A Don McCormack column...
Paying a visit to the variety store...
It must be the tournament manager, or his loyal assistant and hardworking staff.
We'll just call it the Mizer Magic Touch, though.
With coach Shelley Monas' Edgewood Warriors and coach Cheryl Weaver's Champion Golden Flashes earning bids to the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division II and Division III state tournaments, respectively, it gave Mizer, assistant Rod Holmes and their support staff a giant feather in their collective cap.
For both Edgewood and Champion began their postseason runs at the JAGS Complex in Jefferson, which hosted district tournaments in both Division II and Division III this spring.
And both tournaments were run and managed so well by Mizer, Holmes and their support staff.
Ironically, both Edgewood and Champion had to rally from behind to win their respective district championship games, the Warriors overtaking Poland in the D-II final and the Golden Flashes overcoming LaBrae - which had made the state tournament last spring - in the D-III title clash.
Down memory lane I
Those of us who have been around here for a while remember Reid Lamport as the head coach who led Jefferson to the 1984 Grand River Conference football championship.
That season was highlighted by a play - The Chubby Special - that will never be forgotten by anyone who was there that night.
But something to be filed in the My-Are-We-Getting-Old Department: Lamport's son, Reid Jr. is now a pitching standout for the Kent State University baseball team.
"He's 20 now and a sophomore at Kent," Lamport said before Poland's district final contest against Edgewood last week. "He's had a very good season. He's their top left-hander out of the bullpen."
As if that wasn't enough, Lamport through this one in - "He's 6-foot-2 and 220 pounds."
Considering neither Lamport nor his wife, Michelle, have big frames, where the heck did Reid Jr. get his size?
"That's a very good question," he said with a laugh.
Down memory lane II
After Poland's district semifinal win against Lakeview at the JAGS Complex last week, the team bus stopped at Hardee's in Jefferson for some post-game food.
Not being in the mood for Hardee's, Lamport, who coached football at Jefferson from 1981 through 1985, took a stroll.
"I'm on some kind of diet now," he said. "So I walked down the street to Mr. Hero, hoping to get some kind of veggie burger.
"Anyway, I'm paying for my food and I hear this voice behind me say, 'Reid?' I recognized his face. It was Shawn Osborne, who played for me at Jeff (in 1982)."
Lamport then caught the former Falcon off guard.
"He was there with his wife and family, so I told them about the play he made for us against Edgewood that won us a game," he said. "We were up, 8-0, and Edgewood scored a touchdown to make it 8-6 in the final minutes. They went for two and we knocked the pass away.
"But, we were offsides, so the ref moves the ball to the 1%BD yardline. Edgewood then runs a trap and Shawn destroys his guy in front of him and makes a crushing tackle to stop the ballcarrier and we win the game, 8-6."
Lamport said his former player was atonished.
"I don't think Shawn realized how us coaches are," he said with a laugh. "We remember plays like that and the guys who make them and seeing former players and being able to recall those kinds of times are special.
"It made me feel good to be able to see the reactions of Shawn's family when I was telling them about that play."
McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Week's Circulars
ASHTABULA [emdash] Elinor M. Herzog died June 14, 2021. Funeral services Saturday, 6/26/21, 11AM at St. Peter's Episcopal Church, 4901 Main St., Ashtabula. Visitation Friday 6/25/21, 5-7PM at Zaback-Williams-Ducro Funeral Home, 500 W. Prospect Rd., Ashtabula. www.ducro.com
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