Meet the 2021-22 News Journal Scholar-Athlete Team: Top 11 girls

Claudia Pifher of Buckeye Central shoots and scores during the during the fourth period of their Division IV State Semifinal game at University of Dayton Arena Friday in Dayton. Waterford won 53-39.

Claudia Pifher

School: Buckeye Central

Parents: Scott and Amy Pifher

Academics: 4.4 GPA … 25 on ACT … 1280 on SAT … Academic All-Ohio in Basketball … 2022 Class Valedictorian … Interested in majoring in Actuarial Science or any math-related field.

Athletics: 4-year letterwinner in volleyball … 1,087 career assists … 2021 honorable mention District 6 and Northern 10 Conference … 4-year letterwinner in basketball … 4-time All-Ohioan … Program’s all-time leading scorer with 1,598 points … 4-time first team All-N10 … 4-time first team All-District … 2021 Northwest District Player of the Year … 2021 District 6 Player of the Year … 92-15 overall record in 4-year basketball career … two N10 Conference championships … Four district championships … one regional championship … one regional runner-up trophy … 107 games started, 83% career free throw percentage, 51% career 3-point percentage, all three stats are in the Top 10 of all-time records in Ohio high school girls basketball.

Activities: Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Buckeye Central's Emily Siesel knocks down a shot in the Division IV regional semifinal against Dalton.

Buckeye Central’s Emily Siesel knocks down a shot in the Division IV regional semifinal against Dalton.

Emily Siesel

School: Buckeye Central

Parents: Scott and Mary Siesel

Academics: 4.0 GPA … National Honor Society Member … National Machinery Citizenship Award … Biology Award … N10 Scholar-Athlete Award … Buckeye Central Award of Distinction … Archie Griffin Sportsmanship Award … Zeigler/Schebley Scholarship.

Athletics: 2022 Division IV Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association Girls Basketball Player of the Year … 2022 Division IV Ohio High School Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Year … 2022 Northwest District Player of the Year … 2022 District 6 Player of the Year … 2022 Northern 10 Conference Player of the Year … 2022 Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum Player of the Year … Preferred Walk-on to Bowling Green State University … two-time first team All-N10 … Program record holder for steals in a career, season and game … Holds Top 5 all-time Ohio girls basketball honors for 17 steals in a game, 15 steals in a game and 179 steals in a season.

Activities: Fellowship of Christian Athletes … National Honor Society … Student Council … Teen Leadership … Young Life … EPIC Youth Church Group.

Sophia Niese

Sophia Niese

Sophia Niese

School: Shelby

Parents: Chad and Heidi Niese

Academics: 4.41 GPA … four-time Scholar Athlete … four-year Honor Roll student … Academic All-Ohioan.

Athletics: 4-year letterwinner in basketball … two-time Honorable Mention All-Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference … two-time first team All-MOAC … 2021-22 MOAC Player of the Year … 2021-22 Mansfield News Journal Player of the Year … two-time captain … Division II Northwest District Player of the Year in 2021-22 … Division II District 6 Player of the Year in 2021-22 … First Team All-Ohioan in 2021-22 … Team Captain in Soccer … first team All-MOAC honors … one letter in softball and volleyball.

Activities: 4-H … Campus Life … Year Book … Math League … Shelby Youth Soccer Coach.

Shelby Grover

Shelby Grover

Shelby Grover

School: Lucas

Parents: Mike and Kathy Grover

Academics: 3.91 GPA … Ohio Scholar … Lucas Academic Honor Society.

Athletics: 3-year letterwinner in Volleyball … 2021 first team All-Mid-Buckeye Conference … first team All-District … honorable mention All-Ohio … 3-year letterwinner in basketball … Division IV Special Mention All-Ohio … Division IV Second Team All-Northwest District … First Team All-Mid-Buckeye Conference … two-time All-Ohioan in basketball … 3-year letterwinner in track … MBC Female MVP … 2022 district long jump and 200-meter dash champion … 2021 All-Ohioan in 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles … 2022 All-Ohioan in long jump, 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles … Division IV state runner-up in 100 hurdles and long jump … three-sport All-Ohioan … owns school records in the 100, 400, 100 hurdles, 300 hurdles and long jump … just a junior.

Activities: Class Officer … Mt. Zion Youth Group … FCCLA.

Reyna Hoffman

Reyna Hoffman

Reyna Hoffman

School: Shelby

Parents: Thad and Steph Hoffman

Academics: 4.40 GPA … Schola Athlete … four academic letters, four-year honor roll student … Ranked No. 7 in class … Academic All-Ohio honors.

