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Sports Columns

The madness is here — why sports fans love the road to the Final Four

It’s that time. Perhaps the biggest sporting event of the year — combined with two of the lowest work production days — bring smiles, tears, heartbreak or unbridled joy to millions. March Madness is upon us! It began last Sunday with the selection committee report. Sixty-four (68 if ...

Dream achieved — Columbian boys bowling team goes to state

If one was to look up the definition of culmination it would read as thus: the highest point of something, especially as attained after a long time. When the Columbian boys team arrived in Columbus for the state bowling tournament last weekend it was a culmination of sorts. For the bowlers, ...

Rebuild is over, glory days could be ahead

Finally, it’s here. The Browns are going for it. After nearly a quarter century of waiting for next year — or, in the late ’90s, waiting out three years — the Cleveland Browns are here. Contending. Thinking playoffs. Thinking AFC championship. Thinking Super Bowl ...

Heading south in February for family, weather … and a little sports?

Last month my wife and I hit the road for Florida. The main purpose of the trip was twofold. We wanted to spend some time with our daughter in Port Charlotte. We also were looking for some relief from the cold winter days here in Seneca County. The first purpose was a given. The second was up ...

Did you see? So many crazy and wonderful moments happen in sports

The beauty of going to a ballgame is that something totally unexpected can happen. Oh sure, we get the occasional boring event, but sometimes, you see something so incredible that you are talking about it for years. It’s why we plunk down the big bucks to go and potentially be part of ...

Sports nicknames that we all know — and a few that are very obscure

Many athletes have notable nicknames. Some of them are a little catchier than others. In fact, you may well know the nickname of a sports star without knowing his given name. In my research I came across the name of Samuel Byrd. I had never heard of him, but his nickname(s) are worth sharing. ...

Before the madness of March, February football fuels winter’s sports

February is infamous for its relatively lackluster sport appeal, sandwiched between the Super Bowl and March Madness. The NHL trudges along in the middle of its regular season, a few high school and college winter sport seasons wind down, and MLB heads into spring training. The 2019 NBA ...

With Seneca East, it’s all about team

Don Vogt has an analogy he likes to use about basketball teams. The second-year Seneca East coach said that when you take five fingers separately, each one is easy to bend. But on the other hand … “When you make a fist of five fingers together, it’s hard to un-pry those fingers,” ...

Why don’t you test your knowledge with a little sports quiz?

Don’t you just love to play sports trivia games? If you are a sports fan, you likely want to prove your ability to answer random questions about various sports. I will give you that chance today. My dad had one trivia question that he liked to ask of my unwitting friends. His question: ...

Memories of Robinson’s greatness vivid long after career ended

Frank Robinson was a rare individual. It’s not just because of the skills he displayed on the baseball diamond, though he was one of the best hitters of all time. Robinson had 586 homers and a .294 lifetime batting average over a career that stretched 21 seasons. But he was more than ...

The day virtually everyone has been waiting for is finally upon us

What day is it? No, that is not a reference to an old GEICO ad. I didn’t say, “Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike!” Today is a long awaited day for many sports fans. It is Super Bowl Sunday. For me personally, it’s not that big a deal. Oh, I am going to tune in, that’s for sure. But until ...

Goff leaves TU, but leaves a positive mark

Gary Goff got an offer that he couldn’t refuse. The Tiffin University football coach resigned last Friday to take the head coaching job at Valdosta State. It’s not only Goff’s alma mater — he was a wide receiver and captain for the Blazers in the mid-90s — but it’s also the ...

Are our expectations too high? The lonely life of those who officiate

My first memorable experience with a sports official came many, many years ago when I was in the seventh grade. I was playing in the Seneca County League eighth grade basketball tournament. In the middle of the fourth quarter I found myself defending an opponent who was driving to the ...

A big week in the villages: Golf, bowling, pickle ball and even a parade

As we have done for the past decade, my buddies and I made our way to The Villages in Florida for the primary purpose of playing golf. We were also going to visit a couple of friends who live in the area though they no longer golf. It is always a good time when we make this trip if for no ...

The hijinks continue — college sports traditions both big and small

Last week we covered some of college football’s timeless traditions. This week we continue, but include a few basketball capers. I will give you my vote for the best college football tradition when all is said and done. THE HAWK FLAP. St. Joseph’s has a student don a hawk costume for its ...

Lessons manifest from Swinney’s fun train to Saban’s executive chambers

The Nationally College Football Championship is in the books, and the fun-loving coach beat the serious business tycoon in an impressive rout. The Clemson-’Bama matchup makes a great case for examining different leadership styles, each of which have proved to be successful in guiding a team ...

Franchise’s priorities gave it one choice

In 1986 and 1987, the Cleveland Browns had one of the most exciting offenses in football. A young, star quarterback Bernie Kosar was protected by a solid, veteran offensive line that included Mike Baab, Paul Farren and Cody Riesen. The offense also had a future Hall of Fame tight end in Ozzie ...

College football traditions run the gamut from sacred to crazy

When I tuned into the Rose Bowl, I wanted to watch Urban Meyer lead the Buckeyes onto the field one last time. It is tradition at many colleges for the head coach to be the first one out of the tunnel. While I was wondering what was running through his head, I also wondered about the concept ...

For the love of the game: Why small college athletes give it their all

Last week I began this topic by pointing out an earlier story in The A-T. Four local athletes participated in a recent Heidelberg/Dennison women’s basketball game. Are they playing for the chance to go to the next level? No. None of them are likely to play professionally. Are they playing ...

Farewell 2018 Sports: Time to envision a crazy future

December is a great time to reflect on the many sport successes over the past year. One of those success stories hits close to home. It’s no surprise that in her first year as head coach, Lori (Hammer) Rombach guided the Calvert Senecas in a dominant postseason performance to claim the 2018 ...