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Northmor Golden Knights High School Athletics



Northmor Has to Get Back on Track

Northmor will play rival Mt. Gilead in two Knox Morrow Athletic Conference games on Thursday and Friday and they need to find their stride again.

The Golden Knights (6-7,3-5) were playing some pretty good baseball until they ran into Fredericktown last Friday, which started a four game losing streak.

Coach Buck Workman says they faced some outstanding pitching. “We were hitting well going into Friday, but we ran into Fredericktown and we faced Hillsdale and Waterford and came back with Centerburg, four pretty good teams with some pretty good pitching. We just have to figure out how to get things done. We get down early and it takes away our small ball ability and that kind of hurts us a little bit. I think we will be alright,” he said.

Workman says they have to have more patience at the plate. He says they have been chasing too many pitches. “We had that kind of chat after our game with Waterford on Saturday where we stranded 11 runners and we were putting ourselves in holes early in the count. It is one of those deals that when you are seeing the ball good you are hitting strikes,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday night, “Now, you start getting into a little bit of a slump and you start pressing, you are swinging at everything and getting down in the count. It just puts you behind the eight ball. We have to get out of the that kind of mindset and get back to where we are hitting our pitches.”

Mt. Gilead (0-8,0-7) has struggled at times, but Workman says they are a lot better than that record might indicate. “Each night out is an opportunity to do something. Mt. Gilead always plays us tough. They had us down last year and they didn’t have a very good season last year. They played some teams tough. They have been in it with Fredericktown twice and they have hung with East Knox once. They are not as bad as their record might indicate I don’t think. We have got to hit the ball a lot better and throw more strikes than we have in the last four games or we are libel to get beat by anybody,” said Workman.

Published 4/25/18

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Northmor Rallies to Beat Cardington

Northmor scored five runs to the seventh inning Monday and rallied to beat Cardington (6-5) in a Knox Morrow Athletic Conference game.

Coach Buck Workman says they got things started with the bottom of the batting order. “We didn’t do a whole lot the whole game and had seven, eight and nine coming up in the seventh. Had a sophomore leading off with a base hit to right, got a freshman to get a base hit to right and the I pinch hit and drew a walk and the next thing you know we rolled to the top and things got going,” said Workman.

Workman says they had hit some balls hard in the first six innings, but they had been finding gloves until that last inning. “It was one of those deals when we had a lot of at ‘em balls. We didn’t strike out a lot, we were putting the ball in play, we were just getting under everything. They brought in one of their better pitchers to close it out. Once we got into the seventh I don’t know the kids just got it going,” he said.

This has been a special sports season at Northmor with the football team making the playoffs, the basketball team winning the league, and their normal success in wresting. Now, the baseball team is on a four game winning streak after a season opening loss to Fredericktown. Workman says they play with the right attitude. “Since that game we have kind of got it going. It is just one of those deals where we are finding a way to win. I think it is tribute to what we have been able to do this year at Northmor with the football program, the basketball, the wresting,” he told Swankonsports.com Monday night, “All of these guys have had a lot of success. Learning how to win is half of the battle. These guys just know how to win and they never quit.”

Northmor (4-1,2-1) plays Buckeye Central in a non-league game on Tuesday and then conference co-leader East Knox (6-0,2-0) on Thursday and Friday. Workman says the Bulldogs are going to be a challenge. “East Knox won the league last year and they’ve got a good portion of their team back. I mean most of the them were young. That sophomore class they have is very talented. We have our work cut out when we get to them. We just hope to be competitive and be in it,” said Workman.

Published 4/10/18

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Northmor Gets Win Over Danville

Northmor battled back to get win over Danville (6-4) in Knox Morrow Athletic Conference play on Monday.

They beat Mansfield Senior (14-4) in a non-conference game on Saturday and coach Buck Workman says it was nice to be able to keep things going on Monday. “It was nice to get a couple of games in here. I thought after all of the snow we got last night I thought we were going to be back to square one. We put together a nice second half of the game against Mansfield Senior we were able to get out and keep it rolling (Monday) night,” he said.

Workman believes the “KMAC” is going to be a good baseball league this year and he says the Golden Knights (2-1,1-1) did a good job of putting some hits together on Monday against the Blue Devils. “Danville is a very quality baseball team. They had been in the regionals the last two years in D-4. You are facing (Skyler) Durbin and the kid is a competitor. He is a great quarterback and a great basketball player and he is just an athlete. My boys were able to come out from the start and put some hits together and get some bunts down and move some runners and make some things happen,” said Workman.

Unlike a decade ago, Workman says you have to a lot of fundamental things if you are going to score runs in high school baseball in Ohio. “It is hard to string a bunch on hits together now a days. I think the pitchers have the advantage. When they switched the bats years ago the bats are tempered down quite a bit. It is more of a pitcher’s game and a small ball game if you ask me,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “Kyle Kegley pitched for us (Monday) night and he only got one out last Monday against Fredericktown. This time he was just a bulldog. He had a rough first inning, but he settled down and he was getting stronger as the game went on.”

Published 4/03/18

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Northmor Dealing With Some Youth

Northmor baseball is normally pretty competitive, and they might be this year too, but they are going to be young in the beginning and they are part of a pretty strong baseball league.

Coach Buck Workman says they have shown some signs, but they need to start hitting the ball better. “It’s been okay. It’s be up and down with the weather like its I’m sure it is for everybody. We were able to get a scrimmage in Monday with South Central. Our bats were definitely lagging,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “The pitching we saw there was pretty solid. We weren’t able to put too many balls in play, but I think that we come around with some time with the pitching we see live. Or pitching was decent, our defense needs some work. We need more time.”

When you can’t get outside a lot it is defense that can be tough to simulate, according to Workman. “One of the bigger things is the dimensions. Our gym floor that we practice on is a lot smaller than a regular infield. Just throwing the ball around and you are throwing the softies around not trying to break stuff. It is a challenge. I am more looking at trying to field the ball cleanly and things like that. We have got a lot of young guys. Moving guys around trying to figure out what is going to be our best defense. It is going to be a struggle early on,” said Workman.

Northmor is part of the “KMAC,” which last year’s blue division of the old “MOAC” minus Elgin and plus Danville.

Workman says they conference is going to be really good in total. “Highland and Fredericktown are always good. East Knox won the (blue division of the MOAC) last year and they were starting three or four freshmen, so obviously they aren’t going away. Then you have Centerburg and Danville that are both really good and round it out with us, Cardington and Mt. Gilead. You can’t sleep on any of them, but I think there are five of them that are legitimate regional contenders,” he said.

Published 3/22/18

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It’s Africentric Next for Northmor

Once beaten Northmor tangles with Columbus Africentric on Tuesday night in the division three district tournament at Westerville North High School.

It was another outstanding defensive performance for Northmor (23-1) on Saturday when they clamped down on West Jefferson (53-35) to advance in the tournament.

Coach Zach Ruth says they count on their defense. “We hang our hat on the defense. We are really locked in right now on the defensive end. We set the school record last year giving up just 46 points a game and we blew that record out this year. After 24 games we down to around 43, 44 points a game. We know that if we play that good on defense we are going to win a lot of games,” he said.

He adds that Saturday night was another example of the depth they have on their team. “(Saturday) night it was Tyler Kegley that had a big night for us. We have these little travel shirts that we wear all summer long when we are playing and winning some of those shootouts, I told the guys, our motto could really be pick your poison. On the back of the travel shirts that we wear it’s a vertical stitch, so a lot people don’t pay attention, but that is what is says, pick your poison. That is kind of way it has been here down the stretch next guy up, next guy step up,” he told Swankonsports.com, “Against Worthington Christian it was my sophomore Blake Miller scoring 20 and Saturday it was Tyler Kegley going for 23. I think we had four guys in double figures. After the game somebody asked did you know you have four guys in double figures? Nobody knows the only thing they care about is the final score.”

Africentric (18-6) is likely the best team the Golden Knights have played all season, or at least since they lost to unbeaten Mansfield St. Peter’s (67-61) in late January.

Ruth says they will be ready. “We are up for the challenge. We played a lot of summer stuff against D-one schools and intercity schools and actually won some of those tournaments and it was to prepare for this. We went down and scouted them Saturday and we have seen them live a couple of times. We know their point guard Trey Baumgardner is going out to college in Minnesota and their big 6’9” guy is going down to Kentucky State, but at little Northmor we have three guys that are going to be going on to play college basketball. It’s kind of like a country version against and intercity version on Tuesday night. We are going to show that we can play,” said Ruth.

