Monday, December 31, 2012

Fish Report's year in review...

While some people like to recall world events and national news as what they remember most about 2012, I choose to focus on the local events and small town news that defined my year.  Here's a toast to those listed below on an awesome and amusing year in my eyes.

THE BEST OF THE BEST
St. Henry won the title of best tap water in the U.S. back in February. It was just another honor for the village that's home to numerous state championships, professional athletes and even a Miss Ohio. Minster repeated as D-IV state baseball champs in June even after losing OSU bound pitcher Adam Niemeyer earlier in the season. While I doubted the Wildcats could pull it off, seniors Doug Huber and Austin Knapke teamed up on the mound and all they did was win. Russia runners Lauren Francis, Emily Borchers and Lauren Heaton dominated the girls cross country scene for most of the season. They were one of the best running triple-threats this area has ever seen and I'm glad I got to witness it.  In November Marion Local volleyball captured their fourth state title in six years under coach Amy Steininger and seemed to be absolutely unbeatable after Josie Winner returned from injury. The Flyers proved it by winning the last 15 sets in a row close out their season.

These three Running Raiders stuck together and were hard to beat in 2012

SOME GREAT PERFORMANCES I SAW IN PERSON
The pitching gem from Russia and Ft. Loramie to decide the SCL championship back in May. I typically enjoy baseball offense more than defense, but the 12-inning 1-0 Russia win started by Treg Francis for the Raiders and Jared Albers for the Redskins was a masterpiece. Girls softball pitchers Katelyn Herron from Russia and Paige Ordean from Ft. Loramie also battled to a 1-0 Redskins victory in May. These two aces own too many school records to count and seeing them work was a pleasure. Watching Tammy Berger of Versailles win the 800 meter run at the Troy regionals the end of May.  It was a great race that came down to the end and the last individual victory for the OSU bound star. Country Concert in Ft. Loramie back in July was another amazing spectacle with some of the best country music talent in the world. I've been attending Country Concert for many years and I always go home thinking that was a great time. Sidney's Konner Harris scoring 49 points against Russia back in November. I never witnessed a high school girl or boy score that many points in a game, and although she did it against my team, it was remarkable to watch someone that was truly "in the zone".

We brought along our own talented group to Country Concert this past summer

SOME PERSONAL FAVORITES I ENJOYED
Attending the Russia ceremony honoring State Track Meet champions Luke Pohlman & Katie Borchers back in early January. Realizing they were the first state champs in the lifetime of the current Russia students was pretty cool.  Russia coach Rick Gold's baseball camp in February was a star studded event.  As I watched professional baseball players Craig Stammen of Versailles and Jared Hoying of Ft. Loramie giving instructions to the boys, I got the impression the pros were the ones enjoying it most. Interviewing Jackson Center boys basketball coach Scott Elchert back in March in the midst of a tournament run with his undefeated Tigers for Fish Report LIVE! was one I'll always remember. I'm positive Coach had more important things to do than talk to us, but I'll never forget how friendly and thankful he was about the interview. The Bohman Tractor Pull & Family Picnic in August was as much fun as any of the other area festivals I attended all summer.  The Bohman's are great people and they sure know how to entertain.  

The Powder Puff division at the annual Bohman Tractor Pull is sports and entertainment

FEEL GOOD STORIES 
Unless you were visiting another planet in June you heard all about Meghan Vogel of West Liberty-Salem at the state track meet. She helped someone in need, just like she always does, only this time the spotlight captured it...and it went viral. Alexis Sharp made Minster school history in the fall becoming the first girl to play football for the Wildcats. The gridiron girl decided after a mission trip to Haiti that no one could make football happen but her, and she was right. In October New Bremen's Ralph Boerger was honored with some World War II medals that were long overdue. After six decades we're positive Ralph waited long enough.  In the middle of chasing another state football title the Coldwater Cavaliers sported yellow to support a player’s father battling cancer. Football teaches a lot of life lessons and this was certainly a big one.

Hanging out with Meghan Vogel before she helped the Reds throw out the first pitch

AND PEOPLE THAT WILL BE MISSED
Harry Brown, who established the Versailles Sweet Shop in 1939. Virgil Arkenberg of Ft. Loramie, a lover of VW Beetles and my grandpa. Donny Yingst, a sports guy who gave his service to the Covington community. Joann Gariety Shipley, just a Russia gal living in Virginia and a huge Fish Report contributor. Don Meyer from Newport who seemed to be everyone’s friend, including ours.  And Linie Hausfeld from Minster who founded Hausfeld Motor Sales and was a Firefighter of the Year.

Blogging about Russia history and posting old pics like this was a passion of Joann Gariety Shipley


Farewell 2012,
Fish

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