Tigers, Keglers, and Crawdads

Shots In the Darke  

Tiger ball prevailed in Canton over the weekend as the Versailles Tigers brought home their seventh state football title ending Kirtland’s 55-game winning streak in the D-V championship game by a 20-16 count. Congratulations to Coach Ryan Jones and his team as they showed what happens when talent, dedication, and hard work combine with one goal in mind. The Tiger faithful were joined in postgame celebrations by the Flyers of Marion Local who won their record twelfth state title by bouncing Newark Catholic 42-7 in D-VII. Only Coldwater’s loss to Carey in D-VI prevented a sweep of state honors by the MAC!

 Well the Final Four for the Football Bowl Subdivision playoffs is now set, with little drama in Sunday’s selection show following an interesting Saturday of league championship games.  Alabama followed a four overtime win over a mediocre Auburn team by exploiting Georgia’s vaunted defense in securing the number one seed. The Tide will play the Bearcats of Cincinnati in the national semifinals at the Cotton Bowl, immediately making UC the favorite of every non-Alabaman in the country. The first Group of Five team to earn a semifinal berth, Luke Fickell’s crew will have their hands full with Nick Saban’s juggernaut. In the other semifinal Big Ten champion Michigan takes on the abashed Bulldogs of Georgia in the Orange Bowl. New Year’s Eve will be quite the evening as just about everyone outside of SEC territory pulls for the two schools from the Midwest!  

How close did Oklahoma State come to entering the picture for playoff consideration? How  about inches as Baylor held the Cowboys not only once but twice on first and goal situations in  the fourth quarter of the Big 12 title game including the last stop just short of the pylon.  Meanwhile it’s a consolation trip to the Rose Bowl for THE as they take on a tough Utah team which has decimated Buckeye conqueror Oregon twice in the past three weeks. Beware the Utes! 

 Congratulations go out to the Bradford Railroaders boys basketball team who picked up wins over Fairlawn and National Trail this weekend. The ‘Roaders have suffered through  several lean years of recent so it’s good to see them experience some success in the early  going of this season! Hats off also to the Green Wave and Lady Wave for recording their first wins of the year with both squads handling Fairborn. Let’s hope good things follow for the Green and White! 

 Speaking of Greenville sports, tickets for the GHS Athletic Hall of Fame banquet are on sale at the high school athletic department. Six new inductees will be honored at the Elks Lodge on Saturday the 18th at noon with additional recognition that evening before the varsity boys contest versus Franklin-Monroe. 

Continuing on with GHS sports, the girls bowling team stands 1-3 in MVL play thus far,  being paced by Aletha Fenton with a 148 average, Maci Lewis and Maggie House at 130, and  Madison Werner at 122. On the boys side, they too are 1-3 in league action with Justin  Hadden rolling a 177 average, Alex Hadden at 170, Luke Kiser at 157, and Shane Breig pulling  a 143 for the keglers among others. 

How about those Detroit Lions finally breaking in to the win column by beating the hard luck Vikings yesterday!! I see that well-traveled running back Adrian Peterson, playing for the Seahawks, scored his  106th career touchdown, tying Cleveland’s Jim Brown for 10th place on the NFL’s all-time list.  In my opinion Brown remains the greatest running back of all, compiling his record in only nine years before retiring at the age of 29. Also, remember that the first four years of his career there was only a 12 game schedule with 14 contests each of his last five years. Brown averaged over 5 yards per carry for his career and basically revolutionized the modern running game in the NFL. Still the best, what do you think? 

Finally, the college coaching carousel continues to spin, with outrageous salaries and benefits being passed out like Halloween candy to a handful of the top coaches. Perhaps the best example is the contract extended to former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly. Basically $100 million plus with added incentives that defy imagination. Kelly skipped out on the Fighting Irish before their bowl game, just like he did at both UC and Central Michigan. What a guy!!  Continuing to pick on Kelly (it’s a character flaw of mine!), wasn’t it hilarious the fake Cajun  accent that the Massachusetts native used in speaking to the LSU Tiger fans at a home  basketball game the other night? Almost made you want to suck the seasoned juices out of the head of a crawdad! 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 Greenville JV double digit winners over Fairborn

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