For years Jonathan Alder High School operated as an independent, playing full athletic season without a league or conference to call home.
The Pioneers managed just fine, but the one thing flying solo prevented was any Alder teams winning championships and kept any of the athletes from picking up all-conference honors. That’s changed in recent years as the Alder team’s are now winning titles left and right and the athletes are cleaning up with individual awards.
The fall of 2015 proved to be quite prosperous for the Pioneers as their teams won Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference championships in a number of sports including volleyball, girls soccer, girls cross country and football. Alder also was second in the MOAC in girls tennis, girls golf and boys soccer.
The Lady Pioneers (28-1) advanced all the way to the Division II state championship match before falling to Chardon Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin in four games. It was the first-ever appearance at the state for the Lady Pioneers.
Their waltz through the MOAC Red (14-0) meant a handful of its starters picked up all-conference honors. Junior outside hitter Alexa Hasting and senior setter Natalie Regula both selected to the first team. Middle hitter Karlee Reynolds and libero McKenna Hostetler made the second team, while defensive specialist Jacquelyn Chapman was an honorable mention pick.
The Alder girls did something no team in school history had done before, win a Central District title and advance all the way to the regional tournament.
The Pioneers (16-4) were a perfect 10-0 in conference play and had a whopping nine players show up postseason All-MOAC teams.
Alivia Milesky, Autumn Devine, Lily Hess and Riley Gruenbaum were all on the first team. Sophia Thomas, Maggie Ridder, Nora Squires and Isabel Rodela were second teamers, and Peyton Mast was honorable mention. Devine and Milesky are the only seniors among the bunch of award winners.
Three of the seven All-MOAC first team spots were earned by Alder runners. They were senior Delaney Geitgey, Alivia Milesky and junior Aziza Ayoub. Freshman Ashlyn McDaniel earned second-team honors and senior Taylor Gaerke was honorable mention.
There was one Alder golfer on the MOAC first team, Charlotte Palmer, she led the Pioneers attack this fall. Mackenzie Heimlich was on the second team and Sarah Gentil was recognized with honorable mention honors.
The team finished behind only conference champion Fairbanks.
The Pioneers were edged by Marion Harding for the league crown.
Brenna Holmberg did however earn second team all-conference with her play.
A return to glory on the gridiron, meant a whole lot of Alder football players picking up All-MOAC honors.
The Pioneers were 9-2 overall and went a perfect 7-0 in winning the conference’s Red Division.
First team defensive selections were defensive back Andy Koenig, defensive end Trey Pugh and lineman Daniel Gowans. First team offensive players included lineman Christian Hipp, running back Sean Sullivan and Pugh as a wide receiver.
Second team defensive players were linebacker Hunter Maynard, defensive back Bryan Blacka and lineman Zeke Thorpe. Second team offensive players included quarterback Preston Eisnaugle, running back Austin Fooce and lineman Jake McGlaughlin. Casey Yutzy was honorable mention selection.
Rival Fairbanks won the MOAC Red at 12-0, Alder was second at 8-2-2.
The team did manage to get three players on the MOAC first team. They were Cameron Androw, James Zawodny and Alex Moore. Second teamers included Riley Thomas, Braeden McGouch and Conner Skidmore, while Daniel Ciuca was on the honorable mention team.
The Pioneers finished third in the MOAC Red Division and didn’t have a golfer earn first team honors, but Jon Peters was on the second team and Zach Starr and Joey Petrella both earned honorable mention.
Reach Chris Miles at 740-852-1616, ext. 1618 or via Twitter @MadPressSports.
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