Wadsworth senior Jack Snowball touched the football 379 times in 13 games this past season for the Grizzlies.
He did not fumble it once.
Snowball’s ability to hang onto the ball and rush it effectively are two key reasons why Miami University offered him a scholarship that he orally accepted after visiting Oxford last weekend.
“That is something I take a lot of pride in, to be honest,” Snowball said Monday.
Snowball, the 2011 Akron Beacon Journal Football Player of the Year, said Miami started recruiting him “about two-and-a-half weeks ago” after watching him on film.
“I got down there at nearly 2 in the morning Saturday with my mother [Angie] after I played Friday in the basketball game against Tallmadge,” Snowball said.
Snowball scored 15 points in the Grizzlies’ 56-37 win over the host Blue Devils.
“My mom is a Miami grad actually and she was pretty pumped when we got the official visit all set up. We went on a few tours and had a few meetings Saturday and Sunday.
“It is a beautiful campus and I loved all the coaches I met there. The facilities are great and I could tell all of the people are really genuinely great people. I wanted to be a part of that.”
Snowball, 17, was a Division I All-Ohio selection after guiding Wadsworth to an 11-2 record in 2011 and a regional championship game appearance. He rushed for 2,595 yards and scored 31 touchdowns on 353 carries.
Snowball also completed 4-of-6 passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns, accumulated 326 yards on 11 kickoff returns with one that went for a 94-yard touchdown, had five receptions for 75 yards and gained 31 yards on four punts.
“I am happy for Jack,” Wadsworth coach Greg Dennison said. “Nobody works harder than him. He deserved a Division I scholarship with everything he has done on and off the field. I am excited for Miami too because they are getting a great player.”
Dennison said the zero fumbles really impressed him.
“That is the most amazing stat of all,” Dennison said. “He never fumbled once. That shows just how hard he worked at the little things and doing everything right. That is just the mentality that he brought with him.”
Snowball, 5-foot-10 and 210 pounds, also had offers from Ashland, Walsh and Wayne State. Mount Union showed interest and Kent State offered him a preferred walk-on spot.
Snowball’s standout senior season came after a junior season that was cut short by a knee injury and a broken collarbone.
“He has worked very hard for that scholarship and he deserves that,” Wadsworth Athletic Director Rich Berlin said. “He handled everything that happened with the injuries very well and he dealt with it. He came back and had a great senior year.”
Snowball said he plans to major in business at Miami.
Walker shines on court
Stow senior David Walker and Warren Harding senior Jesse Hardin each scored 27 points Sunday, the second-most points in the 2012 Dunk 4 Diabetes Shootout, a six-game event at Walsh University.
Stow defeated Allderdice (Pa.) 53-39 and Harding beat Medina 75-50.
Cleveland Benedictine senior Desmond Ridenour was the top individual scorer in the event with 29 points in the Bengals’ 63-61 overtime victory over Bishop O’Connell (Va.).
Bigger event planned
High school basketball promoter Chas Wolfe was pleased with the first annual Dunk 4 Diabetes Showcase and said he has plans to expand the event that increases diabetes awareness and benefits the American Diabetes Association.
Wolfe said the 2013 event is planned for Jan. 26-27 at Walsh University’s Alumni Arena and could potentially include area schools such as Firestone, St. Vincent-St. Mary and Jackson.
Huntington Prep, St. Edward, St. Ignatius, Villa Angela-St. Joseph and Benedictine are expected to return for next year’s event.
Mentor, Garfield Heights and Shaker Heights are also likely to participate.
Games would tip-off each day at noon, 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m.
In addition to a decent fan turnout Sunday, several college coaches were in attendance from Division I, II and III schools.
Behind the scenes
One of the things fans rarely get to see is the hard work and dedication of the many volunteers who help to run tournaments.
The recent Bill Dies Memorial Tournament at Firestone High School and the Grizzly Invitational Tournament at Wadsworth High School were two wrestling events run with military precision, from the computerized scoreboards and media information to the award ceremonies and hospitality rooms.
Wadsworth coach John Gramuglia was everywhere — from checking with the computer folks to making sure the award ceremonies ran smoothly to helping supervise the cleanup. Several members of the Dies family, with assistance from volunteers, do the same thing at Firestone.
Outstanding organization was also exhibited recently at the Northeast Ohio Classic swimming championships at the University of Akron and Canton’s C.T. Branin Natatorium, with coaches from Canton McKinley and Firestone serving as the main organizers.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohiomm.com/blogs/varsity_letters/. Also follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ. Follow ABJ sports on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.