Somehow Friday Night we managed to get the basketball games in at St. Marys....Kenton slid down the icy roadways the 40 miles from Ohio 309 to Interstate 75, and the 4 lane portion of US 33, for the final night of Basketball at the McBroom Gym....St. Marys opens it's new High School this coming fall, and with that the Western Buckeye League school will put the basketball program into a brand new gym. The homestanding Roughriders won both ends, the JV and Varsity contests, with the Varsity taking it's first league win of the season.
The drive home was not a treat....as the roads had become a icy mess from the light snow and heavy wind. Of the 5 officials, I had the shortest drive, 10 miles to and from Celina, in the Jeep. My partner Dan had a 40 mile round trip run across the 2 land portion of US 33 to Willshire, while the varsity officials had driven together from the Lake Erie area....about a 2 to 2 1/2 hour trip each way in "normal" conditions....and trust me, Friday Night and early Saturday, we nowhere near "normal". Most games had been cancelled and were made up yesterday(Saturday) or like in the case of Celina and Ottawa-Glandorf, they will be played this afternoon....they need to get done now, with the Boys Tournaments beginning Tuesday Night.
Baseball Umpire Clinic____
Garry and I had decided a couple of weeks ago to attend Major League Umpire Tim Timmons one day clinic on the campus of The University of Dayton....Friday's weather had us wondering if we would make it...at times they had put out various Level 2 and 3 Emergencies in the local counties. Patricia and one of her co-workers had a workshop some 100 miles north at Bowling Green University, and decided not to go. Garry and I decided to see how things went, and left Celina for the 75 mile run to Dayton...29/33 and the 4 lane were icy, but by the time we got to I-75 things had been cleared off, with the combination salt and liquid heat working on the roadway....our trip was rather uneventful.
For 50 bucks some 50 licensed umpires from the High School to College level got to have a pizza lunch and 7 hours of hands on training and video from 11 season Major League level Umpire Tim Timmons, out of Columbus, Ohio. Tim and a half dozen Minor League umps provided the training and a look at where the attendees needed some work improving their game. With these kinds of clinics, you never know what you're going to get....to say the least I was pleasantly surprised...No preaching, just some hands on tips...I thought the money was worth it...basically a one game high school fee was the cost for the clinic and trip down and back...We did stop for a couple of quality beers and a sandwich at Troy, Ohio, on the way back....we made it home by 6pm, a day well spent. If nothing else I came away with a look at a better "stance" behind the plate for when left handed batters were in the batters box. Timmons seemed like a pretty good stick, I know most Major League Umps have pretty good egos....Tim showed none of that and seem just a pretty decent guy....turning 61 in 2 weeks, I'm pretty sure I was the oldest of a crew that probably ranged in age from 20 to my 60 years, with the average age being in the 40 something area. Like I said, money and time, well spent.
Today marks the end of February and hopefully some moderating temperatures.....although the first part of the week will continue with highs in the low to mid 30s and lows in the upper teens and 20s, well below the averages of 43 and 28 for the first week of March.
The Wabash Valley Dartball Tournament will continue today...although the Host Team, that would be us, St. John Lutheran, will not be a part of today's action in the semi and finals...or tomorrow night in the League finals. JD and I will be there to feed and supervisor the teams and games both today and tomorrow night. The All Star Game is at our place next Monday(the 8th) then on March 15th the season ending banquet and league meeting, trophies, T-Shirts, etc., will finish off the 2009-10 season, and we can put the darts and boards away until around next Halloween when we will unpack and get started again.
I should get home in time to catch the final period of the Gold Medal Game between the US and Canada Hockey teams...we had defeated the Canucks earlier in the games, but I still gotta believe Canada is favored in the finals.... There would be nothing better than knocking off the Canadians and their fans "It's our game" attitude to win the Gold...the US has already clinched the overall Medal Count in the games, and Canada looks to take the most number of golds, a pretty good year for both countries...I believe this is the first time since 1932 the US has won the most medals in the Winter Games.
A busy week of Dartball and Baseball Meetings to follow, with the week topping off by Patricia and I heading back to Dayton for the Vietnam Mini Reunion and a night at the Off Broadway Play, "Wicked" the Prequel to "The Wizard of Oz" next Saturday Night.
Photos-MLB Umpire Tim Timmons, 2nd from left, with cohorts(l to r)Jim Brinkman, Derryl Cousins, and Jeff Nelson, before a Reds-Cardinals Game. Me, some 25 pounds heavier working in the summer of 2009, Timmons making a call in a San Francisco vs ? game, and the Dartball Season winds down today and tomorrow.....