Local News Since 1890 Now Online!

Archive for the ‘Sports News’ Category

GREENE COUNTY PERFORMERS HEADLINE WILD WEST SHOW AT ANNIE OAKLEY FESTIVAL

In Children and Family, Dayton Ohio News, Entertainment, history, Local News, Media, National News, Sports News, Uncategorized on July 26, 2016 at 9:15 am

Greenville, OH – Jamestown whip artist Gery L. Deer and Xenia thrown weapons expert, Kirk Bass, will lead a full troupe of whip artists, trick ropers, knife throwers and other Wild West arts experts during the 2016 American Western Arts Showcase during Annie Oakley Festival, July 29 and 30, at York Woods, 6129 Reed Road, Ansonia, OH 45303. The event is free and open to the public.

Presented in the spirit of the stage-style Wild West shows of the late 19th Century, each production will include some detailed history about how these arts came to be and who still practices them today. In addition to performing, Gery Deer is also the show’s producer and chief backer.

“This is a one-of-a-kind show in this region,” Deer says. “We have some of the best Wild West arts entertainment anywhere in the Midwest with real practitioners of each skill,” says Deer, who started the event in Jamestown, Ohio, in 2002. “These are talented performers with genuine ability, no fakery, no tricks. Everything you see in our show is real and all of our shows are in 3-D and high definition!”

Champion knife thrower Kirk Bass, of Xenia, Ohio, is co-producer of the event. He and his daring wife Melodee are among the performers to take the open-air stage for two shows on Saturday, July 30 beginning at 1 p.m. with a series of western arts perform the suspenseful Bass Blades impalement show, and much more.

Whip marksmanship competitions headline the afternoon show beginning with the National Whip Speed and Accuracy Exhibition Competition, the world’s only Bullwhip Fast Draw contest. Plus, there is a brand new contest taken straight from the big screen.

AOF_3_GLD

David Crain vs. Luke Taylor in the American Western Arts Showcase “Bullwhip Fast Draw” competition at Annie Oakley Festival at York Woods.

In 1981, a fedora-wearing, leather-clad archaeologist threw the crack heard round the world when he “whipped” a pistol from the hand of a jungle guide. At the beginning of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Indiana Jones demonstrated his skills with the holstered fast-draw of a 10-foot bullwhip, all while having to spin around to take aim first.

In the spirit of Dr. Jones’ proficiency, this year’s Showcase competition will include a special “blind fast draw,” where whip artists must mimic the move used in the film to turn, draw their holstered whip and shoot at a target with speed and accuracy.

“With the popularity of Indiana Jones among western performers, particularly whip artists, it’s odd this hasn’t been done before,” says Deer, who holds multiple, national whip speed and accuracy titles and is the director of The Whip Artistry Studio, the only permanent whip training facility in America. Contests begin at 1 p.m., followed immediately by a matinee performance at 2:30.

At 5:00p.m., visitors to the festival will see the Grand Western Showcase hosted by AOF_5_GLDthe music and comedy of Greene County’s own, The Brothers & Co. Variety Show. “We pull out all the stops on Saturday evening,” says Deer. “The Brothers & Co. Variety Show is an Americana-styled musical variety show from a by-gone era, full of comedy, magic, and some of the best four-part music on stage today. There will be nothing else like this anywhere at the festival!”

The event is sponsored by GLD Enterprises Communications, Ltd., The Brothers & Co. Variety Show, and the Annie Oakley Festival Committee. All performances are family friendly and presented on the grounds of the Annie Oakley Festival. For links to the festival and sneak previews of the performers plus more information go online to ohiowesternarts.org.

Game Plan for Super Bowl 50: Are You Drinking or Are You Driving?

In Education, Health, Sports News, Uncategorized on February 1, 2016 at 9:45 am

This is NOT the Time for an Option Play

XENIA, OH – The Super Bowl is America’s most watched national sporting event. On Super Bowl 50 Sunday, February 7, there will be lots of game day socializing that may include drinking. That’s why the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Greene County Safe Communities Coalition and Greene County’s highway safety and law enforcement officials are urging football fans to call the play now: drinking or driving.

safe communities logoIf you plan on drinking on Super Bowl Sunday, designate a sober driver to get you home safely. NHTSA’s Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk campaign encourages people to make plans ahead of time that will prevent them from getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking.