The Northmor coach says it will be a contrast in styles, be he is certain they can compete with the Nubians. “They come from the Columbus City league and are very athletic with a very deep bench. They play a complete different style than what we used to seeing up here, but we are going to be prepared for them,” he said.

Published 3/05/18

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Conference Champions Clash in Tournament

Northmor, the winner of the new Knox Morrow Athletic Conference, will host West Jefferson, the champion of the Ohio Heritage Conference, in a second round game in division three on Saturday night.

The Golden Knights (22-1), #2 in the final Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division, dominated Worthington Christian (54-28) on Monday night in their tournament opener.

Coach Zach Ruth says their defense was outstanding. “We really hang our hat on the defensive end. You have to give credit to the boys they really get after it defensively. I think we finally got it in their heads that when we are defending that is what creates our offense. The second half of that Worthington Christian game defensively just went completely our way,” he said.

West Jefferson (15-7) is a very good team. The Roughriders do not have the overall height that Northmor possesses, but Ruth says they have a big guy and they have good guard play too. “It just goes to show once again how brutal the Central District is they are the Ohio Heritage Conference champions and they got the 11 seed with a 15-7 overall record. They took the bye in the first round. So, they have had a lot of time to set back and prepare,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “They have had a couple of guys battling some injuries and we are expecting them to be completely healthy. It starts with their guard play and it finishes with their big 6’8” guy inside. We are kind of really excited for the challenge of getting to go against a big guy.”

West Jefferson is down west of Columbus and lock fans aren’t going to know much about them, but Ruth is able to give some focus of course. He says think about the approach of the Colonel Crawford Eagles. “Personnel every team is different I believe. There are some that are similar. Their style and their approach is a lot like coach Sheldon’s Colonel Crawford teams. They run a lot of sets, the shooters are going to come off of a lot of screens, a lot of stagger screens, and the flair screens. We have gone back and had them look at what we did against “CC” and what we did against that will help prepare us for West Jeff. They hang their hat on running a lot sets. We don’t run too many sets. We run more continuity. The Colonel Crawford game is one that sticks out when comes to similarity to what West Jeff will bring,” said Ruth.

Published 3/02/18

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Northmor Still Building

Northmor has accomplished quite a lot this season on the basketball floor and they have more to do.

It begins with winning at Fredericktown on Wednesday night, which would give the Golden Knights and unbeaten record in the Know Morrow Athletic Conference.

Last Friday, the Golden Knights (20-1,13-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division, beat Highland (56-52).

Coach Zach Ruth says he likes competitive games. “I think teams need games like that especially when you are having a successful season it kind of puts things back in perspective ands gets you back in focus mode. We have a couple of things happen in that game with an injury and foul trouble. Those are things that could happen in any game. You just have to be ready for it, next man up. That’s what happened and we were able to finish it off,” he said.

Northmor beat Fredericktown (81-51) on December 8. The game being played Wednesday is rescheduled for early January.

Ruth says the Freddies (8-12,5-8) have some explosiveness. “We played them early in the season and the first half was just a beautiful basketball game for both teams. The second half, their inexperience, our height, really took over. We knew they would be a team to watch out for as things got started rolling. Earlier they had Clear Fork, probably about a month ago and they have had a couple of games like that. They shoot the ball so well. They have the green light to shoot it. In this game the way kids can knock down threes they can shoot you into the lead or shoot you out of the lead. We have to definitely prepare to defend the perimeter and control the boards and defend and we should be in a pretty good spot,” said Ruth.

When it comes to improvement there are definitely some elements of the game of which the Golden Knights can improve. Ruth says it begins with understanding each game and how to apply their skills. “We have to get back to being who we really are and that is a number of things. We can be several different styles, but we have got to buy into what we need to do for this night. That was a part of the problem down at Highland on Friday we were in the first half and then in the second half we couldn’t get the reins pulled in on them tight enough to get them settled in with exactly what we wanted,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “That is one thing that has been challenging with this group we are capable of playing fast, we are capable of playing half court, we are capable of pounding it inside. They just have to understand what we need from them that night. Some things we are going to be trying (Wednesday) with Fredericktown are some things for the tournament run that we have been working on and see if we can do in a game.”

Published 2/21/18

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Northmor Keeping Pedal to Metal

Northmor is already an outright conference champion, but they are continuing to play very good basketball as we near the end of the regular season.

They play at rival Highland in a Knox Morrow Athletic Conference game on Friday night.

They beat Grandview Heights (61-48) in a non-conference game on Tuesday night. Coach Zach Ruth calls it a big win for his program. “That ranks right up there, you can’t put a number on it, but that definitely ranks right up there with one of the better wins that I have had as a coach and my players have had as players. That is why we schedule those games. Pleasant is a game away from being a conference champ, we beat them, Colonel Crawford is a game away from being a conference champ, we beat them, St. Pete’s is undefeated, we lost to them by six, they are conference champions, and Grandview plays Friday to be conference champs,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “We set that non-league schedule up like that. I am just so proud of the kids to go and represent the “KMAC” and represent the area and go down to Columbus and take one of these schools on and beat them at their place.”

Northmor (19-1,12-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division, plays at Highland (14-7,10-3) on Friday night. Ruth says there is a sense of rivalry here. “They have a couple of seniors that remember last year, I can’t just say seniors, all of the kids that are on the team this year, it was the last game of the year last year, at their place, scored tied, two seconds to go, and we win. Of course, that was Northmor’s first ever league title. Some people may have been upset, but we crashed the floor, we flooded the floor, kind of like you see in college games. I know that didn’t set too well with the Highland players and they are using that for momentum. We have the conference title already wrapped up, but this is the last time they get to see us and we are undefeated in the league. That “X” on the back is bigger than ever. They are going to be coming after us,” said Ruth,

Northmor beat Highland (70-43) on January 10. Ruth says the Scotts have a different approach to the game and they must react to it like they did the first time. “Coach Powell does a nice job down there. It is kind of hard to prepare for them because they run their offensive sets so high. It doesn’t seem as high when you are on a smaller floor, but Highland having a big floor and us having a big floor. They set their offense up basically when they cross half court and they do the same on the defensive end. They pick you up very high. Basically, it is using the same approach to beat what they are throwing at you. It is getting the guys in the right position, but moving them up the floor six or seven feet and moving them in three or four feet. We did a phenomenal job of that the first time we played them. We have some good momentum going right now and we are treating every game from here on out like it is a tournament game. It’s survive and advance, we don’t care how we do it, how many overtimes it takes, it is just about surviving and advancing,” said Ruth.

Published 2/15/18

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Northmor Has Plans

Northmor has the opportunity Friday to win an outright championship in the Knox Morrow Athletic Conference, it would be the first ever for the Golden Knights, but first them must play a very good Lucas team first on Tuesday night.

The Golden Knights put themselves in position with a (67-45) win over Mt. Gilead on Friday night. They also beat East Knox (72-42) last Tuesday.

Coach Zach Ruth says they put their only loss of the season to Mansfield St. Peter’s (67-61) to good use. “We got back on track last week and it started Monday with practice. I took full advantage of that loss against St. Pete’s of getting the kids attention and get back to what we need to do and who we really are. As good as that practice was last Monday, (Monday) you could definitely tell there was a Super Bowl (Sunday) night and no school (Monday.) We kind of struggled to get in a good rhythm at practice and that is kind of not good for me going into a tough Lucas team at their place (Tuesday) night. We will see what we are made of when (Tuesday) rolls around,” said Ruth.

Lucas (10-4) has lost two of its last three, including a (70-66) setback to Loudonville last Saturday.

Ruth says the Cubs have excellent guard play and they have a hardnosed team. “They play basically five guards. They will run kind of a dribble drive. A dribble drive variation of three out and two in or a four out, one in, and sometimes it is five out and zero in. We definitely have the size advantage, but they are not going to be afraid of us. They are going to be bring the ball right at us and driving hard. They all shoot the ball very well too. Lucas just has things rolling up there with last couple of years with the success of football. These kids are winners and they believe they can win and I know they are believing they can knock us off, so we have to be ready for them,” he said.

Northmor (16-1,11-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division, plays at Centerburg (4-13,4-8) on Friday night. They beat the Trojans (73-33) on January 5.

