COLUMBUS — The longtime sports editor for the Sidney Daily News is heading to the Hall of Fame.
Ken Barhorst, of Sidney, is one of three sports writers to join the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016. Barhorst, along with retired Associated Press Ohio Sports Editor Rusty Miller and retired Cincinnati Post and Enquirer Sportswriter Dave Schutte will join 56 prep sports writing greats enshrined in the OPSWA Hall of Fame.
The trio will be honored on Saturday, March 19, during championship Saturday of the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) boys basketball state tournament at the Schottenstein.
“I was very surprised and honored by this recognition,” said Barhorst.
Barhorst, a graduate of Piqua Catholic High School, began his writing career as a stringer at the Piqua Daily Call in 1970. He joined the staff full time in 1971 before moving to the Sidney Daily News in 1973, where he has worked for the last 42 years and continues in his role as sports editor.
“Ken’s value to the Sidney Daily News is immeasurable, but more so, his commitment to the student athlete is unparalleled,” said Josh Byers, SDN publisher. “We’re thrilled Ken was recognized as such. He’s a true hall of famer.”
Barhorst was the Southwest District Athletic Board’s Media Service Award winner in 2007 and has spent a total of 44 years covering high school sports.
“Ken is one of the best sports writers that I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with,” said Melanie Speicher, SDN news editor. “Sharing the accomplishments of the young athletes in the county is his No. 1 priority and he has excelled at making sure this happens on a daily basis.”
He and his wife, Connie, have three children and five grandchildren, with another due to arrive in February.
Sidney City Schools Athletic Director Mitch Hoying has worked with Barhorst as both a coach and AD.
“Ken is a real pro the way he treated the baseball program when I was head coach and the way he treats all of Sidney sports now that I’m AD,” said Hoying. “He would consider a story from an obscure sport — not basketball or football — and be more than willing to dig into it and write the story.”
Hoying said Barhorst goes above and beyond to get information into the newspaper about Sidney sports — whether it’s about Night at the Races or a coaching vacancy.
When he was the baseball coach, said Hoying, Barhorst took a young 23-year-old coach and “showed me the ropes. He was my mentor in working with the paper. He’s been so good to Sidney City Schools.”
Hoying said with the changing deadlines the paper has gone through, Barhorst “will do whatever he needs to do to see that the sports news gets to the readers.”
John Willoughby, Hardin-Houston Local Schools athletic director and varsity boys basketball coach, said the award is well deserved.
“He’s been doing this longer than I’ve been coaching and the AD,” said Willoughby. “When I first started coaching, he helped me out. I’m very appreciative about how he’s covered the county teams and how he’s covered my team.”
Former Sidney Daily News sports Editor Zack Crusey was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013.
Miller was the Ohio Sports Editor at The Associated Press for 30 years before retiring last June. Prior to his position at the AP, he worked for newspapers in Tiffin, Bucyrus, Columbus and York, Pennsylvania. Over the last three decades he covered almost every Ohio State University home football and men’s basketball game along with several football national championships, college basketball “Final Fours,” professional golf tournaments and 37 Memorial Tournaments. He staffed almost every OHSAA state basketball tournament over that span. He oversaw the weekly AP prep and college football and basketball polls, helped select the AP All-Ohio teams and initiated the Ohio Mr. Football, Mr. Basketball and Ms. Basketball awards. He and his wife, Gayle, are the parents of Betsy and Mac and live in suburban Columbus.
After graduating from Cincinnati St. Xavier High School, Schutte took a part-time job at the Cincinnati Post in 1962 and never missed working a Friday night football game during the next 43 years. A University of Cincinnati graduate, he rose to the sports editor position at the Post until moving onto The Enquirer in Cincinnati from 1986-2003. Schutte was then with the Cincinnati Community Post in 2003 and 2004 before retiring. While covering high school sports, Schutte held full-time jobs at General Telephone and Chrysler while he and his wife, Lorna, put their seven kids through college. He was the Southwest District Athletic Board’s Media Service Award recipient in 2000 and now runs Furniture Solutions in Milford with his two brothers.
The OPSWA was created in 1972 to support, promote and recognize the coverage of high school sports across Ohio. The OPSWA inducted its first Hall of Fame class in 1983.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822; follow her on Twitter @MelSpeicherSDN. Follow the SDN on Facebook, www.facebook.com/SidneyDailyNews.