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Prep Notebook: Persin has way to lead all-stars

Jul. 21, 2013 @ 11:17 PM

Oak Hill (Ohio) High School boys basketball coach Norm Persin has a way of working with all-stars.

Persin, former coach at Chesapeake, and former Wheelersburg coach Tom Barrick led the best rising seniors in the Buckeye State to the title in the National High School Basketball Coaches Association Rising Seniors Classic held at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis.

The Ohio Elite Seniors went 5-0 despite having just two practices together before the event began. Ohio beat Iowa (78-75), Kentucky (105-79) and Indiana (82-79) on the first day. They completed the sweep with wins over Wisconsin (67-59) and Illinois (94-64). Warren Local's Evan French was the lone member from a Southeast District school on the Ohio roster.

Barrick, who is president of the Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association, said the success of this year's event means the tournament will double next year once coaches' associations from other states can organize squads in time for the tournament and allow pool play action to take place.

The OHSBCA, along with Rawlings as a sponsor, financed and furnished everything for the Ohio Elite except shoes. The team stayed in a hotel about two blocks from Lucas Oil Stadium, the home of the NFL's Indianapolis Colts.

Former Ohio State player Clark Kellogg made a visit to the tournament. He is a CBS Sports college basketball analyst and vice president of player relations for the Indiana Pacers.

Persin and Barrick will not have similar roles in next year's squad, but both will still be a part of the selection process. Both hope to see more local faces get a shot at being selected.

FOOTBALL NO. 1: In data gathered for submission to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), football represents the most popular sport in Kentucky in terms of participants during the 2012-13 academic year with 13,315 students (54 girls) competing for 222 schools.

Baseball ranked second among boys' sports with 7,278 participants across 261 schools, followed by basketball (6,874), track and field (6,476) and soccer (6,059). Volleyball was the most popular sport on the girls' side with 6,260 participants covering 257 schools, followed by fast pitch softball (5,754), soccer (5,551), track and field (5,476) and basketball (5,359).

The 2012-13 season marked the debuts of competitive cheer, archery and bass fishing as KHSAA-sponsored sport activities. Competitive cheer had a strong showing during its debut season with 5,114 female competitors and 179 males across 248 schools. Archery had a total of 1,961 participants (1,077 boys) competing for 70 schools, while bass fishing was sponsored by 31 schools and had 346 students compete.

SIGNINGS: Nathan DeMoss is moving on from Huntington High to play men's basketball at Methodist University in Fayetteville, N.C. DeMoss graduated from HHS with a 3.2 GPA. The Methodist Monarchs are an NCAA Division III member of the USA South Athletic Conference.

Cabell Midland graduate Nathaniel Moore is continuing his football career at West Virginia Wesleyan College in Buckhannon, W.Va. Moore had a 3.64 high school GPA and plans to pursue an engineering degree. The Wesleyan Bobcats are an NCAA Division II member of the new Mountain East Conference.

CALLING ALL SCHOOLS: The Herald-Dispatch needs the help of Tri-State athletic directors and football coaches with providing information for our season preview special section. As soon as possible, provide us with the date and time for your Media and Picture Day. We have most of the team schedules, but we need player rosters for all teams. Last season's statistics and other notebook-type material would also be helpful.

Email information to reporters Grant Traylor (gtraylor@herald-dispatch.com) or David Walsh (dwalsh@herald-dispatch.com) or sports editor Rick McCann (hedge@herald-dispatch.com), or send a fax to 304-526-2857.

Your help is greatly appreciated.

David Walsh is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at 304-526-2759 or dwalsh@herald-dispatch.com.