Champions, a comeback, and the TSA

Shots in the Darke

The 2024 high school spring sports season is winding down as we turn the calendar to June  so it’s time for a review of the past weekend’s competitions. Also, let’s spend some time  looking at the professional sports scene with a side trip regarding air travel over the Memorial  Day weekend. 

In softball state tournament action in Akron championships were claimed by Austintown Fitch in D-I; Canfield in D-II (Canfield beat Kenton Ridge, conquerors of Greenville’s Lady  Wave in a regional semifinal, in the state semifinal game); Baltimore Liberty Union in D-III; and  Strasburg-Franklin in D-IV. Strong programs all, northeast Ohio was well represented with three of the four division titleists from around the Canton-Youngstown area while Liberty Union is located just north of Lancaster. 

Baseball play saw regional champions crowned with state play beginning  Friday at Canal Park in Akron. In D-IV action on Saturday, Fort Recovery faces Jeromesville  Hillsdale at 4:00 while defending state champion Russia tries to make it two in a row beginning with Berlin Hiland at 7:00; sounds familiar as both the Raiders and Hawks were in the Final  Four in basketball back in March! Mason in D-I and Hamilton Badin in D-II are the only other representatives of Southwest Ohio to continue down the tournament trail. 

The OHSAA State Track and Field meet was held at Welcome Stadium in Dayton over the weekend with area athletes making waves. In girls D-I competition Troy senior Kiyah Baker took 4th in the shot put; in D-III Coldwater junior Izzy Zahn led the Lady Cavaliers to a second  place team trophy by winning the 200-meter dash and the long jump while also anchoring the state champion 4 x 400 relay team along with Audrey Alig, Becca Wenning, and Kiersten Keller. Also in D-III Dixie senior Sierra Brinson won a title in the discus throw and took second in the shot while Arcanum sophomore Faith Wooten took 4th in both the disc and shot. 

In boys D-I the MVL was well represented with senior Devon Strobel of Troy placing 1st in the discus throw, Sidney junior Garrett Guinther claiming a 2nd in the pole vault, and Butler junior Jordan Gross taking a 3rd in the 100 meter dash as well as a 5th in the 200. In D-II, Brookville junior Coy Hyre won championships in both the 100 and 200-meter dashes, with times that were the best of the competition in all three divisions! Meanwhile, in D-III, Toby Kremer of Marion Local won the pole vault while the Flyers 4 x 200 relay team of Wesley Schoen, Victor Hoelscher, Justin Knouff, and Aiden Grieshop also claimed 1st place honors.  Senior Asher Long of Covington finished his high school career with a 2nd in the 3200. 

Congratulations to the Marion Local boys as they captured the state D-III title, adding to this year’s 14th state trophy won by the Flyers football team; they might have to expand the trophy case up in Maria Stein!! Also, a tip of the hat to all who made the trip to the state meet, the result of talent and hard work. For complete results in all three divisions, go to the OHSAA website. 

Speaking of talent and hard work, New Madison resident Marissa Steen made a comeback from injury and placed 69th in the US Women’s Golf Championship, making the cut on a tough  Lancaster Country Club in Lancaster, PA. Next time you see Marissa practicing at Turtle Creek or White Springs be sure to give her a high five!! Just qualifying for the prestigious tournament is reason for celebration! 

Odds and ends— 

The Celtics and the Mavericks vie for the NBA title beginning Thursday in Boston. The favored  Celts will have to deal with Dallas’ Luka Doncic and the return of turncoat Kyrie Irving to  Beantown. Any chance Kyrie still thinks the earth is flat? 

Rookie Caitlin Clark of the Indiana Fever is receiving a rough introduction to the WNBA as was evidenced by a cheap shot from Chicago’s Chennedy Carter the other night. Seems like some of the veterans don’t care for all of the national media attention given to the former Iowa star! 

How about Birmingham Southern’s baseball team advancing in the D-III College World Series on the strength of a walk-off homer the other day? What’s so great about that you might ask? Seems like the college, founded in 1856, has closed its doors as of May 31 due to financial  problems so the team is playing for a school that no longer exists! Sounds familiar to alumni of  the late, great Urbana University!  

Finally, this quote from my favorite weekly magazine, “The Week.” TSA officers screened 2,951,163 people at checkpoints nationwide the Friday before Memorial Day, surpassing the previous single-day record from Thanksgiving 2023. My wife Kathy and I were part of the record as we flew from Indianapolis to Sarasota via Charlotte; fortunately, we experienced no delays and breezed through security thanks to the TSA pre-check program. It pays to be older and harmless-looking!  

One last thought—it’s a pet peeve of mine when people in window seats on flights pull the  shades down so you can’t see outside. Being a private pilot of over forty years, I really like seeing what’s going on, particularly during takeoffs and landings—I guess we need to make our reservations earlier and get a better seat selection! Have a safe and healthy week!