Fall sports galore in the Tiffin area

After my first five years of professional life, I became editor of the paper I was working at. As a guy who figured I’d be a sports writer of some form my whole career, this was quite a change for me. Suddenly, city council meetings, community festivals and crime stories became my playoff games.

Still, I found a way to make a difference in sports, helping to coach the sports editors who replaced me while dusting off the pen every now and then to cover a game when someone needed a break.

Old habits don’t die hard, and ask my wife and kids, I am a huge sports fan.

When I became publisher of the A-T, I had a similar thought. The editorial department (the “words” and “photos” of the paper) were always my specialty, and while I always had interest in other areas, I knew I’d need to focus most on the other areas of the business — advertising sales, the printing press, mailroom and circulation (the process of getting the paper to you).

Still, old habits don’t die hard and this summer when vacation schedules got wacky, I volunteered to put together the sports section a few days. I did the same with our news section recently.

All of this leads up for me to say: You can move the guy away from the sports department but you can’t completely move the sports department completely away from the guy. Ask A-T sports editor Zach Baker: Some of my most spirited conversations come discussing local sports.

With that, I’m noticing something this fall — we have some outstanding teams that deserve attention. Here is a listing of some of the best, with upcoming opportunities to catch the next games.

• High school football: It was advertised as king down here, and it has not disappointed. I’ve found myself at a field each Friday this season, and I’ve been impressed by not only the level of football, but by how many fans pack the stands and the game-day atmosphere of bands, cheerleaders, etc. There are some very good teams in the area, as Columbian, Seneca East, Bellevue and Clyde standing as some of the best. The Sandusky Bay Conference Lake Division, that which Columbian is a part of, is an absolute meat grinder with all six teams boasting strong squads. Here are where you can catch games locally next Friday, Oct. 4:

• Margaretta at Calvert ; Pymatuning Valley at Hopewell-Loudon; Colonel Crawford at Mohawk; Carey at Upper Sandusky; Perkins at Clyde; Norwalk at Bellevue.

• And if you want to drive for what should be a great game between strong squads, go to Sandusky for the Columbian-Sandusky game.

• College football: It has been a banner year also for college football in Tiffin, as the Student Princes of Heidelberg and the Dragons of Tiffin have outscored their opponents by a combined score of 241-77 through the first three games, with Heidelberg sitting at 3-0 and Tiffin at 2-1. With both teams rolling, I’d encourage all sports fans to check out a game at Hoernemann Stadium or Frost-Kalnow Stadium. Here are the upcoming chances:

• Heidelberg: Oct. 19 vs. Otterbein; Oct. 26 vs. Mount Union; Nov. 9 vs. John Carroll

• Tiffin: Sept. 28 vs. Ohio Dominican; Oct. 5 vs. Saint Anselm; Oct. 19 vs. Alderson Broaddus; Nov. 9 vs. Hillsdale.

• Other sports: Tiffin is home to the defending state champion Calvert volleyball team, which is again rolling through the competition this season. If you want to see one of the state’s best volleyball squads, go check out the Senecas. Here are some upcoming changes:

• And then there is the fun one, Oct. 14 against Columbian, who is also enjoying a nice season. Should be a fun inner-city battle on that date.

All of the local teams are in the midst of volleyball season, while there is also cross-country, golf, soccer and tennis taking place. Same goes for the two universities, which offer sporting events almost every night of the week.

I can’t write a sports column without a shameless plug, and here is mine: We might have the most in-depth local sports section in this region, and our sports team is dedicated to bringing you an awesome package every Monday through Saturday. I apologize if your team doesn’t get the coverage you think it deserves, but promise you our team is doing its best to cover a large territory almost every night.

Get out to a game. Get a paper. Just don’t miss it if you consider yourself a sports fan. To me, this place is pretty special when it comes to the sports scene.

• NOTE: I will try and put a column next week discussing the various travels I’ve made around the area, as I’ve been able to meet some neat people and see some neat places recently. I wanted to mention a travel that led to me learning about a timely event.

I met with John Sherer of the Tiffin Moose Family Center 846 on Friday. We had a great time talking newspapering (John was a long time A-T sales manager) and of course, the Moose. The thing I was most impressed about was how the Moose Center donated its facility this weekend for the Humane Society of Seneca County Garage Sale. I observed at least 25 volunteers feverishly working for the sale on Friday, ahead of its opening time of 9 a.m. Saturday. Kudos to the volunteers, the humane society and the Moose Center for teaming up for a good cause. Go check it out Saturday and Sunday at 1146 S.R. 53, and bring your cash!

Jeremy Speer is the publisher of The Advertiser-Tribune. He can be reached at jspeer@advertiser-tribune.com.