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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Some words on a young man who chose the tougher path and higher expectations in order to play college football…and our best wishes to another whose heart and will to live is fighting to do just that.

When I read this weekend that Springfield High School’s Cameron Hoelscher had committed to play college football at West Point (Army) I took the time to read more closely.

I don’t know Hoelscher; haven’t seen him play. Upon checking online I found that he’s listed in the top 50 of Ohio linebacking prospects – listed as a ‘3-star’ recruit.  But the mere fact that he chose Army said to me a lot more about Cameron Hoelscher than anything Rivals or the other so-called recruiting experts can measure.

Choosing to play college football at Army is not about playing with an eye on the NFL. No, it’s a total commitment to becoming a better man, a commitment to character, and a commitment to becoming a leader of men.

You go to West Point knowing that there’ll be no leaving after his junior year to turn pro.  It’s not a statement about how fast you run the 40, but rather, it’s a statement about one who’s invested in the future of the United States of America.

There’s no uttering of the now famous quote from Ohio State’s Cardale Jones, who once opined, “We ain’t come here to play school.”

There’s no issues with discipline, or with disciplining at West Point, because everything there is about discipline. There’s no such thing as wearing your pants halfway off your butt, ‘tats’ and nose rings.

There’s no such thing as individualism, because that doesn’t work in a foxhole when you’re under fire. And chances are every graduate of West Point will someday risk taking that very test.

They say it’s not for everyone, and I believe that. I actually met a service academy recruiter at the state tournament two years ago, and surprisingly, he wasn’t very communicative about what he was looking for in a football player. He’d would have been a terrible interview for 11 Warriors, or the O-Zone, Buckeye Sports Journal. All he would say about playing for Army, Navy, or Air Force was…it’s not for everyone.

So congratulations to Cameron Hoelscher for making the choice that probably not one in the next one hundred high school players would make, given the options most would have. Before you ever play a down I know your commitment to service is real, and your dedication to a higher purpose and standard is unquestionable. There’s no other way when you’re a cadet.

It’s not for everyone!

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And our prayers and best wishes go out this week to Robbie Dickerson for a successful and speedy recovery after twelve hours of frightful and exhausting heart surgery on Thursday.

Robbie, the son of Joe and Tonya Dickerson, from Troy, is 18 years of age and has never lived a day of his life without the dark threat of heart disease, a condition with which he was born.

He’s otherwise a normal teenager who particularly enjoys his family and the outdoors, and of course, the optimism of adolescence…when he’s not recovering from heart surgery. For you see, this was not his first.

Sonny_thumb0211It was, however, his most dangerous. With his life on the line he entered surgery Thursday morning with thumbs up, saying “Bring it on.” Touch and go, we received periodic reports throughout the day as to his progress and condition as dozens of friends and well-wishers across the area prayed for his toughness and well-being. The prayers, so far, have been answered.

Robbie was up Saturday, sore, but making steady progress towards recovery. He is, however, by no means out of danger.

If you think about this week, give some thought of Divine support for his will and well-being. An attitude like Robbie’s doesn’t come along every day; and it’s worth everyone’s time and prayers.

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