Sonny Fulks
Sonny Fulks
Managing Editor

Sonny Fulks is a graduate of Ohio State University and pitched four varsity seasons for the Buckeye baseball team from 1971 through 1974.  He furthered his baseball experience as a minor league league umpire for seven years, working in the Florida State League (A), the Southern League (AA), and the American Association (AAA).  He has written for numerous websites and outdoor publications, and for the past ten years has served as a regular columnist and photo editor for Gettysburg Magazine, published by the University of Nebraska Press.  Widely knowledgeable on that period of American History, Fulks is a frequent speaker on the Civil War at local roundtables throughout the Midwest. He and wife Mindy have two grown children and live in Covington, Ohio.

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The numbers bear them out…Jackson Center’s Cassie Meyer and Fairlawn’s Nate Lessing have been recognized as the league’s Press Pros top athletes and awarded the scholarships for their achievement.

Sidney – They say the first time is the hardest in anything you do.  Well, more about that in a minute.

But there was nothing hard, or arbitrary, in recognizing Jackson Center’s Cassie Meyer and Fairlawn’s Nathan Lessing Thursday night at the inaugural Press Pros sponsor’s recognition night for the Shelby County League’s top female and male athlete.

Cassie Meyer helped Jackson Center to consecutive state titles in volleyball.

Cassie Meyer helped Jackson Center to consecutive state titles in volleyball.

Meyer, a senior who won two state titles in volleyball and appeared in the Division IV state basketball semi-finals twice, was a landslide choice for cumulative achievement, besides being a perennial All-League selection, and for having set a state tournament record for 21 kills in a three-set match during the 2015 state championship finals.  She graduates this spring as co-valedictorian of her class and with a 4.0 (or better) grade point average.  She will attend Wheeling Jesuit University this fall to study sports business.

Lessing, a 6’1″ guard for Fairlawn coach Justin Tidwell, averaged 23 points a game for his four-year career as a Jet, but topped that in 2016-17 with a 28 ppg average, 58% field goal percentage, 79% free throw percentage, and set a new all-time Shelby County League scoring mark with 2,223 points.   Named SCAL Player of The Year this past season, he made the all-league team in each of his four varsity seasons.  He will attend the University of Northern Ohio, in Lima, this fall, and study accounting.

It was a blast watching Fairlawn's Natan Lessing set a new Shelby County League scoring mark in 2017.

Fairlawn’s Nathan Lessing set a new Shelby County League scoring mark in 2017.

“It’s a unique opportunity and way to recognize the top athletes in one of the area’s best and most competitive leagues,”  said SCL official and secretary, Stan Evans.  “I’ve watched these two compete for a long time and they’re worthy recipients.  But it’s also a fine tribute to the sponsors of Press Pros for making such an award possible.”

Both Meyer and Lessing will receive $2,000 scholarships, as sponsored by:  Wilson Hospital Sports Medicine…Keyhole Pizza (Newport)…Allenbaugh Insurance (Jackson Center)…Meyer’s Garage (Newport)…Ruhenkamp in Fort Loramie, honoring the memory of the late Chuck Ruhenkamp, Lacal (Jackson Center)…the Jackson Center Booster group…the Heidout (in Jackson Center)…and, the Bridge Restaurant in Sidney, which hosted the award’s reception.

As to the adage of anything that can go wrong…will go wrong.  Press Pros annually takes better than a quarter million images of sporting events without a hitch, complementing our stories with some of best action photography possible.  It shouldn’t be that hard capture the image of people standing perfectly still, right?  But on the occasion of Thursday’s scholarship awards event…utter, and total camera failure with our scholarship recipients.  Your guess is as good as ours.

On behalf of our Shelby County League sponsors, we extend our congratulations and best wishes to Cassie Meyer and Nathan Lessing, the ‘firsts’ – recipients of the 2016-17 SCL student-athletes of the year award on Press Pros.

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