Ruth says they want to be greedy on Friday night. “We won our first ever league title last year. We really didn’t care how it happened. Ultimately we did, but we had to share it with Cardington. We felt if we didn’t have some key injuries last year we could have got that outright as well too. That is definitely the goal this year. It is a short term goal winning this thing outright,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “We are in position to do that Friday. That puts a little emphasis on that game Friday. I know we beat them by 30-plus the first time we played them, but they are improving and we are playing at their place. We are playing for something. Trust me, we want that to be for us and us only.”

Published 2/06/18

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Northmor Going for Title

Northmor is a step away from claiming no less than a share of the boys’ basketball title in the “KMAC.” They need a win at home against Mt. Gilead on Friday night.

After losing their first game of the season to unbeaten Mansfield St. Peter’s (67-61) on Saturday, the Golden Knights came back to beat East Knox (72-42) in a conference game on Tuesday night.

Coach Zach Ruth says their execution was a solid against East Knox. “We had been riding a 22 game straight regular season winning streak, four of my starters have been. We have talked about when you do something like that you are in an elite group. You always talk about when something is not broke don’t try and fix it. I always feel that us as coaches when things are going good for you sometimes it is hard to coach in those situations, but when you lose us can use that okay this is what we need to work on. That is all we did Monday. Some of our weaknesses got exposed. Some of my weaknesses got exposed as a coach. We just sat down and hatched everything out. This is like perfect timing. We put it all together down at East Knox on Tuesday night and jumped right back to who we are and what we do,” said Ruth.

Ruth says they have been working on making sure the kids understand what has gotten them to this point. “When you go 6’8”, 6’7” and the colleges are really excited about some of my boys and what their potential is. The conversation you have with some of them is I know that is what they are wanting from you, but this is what we need from you while you are here,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “It has been exciting, nothing major, but just getting back to who we are. Running our half court sets, pounding into the paint and that opens everything up. It is just like football. The runs sets up the pass. We feel like if we can get paint touches that is when our three balls start falling and when we are playing defense that is when our transition kicks in.”

Northmor (15-1,10-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division, play host to Mt. Gilead (8-9,6-5) on Friday night. The Golden Knights won (66-51) on December 22.

Ruth says this is an important game for them in a couple of ways. “There is a lot at stake, Northmor and Mt. Gilead used to be a big rivalry, and it still kind of is. We will be playing in front of a sold out gym. We are probably the only team in the area that (Friday) in senior night. (Friday) is our last home game of the year. Of course, we are blessed with the central district that if we continue to hold our ground we should be able to host one and hopefully two tournament games, but (Friday) is the last scheduled game. If we win that game we are guaranteed at least a share of the first “KMACK” title. Last year, we won the school’s first ever league title and to be able to back it up. So, Mt. Gilead is setting there saying we could take all of this away from them and that is good locker room material right there to get kids fired up,” said Ruth.

Published 2/02/18

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Northmor Ready to face the Naysayers

Northmor escaped Tuesday night against Galion and now they are ready to move forward with a conference game against Cardington on Friday and a meeting with another unbeaten in Mansfield St. Peter’s on Saturday.

Down three with a minute to play on Tuesday, the Golden Knights rallied to beat Galion (69-65) in a non-conference game.

Coach Zach Ruth says Galion played very well and he thought it was a good test for them. “That was much needed for us. Hats off to Galion they came out and they would not go away. We got them down nine and I think if we get a defensive stop and we could get then down in double digits they would maybe fold, but every time we would get them down nine they would hit a three or bank in a three and their kids just did not quit. I made a comment to coach Valentine that was the best I have ever seen Galion play since he has been there in these two years. We are down three with a minute to go and found a way to win by four. It was definitely a learning curve for us and was much needed and luckily we didn’t get the loss,” said Ruth.

After the narrow win over Galion there has been some talk about maybe the Golden Knights are overrated, but Ruth says what they have accomplished already is pretty impressive. “There are a lot of naysayers out there and stuff on social media saying we aren’t all of that, only beat Galion by four. You go back through and I think people forget that the New England Patriots lost three games this year, nobody is undefeated in the NBA. We are dealing with 16, 17, 18-year-old kids. We are on an exciting run right now. You date back to last year and we are on a 22-game regular season winning streak and that is impressive. I told the boys you have put yourself in a special group of elite people that hasn’t been in that situation, let’s live it up, but let’s not get caught in this moment. There is a lot business and a lot of games to play yet, let’s keep it going one game at a time,” said Ruth.

Northmor (13-0,8-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division, hosts Cardington (2-14,0-9) on Friday night in a game in the “KMAC.” Cardington broke a 14-game losing streak with a (52-45) win over Ridgedale on Monday night.

Northmor won pretty easily (66-43) in their first meeting, but Ruth says it no way are they looking past the Pirates. “They have one of the best players in the area in Garrett Wagner. He still manages to get 17 points a night being faceguarded and double teamed and everything, so we have to find him. They have some young freshmen. Cardington is the youngest team in the area and they are gaining confidence. They are coming off a big win Monday against Ridgedale, it was the first time they have won in 14 games, so they are coming in with big confidence,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “They are at our place. They are thinking maybe we are looking past them. We are definitely not looking past them. It is one day at a time here at Northmor. They present a threat. Anytime you are playing a league game, anytime you are playing a game, anything can happen.”

When it comes to their game at Mansfield St. Peter’s (15-0), #1 in our small school poll, Ruth calls it a great opportunity for his kids. “The players perspective is it is all Cardington, but as coaches we do have to prepare. (Wednesday) night we went down and watched a couple of Columbus teams that we may see in the tournament. I look at both communities. I look at Northmor’s community and I look at the kids and the buildup to this game is monumental. It is a memory that both schools will remember forever, probably with a little more emphasis here at Northmor because they haven’t been in that situation before. I might have been the U.S. Hockey coach that said you can’t create memories without opportunities and man of man do we have an opportunity to create one hell of a memory,” said Ruth.

Published 1/26/18

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Northmor Faces Another Contender

Northmor begins the second half of the double round robin in the Knox Morrow Athletic Conference with a two game lead on the field and they can pretty much put Danville out of the race with a win over the Blue Devils at home on Friday night.

The Golden Knights (11-0,7-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division, destroyed Highland (70-43) last week and coach Zach Ruth says they are played very good basketball right now. “We have put it together there in the Worthington Christian, Centerburg and Highland games. We were kind of hoping we could keep playing and, of course, the game gets postponed (Tuesday) night with Fredericktown. I know when things are hot you want to keep them going and we are anxious to get onto Danville on Friday. We felt Highland was our biggest threat and Danville was our second biggest threat. We got them at their place by 12 the first time. They beat Highland Tuesday night by 13 and we were able to be at that game since we didn’t play. This is a big meaningful game on Friday,” said Ruth.

Danville (7-3,5-2) beat Highland (62-49) on Tuesday night to move into a tie for second in the conference with the Scots. Ruth says Skyler Durbin is a talented player for the Blue Devils. He says he is a difference maker. “When you have a player like they have in Skyler Durbin. He had 22 or 23 (Tuesday) night, but he averages 27, 28 points a game. When you have a kid on the floor that can fill it up like that you are in the game no matter who it is. When you are down six, eight points and you have someone like that in a couple of possessions can bring you right back in. He had 28 on us the first time we played them. He is definitely a load,” he said.

When Northmor played at Danville in December they trailed going to the fourth quarter, but they were able to spread the floor and come up with a (65-53) win over the Blue Devils. Ruth hopes they can take some of that good feeling into Friday night. “We had been battled tested earlier. We were lucky with the Colonel Crawford game. Our two big guys, the Kegley twins had fouled out, and we were still able to rally to send that to overtime and took care of business in overtime. The same exact thing happened at Danville,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “I think Tyler Kegley played 15 minutes and Kyle Kegley played a total of 14 minutes. We were down four going into the fourth, maybe we were down six, but we railed and picked up the tempo and outscored them that fourth quarter 26-11. Hopefully, we can carry that momentum from that game with what we were able to accomplish in the fourth quarter to the first quarter on Friday night.”

Published 1/18/18

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Northmor and Highland Battle for “KMAC” lead

Northmor and Highland have faced and beaten everyone else, but each other in the first round of play in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference, and they meet for the first time at Northmor on Wednesday night.

The Golden Knights (10-0,6-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division, thrashed Centerburg (73-33) last Friday and they have a clean slate in all games this season.

