The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


February 24, 2013

Sports Editor Don McCormack's Mailbag: The Mailbag makes its return


I enjoyed your Heartbreak Highway column... wish you were still writing.

It brought back memories of the greatest Class A team I ever saw in this area. I was junior-varsity coach at Badger in the early 1980s. The 1980-81 varsity won 26 in a row before losing in Columbus by two points to Columbus Academy.

We had common opponents with you. We destroyed PV, 80-41, and St. John, 79-45. But yes, Newton Falls was a challenge. They were in our league and we won both times by six points. We also snapped Indian Valley South’s 52-game home winning streak in December 1980 (coached by Charlie Huggins, Bob Huggins’ dad).

Dale Blaney made first-team All-Ohio two years in a row — 1981 and 1982. He made the final 14 of the Los Angeles Lakers in 1986 before walking off. They kept 12 for their roster. Bill Bogan is currently head coach for the Howland Tigers. Dale’s brother, Dave Blaney, has been on the NASCAR circuit for many years.

Getting back to your story, yes, it is devastating when you lose your final high school game. It was for me in 1967 when Pymatuning Valley lost... was destroyed, by Gilmour Academy in the sectionals at Fairport.

Don, I know exactly what the Heartbreak Highway feels like. I have experienced it more than once.

Sid McPaul


Sid, I remember that Badger team very well! In fact, I saw the game you referenced against PV and all of us who went to watch sat there and thought the same things — who the heck are these guys (the Braves) ? And, who the heck is that guy (Dale Blaney)?! — DM

On John Bowler


Great article, Don. Hope you keep writing them.

A lot of readers will be happy to see this as they have been asking about you and missing your articles.

Text Only
  • Outlaws win opener

    The Ohio Outlaws Gold did not start well at the USA-ASA 16-and-under Nationals in Salem, Va. on Monday, but they sure did finish their opening encounter with a flourish.

    July 28, 2014

  • Racing remains at the fore

    Raceway 7’s Crate Late Models had an unsanctioned $1000 to win 25-lap feature with Kyle Zimmerman picking up the lion’s share of the glory after leading the entire distance for his first win of 2014.

    July 28, 2014

  • Coming attractions

    While it seems only yesterday school was letting out and summer vacation was starting, the time for respite will have the curtain drop for area high school football players this week.

    July 28, 2014


    TUESDAY, AUG. 12

    • Lake Catholic at Perry (10)

    July 28, 2014

  • Lexi Outlaws gunning for national title in Virginia

    There’s gold in their name and that’s just what the Ohio Outlaws Gold softball squad is gunning for at the USA-ASA 16-and-under Nationals this week in Salem, Va.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Brandon Easton A Don McCormack column:Easton on right pitch in Florida

    Paying a Monday morning visit to the variety store...

    Firing away
    The second summer as a professional baseball player has been an excellent one for Brandon Easton, to this point.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Dale Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: OEW doing good job of passing it on

    On July 18, 19 and 20, the Ashtabula County Wildlife Conservation League (ACWCL) along with Ashtabula Rod & Gun Club (ARGC) held their annual OEW (Outdoor Education Weekend) Weekend.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kaydee Vaulting to The Rock

    When Jefferson’s Kaydee DeVivo first started pole vaulting as a freshman for the Falcons, she knew it was the event for her.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • run VanHoy racing on

    Geneva track star Hailey VanHoy had a near unbelievable run of success during her final months running for the Eagles.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Danielle Zip-ing along

    Just minutes after Geneva’s Danielle Nicholson holed out on the 18th green at the Gray Course at Ohio State University during her freshman year to win the 2011 Division I state championship, the recruitment process of where she would go to college began.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

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