All posts by Nick Kollar

Alumni Connor McMahon to compete in the NCAA Wrestling Championships 

     The dream of one alumni is soon to be a reality.

    Connor McMahon, a graduate from the class of 2012, will be competing in the NCAA Divison I Wrestling Championships March 19-21 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. McMahon wrestled four years at Stow, placing second at the OHSAA State Championship his senior year. McMahon’s high school success brought him to Southern Illinois University, a Divison I wrestling school located in Edwardsville, Illinois. 

   Wrestling at the 165 pound weight class his junior year, McMahon entered the Southern Conference Tournament with the fifth seed out of eight wrestlers. He was overlooked by many, as a fifth seed would certainly not be a favorable victor in the battle for a national championship spot. McMahon was out to make the best of his situation, knowing the odds were not likely, but still possible. 

    “Not being expected to beat anyone took a lot of pressure off of me. I knew the pressure was on the kids I was going against so I went out there with nothing to lose. I was able to wrestle to my capabilities,” McMahon said. 

    McMahon did not just reach his capabilities, he exceeded them. 

    A quick victory over the fourth seed from Tennessee Chattanooga started his run, followed by a win over the number one seed in the tournament from Appalachian State. Reaching the finals, McMahon wrestled the third seed out of Virginia Military Institute, winning the match 4-3 and claiming victory in the SoCon Tournament. 

   McMahon’s victories in the SoCon Tournament not only came against higher ranked seeds, but also were against wrestlers who had previously defeated him earlier in the year. Due to these circumstances, McMahon was awarded the Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament along with a spot in the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships.

    McMahon plans to keep the same mentality he had in the conference tournament through his journey at nationals.

    “I’m really just excited to be there. I had some success in high school but I’ve never achieved anything like this. Qualifying for nationals was a dream of mine and no matter what I do I’m going to be happy with the results,” McMahon said. 

    McMahon’s first match at the NCAA Championship will be early March 19, against the tournament’s number one seed, Alex Dieringer of Oklahoma State. 

    McMahon said, “I plan on just going out there and giving anyone I wrestle the best match I’m capable of. If I win some matches, that’s just icing on the cake, and if I don’t, I still had a great season.”

Dodgeball champions crowned

One gym, eight teams, and many spherical projectiles: all of the ingredients of a battle to crown Stow’s dodgeball champion.
The annual dodgeball tournament was held Feb. 11, 2015 in the main gym. It was a night filled with energy, loud music and for many teams, disappointment.

Student Council put together this year’s dodgeball tournament in hopes of another successful event, much like the last. Word must have spread, as this year’s event was a great success.

“This was by far a better turnout than last year. We’ve raised more than three-hundred dollars that will all be donated to charity, which makes putting the tournament together much more worth it,” senior and Student Council President Allie Laber said.

With three courts of grueling dodgeball matches going on at once, the action was endless, and the energy was intense, as teams rose up in tournament play and others were sent home.

“Everyone seems to be having a lot of fun. I like seeing how competitive and excited everyone can get during the games. I certainly wouldn’t be out there though,” Laber said.

The brutality of the game and simplicity of the rules makes dodgeball fun to watch, but hard to strategize a victory plan. Some teams had no game plan, which worked for few but proved fatal for many. The Purple Cobras were not unprepared as they came ready to play with a game plan.

“We’re just going to dodge, dip, dive, duck and dodge, and we should be good,” senior Purple Cobras team member Andrew Groves said.

“It’s all about catching balls and dodging balls,” junior We Can Dodge A Wrench team member Owen Fankhauser said, after a clutch victory over Groves and The Purple Cobras.

In the end, only one team was able to rise to victory. The final match was set between The Purple Cobras and Mixed Blitz, and the winner would take home the title of dodgeball champion for 2015.

This year’s trophy went to Mixed Blitz, as they defeated The Purple Cobras in a

hard-fought match of dodgeball. Members of Mixed Blitz and the dodgeball champions of 2015 were juniors Joe Reitz, Alex Fur- long, Dakota Storm, Derek Bueno, Frankie Peck, Logan Emery, Joe Wheeler and Scott Swango.

“It was a tough fight, but we got the job done and got it all in the end,” Peck said after the final victory.

This year’s success will hopefully be surpassed by next year as more teams try to take the title away from this year’s victors and be crowned the champions of dodgeball.

Wheeler said,” It was a lot fun, definitely a team effort, and we’re going to come back next year and take it home again.”

Girls basketball ends season with 15-7 record

In yet another overtime-thriller, the Stow Lady bulldogs capped off their regular season play with a come-behind victory over the Mentor Cardinals in dramatic fashion.

The Lady Bulldogs took on the Mentor Cardinals, Feb. 18 at home, after coming off a big win at Hudson the past Saturday. With three seniors eager to finish their regular season strong on senior night, and Stow’s head coach, Bob Podges absent from the game for personal reasons, it was set to be an interesting night for both players and fans.

Stow came out with their worst performance all year. Poor shot selection, turnovers and lack of defense led to the Bulldogs falling behind 20-2 at the end of the first quarter. It looked as if it could be a long night for Stow.

The second quarter brought hope back to the Bulldogs. An early three pointer by junior Colleen Taylor gave Stow their first field goal of the night. From there, Stow out scored Mentor 17-9 and went into the half down by a deficit of 19-29.

The Bulldogs continued to out score Mentor 19-9 in the third, cutting the deficit to 35-38 to close the quarter.

The fourth quarter brought Stow their first lead of the night after a three pointer by senior Chrissie Vaughn brought the score to 44-43 with 4:20 left to go. Mentor continued to fight as the lead went back and forth between the two teams.

A three pointer by senior Morgan Thompson tied the game at 49-49 with one minute to go. Mentor hit a three of their own and gave them a 48-51 lead with 14 seconds left. Staying out of her slump and continuing her hot streak, Thompson drilled a clutch three pointer with seconds left to tie the game, sending it into overtime.

After outscoring Mentor 16-13 in the fourth, Stow carried their momentum into overtime, tightening their defensive pressure and forcing turnovers. A three pointer from Vaughn followed by a steal kept, the Bulldog’s possession with 1:50 to go.

Open opportunities for Mentor were missed, and with a last second heave at the buzzer failing to find the bottom of the net, the Stow Lady Bulldogs somehow overcame the large deficit and defeated the Mentor Cardinals on senior night 57-55.

Thompson finished with a Stow high 18 points, followed by Vaughn, with 17 points.

With the victory over Mentor, Stow closed their regular season play with a record of 15-7. They will begin their post season play at 1 p.m. on Feb. 21, at home against Massillon Perry.