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Fun for all

January 30, 2012
By MIKE MATHISON - Sports editor (mmathison@heraldstaronline.com) , The Herald-Star

I took my son and his friend to WesBanco Arena Sunday afternoon to watch the Harlem Globetrotters.

I have been watching the Globetrotters since the days of Meadowlark Lemon, Goose Tatum, Curly Neal, Marques Haynes, Geese Ausbie and Sweet Lou Dunbar.

The guys can flat play.

But, more important, they are ambassadors for the game and for children.

Yes, parts of the game are scripted, but who cares.

It's entertainment.

It's fun.

It's fun for all.

There was a young man sitting next to me in an Edison jacket and he laughed so hard that at one point he said, "I can't breathe."

His face was red from laughing so hard.

It looked like he was crying because he was laughing so hard.

We've all been there.

Another young man sitting in front of us was in angst in the first half because the Globetrotters were losing.

Of course, he really had no idea of the eventual outcome.

Created in 1926 by Abe Saperstein in Chicago, the Globetrotters have played more than 20,000 exhibition games in 118 countries.

Yes, they are exhibition games, but these guys can play and they show that at times during the game.

The usual antics were there - they danced, they dunked, they laughed, they hit shots, they blocked shots, they smiled and they made a few thousand people smile.

Kids smiles and laughed and will remember the day they saw the Globetrotters.

They made fun of themselves, of their opponents and of the officials.

Fun.

You know, like games are supposed to be.

Kudos to Ross Ivkovich and the Steubenville High School Key Club for their fundraiser Sunday for Indian Creek student Justin Cummings.

Coach Ike said he went to the store at least five times to replenish the pasta. He said the place was a madhouse for a long time.

Congratulations, also, to all the other schools in the area which have done or will do fundraisers for Cummings.

More important, though, remember to pray daily for Cummings and his family, along with the students and families of the other five students who were involved in the two crashes that day.

It was great, though, to be served my pasta by Big Red Principal Shawn Crosier.

Congratulations to Dan Stacey and Charlie Corder at Spring Hills Golf Club. They recently were honored as a 2011 PING Regional Club Fitter of the Year.

The company, which pioneered custom fitting nearly 40 years ago, recognized Stacey and Corder for their commitment to helping golfers of all abilities improve their games through custom fitting.

"Golfers know PING for our leadership in custom fitting, and we are held to a higher standard, so we're grateful for experts like Dan and Charlie who demonstrate every day how properly fit equipment leads to lower scores and more fun on the golf course," said John A. Solheim, PING chairman and CEO. "Dan and Charlie are consummate professionals who combine excellent communication skills with technical expertise, and are tireless advocates for PING's fitting philosophy. For all these reasons, they are very deserving of this recognition."

It's not often that a hyped event turns out to equal the hype, but that happened Saturday night inside the Crimson Center when Big Red and Claymont had a wrestling dual meet.

Both teams went on 21-3 runs to finish in a 24-24 deadlock.

The eighth criteria gave the 25-24 win to Big Red.

Wow.

Today is the cutoff date for the annual Ohio Valley Athletic Conference girls basketball championships, which will be held Feb. 11 at Ohio University-Eastern with the first game (Class 1A) at 9:30 a.m. and the final game (5A) scheduled for 8:30 p.m.

Unless something strange happens, the semifinal match-ups appear to be:

5A: John Marshall at Wheeling Park; Morgantown at University (home team may change).

4A: Oak Glen at Edison; Harrison Central at Union Local.

3A: Shenandoah at Fort Frye; Monroe Central at Martins Ferry.

2A: Linsly at Shadyside; River at Wheeling Central.

1A: Conotton Valley at Morgantown Trinity; Madonna at Beallsville.

The OVAC Swim Championships were held Saturday at Steubenville's natatorium and the changes made were great for the meet.

Swimming prelims the prior Tuesday at three sites cut all individual events to two heats - the top 16 times in 16 events. There were no prelims for the six relay races.

I also liked the top three in each race standing on the podium at the end of the meet.

Job well done.

Can we please eliminate the NFL Pro Bowl game? It's getting as bad as the NHL All-Star game.

Not that the NBA All-Star game is much better.

I am not a baseball guy, at least the MLB All-Star game means something to the players and the fans.

Buckeye Local High School will honor its 2012 Wall of Legends team during Thursday's home game against Bellaire - 1974 Buckeye South Rebels (20-4), 1964 Brilliant Blue Devils (24-2), 1952 Dillonvale Night Riders (24-2) and 1963 Adena Golden Wave (21-5).

All former players and coaches on those teams are invited to attend the game and be recognized.

I am at @MathisonMike in the twitter world. Come by and say hello.

Did you hear about the high school in Utah, scheduled to open in 2013, that allowed its future students to choose the school mascot?

Cougars won with a total of 23 percent.

The school board said no because they thought the name might be offensive to middle-aged women.

USA Today reported in its Jan. 19 issue that many parents called and e-mailed the school board, opposing the Cougars nickname because of "the negative double entendre of the word 'cougar.'"

More political correctness gone wrong.

People - lighten up.

It's a cougar, you know, the mascot of more than two dozen colleges or universities.

Big fan of the television show "Undercover Boss."

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at mmathison@heraldstaronline.com)

 
 

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