Driving impaired could result in injury or death for you or others on the road. According to data from NHTSA, in 2013 10,076 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes in the United States—31 percent of all vehicle crash fatalities in the nation. The numbers go even higher on weekends. (There were 5,637 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities, making up 41 percent of all fatalities that occurred during weekends.)

A driver is considered alcohol-impaired with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, the set limit in all states. This February 7, don’t become a tragic Super Bowl stat.

“Drunk driving is completely preventable,” said Ashley Steveley, Greene County Safe Communities Coordinator. “All it takes is a little planning. We want fans to remember that it’s a choice. Drink or drive—but never do both.” For those who plan to drink, leave your keys at home. Designate a sober driver, whether it’s a friend, relative, taxi, ride share or public transportation. Use NHTSA’s new SaferRide mobile app.

The app helps people who have been drinking get a safe ride home; it helps users call a taxi or a friend and identifies their location so they can be picked up. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play, and Apple devices on the iTunes store. For those who plan to drive, refrain from any alcohol.

Instead, enjoy the game with food and nonalcoholic drinks. Being a sober, designated driver is a key role on Super Bowl Sunday. You might just save a life. Press Release Page 2 of 2 If you’re hosting a Super Bowl 50 party, designate a responsible driver before the game begins. One way to thank your designated driver is by tweeting us their name during Super Bowl 50, which will appear on NHTSA’s Wall of Fame.

If you’re the designated driver, be sure to tweet us your name during Super Bowl 50, and make NHTSA’s Wall of Fame! For more Super Bowl weekend safety information, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/SuperBowl For more information on the Greene County Safe Communities Coalition, please contact Ms. Steveley at 937- 374-5624 or email her at asteveley@gcph.info.

Prevent Blindness declares September as Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month

In Children and Family, Dayton Ohio News, Health, Sports News, Uncategorized on September 14, 2015 at 10:11 am

Dayton, OH – Prevent Blindness has declared September as Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month to encourage athletes to wear proper eye protection while playing sports. According to estimates by Prevent Blindness, the top five sports resulting in the most eye injuries were basketball, water and pool activities, use of air, gas, spring or BB guns, baseball/softball and football. In fact, in a single year, more than 6,000 Americans suffered an eye injury related to playing basketball.

Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness is America’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Serving the entire state, the Ohio Affiliate of Prevent Blindness provides direct services to more than 800,000 Ohioans annually and educates millions of consumers about how to protect and preserve the precious gift of sight.

The National Eye Institute reports that a sports-related eye injury is admitted to a U.S. emergency room every 13 minutes. Eye injuries from sports may include infection, corneal abrasions, blunt trauma, inflamed iris, fracture of the eye socket, swollen or detached retinas or a traumatic cataract. In the worst cases, some injuries may result in permanent vision loss. However, this kind of eye injury is 90-percent preventable.

sports googleKatie Neubert is the Dayton Area Manager for Prevent Blindness. “An injury can happen in a split second, but the effects of a series eye injury can have lasting negative effects for a lifetime,” she says. “That’s why Prevent Blindness encourages all athletes to always make sure that appropriate, properly fitting protective eye gear is part of their uniform.”

Parents, coaches, school staff and others can support children’s sports eye safety by following these tips.

Learn About The Risks – Parents, teachers, school nurses and coaches should learn about eye injury risks associated with sports before allowing children to participate. Enroll your child only in adult-supervised sporting activities through a school district, community center, etc., and try to discourage participation in high-risk sports, such as boxing, since adequate eye protection does not yet exist.

Always Use Protective Eyewear – Most sports-related eye injuries are preventable. Whatever the sport or the athlete’s age, appropriate protective eyewear is the first, best defense against eye injury. Also, be sure the child is seeing clearly by getting him or her an eye exam and request recommendations for protective eyewear before enrolling in any sports program.

Learn Warning Signs of Injury – Parents, teachers, school nurses and coaches should familiarize themselves with the warning signs of a serious eye injury and know when to seek treatment. Parents should also make it a point to meet with coaches or athletic trainers to ensure the proper procedures are in place to deal with a child’s eye injury should one occur.

