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January 30, 2011

District offers staff retirement incentive By JIM FISCHER ThisWeek Community Newspapers

Veteran teachers and other staff in the Marysville Exempted Village School District will have the option to accept a retirement incentive/buyout as the district continues to look for ways to reduce costs while maintaining programs. Superintendent Larry Zimmerman presented the proposal to the school board

at its Jan. 24 meeting. “We’re looking for creative ways to impact our cash flow,” Zimmerman told board members. “We did this once before and the benefit was significant.” More importantly, he said, the option would likely mean the district would not be faced with the possibility of layoffs nor the cutting or elimination of programs. Zimmerman said the move is in anticipation of a loss in state funding.

The plan would offer employees with 10 or more years with the district $45,000 plus their contractual severance pay, paid monthly over a 5-8-year period, depending on whether the employee is eligible for retirement based on the State Teachers Retirement System. Zimmerman said, in discussions with Marysville Education Association representatives, that as many as 36 teachers could opt for the incentive. The district

stands to save up to $6.6-million over the term of the incentive. Board member Tracy Greer asked how many position would be filled. Zimmerman said the answer depends on the program areas affected by the teachers leaving, but that the lion’s share would likely be replaced. Zimmerman made it clear to ThisWeek that the total cost of the retirement incentive, including the rehire of younger

teachers at lower pay, would be less than if the district continued to pay the veteran teachers. “There is clearly a cost,” Zimmerman told ThisWeek. “Including all costs the savings far exceed (paying salaries of staff members who take the incentive). Otherwise, I wouldn’t have proposed it.” Board member Doug Lassiter expressed See DISTRICT, page A2

Froment resigns as Marysville administrator By LIN RICE ThisWeek Community Newspapers

By Chris Parker/ThisWeek

Firefighter Chris Stricker, Lt. David Wilson and firefighter Justin French put equipment back on their truck in the station Thursday, Jan. 27. Jerome Township is placing a fire levy on the ballot this spring.

Jerome officials make case for fire levy By LIN RICE ThisWeek Community Newspapers

Jerome Township firefighters went on an emergency medical run at noon Jan. 27, and radioed to the station they needed to take their patient to Riverside Hospital in Columbus. “Basically that means if we get a call in the next hour for help, there’s not much we can do but call in mutual assistance,” Jerome fire chief Scott Skeldon said. Earlier this month, Jerome Township trustees voted to put an additional 2.9-mill, five-year levy before voters to fund fire de-

partment operations. An ongoing levy of the same millage was defeated by less than 70 votes in November 2010. “There’s the chief, and four of us out here today. If one of us gets sick, we’d be down one more,” firefighter Justin French said on Jan. 27. “Think about it like a basketball team that can only put four guys on the court.” French said the division responded to about 850 calls for assistance in 2010, which was an increase of about 80 runs from the previous year. The division provides coverage for an estimated 4,200 Jerome Township residents, along with about 1,500 Mill

Creek residents (Jerome Township contracts with Mill Creek to provide service). Skeldon said that depending on the time of day, those population figures can vary drastically. “You have to remember that during the business day, in that commerce area of Route 33 and Route 42, a little city of its own emerges in the township,” Skeldon said. “Those are all folks who often need our assistance.” Township trustee Robert Merkle said Jerome Township has seen funding for the See JEROME OFFICIALS, page A3

Marysville city administrator Jillian Froment has accepted a new position with the state of Ohio and will be leaving her Marysville post on Feb. 11. Froment told ThisWeek on Wednesday that she accepted a job as chief administrative officer with the Ohio Department of Insurance on Jillian Jan. 24. Froment “I will be an assistant director, but (CAO) is the working title,” she said. “This was something I couldn’t walk away from – I got into public service to try to serve, and I think this will be a great opportunity to serve all Ohioans.” Marysville Mayor Chris Schmenk said Froment’s expertise will be missed. “We will certainly miss her, but we recognize it’s a great opportunity for additional public service,” Schmenk said. Froment has worked as city administrator since April 2008. Schmenk said Marysville will soon begin a search for a new administrator. “We don’t have anyone chosen or targeted, so we’ll conduct a full and open search,” Schmenk said. Froment said the decision to

