There won’t be any new hardware this year going into the trophy case for the Temple Christian girls basketball team.
Not the type of trophies you can see, anyway.
On paper, this team finished 5-12.
However, in a much bigger venue, they closed out the year with a perfect record — one fashioned not by three-point plays, fast breaks or a stingy defense — but instead, coming from the goodness in their hearts.
A little more than two weeks ago a terrible tragedy happened in Hardin County. Keegan McKee, a 17-year-old senior and member of the Ridgemont High School girls basketball team, was killed when she lost control of the car she was driving. The vehicle struck several tree stumps and Keegan was ejected from the car, even though she was wearing a seat belt. The accident happened on a Thursday night, and Keegan died early the following Friday at St. Rita’s Medical Center, where she was taken by Life Flight.
It was a shock across the high school sports world.
Although 42 miles of farmland separate Temple Christian High School from Ridgemont, the nine members of the Temple team found themselves feeling the need to reach out to the McKee family and the southern Hardin County team.
“Our girls played against Keegan since junior high, in fact, we just played Ridgemont a few weeks ago. She was someone you remembered. It really hit home with our girls … how quickly life can change,” said their coach, Jodi Callahan.
Thus, it shouldn’t have been any surprise that a week after the accident, among the hundreds of people who attended the calling hours for Keegan at Ridgemont school, was the Temple Christian team. Each member wore their warmup uniform. They were there to show their support, waiting for more than two hours to pay their respects to parents Toni and Scott McKee, who were deeply touched by their presence.
Before the Temple girls left, the grieving mom hugged them and shared some wisdom.
“Mrs. McKee asked the girls to make sure they had an impact on others. She said that impact could come from just smiling at someone or by saying hello to someone in the hallway. … just something to make a person feel good,” Callahan said.
The hourlong ride back to Lima was filled with some quiet moments for each of the Temple girls. There was a lot to think about.
“You often hear how sports is more than being about wins and losses,” Callahan said. “It’s the life lessons it teaches you that make you a champion.”
ROSES AND THORNS: A father and son act find a spot in the rose garden.
Rose: To Scott and Scottie Garre, of Alltree Tree Care of Lima. A lightning strike caused a recent fire to a church steeple at Westminster United Methodist Church. After firefighters extinguished the blaze, Scott Garre brought in a bucket truck from his business and Scottie climbed aboard, braving the wind and rain to place tarps on the damaged area so the church wouldn’t suffer further water damage.
Rose: The month of February saw eight straight days of temperatures above 60 degrees. The high was 72 degrees on Feb. 24.
Thorn: A spat between three Lima council members and Lima Mayor David Berger followed ceremonies marking the beginning of demolition for the downtown Rhodes State project. Not learning about the festivity until hours after it was over, council members Teresa Adams, Jesse Lowe and Derry Glenn took issue with Berger for failing to notify them. Adams called it disrespectful, and said “it will not be forgotten.” Berger responded that it wasn’t a city-sponsored event and the city had nothing to do with the invitations.
Thorn: A water main break put the city of Kenton under a water boil advisory Saturday. Restaurants were prohibited from using ice machines, fountain pop machines, and allowing the serving of coffee or tea if municipal water was to be used.
PARTING SHOT: Some people get plenty of exercise by jumping to conclusions, pushing their luck and dodging deadlines.
Jim Krumel is the editor of The Lima News. Contact him at 567-242-0391 or at The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, Ohio 45807.