Sports Extra with Dave Ross: Rose and Thobe made true impact


Sports Extra - With Dave Ross



I spent an enjoyable Saturday watching six basketball games (three of each gender) as Marion Local visited Fort Loramie last weekend. Appropriately, the contests were a continuing annual platform to honor the impact of two Marion natives on both communities.

I was pleased to know both Aaron Rose and Dan Thobe. We tragically lost both in 2018, Aaron (40) in a car crash and Dan (46) with a brain tumor. They both taught and coached in both school districts during shortened but impactful careers. Both were leaders in their respective Catholic churches, and highly regarded as educators. Note my frequent use of the word “both.” Indeed, this duo was linked in many ways.

Inspired by legendary Marion Local math teacher and coach Jack Albers, Dan received mathematics classroom acclaim at three teaching stops. Albers remains very proud of Dan’s career as conveyed to me numerous times.

“Gentle giant” Aaron was a teaching colleague of coach Carla Siegel at Fort Loramie Elementary. “Aaron loved to have fun in his classroom. He was calm with the kids. He motivated the underdogs to do better and strive for more,” she shared this week.

I was better acquainted with Dan from his days as a stellar football defensive back at the University of Dayton. We then stayed in touch as he navigated from there to Vandalia-Butler and Fort Loramie before heading home to Marion Local. I have fond memories of my final visit with him.

By the summer of 2018 he had been diagnosed and his situation was widely known. Late one Saturday afternoon I was dining in the Sidney Applebees and saw Dan and his wife across the restaurant. I watched closely so I didn’t miss them before they departed.

I’m sure Dan wasn’t supposed to consume any alcohol but it wasn’t a big deal at that point. Still he sheepishly looked to see if anyone was watching, then grasped and sipped his wife’s daiquiri before replacing it. At that point I headed to their table and told him, “You thought you’d come to Shelby County for a drink and not get caught. Well, you were wrong.” The three of us had a good laugh and I sat down for a wonderful session before we exited together. Sadly, that goodbye would become permanent.

I’m delighted that Fort Loramie and Marion Local continue to remember Aaron Rose and Dan Thobe. Saturday’s crowds responded enthusiastically to the announcements saluting their memory and impact. I’m glad I stayed for all 24 quarters of basketball.

Bengals

What an amazing NFL playoff season. January was a special month for great comebacks, close games, and multiple overtimes. Though I no longer have a major rooting interest, I’m pleased to see the Cincinnati Bengals back in the Super Bowl after a 33-season absence. This seems like a great group of guys and I’ve enjoyed watching them. I’ve seen QB Joe Burrow once in person when he played for Athens in a 2014 OHSAA championship game in Ohio Stadium. In the 56-52 shootout loss to Toledo Central Catholic, his greatness was obvious.

I followed the Bengals in person for many years, initially as an attendee at both Nippert and Riverfront Stadiums, then as a media member, and finally as an annual visitor to training camp when former Marion Local and Sidney head coach Jim Lippincott worked for the team. Forty years ago I went to their first Super Bowl appearance in the Pontiac Silverdome where all seats carried a $40 face value.

After the 1988 season I didn’t get to their Miami Super Bowl but I do have a good story following the AFC championship game in Cincinnati. Back in that era our home area was always well represented in the “watering holes” just west of Riverfront. I entered Caddy’s and immediately saw Paul Sherry and Dave Arbogast. Dave was the General Manager of Paul’s Piqua dealership and already had an idea for the coming Super Bowl. I knew them since I did regular radio broadcasts for Sherry’s on the Sidney station.

Dave had a compact car in stock that he thought would be perfect to paint in Bengals stripes and give away in a raffle. All our station had to do to be listed as a co-sponsor was provide some extra commercials and do the drawing on the air the day before the Super Bowl. The two Daves met in Arbogast’s office the next day and finalized the plan. As I recall, the winner was named Watren from the Anna area. I did see the striped vehicle driving around the area several times in the ensuing years.

Sports Extra

With Dave Ross

Sports Extra appears each Friday. The first Dave Ross byline appeared in the Sidney Daily News in 1975.

Sports Extra appears each Friday. The first Dave Ross byline appeared in the Sidney Daily News in 1975.