leave her position in the city’s administration was a hard one to make. “I’m certainly excited about the opportunity, but it’s been an emotional last three or four days, because I really love Marysville,” she said. “I came here because I care about the community, and the hard part has been knowing that I won’t be a part of that every day.” In her new job, Froment will administer the human resources, IT, financial and legal aspects of the Ohio Department of Insurance. While this particular state department might not be very flashy, Froment said it serves several functions that directly affect Marysville and Union County residents. “They regulate the insurance agencies, protecting consumers against fraud, while a key role is looking at the whole health care reform issue,” she said. “That was something that attracted me to the job – to figure through the health care issue and how it will impact Ohio.” Marysville’s director of administration is appointed by the mayor with a majority approval from the city council and is charged with planning, organizing and coordinating all municipal activities. In Marysville, the administrator often acts as the city’s point of contact with residents and the media. Marysville’s city administrator is paid an annual salary of $102,485.

Sewage contract State of the City Mayor says finances improved in 2010 could benefit city of Marysville By LIN RICE

ThisWeek Community Newspapers

By LIN RICE ThisWeek Community Newspapers

While it isn’t common for a client to be trucking waste to Marysville’s sewage-treatment plant, those are the sort of contracts that pique the city’s interest, according to city administrator Jillian Froment. Two weeks ago, Marysville was approached by an unnamed client interested in doing business with the city’s sewage-treatment plant. The client was represented by Edwin Hanson, project manager for Penn National Gaming’s large-scale casino project in Franklin Township on the West Side of Columbus. When asked whether Penn National is the unnamed client, company spokesman Bob Tenenbaum said Penn National is not commenting on anything related to sewer or water service while ne-

gotiating with Columbus. Columbus has told Penn National that the city won’t provide sewer and water services unless the 123-acre site along West Broad Street near I-270 is annexed. The casino developer, after agreeing to move the project from its original Columbus location in the Arena District, has asked the city for as much as $10-million in incentives, but city officials have balked at agreeing to that proposal. Columbus could make an estimated $24-million in annual taxes if the casino is in the city; it would only net $16-million if it doesn’t annex. Regardless of the client’s identity, Froment said a contract like this could work well for Marysville. “These types of clients are great for the city because the costs as-

Marysville’s financial outlook strengthened and many infrastructure improvements were made in 2010, Mayor Chris Schmenk said in her annual State of the City address. Schmenk delivered the annual update on Marysville’s status at the Jan. 27 city council meeting. Strong developments for Marysville’s finances were a hallmark of last year, she said. “Over the last year, we have worked hard to build a stronger Marysville,” Schmenk said. “Our work began with taking steps necessary to strengthen our finances.” That involved running a successful campaign to increase the city’s income tax rate, she said, a task at which the city failed during the previous year. “We had to pick ourselves up from a loss in 2009, and we had to do everything we could to reach voters,” she said. That tax increase played a role in the city receiving an MIG 1 rating for shortterm notes from Moody’s Investors Ser-

vices last year, the highest rating possible, Schmenk said. Marysville’s safety services made a concerted effort to deal with drugs on the streets in 2010, she continued. Chris “Our police division Schmenk continues to be aggressive in the fight against illegal drugs,” she said. “During the spring of 2010, grand jury indictments were returned on 12 individuals. This investigation, which began in late 2009, involved trafficking in heroin and prescription drugs within the city of Marysville. Investigators seized 110 doses of heroin, along with approximately 105 unit doses of prescription drugs, including Oxycontin and Percocet.” Schmenk said some significant infrastructure work was accomplished last year, including the completion of the North Main Street sanitary sewer project, completion of the city’s storm water management policy, substantial completion of the city’s Job Ready Site, the completion of an agreement to provide water and sanitary sewer

