DARKE COUNTY – A pair of juniors who have had strong starts to the winter sports season are this week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week.
This week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week are Mississinawa Valley girls basketball player Sidnie Hunt and Versailles wrestler Jacob Poling.
So far this season, Hunt has averaged 9.0 points per game and 9.6 rebounds per game.
“She plays at a really high level, and I’m trying to get our other girls to play anywhere close to that level,” Mississinawa Valley girls basketball coach Vance Venesky said. “She’s a person I know I can count on to be consistent every game.”
At 5 feet 7 inches tall, Hunt isn’t one of the tallest girls around, but she’s still second among Darke County girls in rebounding this season. Her vertical leap combined with the ability to get in the right position allows her to excel on the boards.
“I kind of think of her like Charles Barkley,” Venesky said. “He was never the tallest guy on the floor but was always grabbing rebounds because of his positioning.”
Though she’s not the most vocal player, Hunt is a leader for Mississinawa Valley.
“She’s really our only captain that we have,” Venesky said. “She leads more by example than talking.”
Hunt is always a dependable player for Mississinawa Valley.
“You love having girls like Sidnie because they’re very coachable and they go out and do what you need them to do,” Venesky said.
Poling, who wrestles in the 120 pound division, is undefeated and leads Versailles with 13 wins this season.
“Jacob is wrestling well right now,” Versailles wrestling coach A.J. Bey said. “We have some big tournaments coming up, and we are looking for some good results out of Jacob.”
Poling has come up big for the Tigers in tournaments early this season.
He went 4-0 last weekend in Versailles’ dual tournament, helping lead the Tigers to the team championship. He also won his weight class at Sidney’s Jim McCracken Invitational and helped lead Versailles to the team title there.
“Jacob is very disciplined with his weight management, works hard in the wrestling room and is a great leader,” Bey said.
Poling qualified for the Ohio High School Athletic Association district tournament last year and is poised to have another strong showing this season.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.