The best team in Darke County

This seems to be a stellar year for softball and track in Darke County. We had 2 softball teams win over 30 games, one State champion (congratulations once again Bradford!) and multiple students do well at the State in Track competition.

We now have two former athletes competing in the Olympic Trials and one of them is going to the Olympics! Not bad for a rural county here in Ohio, or any place else for that matter.

I also here rumblings that we may have several football teams going to make some noise this fall. I love seeing our local High School teams do well. We all take pride in our County schools, not only are they turning out well educated good students they are turning out college eligible athletes, too!

There is one team in Darke County that goes completely unnoticed every day. They are as good as it gets, they work hard and admired by others around the State for what they have accomplished. They show up and do it effectively every week.

I am talking about the team I am on, the people and elected officials in our office and the Courthouse and other offices. I am certain that most people in the County never think about them, nor do they appreciate the quality of workers we have in our offices.

I have been saying this for several years and I noticed this as recently as this past Friday. We had our annual cookout for all of us from 11:30 to 1:00. Matt, cooked the ‘burgers and hot dogs, Larry and myself carried the meat in when it was ready and provided much needed supervision and advice…..(I’ll leave it at that!) Everyone else did a carry-in covered dish.

As Matt and I sat and listened to the people as they ate and talked to each other, I noticed the laughter, conversations and ease with which they all interacted. Matt commented that it was fun to hear the group enjoy themselves so much! They all seemed happy and enjoyed each other’s company. We seemed to me like a winning football team!

The Commissioners are like the Head coaches, dealing with the media, making sure each coach has what they need, and dealing with the “League Office” in Columbus (sometimes, not the most pleasant of tasks!) Like most head coaches, if you have good position coaches, leave them alone and let them do their jobs….. we have good coaches!

Our elected officials are like the position coaches and coordinators, making sure the group they have understands and does their job as efficiently as possible. The employees are the stars, the athletes, or the on field talent, taking what they have learned and making the team the best it can be.

Without their talents and hard work, we are just a middle of the road team. Their talent is what makes this team successful! Our position coaches (or elected officials), and athletes (the employees) have done an excellent job! They are the best, and I am not just saying that, people in Columbus notice it too.

I only have a year and a half left in my “Head Coaching” position. I am sure I will truly miss the group that we have here. They are part of one of the best teams I have ever been on. They are also good, honest, hard working people I am certain they will continue the winning tradition they have established long after I am gone.

“Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing” said Vince Lombardi. In the government field, Darke County, because of its people, will continue to be winners. That’s the way I see it, from the sidelines.

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By Michael Stegall

From the Sidelines

Contributing columnist Mike Stegall a 27 year former OHSAA high school football official and current Darke County Commissioner