DARKE COUNTY – Two juniors who advanced all the way to the Ohio High School Athletic Association state tournaments are this week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week.
This week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week are Arcanum wrestler Ethin Hoffman and Versailles girls bowler Morgan Barlage.
Barlage was a key part of Versailles’ success throughout the 2017-18 bowling season. She helped lead the Tigers to a first place finish in the West Ohio High School Bowling Conference South Division and then helped guide them to championships in the OHSAA sectional and district tournaments.
“She has a competitive nature that is contagious and is a natural leader on our team,” Versailles bowling coach Tyler Phlipot said.
The Versailles junior averaged 165.2 pins per game this season, which was fourth best among Darke County girls and eighth best in the WOHSBC South Division.
“Morgan has a great understanding of her sport and has worked hard over the years with a focus on always improving,” Phlipot said.
Barlage rolled games of 194, 221 and 148 in the Division II state tournament for a three-game series of 563, finishing eighth in the state and earning second team all-Ohio honors. She also helped lead the Tigers to the state semifinals.
“She achieved an eighth place at the OHSAA state bowling tournament; this is the highest place in the Lady Tigers Bowling history,” Phlipot said.
Hoffman became just the fourth wrestler in Arcanum history to qualify for the OHSAA state wrestling meet. He finished fourth in the Division III district tournament at Hobart Arena in Troy to advance to state.
“We’re kind of a small-scale wrestling program as far as everybody else here in Arcanum, but it’s really big,” Arcanum wrestling coach Jared Beatty said. “For the people who follow it it’s huge. Like I said, the fourth ever for Arcanum so that’s big.”
Hoffman was an alternate for the state meet as a sophomore, but he worked hard throughout the year to improve and earn a spot in the state tournament this year.
“Ethin has improved a lot over the last couple years,” Beatty said. “He was a state alternate last year, was able to make it this year so it’s all good stuff.”
It’s the hard work that Hoffman puts in that allowed him to become one of the best wrestlers in Ohio.
“He puts in a lot of work outside the team,” Beatty said. “He goes to Mike DeHart’s up in Covington a lot. He keeps his head down. He is a good kid. He is a quiet kid, works hard. Not just in here in our room but also outside of here he puts a lot of time in.”
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.