One thing to remember this President’s Day Adams County Deer Harvest down over 21% MLSD amends five-year budget, prepares for future with power plant closings Lady Dragons triumph in sectional opener Lady Hounds eighth graders capture SHAC Tournament title Gary L Fetters Sr Boys Sectional brackets released ‘We’re only as good as the way we treat others’ Another round of smiles Adams County Board of DD members recognized Terry L Unger 8th Grade Lady Devils ousted in tourney semis WU’s McCarty signs with Ohio Christian Joyce A Huddleson Carolyn Spires BREAKING NEWS: Peebles police search for man accused of selling marijuana-laced sweets Decision Time BBN Senior Profile: Summer Grundy Lady Devils fall to Southeastern, 56-48 Devils outlast Manchester 47-44 in double overtime Peebles holds second Hall of Fame Ceremony Senior Profile: Patrick England Sowards hits 1,000, ties PHS three-point mark County agencies prepare for sweeping budget cuts Manchester Council votes to cut police chief’s hours Wrestling debuts in Adams County Peebles Library hosts book signing As plants power down, community must step up Raymond P Dryden Alva Palmer Billie L Shoemaker Judith Long Brent A Arn Girls basketball sectional pairings announced WU’s Weeks will continue gridiron career at next level West Union JH Boys drop pair at Ripley Eighth Grade Lady Hounds roll into SHAC semi-finals Janet A Kennedy DP&L moving ahead with plans to close power plants Outreach Center in Peebles is a hub of giving River Sweep contest winners announced Gordley hits 1,000 mark, but Indians drop crucial SHAC contest to Lynchburg Manchester lifters compete at Piketon Senior Profile: Madelyn Sanders Charles L Hurd Randy Casto Bobby Strunk Dorothy J Scott Chester A Lanter Coach David Smalley picks up 500th career win at Rio Grande Dustin Holbrook Senior Profile: Camron Gordley As usual, optimism abounds on 2017 Reds Caravan Breeze, Beasley newest members of NAHS Athletic HOF Two humble men Adams County Manor Home Health Care makes road to recovery easier Don and Venita Bowles named as Outstanding Fair Supporters ‘Tip off For Tammy’ is a huge success, joint effort by two schools Husted campaign makes stop in Peebles Benefit held for double-lung transplant recipient I loved that muddy water, building in the creek Margaret E Broughton Larry A Hanson DP&L press release confirms closing of power plants Eighth grade girls showdown lives up to hype, North Adams wins in overtime, 45-43 Senior Profile: Raeanna Stamm North Adams Football sign-ups coming soon North Adams JV girls go 11-4 with win over Peebles Harper wins MaxPreps/JJHuddle Athlete of the Week West Union duo headed to the college gridiron Lady Devils make it 11 straight with win at Peebles Adams County residents attend Trump Inauguration A Look back at our Archives Peebles native comes home to film documentary Ohio Valley Wrestling Cub hosting home match on Jan. 31 Ruth A Branscome Velma Hughes Carol L Lewis Betty L Greiner Devils top New Boston 63-53 in finale of Coach Young Classic Lady Devils rout Eastern Pike in Young Classic Indians bounce back with 67-59 win over East OHSAA Baseball Pitch Count Regulation approved for 2017 At the buzzer, Rothwell gives Dragons an overtime win Greyhounds fall to Portsmouth Lady Indians roll past West Union 80-29 From Division II to the Senior Bowl COSI On Wheels visits West Union Elementary News from the Peebles PTO NAJH Basketball hosting ‘Play For The Cure’ Jan. 28 North Adams Elementary recognizes Students and Staff Members of the Month for December Honoring a coaching legend Benefit will assist double-lung transplant patient Peebles to be featured in new documentary Cleaning the stables-the worst job on the farm Wenstrup reselected to serve on House Intelligence Committee Venture Hawks and Sheriff’s Department square off on Feb. 12 Cecil R Dupree Harper wins MaxPreps/JJHuddle Athlete of the Week Star Wars costume exhibition coming to Museum Center

Green Devils finish 2016 with 12 wins and 11 losses

The North Adams baseball program said farewell to these eight graduating seniors.  From left, Austin Copas, Mikey Sheeley, Kenny Branch, Cole Roades, Trey Meade, Justin Hilderbrand, Cole Meade, and Avery Lucas.
The North Adams baseball program said farewell to these eight graduating seniors. From left, Austin Copas, Mikey Sheeley, Kenny Branch, Cole Roades, Trey Meade, Justin Hilderbrand, Cole Meade, and Avery Lucas.  Photo by Mark Carpenter.

