Column: Line Drives — Wrestling ability got taken down

[This is my column in the Feb. 24 issue of The Commercial Review.]

One of the first ways we learn as infants is by watching our parents.

The same can be true with learning to play sports. We watch others throw a football, swing a bat or shoot a basketball.

Our eyes are the first way we learn new tasks or new skills; by seeing someone else do it.

Many times, the thought “Hey, I can do that!” springs up in our minds, leading us to try something new.

Even as we age, that thought still pops up now and again.

It’s how I recently took up running.

It’s also what took me to the wrestling room at Jay County High School on Wednesday afternoon.

Saturday completed my fourth season covering high school wrestling, and after watching hundreds of matches during that time, the thought “Hey, I can do that!” popped into my head.

Well, I can’t.

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Column: Line Drives — Playing multiple sports is best

[This is my column in the July 30 issue of The Commercial Review.]

John Smoltz, one-third of arguably the best three-man pitching rotation in the history of Major League Baseball, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday.

During his speech, he touted those who helped him throughout his baseball career.
But he also had a message for young athletes and their parents regarding Tommy John surgery.

“It’s an epidemic,” said Smoltz, who to date is the only HOF member to have had the procedure. “It is something that is affecting our game. It is something that I thought would cost me my career.

“I want to encourage the families and parents that are out there to understand that this is not normal to have a surgery at 14 or 15 years old. You have time. Baseball is not a year-round sport. You have an opportunity to be athletic and play other sports.”

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Column: Line Drives — Weekend exciting for local athletics

[This is my column in the Jan. 22 issue of The Commercial Review.]

It’s going to be an exciting weekend in Jay County.

It’ll be a busy one as well.

The Patriots host the inaugural Allen County Athletic Conference swim meet, which begins with diving at 6 p.m. Friday.

On Saturday, the swimming portion of the meet will begin at 9 a.m., and just a short walk away in the main gym the Patriot wrestling team hosts its ACAC tournament at the same time.

As it was with the conference hoops tournaments, the excitement level is high for the swim and wrestling teams to compete for conference titles.

“Conference should be a good swim meet,” said JCHS girls swim coach Matt Slavik. “Every team that’s coming in has some talent. It’s going to give us a run for our money.
The Patriot girls are favorites to win as a team, as Slavik and his girls have defeated the three other squads — Adams Central, South Adams and Bluffton — in dual meets this season.

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Column: Line Drives — Winter sports are on the way

[This is my column in the Nov. 13 issue of The Commercial Review.]

What a difference a year makes.

While two fall sports programs are still alive — the South Adams and Fort Recovery football teams are amidst playoff runs — the last few weeks I’ve been preparing for the start of winter sports.

Unlike a year ago, I welcome the season with open arms.

And it’s just around the corner.

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Column: Line Drives — Social media is a useful tool

[This is my column in the Feb. 20 issue of The Commercial Review.]

Social media has always been a useful tool.

From catching up with old classmates to keeping in touch with friends from high school and college after graduation, Facebook and Twitter have been beneficial to eliminate the mindset of “out of sight, out of mind.”

It gives us a chance to continue to be a part of the lives with friends no matter how many miles may be in between.

But what social media has been, outside of a way of hanging on to past friendships, is a beneficial tool for writers.

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Column: Line Drives — Tourney is time to be grateful

[This is my column from the Feb. 13 issue of The Commercial Review.]

Tournament time for winter sports is in full swing.

The girls swimming state finals are Friday and Saturday in Indianapolis, wrestling has its semi-state meet in Fort Wayne on Saturday and the Jay County girls basketball team opens sectional play Friday, also in Fort Wayne.

Oh, and the JCHS boys basketball team still has seven games left on its regular-season schedule.

Although it may be busy this time of year, I’m not sure I’d have it any other way.

And there’s nothing more thrilling than the postseason, no matter the sport.

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