AROUND THE HORN
Hicks heads to Mount Union
LEETONIA — Leetonia senior Connor Hicks signed a letter of intent Wednesday to continue his academic and football careers at NCAA Division III power Mount Union in Alliance.
Hicks was a Division VII first-team All-Ohioan and the Morning Journal’s All-Area Player of the Year last fall.
Hicks’ play was a big reason the Bears enjoyed their first winning season since 2008 and trailed only Southern Local and Columbiana in the Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference.
Hicks is expected to play on the interior of the defensive line for the Purple Raiders.
OVAC cancels football game
WHEELING, W.Va. — Because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, another staple of the Ohio Valley has summer has been canceled.
During Wednesday’s OVAC Executive Board Meeting, which was held via Zoom, the conference formally canceled the Rudy Mumley Ohio Valley Athletic Conference All-Star Football Game, which was slated for July 25 at Wheeling Island Stadium.
“We went down to the wire (during the meeting) trying to pull everything possible out of a hat to find a way (to hold the game), but in the end the common denominators — with every suggestion — we kept coming back to were safety and health,” OVAC Executive Director Dirk DeCoy said. “It was determined that it wasn’t going to be worth the risk of exposing people and these kids to the possibility of getting sick.”
This marks only the second time since the OVAC took over the all-star game in 1972 the game wasn’t played. Weather caused the 1992 game to be canceled.
Sullivan Award shared
(AP) – Oregon women’s basketball star Sabrina Ionescu and Iowa wrestler Spencer Lee shared the Sullivan Award on Wednesday night as the country’s top amateur athlete.
They are the second co-winners in the 90-year history of the Amateur Athletic Union award, following Keenan Reynolds and Breanna Stewart in 2005.
The ceremony was done remotely and streamed on Facebook. The scheduled program at the New York Athletic Club was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ionescu, from Walnut Creek, California, swept every major women’s basketball award, including being a unanimous choice as the AP player of the year. She had an NCAA-record 26 career triple-doubles and was the first NCAA player — men’s or women’s — to reach 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and 1,000 assists.
She was drafted first overall by the WNBA’s New York Liberty this month after guiding Oregon to a 31-2 mark in the season that ended prematurely with the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament.
“This is truly an honor,” Ionescu said. “I’m blessed to be in this position and blessed to be among such great athletes and people, and to follow in the footsteps of the past AAU Sullivan Award winners.”
Lee, from Murrysville, Pennsylvania, was 18-0 for the Hawkeyes this year as a junior before the season was stopped. The 125-pounder won NCAA titles his first two seasons.
“I am incredibly humbled,” Lee said. “It was an honor to be nominated and reach the finals, so to be selected among this incredible group of individuals is pretty special. … It is really special to be able to represent the University of Iowa. I am happy to share this award with Sabrina. All of the finalists are deserving. I am very surprised and very thankful.”
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence also was a finalist with UCLA gymnast Kyla Ross, California swimmer Abbey Weitzeil, Florida hurdler Grant Holloway, Marquette basketball player Markus Howard, Wisconsin volleyball player Dana Rettke, Maryland lacrosse player Megan Taylor and rhythmic gymnast Evita Griskenas.