Paying another visit to the variety store...
Philling it up
The centerpiece of Monday’s sports section that featured longtime basketball and football official Phil Garcia prompted a couple of nice messages from Loyal Readers.
They were moved to send some thoughts after reading about Garcia, whose “real” job is owning and operating his own business, Phil’s Catering.
Joe Miller, who served as the second sports editor in Star Beacon history, wrote from his home in Hilton, N.Y.
“As a former sports editor of the Star Beacon, my years as a teacher at Ashtabula High School (1959-64) and having been born and raised in Ashtabula, I manage to click on the Star Beacon online and just read articles about the ‘old home town,’” he said. “I just finished reading your fine article on Phil Garcia and as I read it, I wondered if Phil was related to my former good friend, Andy Garcia of Conneaut High School fame and his wonderful wife, Rose.
“When I came across the references to them, I was even more pleased with your article.”
Miller remembered a pair of Conneaut legends.
“Andy and his fellow coaching great, Elmer Peaspanen, were two of my favorite ‘greats’ because at that time I worked on the Conneaut News-Herald,” he said. “They both made me a better sports writer.
“Thank you for the memories!”
The other letter that showed up in my inbox came from Bill Fails, the retired Conneaut athletic director, now spending the winter in Clearwater Beach, with his wife, Linda.
“Great article about Phil Garcia,” Fails wrote. “He really helped me out, many times, back in the day!”
Fails appreciates Garcia’s 41 years as a basketball official.
“He’s been a tireless worker for years,” he said. “He was due some credit.”
He mentioned the recent cold spell we survived here hit the Sunshine State, as well.
“(It was) cold here, too... (in the) 30’s for two nights,” he said. “But, it will be 75 to 80 this weekend.”
At the helm
Back to Miller, who had had titanic shoes to fill during his tenure as sports editor of the Star Beacon.
He took over for Milton Alfred, a member of the Ashtabula County Basketball Foundation Hall of Fame, who was the first Star Beacon sports editor, tipping off his tenure and serving in his role for 25 years before resigning in 1946.
Miller was named the second sports editor in this newspaper’s history n June 1948 and held the position until Sept. 10, 1949, when he resigned and was position was next filled by Bill “Slants” Reynard.
Alfred’s 25-year run as sports editor here is the longest in this newspaper’s history.
The second-longest tenure belongs to the current hack at the helm, whose been in charge for 16 years, now.
The Lakeside Dragons will be on center stage the next two nights on ESPN 970 WFUN.
The games played this weekend by coach Jim Hood’s Dragons will be carried by the station, according to station Man About Town, David Hatfield.
He and his tag-team partner, Brad Ellis, will call the Dragons’ Premier Athletic Conference clash against North — coached by Ashtabula’s own Joe Montanaro — tonight from Lakeside Gymnasium, then return their Saturday night when first-year coach Steve French’s Jefferson Falcons come calling.
McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paying another visit to the variety store...
A Bob Ettinger column: Thanks for the memories
As Perry wrestler Billy Miller stepped off the podium on the floor at Ohio State’s Value City Arena last Saturday, state championship medal around his neck, it hit my mind that it was over. The 77th Ohio State Wrestling Tournament had reached its culmination late Saturday night. There were no more matches to watch, coaches and wrestlers to interview or pictures to be taken.
ACBF HOF Series: Mighty Mike
Mike Blauman was an All-Ohio baseball player at Geneva High School.
He was a star in football in both high school and college, good enough to be selected for the Ashtabula County Touchdown Club’s Hall of Fame in 2006.
Chase-ing a dream
For Jefferson athlete David Chase, there were plenty of possibilities for where to go to college or what sport to play.
A Don McCormack column: Way to go, all for our friend, Joe!
Paying an end-of-a-busy-and-eventful week visit to the variety store...
No average Joe
You can bet, Joe “Pigskin” Pete, one of the best guys this guy has ever had the pleasure calling a friend, will be wearing his trademark grin as he looks down tonight.
Girls from regional squads headline Classic opener
Following on the heels of the celebrations in Geneva and Andover with the Geneva and Pymatuning Valley girls basketball teams playing in the Division II and III regional tournaments, respectively, there is one final party left on the calendar.
Plenty of star power will be on top for boys in Classic
With basketball season officially ending last weekend for teams in the Star Beacon coverage area, it’s time to look forward to the fun of the offseason.
FRIDAY, MARCH 7
Joe “Pigskin” Pete Alumni Basketball Tournament (4:30, Falcon Gym, Falcon Junior High Gym, Falcon Elementary Gym, Jefferson)
A gallant run
With Beachwood’s attention certain to be focused on Geena Gabriel, Pymatuning Valley coach Jeff Compan’s plan Wednesday night was to utilize the pick-and-roll. The Beachwood Bison were able to thwart it, and eventually frustration set in, as did the only loss of the year for the Lakers.
A Bob Ettinger column: Offensive issues do in Lakers
From beginning to end, the Pymatuning Valley girls basketball team had an experience it hadn’t had all season and spelled the end of the season in a regional semifinal at Cuyahoga Falls High School on Wednesday night.
A Don McCormack column: Classics are set for Tuesday
With all the excitement this week with the Geneva and Pymatuning Valley girls involved in regional tournament play, it would be easy for what has become a rite of passage in this area for more than three decades to get lost in the shuffle.
- More Sports Headlines
- A Bob Ettinger column: Thanks for the memories