The Fort Loramie girls were downright impressive in dominating a pair of opponents last weekend to claim the small school state basketball title at the University of Dayton Arena. This weekend puts the boys on center stage at the same venue as Botkins also tries to successfully carry the banner of the Shelby County Athletic League.
I’ve seen Botkins both in person and on television. I believe they have a good shot at bringing home the top trophy.
The Fort Loramie gymnasium “championship wall” will have six state title basketball banners after 2021 joins the group. The boys won in 1977, 1987, and 1993 with the girls matching that total in 2013, 2015, and now 2021.
Former Redskins outstanding player, assistant coach, and now 22 season head coach Carla Siegel noted the previous banner disparity during Saturday’s victorious postgame press conference. “I used to look at that wall and see three boys banners with none for the girls,” she told the assembled media. “I knew we had great girls basketball. We needed to get a banner on that wall. To have three will be impressive.”
Want to learn more about the SCAL’s state championship heritage? Consult their recently revamped website at www.scalsports.com. The site is up to date as evidenced by Saturday’s Loramie accomplishment already being included by Monday afternoon.
Sidney attorney and retired referee Stan Evans serves as league commissioner. I visited with him in Dayton prior to Loramie’s final conquest, and he’s quite excited about all of this success in both genders of basketball. He loves to promote his league and takes pride in the basketball officials he secures to work regular season SCAL contests. His referees come from a wide area, and many work the tournament trail including the state championships.
Bowser on the move
Former Sidney running star Isaiah Bowser remains at Northwestern University near Chicago to finish his bachelor’s degree before a summer change of scenery with two years of eligibility as a graduate transfer. This means he won’t sign with a new school until his Northwestern degree is complete in June.
Initially he chose Oxford, Ohio and Miami University as his destination but has now opted for Central Florida in Orlando. This program has achieved a high national profile as a member of the American Athletic Conference along with the Cincinnati Bearcats. UCF will visit both Cincinnati and Louisville (non-league) during the coming season.
The Golden Knights are now headed up by former Auburn coach Gus Malzahn whose offense “plays fast” with lots of creativity in both running and passing, which Bowser found attractive. Malzahn has the dubious distinction of being paid the largest contract buyout in NCAA history. Wealthy Auburn boosters are paying him over $21 million to leave town.
Versailles product Craig Stammen enters his fourth season as an important piece of the San Diego Padres bullpen. The right handed reliever will mark ten years of MLB service time early during the coming season, quite an impressive milestone. Just turned 37, he’s in the final year of a two year contract. The Padres hold an option on his services for 2022. If they decline, the buyout is $1 million. His younger comrades in the relief corps refer to him as “dad.” In real life, a young son and daughter also call him “dad.”
I recently asked Craig if big league players got any preference to receive covid vaccinations earlier than their age would normally allow. The answer was “no.”
Shelby County’s first major leaguer, Fort Loramie outfielder Jared Hoying, remains in search of a new baseball opportunity after playing most of the past three seasons in South Korea. He’s still working out in the hope that a top minor league team needs an outfielder with major league experience. However, the minors don’t start playing until early May and rosters can still fluctuate as Hoying’s 32nd birthday approaches.
Sports Extra appears each Friday. Dave Ross has covered area sports including the exploits of the SCAL since 1975.