The Week at the Net
The Ridgewood Spartans Volleyball team opened their season on Monday, August 23rd with a non-conference matchup with Monmouth Roseville. The Spartans won the first game of the match 27 to 25 but the Titans bounced back winning the next two by identical scores of 25 to 12 to win the match. Brooklyn Jones and Paige Leander fueled both the offense and defense for Ridgewood, Jones led the defense with twelve digs while Leander added five blocks. On the offensive side of the net, Leander led the Spartans with six kills while Jones provided fourteen assists.
The next night, August 24th, the Spartans travelled to Kewanee for a non-conference matchup with the Boilermakers. The Spartans won the first game of the match 25 to 22, lost the second game 20 to 25, however the Spartans regrouped taking the tie breaker 25 to 21. Paige Leander led the Spartan attack with eight kills, Leander, along with Aleese Park led the Ridgewood defense with seven blocks apiece. Brooklyn Jones added ten assists in the match while Mya Brown, Morgan Bowers, and Lexi Kessinger each had five digs to spark the defense in the win.
The Spartans next travelled to Orion on Thursday, August 26th. The Spartans won the opening game convincingly 25 to 14. Orion bounced back to win the second game 25 to 17 but the Spartans won a tight third game 25 to 20. Paige Leander led Ridgewood with six kills while Kati Jones added five. Brook Jones helped power the offense with sixteen assists. Defensively Leander led the team with seven blocks while Kati Jones added four in the Ridgewood win.
Reed, Downing Beat Heat in First Meet
A racetime temperature of ninety-three degrees resulting in a heat index of 106 didn’t slow down sophomore Miranda Reed on Tuesday, August 24th. Reed topped a field of seventy runners to win first place at the Rock Falls Rocket Run Invitational becoming the first Ridgewood Spartan Champion for the meet. Reed ran two sub seven minute splits in the three mile race to finish with a time of 20:38.
Five places behind was junior Kendra Downing, Downing ran her first mile in 6:33 just one second behind Reed and finished in sixth place with a time of 21:28. The Spartans as a team finished in fourth place against the field of sixteen schools, nine complete teams. The Spartans finished with ninety one team points, Rockford Christian won the meet with sixty points, Rock Falls was second with sixty seven points, and Erie Prophetstown was third with eighty two points.
Fernando Avila-Rubio was the top Ridgewood runner for the boys. The sophomore finished just one place away from a medal, finishing sixteenth overall with a time of 18:40. Eighty Four boys toed the line in the boys race.
Complete Results: Girls: 1st, Reed, Miranda 20:38. 6th, Downing, Kendra 21:28. 22nd, Bennett, Mollie 24:55. 39th, Messerly, Kira 27:21. 42nd, Mayer, Cassie 27:27. 44th, Humphrey, Brooklyn 27:36. Boys: 16th, Avila-Rubio 18:40. 33rd, VanHyfte, Matt 20:30. 52nd, Samuelson, Jager 22:01. 62nd, Alassane, Ballo 23:48.
Rebels Run Away from Ridgewood
The Ridgewood Spartans hosted the Stark County Rebels on a hot and humid August 27th night at Goff Stahl Field. The Spartans put together two solid drives, one in the first quarter and one in the fourth but mistakes allowed the Rebels to own the middle two quarters giving the Spartans the Week One loss 33 to 14.
The Spartans ran down the bank of Goff Stahl Field racing through the tunnel of screaming fans and took the opening drive down the field to go ahead of the Rebels. The Spartans started the drive on their own twenty three yard line. The Spartan drive was highlighted by a seventeen yard run by Gavin McDonough and a fourth down pass interference call which gave the Spartans the ball on the Star County eighteen yard line. After a holding call, senior running back Lucas Kessinger took the handoff and powered in for the first touchdown for the Spartans, putting them ahead 6-0.
Stark County started their opening drive on their own thirty eight yard line and wasted little time marching down the field in four plays finishing the drive with a thirty three yard touchdown run to tie the game 6-6.
Stark County would score again after a Ridgewood punt gave them the ball on the Spartan forty six yard line. The Rebel drive ended with an eight yard touchdown run to go ahead 13-6. Stark County would score again in the second quarter, this time on a sixty three yard scamper to go ahead 20-6. The Rebels would not pass once in the game.
The Spartans weren’t finished though as Gavin McDonough pounded out two straight first down runs on the ensuing drive putting the Spartans on the Stark County four yard line with less than a minute left. However, a fumble on second down killed the Ridgewood drive sending the young Spartans into the locker room down fourteen.
The heat began to take its toll on both teams as the third quarter saw both the Rebels and the Spartans slow down. Stark County managed a late third quarter touchdown to up their lead to 27 to 6. Both teams put points on the board in the fourth, Stark County scored on a thirty-five yard run and Ridgewood managed a late touchdown with Lucas Kessinger powering in with a seventeen yard run to make the final score 33 to 14.