August 28, 2003
Though the Yellow Springs High School football team suffered a year of atrophy last season with only 14 players, the return of longtime coach Jerome Crosswhite seems to have attracted a roster for 2003 that is full of hungry players.
The home team ate up a good many yards during Saturday’s home opener against Vanlue High School. And though the Bulldogs lost 9–34, the team showed vast improvement over last year.
Anthony Brandon initially appeared to get the ’Dogs off to a great start when he returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for the touchdown. The score was nullified, however, when the Bulldogs were penalized for clipping. Nevertheless, the play set the tone for the first half.
The YSHS defense started well, as Jordan Skinner got an interception, and the Bulldogs held Vanlue to one touchdown.
The Bulldogs got on the board in the second quarter when Skinner scored on a 45-yard pass from quarterback Jacob Fulton.
Kicker Aaron Zagory later hit a 35-yard field goal, as the Bulldogs went into halftime with a 9–7 lead.
But rest isn’t always good for the team with momentum.
In the second half, the Bulldogs’ pass protection began to break down, and Fulton had trouble connecting with his receivers.
“In the first half we showed we can be there,” Crosswhite said after the game. “But in the second half it was a combination of a mental breakdown and the other team running us down. We have to work on finishing the game, finishing all four quarters.”
Though the chances of coming back from an 18-point lag in the fourth quarter looked grim, the Bulldogs were committed to their motto to “finish strong.” Aaron Cobb finished the game with five quarterback sacks and five tackles.
Unlike last year, when several games were canceled, because the team was so small, the Bulldogs have a full schedule this fall and will look for the first win of the season this Friday, Aug. 29, when YSHS travels to Waynesville-Goshen.
Jerome Crosswhite leads YSHS once again—
Jerome Crosswhite had been coaching with the Yellow Springs football program for nearly 17 years before he realized in 2002 that he needed to take a break to support his two children in their sports endeavors.
But when half of his former team showed up on his front porch one day to talk about how much he had meant to them as a coach and a mentor, Crosswhite said, it was hard to resist coming back to fulfill what he says is an important role in the lives of these young athletes.
It’s easy to forget the influence one can have on a young person’s life, he said, until some of them start coming back to say ‘thank you.’ “You never know how much you can make a difference,” he said.
Crosswhite believes in the life skills football can impart as much as he believes in the game as an athletic sport. “Football is a lot of discipline, and it teaches about life in general,” he said.
For Crosswhite, who grew up playing sports in the Greene
view school system in the 1970s, and later for the University of Iowa, football taught him the importance of being punctual and committed, and cultivated in him a sense of camaraderie and teamwork.
Coaching allows him to pass on those lessons to the community’s youth, who are trying to find their own way, he said, and sometimes need a little help.
“At that age, kids are looking to do things the right way, but there is so much temptation to get in trouble,” Crosswhite said. “We try to get into whatever they want to talk about and help them in any way we can.”
Apparently the players on the YSHS football team already get it, and even those with little football experience are getting a few lessons about life, and learning a little about the game.
This year, the Bulldogs feature 12 returning players, mostly juniors and seniors who have two to three years of experience. The other members of the 25-man team, only five of whom are freshmen, generally have less than a year of experience on the field, according to Crosswhite. But he said that he’s not deterred by the team’s inexperience.
The Yellow Springs Bulldogs’ roster includes fast, big players who possess some natural talent. But the squad is young and still needs to gain experience on special team building and offense, Crosswhite said.
The team has a lot of support from assistant coaches Jeff Martindale, Nate Jordan and Fritz Leighty, founder of the YSHS football program. All of the coaches know the game of football. The players learn best by watching, Crosswhite said. “I get a kick out of showing them things, even though I’m probably slower now and they let you know it,” he said.
With such support and positive attitudes, the team can only get better from here. That is what Crosswhite intends to help them do.
“We’ve got to build ourselves up again, and it’s going to take some time,” he said. “But there’s no doubt in my mind we’ll get there.”
YSHS boys soccer—
The YSHS boys soccer team opened its 2003 season with a convincing 6–0 win over Division I rival Fairborn, and a hard-fought 1–0 victory against Urbana.
The Fairborn Skyhawks came to town for the season opener on Tuesday, Aug. 19, and Yellow Springs wasted no time lighting up the scoreboard.
At the two-minute mark, Rory Hotaling sent a pass to Duncan Silvert-Noftle, who buried the ball in the back of the nets.
Ten minutes later Scott Keyes sent a corner kick near the Fairborn goal mouth, and Anthony Brandon dropped it back to Silvert-Noftle for a shot. The Skyhawks goalkeeper then parried the ball to the ground, and Noah Woodburn knocked it back in the goal to send the ’Dogs into the break with a 2–0 lead.
The second half began like the first when Woodburn slotted a pass through the center of the Fairborn defense, which Silvert-Noftle delivered to the goal, for a 3–0 lead. Five minutes later, Silvert-Noftle stole the ball from the Skyhawks and went to goal unassisted for the Bulldogs’ fourth score.
