Tragedy and triumphs

Shots in the Darke

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What a difference a week makes in the aftermath of the May 7th tornado that hit Greenville and surrounding environs! The magnitude of the damage around the area but particularly in  the City Park was almost overwhelming but fortunately there were, to my knowledge, no  injuries of any severity. Mother Nature didn’t act kindly in seemingly disregarding Native  American lore that Greenville would be safe from any such disaster! 

Hats off to the many first responders, utility crews, and professionals who came to the sites  of devastation so quickly but more importantly here’s a salute to the many good citizens of  Greenville and nearby communities who gave, and continue to give, so much of their time and  effort in helping neighbors and strangers start the process of cleaning up debris and picking up  the pieces as things return to some semblance of normalcy. 

The city has been dealt a significant blow but will recover!! Already talks are underway as to  the restoration of the park’s forestry as well as other buildings and sites which sustained  damage. Generations in the future will benefit from the efforts of today as we “pay it forward”.  MyCountyLink will be airing an interview with Mayor Jeff Whitaker and City Services Director  Ryan Delk later this week bringing the latest updates as to the immediate future and plans that are in process. As the saying goes, “Greenville Strong” will come through for all; those who suffered damage, our hearts are with you! 

Moving on to other seemingly insignificant topics at this time, congratulations to the  Greenville Lady Wave softball team on compiling a 20th consecutive season of 25 wins or more in winning yet another MVL title. The girls have already notched two tournament wins as they seek a return trip to the State Final Four in Akron. Also congratulations to the Lady Patriots of  Tri-Village for capturing the WOAC softball championship, narrowly edging out Arcanum.  

Latest standings have Versailles leading the MAC baseball standings with Dixie ahead in the  WOAC. Congratulations also are extended to the Ansonia boys and girls track teams on  claiming WOAC titles. Butler claimed baseball and boys track honors in the MVL with Troy  taking the girls track crown edging Tipp while the Red Devils took home gold in boys tennis. Best of luck to everyone and teams as the OHSAA tournament trail continues. 

Saturday sees, what I always feel is the traditional start of summer, time trials for the Indy  500 with a six-car pole shootout set for Sunday and the race itself on May 26th. Back Home Again in Indiana!! 

The PGA Championship, the second of the four majors in pro golf, begins in Louisville at  Valhalla Thursday. What are the odds of Scottie Scheffler continuing his hot streak and capturing another major title? 

Eldora Speedway has some huge events scheduled as always for this summer; be sure to  visit the track website for upcoming races as Tony Stewart and staff promise another season of  thrills at the “World’s Greatest Dirt Track”.

The NBA and NHL playoffs continue to unwind—sometimes it’s hard to tell which sport has more hard-hitting physical play. Neither is for the faint-hearted!! There are a few young teams making noise but it seems that the more experienced squads usually find a way to prevail although I almost always root for the so-called underdogs! 

Anybody been down to Day Air Ballpark yet to see the Dayton Dragons in action? The  High-A affiliate of the Reds is off to a slow start with a 14-19 mark as of this writing. The Reds  number one prospect, right-handed pitcher Rhett Lowder, was recently promoted to the  Double-A Chattanooga Lookouts after compiling a 2-0 record with a 2.49 ERA in five starts for  the Firebreathers. Always great family fun, get down to 220 N. Patterson Boulevard and catch  some baseball action for a reasonable price! 

Sad to report the passing of former UD basketball great Bobby Joe Hooper at the age of 77.  A standout guard for the Flyers during their run to the 1967 NCAA championship game against UCLA and Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for you youngsters) the Lees Creek, Ohio native averaged double figures both his junior and senior years and was a spark plug on two of Coach Don Donoher’s best teams according to most Flyers Faithful.  

Finally, even though last week was tough for many of our friends and neighbors in this neck of the woods, how fortunate are we that no fatalities or major injuries were reported! If the need arises and you’re available, take the opportunity to do some good and help someone out in whatever way possible!