Sports and other Wishes for 2022

From the Sidelines

This is the last week of 2021…..THANK GOD!  I think everyone is ready for this year to be done.  Between the new strains of Covid-19, the war between the vaxxed and unvaxxed, the ridiculous happenings in Washington, the border crisis, and the labor shortage, 2021 has been a year to forget. 

It even affected the sporting world as well. Covid 19 has played havoc with all sports, but still, most managed to get their seasons in.  Although 2021 truly is unforgettable, the best news is we have all survived, and if you are like me, I am looking forward to a New Year with all its promises, and I have a short wish list for the New Year.

I hope that everyone has a truly wonderful year!  I hope everyone has their health, and that everyone continues to grow in spirit and keep plowing ahead, reaching for your goals, no matter how much resistance there is.  I wish everyone true happiness, and I really hope that we can come together and fix our myriad of problems together. 

Since this is mainly a sports column, or something to print out to line your birdcage, I have several wishes for sports teams and people for 2022. 

My first wish is for all High School athletes to have a healthy year.  Injuries are a part of sport, and if an injury does happen, I wish a quick recovery through hard work for all of them. 

I wish that all the basketball teams, and all other winter and spring sports in our area have a good year and represent their schools well.  Our area students are good people, we just need to recognize that more often. 

I wish success for all student athletes in the sport of their choosing, and I wish them the drive and competitiveness it takes to be the best in their sport.  Good luck to all in 2022!

I wish that more people would get interested in High School officiating.  There is nothing more rewarding than working High School sports.  The kids are fun, most of the coaches are really good people with a sense of humor, and if you played the sport, it keeps you involved with young athletes. 

There are those of you out there who have thought about officiating, wondering if it is for you……IT IS!  Pull the trigger and get involved!  You will set a positive example for our young athletes!

I wish that College football would finally wake up and realize this “Transfer Portal” is a terrible idea.  Basically, what it turns out to be is if you don’t play at the school you choose, you can take your ball and go someplace else. 

This is a bad look for college athletes.  To me, it means you are a quitter.  Sorry, but if you chose to play at a school and you got beat out by somebody better, I would think you would try to get better yourself instead of quitting.  

I can also see how this can lead to schools offering “incentives” for athletes to come to their school, which will be another can of worms, and illegal activities that the NCAA will spend thousands of hours and countless dollars investigating. 

Yes, this is old school thinking, but competitive drive is what makes great athletes, not quitting because somebody is better than you.  

I wish the NFL would realize that 17 seasonal games is too much.  I love watching football, but this has been a terrible year for injuries in the NFL.  The shortening of the pre-season, and not letting the starters play more, has, in my opinion, added to the large amount of injuries. 

Football is not a contact sport, it is a collision sport, and the human body needs to get used to the contact.  I want them to realize that their stars are getting hurt at an alarming rate, and want them to play longer so all can enjoy their skills. 

They are shortening the playing lives of the players, and that is not good for the players or the fans.  I also wish that John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens), Mike Zimmer (Minnesota Vikings), Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland Browns), and Frank Reich (Indianapolis Colts) are recognized for being great coaches because of the injuries their teams have suffered. 

These Coaches have done an outstanding job keeping their teams relevant despite having way too many injuries.  Football is hard enough when everyone is healthy, but these 4 coaches have not had a healthy lineup all year, and still their teams are in the playoff hunt.  Like them or not, they deserve to be recognized for an outstanding coaching job.

Finally, 2022 is my final year as Commissioner.  I want to make this the best year yet for Darke County!  With the people we have in the office, Matt Aultman and Larry Holmes, we are in capable hands.  The whole office staff and Courthouse consists of good team people, and that is why Darke County is in good shape. 

The people in the Courthouse work hard, and deserve Congratulations on what they have accomplished the last 12 years.  They are good people, and I am proud of all of them.   We have a lot of work to accomplish this year, but we will get it done. 

I think 2022 is going to be a good year, but remember, your life is what YOU make it! You have no one else to blame, so MAN UP!!  That’s the way I see it from the sidelines.  HAVE A BLESSED AND PROSPEROUS 2022!!

Commissioner Mike Stegall

Mike Stegall / Correspondent

Mike Stegall is a GHS alum and played on the Green Wave's only undefeated football team. Served 27 years as an OHSAA football official and currently serves as a Darke County Commissioner

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