Since most people are more or less quarantined for the time being, we are reaching out to some of our CHL administrators, coaches, & athletes to see how they are dealing with the current circumstances.  We made it simple with just two questions.
How has this impacted you personally and what are you doing to pass the time?
When this crisis has passed, what are your priorities on getting back to normal?
As we get information back from individuals, we will continue to add to this story.
We will start with your SID.

Bill Bretz, CHL Sports Information Director
Unlike others who are teaching, coaching, or going to school, I am a retired teacher & coach. So you would think that a quarantine would not affect me that much.  But I am a busy retired guy and have seen some changes.  I was the head of two church projects, one that cancelled and another that has been postponed to summer.  I am also on our church board that has been meeting through Zoom.  Since I retired from coaching, I have been a full time track & field official the last 4 years.  I have had 18 meets cancelled in March & April. So I have been mostly at home.  My wife & I are playing a lot of card & board games.  I have been walking mostly in our neighborhood in the Evendale/ Blue Ash area, but also at county parks.  We have been reaching out to relatives & friends through email, text, & phone calls. And, of course, I have been writing stories for the league website.

My priorities when this has passed will be getting back with people again.  I really think that is the #1 one priority for everyone.  I hope that the spring season can get going in May.  If so, I look forward to getting back to officiating.  My wife & I travel a lot and had to postpone two trips, including a cruise.  We hope to get back “on the road” as soon as possible!  Let’s hope all of this is sooner than later!

See how fast you can find the answers.  You can have competition with others. 
Correct answers will be posted Saturday afternoon after 4:30
Answers can be found on the many different links on the CHL Website.

  1. The CHL won the state Division II diving title three years in a row.  Who were the two   league divers to win? Noah Vigran (Indian Hill) 2017, 2018 & Ilya Gerasimchuk (Wyoming) 2019
  2. Under city history, what was Reading’s original name? Voorhees Town
  3. On Finneytown’s website, who is their athletic director? Gerald Warmack
  4. According to the current college commitments, how many Wyoming football players will play college ball? Five
  5. Nicole Bell (Indian Hill) was the girls’ basketball Player of the Year in the CHL in 2009 as a freshman.  How many other times was she basketball Player of the Year? Two, 2011 & 2012
  6. One of our web links is Baum’s Page.  How many sports do they cover? Four, Cross Country, Wrestling, Golf, Track & Field
  7. How many times has Indian Hill girls’ soccer won a CHL title? 15
  8. Taylor football running back Hunter Gillespie was Player of the Year in what year? 2015
  9. What was the year that Mariemont girls’ won the league track & field championship? 2015
10. In 2019, how many Deer Park softball players were all league? 10
11. What league school won back to back state boys’ soccer titles in 2002 & 2003? Madeira
12. Two part question….  How many boys’ league track & field records does Reading hold? Six  What Reading athlete is part of four of those records? Gabe Van Skaik
13. In 2019, Taylor had the top three players in what softball stat? Batting Average
14. What girl bowler led the CHL in average the last three years? Chelsea Hammer
15. In 1988, Finneytown won what two league titles and was runner up in which one. Won Volleyball & Girls' Soccer, runner-up Track & Field

This is the latest information from the OHSAA office:

Information Relative to Spring Sports & Beyond
Governor DeWine extended mandatory school closures through May 1.  As a result:
  • The mandated No-Contact period has been extended through this date (May 1). This is to assist with the Governor’s ‘stay at home’ order, to prohibit coaches from privately meeting with student-athletes AND to put all schools on an equal level relative to future competitive opportunities.
    • It should be noted that the No-Contact Regulation was never intended to discourage or prohibit electronic communication with student-athletes.  For the mental well-being of student-athletes, it is actually encouraged but is NOT intended for coaches to encourage any form of group gatherings or instruction.
  • No practices or competitions may occur through this date (May 1).
  • Since other events and activities are not permitted by the current Governor’s orders, we collectively believe we can continue looking at abbreviated schedules for spring sports.  While cancellation remains on the table with all other options, there are many factors that enter into possibilities.  Availability of venues for any events, Dept. of Health guidelines and Governor’s orders are all part of the equation.  Under no circumstances will we compromise the safety of student-athletes, coaches, officials, game workers or fans.  Everyone in the schools is aware of the extremely fluid situation and we will continue to update you as things change.
  • Simply so we are prepared, we have begun looking at:
    • Off-Season Regulations.  In the event activities are permitted to begin in June or July, we are looking at adjusting off-season regulations to expedite a return to school-based athletic programs.
    • Fall Sport Issues.  Again, I feel it is incumbent for our staff to look at every ‘what if’ and be prepared.  In a worst-case scenario, if events/practices/training are shut down during or through the summer, the reality exists that many of the thousands of student-athletes may lack any high-level physical training.  We need to look at what serves our student-athletes best relative to acclimatization periods.  I want to stress that we are PLANNING for worst-case scenarios by identifying all the challenges we could potentially face.