Athletics: 2-year letterwinner in volleyball … Hustle Award … Honorable Mention All-Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference … Honorable mention All-District 6 … 2-year letterwinner in cross country … Captain Award … Second team All-MOAC honors … member of the state-qualifying team in 2021 … 4-year letterwinner in swim … first team All-MOAC honors 12 times … two-time district champion … 10 first team district honors … first team All-Ohio in 200 freestyle relay … five-time second team All-Ohioan … Sportsmanship Award … 3-time Top Dog Award … two-time high point award … Captain Award … owns six school records in 200 IM, 100 backstroke, 100 breaststroke, 200 free relay, 400 free relay and 200 medley relay … 4-year letterwinner in track … two Captain Awards … first team All-MOAC in as member of 4×800 … second team All-MOAC in 800-meter run … competed at the state level in three sports as a senior.

Activities: Campus Life … Math League … Yearbook Business Editor.

Madison senior Lyndsee Young will make history as the first female state qualifier in Madison wrestling history when she takes the mat at the Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association Girls Wresting state meet this weekend.

Madison senior Lyndsee Young will make history as the first female state qualifier in Madison wrestling history when she takes the mat at the Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association Girls Wresting state meet this weekend.

Lyndsee Young

School: Madison

Parents: Mike and Jessica Young

Academics: 4.0 GPA … Class Valedictorian.

Athletics: 2-year letterwinner in volleyball … 3-year letterwinner in wrestling … 140-pound female State Champion … Just the second wrestling state champion in Madison history … Overall record of 29-15 … 22-1 record against other female competition … Team 110% Award … Team captain.

Activities: Student Council … Worked an average of 30 hours a week through school.

Morgan Welch

Morgan Welch

Morgan Welch

School: Crestview

Parents: Mike and Misty Welch

Academics: 4.0 GPA … ACT score of 25 … Full-time CCP Student as junior and senior … four-years in Student Council … three-year member of National Honor Society … four-year Academic All-Ohioan … four-year scholar athlete.

Athletics: four-year letterwinner in cross country … two-year team captain … Rookie of the Year Award … two-time Most Valuable Runner Award … two-time state qualifier … 2021 All-Ohioan … two-time team Firelands Conference and District champions … four-year letterwinner in track … two-year team captain … two-time Most Valuable Runner … two-time state qualifier in the 1,600 … Owns school record in the 1,600 and as a member of the 4×400 relay team … Crestview Local School Heisman Athlete … Crestview Athlete of the Year.

Activities: Volunteer for SERVE local mission … Volunteer at DaySpring Assisted Living Facility … Ashland Church Community Emergency Shelter Services and Ashland Christian Health Center fundraising participant … Cougar Faith … Crew Leader at Vacation Bible School at Faith United Methodist and Grace Brethern … Crestview Running Club … Volunteer and worship leader for the IF local … Greater Cleveland Food Bake volunteer distributer … Samaritas Purse Box Packing participant during Christmas.

Ellia Maurer

Ellia Maurer

Ellie Maurer

School: Ontario

Parents: Amy Togliatti and Brian Maurer

Academics: 4.374 Cumulative GPA … four-year All-A’s/Honor Roll List … four-year Academic Athlete Award … National Honor Society Member.

Athletics: four-year letterwinner in Cross Country … 2019 and 2020 Fighting Warriors Award … 2020 and 2021 Team Captain … 2021 MVP … 2021 Phil Griffin Award … three-time state qualifier … 2018 and 2019 All-Ohioan … four-year letterwinner in track … 2019 All-Ohioan in 4×800 relay (third place) … Attending University of Louisville.

Activities: Studen Council.

Ava Ruhe

Ava Ruhe

Ava Ruhe

School: Ontario

Parents: Mike and Wendi Ruhe

Academics: 4.039 Cumulative GPA … four-year All-A’s/Honor Roll List … four-year Academic Athlete Award … National Honor Society Member.

Athletics: four-year letterwinner in soccer … Honorable Mention All-District in 2019 and 2020 … Second Team All-District in 2021 … Second Team All-Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference in 2020 and 2021 … 2019 and 2020 Best Defensive Player Award … four-year letterwinner in swimming … four-time swin state qualifier … first four-year swim state qualifier in Ontario High School history … eight-time swim All-Ohioan in 200 free relay (2020, 2021), 400 free relay (2020, 2021, 2022) and 200 Medley Relay (2020, 2021, 2022) … 2021 and 2022 Team MVP.

