Nathan Cheney honored as Player of the Year

Junior Nathan Cheney has been named the Northwest Conference Baseball Player of the Year.
As the leader of a talented group of Pirate pitchers, Cheney is 7-1 on the year, including a 5-0 mark in NWC play. Cheney owned an impressive 1.43 ERA, but also excelled at the plate. The junior hit .465 with eight doubles, a home run, and 22 RBIs. Cheney spent time at shortstop and third base when not busy on the mound.
Classmate Gabe Goldsberry joined Cheney on the NWC First Team All-Conference. Goldsberry had many quality starts over the season as a starting pitcher and also did a fine job at shortstop.
Senior Matt Suderman garnered Second Team All-Conference honors for his pitching and defense at third base for the NWC champion Pirates.
Evan Skilliter and Clay Wannamacher earned Honorable Mentions for their season's work.

Countdown to Amerifest

The Bluffton Lions Foundation, Bluffton-Pandora Rotary Club, and the Relay for Life of Bluffton Committee are all preparing for the quickly approaching Amerifest weekend.

Three summertime favorites in Bluffton will blend into one for the weekend event on June 26 and 27.

"The planning process is going very well," said Dick McGarrity, Bluffton Lions Club vice president. "The three festivals are usually separate; now that they are all on the same weekend, we expect the turnout to be better than ever."

The Bluffton Lions Crossroads of America Car Rally will begin on Saturday morning at 7 a.m. Visit for more details.

Relay for Life activities will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday with registration and a survivor's meal on university stadium grounds.

Activities from the Freedom Festival will begin at 5 p.m. at Bluffton University's Salzman Stadium. The winner of the Lions Club Corvette Raffle will be announced at 10:15 p.m. with fireworks to follow.

Musical entertainment will be provided by a wide variety of local acts including: Cindy's Tap on Wood Dancers, Sons of Adam, a contemporary Christian rock band, Flag City Cloggers, and Lima Area Concert Band.

Closing ceremonies for the two-day event will be held from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Sunday, June 27. A community worship service will be included.

A highlight of the weekend will be a parade through downtown Bluffton at noon on Saturday, June 26. The parade lineup will begin at 10:30 a.m. on East College Avenue at Railroad Street. The parade route will be from the staging area to Main Street, Main Street north to Elm Street, Elm Street to West Bentley, Bentley Road south to Bluffton University.

Local businesses, organizations, and groups are invited to walk in the parade for Bluffton's first ever Amerifest celebration. All interested parties should contact Junior Weihrauch, parade chairman, at 419-365-5304 (please call after 2 p.m.) by June 18.

Baseball wins NWC for first time ever with 5-4 win over LCC

In front of a crowd of more than 200 people, the Bluffton High School Pirates clinched the NWC title for the first time ever in school history with a win over the Lima Central Catholic Thunderbirds.
The Pirates hosted the Thunderbirds at home on April 29 and won the game in extra innings by a score of 5-4.
Cheney, who pitched nine innings for the Pirates, allowed only three hits and picked up the win. Goldsberry was 1 for 5 with a single. Wannemacher was 2 for 4 with a single, a double, and a run. Suderman was 2 for 5 with two singles, and a run. Cheney was 1 for 2 with a double and three walks. Steingass was 1 for 5 with a single, a run, and three RBIs. Skilliter was 2 for 5 with a regular single, a game-winning single, a regular RBI, and a game-winning RBI. Groman was 1 for 3 with a single and a walk. Anderson was 1 for 3 with a single.

Serving up some fun






Youth, in grades one through six, will have the opportunity to play Midwest Youth Team Tennis in Bluffton this summer.

The Bluffton program will be offered for youth to participate beginning June 21, at the Bluffton High School tennis courts. The deadline to register for practice and match play is May 21.

Visit to sign up for the program or for more details on the site location and practice/play times.

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