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A great year in sports and I got my own trivia question!

Trivia question. You ready?
   In the almost 200 years of newspapers in Highland County, “who is the only person to be named sports editor in not one, but two newspapers, on the same day?”
    Give up?
     The answer: This guy! (Two thumbs pointing at myself for extra emphasis!)
    That’s right, I am 99.9 percent sure I made history this year with that fact.
     Get a copy of the very first issue of the (new) Highland County Press dated Saturday, Sept. 5, and the same date of the other newspaper I used to write for. OK, now who is listed sports editor in both papers with the same date?
     See I told you! HA!
     I always wanted to have my own sports trivia question. (Thanks, Rory!)
    The move turned out to be a good one by all involved, but still no matter what is said, if someone 100 years from now stumbles upon this column (it will probably be wrapped around an old valuable breakable item that is packed away in a box) they will be able to go and check archives of the two newspapers and by golly, they will see that I did, in fact, make history!
    Yeah, two papers, same date and now a trivia question answer!
    All I have to say is “Year well spent!”
    But you have to agree with me (if on anything) this was a very productive calendar year for Highland County high school sports.
   Here are some memorable moments of the final year of the decade.
   The McClain Lady Tiger basketball team from the 2008-09 season.
    They were a regional basketball participant (Sweet 16), district and sectional champion. They finished second in the South Central Ohio League, and defeated the SCOL and state-ranked Miami Trace Lady Panthers in the tournament. Then they came right back and defeated a then-undefeated Unioto team to take districts at the Ohio University Convocation Center in Athens.         
    We had two baseball teams represent the county with league championships as the Hillsboro Indians went undefeated in the regular season for the South Central Ohio League title and the Whiteoak Wildcats were Southern Hills League Division II champions.
    The McClain boys swimming team won the first-ever SCOL swimming title. HHS boys basketball, Fairfield boys basketball, L-C girls basketball, MHS boys basketball all won sectional titles.
     McClain lost one of the best coaches to ever lead student-athletes when boys basketball head coach Rick VanMatre retired after 28 seasons.
    In football the Hillsboro Indians went from 2-8 to 8-2 under the tutelage of new head coach Brian Spicer.
     The MHS boys soccer team won their first SCOL soccer championship. Not to mention the Tigers boys golf team were champions in the SCOL.
     If I had to pick an Athlete of the Year (which I am going to do right now) I would pick Hillsboro’s Airic Steagall.
     Steagall is a class act on and off the field. No matter what sport (football, baseball or basketball) he led his respective teams to victory. In baseball he was productive at the plate and has one of the best gloves at first base I’ve ever seen in high school, in football rushed for over 1,000 yards (earning All-State honors) and in basketball he was named to the All-District team.
     On the HHS teams he was apart of, all had winning records this calendar year. In the 2009 Rotary Bowl, behind a good offensive line performance, Steagall took over the game and made it his by rushing for 280-plus yards and four touchdowns. He also played a heck of a game on defense.
     My vote for game of the year is the district final game in girls basketball between the McClain Lady Tigers and Unioto Lady Shermans.
     MHS entered the game as underdogs as UHS was undefeated and The Associated Press No. 3 ranked team in the state in Division II.
     As I remember the game and read my game story it was a career performance from then-MHS senior Lyndi Seely. Seely made three 3-pointers and was 7 of 8 from the foul line to score a total of 20 points. Did I mention she came off the bench in that game?
     Lady Tiger coach Dennis Overstake told me after the game, “The key was Lyndi coming off the bench and scoring points the way she did.”
     Overstake also talked about how the entire team contributed in the win. MHS shot 56.4 percent from the field in that game. MHS reached the Sweet 16 in the 2008-09 season ranked as a No. 3 seed in the district.
      A close second for (my) game of the year was the girls soccer game at Lynchburg-Clay High School for the sectional championship between the L-C Lady Mustangs and Fairfield Lady Lions. The game was tied in regulation and after two overtime. Then the performance by Gabby Boone, of Fairfield, at the goal and then kicking the game-winning goal in the shootout, for the sectional title, was one of the few times I felt a player singlehandedly put the game in their hands. That same night at Whiteoak High School the Lady Lions defeated SHL Division II volleyball champion WHS for a sectional title in five sets. From what I have been told about that game, it was a close one as well. (Sorry I couldn’t make it, can’t be I two places at once, or can I?)
     I will say this has been the most fun I’ve ever had covering sports. And since I have joined The Highland County Press I have never been happier to go to work. (I don’t consider this work, nobody should have this much fun when they are getting paid.)
     Happy New Year!

    Stephen Forsha is the sports editor of The Highland County Press.[[In-content Ad]]

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