Coach Zach Ruth says they are playing well and they are looking forward to the challenge that is Highland. “We have been jelling really well. This is great and the atmosphere will be unreal (Wednesday) night. I think both athletic directors kind of set this game up with us winning at Highland last year they knew this one was going to be a good one this year, so they kind of wanted to keep it separate from the other games. It has all played out how it was supposed to play out. They come in 6-0 and we are 6-0 in the conference. Whoever gets it (Wednesday) night has the upper hand to start the back half of the conference schedule,” said Ruth.

Highland beat East Knox (59-50) in their last outing on Friday. Ruth predicts they are going to see a lot of things, especially on defense, from the Scots on Wednesday night. “Coach (Chris) Powell does a really good job down there. I think when you coach in a league and stuff, this is my ninth year, you kind of get used to coach’s tendencies and stuff. We can normally pick up on stuff. Coach Powell has brought a unique style into our league. He runs a high offensive set and then defensively you will see about every zone. You will see man. They are a hard team to prepare for. Probably the hardest team to prepare for our schedule,” he said.

Part of the challenge on Wednesday night for the Golden Knights will be figuring out how to attack the different looks that Highland will give them. Ruth says they always want the ball in the hand of their point guard and let him create something. “It starts with the point guard, it starts with Demetrious Johnson recognizing what they may be in, recognizing the personnel. We have kind of went to this zone set that kind of is a little unorthodox zone offensive set. If a team is in a 1-3-1, 3-2, or 2-3, we stay in the same position because we are blessed to have Demetrious Johnson in our point guard spot. Normally if you have an odd man front zone you go an even front. We go Demetrious Johnson at the top of any zone anybody throws at us and attack from there,” said Ruth.

Published 1/10/18

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“KMAC” Co-Leader Meets Centerburg

Northmor shares the lead in the Knox Morrow Athletic Conference with Highland heading into play this weekend.

The Golden Knights play at home on Friday night against Centerburg.

They are unbeaten on the season in all games, but coach Zach Ruth says they have to be committed to getting better as a team. “You have to show up and work hard everyday. We have reinforced this whole week basically don’t think you have arrived. Let the sportswriters and papers and people talk. They are talking about one of the best starts in school history. Let those people do that. We just want to show up and keep working everyday and take one game at a time and not think that you have arrived because there is a lot of ball to play yet,” said Ruth.

Northmor (9-0,5-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division, hosts Centerburg (2-5,2-3) on Friday night.

Ruth says a little luster was taken off this game by a summer transfer by a Centerburg kid. “This is a matchup that probably would have been a sell out when they had Ross Ryan, their big 6’9” guy that had always been at Centerburg. Him and Tyler Keggley, my big, had always battled back and forth since junior high, but he had transferred out to Pickerington for his senior year. That was a big blow to them. They have a new coach,” he said.

The Northmor coach says there is an odd thing about this year’s Centerburg line-up. “They are an intriguing matchup they have an unorthodox lineup as four of the five guys will be lefthanded. Friday night’s weakside is the right side for everybody they have on the perimeter and I think that is weird,” he said.

Scouting has always been part of the game, but Ruth says they have able to take it to a new level. “I have brought on Blade Tackett and he has really taken our program to another level on scouting reports. We are really emphasizing them. We have always attempted to attack what team’s weaknesses were, but we are taking it a step further we are attacking what the individual’s weakness is. On defense we want to try and take away their strengths,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “We have kind of been playing some mind games, I shouldn’t say mind games. Trying to prepare the kids for knowing what to do in certain situations and if it is a tight game we can go off the report, it says right here, this is the situation and this what we are going to do to them.”

Published 1/05/18

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Northmor Doing What they do

Northmor has been up to every challenge this year and the next one comes Friday night at home against Worthington Christian in a non-conference game.

The Golden Knights share the Knox Morrow Athletic Conference lead with Highland after they beat Danville (65-53) last Saturday night.

Coach Zack Ruth says they were in foul trouble and down going into the fourth quarter against Danville, but they found a way. “We were happy. We had some foul trouble. There have been sometimes when my bigs have just got to be smart and they weren’t smart last Saturday. Even though we were clearly jumping and getting rebounds the opposite official would assume we were over the back a little bit. My two bigs, the Keggley twins, probably only played a combined 30 minutes between the two of them,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “We actually went into the fourth quarter down four and really picked it up and outscored them in the fourth 27-11. My guard play really stepped up. It was about a carbon copy of the Colonel Crawford game. Danville, it was the first time we have ever played there, a small gym, they have some very talented players. Skyler Durbin, who was their prenominal quarterback, is just as good on the basketball court and he had 28 against us. We fought back and kept our composure and came away with a double digit win on the road. I don’t care who you are playing that is good.”

The fourth quarter has been pretty special for the Golden Knights and Ruth says adapt very well. “Over the last couple of years, we have won a lot of games in the fourth quarter. We have gotten some comments before, why we wait till then? It is not necessarily waiting. We can play any style that a team tries to get us to play and they were really slowing us down. As good as the twins are when they are in the lineup, we are actually a little quicker when they are not. We spread the floor with more of a dribble drive attack. Danville just wasn’t prepared to defend that against us and I think that is why we were pretty successful with that,” he said.

Worthington Christian (1-5) plays at Northmor (8-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division, on Friday night. The Warriors play in a tough schedule.

Ruth says they are going to dance with what brought them. “Worthington Christian you can throw their record out. You talk about the eye test. You watch them on film, you watch them live and they definitely pass the eyes test. A couple of 6’5” athletic kids. I will go on record a lot of teams have had success zoning, but the Golden Knights are going to play man to man Friday night against them because that is our bread and butter and that is what we play. They are very athletic and they will try and get in an up and down game and my only concern is it is Christmas break and the kids getting out of rhythm and getting out of their routine, but we have had a really good week of practice and we are ready,” said Ruth.

Published 12/29/17

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Three “KMAC” Games for Northmor This Week

Northmor faces Mt. Gilead on Friday and a makeup game with Danville on Saturday, both Knox Morrow County Athletic Conference games, and they are going to need wins to maintain first place.

Right now, they share first place with Highland and Danville.

On Tuesday, night the Golden Knights (6-0,3-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division, beat East Knox (62-50) to stay in first.

Coach Zach Ruth says their depth was a big factor for them in that win over the Bulldogs. “Sometimes you have some ugly wins. Demetrious Johnson struggled with us Tuesday, but luckily he is blessed, and I’m blessed, having the teammates that we have. Tyler Keggley goes for 20, Brock Pletcher gets his 18 again and Kyle Keggley gets 13, and that was enough. We didn’t seal the game off like I would have liked. We used that as a teaching moment to try and get better on some things that might present themselves (Friday) night,” said Ruth.

Mt. Gilead (3-3,2-2) lost to Centerburg (50-37) on Tuesday night. It was really one the first games this season the Indians have not scored a bunch of points. Ruth says they have a couple of guys that can really score. “They have some guys that can fill it up. They have a big guy inside that to this date early in the season has had one of the biggest games. Mason Mollohan has 40 points and 21 board all in the same game. That is kind unheard of at the high school level,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “Then (Jason) Bolha has had three games of over 22. They like to get an up and down game. We are more than comfortable playing that style as well too. I am hoping we can kind of shut them down a little better than what some other teams have done on the defense end.”

Danville (2-0,2-0) beat Cardington (74-42) on Tuesday. That is after opening the year last Friday with a (64-56) win at Fredericktown.

There isn’t much on the record about the Blue Devils, especially for Northmor, and that has Ruth a little concerned about this Saturday night game. “We take one game at a time. We haven’t talked about Danville, but in the back of my head what has me concerned is we were the only team in the league last year that didn’t play them for a non-league game. So, we didn’t see them last year. Of course, we were supposed to get some scouting done on them early this year, but with moving them game they played the other night when we played and they play (Friday) night, so we are not going to get to see this team live. So, we are kind of going into this game like it is opening weekend,” said Ruth.

Published 12/22/17

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Northmor Still Striving to Get Better

Northmor has won all four of its games so far this year, but they are not standing still.

They play at Cardington in a Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference game on Friday night.

After a win in the conference last week, (81-51) over Fredericktown, the Golden Knights improved to (4-0,1-0), #2 in the Swankonsports.com boys’ basketball coaches poll in the small school division.

