Talawanda fall athletes, sports honored

Two league championships. Three second-place finishes. Two third-place finishes. One state championship participant. Three named league Athlete of the Year in their respective sports. Two named league Coach of the Year.

Talawanda’s athletes found plenty of success in their competition this fall, and managed a strong showing in the classroom as well.

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Athletic Director Wes Cole recounted those successes in a presentation to the board of education at their meeting Nov. 19 in a seasonal sports update.

He began by saying the school had 275 athletes involved in fall sports and they had a 3.62 overall grade point average. Also, 36 percent of them had a GPA of 4.0 or higher, and 68 percent had a GPA of 3.5 or higher which qualified them for academic all-league recognition.

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“We had 186 athletes out of 275 earn at least a 3.5 GPA,” Cole said, underscoring the importance of student-athletes at the school. “Boys’ soccer had a three-peat. The girls’ cross country team was a two-time league champion. Girls’ soccer finished third in the league and had a school-record 12 wins.”

Three Talawanda athletes were voted Athlete of the Year in their sports in the Southwest Ohio Conference — Sam Robinson in boys’ soccer, David Kraushar in boys’ cross country and Maddy Iden in girls’ cross country.

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The girls’ cross country squad won their second consecutive league championship and earned a second straight trip to the regional race with Iden qualifying as an individual for the state championship race last month. It had been 30 years since Talawanda last had a state cross country qualifier.

Paul Stiver, coach of both cross country teams, and Missy Friede, girls’ soccer coach, were both named Coach of the Year in their sports by the SWOC.

“We are really proud of both of them,” Cole told the board.

Kraushar and Kiefer Bell both qualified as individuals to the cross country regional meet for the boys’ team.

Two soccer players were recognized on a wider scale with inclusion on All-City teams. Ainsley Clark was honored from the girls’ squad while Sam Robinson was honored on the boys’ side. Robinson was also named to the Division I All-State second-team for the second year in a row.

Robinson was one of three athletes to sign college letters of intent last month in a signing ceremony at the school. He plans to play soccer at the University of Cincinnati, while Sean Mondello will be a diver for Miami University and Jenna Jarvis will play soccer at King University.

Talawanda had three teams finish in second place in the SWOC for the fall—both boys’ and girls’ golf teams and the boys’ cross country team—while girls’ soccer and girls’ tennis each finished third.

Cole said the school has been doing more to recognize athletic accomplishments including:

• Bagel and Deli Athletes of the Week

• League Championship posters in the cafeteria

• Qualifier poster made for Iden as she headed to the state meet

Also planned are Athletic Achievement pictures outside the Performing Arts Center.

He said they have begun implementing team and individual recognitions at games, senior signs at the school entrance by the boosters, cheerleaders providing signs for all sports with schedules around the school and awards nights with recognition of all of the teams from a season rather than individual events.

He added a note to the board of two items needing consideration down the road to keep on the radar.

The football turf field is in the seventh year of its eight-year warranty and consideration will need to be given to that issue.

He also noted Little Miami is planning to leave the SWOC in the next two to three years and that will be a topic of discussion for the league’s executive committee this month.

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