Sports Extra with Dave Ross: Fort Loramie MLK Classic will continue


Sports Extra - With Dave Ross



The first annual MLK Classic was successfully held in Fort Loramie last Sunday and plans for a second event on the corresponding date in 2023 are already well underway. I attended the four boys games and thoroughly enjoyed my day. Three were close with the lidlifter going overtime.

The format had four area teams matched with solid outside competition. Minster extended Convoy Crestview to an extra frame and claimed victory. Anna was a narrow loser to unbeaten Springfield Catholic. Marion Local pulled away late to handle Columbus Grandview. Host Fort Loramie took Tiffin Columbian (Division II) to the wire before the visitors prevailed.

“Sponsors really stepped forward and about 1,000 fans were spread throughout the day,” reported Loramie Athletic Director Mitch Westerheide. “We’re already recruiting teams and receiving inquires for next year. Lexington, Willard, and St. Marys will be new additions and we’ll have five matchups for both JV and varsity. We’re now established and that attendance will grow.”

Lexington is coached by 1987 Fort Loramie grad Scott Hamilton, now in his 10th campaign and winning about two thirds of his games both historically and this season. Hamilton attended on Sunday to check things out. His likely matchup at 2023 MLK is St. Marys and former Loramie head coach Dan Hegemier. Scott played in Dan’s program and holds him in high regard, especially after becoming a successful head coach in his own right.

MLK himself

The annual holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has become synonymous with high school, college, and pro basketball. Earlier this week I asked Google if MLK played basketball and found a quick answer.

As a youth in Atlanta he enjoyed football, basketball, and baseball with baseball his favorite. However, he pursued speech and debate over formal sports teams, and enrolled in college before he turned 16. No time for athletics for the future civil rights icon who didn’t reach his 40th birthday due to an assassin’s bullet.

All-time leader

The Fort Loramie girls entered this season with an even 900 victories in just over a half century of basketball competition. A previous periodic Loramie opponent, Berlin Hiland, checked in with 905 for the most girls basketball wins in Ohio history. That deficit has now been eliminated and the Loramie lead should increase by tourney’s end.

This Saturday the Redskins will host Lima Bath as both programs have 900+ wins. The Wildkittens got number 900 on Tuesday of this week to rank third. Bath holds the only win over Loramie in the past three seasons, 52 weeks ago in their “Bath Tub” home gym. Nearby Tippecanoe is in the fourth spot and should reach 900 yet this season.

Sidney-Piqua

A clean sweep of all four basketball games including both genders prompted me to check Sidney’s standing in the annual all sports competition with neighboring Piqua. I found that the award is on hiatus due to COVID-related scheduling concerns. “Both schools want it to return next school year,” Sidney AD Mitch Hoying told me on Tuesday.

Sports Extra

With Dave Ross

Sports Extra appears each Friday. Special thanks to Fort Loramie team physician Dr. Shelden Wical who constantly tracks and updates the legacy of the Loramie girls. He regards his work as “unofficial but pretty darn right on.”

Sports Extra appears each Friday. Special thanks to Fort Loramie team physician Dr. Shelden Wical who constantly tracks and updates the legacy of the Loramie girls. He regards his work as “unofficial but pretty darn right on.”