the bistro off broadway
My Word
Anna-Versailles game… “Something Resembling War”
By Bob Robinson
With a link to Press Pros Magazine

Sports Editor George Starks’ article, “A three point winner vs a big time loser,” (click here)
went “ballistic” with over 10,000 hits. It has elicited dozens of comments, mostly verbal, but also a few emails. While most preferred not to publish, one writer, Sam Schlagetter, Sidney, gave his permission (click here).

This letter has also elicited some comments, one pretty hard-hitting against the County News Online sports editor. At this time CNO is waiting for permission to publish.

As any reasonable person might guess, opinions regarding “fault” (assuming there is any) tend to lay on the side of the writer’s sentiments: Are you a Versailles fan or an Anna fan? I don’t think George would make any bones that he is a fan of Darke County teams and his opinion would probably slant toward our kids over those of their opponents. Obviously, Sam, a Sidney resident living in the Anna school district, was an Anna fan.

In response to Schlagetter’s letter, George said simply “We all see things differently. I wrote it the way I saw it as I'm sure Sam did.”

I give George credit for being balanced in his reporting, then providing his “opinion” in a separate article. His coverage of Darke County sports is one of the prime factors in CNO’s success over the past two years. County News Online freely gives space to those with opposing views… even those who weren’t there but would still like to express their views. After all, it’s their opinion and this is a free country.

To think that Prep basketball is NOT a contact sport is to live in “la-la land.” It can be brutal, especially when emotions run high, as they did in this case. In many ways it’s more dangerous than football because, like soccer (also a contact sport), participants have no protection.

I am proud of our Darke County youth – in ALL areas of endeavor, from sports to academics to the arts to community service. Many of these kids have been in my classes, both at Edison (Post Secondary) and when completing a sub assignment in a local school district.

While I freely admit I’m partial to our Darke County kids, it is difficult to see ANY young person get hurt, either physically or emotionally… and that includes students I don’t know from other districts.

For that reason I try to stay mute on the sad (or bad) things that happen; preferring to focus on the good. In the case of our local athletes, I congratulate those who win, AND those who gave it their best despite ending up on the wrong side of the score board. I applaud George for being willing to take a stand on what he sees, and when he gets hammered responds with “I wrote it the way I saw it as I'm sure Sam did.”

Want a look at that game from another person’s perspective? You’ll get an account that you didn’t get from either George or Sam. Be sure to click the link and read the entire story, with photos. For what it’s worth, you’ll see the last photo showing an “adult” as he prepares to take the “war” off the court and to the sidelines.

Is this the role model we would expect from someone charged with preparing our youth for their adult challenges? You decide.

Press Pros Magazine
Anna vs. Versailles Sectional Final: Something Resembling War
by Sonny Fulks
Managing Editor

At times it hardly resembled basketball.  But credit the competitive spirit of the Anna and Versailles girls who left no doubts at Saturday’s sectional final about their respective desire to go home a winner.

Tipp City - I’ll be honest.  At times during Saturday’s Division III girls sectional final between Anna and Versailles it looked like anything but basketball.

Rough and physical doesn’t describe it.  One observer who stayed over from the day’s first game between Miami East and National Trail (an East 75-39 win) said it really didn’t resemble sports.  “It looks like war,” he offered, shaking his head.

There was certainly nothing lady-like about it.  You’d never read about it in Emily Post.  To borrow from other well-worns, it was slam-bam… last man standing.

At 20-4 Anna, was the higher seed (#2), and considered a slight favorite over the girls from Versailles (19-3), seeded #3.  As it turned out they were slightly better… but only on the scoreboard.  Anna won it, 47-44.  But the term “won” is arbitrary.  “Survived” better describes how both teams finished.

“If we can play our pressure game and make some shots in transition I think we’ll be OK,” said Rockets coach Jack Billing before the game.  “But if we have to get into a physical game with them in the half court that could be tough…

Read the rest of the article at Press Pros Magazine

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