Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
Jaw-dropping victories. Improbable upsets. Heartbreaking losses. Historic individual performances.
2019 had it all and then some.
Here at Southern Ohio Sports Authority, we’re counting down the top twenty moments — in four segments — from the year that was, whittled down from an original list of hundreds.
With numbers 20-16, we take a look at a career-defining performance in goal, two instant classics on the baseball diamond, a season to remember on the links, a breakout party on the gridiron and a team destined for greatness.
20. Zane Trace’s Andrew Ramsey makes 21 saves in district loss to Wheelersburg
In a Division III sectional championship, Zane Trace senior goalkeeper Andrew Ramsey did everything he could … and then some … against a talented Wheelersburg team. As the Pirates took target practice at Ramsey in between the pipes, the Pioneers’ leader continued to wag his finger. In fact, for the first 60 minutes, Wheelersburg didn’t grace the scoreboard despite many opportunities to do so. In the end, despite the goalkeeper’s efforts, the Pioneers dropped a 2-0 decision and ended their season on Oct. 16. But it didn’t come before Ramsey turned in, quite possibly, the best performance he ever had in a Zane Trace uniform.
19. Green and Clay battle for SOC baseball I title in two instant classics
Two meetings, two can’t-forget finishes. When Green and Clay got together on the diamond this past spring, late inning drama became a theme. On April 24, seven innings wasn’t enough and neither was eight or nine. 10 was the magic number as Jaden Jessee gave the Panthers a walk-off win in the bottom half of the home frame. What’s equally impressive about that win was the performance of Clay pitcher Dakota Dodds, who threw all 10 innings and struck out 11. For an encore, the teams met again on May 9, where Dodds and Green hurler Tanner Kimbler once again stole the limelight … until Green’s Tayte Carver stepped to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning. With the game tied 2-2 and two runners on, one swing of the bat handed Green a 5-2 win and a share of its third straight conference title.
18. Westfall’s girls golf finishes 11th in state while Maddi Shoults takes ninth individually
All season long, Westfall’s girls dominated regular season tournaments and matches. That success stretched into the postseason, a charge undoubtedly led by sophomore Maddi Shoults. The first feat the Mustangs checked off their list was a Division II sectional title, one where Shoults earned medalist honors by carding a 73. Next came a district crown on Oct. 1, where Shoults shot a 71 and the Mustangs posted a 356 as a team. Then, amongst the best teams in Ohio on Oct. 11 and 12, Westfall finished 11th in the state with a team score of 732, 355 and 377 over two days of state competition. Shoults ended her magnificent freshman campaign that day by shooting a 150 with splits of 74 and 76, good enough for a ninth place individual and All-Ohio finish.
17. Waverly’s Will Futhey posts 290 receiving yards and 5 touchdowns
You may not have known what Will Futhey was capable of until Sept. 27. Then, his name was everywhere. Waverly’s sophomore wideout produced the best gem in his collection with a 10-catch, 290-yard, five-touchdown night, one that spearheaded a 48-13 win over Amanda-Clearcreek. The breakout performance was the start of a torrid tear for Futhey as he helped his Tigers finish 9-3 and make a fourth straight playoff appearance. He ended the season with 58 catches for 1,128 yards and 14 scores. Now that he’s completely on the radar, he’s got two more years to feast on opposing defenses.
16. Minford’s baseball program reaches Elite Eight before heartbreaking loss
Put simply, Minford pieced together one of the best seasons in program history in 2019. One year after the Falcons reached a Division III state semifinal, they were on the brink of returning to that level this past spring. Led by a host of talented players including SOSA Baseball Player of the Year Elijah Vogelsong, the Falcons won league, sectional and district titles before advancing into a regional final against Ridgewood. On June 1, Minford ended its season at 29-2 with a 4-3 loss to the Generals in eight innings. However, that didn’t happen before the Falcons ransacked through the majority of their schedule. Minford outscored its opponents by a 240-53 margin, pitched 10 shutouts and won a share of its second straight SOC II title.
NOTE: SOSA will release numbers 15-11 later this afternoon, followed by numbers 10-6 on Friday and 5-1 on Saturday.