Love going to Columbus
By George Starks
As much as I love sports, there are times when it becomes almost too
heartbreaking. This is not one of them. Making trips to state title
events is what makes this job worthwhile.
My first ever trip to a state sporting event came in the state of
Indiana and the sport was wrestling. The place, the RCA Dome in
Indianapolis. Randolph County Indiana had three or four kids make it
through to state. Three of those kids were from Winchester High School.
Since then, all my state trips have come in Ohio with the exception of
one. The 1999 volleyball team from Winchester went to state. That one,
I’ll never forget because when it was over, the Falcons were popped by
Muncie Burris at the state level and I was the only one crying.
Sad as that may seem, it’s the truth because the three seniors on that
team were like my daughters. I attended all three of their graduation
parties and was the photographer at one of their weddings.
Since then, I have watched Versailles football win state as well as the
Versailles girls win state in 2008. I was with Arcanum softball at
state in 2001 and with Ansonia softball at state most recently.
The most memorable, to date, was the 2007 Greenville softball team. The
Lady Wave won state that year and what made that so great for me was
the fact I was part of history. I never thought I would ever be a part
of another history making team.
Even though the Lady Patriots have not won state yet, if they do, it
will be a highlight bigger than the 2007 Greenville title run.
Tri-Village is my alma mater. That says it all.
Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of covering numerous high
school, college and professional sports. The biggest being the 1990
World Series. I was at the game when Joe Oliver came through in the
That inning went like this... In the tenth, the Reds broke through to
win the game off A’s closer Dennis Eckersley. Utility man Billy Bates
chopped an infield single off home plate to start the inning. Chris
Sabo singled to left to put runners on first and second. Then Oliver
hit a bouncer that hopped over third base and down the line to drive in
Bates with the winning run.
The Reds won that series in four with a group of pitchers called “The
There is only one thing bigger than the Patriots winning a state title.
That being me, in Rupp Arena, watching the Wildcats win a game.
The Pats winning can happen for me. The Cats at Rupp? Well that remains
to be seen.
All I can say is GO PATRIOTS!