After playing four games in eight days, the Golden Knights will have a week off. Coach Zach Ruth says it has allowed them to get in some practice time. “I think any coach when you have a bunch of games like that and you are winning you just want to keep going. We were actually scheduled to play Danville (Tuesday) night an that would have been our fifth game, but with their football success they moved that game to the 23 of this month. It was like since the games started here we have finally been able to get back and do some break down drills this week. Kind of get back more into a routine other than just preparing for the next game,” he said.

Ruth says they have worked hard in practice this week to challenge the kids and keep them sharp. “Us as coaches have to think outside of the box and try and think of some things to challenge them. For example, (Wednesday) night in practice we were doing break down stuff with the JV’s. If the JV’s got an offensive rebound we had to do 10 push ups. If they got an uncontested shot we had to do 10 pushups. You have to really challenge them,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “I have never been a fan of letting kids think they have arrived because I think that is a disaster waiting to happen. We like to really challenge them on that. Another thing we have done is we have done a lot of drills where we have to get so many reps in in a certain amount of time. Just trying to keep them ready and hungry.”

Northmor is at Cardington (1-3,0-2) on Friday night. The two schools shared the title in the old blue division of the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference last year. The Pirates lost to East Knox (51-49) on Tuesday night.

Ruth says Cardington is very young this year. “Cardington is really young. I have the upmost respect for coach (Rod) Brown. We were high school friends. He graduated from Cardington when I graduated from Northmor. We help each other. Of course, we shared the league title last year. This year he is in rebuild mode running a couple of freshmen. He probably has the youngest team around. They pose a threat. They have the Garrett Wagner boy, which will contend for player of the year in our league. He is a pretty good one. We can’t leave him. We just have to play our game one quarter at a time, one game at a time. We have to be prepared to see some junk defenses and some zones, so we have been working on that as well,” said Ruth.

Published 12/14/17

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Northmor Rallies Past Colonel Crawford

Demetrious “Meechie” Johnson’s two free throws :04 seconds left in overtime sealed Northmor’s (66-63) win over Colonel Crawford in an exciting non-conference boys’ basketball game at Northmor on Wednesday night.

Colonel Crawford held the lead for most of the night. The high watermark was a 13 point lead (41-28) with 1:51 to go in their quarter after a basket by Jordan Fenner, but the Golden Knights would outscore Crawford (26-13) over the final 10 minutes to tie the game at 54 after four quarters.

“We didn’t give up at all. The kids were laughing at me because in a time out I told them you guys look scared and I can’t help you because I have never been scared in my life. I said that is the mentality we have to play with here. We preform when our backs are against the wall. I mean Pleasant had the perfect storm to beat us Friday. I thought Crawford had the perfect storm to beat us (Wednesday) night,’ he told Swankonsports.com after the game, “The Kegleys are out of the game with foul trouble, the bench steps up. I can’t say enough. I personally thought that you can’t press Colonel Crawford and we went to the press and we turned them over. We got right back in the game. The complete tide of the game changed. It was a fun game, gosh.”

Brody Martin’s three at the third quarter horn gave the Eagles (1-1) a (46-38) advantage with eight minutes to play, but Northmor went ahead for the first time since the 4:35 mark of the first quarter on Johnson’s steal at midcourt and layup with 2:15 to play in the game giving the Golden Knights a (52-51) lead.

Colonel Crawford coach Davis Sheldon says they just gave it away too much. “The bottom line is you can’t turn the ball over and we had a lot of turnovers when they made their run. That can’t happen. We didn’t take care of the basketball and turnovers hurt us during the run. I was very proud of our effort. Our game plan defensively was good. “Meehie” is a heck of an athlete, we all know that, but turnovers is what did us in. It was not the end of the game, it was turnovers. When I look at the second half and you have 13 turnovers. Those are guys that don’t normally turn it over. That is what cost us,” said Sheldon.

It looked like the fat lady was heading to the mic with :12 seconds to play in overtime as Northmor held a five point lead (63-58,) but Cameron McCready hit a 35 footer to cut the lead by to two (63-61) with six seconds left. Northmor made three of four free throws in the final five seconds to put it away. “You have to take care of the ball, rebound, and hit foul shots. I’ll tell you what Cameron McCreary is one of the best around and I think I have one of the best around. He made it interesting last year up at their place. He kept banking in threes to keep them in it. That one he hit there towards the end was probably 30, 35 feet. He won’t go away. I label that as maybe a district championship like game. That is the type of atmosphere, the type of team, that is the kind of team we will see. At the end of the night we gain a lot of confidence and I think we gave Colonel Crawford some things to work on, they will make adjustments, it will make the better too,” said Ruth.

With Tyler Kegley, Kyle Kegley and Black Miller all over 6’5”, the Golden Knights held the size advantage, but Sheldon says it wasn’t those guys that killed them on the glass. “They had 14 offensive rebounds and that is a lot. A lot of them were Meechie. He just goes in and throws something up and then just jumps over you. There is a reason he has won the state long jump how many times. We had trouble keeping him off the glass. It wasn’t the Kegleys, it was Meechie and Plecther that willed themselves. But, we can’t turn the ball over that much like we did in the second half. That was the frustrating part. Our offense was really good, but when you turn it over you don’t get shots up. You can’t score. You can’t do what you need to do. That is where we struggled a little bit,” said Sheldon.

Pletcher had 21 and Johnson 19 for the Golden Knights. McCreary had 20 and Harley Shaum 14 for the Eagles.

Northmor has designs on a Knox Morrow Athletic Conference title and a long division three tournament run. Ruth says a game like Wednesday night is going to help them get better. “These are fun. I can not phantom what is would be like to be one of our players. We talked the other day that some kids play a whole high school career and never get to this juncture of a game or atmosphere and my kids are living it about every time we step on the floor. I can’t stress enough it is great to be a Northmor Golden Knight right now,” he said.

Published 12/07/17

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Northmor Excited by the Challenge

Northmor is in a position they have rarely been in until the last two years they are now the hunters not the game.

They host Colonel Crawford in a battle of basketball titans on Wednesday night. They begin play in the new Know Morrow Athletic Conference on Friday night against Fredericktown.

After beating Marion Pleasant in their first game last Friday (38-37) with a free throw at the end, they dominated Bucyrus (72-33) last Saturday.

Coach Zach Ruth says they got into more of a grove against Bucyrus. “We were wound tighter than a fiddle on Friday night and hopefully we got that out of the way and went up to Bucyrus on Saturday night and we settled in. Friday was a big mental challenge for us, but I think that is going to go a long way with us,” he said.

However, Ruth believes the experience against Pleasant will help them a lot too because they had to get a stop and a rebound to get in position to win the game. “I have always judge all sports when the other team has to spend so much time preparing and trying different things that they are not comfortable with that is a sign that you have a good squad. Pleasant was trying some things that I never saw Pleasant do before. Bucyrus has a new coach up there and he is feeling things out. Some of these marque matchups teams are really putting a lot of emphasis. I can’t wait to see what kind of wrinkle coach (David) Sheldon is going to throw at us (Wednesday) night. We are prepared for things and I have my kids trained. These little things, these little mind games, I love because it is going to make us better,” said Ruth.

Colonel Crawford (1-0) is at Northmor on Wednesday night. The Eagles beat Mansfield Christian (63-47) in their opener. Ruth says it should be a great battle. “(Wednesday) night’s game, I mean there are some good players in the area at all of the schools, but (Wednesday) night’s game features to of the better point guards in the area in all divisions. Then you are going to have two big post guys inside going at it. It is going to be a good one,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “I anticipate it coming down to crunch time. The gym is going to be sold out. It is going to be like a conference title or district title atmosphere. I am just so happy for the kids to be part of that in the third game of the season on a Wednesday night.”

Ruth adds the game against Fredericktown is just as important because it is a league game. He says teams in the new league are going to be ready to play them. “My kids hear me say that’s why you play the game. I hate arrogantcy, but we are confident that when healthy we should be the front runner in the new “KMAC” league, but with that we are going to get everybody’s best shot. Even the team’s that aren’t supposed to do very good, we are going to get their best shot. If they can hang with Northmor or knock Northmor off some schools may label that as a success. We have just got to be prepared because people are going to try and bring it every night to get us and what a great place to be in,” said Ruth.

Published 12/06/17

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Northmor Chomping at the Bit

Northmor is coming off the best basketball season in school history and they are ready to better that this season.

