Paying a visit to the variety store...
Yours truly was saddened to hear of the passing of Frank Miklacic a week ago today at age 68.
Anyone who has ever been to Jefferson Lanes in the past three and a half decades knows who Frank was... you couldn’t help it. He was ever-present, along with his engaging personality and friendly smile.
Small communities are full of wonderful, generous people such as Frank. He was a big man, with an even bigger heart.
Name the organization, name the fundraiser, and Frank was always one of the go-to guys in terms of being hit up. Sure, it was a “donation,” but you can bet Frank spent a tone of money on candy bars, Girl Scout cookies, etc. that he would end up giving away.
I can remember as a kid, a bunch of us went bowling one night because in that era, Jefferson Lanes was pretty much the only place a kid could go at night to hang out. And, as I was want to do, it didn’t take long before I was up to something.
Sticking a tack on a piece of gum, then putting it in the thumb hole of a buddy provoked a humorous reaction, and didn’t get me in any trouble.
But when another pal released a shot down a lane and I hit the reset button, well, that wasn’t taken too well, and understandably so. As the ball rolled toward the pins, the gate came down... and the ball went right through the gate, splitting it in half.
It didn’t take long for Frank to head down to the by-the-wall lane. Apparently, for some reason, he was keeping an eye on us. So when he saw the ball split the gate in half, he marched right over.
He took my arm, not forcefully, but firm, and said, “grab your coat, Don. Time to go.”
He walked me to the front door and said, “now go home. You may think that was funny, but I don’t appreciate it.”
As I hung my head in shame and headed for the parking lot, I heard his voice from behind me.
“See you tomorrow, Don,” Frank hollered, then smiled and waved.
And I did... and he welcomed me with a hug.
That was Frank Miklacic, in a nutshell. A big guy, with a kind, generous and forgiving soul.
Communities, and their citizens, don’t replace people like him... it’s not possible.
All we can do is remember their wonderful dispositions and honor them by trying to treat people as they did.
Sincere condolences to Frank’s wife of 44 years, Joan, his five grandchildren and the rest of his family.
He won’t be missed... he is, already.
Congratulations go out to Pymatuning Valley senior Grant Nowakowski.
The Laker multisport start was honored recently as a Scholar-Athlete award recipient at the 25th annual Northeastern Ohio Chapter of the National Football Foundation awards banquet in Westlake.
Nominated by his football coach, Neal Croston, the son of Andy and Melody Nowakowski was one of 29 student-athletes from a 15-county region. He carries a 3.9 grade-point average, is student council president and a member of the National Honor Society.
A three-year letterman in football, Nowakowski shares the Ohio state record by hauling in a 99-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Tim Cross last season.
He will be attending the University of Akron, majoring in accounting, with plans to join the FBI to work in forensic accounting.
Kudos to Jim Sanchez, longtime boys track at Edgewood High School.
Now in his 15th season at the helm, the Ohio State University graduate earned the 100th victory of his successful tenure last week.
A social-studies teacher at Edgewood, Sanchez, entered this season with a career record of 89-18.
He is assisted this spring by Joe Gerics and Paul Blum.
McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paying a 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