In 1936, the New York Times predicted that a rocket would never leave the Earth’s atmosphere. In 1955, Variety Magazine said that rock n’ roll would be gone by June of that year. In 2012, according to the Mayans, December 12 would be our last day as a human race on this planet.
On March 22, 1946, the United States sent the WAC rocket 50 miles into the sky, I’m still listening to Aerosmith, Guns N’ Roses, Def Leppard, etc. today, and the last time I checked, life as we know it has not come to an abrupt halt.
The lesson? Not everyone is exactly Nostradamus.
Nevertheless, this week’s ‘10 to Comprehend’ will try and look into a crystal ball and make ten bold predictions to come out of the 2015 fall sports season.
•10. Zane Trace’s Truman Love and Trey Rittenhouse will both rush for over 1,000 yards.
This isn’t a far-fetched prognosis. In 2014, Love rushed for 1,001 yards and Rittenhouse ran for 837. If new Pioneers’ head coach Roger Hall decides to continue the Kinnikinnick style of smash-mouth football, he’ll have a two-headed monster in his backfield. The Pioneers went 7-3 last season on the heels of both of these backs. Expect more than 250 carries between the two.
•9. Huntington’s Dylana Gragg will lead the SVC in kills.
With the likes of Alexis Overly, Amanda Curry and Jessica Hutton lost to graduation, the door of opportunity is open for Dylana Gragg to shine. Last season, as a junior, Gragg notched 222 kills — or 3.3 per game. That mark was good enough to tie for sixth in the conference. Out of the five names in front of her, just one — Southeastern’s Ella Skeens — will make a return to the high school volleyball court this fall.
•8. Unioto quarterback Erique Hosley will run for over 1,500 yards.
Why not? Hosley is the mouth and motor of the Shermans’ football program. When he’s not under center, a multitude of problems arise — we saw that during last season’s SVC championship game at Zane Trace. As a junior, No. 5 ran for 1,080 yards and passed for just 375. But the loss of running back Dillon Binegar puts more responsibility on Hosley’s shoulders in 2015. He’ll use his legs to relieve the pressure.
•7. Zane Trace’s Caleb Arnold will qualify for the 2015 OHSAA state golf tournament.
For Arnold, this prediction is deja vu. The SVC’s top golfer in 2014 will make a valiant return this fall and, once again, end up in Columbus. Arnold’s 37.28 average, as a junior, edged Westfall’s Andrew Pettenski’s mark of 37.85 on the greens last fall. After winning the SVC, Arnold had a rough couple of days within state competition. But with experience comes wisdom and Arnold, now a senior, should be even better this season. He’ll go even farther and represent the local area once again.
•6. Three area girls will be running in the 2015 OHSAA state cross country meet.
Three names — Unioto’s Elena Knipp and Alex Evans and Adena’s Taylor Clarkson — will represent the area in the OHSAA state cross country meet. Knipp and Evans, who will be competing in Division II, and Clarkson, in Division III, were regional qualifiers last year. Evans, now a sophomore, came in 27th overall with a time of 21:04.57. Knipp, now a senior, was 33rd with a time of 21:25.09. Clarkson, who will be a senior, finished 42nd with a mark of 21:50.58. Those times will improve and each will be in the region’s top 16 in 2015.
•5. Piketon quarterback Devon Brewster will throw for more than 1,500 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Before being sidelined by injury, Brewster played in six games for the Redstreaks in 2014. In those six contests, he threw for 1,078 yards and seven scores with a completion percentage of 52.0. When given a full 10-game slate and an Ethan Fremder-less backfield, he’ll be throwing a ball a heck of a lot more. My only concern with this prediction is the receiving corps at Piketon. Aaron Southworth, Stefan Thacker and Zack Jordan are all gone.
•4. Southeastern’s girls soccer team will win a sectional title.
This may be the definition of going out on a limb but I’m going to do it. The Panthers went 5-5-1 last season before falling to Peebles, 2-1, in a Division III sectional semifinal. Kali Mitten led the team last season and she’ll continue to do so in 2015. With Mitten at the helm and another year of experience, Southeastern will surprise doubters this fall.
•3. Whoever wins the Scioto Valley Conference volleyball crown will have 4-5 losses.
Parity will rule this season in the SVC volleyball race. There’s no doubt in my mind that a 10-4 or 9-5 record could be good enough to win a title. Think about it this way, out of 32 names to be selected as all-SVC or honorable mention in 2014, 21 were seniors. With no clear frontrunner here, picking a champion is a crap shoot. I’ll take Westfall.
•2. Chillicothe’s Peyton Davis will score more than 30 goals in 2015.
Peyton Davis is electric on the soccer field. With a second gear type of speed that looks to be hypersonic and two amazingly quick feet, Davis is poised for yet another big year as a junior. But I’m going to say she’s going to have her biggest year yet. In the past two seasons, Davis has scored 50 goals — 27 in 2013 and 23 in 2014. There’s no doubt in my mind she’ll reach 30 this fall.
•1. Paint Valley will win the SVC football crown with a perfect 7-0 record.
For the other seven SVC schools, here’s your bulletin board material. But give credit where credit is due. The Bearcats are a good football team and we all know it. Paint Valley should have gone 7-0 in the SVC last season but was upset by Piketon, 36-23, in Week 9. This season, I don’t think head coach Pete Hollon lets that happen. Behind the usual suspects — Anthony McFadden, Teagan McFadden and Tony Hatfield — look for the ‘Cats to be pristine in conference play and make a third consecutive trip to the playoffs.
To join the discussion and make your own fall sports predictions, use the hash tag #10toComprehend on Twitter or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. The best entries will be discussed at the Gazette’s first high school football roundtable, August 26 at 6:30 pm at the Dock at Water.