service with the Jerome Village Community Authority, reducing the city’s water hardness, along with other projects. Building a new municipal court and police facility will take much of the city’s focus in the coming year, she added. “The devil can be in the details, but (city staff) will work out the issues, and we are confident that we will emerge with the best possible facilities for our community while keeping to our modest budget,” she said. Infrastructure improvements in 2011, such as preparing for the new water treatment plant to come online, will also be a focus, Schmenk said. “As the economy rebounds, we hope our city will realize additional smart growth, as our new water reclamation facility is designed to meet the needs of this optimistic future,” she said. “We will continue to work hard with our economic development director, Eric Phillips, to market our Uptown and our entire community as an ideal place to live, work and play.” Schmenk concluded by thanking the city council and the city staff for their support. “I have an ever-growing sense of respect

See SEWAGE, page A2

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ThisWeek Community Newspapers Marysville

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January 30, 2011

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Grand champions Members of the Marysville Swingers Unlimited show choir celebrate winning the Grand Champion title at the Piqua High School Show Choir Invitational last weekend. This was the first competition for the 2011 group and 17 schools from throughout the Midwest were in attendance. After their daytime performance, the Swingers Unlimited earned Grand Champion in Class B, and senior Evan Yutzy won Best Individual Performer. The group advanced to the finals and performed an energetic show, which earned them Best Vocal Performance in addition to the top title of Overall Grand Champion. The group will continue its competition circuit on Feb. 12 at the Pike Music Fest in Indianapolis.

“Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.” – Rosa Parks

School district offers staff retirement incentive Continued from page A1 concern that the retirement incentive is becoming cyclical, while not addressing larger salary concerns. “At some point, is the additional salary (paid to veteran teachers) not a benefit,” he asked. “If we’re saying we can maintain the program (with lowerpaid teachers), there’s a problem there that should be fixed.” “That’s the situation,” Zimmerman replied. “We start (salaries) lower than certain professional fields and make it up over time. You’d have to go to a scale where your starting teachers are paid more to be competitive.” “These teachers are an investment no matter how high on the salary schedule,” Juliet Litzel, MEA president and an intervention specialist in the district, told ThisWeek. “Their knowledge and experience are worth it. They have the option to stay for years and years at that level of pay or take the incentive. If they (do), the savings is significant to the district.” “When you lose quality folks and have to replace them, it’s a gamble,” Zimmerman said.

Board president Jeff Mabee said he has witnessed the energy that young teachers bring to the classroom and expressed little concern over finding quality replacements. Lassiter said he would prefer the district’s finance committee examine the issue prior to the vote, but was told that the timetable for implementation made it unworkable. “I don’t know how the finance committee could do that in a month,” Mabee said. “My recommendation is to go forward” with the incentive,” Zimmerman said. “I don’t know if I matter as much as the finance committee or not, but in my seat, I’ve got decisions to make. That’s my job.” The measure passed two to one, with Lassiter voting against. Board members John Freudenberg and Roy Fraker were absent. The measure now requires a memorandum of understanding to be signed by Zimmerman and Litzel. “I’ll ask my executive committee to vote on me signing,” Litzel said. “I anticipate they would since this is a good incentive for those highly qualified and higher salary teachers.”

Sewage contract could benefit city of Marysville Continued from page A1

user fees, Froment calculated. That figure could be a conservative estimate; she said Hanson indicated in their meeting that 120,000 gallons could turn into 180,000 gallons per day. Froment declined to speculate on the likelihood of an agreement being reached between Marysville and the client, but said the ball is in the client’s court. “We’re happy to talk with anyone – it’s a commodity we’re in the business of selling,” she said. “It’s also not uncommon to have a situation like this where the point of contact does not disclose who their client is. We don’t have any further meetings scheduled at this point; we left that option with them, and if they want to discuss the possibility further, we’ll be waiting to hear from them.”