      So the possibility that spring sports can have an abbreviated season is still around. In the case of baseball, softball, & boys' tennis, we will assume that league games/matches will be priority.  Not sure how it will work out with track & field and lacrosse. 

      Check out our Twitter account for pictures of athletes staying in shape and also for some tips on staying in shape.

      Weekly trivia is little late this week.  It is now posted.

      We urge students to keep up their studies during this time.  Hats off to our teachers who are doing a great job in getting info out to the students. 

      Stay safe and healthy!

Those who have followed CHL boys’ basketball over the years should know the name Jim Reynolds, particularly if you are from Madeira & Wyoming.  Jim was the head boys’ basketball coach at Wyoming from 1985-1989.  He had a 60-33 record for the Cowboys including a district title.  He was teaching at Mt. Healthy and at that time and became the full time Athletic Director in 1989-1990.  Coach Reynolds moved to Madeira schools in 1990 where he taught and coached for the next 25 years.  His record at Madeira was 386-177 with 11 CHL titles, 10 sectional titles, 6 district titles, 1 regional title, and 1 state final four.  Jim retired from teaching and coaching in Ohio in 2015.  He has moved to Tucson, Arizona, where about a month ago he won a state championship at Salpointe Catholic High School.
Here are some questions we asked Coach Reynolds:

SID – What are some of your memories of coaching in Ohio?

Coach Reynolds - Coaching and teaching has always felt right to me. I thoroughly enjoyed my time teaching and coaching in Ohio. The students, teachers, players, assistant coaches, opposing teams’ players and coaches, as well as the officials, were all people I developed positive relationships with.  Some memories that stand out were a 39-38 loss to Springfield Catholic Central in the regional semis in 1996, Madeira's first and only trip to the Final Four in 1999, and coaching Jay Newberry and Andrew Benintendi who both started 91 straight games in their four year varsity careers. The real treasure though has been all the relationships!

SID - What was the reason for your moved to Arizona?

Coach Reynolds - As the 2014-15 school year progressed, it became more apparent that moving out west to either Tucson or Denver was in our plans. We wanted to be closer to our children and both of our jobs were at a point where we could leave. Ryan was in Tucson and Erica was in Denver.  My wife Linda had lived in Cincinnati for her entire life and I had lived there for 51 years. We looked at moving as an adventure that would take us closer to our children. We picked Tucson because of the climate, low cost of living and to follow Arizona basketball. Our daughter had our first grandchild this past summer so I am pretty sure we are not finished moving. Denver could be a destination in the coming years.
SID Note – Ryan Reynolds is the Basketball Operations person for the University of Arizona Men’s Basketball.

SID – How did you get back into coaching?

Coach Reynolds - I was fortunate to find a teaching position immediately which I have had for the past five years. I volunteered as a coach at a local school the first year being there for maybe 3-4 days per week when it fit my schedule. The next season I went cold turkey and did not coach at all. All the while I was assisting Doug Brown and Eddie Glaser at Talawanda by doing some video work for their program. Sean Miller (Arizona coach, former Xavier coach) informed Ryan that the Salpointe Catholic job was going to open and asked him to see if I had interest. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to become head coach at Salpointe Catholic when the position opened. I must say that my wife was has been there supporting me thru all of my years. She is the real superstar in our family.

SID – Give us some background on the Salpointe Catholic basketball program.

Coach Reynolds - Salpointe Catholic has a very strong tradition. There have been many outstanding players and coaches who have been a part of their history. Salpointe has been one of the better basketball programs in southern Arizona for most of its existence. The year before I took over, the team made a tourney run all the way to the State Championship game before losing to Mike Bibby's Shadow Mountain team 81-48.
The 2017-2018 year is when I became head coach. We had to replace three players who were the heart of the team. Our senior class was not strong and we had to move on from some players who put themselves ahead of team goals in everything we did. Couple the preceding information with two key early season injuries, we got off to a rough start at 3-14. Things came together quickly after that as the players returned from injury. We moved a player up from JV and sophomore Evan Nelson (Harvard Commit) became eligible. The team finished 15-16 including a four point loss 83-79 in the State Championship to Shadow Mountain once again.
The following season with a number of returning players we went 27-3 and ended our season again with a 77-70 loss to Shadow Mountain in the State Semis.

SID – Earlier this season, you got your 500th career win.  Your feelings at that game?