To further support these efforts, Prevent Blindness is teaming up with Liberty Sport to provide eye care professionals with free information and materials through the “September is Sports Eye Injury Prevention Awareness Month” campaign. For more information please call Prevent Blindness locally at 937-223-8766 or visit preventblindness.org/sports-eye-safety.

What happened to real news?

In Business, Entertainment, Media, News Media, Opinion, Sports News, State News, Uncategorized, World News on June 5, 2015 at 11:38 am

Deer In Headlines

By Gery L. Deer

DIH LOGOIn my long, diverse career, I have had the privilege of meeting and working with some of the best news and media people in the business. I have provided content for Pulitzer Prize-winning publications and even earned some award nominations myself, in part thanks to my association with so many talented colleagues.

But, and I admit it freely, there are times when I am thoroughly embarrassed to be a member of the media in any capacity. Most recently, I feel that way regarding the nauseating, continuous coverage of the Kardashian “family” and their talentless train wreck.

I just don’t get it. Am I missing something here? I keep hearing them referred to as “superstars,” and, for the life of me, I can’t think of any reason they have even come close to earning that moniker.

But my point here is not to rant about these ridiculously out-of-touch people, but to ask my colleagues, what happened to the news and stories about real people? The world is filled with incredible stories of success, survival, family, and even plenty of dysfunction, if that’s your thing, so it’s not like there aren’t better subjects out there.

91389965_36f4f323cc_oBear in mind, I’m not referring to tabloids, celebrity blogs or grocery store gossip rags, but media outlets who claim to have journalistic integrity and brag about their commitment to bringing real news to the forefront. My favorite example of this kind of hypocrisy has got to be CBS, which now uses the social media hashtag “#newsisback;” really guys?

Recently, CBS News social media and even their morning show, which is advertised as, “responsible, intelligent information,” reported details about a Kardashian baby announcement. First, who cares? Second, can someone explain to me how something like that qualifies as “real” news?

One of CBS’s early morning competitors, NBC’s Today Show, can’t seem to get enough of the ridiculous Kardashians. This is primarily because E! Entertainment Television – which carries the Kardashian reality show – and NBC TV are both owned by NBCUniversal.

But, although I think they spend too much time on this nonsense, they get a bit of a pass because their program is more entertainment than news. That is, the format allows for more light-hearted stories, entertainment information, and so on.

However, in the case of CBS This Morning, if they are going to spend their ad budget slamming competitors while claiming to be the leading news resource, they need to put their money where their mouth is, so to speak. If the producers and executive bean counters (because that’s who makes the real decisions) want to actually “be” the news leaders, they need to drop this stuff and stay focused. Let the cable entertainment shows promote this junk and give the audience what you promised.

As mentioned before, looking more closely, you find that media giants like CBS and NBC are connected to all manner of media, from publishing companies to film studios. The news programs are used to promote these endeavors and make more money.

For example, say some actor has a book coming out by “publisher A,” which happens to be owned by “media company B,” which produces “morning TV show C.” How better to promote the book and subsequent movie and rake in more cash?

Speaking of bean counting, a big chunk of the responsibility for this problem has to lie at the feet of the consuming public because if they weren’t “buying,” the media wouldn’t be “selling.” Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a self-propelling monster because if stuff like this were never aired in the first place, the public would never have seen it to demand more, and the cycle goes on.

I regularly struggle with content myself, albeit on a much smaller level, but I do my best to consider my audience. I ask myself what they would want to know and how my information will help them in their day-to-day lives. So should the big guys.

The production of news media is big business with lots of complex nooks and crannies, and, honestly, no one wants to see how the sausages are made. All I am asking is that news media practice what they preach.

 

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer. Deer In Headlines is distributed by GLD Enterprises Communications. All Rights Reserved. More at gerydeer.com.

Greene County Treasurer a Panelist in National Legislative Conference

In Local News, News Media, Politics, Sports News, State News, Uncategorized on March 10, 2015 at 5:55 pm
Gould

Gould

Xenia, Ohio, March 10, 2015 — Greene County Treasurer, Dick Gould, served as a panelist educating attendees about county investment policies and practices at the National Association of Counties (NACo) annual Legislative Conference February 21 – 25 in Washington D.C.

