Editor’s note: Lynchburg-Clay athletic director Mark Faust recently posted the following article recapping the accomplishments of his school’s athletes and teams.
There’s a saying that has been going through my mind for the past few months that many people have heard before. It goes something like this: “Sometimes you are born into greatness, and sometimes, you have greatness thrust upon you.” Since neither of these apply to me, I would like to add a phrase to the end of that saying, “and sometimes you just happen to be in the right place at the right time.”
After working with and watching the Lynchburg-Clay Athletic teams in 2016, I feel very fortunate to be Athletic Director at Lynchburg-Clay. As 2016 ends, I thought it would be a good idea to reflect on the athletic accomplishments for the past year (which is also the 50th anniversary of the Lynchburg-Clay School District).
2016 was an amazing year for Lynchburg-Clay. It began with two incredible runs by our basketball teams. The girls team ran the table in Southern Hills Athletic Conference (SHAC) play, and won both the Sectional and District Championships. In doing so, four girls were named to the All-SHAC team, four girls were named to All-District teams, and three girls were named to the All-Ohio team. Coach Lewis was also named the SHAC and District 14 Coach of the Year (see below for a complete list of all post season awards). And Hannah Binkley scored her 1000th career point.
The boys followed suit by making a historic run in the Division III Tournament. They won the SHAC, Sectional, District and Regional Championships. The boys’ season culminated with a place in the Final Four and a trip to the Schottenstein Center. Five players were named to the All-SHAC team (an unprecedented number), four were named to All-District teams, one was named All-Ohio, and one was named Academic All-Ohio. Coach Carson was also named the SHAC Coach of the Year.
And we can’t forget the bowling teams. In just its third year of existence, the bowling program had four individuals advance to the district meet and both teams narrowly missed qualifying as well. Amazingly, the winter season was just a prelude to what was to come for the rest of 2016.
The spring season began with the softball team being named SHAC runners-up. Two players were named to the All-SHAC team and four were named to All-District teams. The baseball team won the SHAC (for the 25th time) and sectional championships. Four players were named to the All-SHAC team and two were named to All-District teams. The baseball team also had three All-Southeast District and All-Ohio Academic Team members.
Both track and field teams were SHAC runners-up, with each team winning three individual events. Bailey Leininger went on to win the region in discus and placed sixth at the Division III state meet. Overall, the girls track team set four school records and the boys set two school records.
After taking the summer off, Lynchburg-Clay’s winning ways continued this fall. Eric McLaughlin earned a spot on the All-SHAC golf team and qualified for the district meet. Angela McLaughlin was named All-SHAC in girls cross country.
The volleyball team won the SHAC Championship, had three players named to the All-SHAC team, and two named to the All-District team. Makayla Creed was named Co-Player of the Year in the SHAC (2016-17 was the first year for the SHAC to name Players of the Year). The boys soccer team won their fourth consecutive SHAC championship and also won their fourth consecutive Sectional Championship. They had five players named to the All SHAC team, six players named to All-District teams and two players named All-Ohio. Kyle Luneke was named SHAC Player of the Year. Coach West was named SHAC Coach of the Year as well.
The girls soccer team provided us with 2016’s grand finale. The girls won their sixth consecutive SHAC championship (they haven’t lost a conference game in more than five years), their sixth consecutive sectional championship, their fourth consecutive district championship and their first-ever regional championship (they are the first girls team from the Southeast District to win the region).
Their season peaked with a place in the Division III Final Four. They had five players named to the All-SHAC team, seven players named to All-District teams, and three players named to the All-Ohio team. Shelby Chisman was named SHAC Player of the Year and Hannah Binkley was named District Player of the Year (the sixth consecutive year that a Lady Mustang has won the award). Dennis West was also named SHAC Coach of the Year.
By my count, L-C won six SHAC, five sectional, three district and two regional championships. We also had 36 athletes named to the All-SHAC team, 30 to All-District teams, and nine to All-Ohio teams. Not too bad for a rural school district with the high school located between two soybean fields.
As amazing as these athletic accomplishments were, the success wasn’t just on the athletic field. During the 2016 calendar year, 31 different athletes are (or were) members of National Honor Society. The graduating class of 2016 had five valedictorians (all with 4.0 GPAs) and all were athletes, as was the Salutatorian.
2016 was truly a remarkable year for the Lynchburg-Clay Athletic Department. It is without a doubt the most successful year in Lynchburg-Clay’s history. So, here’s to the conclusion of 2016. May these accomplishments be a foreshadowing of the future for Lynchburg-Clay.
Mark Faust is the athletic director for Lynchburg-Clay High School.