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
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    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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    LeeAnn Maruna never really expected to play collegiate golf. She was so taken aback when the opportunity presented itself, she didn’t know how to respond. After all, the Grand Valley graduate had only been playing the game for a few years.

    July 23, 2014

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    July 23, 2014

  • Norm He’s the Norm

    In the early part of the 20th century, as golf was taking off in popularity, it was not uncommon for boys to take up the game after becoming caddies.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: The journey is what’s most important

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past couple of weeks, you’ve heard over and over and over how it’s been a half-century since one of Cleveland’s big three professional sports teams have won a championship.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Murdick wins as Big Block Modifieds return

    The BRP Big Block Modifed Tour returned to Raceway 7 with 21 of the region’s fastest Modifieds turning out for the scheduled 35-lap event, the first for the Modifieds at the northeast Ohio speedplant since 2005, an event won by Todd Burley.

    July 21, 2014

  • Dale Outdoors Insider, with Dale Sunderlin: Chances for controlled waterfowl hunting

    Waterfowl hunters are invited to participate in special drawings for controlled hunting opportunities, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), Division of Wildlife. The drawing dates and times are as follows:

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kingsville gets it done

    In a rematch of a previous softball clash between the Kingsville 9-10-year-olds and those from Conneaut, Kingsville had settled thing quickly and decisively in a mercy-rule triumph.

    July 20, 2014

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