Joining Gould on the panel were David Messerly, Director of Global Investor Relations for FHLBanks and Jim Powell, Senior Vice-President of Multi-Bank Securities, Inc. Included in the discussion were the impact of interest rates, strategies for approaching investment opportunities, policy restrictions, and best practices.  The session included a question and answer session with participants.

“For counties, interest rates are a double-edged sword,” says Gould.  “Given the historically low rates, investment income has decreased dramatically.  Yet borrowing costs are also down and the county has been able to restructure much of its debt to save costs.”

More than 1500 county leaders attended the national conference, which offered workshops featuring county officials and other leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Vice President Joe Biden, who began his political career as a Delaware County council member, was the opening speaker at the event.

Dick Gould has been Greene County’s Treasurer since 2011.  He is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Master of Accountancy from Miami University, Ohio.

Think Pink Motorcycle Poker Run to sponsor cancer survivor in Susan G. Komen walk

In Business, Charities, Local News, Sports News, Travel, Uncategorized on September 22, 2014 at 4:43 pm

IMG_0476DAYTON, OH – In 2010, Dayton area resident Karen Clary became one of America’s 2.9 million breast cancer survivors. This year, she hopes to be one of the thousands across the country to participate in the 2014 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® walk. To support her participation, the Miami Valley Victory Riders motorcycle club and Motor Sports of Dayton are sponsoring the 2nd Annual “Think Pink” Poker Run, Saturday, September 27. The event will help raise awareness and generate the $2,300 Clary needs to attend the 3-day, 60 mile the race.

The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure series of 5K runs and fitness walks attracts people of all ages and fitness levels, from walkers to elite runners. Celebrating breast cancer survivors and honoring those who have lost their battle with the disease, the series began in 1983 with a single race with 800 participants in Dallas. Today, it has grown into a global series of more than 140 Races with 1.5 million runners.

Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists working to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure® and the Komen 3-Day, the organization has invested more than $2.2 billion, making it the largest worldwide source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer.

Seventy-five percent of the net proceeds raised by the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® help support Komen’s global research program, the largest nonprofit source of breast cancer research funding outside of the U.S. government. Money raised also supports large public health programs that address critical issues in breast cancer treatment and care. The remaining 25 percent stays in the local community, funding financial, social and medical needs.

Two years ago, Clary and her daughter, Jen, attended the San Francisco 3-day race together. “My daughter asked me to do the 3-day walk with her in 2012,” Clary says. “At first I thought she was crazy; 60 miles in three days? I eventually decided to go because it looked like so much fun and because of how much this means to others who shared my experience, and their families.”

Beginning at 10AM from Motor Sports of Dayton, 2135 Dayton-Lakeview Rd., in New Carlisle (45344), riders will collect a card from each stop, trying for the highest hand at the end of the ride. From Motor Sports of Dayton, riders will make stops at Moose Lodge in Beavercreek, Buckminn’s D&D Harley Davidson in Xenia, Little River Café in Oregonia, Whiskey Barrell in Oregonia, and finally end up at Jack Ass Flats in Huber Heights. The rider with the highest poker hand at the end of the run will win the grand prize. Single riders can participate for $15, doubles for $20, or buy an extra hand at $5 each. Other activities during the event include a 50/50 drawing, raffle prizes, silent auction, door prizes and entertainment.

“My first walk was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life and also the most awesome,” Clary says. “Jen wanted to do the walk for me and, because I have given her a greater chance of getting cancer, I wanted to do it for her. Hopefully we can all help to wipe it out.” For more information, call Karen Clary at (937) 620-8597 or email her at teampol@aol.com.

 

ATVs are not toys for young children

In Children and Family, Dayton Ohio News, Health, Local News, Opinion, Sports News, State News, Uncategorized on July 14, 2014 at 9:30 am

DIH LOGOSince 1982, there have been nearly 400 Ohio deaths related to the operation of ATVs, short for “all terrain vehicles.” Like any other power machine, the ATV is a safe, versatile vehicle when handled properly by responsible adults, yet their operation is far too often given over to small children.

According to statistics collected between 1982 and 2012 by the United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), there have been, nationally, 2,944 ATV-related fatalities of children younger than 16 years of age and 43 percent of them were younger than 12. The CPSC also states that children 16 and under comprised 24 percent of the total number of ATV related deaths.

