Local Sports

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Prep Sports: Garber leads list of seven area signees
Vanlue's Zach Garber, one of the most highly recruited basketball players to come out of the Blanchard Valley Conference, made it official on Wednesday when he signed a national letter of intent with the University of Toledo.

Garber, a 6-foot-10 center, made a verbal commitment to UT following a team camp at the University of Findlay in late June. Wednesday, however, was the first day senior prep athletes could officially sign national letters of intent.

Garber was heavily recruited by 12 to 15 Division I college programs, including Akron, Cleveland State, Bowling Green and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

"I really considered all of my options. And the more I thought about it, I just felt more at home at Toledo," Garber said when he verbally committed to Toledo in June.

Garber was the only underclassman on the all-Blanchard Valley Conference first team last season when he averaged 19.7 points and 12.4 rebounds per game. He shot 62 percent from the field, 76 percent from the line and blocked 57 shots in helping the Wildcats tie for third (7-2) in the BVC standings and finish 7-4 overall.

Garber later earned Division IV first-team all-Northwest Ohio and second-team all-Ohio honors.

Garber, who played AAU ball with the Nike-affiliated All-Ohio Red team, will see some familiar faces when he joins UT practices in the fall of 2013. Last year, the Rockets got a commitment from Columbus Northland's Jordan Potts, who played on that AAU team in 2011. In addition to Garber, 6-5 Napoleon guard Jordan Lauf (21.9 ppg, 9.8 rpg) signed a letter of intent with UT on Wednesday.

While Wednesday's signing made it official, Garber said in June he wanted to make his decision early.

"My goal was to decide between now (June) and the start of the high school season. Then I would not have to worry about it," Garber said. "It's a relief. Now I can just go out, just play the game and enjoy myself."

Six other athletes from the area, including five seniors from Findlay High School, also took advantage of the early signing period to make official athletic plans.

Findlay senior Jimmy Orwick signed to continue his baseball career at the University of Notre Dame. A two-time first team all-conference selection, Orwick has been the ace of the Trojans' pitching staff the last two seasons. He was second in the league with 70 strikeouts while opponents hit just .193 against him. He also led the team at the plate with a .354 batting average, 23 runs scored, 23 hits, 5 triples 14 walks and a .569 on base percentage.

Findlay senior Eli Stacy will take his golf talents up I-75 to compete for Bowling Green State University. A four-year letter winner, Stacy led the Trojans to state tournament appearances the past two years. He placed 12th individually in the Division I state tournament this season.

Stacy finished his career with a 77.79 scoring average for 18 holes. His 80.42 average over his four-year career places him in the top three in career average in school history.

Two players from a Findlay High volleyball program that made three straight regional and one state semifinal appearance signed national letters of intent and both -- Emma Schleucher and Kayce Krucki -- are headed to NCAA Division II Wheeling Jesuit

Schleucher, a three-time all-conference selection and four-year letter winner, named honorable mention all-Ohio for the Trojans in 2012. She was second on the team in kills (199) and blocks (83) and holds school records for most aces in a game (11), season (61) and career (183)

Krucki was a first-team all-league and all-district selection all four years and was named the Greater Buckeye Conference Player of the Year as a sophomore. She also made the Division I all-Ohio list four times, including earning first-team honors in 2012. Kayce holds school records for most kills in a game (24), season (338) and career (1,074) as well as for most digs in a game (36), season (308) and career (992).

Christina McQueen signed to continue her basketball career at Gardner-Webb University. McQueen has averaged 12.7 points with 9.4 rebounds per game during her career. She was the team's MVP last year after leading Findlay in points, rebounds and blocked shots on her way to earning first team all-conference and all-district honors.

Ottoville's Abby Siefker is headed to Bowling Green State University to continue her basketball career.

Siefker was a second-team all-Ohio selection as a junior after leading Ottoville to the regional finals. She averaged 14.0 points and 10.5 rebounds per game and was named Putnam County League player of the year.

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