Tim Ludwig stepped out on a limb two weeks ago when he wrote to the newspaper saying Lima Senior never should have agreed to play Lima Central Catholic in football. We’re not going to rehash all of his reasons, but in short, the longtime Spartan backer believes Lima Senior has nothing to gain from playing such a game, but has plenty to lose.
If Ludwig hears something cracking in the background right now, it’s that limb he walked out on. It’s about to break from the weight of all the excitement around town as Thursday night’s kickoff approaches, the first time ever the two schools will play in football.
A game like this is what sports is all about, folks have told us in response to Ludwig’s remarks.
Matt Childers, an LCC graduate and longtime “anything Lima sports backer,” says three days from now the stadium will be rocking.
Retired radio announcer Mike Mullen, who from 1974 to 2005 covered an untold number of Lima Senior football games, says the time is right for such a rivalry game.
And Bart Stoll, James Washington and Joe Landwehr, just your ordinary sports fan, say thank you to the administrators who made this game possible. They will be showing up early to get a good seat.
“Anytime two local schools decide to start scheduling each other, or a one time game such as this, it’s nothing but a positive,” said Stoll.
Childers calls the game a “community showcase.” He notes, “It’s the only football game being played on a Thursday night. It’s all by itself … all the fans, neighboring communities, no less than six to 10 media outlets covering this event, the revenue gate, the 50/50 drawing, and for the players and coaches — a lifetime of memories.”
He talked about growing up in Lima on Lakewood Avenue with friends from both the city and Catholic schools and the support they gave each other. He hopes those special times will be experienced in some fashion by today’s athletes. A game like this one can be the start of that, Childers said.
“When William White and his teammates played hoops against their GMC rival Middletown, I and others from LCC were at Lima Senior on a cold winter’s night— in a packed house,” Childers said. “Ohio state football coach Earle Bruce was seated courtside to watch his two prize recruits in William and Chris Carter. It did not disappoint. … When Senior’s Andre Reed hit the game winner from the parking lot, an earthquake of fans flooded the floor! That was great for our Lima! That’s the Lima Senior and LCC relationship I know!”
He also talked about the coaches of the two schools.
“When I played basketball for Coach Seggerson, he would have Lima Senior basketball Coach Ron Niekamp and football Coach Leonard Rush speak to our basketball team on the importance of trust, hard work and teamwork. That’s The Lima Senior and LCC relationship I know!”
Mullen said at one time a game such as this may not have made sense because of the huge difference in school enrollments, but that’s not as big of a factor now. “It makes more sense to play a game that will fill a stadium as opposed to traveling across the state to play a game or bringing someone here that no one cares about.”
The only thing that could possibly put a damper on this game would be clouds full of rain. AccuWeather says there is only a 30-percent chance of rain, and even if it does happen, it won’t wash away the excitement.
If you enjoy watching football and you haven’t been to a high school game in a while, this looks to be a great event.
ROSES AND THORNS: There’s some horsing around going on in the rose garden.
Rose: Evelyn Tussing, a 5-year-old girl from Leipsic who has Cystic Fibrosis, will be getting her own horse thanks to social workers who contacted Make a Wish.
Rose: To Jaycee Parent, 11, who won the blue ribbon in the horse costume contest at the Allen County Fair. Her horse, Champ, wore a sign that read “Pony for sale. Great for little girls.” She accompanied him using crutches to walk, wearing a leg brace and having a broken arm in a sling.
Rose: To Jo Ann Troyer of Cloverdale and Jane Whitney Clark, of Lima. Troyer’s idea was featured Sunday in the nationally-syndicated comic strip “Pluggers.” She noted you’re a Plugger if the big bag of dog food you’re hauling home is worth more than your truck. Clark was featured on June 28 when she pointed out Plugger can’t pinpoint exactly when her waist line began to resemble Aunt Bee’s more than Miss Kitty’s.
Rose: To Auglaize County Sheriff Al Solomon, who announced he’s retiring and will not seek a fifth term as sheriff. Solomon has served the public for 40 years, the last 16 as sheriff.
Rose: The Allen County Fair wasn’t even over yet and Fair Manager Bob Fricke and staff were already looking for ways to improve upon this year’s successful event.
Thorn: To Emily Wrencher, 66, the former director of Crossroads Crisis Center. She was defiant and largely unapologetic during a court hearing Tuesday, saying she did not steal money from Crossroads because she intended to pay it back. Earlier, she plead guilty to a charge of theft.
Thorn: To Deyond Markus Marvin White, of Ada. A police raid of his apartment turn up $50,000 in counterfeit bills.
Thorn: Six incumbent officeholders in Allen County made errors in filing their election petitions and will not be able to seek re-election. They are Cairo Councilor Robert Douglas, Elida Councilor Larry Flick, Spencerville Clerk Lori Och, Spencerville Councilor Greg Hover, Lima School Board member Michael Ley and Perry School Board member Ryan Lauck.
PARTING SHOT: Don’t spend too much time worrying about the last play or you won’t be ready for the next one.
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.