Unfortunately, these machines are not being treated like the dangerous power equipment they are but instead as if they are children’s toys. It’s not uncommon to see very small children riding these powerful four-wheelers (and there are still a few three-wheelers out there). Any responsibility for accidents must be laid firmly on the shoulders of the parents as well as those legislators who can’t be bothered with increasing safety regulations on these devices.

Currently, age restrictions on ATV operations in Ohio are, in this commentator’s opinion, far too lenient, and logically inconsistent. For example, as of 2014, the Ohio law states that, “to operate an ATV on public lands, one must have a driver’s license or motorcycle endorsement. The Department of Natural Resources may permit a person at least 12 (years of age) to operate on Department land if accompanied by a parent.”

In the next section the regulations state, “No one under 16 may operate an ATV unless on land owned by a parent or accompanied by an adult 18 or older.” It’s as if, in one regulation, the legislators acknowledge the dangers involved in operating these machines and that people should be qualified, licensed drivers. But in the other, just having a parent there qualifies the kid to be behind the handlebars.

When children operate these machines there are two issues to consider: Experience and size. A licensed driver will have had some training and experience behind the wheel and be at least somewhat more experienced than someone who has never operated a motor vehicle. Arguing also that a farm kid can handle it because of tractors and other equipment is ridiculous too. There is a big difference between disking a field and popping wheelies down a hillside on an ATV.

Additionally, as stable as they may seem, to keep all four wheels on the ground, an ATV requires a certain amount of bulk in the form of the rider. Shifting the weight from side to side, similar to riding a bike, is necessary and aids in steering and stability.

A small child of 6 or 7 years old, and maybe 60 pounds on the outside, simply does not have enough mass or strength to control the machine, regardless of its size. Even the smallest of these vehicles is powerful enough to cause a serious accident if not properly controlled and no safety switch or oversized helmet can outmatch the common sense of not letting a little kid ride it in the first place.

The overturned ATV in the Crooked River.Liability is another major consideration. Without getting into the legal issues, it goes without saying that America is a litigious society and special endorsements are required on insurance policies to cover liability issues related to ATV operation. Even if there is insurance, the parents of an injured child can still sue the owner of the ATV or the property where the accident took place.

In the end, the question must be asked, “Is a few minutes of joy riding on an ATV worth risking the safety or perhaps the very life of a child?” For more information, download a complete copy of Ohio’s current ATV laws: OhioATVLaw

Gery L. Deer is an independent columnist and business writer based in Jamestown, Ohio. More at www.gerydeer.com.

Jamestown native Fred Claire announced as special advisor to Baseball New Zealand

In Business, Dayton Ohio News, Jobs, Local News, National News, News Media, Sports News, Uncategorized, World News on March 18, 2014 at 3:16 pm
fredclaire1

Fred Claire

PASADENA, CA – Baseball New Zealand this week has secured the services of Jamestown, Ohio native, Fred Claire, former Executive Vice-President and General Manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers Major League Baseball organization, as a special advisor to the organization.

Besides his long tenure with the Dodgers, Claire is a longtime mentor for many executives in the professional and international sports communities and Baseball New Zealand CEO Ryan Flynn is one of Claire’s baseball “disciples.”

“We’ve just scored a large victory with the addition of Fred as a key advisor and stakeholder in our program,” said Flynn. “Securing the services of someone with such a lengthy baseball pedigree, someone as respected in the sport as he is a huge coup for the sport in this country.”

Flynn said Claire has been advising the country’s national body unofficially for some time, but added that the program is now at a critical juncture and the timing is right to formalize this key relationship and take it to the next level.

In a distinguished 30-year career with the Dodgers, Claire served the team as a publicity director; vice president of public relations, promotions and marketing; Executive Vice President in charge of day-to-day operations; and Executive Vice President and General Manager in charge of player personnel.

A shop keeper’s son starting out at the tail-end of the Great Depression, Fred Claire was born on October 5, 1935 in Jamestown, Ohio. His mother, Mary Frances Harper, was born and raised in Jamestown where her father operated Harper’s Drug Store.

Ironically, given the town’s modern history, his grandfather’s store was eventually destroyed by fire. Claire’s father, Marston, later opened another drug store on the opposite corner of the village. “My Dad’s drug store was simply known as Claire’s Corner Drug Store,” Claire said.

