Category Archives: Features


Springfield Wildcats start their “strive for five”

Quarterbacks Saalih Muhammad and Nick McCaughey split time at UD 7-on-7.

DAYTON — New Springfield High School head football coach Maurice Douglass never had the pleasure of coaching the late Jeff Wellington between the lines.

Douglass is in his first season at the helm of Springfield’s program. Wellington was murdered last Easter Sunday. He would have been a senior and a key contributor on offense and special teams this upcoming season for the Wildcats.

However, the legacy of the late young man continues in the minds of many Wildcats, including Douglass. Wellington’s memory is the mantra of the 2014 version of the Wildcats’ football team: “Strive for Five.” Wellington wore number five last season.


MVFCA notes: Northmont grads connect one last time

Springfield graduate Dorian Hunter named game’s best linebacker.

DAYTON — The North team’s first touchdown in the MVFCA All-Star game last night at Welcome Stadium was a sight Northmont fans are familiar with.

Graham Oberer threw a 50-yard pass to Cameron Taylor in the second quarter to put the North on the scoreboard. The two Northmont graduates connected 11 times on touchdown passes last season for the Thunderbolts.

“I’ve got that good quarterback in Graham, and we’ve got that good connection,” Taylor said. “We kind of had a good feeling coming into the game. We just came in here ready to play.”

Emily McKillip pitches

Shawnee, Alder will face off for first state berth

Shawnee pitcher Emily McKillip hasn’t allowed a run in her last 30 innings, while Alder pitcher Mady Watson struck out 7 against Northwestern.

MASON — The Shawnee Braves were frantic. The team’s bus driver got lost on the drive to Mason from Springfield as the slated first pitch time drew near.

But the Braves found Mason’s stadium 30 minutes before first pitch and got on the field in time, albeit with little warm up time.

“We literally warmed up in like 30 minutes,” junior second baseman Morgan Spitzer said. “But we’re pretty good at that. We don’t need a lot of warm up time.”


Big second inning helps boost Shawnee over Franklin

Braves score six runs in second, beat Franklin 10-0 to earn regional final berth.

MASON — Emily McKillip was at it again.

Shawnee’s senior pitcher struck out 13 batters and gave up one hit to help lift the Braves to a 10-0 win over Franklin in a Div. II regional semifinal game. McKillip batted in three runs in the second on a fly ball to center field that Franklin couldn’t field. The runs gave Shawnee a 5-0 lead and helped them solidify the lead.

“Emily’s just a stud,” junior second baseman Morgan Spitzer said of McKillip after the game. “No one can hit off of her. It’s pretty easy to play defense behind her. She’s really working hard. Her arm was hurting her, and she was fighting through it. She’s fighting through it; she’s awesome.”


Champion City Kings open season today

Kings will play first game at revamped Carleton Davidson Stadium against Chillicothe.

SPRINGFIELD — Luke Mamer thought he was going to dance. No, the junior pitcher wasn’t planning on the Harlem Shake. He was planning on advancing to the NCAA tournament with Wright State, who won the regular season Horizon League championship.

But the Raiders lost 5-4 to Youngstown State in the Horizon League tournament’s championship game on Saturday. Only the conference tournament champion out of the Horizon League automatically qualifies to the NCAA tournament, and the Raiders (35-22) didn’t earn an at-large bid.

Mamer didn’t have much time to think about the Raiders’ loss. The Kenton Ridge graduate was back in Springfield on Sunday and picked up a new jersey.

Morgan Loveless hits

Shawnee will try to repeat district performance against Franklin

The Braves look to beat another SWBL team after beating Valley View 12-0 in district final.

WEST CARROLLTON — Morgan Loveless has one of the best seats in the field.

The senior center fielder says she has a perfect view every game to watch Shawnee pitcher Emily McKillip in the circle. Loveless watches the interaction between McKillip and catcher Taylor Priest, waiting for Priest to relay the pitching sign.

Most of all, Loveless enjoys watching McKillip’s pitches — the rise or drop of the pitch, and the varying speed.

Shawnee hoists trophy

Shawnee sprints into regionals with run-rule win

Shawnee earned the school’s first district title in a 12-0 win over Valley View.

WEST CARROLLTON — Valley View discovered quickly that Shawnee senior ace Emily McKillip was as good as billed, and so were her teammates’ bats.

McKillip allowed one hit and struck out 10 as Shawnee made quick work of Valley View in a 12-0 win on Saturday morning at West Carrollton High School. The Braves scored eight runs in the first inning and never looked back.

Shawnee earned a district championship with the win. The Braves advance to the regionals will face Jonathan Alder on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Mason.

Maddie Crew runs

Northwestern energized heading into regionals

Warriors earned an 11-2 district title win over Wilmington on Friday.

SPRINGFIELD — Northwestern wanted to make a tournament run last season. But Kenton Ridge spoiled the Warriors’ postseason hopes in a 3-2 sectional final win. The Cougars came back in late innings to earn the win, something they would do a couple of times in their run to the 2013 Division II state championship game.

Northwestern didn’t linger on the loss to the state runner-up Cougars too long.

“It was reassuring to us to know that the team that beat us kept winning and that we could have beat them,” senior first baseman Maddie Crew said in an interview on Thursday. “Knowing that we could have won that game, and to see them keep winning, was encouraging for us.”

Morgan Loveless runs

Two late-inning runs lift Shawnee over Kenton Ridge

Shawnee scores one run in the sixth and one in the seventh to beat the Cougars 2-0.

SPRINGFIELD — The sixth time is a charm.

Shawnee broke a streak of five-straight losses in sectional final games with a 2-0 win over Kenton Ridge on Tuesday at Urbana’s Boyce Street Field.

The win earns the Braves a sectional title and a spot in the district finals. Shawnee (24-3) will play Valley View (15-11) on Saturday at West Carrollton in a district final game.

Mykee Holtz swings

Holtz hopes to lead Kenton Ridge deep into postseason

The sophomore shortstop was motivated to improve hitting after 0-for-6 performance in state games.

SPRINGFIELD — Almost a year later, it’s still painful for Mykee Holtz to watch.The sophomore shortstop has to skip over parts of a recording of Kenton Ridge’s one-run loss in the 2013 Division II state title game to Licking Valley.

“I’ve watched it a few times, but not really that much,” Holtz said after a first-round tournament win over Meadowdale last week. “I wish I could change some stuff watching that.”

Holtz struck out all three times she was at the plate in the game, and she also struck out in all three plate appearances in the Cougars’ state semifinal win over Granville.