Greenville coach, Rachael Kerns leads Lady Wave in team's first basketball scrimmage of the 2021-22 season. (Gaylen Blosser photo)

Joe Willie, Playoffs, and Sunshine

 SHOTS IN THE DARKE 

Where do you start when trying to figure out the Bengals and Browns? Just when you thought the boys in stripes had it all together they turned back into the Bungles against the lowly Jets, tumbling from the best in the entire AFC into second place in the AFC North. QB Mike White, a fourth-year pro from Western Kentucky making his first career start, tore apart a good Bengals defense while looking like a reincarnation of Joe Willie Namath.  

Meanwhile, the Brownies once again fell to the Steelers, making Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger’s record 24-3-1 against the Orange and Brown. Baker Mayfield is trying to fight through a torn labrum in his non-throwing left shoulder and other injuries to key offensive personnel have hurt the cause. Rumors have started to circulate about Odell Beckham, Jr. being on the trading block after he has seem to become an afterthought in the past few game plans. Seems like things are returning to normal up by the Lake! 

Something will have to give this Sunday down along the River as the Bengals host the Browns—the winner will regain a semblance of respectability while the loser will face an uphill fight the rest of the season in trying to claim a playoff berth. The way things are going I wouldn’t be surprised if they played to a tie!! 

High school playoffs enter the second week of play with Versailles hosting Carlisle in D-V while Tri-Village faces a tall task in taking on New Bremen of the MAC down in New Madison in D-VII. Both games start at 7:00 Saturday night. Ansonia and Arcanum saw decent seasons come to an abrupt halt in the first round against two of those darn MAC teams, St. Henry and Ft. Recovery.  

With the expansion to 16 teams making the playoffs in each region of each class, the usual one-sided outcomes played out as one- and two-seeds took out the weakest teams in each bracket with ease. In D-I around the state, with only 7 out of 71 schools not qualifying, there were several 0-10 and 1-9 teams forced to play big school powers with the expected results— thank goodness for the running clock rule in the second half!! 

I’m sitting around the pool of the resort where we’re staying out in Tucson writing this column, enjoying the sunshine and 85 degree temperatures the entire week, as I try to figure out the chances of either the Astros or Braves winning the World Series. I’ve never seen a  post-season where there appears to be such a scarcity of potential starting pitchers—both  teams, but particularly Houston, seem to be throwing everyone out on the mound, hoping to  get an inning or two of halfway effective pitching. What happened to the starter who would go at least seven innings each outing? Don’t ask me who’s going to win the crown, I don’t have a clue nor does anyone else!! 

High school basketball in the county is just around the corner—the girls open play in just two weeks or so while the boys hit the hardwood the weekend after Thanksgiving. I’ll try to keep up with the successes of the teams throughout the season and will know more, as will every fan, about the various teams after the first few weeks of play. I do know that both Tri-Village squads return a wealth of talent while Versailles will be well represented again by both the boys and girls.

Coach Rachel Kerns faces a tough schedule once again with a Lady Wave team comprised of both veterans and youth while Wave Coach Bobby Jones welcomes back four starters from last season plus several new faces as they begin MVL action. Ty House and I will begin our 26th year of telecasting GHS basketball on YouTube at The WAVE at GHS on a delay basis—tune us in, we’re not too bad! 

Finally, one of the great things about being out West for a week or so is the time zone. I can  actually stay awake long enough to watch an entire World Series game as they start at 5:00;  the same with NFL Sunday and Monday night games. Also, did I mention that it’s 85 and sunny out here!! Until next time, stay healthy and active!!

Dr. Alex Warner | Correspondent for Darke County Now

Dr. Alex Warner / Correspondent

Alex Warner is a retired Greenville chiropractor as well as a former educator and high school coach. He has over 30 years experience in broadcasting high school sports on both radio and public access television in addition to producing over 50 episodes of the local television series “Our Town”. A man of many interests, he is naturally curious with a “gift of gab”. He currently writes the weekly sports column “Shots in the Darke” and hosts “Talk of the Town” featuring people, places, and events that make Darke County the place we choose to reside.

Previous Whittaker sworn in as interim sheriff

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