Though his induction into the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame was announced in June 2019, Jim Ryan will finally have a ceremony to attend.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the OHSFCA’s annual event, which takes place in suburban Columbus, was pushed to June 21, 2021. The date change was announced at North Olmsted’s stadium during last Friday’s Division II, Region 6 playoff game between Midview and the Eagles, for whom Ryan currently serves as an assistant on the staff of head coach Tim Brediger.

Ryan is an Olmsted Falls native who graduated from the high school in 1976 and went on to a successful football career at the University of Findlay. After earning his Master’s degree from Cleveland State University, he began his coaching and teaching career at North Olmsted in 1980, teaching business and working as the football team’s defensive coordinator and the head girls basketball coach during the winter season.

He returned to Olmsted Falls in 1982 and coached a variety of sports there, including softball, girls basketball, baseball, middle school wrestling and football. As the head of the Bulldogs football program for 25 years, he amassed a 180-92 record until his retirement in 2013. His teams made the playoffs 11 times during that span, won the Southwestern Conference seven times and won the Division II state championship in 2000.

He was named the Greater Cleveland Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year twice (1999 and 2000), and was selected to help coach in the Big 33 All-Star game in 1999 and 2005, among other honors.

Soon-to-be Viking

As a key part of the Avon Lake volleyball team, senior Madison Olinger has made a career out of strong play at the net, and announced last week a verbal commitment to play at the college level for Cleveland State University.

The six-foot senior is the Shoregals’ all-time blocks leader for both a career (289) and a single season (118 and counting), and leads the Southwestern Conference in that category, with 47 more blocks than second-place Nia Hall of Amherst. Olinger’s 204 kills currently place her second in the league behind Olmsted Falls sophomore Kylee Urban’s 206.

The Shoregals (12-7, 9-5 SWC), sit in fourth place in the league standings and will wrap up their regular season this week with a match at home against second-place Olmsted Falls (16-2, 11-2 SWC) Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Poll watchers

Familiar names dotted the latest round of state athletic polls last week.

In the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association boys poll, Avon moved into the No. 10 spot in Division I, while Avon Lake continued to receive votes, finishing just outside the top 15. In Division II, one-loss Bay continued to hold down the No. 1 ranking in the state. In the girls Division II poll, still-unbeaten Rocky River stayed at No. 4.

The Greater Cleveland Soccer Coaches poll listed Avon as No. 5, Avon Lake No. 6, Magnificat No. 9 and St. Joseph’s Academy No. 10 in Division I.

The latest Ohio Association of Track and Cross Country Coaches poll ranked St. Edward No. 27 in Division I, while St. Joseph was ranked 22nd on the girls side. The Bay boys team placed fourth in Division II.

In last week’s Maxpreps state volleyball polls, Magnificat ranked seventh in Division I, while St. Joseph ranked 12th.

Contact this reporter at sports@westlifenews.com or 440-871-5797.

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