By Mark Carpenter

It could only be described as a disappointing season for Coach Rob Meade and his North Adams Green Devils baseball squad, as they finished with 12 wins and 11 losses, coming off a 2015 where they won a sectional title. There is certainly no one to blame for the rough year for the devils, as it was one of those “lots of things went wrong” kind of year that culminated with injuries taking down two senior starters right at tournament time.

“I was pleased with the way we pitched all season,” said Coach Meade. “We just struggled all season to find a groove at the plate, hitting just over .260 as a team. We took a big hit with the season-ending injuries to Kenny Branch and Mikey Sheeley, however the guys we played in their place played well despite their inexperience.”

“We graduated eight seniors and it will be difficult to replace them.”

The injuries Coach Meade referred to were both unfortunate with Sheeley finally yielding to Tommy John surgery after numerous problems with his elbow and Branch’s injury was even more freakish, as the all-conference catcher suffered a fractured cheekbone when hit by a teammate’s swing during pre-game warm ups.

From the beginning, it was an up and down year for Meade’s troops, as they won their first three contests before dropping Southern Hills Athletic Conference games to Eastern and Fayetteville. North Adams rebounded to defeat West Union twice and Whiteoak, before losing back to back games to the Fairfield Lions.

The Green Devils then lost three of their next five, including an 8-1 loss to Peebles, then won two in a row, then lost to Lynchburg, before falling to Rock Hill and Huntington in a Wooden Bat Tournament in Portsmouth.

Tournament play came next and without Sheeley and Branch and with the game being moved from Seaman because of the weather, Coach Meade was naturally apprehensive going in.

“Due to circumstances out of our control, I was a bit worried going into the game with Piketon,” said Meade. “Knowing that we had to replace our three and four hitters in the lineup was going to be tough. On top of that, having to load the bus and travel to Piketon as opposed to playing at home was not the best of circumstances.”

Meade’s fears were put to rest though as his son Trey pitched a complete game, allowing just two runs, and some youngsters such as Bryant Lung, Elijah Young, Colt Shumaker, and Austin Parks stepped up their game as the Devils took a 5-2 win in their tourney opener.

Colt Shumaker is one of the returnees who could have an impact on the 2017 North Adams baseball squad.  Photo by Mark Carpenter.
Colt Shumaker is one of the returnees who could have an impact on the 2017 North Adams baseball squad. Photo by Mark Carpenter.

“Colt has come up big for us defensively in the outfield and Elijah has been very solid at shortstop and made a couple of exceptional plays today,” said the North Adams head coach. Bryant did a nice job behind the plate as well as getting three hits and driving home a pair.”
The win took the Devils to a sectional final contest, but against a very solid Adena team. North Adams mustered just four hits in the game and went down to defeat 12-1 in five innings to end their tournament run. The Devils then had to finish up their regular season after the tournament loss and they were blanked by Fayetteville 5-0 on May 16 to close out a 12-11 campaign.

As Coach Meade mentioned earlier, the Devils bid farewell to eight seniors-Mikey Sheeley, Kenny Branch, Justin Hilderbrand, Avery Lucas, Austin Copas, Cole Meade, Trey Meade, and Cole Roades, but will have a young nucleus of talent returning as the program had the luxury of fielding a JV squad this spring.

Sheeley and Branch were the team’s top hitters for the year, with Sheeley hitting .345 and Branch raking at a .327 clip. Sheeley led the team in runs batted in with 17, while Ben Figgins, Branch, Sheeley, and Trey Meade all tied for the team lead in extra base hits.

As far as pitching goes, Trey Meade led the team with five wins and a 2.25 earned run average, striking out 65 batters in 46.2 innings of work. Right hander Austin Copas was 3-2 with a 3.97 ERA as the Devils used 11 different pitchers during the 2016 season. The pitching staff combined to post a 2.90 team ERA.

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2016 People's Defender