Urban and the Jags

Let’s take a look at some highlights of interest from the past week.

Urban Meyer ventures into the world of professional football, taking on the head coaching position of the Jacksonville Jaguars. With a career record of 187-32 in stops at BGSU, Utah, Florida (2 national titles), and THE (2014 national champions, 3 Big 10 titles) he certainly has the credentials.

Taking over a team that went 1-15 this past season will undoubtedly be a challenge, but the Jags possess the 1st draft pick and almost certainly will select Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Hopes are high for Meyer, but be just a little wary—Nick Saban of Alabama, he of 7 national championships, went 15-17 in two seasons with the Dolphins.

Conference championships are set in the NFL for this weekend, Bucs-Packers and Bills-Chiefs. The Browns came up just short on Sunday (feel sorry for Rashard Higgins and the fumble into the end zone) but have a bright future.

Three talented young quarterbacks in the AFC North should make for exciting football over the next 5-10 years. The seemingly ageless Tom Brady continues to amaze at 43 for the Bucs but we might have seen the last of Drew Brees and possibly Phillip Rivers and, as much as it pains me to say it, Ben Roethlisberger.

For star athletes, knowing when it’s time to hang up the cleats is the most difficult decision of all. I don’t like making predictions, I just hope we have two great competitive games and that the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes is able to play after suffering a concussion Sunday.

Congratulations to Bobby Jones’ Green Wave boys basketball team, beating Fairborn and Vandalia Butler last week with stellar defensive play to record their first two wins of the season. Tough games lie ahead, as evidenced by the loss to state ranked Tipp City earlier this week, but the progress is real and Wave fans are hopeful of good things down the road.

It’s good to see Versailles grad Justin Ahrens getting more playing time lately for Chris Holtmann’s Buckeye basketball team. Justin has started the past few games and played well, bringing an outside scoring threat to the offense.

THE stands at 11-3 overall, 5-3 in Big Ten action against the usual rugged schedule.

Green Wave wrestling is well underway with three grapplers at or near the top of Miami Valley League standings. Senior Drayk Kallenberger at 120 pounds is 16-3, junior Ben Hartzell 11-5 and first in the league at 138, and senior Colton McCartney tops the 285 class with a 17-3 mark.

I’m still trying to understand OHSAA rules that allow you to sweat, spit, kick, and cuss for up to 6 minutes on the mat, then won’t allow you to shake your opponent’s hand after the match due to Covid concerns!

Just a note in mid-winter to warm your hearts—the Reds’ opening spring training game is only 5 weeks away, a date with the Indians in Goodyear, Arizona. All games and practices may be tentative due to the high Covid rate in the Grand Canyon state; let’s hope for the best!

In related news, Trevor Bauer, wherefore art thou? The Reds’ only Cy Young award winning pitcher is still an unsigned free agent as of this writing. If the Reds are to live up to pre-season expectations Bauer need to be in a Cincy uniform this year, but don’t hold your breath!

The Friends of Harmon Field, the group overseeing the GHS athletic complex project, is still raising funds to begin stage three, a new locker rooms, restrooms, and concession stand facility. Any questions or tax-deductible contributions can be directed to Athletic Director Aaron Shaffer at the high school. Until next time, stay healthy and active!

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By Alex Warner

Shots in the Darke

Dr. Alex Warner a contributing columnist for the Daily Advocate