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SPORTSBRIEFING

East Liverpool strikes down Southern

CALCUTTA — East Liverpool’s bowling teams came away with wins over Southern Local on Wednesday at Tri-State Lanes.

East Liverpool’s boys won 2,373-1,561. For the Potters, Gavin Maze had a 222 high game and a 434 series. Nathan Kelly added a 208 high game and a 387 series.

For the Indians, Conner Lewis had a 297 series and a 174 high game. Chuck McCulley had a 231 series and a 120 high game.

Southern is 1-5.

East Liverpool’s girls were 1,746-1,365 winners. Delaney Riggle had a 331 series and a high game of 173 for the Potters. Madyson McGaffic added a 314 series and a 164 high game.

For Southern (0-6), Ronni Mayfield had a 258 series and a 157 high game. Mariah Anderson had a 223 series and a 115 high game.

Southern is at United on Jan. 20.

Tigers rise to 9-0

CADIZ — The Wellsville wrestling team moved to 9-0 on the season with a 51-21 win over Harrison Central, and a 48-23 win over Buckeye Local on Wednesday. For the Tigers, Mason Simms, Brent Joy-Hughes, and Logan Cunningham went 2-0 for the Tigers. Josh Fisher, Tyler Stanley and Darren Bidwell all came away with pins for the Tigers.

Wellsville is at Barnesville in a triangular with Union Local on Jan. 20.

Hake returns to sidelines

YOUNGSTOWN — A year after an in-school incident ended his successful coaching tenure at Western Reserve, Andy Hake is getting a second chance.

The veteran football coach hired to lead the Youngstown Christian football program on Wednesday despite a pending marijuana possession charge.

Valley Christian Schools President Mike Pecchia said the Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference member knew of Hake’s lapse in judgment last year and welcomed a chance at giving him a shot at redemption.

“Redemption is the centerpiece of Christianity and a core tenet of Valley Christian Schools as we strive to transform the lives of our students through our guiding values of Love More, Expect More and Be More,” Pecchia said in a written statement. “After hours of meeting and talking with Andy and completing a thorough due diligence proces, we believe that Andy’s redemption story along with his obvious passion, energy, vast football knowledge and experience make him the right fit for our student-athletes on the football field.”

On Jan. 9, 2020, Hake, who taught in the Western Reserve district, stepped into the staff restroom along the middle school hallway and smoked an electronic cigarette containing THC, the main component in marijuana that causes a high, according to a disciplinary letter from the Western Reserve school district.

Hake was charged with a minor misdemeanor of possession of marijuana on Dec. 10. He faces a maximum penalty of $150 in court costs and no jail time.

On Dec. 23, Hake pleaded not guilty to the charge. He is scheduled to return before Mahoning County Court Judge Joe Schiavoni on Feb. 4 in Sebring for pre-trial activities.

Valley Christian said Hake completed a five-month treatment program at the Neil Kennedy Treatment Center following the “serious mistake.”

Hake was 104-25 in 11 years as a head football coach. Hake won seven league championships and had nine playoff appearances which included two regional trips.

Baker believes in the Browns

CLEVELAND (AP) — Baker Mayfield answered every question with thoughtful responses, carefully choosing each word while knowing a wrong one could spark controversy.

Cleveland’s quarterback has matured: buttoned-down Baker.

Days before the biggest game of his NFL career and another matchup against Patrick Mahomes and the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs, Mayfield showed during a Zoom call some of the same growth and leadership he’s displayed on the field this season while leading the surprising Browns (12-5) to the second round of the playoffs.

After practice, Mayfield, never one to miss a chance to trash talk, downplayed a seemingly dismissive tweet from Chiefs wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

As Cleveland opened a 28-point lead in its 48-37 wild-card win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, Watkins engaged with one of his followers who said, “Looks like we got some comp (competition) next week.”

Watkins responded: “I wouldn’t go that far lol!”

While the comment could be viewed as disrespectful, Mayfield wasn’t bothered by it.

At least that’s what he said.

“I have no problem with it to be honest with you,” Mayfield insisted. “Because if you don’t have confidence you’re not going to have success. And those guys have been doing it together for a few years now. They have a ton of confidence in each other, and so people get mad when you put it out there, you put it up for bulletin-board material, but I don’t have a problem with it.

“It comes with the nature of this game that you’ve got to be confident and you’ve got to know and believe in yourself.”

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