sociated with providing sewage service, such as maintaining lines and infrastructure, don’t fall on us,” Froment said. “Because of that, projects like this help to offset the residents’ costs for maintaining the infrastructure.” Froment said Marysville would have no problem handling the load, estimated at about 120,000 gallons per day. Marysville’s sewage-treatment plant was built to handle 8-million gallons per day; it is currently licensed to process 6-million gallons, and on a day-to-day basis, processes about 4-million gallons, she said. “(120,000 gallons) is not a large amount in the grand scheme of things when compared to our other clients, for instance, Honda,” Froment said. Processing 120,000 gallons of waste daily for a private client Elizabeth Gibson and Holly would net Marysville approxi- Zachariah of The Columbus Dismately $25,754.71 per month in patch contributed to this story.

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January 30, 2011

Jerome officials make case for fire levy Continued from page A1 fire division slowly dwindle for about five years. To deal with recent budget problems, all parttime firefighters (about 35-40, 20 of which worked shifts at the station) have been eliminated, freeing up about $143,000 in the township’s budget. Currently, the township’s 2011 budget projects a deficit of about $32,000, which will need to be balanced in order to provide enough surplus entering into 2012. “There hasn’t been a major pullback of revenue, but you have to have a carryover of at least three months,” Merkle said. It costs roughly $350,000 to $400,000 to operate the fire division for three months. “When things were going well and you have twice that (in carryover), how can you reasonably ask the voters for a levy?” Merkle said. “Unfortunately, tough economic times hit everybody, on the national and state level, at about the same time that we were seeing the need for a fire levy.” To deal with budget shortfalls in the past few years, the fire division froze salaries in 2009 and 2010, eliminated funds for purchasing or replacing equipment, increased health insurance deductibles, and retired two ambulances from service, because of increasing repair costs, according to figures provided by county fiscal officer Robert Caldwell. The township also recently enacted EMS billing, which is projected to bring in roughly $60,000 in 2011. Skeldon said firefighters at the station apply for grants for new equipment (about $400,000 was received since 1993), and chip in on building repairs and other small expenses to deal with budget problems. Firefighters also regularly perform building maintenance and much of their own training certification. Merkle said township voters created the fire division in the early 1990s by an almost 2-to-1 vote. “The problem is, well over half of the township has moved

in since that continuing levy was approved,” Merkle said. “In that time, the millage has rolled back from a starting 12.3 mills to under 5 mills now. Many of our residents have never voted for our fire service. It was just a service they assumed was there.” Skeldon and Merkle both said that some misconceptions during last year’s election might have made the difference in voters’ ultimate decision. “There has been some confusion, that residents think we’re being supplemented for (fire service) from Jerome Village already,” Merkle said. “The township receives some funds from the development right now, but nothing to do with fire coverage.” Merkle said a fire station eventually will be constructed to service the massive planned development, and that Jerome Village developers have promised about $5.5-million for that construc-

Page A3

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tion. The township will be responsible for staffing the facility. These additions might not take place for another 10 to 20 years, however. “Another thing is the EMS billing. It’s always been a fear of mine that people won’t call us for help because they think they can’t afford it,” Skeldon said. “That’s not the case. Our residents will never see a bill. It goes to the insurance company, or Medicaid.” If voters approve the levy, no changes will take place at the division this year, Skeldon said. No revenue would be collected until 2012. Meanwhile, he said, the division will continue to seek grants to replace equipment and for training certification. If approved, the levy would generate $588,835 annually, according to the county auditor’s office. The township’s fire budget projects a fund balance deficit beginning in FY 2015 of $84,000.

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Miranda Hampton of Marysville competes in the 200-yard freestyle during a meet against Thomas Worthington on Jan. 26 at the Union County YMCA. Hampton, a sophomore, has set seven program records in her first season with the girls swimming team.

Marysville Roundup

Swim team now eyeing postseason By FRANK DiRENNA ThisWeek Community Newspapers

By Adam Cairns/ThisWeek

The Monarchs’ Grant Barnhorst swims the 100 backstroke during the meet against Thomas Worthington.