They open by hosting Marion Pleasant on Friday night and then head to Bucyrus on Saturday night, both are non-conference games.

Coach Zach Ruth says the players are really kicking at the barn stall to get going on what they believe is going to be an outstanding season. “We are ready to go. We have kind of been ready to go we are just tying to keep them challenged and try and keep them hungry. Some coaches I know, and I have been on that end of it, you wish you kind of had a couple more weeks. I think we could have started last week, so, yeah, we are ready to go,” he said.

Ruth adds these Golden Knights are not just great players, but great kids, and they have spent the preseason kind of filling in the cracks if you will. “I am blessed with the group of kids I have. Not only are they phenomenal on the basketball court, but they are just as good outside the court and in the classroom. It makes it really easy. It really makes my job easy,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “We have kind of really focused on the little things this year. You know, last year it was the big things. We had never been in contention for a league title and we got that out of the way. Now. We are really working on the little things.”

For many years the two schools were part of the old small school division of the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference. Pleasant remains in the “MOAC,” but Northmor is now in the new Knox Morrow Athletic Conference.

Ruth has respect for what Pleasant does as a total sports program and knows the Spartans are going to be tough and physical on Friday night. “Pleasant is a school district that I am hoping that we can be with the success we have had. Pleasant when they take the field or court or whatever sport they are expected to win. This the first game they have played without the Craycraft boys and a lot of people are concerned with them, but at Pleasant it is next man up, the next guy in line and they go. They are going to get up and defend. It is going to be a tough one. We got them at their place last year and I know they are going to try and spoil our opening night,” said Ruth.

Published 11/29/17

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Northmor Ready to Get Going

Northmor had a tremendous basketball season last year and the Golden Knights show the potential to be even better this winter.

Coach Zach Ruth says they have shown good things and right now he is trying to keep them from going stale before they open the season next week against Marion Pleasant. “We come in with an experienced group of seven seniors, two of them have never missed a varsity quarter. Brock Fletcher is a three year varsity starter. It is to the point now we are ready to go and it just trying to keep them challenged over break and next to week to get them ready for opening week and the game next Friday with Pleasant,” he told Swankonsports.com before practice on Wednesday morning, “I have been pleasantly happy with the scrimmages. We have scrimmaged some big schools. We have a big one Friday morning up at Norwalk with Anthony Wayne and Edison. That will be a really good test of where we are at.”

With their height and athleticism the Golden Knights are going to see a lot of different defensive combinations and Ruth says they have to be ready for those. “In the scrimmages we have been playing with some of the bigs at point guard and moving some of the guards into the post, interchanging, keeping them challenged for some things that could present themselves throughout the season. Will are going to see a lot of zone, we are probably going to see a lot of specialty defenses. We had a scrimmage last Friday and a team zoned us all five quarters. It was good for us because we are going to see a lot of it. That is what this early season stuff is for to get us ready for the season and a big run,” said Ruth.

Northmor qualified for the football playoffs for the first time ever this fall and Ruth says they are carrying a lot of momentum into the basketball season. He says it is good to be a Golden Knight. “We had a phenomenal last year with the school’s first ever league title, followed by the best summer we have ever had, followed the best football season the school has ever had. The community is ready to go, the kids are ready to go. It is a blessing to be part of Northmor right now,” he said.

Published 11/23/17

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Northmor Feeling Good and Confident

Northmor is playing on week 11 of the high school football season for the first time ever.

They are certainly the feel good story of the fall of 2017. The girls’ volleyball team at Northmor made the district final too.

The football team plays at Beverly Fort Frey (9-1) on Friday night in a first round game in division six.

They say there is nothing in a school’s history like their first district title in basketball or their first playoff appearance in the football. Coach Scott Armrose says this is a special time at Northmor. “It feels great, it really does. I am just happy to be a part of it. It’s exciting for our community. It’s exciting for our coaching staff. It’s exciting for our players. It’s an exciting time to be involved in Northmor football,” he said.

The goal of the football program is to be excited, but stay focused. Armrose says they won’t be easy. “That is the challenge. There is so much excitement in our school right now. We told the boys this is a regular week of practice. We are going to stay focused. We are going to approach it like a regular week. We will keep our schedule the same. Everything is exactly the same. It is just a week, it is an extension of the season. We are going to try and be consistent with what we have done all year,” said Armrose.

Fort Frye has lost only once this year, that coming in week two (6-0) to Johnstown Northridge. The Cadets have allowed only 81 points all season, that’s just over a touchdown a game. In mid-season they produced three shutouts in four games. Over the last seven games they have scored at least 30 points in six of them, all wins.

Armrose says the Cadets are a very physical team, much like the team they played last week in Highland. “Fort Frye really reminds us a lot of Highland. They are a big, physical team. Their colors are similar to Highland. They run a similar offense to Highland. They like to run the ball and work the clock. They are physical on defense. They aren’t real big up front defensively, but they’ve got really good team speed. They are a tough football team,” he told Swankonsports.com on Sunday evening, “They are 9-1 on their season. They have a lot of big wins. They lost early in the year and they have kind of gotten on a roll. This will be their third straight year in the playoffs. They lost last year in the regional championship game.”

Northmor (8-2) beat Highland (34-12) last Friday, stopping Highland from winning an outright title in the Knox Morrow Athletic Conference. Armrose says that was their best win their best win this year. He liked their approach to the game. “We are a confident football team right now, we really are. That is what we told our boys going into last week with Highland. Highland was we felt the best team we had played all season. We said if we play our best football and go into the game relaxed and confident. Our boys are certainly always relaxed and they play confident all night long and I think we will continue to do that. We play our best football when we are relaxed and we are out there having fun we play with confidence and that is what these boys do,” said Armrose.

Northmor has one the biggest playmakers in this part of the state in quarterback Demetrious Johnson. Armrose says he thinks the Fort Frye coaching staff has reviewed their film more than once. “We can’t be a match-up that anybody looks forward to. When you get a glance at Demetrious Johnson on film you don’t say, oh good, we play these guys. I know we are a nightmare as far as match ups go, we really are. Then as they start to watch Demetrious they see the other weapons that we have. We are a tough match up without a doubt just from the standpoint of watching “Meechie” offensively,” he said.

Published 10/30/17

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A Win Puts Northmor in Playoffs

2017 could be a watermark season for the Northmor Golden Knights.

A win on Friday night over one loss Highland will put them in the postseason playoffs for the first time ever. If they lose it will be up the mathematicians. Right now, Northmor is fifth in their division six region. They need to finish in the top eight.

Last week, they hammered Centerburg (49-0) in play in the Knox Morrow Athletic Conference.

Coach Scott Armrose says played four solid quarters on both sides if the ball. “It was a really good effort on both sides of the football. We did exactly what we wanted to do. We wanted to get a fast start and we didn’t want to let up. We thought against Mt. Gilead the week before we kind of let up in the second half and we didn’t want to do that last week. We wanted to take care of business from beginning to end and we did a good job of that,” said Armrose.

There are a lot of teams just kind of playing out the season, but not the Golden Knights. Armrose, in his first year as head coach, says that is kind of cool. “That is what it is all about to make these games last in the season meaningful and that means you much have had a pretty good season to this point. To be part of Northmor football and to play meaningful games in October it is pretty darn exciting,” he said.

Northmor (7-2,4-2) hosts Highland (8-1,6-0,) who has secured no less than a share of the conference title. They lead Danville by a game.

Armrose says Scots are a physical team and that is what makes them good. “Their physical style of play, without a doubt, on both sides of the ball. Offensively, they have a big strong offensive line. They don’t do anything fancy they run right at you. Defensively, they just play a physical defense with in your face man coverage and they beat you up all over the place. What makes Highland so good is how physical they are,” said Armrose.

He says all football teams are physical, but they have to make sure they are at Highland’s level on Friday night. “When you say that football is a physical game and to say that somebody is more physical than other teams you kind of laugh. With the way that the game has turned to the spread offense there aren’t a lot of teams that play a physical offense like Highland does anymore. We want to match their physicality,” he said.

Demetrious Johnson is electric as the Northmor quarterback and Armrose says they need to feed him the ball a lot. “When you talk about how physical Highland is fortunately we play a pretty physical game too. We also go into every game knowing we are going to have the best athlete on the field and we have all season long,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “We are going to try and take advantage of that without a doubt. We don’t hide the fact that Demetrious is our main weapon. They are going to have to try and stop and contain him. When they do that that opens things up for other people.”

