The high school spring sports season starts Saturday — maybe.
It appears that track and field meets will be a go, but scheduled baseball and softball games might not take place due to poor field conditions.
Two Saturday track and field meets — the Michael Beaven Invitational at Archbishop Hoban and the Brunswick Elite Meet — have fields that include several area schools and figure to be competitive.
Baseball, softball, lacrosse and boys tennis teams might have a more difficult time playing with snow and rain causing wet fields and grounds. Persistent cold temperatures through the winter and early spring have not helped.
Joe Howard, the Akron Public Schools Program Manager of Interscholastic Athletics, said he has been in contact with several coaches in the City Series, and the general consensus is that the weather has limited teams’ abilities to practice outside.
“The weather will not let the playing fields dry,” Howard said. “Nobody has really been able to get out and practice. If they have, it has been a day here or day there. Everybody is practicing inside in their gyms.”
The meet at Hoban is set to include 12 teams for both the boys and girls. Area schools scheduled to participate are Hoban, Buchtel, Firestone, East, Ellet, Garfield, Barberton, Cuyahoga Falls, Kent Roosevelt and Lake Center Christian.
APS coaching news
Howard said the following coaches have been hired by the Akron Public Schools school: Aaron DeBord (Firestone baseball), Chuck Rusinek (East baseball), Tim Carroll (Firestone boys track and field), Kristin Ellis (East softball) and Jason Knapp (Kenmore football).
Carroll, 30, a graduate of Firestone and the University of Akron, also coaches the Falcons’ girls track and field and boys’ cross country teams. He replaces Eric Mitchell, who is now the boys’ track and field and football coach at Cleveland Lutheran East.
DeBord, 25, replaces Brad Lightfoot, who coached Firestone baseball for 11 seasons and is now an assistant at the College of Wooster.
“I am excited about this opportunity,” DeBord said. “I think [Lightfoot] left us in a real good position. He put us in a position where the kids know what they are doing and how to play. I think we will have a good team with a lot of young guys.”
DeBord is a graduate of Woodridge and the University of Akron. He has run a summer baseball team called the Ohio Longhorns out of Cuyahoga Falls since 2008. He served as an assistant to Dennis Dever at Woodridge for two years and to Scott Koenig at Nordonia for four years.
“We have had three practices outside, yet none of them have been on our baseball field,” DeBord said. “We have been on the practice football field three times. Most of our practices have been inside.”
Firestone, Stow and Walsh Jesuit are scheduled to play Saturday, with each school getting in two games. DeBord said they will attempt to play at whichever school’s field is in the best condition.
Knapp takes over the Kenmore football program after serving as the defensive coordinator the past three seasons under former Cardinals coach Ed Peltz.
Knapp, a former Mount Union player, is a Wadsworth graduate and currently teaches at his high school alma mater. He was an assistant at Wadsworth and Massillon before coaching at Kenmore.
Howard said Jerry Nairne stepped down as Buchtel girls basketball coach. Nairne guided the Griffins to a 9-13 overall record this past season and a 7-5 City Series mark, which was third in the league standings.
Strouble earns honor
Marlington senior Lucas Strouble was selected to play in the Ohio North-South All-Star Game at Capital University’s Capital Center in Columbus on April 21.
Strouble was picked to play in the Division I and II game at 5 p.m. Tickets are $8.
St. Vincent-St. Mary junior Dante Booker is ranked No. 9 nationally among inside linebackers in the 2014 class, according to Rivals.com. Booker has several scholarship offers, including Ohio State, Tennessee, Louisville, Michigan, Nebraska and West Virginia. … Massillon junior offensive tackle Nathaniel Devers has reportedly added scholarship offers from Buffalo and Ohio, according to ScoutingOhio.com. Devers also has offers from Bowling Green and Toledo, according to Rivals.com.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org.