Ridgewood Roundup

by Tom Akers correspondent
Offensive line ready for action after a long wait to get back on the field
Paige Leander and Kati Jones go up for the block during Friday Night's matchup with Kewanee.

Spartan Spikers Open Season

The Ridgewood Spartans opened their season Tuesday, March 16th on the road in Princeville. The Lady Princes came out strong, downing Ridgewood 9-25 in the first game of the match and 13 to 25 in the second game to win the match.

Madi Jones led the Ridgewood attack with two kills while Skya Barton, Grace Althaus, and Hallica Warren Anderson each had one kill. Brook Jones and Brecken Adamson led the Spartans with two aces apiece and Paige Leander had one block in the match.

Spartans Earn All Conference Awards

The Lincoln Trail Conference released their all conference teams last week and the Spartans’ Seniors led the way. Seniors Kendall Lewis and Brecken Adamson were named to the LTC First Team for the girls basketball team. Two seniors, Ganon Greenman and Mitchell Brooks, were named to the LTC Boys All Conference Team.

Juniors Hannah Maher and Lucas Kessinger were selected for the second team. Lucas Althaus, a senior, was given honorable mention honors.

The Academic All Conference list was also released. Ten girls were given this recognition; Kendall Lewis, Mackenzie Brown, Brooke Jackson, Lauren Anderson, Sarya DeLeon-Harreld, Breckend Adamson, Hannah Maher, Kati Jones, Natilie Wilson, and Carmen Stahl.

The boys Academic All Conference list included; Ganon Greenman, Lucas Althaus, Lucas Kessinger, Josh Maher, and Mitchell Brooks.

Golden Eagles Escape Spartans

Playing their second match on the road in as many days, the Ridgewood Spartans travelled to Mercer County for a matchup with the Golden Eagles on Wednesday, March 17th. The luck of the Irish was with MerCo as they escaped like a Leprechaun caught in a second grade classroom winning the first game 26 to 24 and the second 25 to 20.

Ridgewood topped MerCo in every category except errors and the final scores. The Spartan defense was much improved from the previous night against Princeville with forty five digs and five blocks. Madi Jones led the Spartans with fourteen digs, Mackenzie Brown and Brecken Adamson each added eight digs. Paige Leander had three digs, two blocks, three aces and four kills. Senior Kendall Lewis led the Spartan offense with five kills along with three digs and one and a half blocks.

Boilermakers Beat Spartans in Three

The Ridgewood are getting closer and closer to notching their first win of the 2021 season. The Spartans were neck and neck with Mercer County earlier in the week and Friday night, March 19th took the Kewanee Boilermakers to three games before losing. Things looked to be going the Ridgewood way after winning the first game of the match handily 25 to 15. However, the Boilermakers came back in the second game topping the Spartans 25 to 16 setting up the tie breaker. The Spartans battled right up to the last point but fell up short 25 to 27 to lose the match.

Grace Althaus and Kati Jones powered the Spartan offense with four kills each while Brooklyn Jones fueled the hitters with fourteen assists in the match, Katie Jones also led Ridgewood with two aces. Defensively, Madi Jones ruled the backcourt with sixteen digs for the match while Paige Leander led Ridgewood with nine blocks.

Ridgewood Opens Season with Rout

The Ridgewood Spartans had apparently been holding onto a lot of energy while waiting for their football season to begin because on Saturday, March 20th in Wyoming, the Spartans released a torrent of pure football energy on the Stark County Rebels.

The Spartans dominated the game in virtually all facets besides the score which was 48 to 22. They outgained the Rebels by almost one hundred overall yards 397 to 298, rushing for more than three times what Stark County had 301 to 100.

Ridgewood hit the ground running, literally, taking the opening drive down the field covering 72 yards in just six plays capped off by the first touchdown of the season by quarterback Colton Stahl on a keeper combined with the two point conversion gave the Spartans an 8-0 lead. The Rebels answered however to tie the game but Stahl led Ridgewood right down the field the second time in a row doing it both with his feet with a sixteen yard run in the drive and with his arm hitting Junior Lucas Kessinger for a touchdown pass to retake the lead 16 to 8 after the first quarter.

The Spartans would score twice more in the second quarter, the first on a nine play 55 yard touchdown drive finished off this time by senior running back DJ VanHouten who powered in for a five yard touchdown. The second Spartan score came with just 2:39 left in the half. Colton Stahl, faced with a third and twenty three after a holding penalty had called back a touchdown, hit Lucas Kessinger for his second touchdown of the day sending Ridgewood into the locker room ahead 28 to 8.

The Rebels came out guns blazing in the second half cutting the score to 28 to 14 on a 65 yard touchdown pass. However it was the Spartans day as they once again answered the Rebels with their fifth touchdown of the day. This one coming from Gavin McDonough on a fourteen yard touchdown run set up by a Lucas Kessinger twenty three yard run to set up McDonough’s scamper into the end zone. The Spartans broke it completely open late in the third quarter when VanHouten pounded in his second score of the game and topped it off with a two point conversion to put the game out of reach at 42 to 14 going into the fourth quarter.

Both teams scored in the fourth quarter, Colton Stahl found Junior Carson Nodine open, Nodine wove through the Rebel defense for the twenty five yard touchdown. The score was set up by an interception by Victor Snook. The Rebels scored in the final minute to make the final score 48 to 14.

The Spartans will take on Mercer County on Friday, March 26th at Goff Stahl Field kickoff is at 7:00 and will also be available to watch online at the District227.org website.

Brant Casteel hoists Lucas Kessinger celebrating a touchdown