As a young boy, he lived in the apartment above the store with his parents, his brother Doug and one sister named Lynn. With his family, Claire enjoyed fishing trips to Canada and nearby Indian Lake and began his business career as a young entrepreneur. “My brother and I trapped muskrats,” Claire recalled. “And I had a newspaper route delivering the Xenia Daily Gazette.”

Claire suggested that his passion for sports came from early summer mornings in Jamestown when friends would throw pebbles at his second-floor apartment window. This was, according to Claire, “the indication that it was time to get up, get the baseball equipment and head out to the diamond at Silvercreek School.” He was referring to the historic school at the corner of SR 72 and South Charleston road in Jamestown which was razed in 2013 but, for many years, served as the Greeneview primary and junior high building.

Claire joined the Dodgers in 1969 and he proved to be an award-winning executive at every stage of his career. Claire was directing the team’s marketing efforts when the Dodgers first hit the three-million mark in attendance and established a period of record-setting attendance figures.

In April of 1987, Claire was named general manager of the Dodgers and when the team won the World Series in 1988 he was selected Major League Baseball’s “Executive of the Year” by The Sporting News. Claire became the fifth Dodger executive in the team’s history to win the award, following Larry MacPhail (1939), Branch Rickey (1947), Walter O’Malley (1955) and Buzzie Bavasi (1959).

Since his departure from the Dodgers in June of 1998, Claire has maintained an active schedule as an educator and as a consultant to a variety of businesses in addition to an on-going civic involvement. He is a partner in the baseball analytic company AriBall.com.

“Having someone on board with the experience and expertise that Fred Claire has is a huge win for this country and our fast-growing baseball program,” Flynn said. “Bouncing ideas and strategy off of a man with a great history of baseball experience and successes in the game, plus his ability to bring key people and organizations together, will pay dividends for many years for Baseball New Zealand, and we couldn’t be more fortunate with this development.”

“I’ve always had an interest in growing the game of baseball and to have the opportunity with Baseball New Zealand and to work with Ryan Flynn and his group is very exciting,” said Claire. Claire had made a trip to Australia in the late 1970’s and helped to set the stage for a connection between the Dodgers and the Australian Baseball Federation.  Dodger coaches Monty Basgall, Red Adams and Guy Wellman traveled to Australia a few years after Claire’s visit to give clinics and promote baseball.

“I liked the fact that the baseball officials in Australia were growing the game from the standpoint of placing an emphasis on youngsters learning and playing the game  and this is what I see happening in New Zealand today,” said Claire.

During his 12 seasons as the Dodger general manager, the team signed pitchers Hideo Nomo from Japan and Chan Ho Park from South Korea. Nomo was one of five consecutive National League Rookies of the Year during Claire’s tenure, joining Eric Karros, Mike Piazza, Raul Mondesi and Todd Hollandsworth.

For more on Fred ClaireReference: Fred Claire, “30 Years in Dodger Blue”

Metro FC Youth Soccer Tryouts, Delco Park, May 28-June 1

In Children and Family, Health, Local News, Sports News, Uncategorized on May 6, 2013 at 7:50 pm

metrofclogoDAYTON – According to the 2009 U.S. Census Bureau: Participation in Selected Sports Activities report, soccer is the third most played team sport in the U.S., falling just short of baseball and basketball. More than 13 million Americans play soccer each year, with most starting out in youth soccer clubs.

One of the Dayton area’s largest and fastest growing youth soccer organizations, Metro Football Club (FC), has announced that it will hold open tryouts to fill some 40 teams with approximately 800 players ranging in ages 8 through 23. Tryouts for the Metro FC 2013 season are scheduled from Tuesday, May 28 through Saturday, June 1st, at DelcoPark. 1700 Delco Park Dr., Kettering, OH, 45420. Players can register at the park on the day of their tryout, but organizers recommend early registration at the club’s website, http://www.metrofutbolclub.com.

Metro FC director of coaching and player development, Kevin Arcuri, has been involved with youth soccer in the Dayton area for over ten years. He has served as an Assistant Director of Coaching for Centerville United Soccer Association (CUSA) as well a women’s assistant coach at WrightStateUniversity from 1997 until 2005. Prior to working for CUSA, Arcuri coached in the Team Dayton organization.