Activities: Student Life.

Highland's 	Ashlynn Belcher hits the ball against John Glenn.

Highland’s Ashlynn Belcher hits the ball against John Glenn.

Ashlynn Belcher

School: Highland

Parents: Tim and Teresa Belcher

Academics: 4.0 GPA … Ranked No. 1 in class … 27 on ACT … National Honor Society Member.

Athletics: four-year letterwinner in volleyball … member of the 2019 state runner-up team … first team All-MOAC/KMAC in 2019, 2020 and 2021 … Second Team All-Ohioan in 2021.

Activities: Earned full-ride scholarship to Old Dominion University.

Cardington ripped Tinora 29-4 in a Division III regional semifinal softball game at Elida Tuesday. The Pirates return for Friday's final at 5 p.m.

Cardington ripped Tinora 29-4 in a Division III regional semifinal softball game at Elida Tuesday. The Pirates return for Friday’s final at 5 p.m.

Dana Bertke

School: Cardington-Lincoln

Parents: Jennifer Bertke

Academics: 4.54 GPA … four-year All-A’s/Honor Roll List … Spanish Club … … National Honor Society … Presedential Scholarship … Attending Cedarville Univeristy.

Athletics: four-year letterwinner in basketball … second team All-Knox Morrow Athletic Conference … second team All-Central District … four-year letterwinner in softball … first team All-KMAC … first team All-Central District … second team All-Ohio.

Activities: Morrow County 4-H .. Community service … FCA … Morrow County Junior Equestrian Queen … Archie Griffin Sportsmanship Award … Winter Sports Night Queen.

Honorable Mention Girls

Gracie Pfieffer, Lexington; Zaynah Tate, Galion; Klaira Paramore, Ashland; Mary Leeper, Crestview; Kelsey McCoy, Plymouth; Elizabeth Norris, Hillsdale; Ahmani Mitchell, Mansfield Senior; Lacey Fickes, Hillsdale; Abby Little, Mansfield Christian; Ava Smith, Galion; Trinity Cook, Clear Fork; Ryan Culler, Lucas; Gabrielle Daniels, Fredericktown; Audrey Bouton, Fredericktown; Faith Kuhn, Madison; Anna Sparks, Mansfield Christian; Lilly Wortman, Clear Fork.

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Past Scholar-Athletes of the Year

The 2021-2022 News Journal Scholar-Athlete Team is being announced this weekend online and in the newspaper. Here is the top girl for each year since the program’s inception:

1987: Kelly Inkrott, Malabar; 1988: Kim Tyler, Northmor; 1989: Donna Lash, Ashland; 1990: Chris Olex, St. Peter’s; 1991: Allison Quinn, Mount Gilead; 1992: Molly Senokozlieff, Clear Fork; 1993: Allisson Butler, Northmor; 1994: Allisson Butler, Northmor; 1995: Jaime Chenevey, Hillsdale; 1996: Janae Davis, Crestview; 1997: Shiva Davis, Crestview; 1998: Alyson Workman, Loudonville; 1999: Megan Pease, Madison; 2000: Cassie Palmer, South Central; 2001: Abby Coon, Plymouth; 2002: Stephanie Berkaw, Hillsdale; 2003: Tiffany Gribble, Galion; 2004: Sarah Henize, Bucyrus; 2005: Gretchen Polinski, St. Peter’s; 2006: Whitney Dropsey, Hillsdale; 2007: Lindsey Pifher, Colonel Crawford; 2008: Kate Stimpert, Crestview; 2009: Hannah Fulk, Hillsdale; 2010: Rachel Dannemiller, Shelby; 2011: Kelsey Dropsey, Hillsdale; 2012: Martha Stabb, Clear Fork; 2013: Devon Murray, Shelby; 2014: Macey Sheerer, Bucyrus; 2015: Ellie Richmond, Wynford; 2016: Chloe Grove, Colonel Crawford; 2017: Kennadie Goth, Shelby; 2018: Claire Korbas, Shelby; 2019: Makenna Heimlich, Shelby; 2020: Kerrigan Myers, Galion; 2021: Taylor Huff, Madison; 2022: Claudia Pifher and Emily Siesel, Buckeye Central.

This article originally appeared on Mansfield News Journal: 2021-22 News Journal Scholar-Athlete Team: Top 11 girls