From the Sidelines / At the Coffee Shop


This past Friday morning while at my normal place, M&M diner for coffee, the usual gang was talking about the Tri-Village / Yellow Springs game. Tri-Village, as everyone knows now, beat Yellow Springs 85-1. Yes, 85-1!  I know that sounds horrendous and it may appear that Tri-Village may have tried to embarrass Yellow Springs. There were 2 gentlemen, (well, one anyway, the other was Jim Anderson!) who were discussing the game.

According to them, they were there, Tri-Village played everybody they could, did not play their normal press defense, and basically just tried to run their offense like in practice. Still they scored 85 pts. Since then, there are people who did not attend the game, complaining about the lopsided score. Which brings up the point did Tri-Village try to embarrass another team?

Tri-Village is just a small town with a lot of school spirit and pride. They have good athletic teams throughout the program. They have worked hard to get to this point. Their girl’s basketball team is a once-in-a-lifetime group. I don’t think the seniors on the team have lost a conference game since 7th grade!  These girls are good. Period! Yet, there are people in Darke County who can’t stand to see such success.

It was the same with Versailles football teams under Al Hetrick. There are always those who think they are recruiting, or cheating somehow. Why is that?  Do successful people bother you that much?

I have always wondered why people denigrate those who achieve success instead of trying to be like them.  Now, there is the caveat that some successful people, and they are a very small group, are people that are well……just unlikeable. They have that holier-than-thou attitude, and that turns off everyone. But most successful people are not that way, certainly not Al Hetrick and Brad Gray!

Both men worked their players hard, and expected excellence from them.  I totally agree with that! They try and make their players the best they can be, and both succeeded, not only as players, but citizens too. So isn’t that what you want working with kids? Yet, this week I have heard all kinds of rumors about the Tri-Village team; they recruit, their rude, they run the score up on everyone and yada, yada, yada. HOGWASH!

Let’s face it, if Brad wanted too, they could have scored 200! This Yellow Springs team is just not good. They didn’t win anything all year, and I looked up some of their scores and as an example, in 8 games they played, they scored a total of 65 points! That’s less than 8 a game. So, they play the number one team in the State, what are you gonna expect?

This was not just what Tri-Village did, if you would do a little research you would have found that last week, across the State, there were 16 girl’s games decided by 60 points or more, 11 by 50+ points, and 22 by 40+ points. This past weekend, Russia, my wife’s old school, beat Triad 81-8!  It happens. Some schools are just better than others sometimes.

Do we decide to hate them for their success? I talked to a young lady who was on Bradford’s State championship softball team and asked her if there were any teams they just beat like a drum and how did she feel?  She said there was a team they always beat, and she said they felt bad, but they played everyone, and still beat them really without trying all that hard.

I for one am very proud of all of our teams in the County. During the season, it is ok to not like your rivals, that is natural. But, let’s all be like Joe Burrow. After the Bengals/Chiefs game, a new rivalry in the NFL, Joe went up to Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, gave him a hug, and whispered to him “Great game, now go win the whole thing!”

That is how it should be, they are rivals, in the same Conference, yet when it is over, he will root for them in the bigger game. That is class! Why can’t we do that in Darke County?  Let’s root for the home teams! Let’s enjoy the success Tri-Village is having, and not spread ugly rumors, or refuse to cheer for excellence when we are fortunate enough to see it.

If success in anything bothers you that much, then you will fail to see what makes people successful, and you will probably never achieve what you want to achieve.

I hope Tri-Village wins it all. They have the opportunity, and they might even beat some other teams badly too.  I am sure they won’t run up the score or embarrass the other team or coach on purpose, Brad and the girls are not like that. They are just good! Let’s celebrate that! Let’s also stop listening to those whom scorn successful people because they are not like them. That’s sad, but some people just can’t be happy for others. Let us be different.  That’s the way I see it from the sidelines……at the coffee shop!