Author: Bob Putman

North Union’s Riley Heminger (13) puts the ball past a Cardington blocker Tuesday evening. NU’s season ended with a loss to the second-seeded Pirates in the Division III tournament. (Photo submitted) The records of the two teams in Tuesday’s Division III sectional volleyball tournament match at Cardington were very much slanted in one direction. Cardington, the second seed, sported a 17-3 mark while North Union, seeded 16th, came into the contest with a 5-17 record. Through the first two sets, though, the Lady Cats stood toe-to-toe with the Lady Pirates, forcing them to stage late rallies to win the opening…

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Owen Davis (1) of North Union looks to avoid a tackle against Indian Lake. The Wildcats fell, 28-21. Also pictured for NU is Lincoln Harrah. (Photo submitted) The fans who traveled to North Union High School on Friday to watch the Wildcats take on Indian Lake surely got their money’s worth. Both teams were able to move the ball up and down the field for a good part of the game. When the final whistle blew, it was Indian Lake that made a few more plays and defeated North Union 28-21. The Lakers (4-0 Central Buckeye Conference, 7-2 overall) clinched…

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Fairbanks’ Caydee Breneman goes for a kill during a 2021 match. The Lady Panthers have been seeded seventh for the upcoming Division III tournament. (Journal-Tribune photo by Tim Miller) — Area high school volleyball teams know who and where they will be playing in the sectional tournament as Ohio High School Athletic Association district associations held their tournament draws on Sunday. Fairbanks, competing in the Central District Division III tournament, earned the highest seed of the local teams. The Panthers are seeded seventh and will meet ninth-seeded Centerburg at Fairbanks on Tuesday, Oct. 19. Should Fairbanks win, it would host…

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North Union coach Alexis Maenz rallies her team before the start of the fifth set on Thursday. NU fell to Northwestern. (Journal-Tribune photo by Bob Putman) Just by the nature of the sport, a volleyball match is always going to have back-and-forth moments. Thursday’s Central Buckeye Conference contest between North Union and Northwestern had enough swings in action to last the rest of the season. When the dust had settled, it was Northwestern that earned the victory, downing North Union in five sets, 25-17, 19-25, 25-20, 20-25, 9-15. “Five setters are always tough,” NU head coach Alexis Maenz said. “It…

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North Union’s Ricky Weigand (18) kicks an extra point out of the hold from Trey Bossaller. The Wildcats will host Graham on Friday. (Journal-Tribune photo by Aleksei Pavloff) The 2020 high school football season was out of the ordinary because of COVID-19. However, but despite the pitfalls the season finished with a state champion decided. While maybe having some of the same aspects, the 2021 campaign has had its own different shape and size for the North Union squad. Through the first seven weeks, the Wildcats (6-1) have found themselves on the road five times and played only twice at…

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Kendal Music, left, leads a pack of runners during Saturday’s North Union cross-country invitational. The Lady Cats placed second. (Photo submitted) The high school cross-country regular season has one week left and right around the corner are the league and district meets. North Union coach Fred Holsinger is hoping his girls’ team performance on Saturday will be an indication of good things to come. The Lady Cats finished second overall in front of the home crowd at the North Union Invitational. “We were runner-up today and had three runners in the top 10,” Holsinger said. “Another runner, Kendal Music, coming…

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North Union’s fullback Ethan Young (21) leaps over a fellow Wildcat on his way into the endzone in the team’s 35-7 route over Benjamin Logan Friday night. (Journal-Tribune photo by Aleksei Pavloff) With lightning-like speed, North Union scored 21 first-quarter points and went on to a 35-7 Central Buckeye Conference victory at Benjamin Logan on Friday. After just 10 offensive snaps, the Wildcats (6-1 overall, 2-0 CBC) scored three touchdowns. Holding Benjamin Logan (2-5, 0-2) to a three-and-out to start the game, North Union needed just three plays to get on the board. Starting from the NU 21, Ethan Young…

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One week after suffering its first loss of the season, the North Union football team got back on the winning track. The Wildcats are looking to keep it moving down the line on Friday as they travel to Benjamin Logan for a Central Buckeye Conference contest. It is their final road trip as they finish the final three weeks of the regular season at home. Following its loss two weeks ago to Jonathan Alder, North Union picked up a 42-0 win over Northwestern, scoring 21 points in each of the first two quarters. “I was concerned the previous week would…

