Chargers claim top honors

PIQUA — Edison State Community College earned its first Ohio Community College Athletic Conference All-Sports Award in Division II for the 2019-20 season, scoring 8.83 points to Lakeland Community College’s 8.5.

“I am very proud of all the coaches and student-athletes for being named the OCCAC All-Sports Award winners,” Edison State Director of Athletics and Student Life Nate Cole said. “Our student-athletes do a great job in the classroom and on and off the court and fields. Our focus on academics first and sportsmanship is key to our student-athletes doing a great job in the classroom and the game.”

This season was the first that honorees were selected in both D-II and D-III — Owens Community College won the award in D-III, its seventh award and first since 2011-12, winning with 9.67 points to Columbus State Community College’s 9.33.

“The 2019-20 academic provided all of us with many challenges,” Amy Giordano, Owens Vice President, said. “Those that were expected and welcome, such as the hard-fought opportunity to compete for a second National Championship victory by our Express volleyball team, and others that were unexpected, such as the global COVID-19 pandemic and the sudden loss of our beloved Athletics Director, Rudy Yovich. Through it all, our Owens Express student-athletes and community have stood together in support of one another and of our larger community. To be recognized in this way is truly an honor and one for which we are incredibly grateful.”

The award is tallied by issuing points to schools based on their place of finish in each OCCAC-sponsored sports and dividing that total by the number of sports at each respective school. Conference divisional champions earn 10 points, second place earns nine and so on. Ties are divided — a two-way tie for second place would give both schools 8.5 points, or a three-way tie for second would give each team 8.0 points.

Edison State was impressive across the board, finishing in the top three in D-II for all three sports — men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball — including a shared conference championship in women’s basketball led by OCCAC Coach of the Year Tim McMahon. Sarah Pothast, a two-sport star for the Chargers, was selected to the All-OCCAC first team in both volleyball and women’s basketball.

“Edison State athletics proves you can win by focusing on academics and sportsmanship and doing things the right way,” Cole said.