Published 10/24/17

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The Assignment is Clear For Northmor

Northmor has never made the playoffs and they have a really good chance this year, but they have to keep winning if they are going to do it.

Right now, they stand sixth in their division six computer region. The top eight make it.

They outscored Mt. Gilead (54-26) last week and coach Scott Armrose says the nice thing was they were able to spread things around more than they have in some other weeks. “The great thing about our offensive performance Friday night was we completed all kinds of passes and we spread the ball around,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “It wasn’t just “Meechie” carrying us on his back. “Meechie” only had 10 carries, so we did a lot of things well Friday night other than running “Meechie.” We got a lot of other people involved in the offense and it is fun when we do that.”

Armrose they certainly have other players other than quarterback Demetrious Johnson that can do some things and make some big plays. “We have have Conan Becker, who has run the ball really hard all season long and Conan is a very good running back, he has close to 600 yards rushing. He is doing a great job. We have Wyatt Reeder and Coner Becker and Kyle Kegley and Chris Bood, who can all go up and catch the ball. They are good receivers. So, we have other weapons that we can use and given the opportunity we will use them,” said Armrose.

Northmor (6-2,3-2) plays at home Friday night against the Centerburg Trojans (2-6,1-4,) who lost to Danville (41-0) last week “KMAC” game.

Armrose says Centerburg plays pretty good defense. He says he would like to get some scores early. “Centerburg has had very tough defensive shows this year. They have been in a lot of games, late in the game where their defense has kept them in it. They have struggled offensively to keep thing going. We look for a battle Friday night. We look for Centerburg to plat tough defense against us. We need our defense to come up big to limit their points,” said Armrose.

The Northmor coach says a win is a must or next week against won’t mean anything. “We absolutely have to take care of business this Friday night. Centerburg is the only team on our mind right now. We are focused solely on this game and we know it’s a big one and we have to come out and take care of business,” he said.

Published 10/20/17

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Northmor Not Thinking of Playoffs… Yet

Northmor is a school that has never made the high school football playoffs, but they have a chance to do it this year.

They in the number five spot in their division six region after seven weeks of play. They need to finish in the top eight at the end of week 10.

They play at winless Mt. Gilead this week in a Knox Morrow Athletic Conference game.

Last week, they kind of dropped out of contention in the league when they lost (32-28) to unbeaten East Knox. They now trail the Bulldogs and Highland by two games with three to play.

Coach Scott Armrose says the Bulldogs just had one more play than they did last week. He says it was a heck of a game. “East Knox is a good football team and they played one heck of a game. We scored and they scored and we scored and they scored and it was back and forth. They just made one more play than we did,” he said.

When it comes to the postseason, Armrose says they can’t be watching the computer standings, they have to keep their focus on Mt. Gilead. “It has never happened in our school’s history and we know that opportunity is there. We are going to need help and we are going to have to take care of business. What it comes down to this week is beating Mt. Gilead and we know that is what it is all about,” said Armrose.

The Golden Knights (5-2,2-2) are at Mt. Gilead (0-7,0-4) this week. The Indians played really their best game of the season, at least in league play, when they lost at Centerburg (35-24) last week in a league game.

Armrose says injuries have killed Mt. Gilead this year, but when they have all of their players they can do some things. “Mt. Gilead has struggled this season as far as getting wins. They have battled a lot of injuries and their numbers are down just a little bit and the have had a hard time keeping their team on the field,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “When they are healthy and have everybody full force they can be a dangerous football team. They have a good receiver in Mollohan, number 16. He is a big kid and a good looking athlete on both sides of the ball and he is dangerous. Mt. Gilead has a quarterback that can throw well too.”

Published 10/13/17

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Northmor Must have Win

Northmor trails co-leaders Highland and East Knox by a game in the Knox Morrow Athletic Conference and they almost surely need a win when then host the Bulldogs on Friday night.

Falling two games back with three to play would be pretty tough to recover from when it comes to winning the conference title.

Last week, after losing to Danville the week before, the Golden Knights (5-1,2-1) demolished Cardington (32-7) in a league game.

Coach Scott Armrose says they were able to adapt as they game went on. “We got off to a slow start again, but we adjusted well as the game went on and the kids really played hard and we were able to pull away in the second half,” he said.

He added it was good to get the monkey off their backs. “It feels really good to get that awful taste of losing out of your mouth. It sticks around with you for the whole week and it feels go to get that out of your mouth,” he said.

East Knox (6-0,3-0) whipped Centerburg (34-0) in a league test last week. Armrose says this is an outstanding football team they will be facing. “It is a very good football team. You don’t get to be 6-0 unless you are a real good football team. On both sides of the ball offensively and defensively they have done some real good things. They are a very good football team,” said Armrose.

East Knox is a football team that is blessed with a lot of speed. Armrose says they use that well on both sides of the ball with their passing game and their blitz package on defense. “East Knox is a spread, pass football team. They have a quarterback that is as good as we have seen all season. They use the whole field. He has a great arm. He throws it well underneath, he throws it well deep. They have a couple of kids that run the ball really hard. They are not real big up front, but they have really good overall team speed,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “Defensively, they are a 3-3 stack or a 3-5 football team. They blitz an awful lot. We have not seen this much blitzing to this point in the season. It is something we have had to work on this week. It is going to be a battle Friday night.”

Published 10/06/17

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Pass Defense a Key for Northmor

Northmor lost for the first time last week and now they have to find a way to fix some things as they get ready for Cardington in another Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference game.

Danville edged the Golden Knights (41-34) last week.

Coach Scott Armrose says they just go too far behind in the game in the first half. “We just couldn’t overcome the mistakes that we made in the first half. We were down 20 at halftime. We got an early score and then we fell down 20 again and to our boy’s credit they never gave up and they fought the whole game. We were able to make it a football game. We had a chance to score or win it at the end and we just ran out of time,” he said.

Danville knocked down a couple of passes in the end zone.

It was a loss, not a win, for Northmor, but Armrose says he found a lot of positive things about his team in that loss. “We want to forget the week before and improve every week anyway, so win or loss that is the way we approach the next week. It doesn’t matter we are going to learn from the mistakes we made. We are going to learn from the experience,” he told Swankonsports.com on Monday, “We hadn’t trailed in a football game all season and I wasn’t sure how the boys were going to respond. I can count on these boys there is no quit in them and I know that now.”

Northmor (4-1,1-1) plays at Cardington (2-3,1-1) in a conference game on Friday night. The Pirates lost (51-40) to East Knox in a conference game last Friday night.

Armrose says they have a lot of athleticism. “They have a ton of speed on both sides of the football. They are a big play team. The fullback and the quarterback have tremendous speed. It is going to be quite a challenge to say the least,” he said.

Defense has a been a cornerstone for Northmor all year, now Armrose says they must find a way to defend better in the open field. He says playing good defense is the key. “We have done that all year, really we have. With Danville is was the first week with a team that is really going to spread the field and throw the ball over you. We were used to taking on Lucas and Fredericktown and Crestview. Those teams run right at you. It was a learning experience for us. Cardington is going to be just as much a challenge as Danville was as far as running the spread offense,” said Armrose.

Published 9/26/17

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Northmor Continues to Roll

Northmor has been one of the feel good stories of the 2017 football season so far. A program that has had a lot more losing seasons than winning ones over the last 30 years, is unbeaten on the season.

They destroyed Fredericktown (43-8) last Friday on the opening night of play in the new Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference.

First year head coach Scott Armrose says it was an important win for them. “To start conference play in the first year in a new conference we felt like our football team was headed in the right direction and we wanted to make a statement and play a good game to get a good start in league play,” he said.

He adds they have scored some points, but they have been very good on defense too. “The last two weeks we have given up touchdowns late against some of our backups. We are playing very, very good defense right now,” he said.

Armrose knows who to credit when it comes to the defense that the Golden Knights have been playing this year. “Coach Morgan is our defensive coordinator. I talked to coach Morgan here in the early spring and my sales pitch was, hey, this is your defense, you call the shots, you make the plans and I going to give you the freedom to do what you want. He has done that and it is probably the best decision I think I have ever made,” he told Swankonsports.com on Tuesday, “He is insane when it comes to breaking down film. He puts in the hours and when I say hours I am not speaking figuratively, I mean he puts in the hours. He puts together a good plan, but it is not a crazy plan, it’s plan our kids can execute, and a plan our kids buy into. That is why we have been so successful defensively.”