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Riley Heminger (13) of North Union goes up for a block during a recent match. NU won two matches during action at Elgin on Saturday. (Photo submitted) The North Union volleyball squad bounced back from an opening-match loss to win two straight matches on Saturday during the Elgin Volleyball Classic. The Lady Cats (3-10) lost 21-25, 16-25 to Pleasant in their first match. NU, though, rebounded with a 25-12, 18-25, 25-13 win over Ridgemont and a 25-15, 25-15 victory over Elgin. After losing its first eight matches of the season, North Union has posted three victories in its last five…

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North Union competed Saturday in the Dublin Jerome Celtic Clash. Running in the Green Division, the Lady Cats finished seventh overall, but placed two runners in the top 25. Ashley Hayward was 16th (21:05.1) and Savannah Amstutz was 25th (21:30.4). Also running were Kendal Music (22:56.5), Lauren Hall (23:04.2), Hayley Dailey (24:33.8), Catherine Hinkle (25:03.2) and Aunna Kasley (27:07.0). The boys team placed 11th overall. Tyler Huff paced the Wildcats with a 49th-place finish in the time of 18:23.8. Other runners were Casey Clark (18:24.8), Traven Reber (19:41.5), Mitchell Marlette (19:53.8), Troy Harvey (20:59.7), John Popovich (21:12.0), William Popovich (21:42.1)…

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North Union’s Lincoln Harrah (15) picks up yardage in this file photo. The Wildcats blasted Northwestern, 42-0, on Friday. (Photo submitted) Bouncing back from its first loss of the season, North Union struck early and often in the first half and came away with a 42-0 victory over Northwestern Friday night at Northeastern. The Wildcats (5-1 overall, 1-0 Central Buckeye Conference) suffered a 42-13 setback last week to Jonathan Alder, NU wasted little time in gaining control against the Huskies (0-6, 0-1). North Union tallied three touchdowns in each of the first two quarters. Owen Davis had all three first-quarter…

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Abi Zimmerman (14) of NU prepares to blast the ball over the net. The Lady Cats fell to London on Thursday. (Photo submitted) Coming off its first win of the season, the North Union volleyball team battled once-beaten London during its three-set match on Thursday at NU. Staying with the Red Raiders through a good part of each set, the Lady Cats could not come up with a sustained run in losing 17-25, 20-25, 22-25. “The win (on Tuesday over Indian Lake) definitely helped with the confidence,” NU coach Alexis Maenz said. “Volleyball is full of momentum changes and we…

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North Union’s Owen Davis (1) avoids a Pleasant tackler in this file photo. The Wildcats will travel to Northwestern on Friday. (Journal-Tribune photo) When coming off an important win or a tough loss, the message a coach tries to tell his players is pretty much the same. North Union football coach Nick Hajjar made that point as he greeted his team this past Saturday following its 42-13 loss at Jonathan Alder the previous night. “Whether it is a big win or a tough loss, we have to get back on track,” Hajjar said. “Sometimes bad nights happen and we need…

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Cameron Jewell (2) of Jonathan Alder finds an open seam against North Union’s defense. The Pioneers shocked state-ranked North Union, 42-13, on Friday. Also pictured are Andrew McGlaughlin (53) for Alder and North Union’s Brody Wilson (5). (Journal-Tribune photo by Aleksei Pavloff) By BOB PUTMAN What a difference two weeks makes for the Jonathan Alder football team. After three weeks, the Pioneers were 0-3 and were struggling on offense. Last week, Alder broke out with a 45-14 win over Northwestern and it only got better Friday night against North Union. Taking advantage of a blocked punt and two long touchdown…

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North Union’s Zoe Wedding (12) sends the ball over the net against Buckeye Valley Monday evening. The Lady Cats fell in four sets. (Photo submitted) The fight and spirit is all there, but having that turn into victories has so far eluded the North Union volleyball team. After a little bit of a slow start on Monday at home against Buckeye Valley, the Lady Cats (0-5) battled through four sets but came up short 16-25, 27-29, 25-17, 25-20. “We started out a little slow, making a lot of unforced errors,” NU head coach Alexis Maenz said. “From the second set…

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