Something about the No. 9 appears to inspire Ironton High School’s football team.
The Fighting Tigers won their first state championship in 1979, captured their second in 1989, reached the state semifinals in 1999, made the regional final in 2009 and now, in 2019, have advanced to the state semifinals again.
Ironton (12-1) plays West Jefferson (12-1) at 7 p.m. Saturday at Herrnstein Field in Chillicothe, Ohio.
The matchup figures to be a marquee event featuring two traditional powers. The fifth-ranked Tigers have made the playoffs 35 times, tying Cincinnati Moeller for second all-time in Ohio, one behind Newark Catholic. No. 8 West Jefferson, which also won two state championships — 1976 and 1982 — rolls into the playoffs for the 22nd time.
The winner of Saturday’s contest plays the victor from the other semifinal featuring top-ranked Kirtland (13-0) and No. 3 Oak Harbor (13-0)
RECRUITING ROUNDUP: Spring Valley volleyball standout Katie Beth Caudill committed to Davis & Elkins College. She and teammate Alex Darby (West Virginia State University) plan to sign on Dec. 4. … St. Albans pitcher Ayden Hodges signed to play baseball at Marshall University. … Wahama softball infielder/pitcher Hannah Rose signed with the University of Charleston. …
Ashland basketball standout Julia Parker signed with the University of Pikeville. … Fairland swimmer Erin Rowe committed to Susquehanna University. … West Virginia University offered Cabell Midland girls soccer star Emilie Charles, who is a Wendy’s High School Heisman finalist. … Spring Valley offensive lineman Wyatt Milum visited Virginia Tech on Saturday. …
Herbert Hoover softball pitcher Delani Buckner signed with Appalachian State. … Northwest’s Addisyn Newman signed to play softball at Shawnee State. … Gallia Academy running back James Armstrong visited the University of Cincinnati on Saturday.
BURKHAMMER ON SHROUT: Marshall University women’s golf coach Brooke Burkhammer said she was thrilled to sign Fairland High School’s all-stater Hanna Shrout.
“I am extremely excited for Hanna to join the Herd family and make an instant impact once she arrives on campus,” Burkhammer said. “She is competitive and a hard worker and I am glad she chose Marshall to become an even better golfer and person.”
ROUNDING UP: A scholarship to Marshall University was endowed last week in the name of late Huntington East High School baseball coach Dan Shoemaker. … Former Fairland runners Chuck Wentz and Conner Flynn, head and assistant coaches, respectively, at Kentucky Christian University, sent two runners to the NAIA national championships, despite running a first-year program. …
Basketball standout David Early left Beckley Prep and has returned to Logan High School. … Former Huntington High football standout Ryan Gatrell of Concord University was named second-team all-Mountain East Conference. … Hurricane’s Bailey Fisher was named the West Virginia Sports Writers Association Class AAA girls soccer player of the year. … South Point football coach James Gifford resigned.
Symmes Valley’s Rusty Webb was named the Southern Ohio Conference Division I coach of the year. Wheelersburg’s Rob Woodward won the SOC Division II honor. Symmes Valley’s Josh Ferguson was picked as Division I offensive player of the year and teammate Caleb Mullins the top defender. The Vikings’ Gavin Yates was tabbed lineman of the year. Waverly’s Payton Shoemaker was Division II offensive player of the year, Wheelersburg’s Makya Matthews was selected the SOC’s top defensive player and Minford’s Levi Warren was honored as the top lineman.