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Oldtimers like to get right to the point

By Joe Centers • Mar 6, 2018 at 12:00 PM

The Norwalk Reflector sports staff is in great hands right now with Mark Hazelwood in charge.

Hazelwood, a Norwalk High School graduate who is the local expert on both NHS and St. Paul athletics, has a real pulse on the 10 area schools.

I really enjoy reading Hazelwood’s stories as he knows how to get right to the meat of the story.

But times are different. Reading a couple of old stories in Publisher Andy Prutsok’s Blast from the Past column, it is obvious reporters in the old days not only got to the meat of the story, they butchered them like a hog.

There is no beating around the bush in these stories:

High school bas­ket ball

At School Hall Fri­day eve­ning the High School boys again were beaten by the Fre­mont boys, but not by so over­whelm­ing a score as a few weeks ago at Fre­mont. Through ill­ness and other causes only two of the reg­u­lar Nor­walk team were able to take part in the game but a good game was played.

Un­like the teams of other towns in the North­west­ern Ohio High School Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion, the Nor­walk boys have no one to train them. No one pays any at­ten­tion to them and all they learn about the game they have to pick up them­selves; even Belle­vue has a reg­u­lar bas­ket ball coach.

It is sur­pris­ing that our boys hold their own as well as they do, es­pe­cially when away from home, for in not one in­stance this sea­son when play­ing abroad have they found the bas­kets hung ac­cord­ing to reg­u­la­tions, a re­quire­ment strictly ob­served in the Nor­walk hall.

The game at the School Hall Fri­day was good one but be­cause of the go­ing out of the elec­tric lights, the game was stopped be­fore the sec­ond half was com­pleted. The score then stood Fre­mont 28, Nor­walk 5.

Nor­walk: Left for­ward, Knoll; Right for­ward, Wil­liam Wick­ham; Center, John Wick­ham; Left guard, Spur­rier; right guard, Stiles.

Nor­walk looms up as strong tour­ney hope

A San­dusky sports writer has counted Nor­walk out of the run­ning of the dis­trict Class A tour­na­ment to be held at Tif­fin March 4 and 5. Re­cently, a Tif­fin sport au­thor­ity ranked Nor­walk, Bu­cyrus and Mans­field as the prob­a­ble win­ners in the or­der named. The San­dusky sports writer picks Fre­mont, but this au­thor­ity, ev­i­dently is un­mind­ful of the fact that Nor­walk High School this sea­son has beaten Valte High, Lo­rain, Belle­vue, San­dusky, Elyria and St. Paul’s high, and that the men of Ellis, al­though beaten by one point on the pe­cu­liar Fre­mont floor, made one more field goal than did Fre­mont.

Coach Ellis has ex­pressed the wish that his team will meet Fre­mont on the neu­tral Tif­fin floor dur­ing the tour­na­ment. A fac­tor that worked against Nor­walk was the ex­pul­sion of Tay­lor and Miller from games on per­sonal fouls. It hap­pened that when Nor­walk needed the ser­vices of these men most of all, of­fi­cials of the mar­ti­net type were call­ing close ones and whooped the Nor­walk stars off the floor when their pres­ence in the game could dout­b­less have turned the tide of their team.

Baskets not hung according to regulations and officials of the martinet type. Now that’s telling it like it is.

I remember veteran Reflector sportswriter Don Hohler describing a St. Paul win over Monroeville as like “throwing bleeding halibut to the sharks.” When I was a young sportswriter I remember describing Norwalk’s tournament loss to Huron as like “shooting a horse with a broken leg.”

I still laugh when I remember the things sportswriters used to get away with.


Joe Centers is Reflector managing editor. He can be reached at jcenters@norwalkreflector.com.

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