Northmor (4-0,1-0) travels to Danville (3-1,0-1) to take on a traditional power in the Blue Devils. Danville lost their first game as part of the new league (26-0) at Highland last week in their first loss of the year.

Armrose says the Blue Devils are going to be a much different challenge for them than they have been seeing this season. “Danville is a different kind of challenge. The last few weeks we have played Lucas and Crestview and Fredericktown, teams that want to pound the ball. Danville is going to spread the field and throw the ball around. So, it is definitely a different challenge. They have five receivers and then two tight ends and three receivers. They use every bit of the field and do it very well. They have a really good quarterback in Skyler Durbin that can really throw the ball around. Then they can spread you out and he can run the ball. So, it is quite a challenge for us this week ,” said Armrose.

Published 9/20/17

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Northmor Wants to Control Point of Attack

Northmor has been fantastic over the first three weeks of the season and opens play in the new Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference by hosting the Fredericktown Freddies on Friday night.

They beat the Lucas Cubs and their football in a phone booth approach last week (26-8) in non-conference play.

Coach Scott Armrose says they were able to contain the run happy Cubs. “We were very pleased with the results and with how hard our boys played. They continue to play with a tremendous amount of heart and enthusiasm. We played very well in the third quarter and at the end of the game. That is when our boys really seem to strive and take control,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “It really has a lot to do with our defensive coordinator Dave Morgan. Three weeks in a row he has just come up with fantastic plans. They are not these crazy plans they are just plans that are boys buy into that we can learn in a week and they can execute. So, I’m very pleased with the result.”

Defensively, Armrose says they are going to be pretty consistent in their approach and just try and tweak things in little bit depending on who they are playing. “We have a system that we believe in. We run a 4-3 defense and we adjust that system slightly each week, but what the boys do each week is what they do. We believe in our system. We know it works. We can stop any offense with that system. We just have make sure we can adjust our base defense to their offense, so our boys can do the things that they can do,” he said.

Fredericktown (1-2) won its first game of the season last week in beating Utica (34-21) in non-conference play.

Armrose says the Freddies are going to try and make it hard to run the football, which is what they want to do. “They try and do some things that really make you work. The pack the box full of people. They play eight in the box and sometimes more. We are not hiding the fact that we like to run the football and that is what we are going to try and do, so that will be quite a challenge. They are big and physical up front on both sides of the ball. Offensively and defensively their lines are very good and they are going to make us work no doubt about it,” said Armrose.

In a game like this, Armrose says they know the point of attack is going to be key. “We are going to have to control the line of scrimmage. We are going to have to do the same things we have done the first three weeks. It all comes down to controlling the line of scrimmage and the Freddies aren’t going to make that easy. They have got a lot of upperclassmen playing, big kids that are strong and physical. We need to control the line of scrimmage on the defensive side of the ball. Our defense has to play with what we like to call controlled rage, like they did last week,” said Armrose.

Published 9/14/17

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Northmor Getting Ready For Lucas

Two teams off to a good start this season meet on Friday night in non-conference play as Northmor is at Lucas.

The Golden Knights (2-0) beat Worthington Christian (40-14) last week.

Coach Scott Armrose says they got off to a slow start, but he says they found some things in the second half. “We got off to a slow start. We were having trouble moving them up front. We knew they were big and it was going to be a challenge, but we also felt like if we played a physical football game eventually we would be able to overpower them. It was 14-7 at halftime and we got the ball to start the second half. We talked about getting a fast start and getting going and we ended up scoring four touchdowns in the third quarter. So, we were very pleased with that. We just need to become more consistent overall, especially up front with our young offensive line,” said Armrose.

Armrose says at halftime they just talked about things and different ways to go about it. “We reaffirmed the things we talked about before the game and the things we needed take care of getting on these guys and playing physical football. We made a few adjustments. The adjustments we make we are not drawing up new plays,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “We are saying their defensive end is not where we said he would be that’s okay here is how we are going to block him now. With a young offensive line we find ourselves doing a lot of those things right now, but we are learning and getting better every week.”

Lucas (2-0) is coming off a (37-7) belting of Centerburg last week.

They, of course, run the rugby style double tight, double wing offense, and Armrose says that offense is hard to get ready for. “We had an interesting practice (Wednesday) night. It was our first day of school here at Northmor. The first day of school is always a challenge. It was raining as we started our defensive practice and then we had our scout team trying to simulate the Lucas offense. To be friendly it was just a mess. It is very difficult to do,” he said.

Plymouth has adopted the same style and Lucas has seen that in a scrimmage and Armrose thinks that is a plus. “We know exactly what we need to do to slow the Lucas offense down, but knowing it and explaining to the kids that do it are two different things. We have worked hard on it this week. Fortunately we did scrimmage Plymouth early in the season, which gave us some experience and that is going to help us tremendously as well,” he said.

Published 9/07/17

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Northmor Gets Big Win; Readies for Week Two

Last week, the Northmor Golden Knights produced one of their biggest wins in at least their recent football history when then they knocked off highly regarded Crestview.

Demetrious Johnson scored three touchdowns, two on long runs, and one on a pick six to seal the win, and the Golden Knights beat Crestview (21-14) at their place last week.

They play at Worthington Christian in another non-conference game on Friday night.

Scott Armrose, in his first year as head coach, had a smile on his face all weekend and was very excited for his players, especially the seniors. “(Crestview is) a darn good football team. We wanted to make it a close game. We wanted to control the clock a little bit and be in it at the end and we might have a chance,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “We played with a tremendous amount of heart and our defensive coordinator Dave Morgan put together a pretty darn good plan to stopping a really good offense, so I was very pleased for our boys and I was proud of our seniors who worked really hard and had taken a beating the last three years and won a really big game right there.”

Northmor had won just three games over the last two years and nine over the last three.

Johnson is a former state champion in the long jump and a pretty good basketball player too. Armrose says he is a threat anytime he gets the ball in his hands. “Without a doubt, he is a playmaker. He is usually the best athlete on the field. If we can block a couple of people for him he can make plays. The ball just seems to come to him on defense too. He is dangerous on both sides of the ball,” he said.

Worthington Christian lost to Cardington, also of the new Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference, (53-14) last week.

Armrose says the Warriors are going to try and run the football and they are coached by a guy that you might have head of. “Worthington Christian is coached by an All-Pro and a Super Bowl champ in Jeff Hartings, who played for the Steelers. He has some boys of his own that play on the team and they have a lot of really good athletes. They are big up front and the Hartings kid that plays running back is big and fast and hard to stop. They didn’t have a whole lot of success running the ball consistently against Cardington, but we think they will come back and be better this week,” he said.

Published 9/01/17

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Northmor Explodes in Seventh to Beat Mt. Gilead


          Northmor scored 13 runs in the seventh inning and they rallied to beat Mt. Gilead (18-8) in a blue division game in the Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference on Wednesday.

          Trailing by three (8-5) entering the top of the seventh inning the Golden Knights were able to get on a roll.

          Coach Buck Workman says his kids never give up until the final pitch and that was evident on Wednesday.  “That is the thing about our kids I don’t think we have ever given up.  We fight to the last out and (Wednesday) was no different.  We were down 8-5 and we led on the seventh with a walk and a home run and we were back within one.  You could just seem them gain and confidence and we just kept going and we put up 13,” he said.

          Northmor (8-10,4-8) has won its last three games and Workman says his kids are getting into the grove a little better at the plate.  He says the blue division has some pretty good arms.  “The thing is our league is pretty impressive.  Top to bottom every night is a battle.  You are going to struggle to get hits on some nights when you face Mack Aglin (Highland) Monday and the kid is going to Clemson.  He held us to five hits and struck out 10.  It is just not easy,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday night, “Then you have to adjust to some different pitching (Wednesday) night.  The kid we saw we saw earlier in the season too and he is pretty decent.  You have to make adjustments and it took us a little while to do so.”

          You are not going to score 13 runs in an inning very often.  Workman says they have to better at doing the little things that will end up in them scoring runs.  “I think our kids are hitting the ball pretty decent right now.  What I want to see is better execution on bunts and moving runners and doing the little things like we need to do to be successful.  We have a good enough hitting lineup when they are on.  We just need to do those little things better,” he said.


Published 4/27/17

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