino had 2 Interceptions in win over Bridgeport.  (Dale Barger Photo)

It took Bradford just 5 plays and facing a 3rd and 4 situation Tucker Miller went around the left side and outran everyone for a 30-yard score pushing the Roader advantage 14-0.

Bridgeport moves the ball into Bradford territory on their next possession .. but the Roaders stiffened and took over  own over around the 10-yard line.  

Owen Canan threw a 35-yard strike down the sideline to senior Trey Schmelzer and the duo was just getting warmed up. A couple of plays later Canan took the ball up the middle by breaking a couple of tackles scoring on a 32-yard touchdown.  He then threw to John Troxel and the Railroaders led 22-0 at 8:37 in the second quarter.

Trey Schmelzer had 2 TDs including this over the shoulder catch.  (Dale Barger Photo)

The Canan to Schmelzer combination struck gold on the next drive with an over the back shoulder catch by Schmelzer for a 34-yard TD.

The Bulldogs looked like they may have scored with just under a minute to go with a pass into the corner of the endzone but ultimately the ball was wrestled away by Garrett Trevino his 2nd of the half to negate the score.

But it was enough time for Bradford to add one more score this time it was Tucker Miller on a pitch and then pulling up throwing a strike downfield for a quick-hitter to Schmelzer to cap the first half with a big play 50-yard strike to end the half 34-0 for the home team.

Bridgeport was able to finally get in the endzone to start the 2nd half on a 2-yard plunge. 

Canan answered with a 27-yard QB keeper to make the score 40-8.

Owen Canan splits a pair of defenders to score on a QB keeper.  (Dale Barger Photo)

The Bulldogs were able to get another rushing TD in the 4th quarter but once again Bradford had the answer this time it was a 60-yard hook up in the air from Canan to Hudson Hill to complete the game scoring 48-14.

It was an historic win marking the 1st ever for Bradford on their new field much to the delight of the faithful fans in attendance.

We’ve focused all week long preparing for what we felt was a winnable game and the got the job

A lot of the momentum Bradford had in this game came from their defense. All year long, they have stepped up when they needed to.

While the offense was being productive 411 total yards for Bradford, it was the defense that actually shined for much of the game.

“Bend but don’t’ break,” that’s been our philosophy, Bandstra stated.

Bridgeport put up 301 total yards and a lot of teams would take those numbers and win games with that … but the Railroaders made key stops and pick-up big turnovers 2 fumble recoveries and 2 interceptions when they needed them to keep the Bulldogs out of the endzone.

John Troxel and Landon Wills both force a fumble to help lead the defense in win.  (Dale Barger Photo)

Defensively it was Trey Schmelzer with 14 Tackles, Tucker Miller and Landon Wills each had 11 to lead the way.

Offensively Miller and Canan each had 3 TD’s.  Miller had two on the ground and one in the air while Canan had two in the air and one ground. Canan also went 9-for-11 passing for 179 yards While Miller had 88 yards on 8 rushes Trey Schmelzer had 2 TD grabs and Hudson Hill one.

“Bradford has great athletes that know how make winning plays, we are glad to get this win and I’m really proud of the way our guys are playing,” Bandstra concluded

Bradford improves to 3-1 overall and will host 2-1 East Tartans of Sciotoville Ohio next Friday.

Bradford gets historic 1st ever win in new Stadium.  (Dale Barger Photo)


Ansonia Boys & Mississinawa Girls win at Blackhawk Cross Country Invitational

Mississinawa Valley girls won the Blackhawk Invitational Team Title at Chenowith Trails.

Girls Meet Photos:

Boys Meet Photos:

GREENVILLE – Mississinawa Valley hosted the Blackhawk Invitational Cross Country meet at Chenowith Trails with several WOAC schools participating.

In the boys race the Ansonia Tigers claimed the top 3 spots with senior Matthew Lee finishing first in a time of 16:59.45 with freshman teammate Bennett Lehman clicking on his heels finishing at 17:02.54.  Jr. Ethan Sparks was 3rd in 18:18.53. 

Ansonia Senior runner Matthew Lee won the Blackhawk Invitational Cross Country Meet.
(Dale Barger Photo)

Arcanum would lay claim to spots 4-7 with a trio of sophomores leading the way.  Micah Arbogast 4th in 18:28.37, Malachi Wrights 18:42.52 and Will Beisner 18:56.41.  Senior Kolin Frazee clamied the 7th spot at 18:56.63.

Host Mississinawa Valley has two runners and they both would finish next with Jr. Daniel Hartzell in 8th with a time of 19:09.24 and freshman Cades Hanes in 19:09.52.

Rounding out the top 10 was Tucker Denlinger of National Trail.

The Tigers won the meet with 25 points, Arcanum was 2nd with 30 point and Tri-Village came in 3rd with a team score of 76.

For complete individual results go to:


Mississinawa Valley freshman Rachel Philliposian gets the win.
(Dale Barger Photo)

In the girls race it was a freshman Rachael Philliposian taking the top spot in a time of 21:54.55 and fellow senior teammate Ingrid Ojeda placed 8th

Ansonia senior Peyton Billenstein was second in a time of 22:05.72 and her teammate sophomore Olivia Creager was 4th in a time of 22:28.10.

Arcanum senior Arianne Garrison was 3rd in a time of 22:21.57.

Bradford had two freshman runners finish 6th and 7th Savannah Beacherl and Natalie Wood.

Tri-Village freshman Addison Pipenger was 7th and National Trail senior Gretchen Murphy was 9th.

Mississinawa Valley won the meet with a team score of 19, National Trail was 2nd with 39 points.  For complete results go to:

The Ansonia Boys Cross Country Team won the Blackhawk Invitational Meet.