Coach Reynolds - The 500th win of my coaching career occurred at the Visit Mesa Tournament in Phoenix in a 66-63 win over Brophy Prep. I tried to keep it very low key but Ryan and Linda had secretly told my assistant coach, Eric Castillo, about it. There was a little celebration after the game and I was presented the game ball from the Mesa Public Schools which I am really grateful for. It was a feeling of appreciation for all of the great players, assistant coaches and most of all my family that enabled me this opportunity. As I have said earlier, the biggest treasure of all is the relationships.

SID - This season, your team went 30-1.  Your only loss was to Catalina Foothills.  You came back and beat them twice including the state semi-final game.  What was the difference from the 3 point loss?

Coach Reynolds - We have played Catalina Foothills 8 times in three years during my tenure. They have been a big rival of Salpointe in recent years. They are very well coached and have had some outstanding players. The games are always well attended with the last two this season being sold out 45 minutes before tip off. The difference in the first game loss versus the last two wins really could be found in our defense, rebounding and mental toughness. These traits carried us to 48-39 and 56-50 wins. Our ability to get to the free throw line and keep Foothills off the line was also big. The games between us always made both teams better!

SID – Take us through your state championship game with Peoria?

Coach Reynolds - The State Championship game with Peoria was similar to our Foothills games. It was going to be won with defense, rebounding, toughness and free throw shooting. We trailed Peoria 29-22 at half, closing the score to being down 40-38 after three quarters. We held a 48-46 lead in the last 30 seconds when Peoria rebounded a missed shot and scored at the end to force the game into overtime. We scored the only six points in overtime and really secured the championship in the last 30 seconds of the contest winning 54-48. We became the first boys’ basketball team to win a State Championship in the 64 years of school history.
As would be expected, there was bedlam as the horn sounded to end the game; the celebration after the game seemed to go on forever. When we finally made it to the locker room, after 31 consecutive years of losing in the last game of the tournament, it felt strange addressing the team after a win. There were no players in tears needing to be consoled. It was only after we left the locker room that I think we all realized that sadness that comes with knowing the season is over. The real treasure of any season is always the relationships.  From the day that we played our game with a 3-14 record we have gone 69-6. The players have been outstanding and our coaching staff has been exceptional.

SID – You plan to retire this school year (2nd time!) and will continue to coach.  Expand on that.

Coach Reynolds - I have taught PE and health for 43 years. I turned 65 this past February. It is time to retire with the health insurance being now much more affordable. As I have said earlier a move to Denver could come at anytime. We love where we live but the lure of grandchildren is very strong. It looks like we will probably be here for another year so I will continue to coach at Salpointe. Coaching has always felt right to me.

Congratulations to Coach Jim Reynolds for his great successes in Ohio & Arizona.  Also thanks to Ryan Reynolds for giving us the “heads up” on how his dad was doing.

The following statement came out Thursday from the OHSAA:

COLUMBUS, Ohio –The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Thursday that the winter sports tournaments of wrestling, basketball and ice hockey, which were postponed indefinitely on March 12, are now cancelled due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. It is anticipated that schools will not be able to reopen for many weeks, which prevents interscholastic athletics from taking place.

The start of the OHSAA’s spring sports of softball, lacrosse, baseball, track and field and boys tennis is still postponed, which coincides with schools not being open.
Earlier Thursday, OHSAA Executive Director Jerry Snodgrass and his staff communicated with the schools that were still competing in those winter tournaments to announce the decision.
“We are just devastated that the tournaments cannot be completed,” said Snodgrass. “But our priority is the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, communities and officials. Governor Mike DeWine is asking all Ohioans to do everything they can to stop the spread of this virus. That request, along with our schools not being able to reopen for weeks, means that school sports cannot happen at this time. Even if our schools reopen this spring, it will be difficult to find facilities willing to host the tournaments. Most campus are shut down until mid to late summer.
“We are already planning for ways that these student-athletes will be honored at next year’s state tournament,” said Snodgrass.
The 16 schools that qualified for the girls basketball state tournament and the four teams that qualified for the ice hockey state tournament will all receive state tournament programs. The 672 student-athletes who qualified for the wrestling state tournament will all receive a program, certificate and their weigh-in card.
These four winter state tournaments and a few events during World War 2 (1941-45) are the only sports cancellations in the history of the OHSAA, which was founded in 1907.
No state champions will be listed for these four sports in 2020. The OHSAA does not use state polls from the media or coaches associations to determine state champions.

As was mentioned in the statement, spring sports ares still on hold.  Schools are scheduled to go back April 6th, but that will likely change to a later date.  So nothing is official about the spring sports yet.

We will keep stories coming to the website.  Also, check out the Twitter Account.  Lot of interesting information and pictures.
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