Thursday, July 23, 2009

An then there were three. Another league change story

But it's not 2009 that I am referring to. Not even close. It's the late 1940's and early 1950's. During some recent research for the upcoming football season I stumbled upon some interesting articles concerning teams leaving the Buckeye League. During that time period the Buckeye League consisted of the following schools...

Bowling Green
Fremont Ross
Marion Harding
Tiffin Columbian

Fremont Ross was a football powerhouse in the late 40's. Head Coach Lester "Legs" Binkleys teams piled up win after win. Soon after the Little Giants decimated Tiffin Columbian 78-0 in 1949 the folks in Tiffin announced that they would be leaving the league. The Tornadoes wanted to find a league where they thought they could better compete. As my research went on I discovered as the 1940's dissolved into the early 1950's not only Columbian, but Fostoria and Bowling Green made their intentions clear. They too, would be leaving the Buckeye League. This would leave just Findlay, Fremont Ross and Marion Harding....sound familiar? Adding to the league-change scenario was the fact that News-Messenger sports editor Al Coxon was reporting in his sports columns around this same time that Toledo Libbey wanted to join the Buckeye. At that point in time Libbey was a good football school and was looking to play in a league that they felt would make them stronger. Coxon reported that Libbeys AD had told him several times via phone conversations that the Cowboys were interested in possibly joining the Buckeye. Later a Blade reporter disputed the Coxon story saying Libbey had no intention of leaving the Toledo City League. Nothing ever came of the Libbey story and the Cowboys remained in the CL.

Meantime the Buckeye League was falling apart and Ross, Findlay and Marion had to do someting or they would be playing an independent schedule. As time went on Columbian replaced Crestline as a member of the Northern Ohio League. Fostoria and BG went their own ways as well. This all spurred the creation of the Buckeye Conference. Al Coxon, Ross AD John Titsworth, Coach Mackey, along with folks from Findlay and Marion got on the ball and worked hard to bring Elyria, Lorain Senior and Sandusky into what would become one of Ohios strongest athletic leagues. Lorain Admiral King and Mansfield Senior joined in the early 1960's to create the powerhouse eight team Buckeye Conference that many of us remember fondly.

What does all of this have to do with our current situation? Maybe not much, other than a reminder that we have previously been here and we survived. I realize that 2009 is not 1949 and gas prices, the ecomony, among other factors make things different. What happened then is that some folks who cared got involved and helped push the process along. The situation was not just left in the lap of the athletic director to handle. The result was 30 years of league stability.

What I know is this. Fremont Ross will survive this latest league-change drama. We've been here before and made it through. Will we eventually become a member of the Northern Ohio League? The Northern Lakes League? The Toledo City League? A new conference that currently doesn't exist? Or will we be independent? No matter what happens, Ross athletes will continue to compete, and win.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Welcome to the forum blog

So it begins. The Fremont Ross Forum blog. The idea of creating this is so we can occasionally expand on topics being discussed on the forum and elsewhere. Non-sports related topics may make their way into the blog as well. At first the writing will be done by yours truly. Eventually however I'd like to open the blog up to others who have an opinion to express. After all the forum, and this blog I hope, is about all of us, all of our opinions. This blog is not meant to replace the forum, it is just meant to expand on some forum topics. So welcome. Things may start slowly at first, but I have some ideas and are working on them.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Why the forum? Tradition is the answer.

Nine years ago I created the Fremont Ross Forum. At the time it was on another server and has since moved to its current location at Family and friends at the time asked why? Why create, maintain, and moderate a forum dedicated to Ross athletics? The answer is a simple one word response. Tradition. Many folks already know where I am going with this, but for those who don't, let me expand on the answer.

You see, we have an incredible athletic tradition at Fremont Ross. And I am not just talking about football. It is much more than the pigskin. We have state titles in golf, tennis, many state championships in swimming. We have a national championship in swimming. How many programs can claim a national title in any sport? We can be proud of that. There are many great non-football names that have graced our athletic past. Zerman, Reardon, Lewis, Gruse, Voggenthaler, Ziemke, Flower, Farbach, Baumann...and so many more.

And then there is football. Make no mistake about it, Fremont Ross is a traditional football school. Oh I know they'll wave our playoff history in our faces like it's something new they discovered and something we didn't already know. Newflash...we know our playoff record is abysmal. We know and we're working on it. But as I have said a million times before, high school football in Fremont and all around Ohio began in the mid to late 1890's, not in 1972 with the advent of the playoffs. Our overall football record speaks for itself...and it says tradition.

You see, tradition is not just something you can say you have. Tradition is something you build over decades. Decades of wins and yes, losses. Decades of great names and memorable games.

Once a great athletic traditon is built you have to maintain it. While most of that maintenance is done on the fields and courts of athletic competition, some of it must be done by you and I, the fans. We must talk about our great traditions. Talk, means just that, it does not mean embellish. The young people coming up need to be reminded about our tradition. It helps them understand what they are playing for, what they are defending. Tell them about the great games, the great players, the great rivalries. Same thing goes for newcomers to the community. Help them understand why we love the Little Giants so much. Educate them on the great athletic tradition that Fremont Ross has.

So the reason I started the forum was to promote our tradition. You can do the same thing. Remember our traditions, talk about our traditions, never, ever forget our traditions. Make sure our great athletic tradition at Fremont Ross continues for generations to come.