Manchester grad enjoys a “Super” Experience Taking Adams County patriotism to the state capitol John P Sininger Jo Ann Hayslip Harvey U Schrock Eunice G. Burgess Senior Profile: Kaulen St Michael Cox Racing returns to Brushcreek on April 2 Southern Hills Athletic Conference holds Winter Sports Awards ceremony Adams County provides multiple walking venues Adams County parks are tobacco-free Rhoads Memorial 5K Run/Walk is April 9 Peebles Elem. Staff of the Month Floyd E Maddy Raymond A Holt Derrick Poe Spencer E McFarland Mintie F Rogers Roberta Eylar Big Time Wrestling coming to NAHS Carl Tomlin CTC students help with storm clean-up Opening the door for high-tech jobs Jack R Slyger Thomas Stratton Jr Eastern Lady Warriors headed to Final Four Senior Profile: Logan Rogers Southern Hills Athletic Conference names 2016-17 All-Conference Basketball Teams Winchester PD continues assault on drugs Alonso joins Defender staff Sheriff to set up outpost in Manchester Johnson named OEDA Membership Chairperson Sherman E Young Ruth Jackman ‘Kitten Season’ comes to Ohio Manchester Council votes to disband PD Olde Wayside Inn under new management Two overdose on heroin Senior Profile: Ethan Parrett Adams/Brown Youth League holds postseason tourney Three nights of pain Furious rally falls short, Lady Devils again eliminated in Div. III district finals, 45-42 Oscar Moore Barbara J Finnegan Ohio Senate and House honor Miss Ohio USA Michael Eldridge Frances Towner Thelma R Williamson BREAKING NEWS: Manchester council votes to eliminate police department Before all dogs go to heaven Adaptive Bikes delivered in Adams County Adams County Junior Fair Market Hog Identification plans announced for 2017 Local couple takes ownership of two local businesses Jo Hanson to retire after nearly 50 years in banking Sierra Club, hero or villain? Greyhounds, Devils are runners-up in SHAC Tournaments Harold L Purdin Senior Profile: Jacob Wickerham 98-year old author publishes first book Early March storm packs destructive punch Jeeps rally in second half to end the Peebles season How about some post season awards? Thanks for all the great sports coverage PHS Principal hopes to expand students’ world view When spring becomes a promise Greg Lorenz Clay shoots the lights out, shoots down Greyhounds’ season Senior Profile: Savannah McFarland Devils put up a good fight, but fall to Portsmouth in sectional final, 50-43 Second half comeback sends Lady Devils to district finals for third straight year Butts honored by Southeast District Athletic Board North Adams Elementary holds Random Acts of Kindness Week Chester W Eyre BREAKING NEWS: March makes its entrance with force WUES kicks off Right to Read Week with guest readers WUHS students see Aronoff show on the life of Edgar Allan Poe Local high school seniors winners of Wendy’s Heisman Awards The emotions of a senior year Market Hog Clinic scheduled for March 4 Venture Hawks fall to Scioto County Senior Profile : Colton Thornburg Lady Dragons’ season ends with sectional loss to Lynchburg Devils advance in tourney with convincing win over West Union, will face Portsmouth for sectional title Wenstrup selected as Vice Chairman of House Armed Services Military Personnel Subcommittee Adams County 4-H Shooting Sports to hold fund raiser Linda M Howland Nellie B Hayslip Russell E Bailey Gladys M Perdue Commissioners meet in Columbus with DP&L CEO Tom Raga Missing the Dirtrollers The farms that aren’t forgotten Flora Hilderbran Commissioners to meet with DP&L officials New state graduation requirements called a ‘train wreck’ Catching up with Keller Senior Profile: Justin Knechtly Piketon size is too much for Lady Indians, Peebles falls in sectional finals Greyhounds grab Senior Night win Indians finish regular season riding six-game winning streak

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