Ridgewood Sports Roundup: Russell cruises to LTC golf title

Tom Akers
For the Republic
Ridgewood Spartan Gracie Russell setting up for a putt at the LTC Girls Conference Golf Tournament. The Sophomore won the individual title with a 79.

Gracie Russell has been patient all season long. The Ridgewood sophomore has played on the Ridgewood Boys team since the season began. There are only four boys on the team, so Russell has played on the boys squad in both tournaments and matches, until now.

Russell teed off on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at the Lincoln Trail Conference Girls Golf Tournament held at Valley View Golf Club. Russell was three over par on the front nine and four over on the back finishing with a 79 on the par 72 course, winning first place by 14 strokes over the next golfer.

Elaina Fisher from West Central took second place finishing with a 93, Third place came down to a tie breaker with Darby Balmer from Mercer County taking third with a 103 and Avery Rigg fromROWVA/Williamsfield finished in fourth place. Madison Hilgenberg from Knoxville was fifth with a 105.

United High School won the team championship with a team score of 445. Mercer County came in second with a 465, and ROWVA/Williamsfield was third with a score of 466.

Spartans rebound at West Prairie

Coming off of their first loss of the year last week, the Ridgewood Spartans hoped to rebound in week four of the season. The Spartans were on the road for the second of three road games in a row, traveling to Sciota to play West Prairie. The Spartans overcame three turnovers on their way to a 44-15, upping their record to 3-1.

Ridgewood had the first possession of the game, but an early fumble put the ball in the hands of West Prairie who scored on a 2 yard pass play to go ahead 7-0. The Spartans answered with a 38 yard run by Preston Moriarity who led the Spartans with 164 yards on the ground on 8 carries, Moriarity also had the lone Ridgewood reception for 29 yards.

Ridgewood scored four unanswered touchdowns, including two by Gavin McDonough, a 2 yard run to cap off a Spartans drive and a 14 yard score. Roy Sandberg found pay dirt on a 38-yard run. The Spartans put up 474 yards of offense to West Prairie’s 143. Three Spartans had over 100 yards, Moriarity with 164, Sandberg put up 108 yards on just 5 carries, and McDonough who rolled for 102 yards on 13 carries.

West Prairie scored a touchdown late in the second quarter to cut the Spartan lead to 30 to 15 but Ryan Francis plunged over the goal line on a 4 yard touchdown run to give the Spartans a 38 to 15 lead at the half. Roy Sandberg had the loan score in the second half, a 14 yard run, making the final score 44 to 15 Spartans.Ridgewood’s next home game will be October 1st when they host Peoria Heights for the Ridgewood Homecoming, game time is 1:00 at Goff Stahl Field.

Downing 2nd at Dale Donner

Emily Downing sat on the shoulder of the first place runner, for much of the girls varsity race on Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Dale Donner Invitational. Downing, a freshman, wasn’t able to claim the top spot, settling for the second place trophy against the field of 161 finishers, she crossed the finish line of the three mile course in 19:13. Kendra Downing also came home with a trophy, finishing 23rd with a time of 21:41.

Ridgewood Spartan Emily Downing sprinting to second place on Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Dale Donner Invitational in Walnut, Illinois.

Complete Results: Varsity (3 miles) Girls. 2nd, Downing, Emily 19:13. 23rd, Downing, Kendra 21:41. 105th, Humphrey, Brooklyn 27:02. 118th, Poppy, Emma 27:44. 141st, Williams, Olivia 30:18. Boys. 49th, Avila-Rubio, Fernando 18:56. 151st, Burbridge, Ryker 26:32. Fresh/Soph Boys. 42nd, Mathis, Landon 18:56. 62nd, Akers, Evan 22:08.

Spartans Top Heat

The Ridgewood Spartan Fresh/Soph team hosted West Central on Monday, September 12th at Goff Stahl Field. The Spartans returned the favor after the Friday Night varsity loss by downing the Heat 46 to 14.

Wes Sandberg started Ridgewood off on the right foot with a 70 yard touchdown run to make the score 6-0. The Spartans scored on their next possession, after an interception by Waylon Tucker, his first of two on the night. Quarterback Owen Anderson ran the ball in from the six yard line to put Ridgewood up 12-0.

The Spartans opened the game up in the second quarter with scores from Gavin Franks , a 13 yard run, Sean Watt on a 29 yard run, and Wes Sandberg who scored his second touchdown of the game, this one a 21 yard run to put Ridgewood up 32 to 0.

Lain Lawson opened the second half with a 67 yard touchdown run following a fumble recovery by Rowdy Beam. Owen Anderson scored the final Spartan touchdown, a 14 yard run. West Central would score twice in the second half both off of touchdown passes.

Spartan net report

The Ridgewood Spartans opened their week on the road at United High School for an LTC matchup with the Red Storm.

United took the first game 25 to 11 and completed the sweep winning the second game 25 to 16. Bella Paul and Carmen Stahl led the offense with two kills apiece while Brooklyn Johnson led the team with six assists.

Lexi Kessinger led the defensive effort with ten digs, Maddie Harrel, Brynlee Wirt, and Bella Paul each had one block at the net.

Golfers in triangular

The Ridgewood Spartan boys golf team traveled to Lake Calhoun for a triangular meet with Stark County and Bushnell Prairie City. The Spartans lost to Stark County 200 to 183 and to BPC 200 to 188.

Matt Maher shot a 43 to lead the Spartans. Brendern Bolduc was two strokes behind Maher turning in a 45. Dylan Nimrick shot a 54, and Jack Silvis rounded out the team effort with a 58.

Spartans get to regional championship

The Ridgewood Spartans Junior High Softball team went into the IESA Regional Tournament with a 21-7 record. The Spartans opened the West Central Regional against Farmington Junior High. The Spartans took an early 1-0 lead in the first but opened the game up in the third inning putting up seven runs on their way to an 11 to 1 win to advance to the regional championship.

Ella Humphrey led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk, she quickly stole second, advanced to third on a passed ball, and scored on a dropped third strike to put Ridgewood ahead 1-0. Farmington tied the game in the top of the third but the Spartans answered with singles by Ella Humphrey, Avery Humphrey, Hadaly Curry, and a double by Kenlee Carlson to put the game out of reach. Avery Humphrey led Ridgewood going two for three from the plate. Carlson got the win on the mound going all five innings allowing one run off of 1 hit while walking one and striking out eleven.

The Spartans played the host and top seeded West Central Heat on Tuesday, September 13th. The Spartans were 0-2 against West Central during the season. The Spartans started the game with back to back to back singles by Ella Humphrey, Mackenzie Peck, and Avery Humphrey to go ahead 1-0.

Ridgewood would add two runs in the third inning with a homerun by Mackenzie Peck who would go 3-3 on the day with 4 rbi’s. West Central answered with two runs in the fourth but Ridgewood added two more runs in the fifth inning off of a double by Peck to go ahead 5-2. The West Central offense heated up in the bottom of the seventh inning taking advantage of two Spartan Errors and two hits to tie the game at six apiece forcing extra innings. The Spartans went down in order in their half of the eighth and a leadoff error by the Ridgewood defense set up the game winning single to give the Heat the win.

Ella Humphrey was four for four offensively for the Spartans with a pair of singles and a pair of doubles. Kenlee Carlson took the loss for Ridgewood going the full eight innings allowing seven runs off of nine hits and two walks while striking out twelve. The Spartans ended their season with a 22-8 record.