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A great day to be a Knights fan

By KEVIN LYNCHStaff Writer Published: November 8, 2012 5:00 AM

Saturday was a sports lover's dream, especially for West Holmes fans.

The Knights had their boys cross country team competing in the state meet. One of the girls was also there running. Former Garaway runner-turned-West Holmes Spanish teacher/coach Kevin Beachy and his crew have done an amazing job with the harriers, helping them get over the hump and get to state.

When Beachy was a student at Garaway, along with one of his assistant coaches, Brian Lash, the Pirates were running in the state meet as well. I guess he knows a thing or two about running. And he is doing a great job translating his knowledge and love for the sport to his runners.

With a solid group of girls back next year and Sam Boyd taking over the top spot vacated by Cully Gordon, next season promises to be just as exciting as this one was for West Holmes.

On the way home from the state cross county meet, we listened to the Lady Knights' soccer team in their regional final appearance against defending state champion St. Francis DeSales. West Holmes did well against the Stallions, but came out on the short end of a 2-0 score.

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It is the second straight season Josh Wengerd's girls have ended their season at the regional tournament, taking it one step further this year, making it to the finals.

The girls lose some valuable pieces of the team in three-year starter in goal Shelby Harris and four-year defender Courtney Kozak, but all of their offensive firepower returns next year with another year of experience under their belt, and a taste of what it takes to compete at the next level.

I got home in time to write two stories about the cross country meet and left just enough time to get out to West Holmes High School for the Knights' first home playoff football game. It was quite a show put on by the locals, who had Knights Stadium shining. It was quite an awesome display not only by the football team, which ran over the Redskins of Indian Creek, but by the hosts overall. From the conditions of the field, to the parking, to the crowd control, to concessions, to hospitality, it was an awesome evening on the old gridiron.

Sure, it was a long day at the office, but it was full of fun sports, seeing some great competition on the biggest of stages.

This week's game will be played against Steubenville at New Philadelphia's Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium. The 9-2 Big Red are a tradition-laden program that annually makes extended postseason runs. They opened their tournament trek this year with a 28-0 thrashing of Maysville.

Playing on the turf at Quaker Stadium will make the game even faster, which could mean a track meet between two solid running teams.

The defense of the Knights will be called upon once again to make things happen and contain the Big Red, while Layne Perone, Garrett Mackey and Grant Hay get the West Holmes ground game rolling.

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