“What sets us above and beyond everyone else is our top-notch training,” says Arcuri. “Our teams are trained by a professional trainer at least once a week and all of our coaches are appropriately licensed, dedicated and excited about working with the kids.”

“Our staff really goes above and beyond to help players improve and grow in their long-term development,” he says. “We try to teach good morals and good sportsmanship, avoiding the fighting among parents and players that’s so common in today’s youth sports.”

Tryouts are open to players from all over the greater Dayton region. According to Arcuri, the club has a diverse community of participants who come from all over the MiamiValley area, as far north as Sydney and east as Chillicothe.

Metro FC teams have a history of turning out some great athletes. One their best known alumnus is Drew Basil, starting kicker at OhioStateUniversity, who played for the Metro FC from U-9 to U-19.

Arcuri also notes that Metro FC is not just for those on the career track but offers something for every participant’s level of interest. “We have teams that compete at the top level, but we also have others that compete in other areas to meet the needs of kids who might be in multiple sports,” he says. “Some just want to play and enjoy the sport but have no interest in traveling for tournaments or being part of a high-level of competition and we can offer them a place as well.”

Fees to participate vary depending on the level of play. At the high school level, for example, play can cost anywhere between $600 and $1200 per year. Individual and corporate sponsorships of the club are available to those in the community who would like to help support the club’s efforts.

Metro FC is affiliated with the Miami Valley Youth Soccer Association, Buckeye Premier League, and the Midwest Regional League. For more information and to register, go online to http://www.metrofutbolclub.com or call Kevin Arcuri at 937-371-0869.

Olympic Games Offer Mixed Messages for Kids

In Children and Family, Education, Entertainment, National News, Opinion, Politics, sociology, Sports News, Uncategorized on August 3, 2012 at 8:22 am

I recently read an article composed by a local non-profit about the lessons that could be learned by children from the Summer Olympic Games. The story encouraged parents to watch the events with their kids and discuss the nature of competition, good sportsmanship, hard work, and so on.

As they grow up, we try to teach children the value of good sportsmanship, hosing them down with gooey sentiments like, “It’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game that counts.” But even in that very statement there is hypocrisy and an absence of reality.

Coming in first is, and always will be, the ultimate purpose behind Olympic competition. The quest for the center platform has driven countries and individuals to outrageous behavior. Figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed in the leg at the 1994 Winter Olympics, causing her severe injury. Intended to knock Kerrigan out of the contest, the attack was arranged by Jeff  Gillooly, the ex-husband of one of her competitors, Tonya Harding.

In the days of the Cold War, the fierce competition between the United States and the Soviet Union was fueled by precarious diplomatic relations and the massive egos of the world’s two super powers. Winning was not only imperative, it was a matter of life and death for some. However anecdotal, failed Russian athletes were said to have been exiled, tortured and jailed if they were outperformed by Americans.

Sometimes the motivation behind Olympic participation is not a gold medal, but gold itself – in the form of money. Like it or not, the Olympics is a business – for the sponsors and the competing countries.

Every four years, billions of dollars are spent by the nations of the world to send teams of athletes to the summer Olympic Games. Countless corporations spend billions more trying trump the advertising bids of their competition for the honor of being “official” sponsors. Exposure on the world stage can boost a company’s recognition a thousand fold. Recognition translates to sales.

There is money to be made, a lot of money, not to mention the bragging rights for bringing home the most gold. In fact, just to host the Olympic Games, London spent more than $18 million, which has the British Parliament debating even as the event proceeds.

In the end our kids are getting, at best, a mixed message. They see it on television, and in the stands at the local little league game whenever parents get into fist-fights over a bad call. So parents are just as much to blame as the media.

We grow up being told that sportsmanship, honor and diligence is the ultimate goal of athletic competition, but the truth is a bit more obvious and children are smarter than most people give them credit.

Even a kid understands that no one goes to the Olympics hoping for a bronze medal or wishing to be in fifth place. Their eye is on the gold. A gold medal means recognition, money, fifteen minutes of fame, and the cover of Sports Illustrated.

As for, “how you play the game,” well, that’s a distorted idea as well. Olympic athletes are constantly monitored for illegal use of steroids and other enhancement drugs. The threat of cheating looms heavy over the excitement of the arena. Clearly, winning is the most important objective. After all, if winning doesn’t matter, why keep score?