Marysville High School swimmer Maggie Helfrich fought back tears as she reflected on the senior night ceremony held earlier in the evening. Helfrich was one of 11 seniors recognized before the Monarchs’ meet against Thomas Worthington on Jan. 26 at the Union County YMCA. “I’ve seen my sisters do this and this night means a lot,” said Helfrich, whose three sisters graduated from Marysville and competed in the program. “Swimming is my life.” Rachel Helfrich graduated in 2001, followed by Sarah in 2005 and Katie in 2010. The night also was special for coach Ann Rausch. “It’s tough to see these kids leave that you’ve been with for four years,” Rausch said. “With both of us (assistant coach Chris Terzis) doing summer rec, we’ve been with some of these kids since they were 5 and 6 years old.” The Monarchs, who competed in the OCC-Cardinal Division swimming championships on Jan. 29, now will prepare for sectional and district competition. Marysville will compete in the Division I sectional at Upper Arlington on Feb. 12. The district meet is Feb. 19 at Ohio

At a glance Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Marysville boys basketball, girls basketball, swimming and wrestling teams: BOYS BASKETBALL *Jan. 21 — Defeated Olentangy Liberty 48-47. Craig Runyan and Kyle Nelson scored 12 points apiece. *Jan. 25 — Lost Olentangy 64-40. Runyan had 14 points. *Jan. 28 — Played Westerville Central Feb. 1 — At Bellefontaine *Feb. 4 — Home vs. Westerville South. The Wildcats beat Marysville 69-41 on Dec. 21. Of note: The Monarchs were 5-9 overall and 2-7 in the OCC-Cardinal before Jan. 28. GIRLS BASKETBALL *Jan. 21 — Lost to Liberty 38-27. Olivia Kriel scored 10 points. *Jan. 25 — Lost to Olentangy 69-28 *Jan. 28 — Played Westerville Central Feb. 2 — Home vs. Westland *Feb. 4 — At Westerville South. Marysville beat South 52-47 on Dec. 21. Feb. 5 — Home vs. Fairbanks

State. Last season, the girls team finished 12th (16 points) behind champion Upper Arlington (355) in the 13-team UA sectional. Marysville was 16th (39) behind first-place UA (472) at district. Helfrich and her teammates are hoping to improve on those finishes. “We had a great season this year,” she said. “We had a bigger group than we’ve had in the past. We’ve been like a huge

Of note: The Monarchs were 3-11 overall and 2-8 in the OCC-Cardinal before Jan. 28. SWIMMING Jan. 22 — Boys: Def. Westerville South 88-82; Girls: Lost to South 112-58 Jan. 26 — Boys: Lost to Thomas Worthington 119.5-50.5; Girls: Lost to Thomas 114-56 Jan. 29 — Competed in OCC-Cardinal meet WRESTLING *Jan. 20 — Match against Liberty postponed and rescheduled for Feb. 9 Jan. 22 — Finished sixth (145.5 points) behind champion Mason (228.5) in 12-team James V. Horning Memorial Invitational at Mason. David Sparks finished first at 103 and Noah Forrider was second at 130. *Jan. 27 — Lost to against Olentangy 35-29 *Feb. 3 — At Dublin Scioto Of note: The Monarchs are 3-2 in the OCC-Cardinal. *OCC-Cardinal contest

family. It’s been a very successful year. It’s been a lot of fun.” Brittany Finlay, who graduated last year, became the first Marysville swimmer to qualify for the Division I state meet in the program’s nine-year history. She finished 21st after completing last year’s 100-yard breaststroke preliminaries in 1 minute, 9.4 seconds and didn’t make the finals. Finlay now is See MONARCHS, page A5

