Marion’s Mark A Testament To Vision, And The Work – Press Pros Magazine


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Sonny fulks

Editor-in-chief

Sonny Fulks graduated from Ohio State University where he pitched four college seasons for the Buckeyes from 1971 to 1974. He deepened his baseball experience as a minor league umpire for seven seasons, working for the Florida State League (A), the Southern League (AA) and the American Association (AAA). He has written for numerous websites and, for the past fourteen years, has been a columnist and photo editor for The Gettysburg Magazine, published by the University of Nebraska Press, in Lincoln Nebraska. His interests include history, supporting amateur baseball, the outdoors, and he holds a music degree from Ohio State University.

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What Marion Local and those other MAC Schools 44 OHSAA titles in football now represent is something akin to the saying, “there has to be something in the water”. The question is… why are more people not drinking?

Throughout the fall sporting season I wrote a Monday column detailing something I noticed from the previous week. But I have never sat down to write about a more poignant view than the one I brought back from the 50th anniversary of the OHSAA Football Finals weekend.

As shared here in our Saturday and Sunday coverage, Marion Local and Versailles High School won the Division VII and Division V titles, respectively, adding more championships to the already flourishing total of Midwest Athletic Conference titles won since the inception of the league in 1972. Marion’s winning Saturday morning over Newark Catholic made 38, and Versailles beating six-time champion Kirtland on Saturday nine brought the number down to 39.

In total, counting the five titles won by Versailles as a member of the Southwest Rivers Conference before joining the MAC, the figure is now 44!

But the one that gets the most attention is Marion Local, who snatched the all-time titles they won at Cleveland St. Ignatius with their twelfth Saturday, a 42-7 spanking from a good Newark Catholic team that came out. prepare with a game plan to stop the Flyers, only to find in the first twelve minutes that he wasn’t as prepared as Marion.

Likewise, Kirtland was favored to win his fourth consecutive championship against Versailles, making his first appearance since his last victory in 2003 under then-coach Al Hetrick. But alas, they found out that “Tigerball,” a phrase with legendary meaning like the famous Civil War “Rebel Yell”, was something as big, if not bigger, than the X’s and Bones in football. himself.

But most of the attention on Saturday – the weekend – was focused on Marion. For years, the people of west-central Ohio have marveled at the consistency of the Flyers’ eternal success and title challenges after another, something that has eluded other schools, coaches, for years. generations.

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For example, there is nothing better than Steve Nolan, who amassed 225 wins at Troy High School, or Charlie Burgbacher, who did so in Covington and Tipp City. But these two have never worn that ultimate champion ring. Tim Goodwin now has so many that he has to mutate to wear them all at the same time.

People have been asking this question for years. How do they do?

Everything revolves around football at Marion? The answer is no. A small school with around 250 children in its best four years, it is also one of the best performing in the region when it comes to classroom instruction.

They ask why Marion ALWAYS has a 70-80 roster of footballers, when other schools in Divisions VI and VII struggle to attract enough players to train. The answer is a culture waiting. Football is king, yes, but EVERYBODY is doing something outside of the classroom in Marion, and due to the culture of the community, you are expected to do it well and successfully.

Former athletic director Stan Wilker said this about his hiring of Goodwin in 1999: “He had never been a head coach before, but I just had a hunch about him.”

They ask if a man, in this case trainer Tim Goodwin, can make such a difference? And the answer is apparently yes. He spoke about Marion’s football success at Saturday’s press conference when asked, “How can you do this year after year.”

Response from Goodwin (paraphrasing): “The community does not undermine what we are trying to do. Translation: They don’t have any problems with parents.

And why would you interfere with such an efficient and faultless CEO? A young Tim Goodwin was hired by then-athletic director Stan Wilker in 1999 because Wilker later allegedly said, “I just had a hunch about him.”

An intuition?

Wilker explained that Goodwin was not just a rah-rah personality who interviews better than others, but a bright, calculating young man who taught math and seemed to have a vision for the work required to be successful in football. In fact, he was pretty calm, and still is. Math teachers, by the way, are obsessed with the details, having or getting the right answer… and there is never, EVER, acceptance for ALMOST having the right answer. 2 plus 2 must equal to 4!

Frankly, Marion’s success, as good as it is, has sparked some jealousy among other regional conferences and schools. More than one has written on this site to wonder why Goodwin and the Flyers are getting a disproportionate amount (in their opinion) of coverage and promotion. “You might as well call it Press Pros’ MAC’azine,” some write.

But each of them would switch places, if they could. What stands between them and do that … There should also be a gray area.

But Marion Local and Versailles (whose titles total now stands at seven) might not agree. Ironically, Coldwater, who was aiming for their eighth title on Saturday, fell this time against a talented and much larger team of Carey.

At the post-match conference, Cavalier coach Chip Otten simply paid tribute to the Blue Devils and said: “I guess you can’t win them all.”

It was not a concession, as those who knew him understood. No, the wheels were already turning for a ride home and back to the drawing board. Otten is unlikely to find a 265-pound backer like Carey’s Jordan Vallejo by August, but the expectation is, “We have to do better. We MUST find a way.

Others would just say there is always next year, and leave it at that. We did our best.

But in Marion, Coldwater and Versailles, next year doesn’t matter if you don’t enjoy another year.

Phil Knight of Nike, another pretty successful CEO would say… do it.

You see, the vision is… .2 plus 2 must equal to 4!

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