Norwalk High School announcer Eric Mozina emailed in a load of questions that could keep me busy all summer and that is alright. He rattled off a countless amount of questions to fill up my inbox for a few weeks so I will take the time to answer some today. Maybe this will be a good way for other readers to see what this column is all about and get involved. I certainly welcome it!
Alright, lets get to cleaning out the inbox.
Best HS facility in the area to watch and why?
This may be one of my favorite questions of the entire email. Last year, I did a series of stories about different basketball arenas in Crawford County and why they are named for the people they are named after. But I am in a new county now and have frequented quite a few athletic complexes during my time so here it goes:
High School baseball game — My favorite place I visited for a baseball game this year was Norwalk High School. I will always have a special place in my heart for the Plymouth baseball field, but man that field at Norwalk is spectacular for a high school field. It deserves tournament games for sure.
HS softball game — It may be one of the newest in the area, but Monroeville has a great new set up down there. The scenery with the river right behind the first base side is a great touch to the park and it is one of the only fields with a tarp and they play no matter what the weather did the night before.
HS football game — I wasn’t able to get to many football stadiums this season thanks to our early Friday night deadline. I had to stay close by the office so I was at Whitney Field quite a bit, but again, I have to go with Monroeville. I made it to a couple of games at Marsh Field last season including that epic Week 10 game. I love how it feels like the field is just inches away from the stands because, well it is. Then the people that line the field it reminds me of a school yard fight where people made up the ring. Just a great, great atmosphere.
HS basketball game — I am not sure if I could pick just one gym I enjoyed the most. I think Huron County has the best collection of gyms I have ever seen. Plus I have made quite a few memories from my high school days on a lot of these floors. Norwalk has one of the best setups and I liked getting there early to get my seat by one of the best announcers. There you go Eric, there is your shout out. But I like how confined Western Reserve is. I love how New London fans do not sit until the Wildcats score a point. I love South Central, again, because of how close you are to the action. The Robert Haas will always hold a special place in my heart because Bob if one of my best family friends. The MAC is just an amazing facility and it makes me speechless every time I go in that place. St. Paul has a great set up and always has one of those backrest seats waiting. The Thunderdome was awesome this year. I made it to a few games and that is a great setup. And as you know, Plymouth will always be a special place for me. So I am going to take the easy way out and say I love them all.
Through one HS sports year at the paper you’ve seen a lot of sports. Give us your top 10 sports memories from the 2016-17 school year.
You are not kidding! Man that year went so quick and there were a ton of late, late nights on the football field, in the gym and at the ballpark. If I elaborate on my Top 10, I may be here forever so let me list them for you.
10. My first trip to state wrestling. Never been there, never want to not go again. One of the best events the OHSAA does for a state championship event.
9. Sitting at the scorer’s table at Norwalk and listening to Steve Gray. Man I could do that all day!
8. St. Paul winning first FC title single 1985.
7. New London’s FC clincher in basketball.
6. Covering the Western Reserve girls basketball team. They were a fun group and really like to read the paper. Can’t say that about many teenagers these days.
5. The build up to the St. Paul at Monroeville Week 10 Football game.
4. Jacob Molnar’s tip in to beat South Central. I wasn’t there, but I was at St. Paul that night and the Flyers and Roughriders were waiting for that outcome. Molnar broke a lot of hearts that night.
3. The state track meet. Always my favorite event of the school year.
2. Edison and St. Paul football runs. I believe both teams had to play a game in a near blizzard at one point in the playoffs. Those games were fun.
1. The Norwalk Lady Truckers first ever district championship. What an amazing game.
Which rides at Cedar Point have to be avoided by a tall guy like you?
I will be straight up honest, I can hardly fit on any rides at Cedar Point. My knees are to my chest on just about everything or my shoulders are too high for the over the head harness. I do fit on the Maverick and the Skyhawk, but other than that, there isn’t much. Forget the Mantus, standup coasters are not good for 6-foot-8 dudes. I have ridden them all when I was younger and shorter.
What is the future of the newspaper and should kids go into print journalism?
This is the perfect question to end on because we will see if anyone reads this far. As a lot of people know, the printed newspaper product is a slippery subject. With the internet and Facebook, everything you read in the paper could be a day old. The Reflector is in a pretty good situation. We have a nice mixture of readership with the older community mixed with the younger community. So we get the online hits plus sell a good number of papers. But I do see the future of the actual newspaper as very bleak and it pains me to say that. I love the newspaper product. There is just something about it. If my sports section isn’t cut up for keepsakes, I don’t feel I’ve done my job.
One of the biggest papers in Ohio — the Cleveland Plain Dealer — has stopped printing every day. I think that is the next step for all newspapers. When that will happen, I don’t know. But I would expect an even bigger emphasis to the online media. With that said, I do think kids should chase their dreams if it does include journalism. The career of journalism will always be there no matter what. There may not be a newspaper to put it in, but the internet will never go away and the desire for instant news will always be there, so journalism isn’t going anywhere. There will always be a need for reporters. Newspaper reporters, no, but multimedia reporters, yes.
Send your inbox questions to [email protected] and you could see them answered next week! Follow Jake on Twitter at @JakeFurr11 Feel free to tweet him questions using #FillingTheInbox