With 20 minutes remaining, YSHS defender Michael Hosket dribbled down the right flank and launched a shot that rebounded off the near post. Hosket scrambled for the loose ball and put back his own missed shot. Silvert-Noftle closed out the game with his fourth goal of the match, assisted on a fine pass by Brandon from midfield.
Last Saturday, Aug. 23, the Bulldogs traveled to Urbana for what turned out to be a defensive battle.
Urbana and YSHS played to a 0–0 draw in the first half. Three minutes into the second half the Bulldogs got all they needed when Hosket took a throw-in from deep in the Hillclimbers’ defensive end and passed to Silvert-Noftle, who ripped a shot into the goal.
The Bulldog defense, led by co-captains Aaron Zagory and Matt Phillips, made the goal stand up.
In junior varsity action Aug. 19, the Bulldogs prevailed over Fairborn, 2–1, on goals from Nathan Badger and Anthony Brandon.
Johnston wins his fourth Fun Run
Yellow Springs High School alumni Dave Johnston and Grant Scott drag raced through the streets of Yellow Springs on Sunday, Aug. 24, in the 18th annual Village Fun Run.
Scott, a sophomore at Haversford College in Philadelphia, gave Johnston, a teacher at Mills Lawn School, all he could handle as the duo were clocked at 4:43 for their first mile. Both runners went on to break 10 minutes as Johnston won the first-place prize of a watermelon for the fourth year in a row.
Kenn Daily, now 40, who has also been coached by YSHS cross country coach Vince Peters since he was 16, was third in 10:40. Peters, who finished eighth, is coaching or has coached the seven runners who placed ahead of him.
Winning the women’s race and finishing 14th overall was YSHS student Tina Peters, the coach’s daughter, with a time of 13:48. YSHS soccer coach Sarah Wallis was second in 16:01.
David Warren won the high school boys division in 11:10, and placed fourth overall. Tina Peters’s brother, Andy, won the junior high division, and finished seventh overall, in 12:20, and Rosa Dixon took the junior high girls title, and placed 25th overall, in 17:10.
Sixth-grader Alexis Onfroy-Curley, captured the elementary school title, covering the course in 13:18. Lois Miller, a third grader, took the elementary girls title in 18:50.
In the master’s divisions, Gary Dixon won the 50–59 division for men and Barb Hensley won the women’s race. Bonnie and Charles Bauer took the 60 and older age divisions.
For complete results, click here.
Girls soccer team rolls to 2nd win
The YSHS girls soccer team won its second game of the year, beating Urbana, 6–5, on Saturday, Aug. 23.
Now 2–0, the Lady Bulldogs are on a roll, and it’s not for lack of a challenge.
Playing at Urbana, YSHS took an early lead, but soon fell behind 4–1 at the half.
The team’s coaches and co-captains Rose Blakelock and Emily Foubert gave a strong halftime speech and the Lady ’Dogs came together for the second half.
Halfback Erin Silvert-Noftle scored three goals, one of them off of an assist from Jennifer Smith. Forward Emily Foubert also scored three goals.
Once the team started playing its own offensive game of quick passes and bold shots, Urbana couldn’t adjust and lost control of the ball completely, coach MacKenzie Reynolds said Tuesday.
The Lady Bulldogs’ win shows how the team has improved over the last year, when it lost handily to Urbana.
“We beat them this time with a positive attitude, good communication and teamwork,” Reynolds said.
Starter golf program
The YSHS golf program is offering a four-session enrichment program for seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade students interested in brushing up on golf skills and possibly joining the golf team.
Interested students should meet on Thursday, Sept. 4, 4 p.m., at Gaunt Park. For more information, call Gerry Simms, 767-1704.
Golfers win again
The Yellow Springs golf team improved to 7–2 this week, defeating Belmont, Cedarville and Ridgeville Christian and losing to Troy Christian by only a few points.
Last Thursday, Aug. 21, the Bulldogs came out on top in a tri-match at their home course, Locust Hills, against Belmont and Cedarville. The Bulldogs scored a team total of 178, Cedarville had 181 and Belmont straggled behind with 212.
First-flight player Rory Hotaling stepped up as the leader of the squad and shot a one-under par 35, his best score all year.
Then on Monday, Aug. 25, the Bulldogs lost to Troy Christian, the No. 2 team in the Metro Buckeye Conference. Troy finished first with 177, Yellow Springs had 186, and Ridgeville Christian scored 239.
Freshman Alex Visbal played his best nine holes of the year, coach Seth Bothwell said. On the last hole Visbal chipped in off the green for a score of 48, his best score of the season. “Alex gets props for that,” Bothwell said.
Volleyball team dominates opener
The YSHS girls volleyball team started off its season with a solid straight win over Belmont High School on Monday.
Playing on the road, the Lady Bulldogs barely broke a sweat, taking the first game, 15–5, and the second, 15–3.
“They played well as a group,” coach Shirley Martin said on Tuesday.
“They still have some things to tighten up, but we are looking forward to a great season,” she said.
Katie Lovering, Evin Wimberly and Janell Martin had strong service games, and the whole team contributed by successfully working the floor, Martin said.
The Lady Bulldogs traveled to Middletown Christian for a match on Tuesday.
The McKinney School volleyball team’s first game, originally scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 27, was changed to Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 5 p.m., at home.