BOTKINS – Botkins ended the boys basketball season by raising the Division IV State Championship trophy. On Saturday, the community held a ring ceremony to celebrate and recognize the achievement.
Players and coaches received their state championship rings as the close-knit community looked back on the historic season. The Trojans ended their season as the state champions taking home a 60-44 victory against Columbus Grove at the University of Dayton Arena.
The much-anticipated event took place during the town’s annual Botkins Carousel. The Carousel, which spans three days, is an annual community town festival since 1965. The Botkins Athletic Boosters helped organize the event.
This year marked the Trojans only trip to the championship game and the boys basketball team first trip to the final four since 1994.
Players lined up on the stage, which features live music during the festival, and is located outside near the Trojans basketball court. Ryan Gutman, the announcer for home games throughout the season served as the master of ceremonies. Fritz Serr, long-time Botkins resident read a poem capturing the events and emotions of the season. Residents from throughout the community poured into the area to watch the town celebrate history.
The face of the ring includes a Trojan decked out in the school colors of black and gold and the words “State” and “Champions” around it in capital letters. One side of the ring features the player’s or coach’s name and number and notes the year, along with a ball swishing through the hoop. The opposite side features the state of Ohio with the Trojans glossy 27-3 season record, SCAL representing the league, Trojans in all capital letters and D-IV representing the division. Overall, the rings featured plenty of sparkle from the state championship.
The ring ceremony and the large crowd associated with the event was a great way to cap off the special season for the town. Throughout the season and as the result of COVID, crowds were limited, restrictions were in place, and many fans had to watch games online as opposed to being there in person. Saturday represented a big celebration of the historic season where everyone was invited. Players signed autographs, I-Phones snapped photos, and the large crowd provided spirited cheering.
Members of the champsionship team are Denton Homan, Jameson Meyer, Rylyn Paul, Parker Geis, Zane Paul, Jayden Priddy, Dylan Topp, Carter Pleiman, Tyler Free, Jordan Hertzog, Cole Steinke, Preston Free, Elijah Stewart, Jacob Pleiman and Garrett Greve. Varsity Coach Sean Powell lead the team. He was assisted by varsity assistant Coach Brad Bergman; junior varsity Coach Andrew Davis; and assistant coaches Brad Schmerge and Chad Bergman.