Local golf teams complete play at state tournament Lady Dragons make school history with tournament win Browning gets hands-on look at NASA’s latest robotics Local beautician celebrates 80th birthday Health Department appeals to November voters Betty R Toller Senior Profile: Craig Horton Helen F Hoffer Super Saturday at Freedom Field Lady Dragons hang on for five-set victory over Manchester Seventh Grade Lady Hounds are SHAC Tournament champions Peebles Elementary announces September Students of the Month Rideout’s Muffler celebrating 40th anniversary this month Senior Citizens levy will appear on November ballot Bonnie J Orr Dorothy M Edenfield Senior Profile: Grace Barge Jerry Paquette Dragons get big 38-20 win at Green Manchester takes varsity team titles at West Union Invitational Lady Devils knock off Peebles on Volley For the Cure Night Manhunt ends with arrest of alleged bank robber Senior Profile: Kelsey Friend Lady Dragons finish as District Runners-Up Sectional pairings announced for volleyball and soccer 2 and 3 and worried is me Patricia Clift Adams County Humane Agent saves abandoned dogs and puppies Tourism had major economic impact on Adams County in 2015 Senator Portman brings his campaign to Adams County Betty E Lawson Sanborn NAHS holds National Honor Society induction ceremonies Harlan W Benjamin Joyce A Lafferty Senior Profile: Lee Hesler Dragons get SHAC win, 2-1 over Fairfield North Adams tops Peebles in ‘Kickin Cancer’ battles Double duty coming at Boys’ State Golf Tournament as West Union and North Adams both qualify Humane Society providing ‘Straws For Paws’ North Adams Elementary honors students and staff Russell Rockwell Julie L Wagner Hobert C Robinson Samuel D McClellan Brenda S Bare Clarencce Walker Jr Dolly M Hilterbrandt Jack Roush Day returns to Manchester West Union FFA has busy opening to school year ODOT opens new full-service Maintenance Facility Peebles Elementary introduces Peer Mentoring program Frost is recipient of Morgan Memorial Scholarship Peebles Fire Department has a new addition Heritage Days return to Tranquility Wheat Ridge Olde Thyme Herb Fair and Harvest Festival begins Friday Caraway Farm hosts annual Pumpkin Festival ‘Run Gio’ makes a visit to Adams County Senior Profile: Mackenzie Smith West Union, North Adams grab top two spots in Division III golf sectional tournament This memory will live with me forever Will M Stern West Union and North Adams-State Bound! Lillian N Smith Betty R Shelton Barbara ER Bohl Brenda Farley Senior Profile: Caitlyn Bradford Dragons roar to 40-0 Homecoming victory Greyhounds take three of four races at annual Adams County Meet Monarch Meadows holds grand opening Discovering a touch of glass on Erie’s Shores Junior L Conaway William B Brumley Sr Fred G Davis Ohio Valley FFA Officers for 2016-17 named ACRMC Emergency Care Center renamed after Dr. Bruce Ashley West Union holds football Homecoming festivities First graders pick the Sheriff Cross honored by ODNR with the prestigious Cardinal Award Renowned Ohio artist visits WUHS Don and Venita Bowles named 2016 Outstanding Fair Supporters PES students part of new Lego League Ferno donates $2,500 to OVCTC From the cistern to the city water Basketball officiating class being offered in October Peebles rolls by West Union in straight sets Par for the course, Dragons sweep SHAC Golf titles Greyhounds hang on late for first win of 2016 season You have to understand the process to understand the job Alex K Miller Ann E Campbell Scott N Atkinson Senior Profile: Tyler Fowler Martin named to All-Tourney Team in North/South Battlefield Classic 200 years on the banks of the Ohio, in a little town called Moscow Edwin P Prince ACRMC Emergency Care Center renamed after Dr. Bruce Ashley Volleyball teams honor young cancer patient MHS honors veterans during pregame Kirker Covered Bridge gets a ‘Brown Goose’ facelift

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