Commentary

‘Tradition factor’ in OHSAA division proposal unfair It’s not hard to imagine the coninto account ecofrontational feelings that were created nomics, school enwhen the OHSAA released a statement rollment policies and Jan. 13 announcing that it was tacktradition. ling the seemingly age-old debate reOn one side of the garding competitive balance among debate are public the state’s public and private schools. schools that won The proposed referendum, to be only eight of the 27 voted on by OHSAA member schools JARROD state team titles — in May, initially would reset divisionone of six in football al alignments in football, baseball, boys ULREY — that the OHSAA and girls basketball, boys and girls socawarded during the cer, girls volleyball and softball based 2010 fall season. on a school’s sport-by-sport “athletic Many in the private-school camp, count.” That figure would be calculat- meanwhile, are left to wonder whether ed using mathematical factors that take rules changes, which seemingly would

bump them into larger divisions, are fair. There are many reasons for the disproportionate number of titles won by private schools, but the primary one is that some of those schools can assemble virtual all-star teams from five- and six-county areas. With that in mind, it does seem reasonable for the OHSAA to visit the issue of boundaries when determining the divisions for private schools, and some large public schools. The biggest problem I have is with the “tradition factor” that would increase a school’s “athletic count.”

The OHSAA says this aspect would be determined by “state championship game appearances, state tournament appearances and regional finals appearances.” The implication of this sounds more like a step toward eventually giving participation medals to everyone as opposed to rewarding the best of the best. Few people want to see Delphos St. John’s beat Shadyside 77-6 for the Division VI state football title, and having Youngstown Ursuline win three consecutive Division V state championships is less than ideal when talking about keeping the field balanced.

The problem is that if the OHSAA moves St. John’s up to Division V and Ursuline to Division IV, the same problems will persist, but with different teams. If Hartley would have been in Division III instead of Division IV last fall, it would have been a strong candidate to win that title instead because Watterson, according to the proposed plan, likely would have been in Division II instead of Division III. Schools that could end up getting hurt unintentionally by a change are See ULREY, page A5


ThisWeek Community Newspapers Marysville

January 30, 2011

Online coverage, updated daily at

MONARCHS Continued from page A4

Hoop It Up Visit ThisWeekSPORTS.com for complete coverage of central Ohio high school basketball. Throughout the week, Hoop It Up offers previews of top games, recaps of great performances, polls, slideshows, videos and player features on the more than 150 boys and girls basketball teams in ThisWeekSPORTS.com’s coverage area.

Top games The games of the week for both boys and girls will be revealed on Monday at ThisWeekSPORTS.com. Last week’s top games were the Pickerington North boys vs. New Albany and the Pickerington North vs. Reynoldsburg girls game.

Top performances BOYS Gahanna’s Stevie Taylor scored 28 points Jan. 22 as the Lions blew past Chillicothe 68-43 at the Ohio Play-By-Play Classic. With the win, Gahanna remained undefeated. GIRLS Newark’s Paige Cashin had 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Wildcats past Gahanna 51-45 on Jan. 21.

Top stories

By Adam Cairns/ThisWeek

Photo of the week Olentangy Orange senior Kaitlin Milburn has spent the winter sports season splitting her time between the pool and the bowling alley as a member of both sports teams.

a freshman swimmer at Ashland University. “We’re hoping to get more than one swimmer to state this year because we got our first swimmer to state last year,” Rausch said. “We want to increase that number.” Sophomore Miranda Hampton, in her first season on the team, appears to have a solid chance to qualify for state. An accomplished swimmer with the Springfield YMCA Swim Club, Hampton already has set Marysville program records in the 50 freestyle (25.63), 100 free (55.69), 200 free (1:58.76), 500 free (5:22.59), 200 individual medley (2:11.47), 100 backstroke (59.19) and 100 butterfly (1:00.6). “This has been a lot of fun. It was a really good decision for me,” Hampton said of joining the team. “Last year it just wasn’t right, but I’m glad I did it this year. It’s really fun. “I hope to get to states. I have to keep training hard and taper at the right time. I had a really good training season this year. I feel really good right now.”

