Reflections, Expectations, and Elections

 Shots in the Darke

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I’m still not convinced that I like the switch back to standard time as it’s dark at 5:45 on a  Sunday evening as this award winning column (at least my neighbor thinks it’s good!) is being  written. The worst thing is that there are still over five weeks remaining before the days slowly start having more daylight hours again! 

Disappointment was the mood of the evening Saturday for the three Darke County teams in the OHSAA football playoff regional semifinals. Ansonia fell to New Bremen on a last minute  touchdown in D-VII action on a snow-covered Harmon Field in Greenville, while in D-VI  Versailles suffered a second loss this season to perennial power Marion Local and Tri-Village  met its match in Allen East as the Patriots gave up game changing punt return and kickoff return touchdowns to the Mustangs. Regardless, the teams, schools, and communities should be proud of their seasons—to make it to the Sweet Sixteen in each division was a great accomplishment and the support given each team impressive!! 

Area teams advancing to this coming weekend’s regional finals will be Tipp City of the MVL  (12-1) taking on Hamilton Badin (13-0) Friday at 7:00 in Trotwood in D-III play; Marion Local  (13-0) facing Allen East (12-1) in D-VI, the game set to kickoff at 7:00 Saturday in Wapakoneta;  and in D-VII action Saturday at 7:00 in Sidney, New Bremen’s Cardinals (10-3) matching up  with Fort Loramie (11-2). Hopefully the weather will be better than last night’s so if you want to  see some quality high school football within an hour’s drive here’s your chance! 

I didn’t travel to New Madison Friday for the dedication of the new Patriot Activity Center and the 1,700 seat gymnasium but from what I’ve heard and from the pictures I’ve seen it appears to be spectacular. The entire Tri-Village community should be proud of the new facility and the opportunities it offers to not only the student body but also the public. Congratulations to all involved, past, present, and future! 

The college football FBS playoff rankings will come out for the third time Tuesday and there will be the usual arguments, discussions, gnashing of teeth, and pulling of hair as the standings are made known. Don’t get too uptight about things at this stage of the season as two more weeks of regular season games remain to be played, followed by conference championships.  The only time fans should really get agitated is when the final rankings come out, THEN angst will set in for followers of those teams left out of the top four. The proposed playoff structure of eight or twelve teams in either ‘24 or ‘25 can’t come soon enough for most supporters! 

The Browns continue to cause grief for the Dawg Pound and Cleveland fans, losing badly  to the resurgent Dolphins Sunday. After thrashing the Bengals two weeks ago and enjoying a bye week, the Brownies fell to 3-6 and face the Bills in Buffalo next week. Speaking of the Bills, the perhaps overrated team (6-3) lost in overtime to the Vikings (8-1). QB Josh Allen,  hyped as the early favorite for NFL MVP, made three major turnovers in the loss, fumbling a  center exchange late in regulation leading to a go-ahead touchdown for Minnesota and  throwing two red zone interceptions, the latter ending the contest when at least a game-tying  field goal was probable. 

 

In college roundball, congratulations to Wright State’s Raiders as they took home a 73-72 last-second win over host Louisville at the YUM Center, easing the sting of an earlier double overtime loss to Davidson. Ohio State looked strong in notching two wins over lesser opponents—the schedule toughens up by the end of the month as Duke’s Blue Devils await!  UD stands 2-0 after wins over Lindenwood (from St. Charles, MO) and SMU and in the next ten days will face UNLV and Wisconsin. The Flyers and Raiders both return rosters full of veterans while it will takeawhile to become familiar with this season’s Buckeye newcomers. 

Finally, I was fully immersed in the election process last week for over 48 hours. Monday the Greenville Rotary Club of which I’m a longtime member delivered voting machines to all  Darke County precincts, sealing the voting boxes in each. Tuesday I was a poll worker at the Fairgrounds youth building from 5:30 a.m. until 8:15 p.m. and then Wednesday morning it was back to the precincts to pick up the machines and return them to the Board of Elections. I can  confidently state that Darke Countians can rest assured that their votes are safe, secure, and  accurate—the checks and double-checks are numerous and the integrity of the equal number  of Democratic and Republican workers at each precinct, as well as the good folks at the Board  of Elections, unquestioned! Until next time, stay active and healthy!