Phil, Chills and Thrills


Phil Mickelson struck a “major” blow for the over 50 crowd by winning the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, SC last weekend.

In obtaining his sixth major trophy, Phil avoided the dreaded “crash and burn” that’s plagued him over the years, holding off Brooks Koepka and Louis Oosthuizen by two strokes.

Wasn’t it great to see a large crowd again at a major tournament—the 18th fairway basically became a sea of people as Phil sealed the deal!

As this is written high school softball tournament play continues with the Lady Wave of Greenville having taken on Springfield Shawnee in a Division II regional semi-final as a result of claiming their 13th district title in the past 15 years.

Bradford’s Lady Railroaders attempt to return to the Final Four for a second time in D-IV action, having won a district trophy for the right to face Van Wert Lincolnview.

Unfortunately Ansonia, Versailles, and Arcanum all saw their seasons come to an end in district finals. Hopefully we’ll be celebrating regional titles for both Greenville and Bradford in next week’s column!

The only county baseball team still playing is the Arcanum Trojans, taking on Cincinnati Country Day in a D-III district final earlier this week. Veteran coach Randy Baker has built a solid program over the years and this year’s group is no exception.

High school track moves to the regional level this week as individuals vie for the right to participate in next week’s state meets.

In D-I competition Greenville’s girls finished sixth in Troy district standings, having regional qualifiers and district champions in Isabelle Rammel in the 3,200 (11:14.73), Grace Conway in the pole vault at 12’-02” (Sam Suter also qualified with her fourth place finish), and Harley West with two firsts in the shot (42’-02”) and discus (121’-05”).

Versailles boys placed second and the girls third in D-II at Piqua with well balanced scoring by both squads.

In D-III at Northmont, Arcanum’s girls finished third and the boys fourth with individual winners in Mariah Kreusch in the pole vault (8’-06”) and Trista Hollinger in the discus (105’-10”).

Meanwhile Tri-Village’s boys grabbed second place honors with Devin Swick nabbing the gold in both the 100 (11:43) and 200 (23.26) and Layne Sarver clearing 6’-02” to take the high jump. Once again, best wishes to this year’s regional competitors!

“The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”, the Indianapolis 500, kicks off the sports fan’s unofficial starter of summer Sunday with all of the pageantry and hoopla that was missing from last year’s event.

Sitting on the pole for the fourth time is veteran Scott Dixon with a qualifying speed of 231.685 mph or about the average speed on southbound I-75 on a holiday weekend!

He’s joined on the front row by the youth brigade of Colton Herta, the youngest-ever winner in IndyCar history, and Rinus VeeKay. Dixon, a six-time Series champion and ‘08 winner will be 41 in July, the same as the combined ages of Herta, 21, and VeeKay, 20! Talk about youth being served!! Hopefully we’ll have a clean, safe, competitive race this weekend!

The 2020 (yes, that is officially correct) Tokyo Summer Olympics take place starting July 23rd, continuing through August 8th.

Five new sports have been added to this year’s festivities: Baseball and Softball (after a few years absences), Karate, Sports Climbing (??), Skateboarding (!!), and Surfing (Dude!!). I doubt if any of the founders of the first Olympiad in 1896 ever foresaw those last three events!

Anyhow, today’s brain teaser is: can you name three of the five sports which have been contested in every Olympics since conception? Answers at the end of the column. Also, coming your way in’24, Breakdancing!!

I have the honor of presenting the annual Paul C. Warner Leadership Award to a deserving GHS senior this Friday morning at the yearly senior recognition program at the high school. My grandfather was the Principal of GHS from 1929-1954 and a firm believer in the virtues of honesty, integrity, and leadership. It is always my pleasure to represent our family each spring in recognizing a senior who has gained the respect of both the staff and student body by exemplifying those qualities. My hope and belief in the strength and potential of our graduating class is always reaffirmed!

Finally, the answers to the earlier question: the only events contested at every summer Olympics are (drumroll please!); Athletics (?), Cycling, Fencing, Gymnastics, and Swimming! Until next time, stay healthy and active!

Dr. Alex Warner

Shots in the Darke

Dr. Alex Warner is a contributing columnist for the Daily Advocate

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