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Sales and Watterson have earned their success by creating programs that teach winning football. This shouldn’t be penalized, but emulated by other programs. Keeping in mind the boundary issues, the OHSAA should

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Spring Spring Registration Registration for for UCISL UCISL Soccer Soccer is is Going Going on on Now! Now! Hurry Hurry before before the the late late fee fee begins begins NOW is the time to register your child for The Union County Independent Soccer League (UCISL) Spring Soccer Season. The UCISL is a progressive program that offers several levels of play. Mark your calendar and bring your friends for the following on-site registration date: UCISL, 246 West 5th St. Suite 103, Marysville, OH Saturday, February 12th from 9:00 AM - 12:00 Noon Or you may pick up a registration form at Monarch Sports in uptown Marysville, complete and mail it to us or download a registration form off our web site at www.ucisl.com, complete and mail it to us or register online registration at www.ucisl.com (a small processing fee applies).

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Schools announce coaching vacancies The following schools are seeking coaches: Central Crossing — Girls soccer, assistant volleyball. Send letter of interest and résumé by Friday, Feb. 11, to athletics director Zoraba Ross at zoraba.ross@swcs.us. Dublin Jerome — Girls soccer. Send résumé by Feb. 4 to Nick Magistrale, athletics director, Dublin Jerome High School, 8300 Hyland Croy Road, Dublin, 43016 or e-mail magistrale_nick@dublinschools.net. Hilliard Darby — Girls golf, assistant junior varsity boys soccer. Send résumé to Chad Schulte, athletics director, Hilliard Darby High School, 4200 Leppert Road, Hilliard, 43026 or e-mail chad_schulte@hboe.org. Upper Arlington — Field hockey. Send résumé to girls athletics director Jodi Palmer at jpalmer@uaschools.org. Westerville South — Assistant boys and girls soccer. Contact athletics department at (614) 797-6004. Westland — Volleyball. Send résumé to Greg Burke at greg.burke@swcs.us.

year, we got beat simply because we didn’t have numbers. We have much higher expectations this year.” Freshman Quinn Mickelson, the program record-holder in the 100 back (57.45), is expected to be a solid contributor at sectional and district. “We haven’t started our postseason taper yet,” Rausch said. “They won’t put up times now that they will put up at sectionals and on.”

Video vault

ULREY the Division I public schools. A perennial central Ohio football power such as Hilliard Davidson not only has to overcome fellow area public-school powers such as Pickerington Central and Dublin Coffman, but a team such as Cincinnati St. Xavier, which has 1,171 boys, could be looming later in the playoffs. The new formula potentially also would move state powers such as Mentor Lake Catholic and Toledo Central Catholic into Division I, making a tough field even tougher. Some have suggested separating into private-school and public-school tournaments, but that only would hurt the spirit of competition that should exist when determining the state’s best. Is there an obvious solution to the issue? Not exactly, but it doesn’t seem like radical change is necessary. Tradition should be kept out of the equation. Teams like De-

•The boys team also has high hopes entering the postseason. Last season, Marysville was 12th (16) behind champion UA (355) at the 13-team Division I sectional. The Monarchs didn’t score at district. Terzis feels a deeper boys team this season will lead to more success. “The big thing with the boys is we just have numbers,” Terzis said. “Last year, we only had seven boys on the team and we have 20 this year, so that makes a huge difference in meets. Last

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SPORTS.com staff writer Jarrod Ulrey examines the OHSAA’s divisional referendum.

Boys Basketball: Westerville South’s 39th consecutive regular-season win Jan. 22 may have been its most impressive. Boys Basketball: Northland guard and Michigan-signee Trey Burke is not the only Viking stepping up his game. Girls Basketball: GrandNote of the week view’s Danielle Clark is feaFollow us tured. She leads the area by The Gahanna boys basketmaking 96 percent of her free ball team beat Newark 44-34 Short, sweet and limited to throws. on Jan. 21 despite going 0-for- 140 characters, follow us on Commentary: ThisWeek- 13 from 3-point range. Twitter @TWSportsFan today.

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