Thursday, March 10, 2011

Celina vs Van Wert Basketball District Final...

A gloomy, damp, wet, start to the Thursday...the kind of morning I'm glad I don't have to get out and umpire a baseball game.  Sure, I'm more than ready for the season to start, but days like this are ones I do not look forward to standing on a cold, damp, baseball diamond.  The next few weeks, if the extended forecast is to be believed, will see a combination of rain, freezing rain, some snow, some sunshine, and temperatures between the low to mid 30s and near 60 for highs.

District 2 Basketball_____

Celina and Van Wert Boys Basketball teams move on to the final game....

This Saturday night Western Buckeye League rivals The Celina Bulldogs and the Van Wert Cougars will battle it out at Ohio Northern University in Ada, for the Division II District Championship...the winner will move on to the D2 Regional.  This game is interesting in quite a few ways for me....

Since I began officiating I really have not followed the local teams closely, when you see and work with different schools, you tend to tune out the results of each weeks games, and you tend, or at least try, to view the various teams without a rooting interest.  However, this Saturday night's contest for the District Crown does bring back memories of years gone by.

I graduated from Celina in 1967...and for much of the last 47 years, with the exception of the Air Force years, a spell in upstate New York, and a few years working in radio around the midwest, I have called Celina home.  We moved here from Venice, Florida, back in the early 60s, I returned in the summer of 1980, and for the past 30 years I have called the Celina area home.  As for Van Wert..I was born in the old Van Wert Hospital in 1949, and lived in the small berg of Scott, on the Van Wert-Paulding County line for the next 5 years, before the family pulled up stakes, and moved to South Florida.

I broadcast sports in Celina for a few years at WCSM, when I was the Program Director at that small station.  Then in 1982,  I became part time News Director at Cable Channel 7 in Van Wert...I would also become the play-by-play voice of The Van Wert Cougars on cable for the next decade.  In 1991, I  left the Mercer County Health Department, and moved on to Van Wert as the Environmental Health Director, where I would stay for the next dozen years before retiring....I would continue to do some play-by-play at the Van Wert Radio Stations as well.

So you see, I have a vested interest in the game Saturday...I live in Celina, am a Celina graduate, as are my sons....I also have past ties with Van Wert.  Born there, worked there, and was the voice of their basketball and football teams for years.   These days, I don't old a rooting interest, but I do look forward to them playing for the District crown.   And if the past is any indication, it should be a dandy.

Celina won the league, Van Wert was 2 games back, but helped Celina to the outright title by defeating Ottawa~Glandorf, the week before Celina dispatched the Titans on the final game of the season.  Van Wert comes into the game at 18 wins 5 loses, Celina at 19 and 3.   A month or so ago, Celina went to Van Wert and came away with a hard fought Overtime win....this marked the third straight year, that the teams have battled into OT, including one double overtime....Celina has won them all.  Another Overtime Game on the agenda?  Perhaps...the old rivals seem pretty even when all is said and done....the prize is a trip to the Bowling Green Regional next week, with a trip the the State Finals just a couple games away....Good Luck to both teams.

Haircut time....back later>>>>

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