Eastwood won the Northern Buckeye Conference All-Sports Award for the 2022-23 school year.
Outgoing Eastwood athletic director Jeff Hill, who is retiring after this year, made some statements about the award on the school’s athletic website.
“I know that there is no real trophy or plaque that goes with this achievement but none of those things should take away from the significance of us once again obtaining this honor,” Hill wrote.
“I know that you have heard me say it more than once that this is something that we should not take for granted. It has been achieved with the work of our student-athletes, coaches, school and community and our commitment to excellence with your programs,” Hill continued.
“This is a team effort and every team and program contributed to this no matter where each of them ended their seasons in league play.
“When you look at the totals this year our teams were very consistent from sport to sport being towards the top of the league standings in each of our conference sports.
Every point counted and every league win meant something which helped to make the difference in the end. The gap from first to second was tighter than last year.”
Hill noted that Eastwood was in second place at the end of the winter sports season, down by 1½ points. Championships by the baseball, softball, and the boys track teams and a runner-up finish by the girls track team made up the difference.
“The only way that we have achieved this is because our coaching staffs work together for the betterment of not only their own teams and programs but also support of all of our programs which makes all of us better,” Hill stated.
“This has been an important foundation to our overall success and will continue to be very important and necessary for our continued future success.
“It is also important to notice that we did this with new coaches on our staff this year who have come in and added to our culture and have been great additions to our coaching family.”
Hill said a big part of that is the dedicated weight room staff headed up by boys track coach Brian Sabo by Andy Friess.
“(They) put in many hours early in the morning and late at night helping to physically prepare our athletes for their athletic commitments,” Hill said.
“This overall Eastwood athletic department philosophy and commitment is just another thing that helps to set us apart from others when it comes to excellence. This area can never be taken for granted either.
“Most of all, I am proud of the way that our kids and coaches compete contest after contest. No matter what, Eastwood athletes and coaches continue to play with class, character and grit.
“The fact that we were successful this year is not the reason I am proud of our athletes and coaches. I am most proud of the way that they all carry themselves during competition and how they represent Eastwood Schools, and I would have said that even if we did not have success.”
Hill said he appreciates everything everyone involved has done for athletes “in helping them reach their fullest potential as an athlete but more importantly as a person. This is a special place, and you are all special people that help to make it that way.”
The baseball team won the championship outright and ended their season 26-2 overall and 14-0 in the conference.
They ended their season with a tough 3-2 loss in the Division III district semifinal to eventual regional qualifier Wayne Trace.
“Not the ending they wanted but they competed hard and ended their season with class and character even after a tough loss,” Hill said.
The loss brought the end of the careers to seniors Case Boos, Jarson Bauer, Ethan Rapp, Tristan Schuerman, Jarod Bonfiglio, Caleb Recker, Vincent Schwartz, Isaac Reynolds, Jordan Pickerel and Justin Barclay.
“Covid robbed them of their freshman year, but they compiled a 78-8 record over the final three years of their careers. Their record is impressive but the way they competed on a daily basis and their character was even more impressive,” Hill said.
The softball team also won the champion outright with an 12-2 Conference record and an 26-4 overall record and were district runnerups, losing to eventual regional finalist Tinora, 14-4, in the championship.
“This group of girls and the coaching staff did an outstanding job in managing adversity and taking on challenges during this special year,” Hill said.
Seniors were Grace Kingery, Jessyca Smith, Katie Oestreich and Delaney Maynard.
Not only did the track teams finish first and second in the NBC. Eastwood had six track athletes competing in the state meet Friday and Saturday at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on the campus of Ohio State University.
Next year, there will be a new dynamic in the NBC as Elmwood leaves for the Blanchard Valley Conference and Woodmore leaves for Sandusky Bay Conference River Division. Meanwhile, Oak Harbor comes in from the SBC Bay Division and Maumee from the Northern Lakes League.