Category Archives: Opinion

Freedom Center is highly recommended

There are many things to do and visit if you plan a trip to Cincinnati. The Queen City hosts a plethora of museums, sporting and musical events, festivals, and a lot of heritage. There are some venues that come highly recommended. One of those is The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, or Freedom Center.

Nestled in-between Great American Ballpark and Paul Brown Stadium along the waterfront, the parking for the Freedom Center was very difficult to find for this out-of-towner. After taking the scenic tour while searching for the correct entrance to the mammoth parking garage, we were pleasantly surprised to find it eerily empty. Once we got to the entrance of the Freedom Center, we quickly forgot about our little parking fiasco and were ready for an experience.

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The opening day that wasn’t, and a look ahead

Heavy rain on Saturday morning forced the postponement of all area games.

BEAVERCREEK — A lone elderly man sat in his car outside the centerfield fence at Rotary Field on Saturday morning. Heavy rain poured around him and the surrounding Rotary Park, as it did across all of the Miami Valley. Perhaps out of blind hope, he waited for what was to have been a doubleheader between Beavercreek and Kenton Ridge’s softball teams, the season opener for both.

The only hardball that could be seen in the Dayton area on Saturday morning was a DVR of the MSNBC show. All area prep baseball and softball games were postponed due to the weather.

It was far from a good start to the spring sports season. Temperatures hovered in the 30s, and cold rain turned to snow as the day progressed. Opening day for baseball seemed more like an opening day for basketball.

Top Ohio prep boys basketball players in Class of 2014

Top Billing Sports has compiled a list some of the top prep boys basketball players in Ohio of the class of 2013. The list is divided into the top one hundred players and additional players. Players are not ranked in any particular order in their group. Factors taken into consideration include scholarship offers from universities, all-league and all-state honors, statistics from scholastic games, and editorial opinion.

Each group of players are listed in order by height.

Trotwood running back Marc Raye-Reymond fights off Springfield defensive back Justus Banks during a game against Springfield in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown at Welcome Stadium on Friday. Redmond rushed for 32 yards in the game. (Top Billing Sports Photos by Bryant Billing)

Pick ‘Em: Truth and the legend of John F. Kennedy

Entering week 12 of high school football, Casey leads Bryant by only one game.

I’ve got nothing much to say about the playoffs to this point. First round games went largely as expected with no surprises.

What I’ve got to say has nothing to do with sports, so for those uninterested in my thoughts on John F. Kennedy and the assassination, please stop reading now and scroll down to this week’s picks.

Damian Popp runs

Pick ‘Em: Top awards from Top Billing

Springfield’s Evans Stadium grabs the best stadium award, while Northmont’s band gets top in its class thanks to “Moondance.”

With the regular season complete and the playoffs starting, I’m giving out awards to end the season.

The best team: Wayne. The results on the field give plenty of support for my decision to crown Wayne the best football team in the Dayton area. The Warriors lost only one game, a close 31-27 loss to Lakota West on Sept. 13. The Warriors beat out other contenders (Centerville, Northmont, and Trotwood) by beating each team by at least a touchdown.

Michael Lunsford runs

Pick ‘Em: Who’s in, who’s out of playoffs

Triad has already clinched a playoff berth, while several other area teams are close.

We’re in the best of the season for high school football. The regular season is winding down, and league races are heating up. This is when playoff berths are won or lost.

Some teams, however, have already earned their postseason berth. Unofficially, that is.

JoeEitel.com and Drew Pasteur’s Fantastic50.net keep track of the OHSAA’s Harbins computer points that are used to determine playoff berths. Both make projections on when teams have clinched a playoff berth. Pasteur, who is a mathematics professor at the College of Wooster, makes projections on, well, a bunch of other things too.

Graham Oberer throws

Pick ‘Em: Centerville at Northmont could determine GWOC Central title

Centerville or Northmont have won at least a share of the Central Division title four out of the last five seasons.

Since Northmont moved to the Central Division of the Greater Western Ohio Conference in 2008, it has been no secret where the Central Division title runs through: Centerville, Huber Heights, and Clayton.

Centerville, Wayne, and Northmont have combined won at least a share of the title the last five seasons. Northmont (2008) and Centerville (2011) have won the title outright once each in that time.

That trend will continue this season. Centerville (6-0), Northmont (5-1), and Wayne (5-1) have established themselves as the frontrunners for the Central title. The other three teams in the Central (Beavercreek, Fairmont and Springfield) have combined for five wins this season.

Piqua quarterback throws

Pick ‘Em: Females on the gridiron now commonplace

Two Clark County teams have female kickers this season, and Northwestern has a female position player.

The game of football is changing — or so many people are saying.

I do know one area that high school football is changing in: it’s getting more feminine.

Both Shawnee and Northwestern have girl kickers this season. The Braves’ Kaitlin Gregory is back for her second season, and she has hit 19 of 23 extra point attempts and one field goal through three games. Northwestern’s Maddie Crew is playing her first season on the gridiron, and she’s made all 16 of her extra point attempts this season.

Shawnee running back Jalen Nelson celebrates after scoring a touchdown against Alter last year in a Division III regional quarterfinal game. Nelson ran for 141 yards and one touchdown in the Braves' 31-28 win over Troy last week. (Top Billing Sports Photo by Bryant Billing)

Pick ‘Em: The case against the GWOC North and South

CBC Kenton Trail teams went 3-1 in matchups against the GWOC North teams last Friday.

The Greater Western Ohio Conference is the top dog of conferences in the Miami Valley. It is made up of the biggest schools and has the best teams, right?

Well, not so much on the latter this season anyway.

Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Trail Division teams went 3-1 in games against GWOC North teams last week. The games were close, outside of Tippecanoe’s thrashing of Greenville. Shawnee beat Troy 31-28, Bellefontaine beat Sidney 28-21 in overtime, at Butler needed a goal line stand late in the game to beat Tecumseh 14-10.

Fairborn defensive back Jerrimy Smith pursues Tecumseh running back Camren Moore during a game last season at Spitzer Stadium. Moore rushed for 20 yards in the Arrows' 21-0 win over Fairborn last Friday. (Top Billing Sports Photo by Bryant Billing)

Pick ‘Em: Is there room for a mercy rule in football?

With Shawnee beating Catholic Central by 11 touchdowns and Tippecanoe beating Graham by 10, is it time for a mercy rule in football?

There’s nothing like lifting all winter, conditioning all spring, and practicing all summer to get beat by 68 or 75 points in your first game, is there?

Graham and Catholic Central, respectively, lost by those deficits last week. They were only two of many losers who fell by over 30 points around the Miami Valley in week one.

Through talking with area coaches at games, camps, and our Clark County Coaches Show over the last few years, I’ve heard many coaches discuss dwindling numbers in some programs and a disinterest by current players.