Let’s just cut to the chase on this one.

I could not play soccer. Not now. Not back in the day at 17. Not ever.

For someone who used to think he was in pretty good shape from running track and cross-country, playing baseball, basketball, Sunday morning full-contact football (no helmets or pads) and the occasional boxing match, I couldn’t play competitive soccer. No way.

That physical reality hit home on an early – and cold – Saturday, Nov. 4 in Waverly as the Lynchburg-Clay Lady Mustangs battled the Grandview Heights Lady Bobcats in a double-overtime match that lasted 103 minutes of playing time.

Grandview Heights won the Division III Regional soccer final, 2-1, after a grueling defensive battle when Tayler Pierce’s kick glanced off the outstretched hands of Lynchburg-Clay’s outstanding goalkeeper Serena Smith and the No. 5 team in the state celebrated its hard-fought victory.

Just watching the game was exhausting for me.

(After all, I covered the present Lynchburg-Clay athletic director’s – Mark Faust – Final Four basketball team in 1993. I’m old.)

But I cannot imagine how the players on either team felt after that double-OT match last week. Not only could I not keep pace with today’s soccer players, I also have very little idea of what’s actually transpiring other than the goalies (er, keepers) trying to reject the opposing team’s kicks and headers.

Moreover, my only constant in attempting to write about soccer on two occasions in 25 years is this: If something big happens, I will miss it.

In the early 1990s, I tried to cover a soccer match at Southern State Community College.

After an hour or so of a 0-0 game/match/contest, I got bored and moseyed over to the concession stand for a hot dog and a Coke. As I paid the tab, the entire place erupted in cheering. When I walked back to my reporter’s station on the sideline, I asked what happened.

“We scored,” a local fan told me. “Did you get a picture of the kick?”

Well, that would be a negative.

Fast-forward to Nov. 4, 2017.

After watching almost 63 consecutive minutes without a score from Lynchburg-Clay, I once again got bored and moseyed over to the concession stand, this time for a Snickers bar.

That’s when Lady Mustangs midfielder Peyton Scott scored from 10 yards out at the 22:11 mark of the second period. Once again, no photo. (To my son’s credit, he did get a photo of Peyton and Chelsea Hart celebrating the Mustangs' goal. And as I walked back to our sideline position, Colin simply pointed at the scoreboard, showing a 1-1 tie.)

Watching soccer wears me out. I cannot even imagine running non-stop over an area larger than a football field for 103 minutes.

As we reported last week, several players had solid games for both teams, including LC senior midfielder Angela McLaughlin. Other seniors playing their final soccer game for Coach Dennis West’s Lady Mustangs were: defender Emily Pinkerton, forward Taiyler Marcelino, and midfielders Haylee Lay, Cailee Elam and Jillian Bitzer.

Congratulations to all players and coaches in this regional final. Your respective efforts were most admirable.

You almost made a soccer fan out of me. Almost. Seriously, your great hustle and determination deserves praise. Nice work. Coach Dennis West is all right, too.


Hillsboro City Council has its first post-2017 general election meeting on Monday, Nov. 13.

As evident by the city’s electorate on Tuesday, Nov. 7, some members of this council aren’t all that popular – and understandably so.

Given the at-large vote totals garnered by Justin Harsha and Brandon Leeth, it was obvious that the incumbent supporters of the “mayor” were less favored. At least one of them (Tracy Aranyos) will be on the outside looking in come January. That’s a good thing.

The other incumbent (Ann Morris) has vowed not to vote on a pending – and controversial – piece of city legislation, i.e. an ordinance creating the Uptown Downtown Redevelopment District (DRD), citing a conflict of interest.

Good for her. That, too, is a good thing. After all, taxpayers spent enough money (tens of thousands) on the handicapped-accessible ramp leading into the county Administration Building. So much for being community-minded, eh? We’d love to explain…(thanks, Tom).

Now that this council woman has recognized her own conflict of interest, will the “mayor” do the same? Will he withdraw his proposed ordinance? He should.

Let’s note that Ordinance No. 2017-09 – An ordinance creating the Uptown Downtown Redevelopment District (DRD) and the Stockyard DRD was introduced by the mayor.

Not by council.

Not by the city auditor – who is not in favor of the ordinance.

Not by the property owners, whose taxes are sure to increase.

And not by the citizens of Hillsboro.

No, this hare-brained ordinance was introduced by the darling of the Highland County Republican Party. Their funny man. The one whose supporters in 2011 are much harder to find in 2017. (Some of us do have good memories, though. We’ll save that for another column.)

Based on the “conflict on interest” concerns of a council member, and considering the mayor appears to have a similar conflict of interest, the logical action by the current members of Hillsboro City Council would be to table this vote until next year when the new council takes office.

Not only does Hillsboro have a lame-duck city council, it also has a lame-duck mayor – if his words are to be believed.

The Cincinnati Enquirer (and other liberal media) have reported that the mayor said he will not be seeking re-election in 2019. (Hallelujah!)

Just kidding.

I think this mayor has accomplished more than he ever dreamed he would. I can only imagine (with Todd Whited’s help) the ideas that the mayor and his former roommate had for the city of Hillsboro.

The Highland County Republican Party was duped in 2011 and again in 2015. Those who were so duped (we could name them) are very quiet today. Maybe that speaks volumes?

In the next seven weeks, Hillsboro City Council has a chance to do the right thing by postponing crucial votes on the mayor’s personal agenda until January.

The question is: Do you have the intestinal fortitude to do what’s right or would you prefer to aid and abet the likes of Hastings and Lambert? (One indicted – subsequently acquitted, the other convicted.)

If the latter, please explain yourselves and put it on the record.

Rory Ryan is publisher and owner of The Highland County Press.